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Hi all! I just purchased a 2016 500e over the weekend. Super pleased so far, but I'm wondering if I have an issue with the brakes. Does this describe how any of your cars behave?

If I come to a stop slowly (not a hard brake, but not a creep-to-stop), and keep my foot lightly on the brake, just before coming to a complete stop, the car jerks to a halt as though I'd stepped hard on the brakes. Not hard enough to squeal, but hard enough that my dog falls all over the place and I lurch forward. If I carefully ease up on the brake before reaching a dead stop I can prevent it from occurring. If I come to a very slow creeping stop it doesn't seem to happen either.

Also, if the car is turned off and I step on the brake, it makes noise under the hood. Not sure how to describe the noises, something mechanical or a whirring noise. Do your cars do that?

I've monitored the electric motor screen while driving and it reports that it is regenerating normally and I’m getting the range I’d expect. I’ll confirm it has enough brake fluid in it, but it feels like an issue between regen and standard braking behavior. Curious if this is normal or if I should be visiting the dealer. Thanks in advance!!
 

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joshp83,

I have put just over 15,000 miles on my 2015 500e in the past 10 months since I bought it. I would say that my car behaves pretty similar to what you describe. The 500e switches from regen to standard brakes at about 8 miles per hour and that is right where I notice the change in braking. I have learned to let up as the speed drops to around 8 mph and I don't notice the grabbing anymore. It may be that both our cars have an issue and I have just learned to compensate for it so I'll be interested in other's experiences.

Overall I have been very happy with the car. I commute 54 miles roundtrip each day and not having the stop for gas for 10 months has been great. As a bonus, I find it an very enjoyable car to drive. I have other cars for long trips and hauling loads but they are rarely driven anymore.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Craig,

Thanks for the reply! I'll be interested to hear what other owners report, but hopefully it isn't anything to go fight with the dealer over. I assumed there would be something of a "learning curve", so if touchy braking is the only thing I have to adjust to I think I'll be very happy. I am finding it a really enjoyable car to drive as well, and very comfortable!
 

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My 2013 with 23k has been similar to your description ever since I got it with 10k mi in 2015, & others have reported the same.

My friction brakes come on around 6 or 7 mph, when you can see the blue regen band on the speedo's lower right suddenly go off. With the screen in "Motor Power" mode you can see it suddenly go from negative kW to zero. When that happens theres a bit of grab, but it only bothers me when I'm trying to be super-smooth with a passenger. It's worse when its cooler (until they warm up from use) or wet (probably due to that keeping them cooler).

The buzzing, whirring sound when stopped or driving is an electric brake fluid pump, required due to the absence of a fossil car's intake manifold vacuum, which is what drives their brake booster. The 500e pump comes on to rebuild the required pressure after it has been reduced by about 5 gentle brake applications or 3 strong ones.
 

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@joshp83 my 2016 does the exact same thing, especially when humidity is high or it has just started raining.

As @C Clement described, I have learned to either let off the brake as I decelerate to the 8 to 6 mph range, or brake firmly enough as I’m stopping that I get higher regen in the last 5 or so car lengths of stopping that the brakes barely need to “grab” to finish stopping the car.

Oddly enough, the “dive” or jerking brake stop seems the worst when I’m very slowly & gently coming to a stop. If I forget to let up as the car slows to 6 mph, the brakes gripping seems all the more sudden.

I do recall having a similar issue with my 2003 Civic hybrid, as both my wife and I could very clearly tell when the regen ended & braking began.

I definitely feel like I’m getting better at stopping smoothly, as I don’t recall feeling the “nose dive” feeling for the past few weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, guys! You've both described exactly what my car does. ElectricTireShredder - I watched the driving meter drop from blue/regen to green/eco as it happens, just as you said.
I'm glad to hear this behavior and associated brake noises are normal. I may siphon out the brake fluid reservoir and refill it with fresh just for fun; I found another post where drivers indicated this behavior didn't occur when new, but only starts after the car has been in service for a couple years. If I do so, and it makes a difference, I'll post an update.

Thanks!
 

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It's not caused by aging fluid, but rather aging pads. Still not that hard or expensive to change if it really bothers you, although Fiat should just update their software to regen to zero mph, like an eGolf.
 

