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Wading depth
01-08-2015, 08:32 PM (This post was last modified: 01-08-2015 08:47 PM by Eep.)
Post: #1
Wading depth
Slightly caught out this evening on my regular run home. One of the roads was flooded and it would mean turning back and adding 5-10 miles to my journey taking another route. Unfortunately, it was the second day in a row that I'd left with ~20 miles showing as my range and the guess-o-meter on the dash showing just under half charge, but reality not matching up.

I feel certain most of you have undertaken journeys of 11 miles (which is my commute home) with 50% of the battery there to do it, but two days ago the charge just seemed to drop away en route and without provocation. By halfway home the range said just 9 miles and the needle was floating above the red. I had to drive like an agoraphobic nun to make it home with no miles showing at all by the time I parked gingerly on the driveway.

Thinking it was an anomaly, I set off this evening feeling confident I'd get home - I had more charge in reserve than the previous day, and it was about 1-2 degrees warmer. Off I went, but the same thing happened. I had 25 miles showing as the range then 10 miles by the halfway point. For the second day in a row I started to feel a heightened level of stress and find myself laughing nervously at the idea I'm suffering from range anxiety a year into ownership.

Now, to go back to where I'd started this thread, the unfortunate thing was that I'd encountered water with not much juice remaining. Being not that far from home, I decided that valour would be the better part of discretion and drove into to what in retrospect would have passed for a boating lake if not for the roadsigns. Halfway in, with the power delivery feeling down (not sure whether this was simply an effect of the drag, or something else) and with the road sloping gently into deeper stuff I backed out and had to drive the car on its remaining battery along an alternative route with my blood pressure registering the polar opposite of the SOC.

Two questions:

I note from another thread here that the wading depth of these vehicles is actually rather terrifyingly small. Is the car likely to have been damaged at all, given the water reached the bottom of the doors? It performed just fine, and other than feeling sluggish showed no ill effects, but I'm now concerned.

Has anyone else had their battery performance fall through the floor, with the range giving you the impression you can travel twice as far as you actually can, and the SOC metre chewing a one quarter charge in little more than ten miles?

EDIT:
This makes me feel better Cool



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01-08-2015, 10:40 PM
Post: #2
RE: Wading depth
If you have comp insurance you'll be covered. Give it a go and if you lose, at least you get a payout for a new i3 Wink
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01-09-2015, 12:09 AM
Post: #3
RE: Wading depth
(01-08-2015 08:32 PM)Eep Wrote:  ...wading depth of these vehicles is actually rather terrifyingly small. Is the car likely to have been damaged at all, given the water reached the bottom of the doors? It performed just fine, and other than feeling sluggish showed no ill effects, but I'm now concerned.
Didn't find a clear answer for the Fluence yet, but I'm pretty confident that everything that's below the lowest door gap is supposed to withstand a short dip. At least that's what I read in tech specs for development of EV components.

(01-08-2015 08:32 PM)Eep Wrote:  Has anyone else had their battery performance fall through the floor, with the range giving you the impression you can travel twice as far as you actually can, and the SOC metre chewing a one quarter charge in little more than ten miles?
Haven't had it with the Fluence yet, but with the Microcar Electric I owned before the Fluence. Although it was a different battery type, it behaved very similar to what you describe, and the reason was weak or failed battery cells. So my best guess here is that one or more cells are worn or damaged, that's the most likely reason for me for such strange behaviour.

(01-08-2015 08:32 PM)Eep Wrote:  EDIT:
This makes me feel better Cool
[LEAF-Test-video]
Really amazing Smile
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01-10-2015, 10:33 AM
Post: #4
RE: Wading depth
On your battery woes, I would say this is an ongoing issue with these packs after the initial fall in capacity, which Renault
refuse to comment on or they simply don't know because they don't have an answer. but it makes the service manager in
your local dealer look silly as he struggles inwardly between the politician and trying any silly statement in the hope you
don't pursue the matter.
When the temperature starts getting consistently down to around 5/10 deg C the BMS starts going into a slow cycle over days.
The way you will notice this in the morning after a charge is the kw's in the first octal of the SOC meter, at the worst of this
cycle it can be as little as 1kw in the first octal, when the cycle starts going up you will notice the first octal going up to as
much as 3kw.
My impression of this is that the BMS is constraining the operating window or shifting it up and down the voltage scale acting
on a multiplicity of parameters.
If all the cells are OK you will see at some point in the next couple of days to your amazement The first octal will start
revealing more kw's, this obviously continues down the SOC scale, but you would have to have a lot patience to pursue it.
At the worst of this cycle you will see as little as 17kw capacity.
Keeping a note of the kw's will also inform you of the performance of the pack without the confusion of climatic conditions
and other loadings.
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01-10-2015, 11:51 PM (This post was last modified: 01-10-2015 11:53 PM by donald.)
Post: #5
RE: Wading depth
(01-09-2015 12:09 AM)beaty68 Wrote:  ... I'm pretty confident that everything that's below the lowest door gap is supposed to withstand a short dip.
+1

This is the base-line, but it will be fit for a bit more than that. I think the main limit for the Fluence would be to ensure there is no entry directly into the front cowling as this is at or around the height of the electrical junctions in the engine bay. I'd want to keep the water out of that.

I did wade a ford many years ago in an old American car and went through a bit quick, resulting in a bow wave and the water coming right over the bonnet and up the windscreen! The car survived unscathed but benefited from a few minutes recovery the other side to let the spark plugs dry off. I would definitely want to avoid that, but I would imagine it is safe another 6" above the bottom door line, for a very brief moment so long as there were no leaks into the cabin.

In regards the battery, make sure you do a few 100% charges. If you have been doing partial charges this might explain some of it. Otherwise it might well be an early weak cell, as mentioned. hmmm.... sorry....
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12-05-2016, 08:20 AM
Post: #6
RE: Wading depth
We did a few flood wades last week. It stopped the usual suspects (BMWs) one of which blocked us for a while, but we sailed (sic) through. All the electrics are protected against heavy, driving rain which gets everywhere in the engine compartment and on the cable runs, so being dipped in the stuff should not be a problem, as long as it's not there for an hour or so while the fossil cars get dragged out of the way.

We have no air intake or exhaust pipe to flood, after all.
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12-07-2016, 11:59 AM
Post: #7
RE: Wading depth
I did experience the instrument cluster lighting up like a Xmas tree when going through an approx 4 inch under-bridge flood, but my careful traverse was spoilt by a car in the opposite direction creating a tidal wave - limited to one, the dousing caused a Brake Failure message warning, but all good once a restart and drying out.
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