I'm confused: Charging, Timer

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by peakay, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. peakay

    peakay Junior Member

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    Hey there,

    We bought our PIP a little over a week ago from Dianne and are generally enjoying it, but are having problems understanding the timer. I can never tell whether it is on or off and yesterday we missed our overnight charge completely. It's a source of daily frustration.

    Is there a simple, real-world guide to how to use the charge timer? Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Adam Leibovitch

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    Hi peakay,
    Near the gas gauge On the right side of the mph/info gauges, next to the parking break light is an indicator light for timed charging. It's two clock hands with a plug around it. After you set your timer you want to make sure that light is either solid or flashing. That is your first check. Then you plug the cable in, the orange light should come on for just a bit, then turn off. Thats the second check. Then you should be set to go.

    If you set the timer the same every day, all you have to do is press the square button once, and check that the timed charge indicator light is solid. And press it again to turn the timer off.

    You only have to press and hold to adjust the time.

    The only thing that is troublesome is that you missed your charge completely?

    If the timer is off, and the plug is in, it will charge. If the timer is on and the plug is in, it should charge during the specified time period only. So if you had the plug in and missed a charge I would venture to guess its one of two things. am/pm was not correct, or time was not correct. Or two, the "charging operation was stopped due outage or plug removal".

    Are there any messages being displayed on the screen the mornings you miss your charge?
     
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  3. peakay

    peakay Junior Member

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    Thanks! More detail: my wife is the primary driver and we have no problem setting the time. What usually happens is I go out before bed time, go to plug it in, but I have now ay of knowing for sure if the timer is set.

    1) Do you have to press the button each and every time in orde for the timer to work? Can it be set to always be in use i.e. I don't have to enter the car before charging it every night??

    2) If you do have to set it every time, can you press the timer button without turning the car on? In other words, reach in and press the button without sitting down?

    3) I read in the manual that the charge indicator light on the charge port light comes on for a few seconds after being plugged in, which has been confusing as I thought that meant it was charging immediately. how long do I need to wait to know for sure if it is/is not charging immediately?

    4) Does the end-time even matter other than for staying within offpeak charging hours? The manual seems to indicate that you can overcharge it, but isn't it smart enough to stop charging??

    Thank you. I think if they had a single-function on/off switch for the timer it would be a lot more clear. I work in tech all day long and am finding the digital displays and control are somewhat poorly designed from a user interface perspective, and the manual is not great either.
     
  4. Tracksyde

    Tracksyde Member

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    The frustration must be from the Start and Finish timers. Keep in mind its actually two separate timers. You set either the Start timer or the Finish timer.

    Since you said you missed your overnight charge, the other timer must have been set, I'm guessing.

    Once the timer is flashing, you should see the "Start" or "Finish". Press and release and it should toggle between Start and Finish. Select the one you want to set, then use the buttons to set the time. It should still be flashing at this point. Then "long press" (or press and hold) until it stops flashing. At that point, it should be set and the light on the dash that Adam mentioned should be illuminated.

    In my case, I set the Finish time for my morning charge. I use the Start timer for my afternoon charge. I rarely need to adjust the times so its easy to select the one I want for the time of day I need it.
     
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  5. Adam Leibovitch

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    Not significantly. The battery may lose dishcarge a small amount of charge between the end of the cycle and you driving it. Some posters are observing a drop discharge of 0.1 to 0.2 in their estimated EV range when they charge up the night before. I just charge it whenever I am home since we don't have a time of use meter set up. The potential tiny drop in battery is worth it for me to have the car ready for an unplanned 8:30-9pm trip to the grocery store or whatever the case may be.

    As far as overcharging goes, the car will stop the charger after ~3hours and it won't turn back on until you have driven again.

    If you plug the car in and you don't see the orange light at all, check that the light on the CCID is on and that your GFCI outlet is running. And take note of the messages on the screen when you start the car up. The first outlet I tried to use kept shutting off the charger, it wasn't gfci, but it was the most convenient one. Found a GFCI on a dedicated circuit and no problems since.
     
