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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
TL;DR version: we’re getting errors typical of a failing 12V battery, but the battery checks out as OK. What should I check next?

Our 6 year old 22kwh Q model Zoe has 41k miles on the clock. Recently we’ve been getting intermittent “Check Electrical System” and “Check Cruise Control” errors, which are normally resolved by switching the car off and back on again. Sometimes it does not respond to changes in the gear selector (dashboard doesn’t update, car doesn’t drive), but again switching it off and on again generally clears the issue.

The other day however, it got more serious. The car had been plugged in and not charging for a while, due to charging schedule being enabled. Sometime later I disabled the schedule, so the car would charge for an hour just before I needed it. The partial charge completed successfully.

When I came to drive the car, I got a persistent “Check Electrical System” error, which was not resolved by switching the car off and on again. As I was in a hurry, I did not have time to wait for the car to power down completely. I tried driving the car anyway, but the windscreen started steaming up (it was raining outside) and would not clear, so I drove home again and made other arrangements.

I checked the 12V battery voltage and it looked OK. I tried charging it and it only took a small amount of charge (~1500mAh) in a few minutes before the charger decided it was full. I ordered a 12V battery tester, which gave the (almost 3 year old) 12V a clean bill of health - SOH: 100%, SOC: 98%, 12.67V, R: 5.64mOhms.

I know these sorts of errors typically point to a failing 12V battery, but in my instance it appears the battery is OK. I’ve also checked the battery contacts, which seem quite secure.

What’s the next line of troubleshooting/investigation please? I have precisely zero confidence my local Renault dealer would have any success in reproducing, let alone solving the problem.

Many thanks,

Andrew
 

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Premium Member
2014 Model S
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8,607 Posts
Change the 12v battery for a new one anyway. It's nearly 3.

If the traction battery is leased then it's Renault's problem anyway if it's a battery issue so you'd have to take it to a renault dealer. If it leased it does have recovery so you could suggest it went to Renault Wolverhampton as they seem to be the ones that deal with the more tricky cases.

If it is battery owned then how far are DSG Morecombe? They're another dealer that aren't clueless. There's also Cleevely EV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Change the 12v battery for a new one anyway. It's nearly 3.

If the traction battery is leased then it's Renault's problem anyway if it's a battery issue so you'd have to take it to a renault dealer. If it leased it does have recovery so you could suggest it went to Renault Wolverhampton as they seem to be the ones that deal with the more tricky cases.

If it is battery owned then how far are DSG Morecombe? They're another dealer that aren't clueless. There's also Cleevely EV.
Thank you for the swift reply. Just to clarify - are you saying you suspect a traction battery/HV system issue?

The car is battery leased and strictly speaking, the traction battery needs work as it’s 73% SOH (according to CanZE), however since the range is still adequate and we are currently over mileage quota (have repeatedly offered to pay the excess charges to RCI but they tell me to wait for the demand letter, which never arrives!), so I haven’t done anything about that. The traction battery also needs the BMS update. Could either of these be responsible for the errors?

We’re based in Surrey, so both Wolverhampton and DSG are a long way away, especially in a car with 60 miles range!

I’ve been seriously considering using Cleevely EV for the annual service/MOT due in September anyway - they say they will come out to us where we are.
 

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2014 Model S
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If the battery is leased then you need renault to look at it. It's not your battery. Persistent errors like this could be the traction battery especially as the SOH is low.

If it's undriveable then it will be taken on a trailer so it doesn't matter where it is taken to. If you keep driving it with errors you could damage the battery further so it's better to get it booked in ASAP. The first thing they will do is to apply the update to avoid any chance of repairing the battery if they don't have to.
 

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Zoe R110
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If the 12v battery is reading 98% then that is fine, no point replacing it. I'd suggest checking the voltage at the battery when the car is fully on. It should be ~14v indicating the charge circuit is OK. If not then that could be your issue. Your battery tester should be able to see that if you don't have a multimeter.

At 73% SOH it is time to go and moan at Renault, we all know they will eventually get round to agreeing to update the BMS which should help you get a more accurate GOM reading at least..

