2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

  #1  
Old 01-17-2009, 12:57 PM
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Question 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Hello all, I have a question :

I own a 2008 FEH (16k miles on it), overall it is a great car - but over the last week it's HV battery refused to charge. There are no fault (wrench or otherwise) idications on the dash, not DTCs. If I drive it for an hour or more, I get some battery charge (20% or so) and EV mode is available again, otherwise the battery stays empty, and it runs on ICE only. During this time the HEV display shows periods of "IDLE WITH HV CHARGING" as well as other inidications that HV battery is being charged. The arrow is never very thick (i.e. very little current is used for charging). I did make an appt with the Ford dealer, but I am curious if anyone else observed similar behaviour. I live in CT, over the last week it has been quite cold (average is about 10F). Last winter was a bit warmer, I dont remember it doing this. By the was my MPG is of course low now (21 or so).

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:10 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Originally Posted by IgorC76 View Post
Hello all, I have a question :

I own a 2008 FEH (16k miles on it), overall it is a great car - but over the last week it's HV battery refused to charge. There are no fault (wrench or otherwise) idications on the dash, not DTCs. If I drive it for an hour or more, I get some battery charge (20% or so) and EV mode is available again, otherwise the battery stays empty, and it runs on ICE only. During this time the HEV display shows periods of "IDLE WITH HV CHARGING" as well as other inidications that HV battery is being charged. The arrow is never very thick (i.e. very little current is used for charging). I did make an appt with the Ford dealer, but I am curious if anyone else observed similar behaviour. I live in CT, over the last week it has been quite cold (average is about 10F). Last winter was a bit warmer, I dont remember it doing this. By the was my MPG is of course low now (21 or so).

Thanks for your help.

I assume you have the audio/hybrid/navigational display in your FEH to make the comment "20%" HV battery charge. If not, then you need to explain this statement.

A cold hybrid battery pack--NOT OUTSIDE AIR TEMPERATURE---will inhibit it from charging and discharging as normal. If you have a scanguage II unit and set for the xguages, this is reflected in its display. If you park the vehicle outdoors in severe winter cold, you will have a cold hybrid battery pack temperature. Your vehicle will sound noisier than normal as it goes thru a repeated series of low level charging and discharging patterns in an attempt to raise the hybrid battery pack temperature. Once the hybrid battery warms, hybrid operations return to normalized conditions.
 
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Originally Posted by IgorC76 View Post
... it has been quite cold (average is about 10F).
Hi Igor. We all notice stuff like this when it's very cold. Unless you're taking in for another issue, I'd wait and see if the issue persists when it warms up, which should happen in the next week or so.
 
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Old 01-17-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Wow, thank you for quick replies. I though that it had to do with the battery pack temp, the only thing is - it is taking over an hour to start charging, I can't believe that it takes so long to warm up the battery (I could be wrong ...). Even when it is charging it is very very slow (I do have the NAV system in the car) I'll have them look at it anyway, since there are a couple of thing that the car needs anyway - not that I am knocking Ford's quality, but at 16k - the "key in the ignition" chime is going off even without the key (looks like micro switch in the cylinder is stuck). Also one of the gas cylinders for rear gate glass is completely empty ... so now when you remotely open the glass on the rear gate, it does not actually open, just pops about 1/2" or so. The service guys are great, very knowledgeable and friendly, I just wish that little things like this did not break so quickly.
 
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Old 01-17-2009, 09:04 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

When we've had a week of subzero temps and I'm driving just to and from work (under a mile away), it takes at last an hour of highway driving to get into EV mode again. You and I both need the HV battery warmer.
 
  #6  
Old 01-18-2009, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

I still wonder if putting an electric blanket directly on top of the battery cover and running it for 30-60 minutes before start up would bring up the battery temp enough to remedy this issue. I don't have cold enough temps or I'd try it myself.
 
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Chris- Unfortunately, you cannot warm the batteries from the outside of the case... not even a litttle bit. They are actually well insulated. Think "Thermos" vessel. The batteries actually only take up a small percentage of the volume of the case ( most of it is filled with electronics ). They are burried pretty deep and the only way is to warm from the inside.
Using them is the simplest way to warm them. Mine warm about 10'F for every 10-15 minutes of drive time.

All that insulation is good also. It keeps the batteries warm if you only stop for a few hours at a time. On a 9 hour work day at zero degrees, my batteries only cool from about 60'F to 35'F. A 30 min drive home ( at zero ) gets them back to about 50-60 Degrees, where I park in an insulated garage.
 
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Good to know. I wasn't aware of the insulation and was thinking that the aluminum shell would work pretty well as a heat conductor and share the blanket's warmth throughout the case. I stand corrected. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

There is a lot of plastic between the metal case and the actual batteries.
And then, the batteries occupy less than 25% of the case volume.
They are quite small really. The controllers.... quite large.
And then there are the forced air ducts, fans, etc....
Not what most... myself included... expect at first.
 
  #10  
Old 01-20-2009, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: 2008 FEH, Cold Weather / Battery charge time

Originally Posted by IgorC76 View Post
Hello all, I have a question :

Also one of the gas cylinders for rear gate glass is completely empty ... so now when you remotely open the glass on the rear gate, it does not actually open, just pops about 1/2" or so.
I have the exact problem. Actually the rear glass gate never worked perfectly but I think it is useless, I never used it.

I live in Canada and we got -18 celcius, or 0 F, the EV mode almost disappear, and the battery charging time is greatly extended.
 

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