  6. peakay

    peakay Junior Member

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    Thanks Adam. That makes sense and what I was hoping the situation was. Still confused about questions 1-3 above and the manual does not make it clear.
     
  7. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    If the timer is on, the green timer icon on the dash will flash. Also, when you plug in the charger, the orange charge light should illuminate. If the timer is on (or if the battery is fully charged), the orange light on the charge port will go out in about five seconds.

    If the orange light does not go on, the cable isn't plugged fully into the car or the wall.
     
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  8. peakay

    peakay Junior Member

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    OK, wife is home so I just tested it.

    The charge light stays on for 12 seconds at the port when on time (I used a stopwatch). I don't know if you have to set it every time, but I was able to just lean in and punch the button to start time timer or defeat it. Still seems more complicated than it needs to be (I shouldn't have to trial and error things in order to figure them out), but it seems I can just plug it in, wait 12 seconds, if the light doesn't go out then I need to go in the car and punch the button. No need to hit the car start button to do this.

    Thanks all.
     
  9. rogerv

    rogerv Senior Member

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    I have a routine toward the end of each day. I reach in through an open window and push the timer button, then plug in the charger. Because I leave at roughly the same time everyday, I use the 'finish' function only, but do plug in without pushing the button on occasion if I want to get an extra charge during the day.
     
  10. Rebound

    Rebound Senior Member

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    By the way, my car is the Basic model, not the Advanced. I don't know how the Advanced model works.

    You can turn on the timer at any time, whether the car is running or not. When you turn it on, the green Timer light on the dashboard will blink. The Timer function works the next time you charge, and then it shuts off. I push the Timer button when I'm driving home at night.

    When the Timer's working, the orange light will go out. If the Timer's turned off, the orange light stays on.
     
  11. kriggleman

    kriggleman Junior Member

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    Yes, you need to set it every time as the timer goes off automatically when the car successfully charges. You can set the next charge with one press of the button at any time and car doesn't have to be on. So, I sometimes even set timer when I come home and my wife drives it for short evening run and timer is then already set when she gets back and plugs in. As long as the green clock with plug is flashing (above the red lock light that is normally always flashing when car is off), then you know that it is set for delayed charge. Or as you say, as long as light goes off in 12 seconds you know you are set for delayed charge.
     
  12. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    So I don't think anyone answered these questions directly for you, so let me summarize:
    1) yes, you do. however, you can do this at any time before the charge happens, i.e. let's say charge completes at 9 am, you drive the car to work, then you take it for lunch, then you drive it home, and then you run some errands. finally, at 10 pm, you plug in. you can press the button anytime between 9 am and 10 pm and you only need to do this once.

    2) yes. you can press the button anytime. refer back to (1) above as well.

    3) 5-10 seconds. or, according to your calculations, 12 :)

    4) from other people's experiences here, it seems that the "finish" time is a suggestion – the car generally finishes with some time remaining (anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes before the set time).

    hope this helps!
     
  13. chesleyn

    chesleyn Active Member

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    I don't use the timer especially since we are in milder temps now. Just leave it always plugged in so I have electric ready when I need it.

    During August-September I used the timer. Stop time mostly.


    iPhone ?
     
  14. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    I know this is old thread, but I was searching for answer to my problem and the OP posted a very similar problem to mine.

    We use the start timer all the time, but from time to time it does not charge completely. Sometimes the GFCI circuit trips and that's understandable, but other times when it's all fine (and even the EVSE does not trip) it still does not charge full.

    When this happens we also do not see any dashboard message the next morning, definitely no "charging interrupted", or "charging completed". It's as if no charging has happened, but there was a bit of charge, and the amount varies, sometimes you get 1.x miles, sometimes 4.x miles, sometimes 7.x miles.

    Any idea or has anyone run into the same issue??
     
  15. lensovet

    lensovet Not your typical youngin :)/BP Brigade 207

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    If you're tripping GFCI sometimes,who knows. Get a proper dedicated outlet and I guarantee you your problems will go away.
     
