Hymotion kit unplugged for 3-4 months...will not charge

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by Jean Michel, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Jean Michel

    Jean Michel Junior Member

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    Hello everyone!

    I truly need help with my Hymotion kit installed in Toronto on December 16th, 2009. I bought the car very reccently knowing the previous owner.

    Now, I was told by this person that the system was working fine for all these years except for the last 3-4 months, when car was driven by another user who simply didn't know there was a plugin kit so he didn't plugged the car for that period on time... (pretty bad I know)

    Then, when he realized that it could be plugged he tried it but the system was not responding (only showing a serie of flashing LED on the on/off control on switch left to the dimmer dash switch).

    At this point, I bought the car knowing that and I am know trying to fix it.

    I don't have a good knowledge in batteries but I am now helped with a friend who's a initially mechanic with good electrical skills (he's an electrician as well).

    We have opened the kit last weekend and looked to find ways to reinitialize the system but without the minimal knowledge to play with it, we decided to wait and look for a little help.

    Not knowing who to verify the pack's voltage, my electrician friend took touched directly to the A123 batteries poles and said to me : "Man, I don't feel anything, your batteries are at 0.0 volts for sure!"

    After that (and with all the litterature I found on the Web, especially on PriusChat), we tried the different problem scenarios that people were usually getting for a none working pack:

    -we looked for auxiliary battery to see if it was too low (from coal start in the morning, before the engine kicked on, it was showing 14.2 volts on the Prius screen so we assumed it was ok);

    -We pressed the inertia button for many seconds to see if the system had previously cutted connections (we got BIG road bumps here in spring time!!) but notting happen after trying that;

    -we checked the fuse in the orange covered little case on left side (but it was not busted and resistance was fine);

    -We plugged our cord directly into the system (and not from the outside bumper plug) but notting happened, still....

    As we opened the big Hymotion metal case, we saw many flashing LED lights on/next to wires (some black, some orange) so we assumed that there was power going into the system eventhough it is not allowing charging.

    Ending that, we saw a computer plug (sort of, but same as mentionned on Roper's Prius web page) and thinked this might be our solution to come to reinitialize/force the system to accept charging but we don't know how to used it, what PROGRAM should we look for and what procedure to accomplish! (...and to put a cherry on that big mystery sunday, I'm on Macintosh! Do they made an Ipad App for that??!! haha!!)

    So there it is... I, we, don't know what to do after that and feel unconfortable to proceed in further tests before talking we people who knows better then us (far far more I guess).

    Here are some links to two short Youtube video showing the number of flashing LED on dashboard (10 times to my knowledge) and a serie of beeps that that car makes when I press the engin start button.





    I am sure that this last thing can reveal an error code and might indicate a bit what we should do but I hardly tried to find info on Hymotion error codes but found nothing on that type of error...

    My goal with this car is to promote new technologies into the public (it is part of my job as well) and to demystifiy that kind of option for Prius owners here in Quebec. So far, we have only 3000 green plated cars in the whole province (which is not bad and a good start) but there is a lot of effort to convince people that they represent an opportunity and propably the future of automobile. This is why a bought the car.

    Anyway, that is a far good introduction to my situation and I tried to put as many infos as possible to get the best advice on that from you guys.

    This is the first time I am posting something but I have been a PriusChat follower for many years!

    Regards,

    Jean Michel
     
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat! are you far from wisconsin? we have a member there who specialize's in add on electric's. his name is eric becky if you want to pm him. all the best!(y)
     
  3. Jean Michel

    Jean Michel Junior Member

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    Hello Bisco!

    Wisconsin is a 1966 kilometer ride according to my Google Maps itinary page:( I would truly prefer going to Boston!! (700 km away only....:) )

    But yes I have already contact Eric and had a short reply. He's supposed to write me back but told me he's been pretty busy with many Hymotion kit repairs at the time! I have receive news from Greengears and I'm still on in touch to define options...

    I have looked deeper into the Hymotion datalogger and software possibility and found that Hymotion technology seems to use a CAN bus transmitter called "Kvaser memorator" which is available online : but this costs an arm!!!(n)

    So far, I don't know if it's a good path to follow but it may allow me to by-pass the Hymotion kit protection and letting me charge a very low (0.0 V) pack.

    Is there anyone who tried to got into that CAN-view CAN-bus system program?

