Category Archives: Maintenance

DIY Recall part 2

Yesterday I got a phone call from the electrician about replacing the cable for the Bosch EVSE. It went something like this:

“Hello I’m electrician XYZ calling about that EVSE cable. We can schedule a time for me to come out and swap them out.”

“Oh yeah that cable–I’ve already did the job.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, the instructions were so clear it seemed pretty easy to do. Took me about 15 minutes.”

“It works?”

“Yup right after the swap out I let the car charge for over an hour and nothing blew up.”

“Ok, I may have some paperwork for you to sign.”

Shortly after I got an e-mail from them with the paperwork. The signatures required basically acknowledged that the work was performed to my satisfaction! LOL Sure it was since I did it.

 

Another novel use for the FFE

Found another novel use for the FFE:
Another novel use

What am I doing here? It would appear that I’m charging the FFE off of a covered RV. The novel use here is to provide a load for the generator in the RV. While in extended storage (say over winter) the engines have to be run about once a month or so. For the generator the Onan people told me that when you do run it you have to provide a load. I don’t think I could provide a better load to the generator than having the FFE charge with its Level 1 EVSE (which will draw about 12 amps).

Other options for drawing a load would be the A/C (which shouldn’t be run in cold weather), or a ceramic heater (which would have the benefit of heating the interior of the RV). In both of those cases, though, the electricity produced will simply vanish into the air. With the FFE the electricity goes to good use charging the battery (granted only using Level 1 for about 20 minutes I’ll be lucky enough to get a mile…maybe).

 

 

 

More on that melting..

Back in May I had mentioned that my coworker noticed the handle of the Bosch EVSE he was using was getting warmer and warmer (see post here).

After he had his EVSE and the charge connector in the car replaced all was well..or so he had thought.
Melted Vehicle connector

Above is his first vehicle connector before being replaced.

Changing out the EVSE eventually fixed the problem but not before the 2nd vehicle connector also suffered some damage. Unfortunately his dealer did not feel the need to replace the 2nd damaged unit.

Fast forward to last week: He gets in his car to go to work and is greeted by a strange prompt in the car: “Am I still plugged in?” Not thinking much about it he dismissed the prompt and proceeded with his commute. At work everything went nuts: The dash board started flashing many errors and warnings, including the dreaded “Stop Safely Now” message and the car quit. He called Ford’s Roadside Assistance for a tow–which was very efficiently handled, he got text messages to his phone indicating which tow company was coming and when..if only other Ford operations worked so well. The tow truck driver even asked to see the owners manual to clarify how to tow the car.

Once the car was at the dealer he prepared for the worst (since most of his experiences with the dealer have been less than satisfactory). They replaced the charge plug and harness, the LED ring and the 12V battery in the car (With the damage to the old plug the car was left in a state where it thought it was plugged in and thought it wasn’t plugged in thus keeping the 12V electronics in the car alive enough to drain & damage the 12V battery which is why the car freaked out). The dealer even kept the car overnight after all the fixes were done “for observation” to ensure that all was well and working before returning it.

Happily after a weekend of putting 50+ miles on the car it seems to be back to its quirky self again, and plugging a charger in is no longer a delicate operation…

Here is hoping this is the last story I hear from him about car malfunctions! (He is now investigating a completely new EVSE.)

 

 

10,000 mile service

Having rolled over 10k miles, MyFordMobile started notifying me that I was due for the 10k mile service appointment. On an EV not much, if anything, wears–one of the reasons that the service interval for the FFE is 10k miles. There is no oil, no transmission fluid, no spark plugs, no oil pump, no camshaft, no pistons, and so on. The only two things on the car that even have a possibility of showing any wear over 10k miles are the brake pads and tires.

Given that the regenerative braking reduces brake pad use to next to nothing (the pads only really get used below about 10 mph or so) that leaves the tires as the only item with the possibility of significant wear. Consequently the maintenance schedule in the owners manual states that at 10k miles the tires should be rotated and a vehicle inspection performed (check for damage, look at the CV joints, suspension, etc.). Given our road conditions after last winter a vehicle inspection would provide some peace of mind that the cratered roads haven’t done any damage.

Keeping all of this in mind I stopped by my dealer to get the 10k mile service performed. Exiting the car and standing in front of the drivers door I was greeted by the service adviser: “Hello sir, may we offer the ‘works’ package for you: oil change, tire rotation, inspection, etc.” Stepping away from the door I reply: “What oil? Just the tire rotation please” while pointing to the “Electric” emblem on the side of the door. A crowd soon gathered around my FFE with all of the service advisers asking me many questions about the car (“What kind of range are you getting?”, “What has been your electricity bill?”, “Do you like the car?”, etc.). It was quite an interesting scene as I have not experienced that kind of interest/attention when bringing any of our other cars in for service in the past. (The other advisers were giving my adviser grief for not noticing that it was electric and offering me the oil change LOL.)

The service didn’t take much time (really how long does it take to rotate the tires) and soon I was on my way–I didn’t even have to pay for it: We had enough points on our “frequent service club” (or whatever Ford is calling it) to cover the cost.

 

Hey watch those tires!

I’m on my morning commute when I get an alarm tone from the dash and the yellow triangle appears. For a moment I thought the worst but then I looked closer: “Low Tire Pressure”! Really?

Ok granted I haven’t checked the tires since I got the car home back in May so its entirely possible that they are low. I pulled off into the nearest parking lot to check. All four tires appeared to be fine, no obvious bulging from low air and none of the wheels were riding on the rims.

I proceeded down the road to the next gas! station on my route, parked by the air hose and purchased a tire pressure gauge (I have one in the cars at home but not in the FFE). Sure enough the drivers front tire is down to 25lbs (the recommended pressure in the FFE is 38lbs). The TPMS will trigger an alarm when any tire’s pressure drops 25% below recommended (for the FFE that would be about 28lbs and below).

Since there is practically no maintenance requirements for EVs it is easy to forget some of the simple, required stuff like checking the air pressure in your tires!

Update: Checked the pressures with my good tire gauge at home: all 4 were around 25lbs when I got home. Pumped them all up to the 38 recommended and the car rode like it had solid wheels all the way in this morning! LOL