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With all the stay at home orders here my 2016 with 23k miles has been sitting for a few weeks without being driven. Today I thought it might be smart to do that. I got in and got a 'not ready' message and a low battery msg. I turned the key off and back on and then got a 'ready' message, drove a few miles. Parked and about an hour later got in and got the 'not ready' turned the key off and then the 'ready' on the second key try. My radio screen usually shows the time when it's off but now it's completely black though it powers on and everything including the radio works fine. When I power the radio off, it's completely black with nothing showing though.

So, I have a few questions. If I just charge the EV battery will it also charge the 12v battery? It's been sitting at 50% charge for the last month or so and as mentioned hasn't been being driven. I realize my 12v battery is probably nearing the end of its life span but I have to believe its issues now are just like you'd get from any vehicle that sits. I also wonder if it still might be under warranty? What's the best way to charge the 12v, from the EV battery charge? Will the radio screen start showing the time again after it's charged up? Thanks for any advice you can give.
 

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Any time the car is on or charging, it will charge the 12 volt battery as needed. If you don't plan on driving, you could get something like a battery tender to keep the 12 volt battery charged, especially if you want to keep the HV pack at 50% when not being used.

Your radio screen issue may be solved by "rebooting" the system by disconnecting the 12 volt battery, waiting a few minutes to an hour, and reconnecting. I don't think just recharging the 12 volt will fix it.
 

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Others here have reported that once the 12V warning shows* you only have 1 or 2 days before the car won't start, so act accordingly (portable jumpstarter, cables/cell/spose, parts-store test/purchase).

Others have reported 12V failure with NO warning.

500e 12V lasts 23 to 70 months (& counting, for my 07/2013).

*not including when you're doing a below-0% gauge-reset
 

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So, I have a few questions. If I just charge the EV battery will it also charge the 12v battery? It's been sitting at 50% charge for the last month or so and as mentioned hasn't been being driven. I realize my 12v battery is probably nearing the end of its life span but I have to believe its issues now are just like you'd get from any vehicle that sits. I also wonder if it still might be under warranty? What's the best way to charge the 12v, from the EV battery charge? Will the radio screen start showing the time again after it's charged up? Thanks for any advice you can give.
I went through this and learned the answers the hard way:
  • Charging the propulsion battery does not charge the 12v battery.
  • The 12v battery only charges when the car is moving.
  • Once the 12v battery dies, it is dead, and probably cannot be resuscitated.
  • The best way to charge the 12v is using trickle charger. That's a good idea whenever the car will be sitting for a long period of time (more than a week).
  • If the battery still takes a charge, and you recharge it, the radio, clock, and other dashboard lit items should light back up, but you may have to reset the clock and reprogram your radio and Bluetooth.
Other notes:
(1) the factory 12v from Fiat is a junky battery. Almost any replacement you can buy at a parts shop will be an upgrade;
(2) you don't need to disconnect the 12v battery from the car to put a trickle charger on it (i.e., the trickle charger won't damage the propulsion battery or the charging system or anything else);
(3) You can jump the 12v and drive the car, and it will seem like everything is fine, but if the 12v is at end-of-life, no amount of driving around will save it, and you'll have to jump the car every time you want to drive it.

After my 12v battery got to the No. (3) scenario, I jumped it and drove to a batteries-and-breaks shop, and had them install a new one for me. I could also have bought the battery and installed it myself, but I was there and so I had them do it (since where I live recycling car batteries is mandatory, so I would've had to drive back with the dead battery anyway).
 

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I went through this and learned the answers the hard way:
  • Charging the propulsion battery does not charge the 12v battery.
  • The 12v battery only charges when the car is moving.
  • Once the 12v battery dies, it is dead, and probably cannot be resuscitated.
  • The best way to charge the 12v is using trickle charger. That's a good idea whenever the car will be sitting for a long period of time (more than a week).
  • If the battery still takes a charge, and you recharge it, the radio, clock, and other dashboard lit items should light back up, but you may have to reset the clock and reprogram your radio and Bluetooth.
Other notes:
(1) the factory 12v from Fiat is a junky battery. Almost any replacement you can buy at a parts shop will be an upgrade;
(2) you don't need to disconnect the 12v battery from the car to put a trickle charger on it (i.e., the trickle charger won't damage the propulsion battery or the charging system or anything else);
(3) You can jump the 12v and drive the car, and it will seem like everything is fine, but if the 12v is at end-of-life, no amount of driving around will save it, and you'll have to jump the car every time you want to drive it.

