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Discussion Starter #1
The Ampera was supposed to be delivered on a flatbed truck - and the manual clearly states do not tow the car for recovery. In emergency only tow for max 45 minutes at max 45 mph. However, the garage delivered it by towing the car on all-four wheels down the motorway 🤷‍♂️

My assumption is that Vx specified their limits because the regenerative brakes will charge battery while it is being towed, but maybe the complex clutches and wear on the drive motor could also be put at risk?

In either case today the car has low power - it still drives but it cannot muster power to climb a shallow incline! :(

Beyond going legal on the garage, do you have any ideas about what might be wrong with the car?
 

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If the car's damaged, but was working before the delivery truck started to tow it, then I think you have a case against the delivery agents to get iot repaired at their expense.
If the car lacks power but the battery is charged up, then I'd expect the engine warning light to come on and for there to be lots of error codes in the computer's log. Do you have an OBDII dongle to read these? Essential bit of kit imho, will pay for itself if it reduces the number of time the expensive dealer looks at this list on your behalf!!!
 

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The Ampera was supposed to be delivered on a flatbed truck - and the manual clearly states do not tow the car for recovery. In emergency only tow for max 45 minutes at max 45 mph. However, the garage delivered it by towing the car on all-four wheels down the motorway 🤷‍♂️

My assumption is that Vx specified their limits because the regenerative brakes will charge battery while it is being towed, but maybe the complex clutches and wear on the drive motor could also be put at risk?

In either case today the car has low power - it still drives but it cannot muster power to climb a shallow incline! :(

Beyond going legal on the garage, do you have any ideas about what might be wrong with the car?
It might well be damaged.

Motors will drive against each other. It is how they dump electrical power if the battery is full.

Need to report and follow up, whatever happens next.

Sorry, is this a new car you have just acquired, or your own car being shipped back?

If the former, I'd reject.
 

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Any error messages?
Can the Modes be selected (normal/sport/hold/mountain)
Is it running on battery only or is the engine running?

Pushing power back from the wheels through the inverter is normally short term - this is the regen. Continuous regen could I imagine easily overheat the inverter and damage it. The inverter supplies the drive power normally when not braking.

Given what happened - I'd reject it, expect my money back and ask them to collect it properly (flatbed) unless they wish to damage it more.

Towing can be done by lifting the front wheels on a dolly and towing with the rear ones on the road but flatbed is recommended by Gm / Vauxhall. The car does not have a mechanical neutral like a ICE car and I believe will still spin the Motor/Generators.

Some info here GM-Volt Towing on a Car Dolly
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks all. I agree with everything said. The background to this is that the newly acquired car is with relatives and I am absent.

Intuition predicted something bad would happen. Lets wait and see if they can get anything out of the ODBCII dongle I gave them in preparation for the unimaginable..

.. repaired at their expense
I have been quoted £1800 inclusive.

Can the Modes be selected (normal/sport/hold/mountain)
Apparently not! Apparently pressing the drive mode does nothing. I neglected to mention this detail in case it was a driver misunderstanding and seemed irrelevant to me. Here is a video on fixing that button:


.. but as you mention it in relation to this thread - what might it tell you?

They also said it was noisy and shudders above 30mph. I am scratching my head and asking for photos.

It was all fine before a numpty towed it.
 

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I think It is in so called limp mode, the battery is unavailable and the engine is providing power to drive it.
Usual cause is a totally flat traction battery which a charge will cure. You might see this going flat out up Ben Nevis, its rare. Here I suspect transmission and / or inverter damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
There is possibly one less Ampera on the roads now! 😫

Is there any hope that the computer may have cleverly identified abuse and enabled a 'safe' configuration before physical damage was done?

Feels like we will be drawing lines for a tiresome legal fight with a negligent garage 🤬

The effort in sourcing the right replacement is also going to be a headache. Preempting the garage could deny involvement, how can I find motorway CCTV footage?
 

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There is possibly one less Ampera on the roads now! 😫

Is there any hope that the computer may have cleverly identified abuse and enabled a 'safe' configuration before physical damage was done?
Nope. That is to say, if there was damage to be done, a computer could not have stopped it (even if it was powered up, which it probably wasn't).

There cannot be any 'switches' between the motors and the drive electronics (well there could but it'd be a massive engineering and cost burden) so the back EMF from the motors may well have been nicely overheating the drive IGBT freewheeling diodes for ages and burned them all up.

Something like that. TBH anything could have happened.

So long as people are insistent that it is harmless to drop an EV into neutral, such mistakes will happen. We keep getting people asserting the same thing over and over, and it isn't true.

