Charge port door with ice will not close

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by DWC12846, Nov 12, 2019.

  1. DWC12846

    DWC12846 New Member

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    We had snow and sleet last night in Upstate NY. I have no garage. After unplugging the charging cord, the charging port door will not close likely due to ice. I could use a hairdryer to melt the ice and snow. If I get the port door to close and latch, I imagine the water will re-freeze and I won't be able to open the port door later (Maybe it won't freeze shut IF I drive the car for a few hours. Vibrations make it hard for water to freeze on parts. It'll just freeze into loose chunks of ice).

    My questions are:
    A) Does water drain down away from the closing mechanism and the hinge?
    B) With the charging port cap on, should I spray some WD-40 (or something similar) on the hinges and closing mechanism to help prevent ice from sticking to the closing mechanism and hinge in the future?

    David
     
  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    The door gets opened by the spring loaded button toward the rear of the door. The button has a rubber boot over it. Try just pushing in the button. It should click into the closed position. Then just put the cap on the port and close the door as far as it will go. This will clear the "door open" message. That button is also the switch telling that car if the door is open.

    And yes, water does drain down away from the port. I often need to charge in the rain. But I can see how ice could build up if you get too many wet and freezing events without a thaw.

    I don't think that WD-40 will do much if anything to stop the ice and it might be bad for the plastic or the paint.
     
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  3. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    I slather turtle wax on the areas that usually get ice on them. The wife likes to put plastic shopping bags both inside the chargeport and over the door and other bags. I've added a large dish towel over the charger handle than stuff the in the bags and try to cover it all up with another plastic shopping bag, when it snows a lot.

    It seems to work OK as long as it's not too windy. With wind it has to be all tired on somehow.

    I've thought about making a modeled (plastic / rubber) insert that will just fit over the charger handle to direct rain and snow out of that area. It's on the todo list, somewhere.
     
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  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    don't feel bad, tesla has the same problem
     
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  5. MBFrezon

    MBFrezon New Member

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    I'm digging out from all that storm too. I used a re-usable bag over the door and ticked it into the charging area, draping a dish towel over it to keep snow from packing in. Still had ice develop along the bottom edge of the charge port area which had to be dealt with before the door would close.

    a friend pointed me to a DIY solution, cutting down a outdoor plastic faucet cover which can fit inside port area. Search for this for the general idea:

    bmw-i3-charge-port-snow-cover

    I thought I was doing pretty good, setting up a new big mailbox to house the electrical outlet and the boxy-end of the car's charging cable E851D58E-C97F-45D0-A6CB-5C5FD14AEADF.jpeg 21CB7395-E6DC-4897-9FA2-7AC611B4CC87.jpeg
     
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  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    A) The hinge and closing mechanism dose not accumulate water as it is not on the lower portion of the charge port.
    B) I have not done that to mine. So far no problem, as long as you can close the charge port door. What I have found is that the charge port door is not tightly sealed like the driver or passenger doors with gasket. It has enough gap, so it dose not get completely frozen shut even after very thick freezing rain event.

    Yeah, that is an issue with freezing rain/sleet/snow. I have had that happened to my PRIME many times over three winters, but even without any special care, so far no problem of charge port door getting frozen shut. As long as you can unplug the cord, place the protective cap, and close the charge port door, you are OK. There was one time the freezing rain got in the release trigger mechanism of the charger cord (red circle in the photo below), and I had to warm it up with my hand enough to melt the lock released. If you anticipate freezing rain, it maybe worth covering the charger handle with a plastic bag or something to prevent this happening. If there is enough built-up of ice preventing the door to close, like you said melt some ice. I just use regular ice-melt spray when that happens.

    ice on charge port.png
     
    #6 Salamander_King, Dec 4, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
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  7. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    I wouldn't bother Normally with protecting the EVSE handle and EVSE socket (like @Salamander_King shows above), but the wife wants it that way, And I have a lot of reusable grocery bags that could use another use case, besides recycle back to the grocery store.
    So for now, instead of cleaning the snow out of the cars socket area, I just do what she likes to do.

    Now onto coiling and storing the EVSE. lol
     
  8. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    You'd think they could put a little electric heater in the charger handles, and maybe the car could vent some battery-warmed air out through the charge port.
     
  9. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    They will eventually figure out how to keep snow and ice out of the port, but for now it's just more points of failure with a more complex charge port door and anything used to keep weather out. Plus, it's only a few days a year for most owners, and for those that the bad weather days are greater, they tend to figure out what they like best with their circumstances.
     
  10. VTBIGDOG

    VTBIGDOG Active Member

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    ...and turn it into a block of ice.
    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  11. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    It should encourage the water to run off before it accumulates and freezes.
    Whether or not that would really be effective is purely a guess.

    I think a much better plan would be to cover the whole "mechanism" with a piece of heavy plastic, held in place with a few small magnets.
    Assuming the nearby body is metal.
     
  12. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    Of course it is NOT a reasonable thing to suggest that maybe you FORGO the overnight charging on nights when a snow/sleet/ice storm is forecasted. :whistle:
     
  13. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    ...if left to do so all night in the right conditions, yes it could. But what if it only did so on demand, to gain a window of opportunity for an easy departure? Would a timer, or inclusion in a remote-start routine really cost that much more once there's a heating mechanism in place? At that point you're really just talking about how to set the thermostat for it.
     
  14. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Doing that just for the charger port is not worth the effort? I still have to scrape the thick ice off the windows. Even with engine on and blasting defroster all the way high, it still took me a good 30 min before I could get out of my driveway after recent freezing rain.

    freezing rain.png
     
  15. vvillovv

    vvillovv Active Member

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    And not charge my electric car, blasphemy
     
  16. DWC12846

    DWC12846 New Member

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. It has been a few weeks since I made the post and I'm just now reading the replies. I guess my life is way too busy.

    Anyway... I think next time the forecast says freezing rain, I'll drape a sheet of plastic over the charge port and release mechanism when I'm charging. I'll think of some way to anchor the plastic so it stays put.
     
  17. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    Knee pads seem to work if placed over the handle in icy or snowy conditions.

    In at 15:20
     
  18. EdPalmer42

    EdPalmer42 New Member

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    How about a charge port cover? I've only used it once. The material seems nice and rugged. The magnets could be a bit stronger, but you don't want them too strong so it's a balancing act.

    Toyota Prius Prime - EV Port Cover | eBay
     
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  19. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Humm, I am tempted. But it's a bit pricy for just a cover.

    Screenshot 2020-01-09 at 10.42.55 PM.png
     
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