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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started this in one of the old SHVCS threads but, unusually for this incredibly helpful forum, no-one has replied. So I hope you'll excuse me if I start a new thread, explicitly asking for help as needed.

I had my first SHVCS fault a week or so back. Car will not charge, although happy enough driving around on ICE (so yes, I understand that the fault code will be "latched" and can't be removed using my cheapo OBDii dongle + Torque).

I read what I could find on these forums. Some of the stuff that's proposed is beyond my DIY comfort zone, but I thought I'd make a start and see how it goes.

So far: coolant checked and level seems fine (1cm below top of arrow which indicates MAX, but definitely above the join in the reservoir). Sensor plug removed and voltage checked when car is running: 5.01V so that seems OK too.

Therefore my best guess so far is that, as with many other people, it's the sensor itself. I am happy to buy a 24kohm resistor as others have suggest, and I could fit it to the plug to bypass the sensor.

But then I'll be stuck with the fault code, no? I'm not confident to go through the expense and risk of trying to reprogram the computer myself, so:
  • can I reasonably ask a dealer (probably Milton Keynes) to just reprogram it/clear the code, without doing anything else or looking at the coolant sensor?
  • or, shall I ask them to replace the coolant sensor?
  • or, is there anyone out there with the kit to reprogram, who would do it for me in exchange for suitable gifts? (we'd have to work out some social distancing rules for this to work!)
Thanks for all your help and advice, as always,

Nick Goldman
Silver Ampera, reg. NG11 ***
 

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This does not sound like your level sensor.

When you say running 'happily', have you checked your fuel consumption?

If your battery is locked out it won't let you do this. There are only a few exceptional circumstances where it'll let you run the engine and bypass the HV power. In this situation, it's reported that your fuel consumption is dire, because basically the motors end up fighting themselves.

Presumably the battery is flat. What happens if you run mountain mode? Does it charge up then?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
When you say running 'happily', have you checked your fuel consumption?

Presumably the battery is flat. What happens if you run mountain mode? Does it charge up then?
You've puzzled me, because other people seemed to say theirs ran OK on ICE in this situation. Petrol consumption is poor --- 58 miles from 2.3 gal = 25 mpg --- which I put down to stop/start driving and multiple short trips. Maybe I should have said it feels OK to drive.

Yes, the battery is flat. I had it in mountain mode for a while (about 15 mins, stationary in a car park) and it did charge the battery (enough for 3 or 4 miles on electric).

Any further thoughts?
 

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You've puzzled me, because other people seemed to say theirs ran OK on ICE in this situation. Petrol consumption is poor --- 58 miles from 2.3 gal = 25 mpg --- which I put down to stop/start driving and multiple short trips. Maybe I should have said it feels OK to drive.

Yes, the battery is flat. I had it in mountain mode for a while (about 15 mins, stationary in a car park) and it did charge the battery (enough for 3 or 4 miles on electric).

Any further thoughts?
Leave it on mountain mode for a few days, charge it up to 50%. In fact, it is always better to simply leave in MM if you are using the car as a petrol hybrid. Does the same thing, the battery just alternates around 50% SOC instead of 0% (~22% actual battery charge).

If it does this (as you say, it did charge up) then there is no issue with your car at all other than the charging circuits. How are you trying to charge the car and what is showing up when you try? How have you concluded it is the car and not your plug in sources?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I will try MM as you suggest and report back. To respond to part of this right away:

How are you trying to charge the car and what is showing up when you try? How have you concluded it is the car and not your plug in sources?
I've only tried it on my regular home charger (looks like the one here: https://www.zap-map.com/chargemaster-domestic-charging/), which has always been fine before. Now when I plug in the charge light in the car goes orange, but won't flip to green, beep, and charge. I get the "Service High Voltage Charging System" message on the dashboard.

When I go to drive the car, again I get the SHVCS message on the dashborad, and the little orange engine symbol lit up.

TBH it hadn't occurred to me that this could be something wrong outside the car.

Thanks for taking an interest.
 

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Yes I'd second this advice. Certainly try your 'granny' 3 pin charger which should be in the boot? Using it with an extension cable if necessary will be fine for testing purposes (or longer even, if you limit the charge level to 6a - not sure if this is an option on the MY12 year cars).
 

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Yes I'd second this advice. Certainly try your 'granny' 3 pin charger which should be in the boot? Using it with an extension cable if necessary will be fine for testing purposes (or longer even, if you limit the charge level to 6a - not sure if this is an option on the MY12 year cars).
They came (should have come) with a charge lead that could be set on the brick.
 

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A pretty basic one, but check the safety cover over the "engine" is in place properly and no damage to sensors that detect it is present.

Also, the fault code will give you more info if you can retrieve it. Do you have MyGreenVolt app?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Certainly try your 'granny' 3 pin charger which should be in the boot?
Same result: orange light comes on in the car, but sticks there with no beep, no change to green, no sign of charging going ahead.


A pretty basic one, but check the safety cover over the "engine" is in place properly and no damage to sensors that detect it is present.

Also, the fault code will give you more info if you can retrieve it. Do you have MyGreenVolt app?
All the covers over the engine parts look secure to me.

The only fault code that Torque is showing me is "P1E00 - Powertrain". I think there were more originally but I cleared those before (stupidly not noting what they said). P1E00 is the one that comes back right away whenever I try to clear again.
 

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P1E00 is the one that means "there's an error somewhere so we'll stick the engine warning light on - see other logged error codes for what it really is". The other, more detailed error codes should shopw up again imho.
 
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Have a read of this earlier thread...


Reprogramming is surprisingly straightforward. I'd volunteer to help but I'm at the other end of the country!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This does not sound like your level sensor.