Can you clarify if this was purchased recently, or was already owned? If the former, just reject.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Can you clarify if this was purchased recently, or was already owned? If the former, just reject.
Purchased recently. Such a shame.

So long as people are insistent that it is harmless to drop an EV into neutral, such mistakes will happen. We keep getting people asserting the same thing over and over, and it isn't true.
These "people" include EV magazines and dealers/garages.

The social ignorance baffles me because as children we all learned to not push our electric toy cars around - or at least I thought we did. Obviously the technology is a little different but I anticipated early learning would have created a lasting social intuition.

As previously said, I gave my family an ODBCII reader because intuition told me bad luck could emerge but I never anticipated this level of idiocy.
 
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Are you maybe trying to play down the inevitable because the outcome (rejecting the car, getting a refund, looking for a new one) is inconvenient?

It is not unreasonable to reject this car based on the circumstances. It's not like a it's a broken headlight. There's clear indication that damage has been done to one or more critical components of the drivetrain which, in a car of this complexity, is something I'd want to simply walk away from, not have repaired and hope for the best.

And the point people are making is that the onus is not on you to diagnose what really happened, or prove that the garage/delivery agent have damaged it. You bought a car from a trade seller and it arrived faulty.

https://www.hpi.co.uk/content/advice-and-tips/rights-buying-used-car-trader/ said:
If you buy a new or used car and from the outset it has a fault, you can reject it without having to give the dealer a chance to repair or replace the vehicle.
I empathise though. It would be such a disapointment to take delivery of a car only to find it has to be rejected :(
 

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Also to bear in mind, if this was a distance-selling type situation, you have 14 days just to say 'no thanks', for any reason whatsoever. I suggest your folks need to take that option promptly if it exists for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Interesting @RichardA, as this site has a slightly different interpretation of our consumer rights.

I am unsure if this is a case of distance selling because there was a test drive, and the condition of the car that later arrived is clearly not the same as the condition of the car that had been tested. What technical detail determines if it is distance selling or not?

ODBC error codes after towing a Vauxhall Ampera

P1E23 Aux transmission fluid pump control module random access module
P1E27 Aux transmission fluid pump control module EV battery system voltage high voltage


It was charged overnight, has since moved silently between parking spaces, and the Drive Mode menu is again displaying! If the error codes were cleared and it passed a test drive now would that change anyone's opinion on rejecting the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Are you maybe trying to play down the inevitable because the outcome (rejecting the car, getting a refund, looking for a new one) is inconvenient?
Probably, and the need to be pragmatic.
 

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Reject this one. The normal "limp fault" is apparently ICE on, no mode selection. Then once charged it recovers and goes back to normal. This is draining the battery to 15% (a long way under the normal bottom limit of 30%) and only once its recharged into the normal band will it resume operation.

You have not said if the modes are now selectable.
I'd still be very wary of this car as it is throwing inverter error codes and the inverter is expensive at a very minimum it needs thoroughly checking over by someone like Bellingers even then I doubt they can really check the inverter electronics, thats more a Luton job.
Reject would be my conclusion

PS the manual allows emergency towing (wheels on road)
Quote
In emergencies, if no car carrier is
available the vehicle must not be
towed faster than 45 mph nor further
than 45 miles.
End quote

There is a whole lot more and warnings about transmission damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Quoting myself ;)
Preempting the garage could deny involvement, how can I find motorway CCTV footage?
No surprises here, and exactly as anticipated, the deliverer is now denying they towed it 💩🤬

How do I source motorway CCTV footage?
 

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Interesting @RichardA, as this site has a slightly different interpretation of our consumer rights.

I am unsure if this is a case of distance selling because there was a test drive, and the condition of the car that later arrived is clearly not the same as the condition of the car that had been tested. What technical detail determines if it is distance selling or not?
Did you agree the sale on the day, or leave and make the decision and agree the deal remotely?
 

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No surprises here, and exactly as anticipated, the deliverer is now denying they towed it
That is irelevant! If the supplier delivered the car or if they arranged delivery you may still return it for a full refund. That is your legal right.
However if you have already fallen in love with the car and want to keep it, you can always take it to a reputable Ampera/Volt specialist and prepare to spend serious money.
This was what happened to me when I discovered that the seller had not fully rectified all the faults that he promised he would. I don't regret that decision.
 

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FWIW, I just spotted that page 145 of the 8110 page 75MB 2012 Chevrolet Volt Opel Ampera Service Manual states "The vehicle can only be towed with a lifted front axle." Happy to provide a screenshot of this page if required.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yes please. It's not really the issue in this thread but the debate will recur until the facts are plain to see.
 
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