fresnomiev
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:48 am

exclamation point inside of car error light?

Thu Jan 07, 2016 9:44 am

Hi all, we've had our 2012 iMiev for almost three years and have loved it. We were out of the country for a few weeks and when we came back the 12v battery was low and could not 'start' the car - it would not go to 'ready'. I used a trickle charger to charge up the 12v battery. I then put on the regular 220V charger and fully charged the traction battery overnight (which had also been fully charged before we left). The car started right up in the morning and drove normally for the day. The next morning, however, I tried starting it and the dash light with an exclamation point inside a small car icon went on and the car would not get to 'ready'. I finally called Mitsubishi roadside assistance and had the car towed to the dealer as everything I read suggested that the car needed to be put on their specialized scanner. I'm waiting to hear back from the dealer, which I don't trust since they are not familiar with iMievs but are familiar with gouging customers. Any ideas on why the light went on? Does simply having a low 12V battery trip enough enough codes to cause the car not to be able to go to 'ready'?? Thanks.
silver SE

PV1
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Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:38 am

Sorry to hear of your trouble.

It sounds to me like you may be suffering from a failed cell in the battery pack. Did you happen to notice the car not having a full charge the next morning or rapidly decreasing charge bars or Range Remaining?

The low 12 volt battery is enough to trigger this light (which is referred to as the MCU warning light or EV warning light). I had this happen to one of my cars last January after leaving the lights on. But, as for the car not being able to start, it sounds like a bad cell in the battery pack.

The good news is that if it is indeed a failed cell, you will get a new battery pack under warranty, which should not cost you anything.

For the future, here are some tips for storing the i-MiEV:

1. Park the car with 4-6 bars of charge on the gauge and leave it unplugged. There is very little self-discharge.
2. Depending on how long the car will be stored, place a float charger on the 12 volt battery or use an automotive solar panel with a rating of 5 watts or lower. I'd say if you will be leaving the car for more than 2 weeks, use a float charger or solar panel.
3. Park the car where it is sheltered from the environment if possible.
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Thanks.

fresnomiev
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:48 am

Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:56 am

Thanks for the quick reply. I'll wait and see what they say at the dealer. I did not notice anything different about the main battery performance that would suggest a problem - it started at 72 miles to empty and was down to about 40 at the end of a regular day of errands/driving. When I stored it before leaving town I did have it inside a garage, and had charged up the traction battery (and then disconnected the charger), but did not leave a float charger on the 12V battery as suggested. The fact that the car did start (after running a trickle charger) and run for a day before the error light made me wonder if the problem was the 12V battery, as I assume it would not have even gotten to 'ready' the first time.
silver SE

Aerowhatt
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Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:34 am

fresnomiev wrote:Thanks for the quick reply. I'll wait and see what they say at the dealer. I did not notice anything different about the main battery performance that would suggest a problem - it started at 72 miles to empty and was down to about 40 at the end of a regular day of errands/driving. When I stored it before leaving town I did have it inside a garage, and had charged up the traction battery (and then disconnected the charger), but did not leave a float charger on the 12V battery as suggested. The fact that the car did start (after running a trickle charger) and run for a day before the error light made me wonder if the problem was the 12V battery, as I assume it would not have even gotten to 'ready' the first time.


My money is on a new 12V battery fixing the issue. An outside chance that the DC to DC converter isn't charging it when you drove/charged. But more likely the 12V battery has a failed cell and won't take a charge properly.

Aerowhatt
2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (42.7ah at ~26K miles)
2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (41.5ah at ~15k miles)

fresnomiev
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:48 am

Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Fri Jan 08, 2016 10:57 am

Interesting. I just spoke to the service manager and he says that now, two days after they got the car, they still don't know what is wrong. They are contacting Mitsubishi headquarters to ask them... ? He says they have not seen this error before (he didn't tell me the error number or name). Still waiting....
silver SE

JoeS
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Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Fri Jan 08, 2016 11:32 am

fresnomiev, thank you for your posts which many of us are following with great interest. Please do continue keeping us informed of your progress and, especially, the eventual solution... enquiring minds want to know :geek:

No matter what turns out to be the problem, in your hot summer climate (I assume you're in Fresno, CA?) I would be hesitant to fully charge the battery pack unless I were to take off immediately on a longer trip.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

fresnomiev
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:48 am

Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:46 pm

Almost three weeks later and it appears I am now just at the start of this journey! I got a call a few days ago from the Fresno Mitsubishi service desk - they said that they finally found the problem. They said that in going back and forth with the national Mitsu center they have determined that it is my onboard charger that is the problem. That sort of makes sense, as all the clicking noises that usually accompany plugging in the car did not happen when I last plugged it in. Two things that make we worried/very frustrated. He said that I had 67,000 miles on the car. Hmmm. I have 17,000 miles on it. That took him aback, as I think he was going to try to get out of some of the warranty - he claimed that the charger unit has a 5 year, 50,000 mile warranty. I thought it was 8 year, 80,000 mile on everything related to the battery/electric system. Anyway, he took his words back and said he would double check the mileage. The second thing he said, however, was that there were no spares of this part in the U.S. so he would have to order the part from Japan and 'that will take several months.' :o :o :evil: :evil: Huh??? If I were quick on the reply I should have told him there was this new invention called the airplane that delivers things faster than a boat. Or that just a few months ago I ordered a transmission from Holland for a VW and it was here in 72 hours. But I was just flabbergasted. There is no plan for a car to replace mine while it sits at the dealer for months. I asked him to text me when he had the part ordered and to give me an estimate on the arrival date - he said he would but has not; it's been 3 days now since we talked.

Fortunately I have a spare car so I can survive but if I did not I would not be thinking about keeping my Mitsu right now! Before this I had the feeling that dealers are quite incompetent - this only confirmed and clarified this feeling. It took three weeks to simply identify the problem and now it will take several months to get the part. I will likely go in and talk to the supervisor.
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tigger19687
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Location: Bedford/Concord MA

Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:57 am

Wow, I would have called right back and talked to a supervisor. Find out why he said all those things and what is going to be done about it.
I would also make sure that the supervisor is the one who talks to you from now on.
Also search on the inter-webs and see if there are any other complaints about this dealer. There may be some and some people will write how they got things done.

GL @@
[size=85]- Linda
-2017 Chevy Bolt Premier Bright Blue
- 2014 Toyota Prius C, for the Son

databeestje
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Location: Netherlands

Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Sun Jan 24, 2016 5:10 am

Just replace the 12 volt battery for a hundred, it's not that expensive and not covered by the warranty anyway. These things fail regularly and 5 years souns about right. A 30Ah isn't too expensive.

Since a charger doesn't contain hazardous materials, nor does it weigh 200kg, then can just air freight it. The traction battery is something like 200kg, those are shipped by boat from Japan, and yes, that takes 2 months.

kiev
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Re: exclamation point inside of car error light?

Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:12 am

+1 on replacing the 12V battery. It's probably 4 years old and has many cycles--it is at or nearly at the end of useful life, and is the most likely cause in my analysis.

A trickle charger is not sufficient to fully charge a drained battery overnight.

The dealer probably fully charged it on a real charger and it has held up the voltage, hence the long delay in determining an issue.

If the 12V battery is old or weak then it won't be able to hold up and the troubleshooting chart pointed to a faulty on-board charger/dc-dc converter unit as the culprit. But even a weak lead acid can indicate 12V with a meter while having no guts when under load. It's easy to assume the 12V battery is okay and blame it on the next item in the flowchart.

just my 2¢,
kiev = kenny's innovative electric vehicle

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