More charging problems

maintenance

(Martin Winlow) #3

I agree absolutely. It is the same as so many ICEV issues. Very few mechanics really understand how the thing actually works and rely entirely on a flowchart system of fault diagnosis that never really addresses the core issue, they just keep on replacing bits until it works.

If it is out of warranty, you might get more sense out of an EV-savvy engineer or even keen amateur. I bet it is something ludicrously simple, so simple that it gets overlooked by the flowchart analysis. Not that you will ever find out, even if it does come back to you, working.

When you say ‘too much power’ (I didn’t see the original post) do you mean too much voltage? I can see that that might be an issue as the T may well have a system to stop charging if the supply volts spike to high… If so, perhaps you should invest in one of those cheap (£10) watt-hour meters that plugs into the 13A supply socket and then the T’s plug plugs into it. Aside from telling you how much energy your T is using (useful when charging at a friend’s place so you can offer to re-emburse them - all 6p-worth) but it will also tell you the line voltage, power factor, current etc… It might just give you a bit more of an insight into what is going on if not ammunition to rebuff daft assertions by Renault’s useless ‘engineers’.


(osbrook) #4

It is Voltage. If the supply voltage is over approx 248v then the Twizy will either not charge or even discharge. Slow charging is caused by the variation in the voltage dropping it below the threshold.

A simple volt meter or as suggested a power meter will allow you to check.

There aren’t simple solutions except for a very long extension lead that causes the voltage to drop. However this is a risky solution. UPS might work but you need to get hold of one.


Changing A Tyre
#5

Had a call from the garage, the fault code on the twizy was over voltage, no fault codes showing the last time it was in. Called British Gas about it and told me to get a new voltage stabiliser fitted, waiting for a quote from an electrician. I used to use a 10amp 10 metre extension fully unwound and a few times it either wouldn’t charge or would take more than twice as long.


#6

What’s a UPS?


(osbrook) #7

UPS - Not the postal service rather an Un-interrupted Power Supply

It should regulate the output voltage.

How long have you been having problems? Does you House and Street have a lot of Solar panels on the roofs? This can cause the voltage to rise.

The problem is (and it is a fault by Renault) UK voltage can legally go up to 250V before the grid has to fix it. However the charger has problems over 248V.

Try different times or the day and at different places. Often the over Voltage is localized.

I think it very unfair that Renault expect you to pay for a Voltage regulator for a design fault by them.


#8

Basically been having problems since getting the car in February this year. I put it down at first to extension cables but now have had an outside socket for 2 months. I’ve charged it 35 times at home since getting it, 5 times its failed to charge and at least 12 times its been very slow to charge (lost count after 10). No solar panels on our street and only a couple in the area.
Think I’ll give Renault customer services a ring and see what they have to say.


(osbrook) #9

They will say tough. Have you actually checked the voltage at you home?

A £4 multimeter is all that is required. That way you would know for sure if it is the supply voltage or something else. Obviously don’t do this if you are not sure what you are doing. It would be shocking if you got it wrong. :scream:

At least once you have tested the voltage at different time you would be in a better position to argue with the relevant people - The National Grid or Renault.

Over 253V National grid have to fix by law.
Between 248v and 253v Renault should help.
Between 216.2v and 253v it is a fault with the charger.
Below 216V National grid needs to resolve.

Legal limits for UK grid is 230V -6% and +10%


#10

Parents have a chap round quoting for solar panels, and he said he checked the output and was 245 volts, then showed me as I’d been out to collect my twizy and it had gone up to 247 volts. He had his leaf in the other socket and it was happily charging away.


(V8mini) #11

I’m sure Osbrook’s right, if you’ve seen a reading as high as 247v I’d say it’s extremely likely to cut out the Twizy’s charger.

Nissan (unlike Renault) build their chargers to cope with the entire range of allowable UK mains voltage.