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Mine does the same thing. It is the transition from regen to friction brakes. It is really just deficient programming by Fiat. They never wanted to produce this car and I don't think they tried real hard. They just got lucky it works as well as it does. But at about 6 MPH when the friction brakes engage it is sudden. It feels worse at slow speeds because there is so little momentum which would smooth out the transition, as when hard braking at higher speeds.
 

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It's actually programmed pretty well for new brake pads, but as they wear in, they grip better. That could be rather hard to program in, but they could (have) just add(ed) software to use regen all the way to a stop, like the eGolf.
 

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I've noticed this as well. It's less of an issue when it's dry, but it can be annoying when it's wet. I've never had new brake pads, so I've never experienced it with the "correct" behavior.
 

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Guys, I specially registered to answer to this topic, since it consists with a lot of false information.

some part of it is true, the 500e at about 5 mph stops using regen braking, and switches to the normal brakes.

It is not true however that the change over from electric to normal brakes will be abrupt over time and can not be changed. This is because it can easily be calibrated within about 1 minute with the witech software.
We are specialized in the sale of the 500e over here in Holland, Europe and we regularly calibrate this for our customers so that the change from electric braking to normal brakes goes smoothly.
So, no need to keep driving like this.
I will try this week to post under which ECU it can be done, from the top of my head it’s the ABS.
 

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This is exactly as my new (2016 off lease purchase) brakes - I had done some research prior to purchase and was prepared for this behavior so I wasn't put off. Now I am learning how to keep it in the 'blue' as I come to a stop and see how much energy I can recoup in traffic. I am often able to get the 'miles left' arrow to point up and the mileage available increase. It is an interesting little car and I am enjoying getting to know it.
 

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"Miles Left" is based on your driving, so any time you start going slower or downhill it will "arrow up" & increase, or at least not drop even while driving for a mile or 2.

In my off-lease 2013 it isn't possible to "keep it in the 'blue' as I come to a stop". Blue regen switches off when the mechanical brakes grab at around 6mph. This also activates the power-draining electric brake fluid pump, after about 5 light applications or 3 heavy ones.

My friend's eGolf did the same when new, but a year or 2 later after a mandatory dealer visit (with reprogramming?) it suddenly showed regen all the way to a stop. I don't see why our cars couldn't be programmed to do that.
 

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In case it helps, "Regenerative Brake Controller" does show under ABS on AlfaOBD.
Thanks but it was a matter of time, did not have time to go Saturday.
anyway, if a dealer connects Witech to the car, opens the ECU RBS and then goes to Misc functions and selects RBS sensor calibration and performs this operation then braking should be smooth again. Sometimes the first time after starting it feels a bit weird, but after that it should be fine.
 

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Thanks but it was a matter of time, did not have time to go Saturday.
anyway, if a dealer connects Witech to the car, opens the ECU RBS and then goes to Misc functions and selects RBS sensor calibration and performs this operation then braking should be smooth again. Sometimes the first time after starting it feels a bit weird, but after that it should be fine.
Thanks! I'll see if I can get them to do that next time I'm at the dealership!!
 

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Thanks but it was a matter of time, did not have time to go Saturday.
anyway, if a dealer connects Witech to the car, opens the ECU RBS and then goes to Misc functions and selects RBS sensor calibration and performs this operation then braking should be smooth again. Sometimes the first time after starting it feels a bit weird, but after that it should be fine.

This is awesome information, I Just checked the AlfaOBD app and it does show an RBC Sensor Calibration under ABS>Renenerative Brake Controller>Active diagnostics. Then select procedure to start (RBC Sensor Calibration)


Do you know if this calibrates the pedal travel sensor as well?
 

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This is awesome information, I Just checked the AlfaOBD app and it does show an RBC Sensor Calibration under ABS>Renenerative Brake Controller>Active diagnostics. Then select procedure to start (RBC Sensor Calibration)


Do you know if this calibrates the pedal travel sensor as well?
I presume it is the same procedure but I only know the official software, although I have a demo of the alfaobd. Since we paid a lot of money for the official license, I tend to use the witech ;-)
 
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