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2013 FIAT 500e
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
If you ever hear a quiet locking beep, or see the 12V warning, start the car from the RIGHT side, BEFORE opening the left door. Worked for me. Can’t hurt to try…:

The $110 500e starter battery can die in just under 2 years. Sometimes the only warning is a quieter locking beep. I heard that, unlocked right away, & got in the left door. That powered up the brake pump (“buzz”), & then it wouldn’t start.

After recharging, the next time it died I unlocked the car right away but got in the RIGHT side so the brake pump wouldn’t activate*. I quickly turned the key all the way & it worked, even though the brake pump came on AT startup (it doesn’t always). After that the drive battery powers everything so it's fine to open the left door.

* You could use the hatch in a pinch.

WARNING! Once your 12V is 22 months old, you SHOULD ensure that you always have a jump available, because may not get a display warning OR a soft beep. For example a loud beep & then the old battery dies while parked for a while.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Discussion Starter #2
If it does start & you don't have a charger or a jumpstart available for your next startup, I very strongly recommend one of the following:

1) Go straight to get a jumpstarter* &/or a new battery. It charges whenever the car is charging OR driving, so when it dies it almost certainly needs replacement. It's the same as a gas 500 but nearly any 12V will work with adapters, even the smallest 3Ah motorbike battery (yes, I did that myself). OR...

2) At the very least, BEFORE SHUTTING DOWN:

- Hit the A/C "off" button, turn off the headlights, stereo, & also the daytime running lights from the "menu" button at the display's lower right (you may need to tap the wiper stalk button to get the "ready" screen first).

- If safe, leave it unlocked. Or lock it with the metal key. That avoids the beep, & leaves the alarm off in order to also unlock it with the metal key (but don't open that door!) so the lights don't flash. You CAN use the key to lock the left door with it only one click shut instead of fully closed, in order to get back in that side without activating the pump. Otherwise don’t forget to start the car from the right.

*Make sure it's charged.
 

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hehe, I had that happen on my i3 last month.. no warning at all..
About a 48 hour event in my office parking lot, between diagnosing the problem, replacing battery, and the extended time the car needs to figure out: "hey there's a new 12v battery, I can stop reporting 0% state of charge". 🤦‍♂️
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Discussion Starter #4
500e 12V replacement seems to be just plug-&-play. I've now disconnected mine MANY times, & also replaced it with a new one, & only once got a warning, even though it drove fine, & the warning permanently vanished the next time I started it.
 

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2017, 500e
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Thanks for the tips. Just replaced my 12V, but it was easy. Went dead in my driveway and I live a block away from 2 auto parts distribution centers - O'Reilly's and Napa. Then the window lifter on the drivers side broke...oy.
 

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2013 FIAT 500e
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Discussion Starter #6
Here's an idea that's worth trying, but I haven't tested yet:

If you open the driver's door & it sounds like it's trying but failing repeatedly to clunk the contactors shut &/or run the pump, shut the door right away without getting in. Hopefully that will stop it, but if not, locking should, preferably with the metal key. Then try from the right side as above.
 

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I bought a portable Lithium-ion Jump Starter from Amazon for about $50. Fully charged in MAY it still reads 100%. It's comforting to know I can jump-start if my 12V fails. It's been 8 months at 100%, I think I'll bring it in and check it with the voltmeter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Everyone please always check your jumpstarter periodically, because I had one that did lose a bit of charge after a few months. Ironically it had nothing about that in the instructions, & the one that says to check stays full much longer!

I learned some MORE TIPS while testing today:
  • If it ever fails to start from the left, wait 15 minutes with it off & try again from the right, because that long after a failed start mine went back up by 0.7v
  • A fix for the faulty 12v warning* would be a cabin mount of the Battery Tender test light (searchable on Amazon) shown below. Way before it's too low to start from the right, it flashes red non-stop, without even touching it. It starts flashing at 11.6v (20%), & mine still started with only 11.3v (10%!) with the left door closed to avoid pre-activating the contactors & brake pump. It wouldn't start from only 11.2v though (7%).

* No warning showed before or after failing to start at 11.2v

Click to enlarge:
Battery Tender.jpg
 
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