15 October 2009

Maybe it is the wall box?

Mini E #458 came home from service today.  They said at first that maybe the charging problem was the wall box, but then they found a trouble code so they replaced the big brass colored box under the hood again, like they did a couple months ago.

Except this time we get it home and still have trouble getting it to start charging.  The charging light on the dash board blinks a couple times and then it stops.

So I suspect the contactors in the safety box on the wall have gotten crusty or something.  Turning the car down to 12 amps makes it keep charging.  Then after it has been blinking steadily for more than 12 times, it can be set back to 50 amps and it will keep going until it reaches 100%.

The portable 120 volt 12 amp charger was always a bit finicky, sometimes it would take a couple tries to get it to start charging.  For several weeks that is all we had.  When the big wall box came, at first would always start the car charging immediately and keep going.  Now it is the big wall box that is finicky.

Good to get all this ironed out before there are millions of electric cars on the road.  That is what us "pioneers" (as Mini calls us) are here for.

I heard that since contacts cannot be plated with cadmium or other nasty materials anymore, it is harder to make high current relays reliable.  Maybe I have an example.  But good relays can be made, the just cost more now, or have to sealed better, or whatever.


  1. after calling Mini today, I was told that I need to get the box checked out before bringing it in. Hmmm.. I'm not home today, anyone got that CFCI number handy? I think we need to create a MINI-E contact section somewhere for where people have had success getting help

  2. Michael,

    Call Enid Joffee or Wendy Mojica at CFCI: 1-888-890-4638. Their email is: minieprogram@cleanfuelconnection.com

    Good luck,

  3. Mike, I usually get voice mail at CFCI, but here are some numbers:

    Wendy Mojica at 626 445-1445 ext 14

    Kristine Manukyan, CFCI
    Customer Service Coordinator
    626-445-1445 Ext 13
    626-445-1450 Fax

    Christopher Reich
    MINI E Project
    Green Power Technology, LLC
    Office: 877.263.1645
    Cell: 615.870.8137
    Fax: 480.772.4227

    The Princeton dealer sounds like they might try to handle this for me, though I suspect the flying doctor is not going to come to my house.
    I might be able to diagnose it myself, I just reread SAE J1772, which is probably the spec on the charger.