Renault know about this, they just aren’t fixing it. Sadly, since you’re in a very small minority (like, of all the thousands of Twizy’s sold there’s probably about 20 people this affects worldwide (total guess)) I don’t fancy your chances of getting anything out of them. At best I imagine if you bought your Twizy new and you took Renault to court, or threated to seriously enough, you might be able to return it and get a refund and as it’s not fit for purpose. Assuming you want to keep it though, you’re better off finding yourself a way of getting that voltage down a bit.


(V8mini) #12

Best thing is to measure the voltage while trying to charge the Twizy. If it’s reading 246v or lower and the Twizy still isn’t charging, then you do have an unusual fault.

At 247+ you’re so close to the limit of what the charger is known to work; that is your answer.


(V8mini) #13

Wait, am I right in think we suspect there are two versions of the charger? The earlier one having a lower cut out voltage than the new one?


#14

The voltage was flicking between 246 & 247v as I plugged it in. Just over 3 hours charge so far and it’s put 32% in. I’ve been in touch with Renault and I’m going to try and return it as its not fit for purpose and as this is my main vehicle for commuting etc, I can’t rely on it. I could expect these problems 4 years ago when they first came out but not now.


(Normsthename) #15

Sounds like another case for BBC Watchdog alongside the Battery agreement.
Might as well also add the Hazard Flasher switch and Sticky Throttles to the list.

Andy


(Martin Lynch) #16

You could and it wouldn’t be difficult to do.


(Peter) #17

Having bought a 2015 registered Twizy I hoped to avoid this issue but unfortunately I haven’t.

It turns out my Twizy has a charger made in 2012!

In addition to the over voltage issue and my charger not keeping the 12v battery topped up when parked, I’m now also experiencing issues with the 12v battery only charging whilst driving.

I feel I’m heading towards a new charger so rang Renault for a price, who quoted me £725 for the part.

I’ve done some digging on the internet and found a datasheet for the Twizy charger on the manufacturers website - IES-Synergy.

It lists the input voltage at 85-265Vac so it looks like the latest version will be ok with the 253V+ I’m occasionally getting.

I’ve sent them an email, asking if I can purchase directly from them as I don’t want Renault selling me an old one they’ve had on a shelf for years!


(Peter) #18

I didn’t get a reply from the charger manufacturer so have visited our local Renault dealer parts department.

I gave them the part number of my original charger and explained I want the latest revision, which keeps the 12v battery topped up when parked and has a multi voltage input.

Two days later I chased them up to be told they will only supply a charger identical to the one I have fitted.

I tried getting out of them the manufacture date of the charger I would be supplied with but got nowhere!


(Peter) #19

I thought I’d try a different approach today.

I rang another Renault dealer asking for price and availability of a charger with just my registration number as reference.

When I asked what revision of charger I would get they told me it was whatever it was manufactured with.

I asked for the part number of the charger but they refused to tell me!

Most unhelpful.

In my past experience with car parts when you ask for something it’s usually been superseded and you get the latest revision.

I suspect this will be the case with the charger as I really can’t imagine that if an improvement has been made they will supply anything other than the improved version.

My concern is I’ll spend ~£725 and end up with a crappy 1st generation charger they’ve had on the shelf for years.

I think my best option now would be to get them to order one in, inspect it when it arrives, and only purchase it if it’s what I want.

:frowning:


(osbrook) #20

Peter

My Twizy is over 6 years old, so has the original charger. No had an issue with it or the 12V battery yet. So perhaps not so Crappy.

Still an expense you could do without if you don’t know what you are getting.


(Peter) #21

I tried the latter but that didn’t work out perfectly either.

I asked the second Renault dealer to order one but they needed me to pay for it upfront!

After explaining the situation they still couldn’t tell me the part number but would allow me to tell them some (I now have a spreadsheet containing many variations).

They could tell me the part they will supply supersedes one of the 2nd generation charger part numbers I have.

As I’m fairly sure it’ll be a 2nd generation I proceeded with payment.

I plan to collect it on Saturday.


(Peter) #22

I collected the new charger this morning and it appears to be the latest revision.

:slight_smile:

I plan to install it later today.