Thursday, October 15, 2009

Charging Problem again

So when I returned home today and plugged the MINI-E into the 30A wall charger, nothing happened. I will be as specific as possible.

1) plugged car into 30A charger and the wall box "thumped" on as normal, but no charge indicator came on on the dash.

2) unplugged-repeat - same thing

3) rinse, repeat - same thing

4) turned on the car to verify that 30A is the current setting, it was and still is. turn off car, plug in wall charger.... The dash light comes on and blinks 2x and for the first time ever, I see the red indicator on the wall charger. I have never seen this indicator before.

5) unplug, replug - 2 dash blinks, red wall box light.

6) decide to try 110v charger as some people have mentioned that this has worked. Got it out fo the trunk (I forgot how thin this cable is, I have had my wall charger for >2 months), plugged it in and everything is working great. Dash charger light is blinking, no error lights on the 12A indicators (OH NO) I forgot to change the car to 12A.

7) Unplug the wall, then the car. Reset car to 12A. Plug back in working great. Hmm, wasn't that supposed to not work the first time because the car was still set for 30A??

8) unplug, reset to 30A, plug in the car to the wall box. Wall box "clunks" on but no dash light.

9) unplug, reset car to 12A and plug in 110V cable. Quietly sipping juice from the GFCI in the garage (I never had a problem with mine, it is direct attached to the panel).

I am going to go down later tonight and try resetting to 30A again to see if it works.

Tomorrow I am going to have to break out the paperwork to find out who to call?????


  1. Michael,
    As I posted a couple days ago, I've seen this three other times. You need a new PEU my friend.

  2. I just called Morristown Mini and the service manager said that if it is taking the 12A charge then it must be the wall box. so now I have to call CFCI, try to get someone to troubleshoot the box before I call back Mini. Mostly also because I just was in for my 3 month service last week and he said they they run diagnostics on the PEU as part of the service, so if there was a problem they would have found it.

    Imagine it's like blood work, do you run an everything scan or only the 3 month checklist?

    I can see this as being a real shortcoming when these things go into production. It's the whole hardware, software debate. Only our cars aren't going to work while tech support has to figure this out.

    Imagine calling your car company, who say (like today) call the charger people.

    ISSUE 1) who pays for the electrician visit to diagnose the wall box. specifically if there ends up being no problem, like many have said, there isn't much in there.

    The finger pointing opportunities are endless.

    I hope someone steps up and makes this easy...


    Just spoke to George at CFCI (he is the Mini-E diagnostics guy), and after describing the problem to him he thinks that it may be a communication problem between the car and the wall box. Meaning that either the cable or the box will need to be replaced. So I will be scheduling time for John to come back out to do this work. I imagine I will be on the OUC (love the acronyms) until then.

  4. Mike, will it charge from the 240 volt interface when the car is set to 12 amps? Mine sometimes does this. No harm from setting the current too low, it just takes longer to charge.

    Also, after charging with the 120 volt interface for 15 minutes or more, the 240 volt connection will almost always start to work again for me.

    As far as leaving the setting at 32 amps when plugging in the 120 volt cable, I timed that once. On a 20 amp circuit it took about 5 minutes to trip. Probably not a good thing to test unless you keep a fire extinguisher handy. ;)

    I would not be surprised if I still have a problem with the "PEU" (the magic brass box) even though they just changed mine. Maybe there is something they missed on yours?

    By the way, what is George's extension at CFCI?

  5. I dialed the very nice woman at x12 who explained they are getting a new phone system and George is not currently listed.

    By the way, I had an issue over the weekend where it would not charge from the 12A either, after a little back and forth from 32A to 12A settings, I got the 12A to work again.

    Really starting to look like a PEU issue, I wish there was someone at Mini to call with these issues other than the local dealership, who despite their best efforts, just aren't tooled to take these calls.

  6. Michael,

    I am a technical representative with ClipperCreek, were you able to get your wall box working again?

    Also, the wall boxes from ClipperCreek have extensive self testing functionality, and can be verified with just a volt meter. I am surprised that CFCI just assumed the wall box had to be replaced.

  7. i am charging again after the replacement. I am not totally convinced that there is not a problem with the PEU, but it has been working now for several days, which was not happening before. The electrician was under instruction from CFCI, replace the cord, then the wall box. This is what he did. There were no field diagnostics performed. Good to hear from someone on the supply side. How are you perceiving this entire test? If you would like some column inches to post some feedback to drivers, I and many others would be interested to hear anything coming in the other direction (some of my feedback to Mini from the beginning).