Posts: 1
Joined: Wed May 08, 2019 10:18 pm

Onboard charger repair

Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:53 pm

i am owner since a year of a I-miev clone, a Citroen C-zero, build year 2012. It was my wish to buy a used full electric powered car, to act on my own against the climate change. I was criticized by my wife, spending that much money on a small car, newertheless it worked fine till december, as my onboard charger failed. Since that day i could no more charge my car, so i stopped it using. I found a electrician, he is refurbishing onboard chargers, here comes my problem: there is near my town no one, that could dismount the charger so i could send it to refubish.
I am not a electrician, but a mechanical engineer, and have a lot done before on my other not e-cars - is it possible, to disassamble the charger by my own? I do not have experience working on a e-car, could you please give me a precise advice, how to proceed?
(My sad background and motivation is, that my wife wants to divorce, so i need drastically to reduce the budget for the repair, having not the money needed for a full service, letting to travel the car through the other end of the country :-( hope to find help)

Posts: 1700
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2011 1:05 am
Location: Tacoma area, WA
Contact: Website

Re: Onboard charger repair

Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:41 pm

That’s some bad luck, sorry to hear. Please note that your car should DC Fast charge normally, but you’ll need to manually recharge the 12V battery and preferably run an auxiliary 12V input, such as through the cigarette lighter- style 12V outlet. I’d recommend getting a collision salvage charger and swapping it. The exchange is straightforward and described in other threads, but I’ll write up a quick procedure from memory.
1- Disconnect the 12 V battery and open the high-voltage service disconnect that is under the driver’s seat. Since it’s such a pain to get to our disconnect I skip this step because the battery contactors are not engaged, and always check for voltage on terminals before working on them, but this is not the recommended method for safety.
2- Remove the inspection plate from the top of the inverter and check continuity of the 20 amp fuse below. If it is blown you will have to replace it along with the charger and those fuses have long lead times. I have successfully used high voltage DC 20 amp fuses from solar power arrays as short term substitutes. The two Phillips head screws holding that fuse down have very soft metal so be careful- I prefer an impact driver to remove them.
2-Dismount the AC filter “doghouse” on top of the charger cover, then unbolt the cover of the battery charger, which is glued on and you’ll have to pry loose. Disconnect the incoming AC and outgoing DC leads, and pull them out through the plastic gland nuts.
3- Remove the charger mounting bolts, and the couple of wire stabilizing clips that are on the body of the charger. Unbolt the coolant reservoir. The charger should be completely loose and connected only by coolant hoses at it this point.
4- Open the spring clips holding the coolant hoses in place and slide them down the hose. It will take some significant wrestling to pop the hoses free without damaging them or you could just buy new hoses and cut the old ones. Catch as much of the blue coolant as you can in a tray and filter for reuse.
5- Remove and replace the charger in the reverse of this procedure, then replace the 20 amp fuse inside the inverter.
6- Inspect all connections and close the lid of the charger and inverter before reconnecting the 12V and traction battery disconnect. Once everything is working, apply some sealant before bolting down the charger lid.
Charge On!
2012 i-SE "MR BEAN" 110,300 miles
2016 KIA SOUL EV, 90 kW, 27 kWh, 34k miles
2000 Mazda Miata EV, 78 kW, 17 kWh
1983 Grumman Kurbwatt EV,170 kW, 32 kWh
1983 Mazda RX-7 EV 43 kW 10 kWh
1971 "Karmann Eclectric" EV 240 kW 19 kWh

Return to “Batteries and Battery Management”