    Thanks,
    JM
     
  4. wb9k

    wb9k 09 Gen II Prius w Hymotion Plug-In Batt

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    I work for A123 and used to oversee Hymotion warranty service. I'm in China at the moment, but will take a closer look at your issues when I return home. We will get you running again! Hang tight.
     
  5. wb9k

    wb9k 09 Gen II Prius w Hymotion Plug-In Batt

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    OK, you are seeing 11 flashes of the light, not 10. The last flash is held long. 11 flashes means there is a cell group low enough in the pack that the battery doesn't want to charge (below 1.5 V at rest). What probably happened here is the battery was depleted, and then self-discharge combined with not being plugged in allowed a cell group to get this low. Sadly, this is a common occurence when Hymotion packs fall into the hands of those who can't be bothered to learn how to use them. The city of Austin TX had a fleet of 10 of these IIRC, and they all went the same way because the people driving the cars never plugged them in. Amazing.

    Hopefully you can still recover the low cell group(s) by charging it directly with a bench supply until the cells are back above 1.5 Volts and then the pack will charge normally. This is possible if no cells are resting below 0.5 Volts. If you have cells below 0.5 Volts, you will need to replace the module that contains those cells. None of this is terribly difficult. The attached doc is something I started putting together for another user in your situation some time ago. It's not really complete yet, but if your problem is just a low cell that can be charged back up, this should be enough info to get you back on track. Give it a look and let me know if you have more questions. Let us know how it goes!
     

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  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    this happened to my daughter at uvm's transpo dept. they were given a plug in prius to test. i was so jealous! they never plugged it in and couldn't understand why the mpg's weren't any better than a standard pri. and these are our best and brightest.
     
  7. wb9k

    wb9k 09 Gen II Prius w Hymotion Plug-In Batt

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    It's amazing what people take for granted....even relatively smart people. The ability to imagine the world anew seems to have been beaten out of a good many of us. I think this is more a matter of will and raw curiosity than of intelligence, per se. It's like music, which I used to play and teach for a living. I believe most people have the requisite talent to be great musicians. What most people lack is the will to do what it takes to actually achieve mere mediocrity, let alone true greatness.
     
  8. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    i've been playing the guitar for 45 years, and i have almost achieved mediocrity!:p
     
  9. wb9k

    wb9k 09 Gen II Prius w Hymotion Plug-In Batt

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    I've barely touched the drums in over 10 years....I'd be lucky to sound mediocre about now.
     
  10. hkgngplugin

    hkgngplugin Junior Member

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    I am an Enginer user. I wanna say something about this case. If it is the case that wb9k talked about, Jean need to first make sure he can access every single cell of the Hymotion pack. When he gain access to the cells, he needs to find out those cells under voltage (say, below 1.5V). After he find out those under voltage cells, he needs a 3.65V charger to try to charge up those cells. And hopefully he gets no cell encounter polar reversal, Jean needs to balance the whole pack in order to get the most capacity out of the pack. There is whole lots of work to do to bring back the pack! And if polar reversal occurs, there is no way to bring the pack back to work unless replacing that particular cell.
     
  11. Jean Michel

    Jean Michel Junior Member

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    Hey guys!

    This is the same Texas public car story that happened to me! ...And to tell the truth, I feel this will be going on for a little while...unless I may suggest to my autorities to put big fluorescent sticker of every plugin car's steering wheel saying "Please plug the car after EVERY use!":) Education is a big part of my work regarding that kind of habit change but we are a small team here and have around 140 000 employees of our public scctor to inform and also CONVINCE... A good start is that Quebec governement will now oblige every ministry to buy only electric/plugin cars for there professionnal use unless they have a derrogation (like for Transportation Ministry to caring big stuff with trucks). Otherwise, most of these employees will be running on power made from hydroelectricity which we have A LOT around here! (I hope this will motivate them to plug those damn cars!!!):confused: We even have now a public Electric circuit with around 250 charging stations working on 240 V in the whole province (type triple W lecircuitelectrique d o t c o m ). (It's too bad I can't charge my car there though, with my 110 V plug...)

    I will "operate the pack" next weekend and feed you guys with my first results, one step at a time!!

    Jean Michel (a VERY mediocre 20 years guitar player as well who did not feel musical evolution since high school...)

    Hey, maybe we could start a band! We could call it "The Plugged boys" or "the Hymosicians" haha! Any other suggestion??

    Thank you all for your comments, I appreciate and I don't feel alone in this situation!!!
     
  12. Jean Michel

    Jean Michel Junior Member

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    Hello everyone!

