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T6.1 Leisure batteries not charging on EHU

GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

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Hi GG. I think 'Quirky' might be a kind term. I've never yet had more than half of the blue bars lit and number of hours remaining oscillates between 60 and 8 quite regularly. I am now doing two things: firstly trying to stop fixating on the read out and relax. Secondly, focussing on the voltage which as other, more experienced folks have highlighted falls away when the van is first entered or the ignition first switched but generally returns to a more accurate reading after a period of time.
Good advice. I think there might be a direct relationship between fixating on the Cali and Covid lockdown. :)
 
Rololux

Rololux

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I think it is worth taking a step back, and consider what we are dealing with here. For sure there are better experts on the California electrical system on here (@Loz springs to mind!), but I do have a degree in electrical engineering, albeit from 40 years ago, and batteries have not fundamentally changed since then. So I kinda know what I am talking about. I'll take a stab at it!

There only two parameters available to the control system - instantaneous battery voltage and instantaneous current being drawn from or to the batteries. These parameters are displayed in psuedo real time on the control panel, so should be treated with the respect that they deserve.

Everything else is a calculation. The two parameters will be sampled and stored in a ring buffer, and used to provide an indication of how much charge there is in the batteries, and what the expected time remaining is. How often they are sampled and stored is unknown (to me) - could be every second, minute or hour, or whatever, and the accuracy of any calculations will be affected by this. How long they are stored for is also unknown, but is less important than how much data is used for the calculation. It will be known what the expected battery voltage is at full charge (this voltage goes down as the charge decreases), but it must be bourne in mind that the voltage is only useful if the battery is on no load - so if you have anything at all on (even the lights) this will be inaccurate. So it is likely that the calculation will also use the stored data on current drain to work out how much charge has flown into and out of the battery since the last known 'good point'.

Knowing how well charged your batteries are is most useful when you are camping. Now this is pure speculation, but it would make sense for the calculation to use data from say the past two days, and also from the past hour or so, plus the current current drain, weighted for each set of data to come up with a best guess of the time remaining. This is an algorithm written by some very smart VW software engineers, who probably spend more time in front of a computer than out camping, but heh-ho. In any case, if you are not camping, and hence not really using the batteries for a few days, or weeks (as most of us sadly are at present), there will not be much data to use for the calculation. So it is likely that the battery capacity and remaining time will be somewhat inaccurate. Then you get in the van, turn on some lights, maybe set the heater on, and suddenly there is a very small amount of data to be used for the calculations. But not enough to give accurate information. You are sitting there trying to figure stuff out, and all the while there is better data becoming available. So there are rapid and significant changes to the output data. This would settle down after a while to give a best estimate of the real information.

So what I am saying is that you should not expect the data to be correct at all times. The only things you should be able to rely on are the battery voltage when nothing at all is turned on, and the current going to or from the battery.

I am told that VW are aware of some issues in this regard, and am also told that there will be a software update at some point that will hopefully improve the situation. We live in hope!

Now I think I'll go and sit in a dark room and chill!
 
Last edited:
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

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I think it is worth taking a step back, and consider what we are dealing with here. For sure there are better experts on the California electrical system on here (@Loz springs to mind!), but I do have a degree in electrical engineering, albeit from 40 years ago, and batteries have not fundamentally changed since then. So I kinda know what I am talking about. I'll take a stab at it!

There only two parameters available to the control system - instantaneous battery voltage and instantaneous current being drawn from or to the batteries. These parameters are displayed in psuedo real time on the control panel, so should be treated with the respect that they deserve.

Everything else is a calculation. The two parameters will be sampled and stored in a ring buffer, and used to provide an indication of how much charge there is in the batteries, and what the expected time remaining is. How often they are sampled and stored is unknown (to me) - could be every second, minute or hour, or whatever, and the accuracy of any calculations will be affected by this. How long they are stored for is also unknown, but is less important than how much data is used for the calculation. It will be known what the expected battery voltage is at full charge (this voltage goes down as the charge decreases), but it must be bourne in mind that the voltage is only useful if the battery is on no load - so if you have anything at all on (even the lights) this will be inaccurate. So it is likely that the calculation will also use the stored data on current drain to work out how much charge has flown into and out of the battery since the last known 'good point'.