When you say running 'happily', have you checked your fuel consumption?
Now we've been driving it a bit more, I can confirm that the fuel consumption is very poor, around 25-30 mpg. The car is OK to drive, but the ICE is running harder than I remember on past occasions when we were out of battery.


Presumably the battery is flat. What happens if you run mountain mode? Does it charge up then?
My wife took it for a 30 mile run on MM, and at the end of that it had stored up enough to go for about 5 miles on battery. While on MM the ICE is even noiser, so we've gone off that.

I now have my delivery of 24k ohm resistors, but I don't suppose there's any point trying to bypass the coolant level sensor if I can't reprogram?
 

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Have you tried to charge again since, causing it to trigger any potentially useful codes? There seem to have been a large number of charge port replacements due to water ingress causing this sort of issue. Not sure how you could diagnose. Though the replacement itself looks very easy actually - there are videos on YouTube eg

Not sure how much the part itself costs though. Look like the part costs £105 in the UK - so really you could do with some way of knowing before attempting any such replacement. Finally would also suggest reading the comments in this video as many seem to describe very similar symptoms to yours.
 

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Now we've been driving it a bit more, I can confirm that the fuel consumption is very poor, around 25-30 mpg.
This would be normal if you have been charging up the battery at the same time (because you are both driving and also charging, effectively running the engine at twice power), but I'd need to see some more detail before making any hard and fast conclusions.

The car is OK to drive, but the ICE is running harder than I remember on past occasions when we were out of battery.
In MM it will run much harder than you are used to, if you are not used to it!


My wife took it for a 30 mile run on MM, and at the end of that it had stored up enough to go for about 5 miles on battery.
It rather depends on how she was driving it. If she went on a fast motorway trip, most of the power probably went to motoring the car than charging the battery.

OK, look, if you really want to get to the bottom of it, do this; start the car, put it in MM and just leave it for half an hour (might take a bit longer, depends on starting charge), charging the battery on the engine. Lock the car up and walk away from it (not in a locked garage ... ;) ). Once up to 50% or so, the engine will stop. It should burn about two litres of petrol and you get ~50% charge from it.

If it does this, then there is something wrong with your charger or charging system/charge port.

I now have my delivery of 24k ohm resistors, but I don't suppose there's any point trying to bypass the coolant level sensor if I can't reprogram?
I am sure this is unconnected to that.... (I mean, it is not the same fault, not that the sensor is not connected! :D).

You really need to make sure this resistor is hermetically sealed and will not come loose or suffer any humidity ingress. Cheaper to buy from the US guy if he still makes them, otherwise make sure you have the right connector type and get some potting compound, embed the whole thing in resin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
do this; start the car, put it in MM and just leave it for half an hour (might take a bit longer, depends on starting charge), charging the battery on the engine. Lock the car up and walk away from it (not in a locked garage ... ;) ). Once up to 50% or so, the engine will stop. It should burn about two litres of petrol and you get ~50% charge from it.

If it does this, then there is something wrong with your charger or charging system/charge port.
I did this this morning: it took about 20-25 mins before the engine stopped, and gave me 3 bars of charge in the battery. Used 0.39 gall. petrol = 1.8 litres. If I've understood right, this would not be possible if the fault was the coolant level thing?

I looked at the charge port (disconnected it as per the video that @modo suggested) and there's no obvious problem there. Still not getting any error codes aside from the generic P1E00 (which won't clear with Torque).

So we're off to Thurlow Nunn next week. Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far.
 

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I did this this morning: it took about 20-25 mins before the engine stopped, and gave me 3 bars of charge in the battery. Used 0.39 gall. petrol = 1.8 litres. If I've understood right, this would not be possible if the fault was the coolant level thing?
It would not be possible if the coolant sensor was faulty, AFAIK. Correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So, Thurlow Nunn Milton Keynes diagnosed it as a coolant sensor issue; they replaced the sensor and reset the error code (they described this as "software update" and charged for it as a separate line item, but I didn't quiz them for details or dispute it). It charges now, and drives fine on battery.

No further tests done yet, e.g. about efficiency while driving on ICE.

So, we're back on the road electrically again (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Was it costly?
They charged about £140 I think for the sensor, the reset, and any labour (a bit hard to work out as they also did a service and some other stuff). Can't say I'm delighted about that, but it's probably about what it would have cost me to sort it myself, but much less stress for me to have someone else do it. (If it recurs, I'll be kicking myself.)

Now, what to do with those 24kOhm resistors I bought and didn't use...?
 

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They charged about £140 I think for the sensor, the reset, and any labour (a bit hard to work out as they also did a service and some other stuff). Can't say I'm delighted about that, but it's probably about what it would have cost me to sort it myself, but much less stress for me to have someone else do it. (If it recurs, I'll be kicking myself.)

Now, what to do with those 24kOhm resistors I bought and didn't use...?
Nobody listens, you were mugged. I had the exact same fault, except i guessed it was such and only paid £70 for the repair, and £0 for the software reset @ Bellingers Wantage. I forced them to order the part in and paid £20 for the sensor up front, then booked in to have the sensor fitted (part of which is the software reset) , £50.

I declined all the "we need the car first for "investigation" bollocks, my view was it is 90% likely to be the coolant sensor failed, is a well known issue , and they only reason i dont sort it myself is the hardware and software needed to remove the "latched" error code costs more than the 1 hours labour for the main dealer to fit it.

At the risk i wasted £70 for a 10% chance it was something else, seemed like a very good odds bet for me. And doing it this way, you control the price by costing it up front.

Hey ho. You pays your money and makes your choices i guess.
 
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