After my 12v battery got to the No. (3) scenario, I jumped it and drove to a batteries-and-breaks shop, and had them install a new one for me. I could also have bought the battery and installed it myself, but I was there and so I had them do it (since where I live recycling car batteries is mandatory, so I would've had to drive back with the dead battery anyway).
Really, why does my 12v battery go from 12.8 v to 14.4 v while plugged in the evse charger then?
 

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Does anyone know how much current the contactors need to engage?
 

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My 12V battery went kaput tonight. Original OEM battery with a Mar 2017 date. When I bought the car last month, I put a voltage meter / USB charger in the 12V power socket by the cupholders so I could keep an eye on my 12V system voltage. Normally it reads about 14.2 - 14.4 Volts. Just a couple of weeks ago, when the car was off and sitting for a couple of hours, I took a direct reading of the battery voltage using a multimeter across the battery terminals and it was 12.6 Volts.

Car had no symptoms of anything abnormal yesterday.

Tonight when I turned the key on the 12V battery warning message popped up on the dash. I looked down at my voltage meter and it read 9.6 Volts. Cycled the key a few times and kept getting the same 9.6 Volt reading. Car would not start. Plugged the car into the level 2 EVSE in my driveway. Voltage would read 14.1 Volts. Car started. But I decided I was not going to drive anywhere so be safe and not get stranded. Pulled out the battery out of the car. The multimeter registered 10.2 Volts across the terminals.

So it is apparent the battery can just suddenly go bad without warning. I suppose a couple of plates in a cell suddenly short out or something.

Off to my local home improvement store (Menards) where they had ACDelco group 47 battery for $105 after rebate. 36 month warranty. Good enough. Really wanted an AGM battery, but would have had to drive round trip 120 miles to get one at Sam's Club for $145.

Installed the new battery in the car and, presto, the car came to life. Yes, now I have General Motors branded part in a FCA vehicle. Oh the irony.
 

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My local home Depot and AutoZone sells AC Delco batteries too, funny part is it’s not even anything associated with GM at all, the battery is made in Korea by Sampo inc. nope not Johnson Controls, not Exide, not any of American companies that make batteries on basically every battery sold here in the states but it’s a battery sold in Korean made cars. We’ll see how long it lasts but the plastics used on those batteries feels horrendously cheap and soft.
 

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My 12V battery went kaput tonight. Original OEM battery with a Mar 2017 date. When I bought the car last month, I put a voltage meter / USB charger in the 12V power socket by the cupholders so I could keep an eye on my 12V system voltage. Normally it reads about 14.2 - 14.4 Volts. Just a couple of weeks ago, when the car was off and sitting for a couple of hours, I took a direct reading of the battery voltage using a multimeter across the battery terminals and it was 12.6 Volts.

Car had no symptoms of anything abnormal yesterday.

Tonight when I turned the key on the 12V battery warning message popped up on the dash. I looked down at my voltage meter and it read 9.6 Volts. Cycled the key a few times and kept getting the same 9.6 Volt reading. Car would not start. Plugged the car into the level 2 EVSE in my driveway. Voltage would read 14.1 Volts. Car started. But I decided I was not going to drive anywhere so be safe and not get stranded. Pulled out the battery out of the car. The multimeter registered 10.2 Volts across the terminals.

So it is apparent the battery can just suddenly go bad without warning. I suppose a couple of plates in a cell suddenly short out or something.

Off to my local home improvement store (Menards) where they had ACDelco group 47 battery for $105 after rebate. 30 month warranty. Good enough. Really wanted an AGM battery, but would have had to drive round trip 120 miles to get one at Sam's Club for $145.

Installed the new battery in the car and, presto, the car came to life. Yes, now I have General Motors branded part in a FCA vehicle. Oh the irony.
Hi, I'm sorry to hear this. Please let me know if you plan on visiting a dealership for this concern. I would be happy to open a case for you.