Knowing how well charged your batteries are is most useful when you are camping. Now this is pure speculation, but it would make sense for the calculation to use data from say the past two days, and also from the past hour or so, plus the current current drain, weighted for each set of data to come up with a best guess of the time remaining. This is an algorithm written by some very smart VW software engineers, who probably spend more time in front of a computer than out camping, but heh-ho. In any case, if you are not camping, and hence not really using the batteries for a few days, or weeks (as most of us sadly are at present), there will not be much data to use for the calculation. So it is likely that the battery capacity and remaining time will be somewhat inaccurate. Then you get in the van, turn on some lights, maybe set the heater on, and suddenly there is a very small amount of data to be used for the calculations. But not enough to give accurate information. You are sitting there trying to figure stuff out, and all the while there is better data becoming available. So there are rapid and significant changes to the output data. This would settle down after a while to give a best estimate of the real information.

So what I am saying is that you should not expect the data to be correct at all times. The only things you should be able to rely on are the battery voltage when nothing at all is turned on, and the current going to of from the battery.

I am told that VW are aware of some issues in this regard, and am also told that there will be a software update at some point that will hopefully improve the situation. We live in hope!

Now I think I'll go and sit in a dark room and chill!
Very informative, thanks.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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The T6.1 Control Panel is no different to the T5 & T6 Control Panels in that the only real time measurements are Voltage and current in amps. The voltage is only accurate when measured off load.
The % Readout, the equivalent of of the bars graphic is a calculation based on the voltage and current. It is reset everytime the Panel is switched On or Ignition On. This calculation is dependant on accurate information but the information is so variable it makes it almost meaningless.
Eg: engine off V high dropping to resting V after 30 mins, Heater On, high current draw dropping to steady draw once heater upto temperature. I doubt if the algorithm knows where the readings are in the startup cycle hence the variability of the calculation.
You would need more sensors and computing power to get an accurate reading.
 
Rololux

Rololux

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So, latest installment on my own charging story. Van was showing 8 bars. Put on EHU overnight. This morning, still showing 8 bars. Drove the van for about 30 mins this morning, with fast charge selected. Still 8 bars when I got home. Had a bit of lunch. Got back in the van to drive to the golf club. Checked panel - now showing 9 bars. Drove to golf club - a full 3 minutes. Spent an hour on the range. Got back in van to drive home. Now showing 10 bars!

So still not really sure what is going on, but it clearly the control panel takes some time to catch up. I still don’t really know if EHU is actually charging the batteries, or if it only charges while driving..
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

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So, latest installment on my own charging story. Van was showing 8 bars. Put on EHU overnight. This morning, still showing 8 bars. Drove the van for about 30 mins this morning, with fast charge selected. Still 8 bars when I got home. Had a bit of lunch. Got back in the van to drive to the golf club. Checked panel - now showing 9 bars. Drove to golf club - a full 3 minutes. Spent an hour on the range. Got back in van to drive home. Now showing 10 bars!

So still not really sure what is going on, but it clearly the control panel takes some time to catch up. I still don’t really know if EHU is actually charging the batteries, or if it only charges while driving..
Ignore how many “ Bars” are showing.
What is the Voltage At Rest, plugged into EHU and when driving"?

The voltage should increase from the At Rest voltage when charging from EHU and when the Engine is charging.
 
Rololux

Rololux

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Ignore how many “ Bars” are showing.
What is the Voltage At Rest, plugged into EHU and when driving"?

The voltage should increase from the At Rest voltage when charging from EHU and when the Engine is charging.
I think it’s currently showing 12.9v when at rest - goes up to about 14.1v when on hook up or driving. Strange thing is though, that when I first plug it in, it shows maybe 5A or 6A charging, which then drops to 0A after a few minutes. Same thing happened when I set it to max charge earlier, when I took it out. This would imply it is, in fact, fully charged.
 
WelshGas

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I think it’s currently showing 12.9v when at rest - goes up to about 14.1v when on hook up or driving. Strange thing is though, that when I first plug it in, it shows maybe 5A or 6A charging, which then drops to 0A after a few minutes. Same thing happened when I set it to max charge earlier, when I took it out. This would imply it is, in fact, fully charged.
That sounds all completely normal. The Mains Charger will adjust to the state of the batteries but will start off high and rapidly drop the charging rate once it has determined the charge state of the batteries as will the engine alternator.
The “Bars” and calculated time are just that, a calculation, which will vary in accuracy depending on when the data for the calculations is collected.
12.9V at rest is fully charged.
 
R

Rabnelo

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Firstly.. sorry for the late reply @Rololux, Welshgas, Loz, Grumpygrandad etc, I have been "off grid" a bit with a work project and VW also could not look at my charging issue until last week.

Short Story:-
I picked up my Cali in October. Obviously not been able to use it as much as I would have liked due to COVID :(. I make a point of leaving the handbrake off (but in Park), driving it at least once a week etc and leaving the EHU connected most of the time. All those good things we do over winter!

