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garygid
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Heater Coolant Hot when Charging - Teakettle Syndrome

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:04 am

"starry" drove home from dealer and with 5 bars showing, connected the Nissan L1 EVSE to begin charging about 7:30 PM. He got about a 15-hour estimate on Carwings. Since he was parked in his driveway, he put a cover over the precious new LEAF to keep the exhaust from passing seagulls from soiling the paint.

At about 7 this morning, Carwings says 2 bars remain and 5 hours remain. Slightly strange that it did not make more progress in the 12.5 hours it was charging, but it might have been almost up to the top bar. The SOC granularity makes it impossible to tell. He sees the "third" light blinking (normal), but hears strong bubbling, like a teakettle (not normal). The battery temp seems normal when looking at the left-hand dash gauge in 2nd ACC mode. Opening the hood, the coolant overflow seems full, the coolant is quite hot, and he can see the two fans, but neither fan is turning (would seem wrong).

It seems to him that the coolant might be (is probably) circulating. I had him stop the charging to let the car cool, since even driving it to a dealer might be unwise with it so hot. Too bad, he had an 80-mile trip planned for today.

Calling dealer's Service departments from 7:30 to 8:00 AM:

1. The delivery dealer (about 20 miles away) ... Sorry, our LEAF-trained tech. only works "banker's hours" (not there until later).

2. calling the closest dealer (about 9 miles away) ...

3. calling Connell Nissan (about 40 miles away) for more experienced engineers ...

I will get him to look for coolant overflow on the ground.

Note: While the car was L2 charging at the dealer, I did not notice any cooling fan noise.
Last edited by garygid on Mon May 02, 2011 11:49 am, edited 2 times in total.
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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:15 am

There must be a pump that circulates the coolant through the charger as well as a fan, not to mention relays and control stuff. Sounds like something in all that is broke.
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DaveinOlyWA
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:36 am

sometimes i kinda hear a "fan-like" sound but not usually. this is on 120. i have never heard bubbling, but to be honest with ya, after 3+ months, i dont fawn over it like a newborn any more. it simply does not seem to have issues.

this is definitely an issue i would investigate.
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garygid
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:40 am

I agree, the pump(s) or the fan(s) in the cooling system are likely, or the heat sensor or the colling system controls.

He agreed that he should not try to drive the LEAF in this "overheated" condition.

He will take his trip in his old car, and let the LEAF cool, trying to get it in for service this afternoon after he gets back.
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JohnnySebring
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:55 pm

Could the car cover block air flow and cause this overheating?

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garygid
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:52 pm

I believe a car cover might block the air flow, but apparently the fans were not running.
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:15 am

Assuming the charger is 90% then charging at 3300W produces 370W of waste heat.. probably enough to heat up the coolant to the bubbling stage overnight, if the fan is not running.

An external DC charger would keep all this heat outside the car, the disadvantage is that you would have to take the charger with you if you wanted to plug-in at work.

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garygid
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:23 am

He was doing L1 (120v) charging.
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cdub
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Fri Apr 29, 2011 6:24 am

Did you brew any tea?

Maybe a fuse to the radiator got busted? I'm sure it's an easy fix at the shoppe.
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garygid
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Re: Radiator Bubbling like Teakettle

Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:07 am

One LEAF-Trained tech says (rough translation):

Is the battery temp OK? (Yes)
The cooling system cools the battery.
It is normal to have bubbling during charging.
So, just continue driving it.

However, another dealer's Service guy says:

Don't drive it to us, have it transported in to us.
Yes, it sounds like something is wrong.

---
So, has ANYBODY had extended bubbling sounds and coolant flow into the overflow bottle (front, left of center), especially during extended-duration charging?
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
2010 Prius, now for sale
2011 LEAF, sold in 2015
2018 Tesla Model 3
2014 Tesla S, Model 3 in 2019
PU: SDG&E
Solar PV: 33 x 225W -> 7 kW max AC
To Sell: X-treme 5000Li EV motorcycle

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