Alison
FiatCares
 

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I went through this and learned the answers the hard way:
CLARIFICATIONS:
  • Charging the propulsion battery DOES charge the 12v battery, unless it's lifespan is over*. As Twinturboz noted, charging voltage is supplied during HV charging, AND...:
  • A healthy* 500e 12v battery charges whenever the car is charging or "on" (moving OR stopped). GAS car 12v batteries usually only charge when the car is moving (or being revved while stopped).
  • AT its end of life*, once the 12v battery dies, it is dead, and cannot be resuscitated. If it dies while "young*", it will resuscitate.
  • Even near my 12V's end of life*, a trickle charger isn't needed for parking unplugged for 2 weeks. IF near that life end*, I very strongly recommend a portable jump-starter, so even parking longer than that won't require a trickle charger, however that long storage is ideal at around 60%, & if you have a plug for a trickle charger, instead you could just use that plug to charge the HV after storage, which also charges the 12V. If there's no plug, you'd want a jumpstarter anyway (or else a solar trickle-charger).
  • Whenever I disconnect the 12V on my 2013, everything works fine, & ONLY the date/time & trip gauges get zeroed out (radio and Bluetooth and menu settings are all retained).
Other notes:
*(1) the factory 12v from Fiat is a fine battery. Mine still works after 6 years & 10 months! What seems to kill it early is heat from the nearby onboard charger, which would also kill any high-quality replacement. When charging, I open my hood, & always try for night, shade, or underground parking. Others who don't do so have had the 12v die in under 2 years.
 

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Hi, I'm sorry to hear this. Please let me know if you plan on visiting a dealership for this concern. I would be happy to open a case for you.

Alison
FiatCares
Hi Alison,
Perhaps you can answer a question for us: The Fiat 500e is covered under a 4 year bumper to bumper warranty. Is the 12V battery covered under this warranty? Or does the 12V battery have a separate, shorter pro-rated warranty, and considered a consumable item?
~abenusa~
 

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how much current the contactors need to engage?
Apparently relatively little. Supposedly someone posted on a cancelled forum that a stack of (8?) AA batteries worked.

Another existing forum shows that a 14Ah motorcycle batt works fine long-term (OEM is I think 24Ah). Someone else fit a 12Ah but didn't report back.

When mine dies I plan to do a $29 experiment with a 4Ah motorcycle batt: I'll see how long I can park unplugged before needing my jumpstarter, & then if needed, multiply for the final purchase.
 

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THANKS ABE!

This is at least the 3rd or 4th such report I've seen, so even though others have reported a warning notice 1 or 2 days before it dies, we now know we can't rely on that.
With an ICE you have an inkling the battery is failing and have time to prepare. Here in Minnesota when it starts getting cold the engine cranks over slower than normal when the battery is beginning to fail. With an EV we don't have that feedback to tell that the battery is on its way out.
 

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Mine says 07/16 stamped on the ledge of the battery hopefully it will go a little while longer seems all good so far. Static volts stable 12.82v parked overnight.
 

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With an ICE... the engine cranks over slower than normal when the battery is beginning to fail.
That matches a lot of my experience, but not my last ICE:

My Toyota was fine until one morning I THOUGHT that MAYBE it took a split-second longer to start. "Nah" I thought. "Just my imagination. I'll pay really close attention when I start it at lunch." At lunch it was dead.

So with either ICE or 500e, sometimes there's enough warning, & sometimes not, so in either case it's best to have a backup plan, like a jumpstarter or auto-club.
 

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My VW one gave up on a Saturday parked in the work yard started and drove fine that morning, time to go home at 5pm just make an repetitive clicking. It was dead that same day. 5yr old battery date of 02/15 luckily Toyota also uses H5 battery so I bought one at work for $98
 

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The Fiat 500e is covered under a 4 year bumper to bumper warranty. Is the 12V battery covered under this warranty? Or does the 12V battery have a separate, shorter pro-rated warranty, and considered a consumable item?
You can login to mopar.com and download the warranty booklet for your car. It looks clear to me that the 12V battery should be covered under the 4 year Basic Limited Warranty.

"There is no list of covered parts since the only exception is tires."​
 

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