I can never recall since I picked the Cali up, ever seeing all 10 blue bars on the battery display to be honest.

One day in the middle of January my console display showed "Battery Empty. Charge Now!"
No amount of EHU connection or long drives changed this warning which is accompanied with a loud beep and a shutdown of cabin power supplies!

So it looked like my leisure battery(s) had discharged completely.
I booked the Cali into VW for diagnostics and fix under warranty. They concluded that the 75A box fuse on the rear leisure battery had blown. This was replaced and after a EHU charge at VW, "viola" all 10 blue bars displayed :)
The cause of the blown fuse unfortunately is not known and is the bit that worries me of course.
Most plausible causes:
1) Fuse blown at battery fitment (e.g. spanner or terminal touching the chassis)
2) Rear battery feed cable has shorted to the chassis blowing the fuse. (VW reception guy said they would have tested for this)
3) Excessive current pulled on circuit somehow (unlikely)
4) Battery developed internal fault (unlikely)

My theory is that this fuse was blown during battery fitting at VW and the rear leisure battery since has slowly discharged itself to near exhaustion. (The timing feels right for this)
I really hope its not 2 or 3 (or even 4).... time will tell.

I will post a Longer more detailed story later:)
 
R

Rabnelo

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Many thanks for your post re auxiliary batteries. I had the same problems with my van. I gave the Info to my VW garage and they repaired the fault. The system now works better than before. I have met several folk with the same problems so hopefully they can read this information themselves. I know one couple who went to their VW dealer in Zurich and the garage eventually told them to go to an auto electrician! Clearly the details of this problem are not widely known in Europe.
 
Ladymuck

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I know there are various threads on similar topics, but I have not found any mention of this for a 6.1. My leisure batteries are not charging when on EHU, although they do charge when driving. The original symptom was that the parking heater would not start, even though the control panel indicated that there was >63hrs charge remaining. However, had red triangle indicator on the battery indicator, and only 1 or 2 bars shown, so batteries did appear to be low. Connected EHU, and heater functioned as normal. Initially, 9A charging was shown, but this quickly began to go down, and reached 0A in a couple of minutes. I then unplugged the EHU, and the charge remaining then started falling very fast, eventually settling down at 1hr20 mins! Reconnecting EHU after 30 mins or so and it showed 2A charging, again reducing to 0A in a few seconds.

Went for a short drive - just 10km or so, and when I returned charge remaining had risen to about 30 hrs, and 4 bars on battery indicator, so batteries are charging when driving.

I cannot be sure that charging on EHU has ever worked, as I've only had the van a few months, and hardly used it, due to the restrictions. I've never checked the charging rate, just noticed that the EHU charging light is always on when EHU connected. I have not actually driven it for about three weeks, so this may explain why batteries have drained a bit, but nothing has been connected and nothing turned on, so this would indicate that the batteries were pretty low to start with.

I'll be taking it in to the dealer when possible, but in the meantime, has anyone experienced anything similar, or can anyone suggest what is going on? The strange thing to me is that it did initially shown charge was getting to the batteries, so it's not as simple as a plug somewhere is disconnected.

Thanks in advance.
Glad I've seen this post, I have a T6.1 Coast MY1021 and I'm having the same problem as described by @Ray Jordan. That's seems to have been a blown fuse ?
For @Rololux the batteries would charge whilst driving so slightly different and could be fixed with a software update?

Would appreciate any updates on how the issue was resolved or hear off anyone else with similar issues.
Thanks
 
Rololux

Rololux

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Glad I've seen this post, I have a T6.1 Coast MY1021 and I'm having the same problem as described by @Ray Jordan. That's seems to have been a blown fuse ?
For @Rololux the batteries would charge whilst driving so slightly different and could be fixed with a software update?

Would appreciate any updates on how the issue was resolved or hear off anyone else with similar issues.
Thanks
Well, in my case I took it to the dealer, who checked it out and found no fault. It is now working correctly - the thing to remember is that the only things that are measured are the leisure battery voltage and the current drawn from / fed to the batteries. Both the hours remaining and the battery capacity indicator are calculations, based on recent data, so if there is insufficient data, these readings may be incorrect.

In your case, the batteries seems to be working properly, but you have strange readings from the control panel. The software does seem to be flaky - many people have reported issues with the control panel. On my van, sometimes the fridge switches off after several hours, for no apparent reason, even on EHU, but can always be turned on straight away. I also get the 'please wait' message randomly appearing, which effectively means no control panel functions are available. This can be solved by turning on the ignition, but it is worrying, especially when you are on site with the roof up! The van is due for it's first service in a couple of months, and I will report these issues then, but for now I can live with it. Hopefully there is a software update that will fix the issues - I am an optimist!

