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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Recently bought a 2012 Peugeot Ion as a non-runner.
I've done a fair bit of research online, mostly here and on the myimiev forum. I had originally posted on myimiev, but was suggested that I might get some more location specific advice on here- so here goes!

Summary of the issues and my progress so far.
Codes read using Hobdrive- P1A15 comes up.
I understand this is related to the main capacitor not charging up within the specs that the EV-ECU says it should. Below are a few screens from Hobdrive that may be of use.


135875
135873
135874


The myimiev forum has plenty of info regarding potential component failure within the MCU circuit board (and the small hybrid board) that could cause this issue.

My thoughts were that I would be best to have the circuit boards tested to see if any of the common component failures were present or not. I've tried a couple of places here in the Central Belt of Scotland, but none have been willing to give it a try.

So, can anyone recommend a good testing place reasonably local to me (Livingston)?

Or are these components easily testable using a multimeter?

Thanks in advance, Jason
 

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Hi Jason,

There are only perhaps 2 or 3 people on this forum who have any experience with repair and troubleshooting of these specific cars - and they are also on the myimev forum. So to be honest you're much more likely to get help on myimev as this forum while being UK centric is 95% EV drivers and maybe 5% DIY'ers while myimev forum members are heavily DIY oriented people who like to get their hands dirty troubleshooting and repairing and that forum is the best resource I've found online for getting help repairing these cars.

Back in February I had to repair the onboard charger in my 2011 Ion - it had the classic 20 amp fuse in the MCU and two disc capacitors in the onboard charger failure that stopped it charging either the traction battery or the 12v battery. I was able to do this myself relatively easily thanks to the help on myimiev (having an electronics background helps too...) and I was actually forewarned of the problem before it happened to me so as soon as it did happen I was quickly able to diagnose it and knew immediately what it was likely to be and ordered the parts before I even opened it up...

I'm not that far from you (Motherwell) but I don't have any experience of the P1A15 fault apart from casual reading in myimiev a few months ago, and well, coronavirus... :confused:

One of the potential causes of P1A15 from what I remember is a faulty pre-charge resistor, however this is located inside the traction battery housing so you'd have to drop and dismantle the traction battery to get at it even to test it. I've had my traction battery out to swap some cells (and took a bunch of photos of the process) and @G.a.r.y has worked on some as well so there is at least that. I'm not entirely sure where in the traction battery assembly the resistor is though as I didn't go looking for it. A faulty air con compressor or PTC heater putting a partial short on the HV bus could potentially also cause P1A15 so it might be worth unplugging them (the two orange cables at the front of the pack) as a quick test to see if the car will then go into READY. (Be careful of the high voltages of course, 360v DC is deadly as you can't let go if you grab it like you can with AC, it's much more dangerous than a 240v AC shock)

I wish you well though and I'm sure with help from the guys on myimiev you have at least a fighting chance of fixing it. After an onboard charger failure in February and a brake vacuum pump failure in June I decided enough was enough and traded mine in on a much younger Leaf as I already have an old Petrol car to exercise my DIY skills. :ROFLMAO:
 

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Hello,
I second everything that DBMandrake has written.
Is the error on the car constant or intermittent? Does the same error code return after clearing every time you try to start the car, or is it intermittent? Do you see any other error codes? Is the capacitor voltage always reported as 2 volts? This very low voltage implies that there's no attempt at charging the cap - maybe the EVECU is not pulling in the pre-charge Contactor.
Do you have high-voltage experience, tools, test equipment and PPE to safely work on this problem?
I doubt that you would find general electronics companies that could test the boards removed from the vehicle. Some of the components on the boards can be tested statically with a multimeter, but I think you first need to progress in localising the fault.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback guys, it's much appreciated. I must say the myimiev forum is probably the most technical car forum I've ever come across- very impressed!

Had heard that the heater and AC units can cause a problem, so I think they would be worth investigation, even just to rule them out.

The oracle that is Kiev seemed to be pointing towards some failed components in the bottom PCB, hence my interest in getting these tested. Seems to be a similar issue to that which affects the DC-DC converter, i.e. failed 50p capacitors etc.

The error is permanent. I've never been able to get the car to go into 'Ready'. If I reset the error code (and I'm quick), I have been able to hear (what I think are) the contactors working. The error generally comes back before I have the opportunity to hear this though.

I've only tested the capacitor voltage once, using Hobdrive. I've read that it's a good idea to measure this with a multimeter and compare the two values. Not 100% where I would be measuring about though.

I've never worked on HV before, but my pair of the Class 0 gloves arrived in the post today, so figured I should be pretty well protected with those and some safety specs. Plan of action would be, disconnect 12v. Wait 5 mins. Pull plug under passenger seat. Disconnect heater/AC. Reconnect plug, then 12v. Test again. If unsuccessful, repeat previous procedure, add in a little extra waiting time to allow big cap to discharge, then remove inverter for closer inspection.