    Here is good news : the system is back on track!!! And it’s working very well with no significant trauma from that long time "sleeping period".

    Today was morning 1 with a working system so I will need more time to figure if pack is performing well but so fare, I did about 35 km (mostly on highway) to get to work and it took 3 bars out of 8 to get there with a 2,5 L/100 km consumption (converting that the my US friends, that would make around 94 MPG).

    We finally found out that there was around 1,2 to 1,4 volts left in every single cell before performing a smart charger session to the pack. And it took roughly about 5-6 hours to “refile” the entire thing.

    Now, I’d like to say very special thanks to Nick Rothman from Greengears, Eric form EVPowers and especially"wb9k" who took of there time to look at my problem and provided me very pertinent information to work out the whole thing!!! Without you guys, I probably still would be a Prius dead weight battery carrier….. J Also, here is a BIG thanks to my friend Sébastien who spent nearly 2 days to perform this reviving procedure!!



    Next steps are now to get better understanding of my system, to find out what is normal and was is not (car is still making that beep=beep=beep=beep=beep sound when it starts (as seen in video posted before)). Also, I used to drive my older Prius with an EV switch I bought from Costal Tech and that I don’t have on this one (to my knowledge?) so the car starts cold at first in the morning… But so far, I am pretty much happy with the situation!!!!!!!!!

    I will keep you informed of my experience and consumption in the next few days!

    Jean Michel
     
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  13. ericbecky

    ericbecky Hybrid Battery Hero

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    You should be able to install your own ev button with just a momentary switch.

    There may be a quick beep-beep-beep signal telling you in cannot go into EV mode.
    Basically that's what the hymotion system is doing, trying to initiate EV mode.
     
  14. wb9k

    wb9k 09 Gen II Prius w Hymotion Plug-In Batt

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    Congrats on the fix! I'm glad you and your friend were able to revive the pack.

    I watched your video of the beeping and I am mystified. The first, gentle beeping is of course the seat belt reminder. I'm sure you are talking about the harsher, raspy, fast tones heard as the seat belt chimes finish. I have never heard that sound from a Prius, and I have gotten intimately familiar with three different gen II's. I've never heard of such a thing with the Hymotion pack from anyone, and I doubt the Hymotion pack has anything to do with it, primarily because you were seeing this during a time when the Hymotion pack--unless something else is wrong (sounds unlikely)--should be invisible to the car. It must still happen if the Hymotion pack is switched off. If this is not good enough for you, you can disconnect the Hymotion's white harness connection to the OEM battery controller. There should be a jumper plug back there, possibly zip-tied to the same harness, that you can plug in in place of the pack connector. THE CAR WILL NOT RUN IF YOU LEAVE THIS PLUG DISCONNECTED WITHOUT THE JUMPER INSERTED IN ITS PLACE, AND IT MAY EVEN BE POSSIBLE TO DAMAGE THE CAR IF YOU TRY. That connector ties the Hymotion pack into the car's CAN bus communications. When disconnecting the pack, the jumper needs to be placed so the CAN signal can complete it's path through this part of the OEM harness, which was modified during pack installation. With this done and the pack's power switch in the off position, the pack is turned off and completely disconnected from the car. I doubt this would make any difference with the beeping shown in your video, but I can't completely rule it out. After that, I think this is a question for the dealership or a different board on this forum. Please do let us know what you find.

    -Duane Harvey
     
  15. hkgngplugin

    hkgngplugin Junior Member

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    Another 2.5L/100km in this chat! I’m one of those!
     
  16. Jason in OZ

    Jason in OZ Active Member

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    awesome to see another plug in up and running....
    i too get 2.1-2.3L / 100km..... :)

    jason
     
  17. Jean Michel

    Jean Michel Junior Member

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    Thanks for your comments all!

    I think that I will let go the 5-6times beeping session that it does everytime I start the car and enjoy a fully working system for a while...:) (but I will look for that problem for sure)

    Since I am living up the hill, I follow some of your tricks like engage the Hymotion system AFTER I started the car and I do not use reverse gear at first in the morning. Also I tried to put it on neutral when I go downhill not to overcharge the stock battery. With that, I've already realized incredibly high difference in mpg then before.

    I also will have the opportunity in a few days to plug the car at work so I will use only half of the charge (from 8/8 to 4/8 energy cubes) on every cycle. Do you think that this could improve my battery longevity?

    Oh! It's week-end time, I will have to leave and drive on the Prius back to home!!

    JM
     
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