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Thread: Car says Charging Cable plugged in when it isn't

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    South Warwickshire
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    Car says Charging Cable plugged in when it isn't

    Hi,

    Woke up this morning, unplugged my trusty 3 1/2 year old smart ED and turned on the ignition. And got a message saying "Charge cable connected". This then changed to "Eng. restart not poss." Checked and the cable is definitely unplugged! See attached pictures

    Tried;
    Drying the inlet
    Plugging and unplugging a few times
    Leave the car to go to sleep for an hour
    12v reset (disconnect the 12v battery for a while)

    I've just noticed that you can pull the plug out when the car is locked - which I couldn't do before.

    Anyone else experienced this effect? Or know the solution? Its bound to be expensive!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Feb 2013
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    Tried again this morning. Ignition on and got the normal ready message. Engaged drive and could move forwards. Engaged reverse and tried to move back and the "Charge cable connected" popped up. Back to not going anywhere again!

    Got an OBDII widget arriving today so I'll see if the Diagnostics can tell me anything

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Central Scotland
    Posts
    419
    Sorry to say, but only 0.001% of smart owners have gone down the electric route. So cannot answer your question.

    Electric cars......Too overprice, too short a range, too long to charge.

    But assume that will change in the future. Hope you get sorted.
    Last edited by colin2x2; 29-10-2017 at 01:15 PM.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2012
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    Burnley
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    There is nothing I would like better than to be suffering from this problem. I lust after an electric car but sadly too much money.

    Want to swap it for a diesel.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    uk
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    763
    Quote Originally Posted by RatleyRambler View Post
    Hi,

    Woke up this morning, unplugged my trusty 3 1/2 year old smart ED and turned on the ignition. And got a message saying "Charge cable connected". This then changed to "Eng. restart not poss." Checked and the cable is definitely unplugged! See attached pictures

    Tried;
    Drying the inlet
    Plugging and unplugging a few times
    Leave the car to go to sleep for an hour
    12v reset (disconnect the 12v battery for a while)

    I've just noticed that you can pull the plug out when the car is locked - which I couldn't do before.

    Anyone else experienced this effect? Or know the solution? Its bound to be expensive!
    Not knowing whether it senses charge cable with a switch in the socket arrangement, or voltage sensing ?.... Id guess its the former and the switch is faulty.
    You're so money supermarket and you don't even know it!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    South Warwickshire
    Posts
    27
    Hi, progress report.

    OBDII adapter arrived but does not talk to the smart. But it does talk to our Range Rover so the adapter is OK. A bit of digging into OBDII and I find that only petrol and diesel vehicle are legally obliged to support OBDII. And even if it did, Diagnostic Trouble Codes related to charging inlet would fall into the Manufacturer specific category of DTCs - which the auto manufactures are not obliged to publish for free!

    So how does the vehicle detect that the cable is plugged in? Its all defined by SAE J1772 see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772

    In short, the car puts out a voltage onto a 'proximity pilot' pin in the charging connector. The plug has a built in resistor such that when it is plugged in, the extra resistance pulls down the voltage on the proximity pilot pin. The vehicle detects this voltage drop and so knows it is plugged in. Should be much more reliable than a mechanical switch.

    A quick check with a simple multimeter reveals there is 0.11V on the proximity pilot pin. Does not matter if the car is asleep or awake, or the ignition is on or off. Just 0.11V. Checked on a completely different EV vehicle and there is always several volts on the proximity pilot pin.

    I begin to fear that it is a problem with the on-board charger itself

  7. #7
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    Hmm, beginning to seem like something worth getting ones teeth into. (not literally)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    uk
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    The sample circuit shows, before connection , on the vehicle controller there should be 4.5volts on that proximity pin.

    When plugged in (if you could access that line), it would be pulled down to ~1.5volts .....
    When the switch (that is associated with the unplugging button) is released then the voltage rises to ~3volts telling the charging system that a disconnection is imminent so it starts a controlled shutoff.

    That’s if the component values are the same in your car/kit as per the diagram... and I’ve got it right.

    If you’re only getting .1volt then the 5volts isn’t present .... Or there’s a disconnection in the cable.
    You're so money supermarket and you don't even know it!

  9. #9
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    I think starting point is to make sure all is clean and dry. Impedances of the circuit are quite low so I wouldn't really expect damp to be able to affect the voltage to that degree but making sure it is clean and dry is sensible. If the circuit is as the diagram shows on wikipedia then one would expect that maybe R5 is short circuit or R4 has lost the supply voltage. My money would be on R5 I think to start as it is a lot easier to check. With it all unplugged you should get 2.7k to ground from the pin.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Location
    uk
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    Resistors don’t go short circuit .... ok maybe with a solder bridge , but still that’s pretty unlikely in a low level cool circuit like this.
    More likely is the loss of the 5v reference ... a 5v regulator failed somewhere... potentially (pardon the pun lol) a fuse somewhere too
    You're so money supermarket and you don't even know it!

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