The only thing you could try is to reset the control panel. I have not tried this, but many people have resolved software issues by doing this. There seem to be three methods that people have found to do this - remove and replace the 5A fuse under the left hand seat, or do the same with 'fuses 5 to 8' in the fuse panel under the dash, or thirdly disconnect and reconnect the engine battery. Search the forum for more details on this.
 
Ladymuck

Ladymuck

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Well, in my case I took it to the dealer, who checked it out and found no fault. It is now working correctly - the thing to remember is that the only things that are measured are the leisure battery voltage and the current drawn from / fed to the batteries. Both the hours remaining and the battery capacity indicator are calculations, based on recent data, so if there is insufficient data, these readings may be incorrect.

In your case, the batteries seems to be working properly, but you have strange readings from the control panel. The software does seem to be flaky - many people have reported issues with the control panel. On my van, sometimes the fridge switches off after several hours, for no apparent reason, even on EHU, but can always be turned on straight away. I also get the 'please wait' message randomly appearing, which effectively means no control panel functions are available. This can be solved by turning on the ignition, but it is worrying, especially when you are on site with the roof up! The van is due for it's first service in a couple of months, and I will report these issues then, but for now I can live with it. Hopefully there is a software update that will fix the issues - I am an optimist!

The only thing you could try is to reset the control panel. I have not tried this, but many people have resolved software issues by doing this. There seem to be three methods that people have found to do this - remove and replace the 5A fuse under the left hand seat, or do the same with 'fuses 5 to 8' in the fuse panel under the dash, or thirdly disconnect and reconnect the engine battery. Search the forum for more details on this.
Thank you Rololux, really helpful !
I will reset the control panel later doing the engine battery option, well I'll ask my husband to :)
I hope it works, I'm off to a festival next weekend.. the 're-charge battery now!' has appeared and the fridge is now switched off if we are not driving.. and I think I read all the electric camping functions will also shut down. I'll report back later.
 
Ladymuck

Ladymuck

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I've reset the control panel firstly by disconnecting and connecting the main battery and then via the 5a fuse under the passenger seat, but it hasn't worked :(
Getting really fed up now, 60k van with no lights, water, charge, fridge & heater just when I go for my first ever festival in her, may as well be in a bloody tent
 
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Ladymuck

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And now when I start the engine about 4 error messages are coming up! Seems it's done some sort of factory reset. The control panel is coming up with options I don't have, rear air conditioning for example. What a mess !
 
GrumpyGranddad

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And now when I start the engine about 4 error messages are coming up! Seems it's done some sort of factory reset. The control panel is coming up with options I don't have, rear air conditioning for example. What a mess !
Others know more than me on this @Ladymuck but I understand the error messages will clear after you’ve driven a few miles?
 
GP

GP

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There are a lot of comments above too many to read but we had the same problem with our new van. Batteries would not charge when connected up and no yellow light coming on on the control panel. It eventually turned out after VW Assist pulled our van to bits that the circuit breaker was faulty -told this was a very rare event. Got new circuit breaker installed and all sorted! Please ignore this if someone has said this already above!
 
Ladymuck

Ladymuck

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There are a lot of comments above too many to read but we had the same problem with our new van. Batteries would not charge when connected up and no yellow light coming on on the control panel. It eventually turned out after VW Assist pulled our van to bits that the circuit breaker was faulty -told this was a very rare event. Got new circuit breaker installed and all sorted! Please ignore this if someone has said this already above!
Thanks GP, the charging light is coming up on my control panel so not sure if it's the same issue? I was wondering whether to call VW assist, will they come out to your home address ?
 
Stu@rt

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Thanks GP, the charging light is coming up on my control panel so not sure if it's the same issue? I was wondering whether to call VW assist, will they come out to your home address ?
@Ladymuck I would call them, worse case scenario is that they refuse to come.
Make yourself a nuisance with them - Tell them not to send the regular AA man - that you need a specialist. The squeakiest wheel gets the most oil eh?

With regards to the Rear AC option on your panel - We have that on our Coast (And we don't have the expensive £900 3 zone upgrade either) AC comes out the vent by the bench seat and have the option on the panel to have it on/off and adjust the temp difference +/- the vs the front vents. Is it possible that you just hadn't noticed the option before?
 
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GP

GP

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They certainly came out for me. AS Stuart says above you need to insist that they send VW Assist rather than the AA who I am sure will not be able to help you - I did that and got VW assist. Even if they cannot resolve the problem they can raise a ticket which they then send on to the VW garage of your choice which hopefully will speed up the resolution. All the best!
 

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