Think this sounds logical, but I would welcome your thoughts!
 

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I think your purchase of Class 0 1500v DC gloves sounds like a very good idea. I would also suggest taking a moment to think through every step of any HV procedure before you start.

With an old-fashioned analogue meter set to Ohms you can confirm that the 800uF 450v input filter capacitor in the motor inverter will accept a charge. The meter pointer will initially swing to the right indicating low resistance, then drop back as the capacitor charges ( to the voltage of the meter's internal battery ). You will have to temporarily disconnect one terminal of the capacitor ( which is polarised ) to test it. Note that when an analogue meter is set to Ohms, the black test lead is actually positive.
If you plan to do a dynamic test by measuring the actual voltage across the capacitor as ( or if ) it charges, then again an analogue meter may indicate this faster ( as long as the meter has a 500v DC range and adequate insulation ).
I still suspect that the capacitor is not even attempting to charge, because a Contactor is not closing ( or not conducting ). You can monitor the 12v control signals for the negative, the precharge, and the positive Contactors at connector C-111 of the EV-ECU, under the rear seat. The +12v signal for the negative contactor is pin 106 ( violet ), precharge is 105 ( yellow ), positive is 107 ( red ). Ground is pin 10 ( black ) on connector C-106.
Before each test, clear the fault code and then try to power-up whilst monitoring the contactor drive signal. It may be helpful to rig a 12v LED indicator to each of the 3 signals to be able to see a pulse.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Eddie, that's all really useful information. Appreciate you ask taking your time to write such helpful posts. There's certainly loads of very well informed people out there in the ev community!

Unfortunately, I'm currently self isolating, so it'll be Sunday at the earliest before I get a chance to put it into practice.

I have an old avometer, which sounds like it might be more useful for the tests you've described. I don't have it handy at the moment to check the specs- hopefully it will be up to the job.

I'm guessing a led is preferred to a 12v test bulb as the signal is on for too short a time to allow the bulb to illuminate?

Also is there a sequence that these pins should follow during start-up? Or as long as all get power during start-up that's ok?

Thanks, Jason
 

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Jason, an Avo would be perfect! For the static test on the capacitor, the straight Ohms range will do ( check that the internal 1.5v battery is OK ). To measure the cap charging, use the 500v DC range. Clipping the test leads on permanently, rather than holding them, would be safer.
However, I would first confirm that the 12v contactors are being activated. In normal operation the negative contactor should pull in and stay on, then the precharge should pulse ( a second or two ? ) and drop out, whilst the positive comes on and stays on.However, with this fault condition, the exact sequence will depend on how quickly the P1A15 error causes all the contactors to drop out.
A 12v LED across each contactor coil may help to show what happens. I would suggest a set of 5 x red, constant, 3mm, price £1.95 :
This test may show that the contactors are trying to close, but it will not prove that their contacts are conducting properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again Eddie, I've ordered up the led test leads and a battery for the Avometer. Although having re-read your reply more closely, I now don't think I need the slightly expensive 15v battery....oops!

Info regarding order of the ECU pulses/ order the contactors should come on is very useful, thanks.

Will be sure to feedback with the results of my investigations.
 

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Yes, the 1.5v battery is enough for the Ohms range of an Avo; the 15v battery is only needed for the Ohms x 100 range.
It would be possible to place the three wire-ended LEDs nearer to the driver's seat by extending their leads. I think 5 or 6 feet is possible, by using 3 lengths of twisted-pair flex, with each signal wire ( pins 105, 106, 107 ) paired with a grounded wire ( pin 10 ).
To piggy-back these test leads to the pins at connector C-111 of the EV-ECU, I would be tempted to push a needle through the wires.

If this troubleshooting process does not yield any clues, I think it could be repeated using an oscilloscope to check for and get precise timings of the contactor drive signals, whilst monitoring the voltage rise on the capacitor.
Another idea would be to positively drive the contactors in the required sequence, using external 12v supplies, instead of the EV-ECU signals.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, finally managed to get a look at the car this afternoon.

Results were as follows-
Voltage over the big capacitor was 350v. This only lasted for a split second, before reducing to 0v. The cap only charged up on occasions when I could hear the contactors operating. Occasions when the contactors operated were few and far between. I think this was because a DTC (u1113- related to CANBUS) kept appearing even before I'd tried to start. The p1a15 error didn't generally seem to appear every time, but I'm pretty sure it did after I'd heard the contactors activating.

I also monitored the EV ECU pins as suggested. 105 and 106 were definitely working (albeit only when the contactors could be heard). 107 didn't appear to be doing anything, but this could've been due to a bad contact with the test led. I plan to have another go tomorrow and see if I can get 12v on pin 107.

Seems a little odd to me that the u1113 error seems to be so persistent. My initial thoughts had been that this was symptomatic of the p1a15 dtc, but since they don't seem to always appear together, I'm really not sure now!
 
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