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2013 FIAT 500e
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Check all the standard stuff like tires, lights, wipers, locks, windows, etc. but there's no engine, transmission, clutch, fuel pump, timing belt/chain, starter or alternator to worry about, & even the brakes last over 100k since they only activate below 7mph because above that it's all "regenerative" motor-braking.

There are 4 non-standard things to check, all of which are relatively cheap or easy to fix or work around, except this first one:

1) Check for a rare-but-serious weak cell: Get the free AlfaOBD "demo" app* & "Konnwei KW 902" for ~$17 on eBay or ~$30 on Amazon. Click to enlarge:
Product Rectangle Font Screenshot Line

Font Slope Screenshot Parallel Rectangle

Scroll down until you see this, without the blue stuff I added:
Font Electric blue Number Parallel Circle

It should look about like that at full charge, but 20mV difference is fine IF the car's charge is lower, as shown below:
Font Number Screenshot Parallel Document


All the rest are usually relatively cheap or easy to fix or work around:

2)
See if it charges from the OEM cord AND a "level 2" unit like on a dealer's wall, or test drive to a public station found on plugshare.com
If not, it's sometimes just a temporary minor glitch**.

Use a $9 Amazon "outlet ground tester" to check any outlets you plan to use but note that an extension cord works: 25' max on 14ga, 50' max on 12ga, 100' max on 10ga. Ideally, replace any original 80-cent "residential grade" outlet with a $3.50 "commercial grade" unit.

3) Get $400 off to cover a dealership copy if it doesn't have 2 keys like it came with originally, that each work in the door slot AND start the car with the other one outside (out of transponder range). Work-around: Get cheap copies, tape the OEM one inside the steering column cover, & use the copies to unlock/drive/lock with the door slot, but note the alarm won't arm. That avoids about $1500+towing by preventing the loss of your only transponder key (click here for explanation).

4) Get $1500 off to cover dealership repair if there's a crack or bent pin in the orange part inside the filler flap. DIY is currently $60, as shown in this Facebook vid (click here) using a slightly different part on eBay:
  1. Click "shop by category"
  2. Under "motors" click "parts & accessories"
  3. Click "car & truck parts & accessories"
  4. Scroll down & click "electric, hybrid & PHEV specific parts"
  5. Type "j1772 socket" in the search field & look for this part:
Camera accessory Auto part Font Gadget Automotive wheel system


*If you & all your friends only have apple phones/tablets/laptops, the app won't work, but you can search "android smart phone" on Amazon & keep scrolling until you find a cheap one (currently $25). No need for service, just load the app using wifi, & it connects to the car via Bluetooth.

**
  • Check the plug & its orange socket for damage & bent or corroded connectors.
  • Deactivate the charge timer in the car’s menu. It can default itself to “active”.
  • Turn the car off for 3 minutes & back on.
  • Reboot the charger via reset button, unplug/replug, or circuit-breaker off/on.
  • Try a different charger.
  • Leave the car on when plugging in (necessary if the battery pack is below -14F)
  • Hold the button down on the plug until it's fully inserted.
  • Try the OEM cord. It can reset some charge errors:
Product Font Material property Communication Device Gadget

Left 2013. Right 2019.
 

· Registered
2013 FIAT 500e
Joined
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5,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
For comparison, this is from a pack with a bad cell:

At full charge, 17mV imbalance (about 10mV more than it should be):

Max Cell Voltage: 4111 mV
Min Cell Voltage: 4094 mV

At low charge, 231mV imbalance:

Max Cell Voltage: 3486 mV
Min Cell Voltage: 3255 mV

If you scroll further down the OBD readout it shows individual cell voltages.
Here's that same bad-cell pack as above, at full charge:

51: 4110 mV
52: 4108 mV
53: 4094 mV < Small imbalance. (but still about double what's normal)
54: 4103 mV
55: 4103 mV

Here's the same pack, at low charge:

51: 3437 mV
52: 3381 mV
53: 3255 mV < Big imbalance.
54: 3315 mV
55: 3384 mV
 

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You mention "commercial outlet"? what do you mean by that? In my garage, I have a tesla charger, so I can use this adapter https://www.amazon.com/Lectron-Charging-Compatible-Connectors-Destination/dp/B09DCTJCTV.

on the opposite side of the garage which is a bit more inconvenient I have a J1772 juicebox.

Are you saying I should just use the 110V cord that comes with the car overnight?

And when not home, what's the best place to charge it? chargepoint stations? Do I risk the reset that you mention above when charging it from 220V? So far no issues on the juicebox.

Problem is my 110 outlet already has.a fridge and water heater plugged into that socket/circuit. I might call the electrician to run another plug tapping off the 220v that the tesla is running off of which is in the better spot. Or even have them run another 220 I suppose, but that does seem like overkill.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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5,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

· Registered
2013 FIAT 500e
Joined
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5,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You mention "commercial outlet"? what do you mean by that?
Nearly all residential outlets are super-cheap, designed to plug in a lamp when you move in, & then unplug in 10 years, when the new resident will plug in their lamp for 10 years, etc...

When YOU move in you can't tell if it's already nearly worn out, & especially if you might be plugging/unplugging every day in order to leave the OEM cord in the car, you want to install a $4 "commercial grade" outlet that's designed for that. Click to enlarge:
Rectangle Font Line Software Screenshot

It's fine if it's a double outlet. Just make sure it's "commercial grade" or "industrial grade".
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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5,112 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Are you saying I should just use the 110V cord that comes with the car overnight?
Sure. I believe you mentioned a 20-30 mile daily roundtrip, so the 40 miles added on 110V during 8 hours of sleep is plenty.

And when not home, what's the best place to charge it? chargepoint stations? Do I risk the reset that you mention above when charging it from 220V?
Any J1772 station is fine. Chargepoint was an issue for me ONLY at the stations where my friend used to work, but I just had to hit the reset button to get them to work. Every other Chargepoint, Volta, Greenlots, & city ClipperCreek unit has worked unless it happens to be out of order or shut off like Volta at midnight :(.

So far no issues on the juicebox.
I gave my friend my Juicebox when she leased a 500e & it worked fine, although it sometimes stopped at around 95%, which is okay until you really need full range one day, or if it NEVER goes to 100% to balance the cells. In that case you can top it off with the OEM cord, which works fine on its own for my US-avg round-trip distance, which is why I could give away the Juicebox.

my 110 outlet already has.a fridge and water heater plugged into that socket/circuit. I might call the electrician to run another plug tapping off the 220v that the tesla is running off of which is in the better spot. Or even have them run another 220 I suppose, but that does seem like overkill.
That fridge/heater outlet won't work if you don't want to unplug or switch off at least one of them all night, or both, depending on the circuit rating, unless you can find a 110V version of the smart splitter at the bottom*.

The OEM cord works fine on 220V:
Automotive design Gas Gadget Kitchen appliance Home appliance

so if your Tesla unit is a plug-in, you might be able to use a smart splitter, plugging whichever car has priority into the "dryer" side:
*
 
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