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T6.1 Leisure batteries not charging on EHU

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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!
 
Ladymuck

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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!
Thanks GP, I've just called VW assist and they are sending out a VW specialist tomorrow morning (not AA)
Not going to get my hopes up too much though !
 
Rololux

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Just done a quick drive round the block and they've cleared :Nailbiting
What about the other messages on the control panel - about the state of the batteries? Do the other camping functions work again - lights, fridge etc.?
 
Ladymuck

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What about the other messages on the control panel - about the state of the batteries? Do the other camping functions work again - lights, fridge etc.?
No the camping functions won't work as the control panel is just flashing to charge the battery, it won't let me turn anything on unless the engine is running.
VW came this morning, the second leisure battery is low (11.8v) and is not charging. He also mentioned the software update needed but he couldn't do it. He couldn't be certain of the issues though as he says they aren't trained on the camping aspect of Californias. He didn't even know where the second leisure battery was until I asked him to check it ! It needs to go to the van centre to be fixed.

Turns out the van is a snitch, it told him I'd removed and replaced the 5 amp fuse !!!
 
Stu@rt

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No the camping functions won't work as the control panel is just flashing to charge the battery, it won't let me turn anything on unless the engine is running.
VW came this morning, the second leisure battery is low (11.8v) and is not charging. He also mentioned the software update needed but he couldn't do it. He couldn't be certain of the issues though as he says they aren't trained on the camping aspect of Californias. He didn't even know where the second leisure battery was until I asked him to check it ! It needs to go to the van centre to be fixed.

Turns out the van is a snitch, it told him I'd removed and replaced the 5 amp fuse !!!
How frustrating. Poor show from them, if this is just a blown cube fuse and he could have swapped it for you there an then. The software update might have waited until a more convenient time for you.
 
Ladymuck

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I can't say I'm surprised with the lack of a result
 
GrumpyGranddad

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No the camping functions won't work as the control panel is just flashing to charge the battery, it won't let me turn anything on unless the engine is running.
VW came this morning, the second leisure battery is low (11.8v) and is not charging. He also mentioned the software update needed but he couldn't do it. He couldn't be certain of the issues though as he says they aren't trained on the camping aspect of Californias. He didn't even know where the second leisure battery was until I asked him to check it ! It needs to go to the van centre to be fixed.

Turns out the van is a snitch, it told him I'd removed and replaced the 5 amp fuse !!!
Surely VW is making enough profit from UK California sales to justify a thorough training programme for their dealership based mechanics and their mobile VW Assist guys?! It’s really poor, maybe we should all write to VW on this subject.

Regarding the van being a snitch. Years ago I had a Tracker fitted to a Mercedes and during the installation the guy removed the rear seat base. When the car next went in for a service, they asked me why i’d removed the seat!
 
Ladymuck

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So on a positive note I've worked out the ucb ports in the kitchen, the gas hob igniter and the interior lights work :) The VW assist guy says this is because they are powered from the 12v battery under the passenger seat which is fully charged. It's the 230v battery at the back (which is flat) that charges the fridge and probably the water pump, so they won't work. Also not sure if I could get the heater to work with the control panel shut down but I doubt I'll need it this weekend.
 
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GrumpyGranddad

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So on a positive note I've worked out the ucb ports in the kitchen, the gas hob igniter and the interior lights work :) The VW assist guy says this is because they are powered from the 12v battery under the passenger seat which is fully charged. It's the 230v battery at the back (which is flat) that charges the fridge and probably the water pump, so they won't work. Also not sure if I could get the heater to work with the control panel shut down but I doubt I'll need it this weekend.
Hi @Ladymuck
OK so firstly both leisure batteries are 12v.
My understanding is that they are wired in parallel so anything connected to them in the habitation area should operate even if one battery is failing i.e. the fridge and water pump. It would just mean you drained the ‘good’ battery quicker. Somebody might correct me on this though?

The only 230v you have in the van is:-
1. When you are hooked up to the mains electricity supply via the external connector. You have one 230v socket at the end of the kitchen unit.
2. You have 230v from the built in inverter with a maximum of 300w (on a T6.1).

Re the Aux Heater. You’re right, without the Camping Control Panel working you won’t be able to activate it unless the Remote Control works?
 

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