  16. ILuvMyPriusToo

    ILuvMyPriusToo Active Member

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    Fascinating that the technologically most advanced Prius uses a problematic analog clock interface for charging! (n)
     
  17. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Sounds like the circuit being used isn't supplying enough electricity. Being underpowered will cause recharges to take a longer time.

    The GFCI tripping is a clue something is wrong (line or charger). That has never happened with mine, and it shares the same outlet as our big freezer.
     
  18. la-tin phv

    la-tin phv Junior Member

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    No its not the GFCI. It never trips or if it did then there must be a gremlin that resets it. Btw the GFCI case happened too once or twice a long time ago, and it never resets itself, naturally. I had to find out the hard way (in the morning) and resets the GFCI myself.

    Nor is it insufficient power. It's 15A, and no of course I didn't use extension cause that's just dangerous. If it was insufficient, how did it charge partially?

    Also, this is not a problem if I just plug in without charge timer.

    Btw it just happened again this week and of course the circuit didn't trip, the evse didn't trip (checked the evse indicator and tested it too), and the timer icon disappeared as usual, which means it did start at some point but died for unknown reason, and no message that it was incomplete or complete (meaning the computer must think of something).

    Btw, how do I disable the finish timer? I already chose the start time, so finish timer time shouldn't matter, but I'm thinking there is a bug somewhere that thinks finish time is probably used. I put 9pm as start time, and finish time as far as I can 9 am (12 hr) to avoid confusion or bug, but didn't help. Can I specify a time for end timer so it is explicitly disabled?

    Any other idea?

    BTW the GFCi tripping a long time ago was cause I forgot that a separate outlet (opposite end in the garage) shares a circuit and I plugged in a space heater there since we had to leave the dog in the garage during those days due to construction in the house. Only remembered that later that weekend when the space heater turned on (and car was charging) while I was in the garage and saw it tripped.

    Guess what!
    I happened to be in the garage just now and witnessed (heard) the charging stopped. Basically it happened to stop around 10-15 min after 9, and I was lucky to be able to hear it tonight.
    I think I heard a faint beep from inside the car then the electrical charge nose stopped.
    When I went to look inside it was probably too late cause there was no sign of anything in the dashboard but I'm pretty sure the car beeped.

    Any clue? Of course other factors above has been eliminated, GFCI didn't trip, evse didn't trip.
     
  19. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    Let me take a stab at it. It sounds like you are set on the finish timer. That's why you don't get a fully charged or interrupted charge message and why it is a variable number of charge. Say for example you have it set at the 9 pm finish timer (I know that is contrary to what you said). You actually start charging whenever you get home which is at different times of the day. The car will charge to 9pm and then shut off because you set it to stop charging at 9 pm. If you come home early enough, you get a full charge. If not, you get some other number.

    So two things, check your car isn't mixing up am and pm. Then check whether you're on the start time or the finish timer. You don't disable either, you choose one timer to be on.
     
    #19 mmmodem, Mar 24, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  20. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Works for me every time. I just did what it says in the manual. But you have to do what it says, not something else. The exception being, at least with my '13 Base model, I generally power off the car before enabling or setting the timer. I've attached the relevant pages. Don't confuse yourself thinking the start and stop timers can interfere with each other. You chose which one to use. And make sure you allow time for charging. If you set it to finish at 9 AM but don't plug it in till 8 AM, you'll only get one hour's worth of power.

    I set the start timer for 3:30 AM so it's ready before I go to work about 7:00 and I plug it in as soon as I pull into the garage. When I get to work, I switch to the finish timer, which is set to finish at 4:30 and I plug in as soon as I get to work.

    If you always charge at the same time, you're golden. Just have the timer set to start or finish at whatever time you chose. Park the car. Hit the timer button. Note the blinking green light on the display. Plug it in.

    As to the earlier comment about "Fascinating that the technologically most advanced Prius uses a problematic analog clock interface for charging!" -- It's not analog; it's digital. And it's not problematic at all. At least mine isn't And it's the most accurate clock on a car I've seen in over 40 years of driving.
     

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