Any error codes from CANZE might help diagnose your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If the battery is leased then you need renault to look at it. It's not your battery. Persistent errors like this could be the traction battery especially as the SOH is low.

If it's undriveable then it will be taken on a trailer so it doesn't matter where it is taken to. If you keep driving it with errors you could damage the battery further so it's better to get it booked in ASAP. The first thing they will do is to apply the update to avoid any chance of repairing the battery if they don't have to.
Are you saying that I shouldn’t replace the 12V battery myself and/or get Cleevely to do the annual service, in the case of a battery rented vehicle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If the 12v battery is reading 98% then that is fine, no point replacing it. I'd suggest checking the voltage at the battery when the car is fully on. It should be ~14v indicating the charge circuit is OK. If not then that could be your issue. Your battery tester should be able to see that if you don't have a multimeter.

At 73% SOH it is time to go and moan at Renault, we all know they will eventually get round to agreeing to update the BMS which should help you get a more accurate GOM reading at least..

Any error codes from CANZE might help diagnose your problem.
Frustratingly, I did plug in the OBD dongle and fire up CanZE while I had the error on the dash, but I wasn’t able to locate the appropriate page/information in the time I had available. CanZE does appear to be struggling to pull down data from the car over the OBD port - I don’t remember it being so painfully slow when I first got the vehicle 3 years ago.
 

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2014 Model S
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Are you saying that I shouldn’t replace the 12V battery myself and/or get Cleevely to do the annual service, in the case of a battery rented vehicle?
You'd have to check the battery lease terms on what is expected and whether that stipulates renault dealer service only or service by any suitable garage.
 

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Zoe Devotee
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9,343 Posts
Rule of thumb.

Orange errors on the dash are usually (not always but often) related to the 12v, they are transient and go away after charging the 12v or replacing it.

Red errors are usually mean bad things, if they are accompanied with a pile of orange messages then again try the 12v, but if its a red message all on its own its time to get it to the dealers as it might be a HV issue.
 

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Renault Zoe Intens Q210 22kw 2013
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Are you saying that I shouldn’t replace the 12V battery myself and/or get Cleevely to do the annual service, in the case of a battery rented vehicle?
if you have a RCI battery lease on the car you do not own the 380v DC HV Traction batteries - if You Have an RCI Battery Lease on the car this does not cover the 12v Battery under the bonnet - thats your responsibility.

when i worked at a motor factors over 30 years ago we had to test and sell 12volt car batteries and the only way to properly test them was not with a multimeter but a heavy duty battery tester 2 great big prongs and short them across the positive and negative posts and read the amperage and voltage - now i know in them days they had to be good under load because of the cranking amperage a ICE engine has as it starts , but still be good even if you have an inkling it could be the 12v , and even if the multimeter says 14v it will still be good to get your battery stress tested at a garage ... any old garage should have that heavy duty battery tester I am on about .

If its the onboard 380vDC-12vDC (DC-DC) converter of the zoe packing up again even though you pay rental to RCI renault for the traction battery it would not cover the DC-DC converters that can and do pack up. This video says theres a cheap (or cheapish) fix that could be done to repair it:

 

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Co-author of CanZE. Q210 nov 2013
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4,674 Posts
What @Andy-Zoé-User said. If the car is only remotely "on", the DCDC converter will keep the bus voltage on 13.4 volts. With a 1 kW DCDC converter behind that, good luck to test the battery in situ with anything. You would have to disconnect it to have a chance of measuring and that still with a "bread toaster" as these load resistor banks are lovingly nicknamed.

Personally, I wouldn't bother if it happened more than once in a few days. You'd have a decent battery for around 70 quid or less delivered. I use the Varta c22 for 56 euro's plus shipping, go figure. Not worth the hastle of fault finding, and even if it turns out to be something else, it can't hurt to replace a battery anyway if it's more than 3 years old. I replaced mine exactly once in the car's now 7.5 year life. When it was roughly 5 years on the road.
 
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