Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

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Technician
TwoWaves
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Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Technician » Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:25 pm

I'm having a continued headache with a Ford Fiesta 1.4 petrol incorporating a Smart Charging System, with a single wire LIN connection. The car has had two new batteries fitted in the last two years none of which were the cause of the problem. The terminal voltage at the battery has never really been seen over and above a maximum of 13.7 V. Currently today the voltage is at 13.2 V.

The car was taken to Barrow some 200 miles from me and after a month or so I'm told the battery discharged. The lady and her friend tried to jump start the engine off another car using jump leads but connected the jump leads the wrong way round. I'm told the lady connecting the jump leads received burns as she connected the leads incorrectly and left them connected. The evidence from the melted plastics around the engine bay told the story.

When I was advised of the battery becoming discharged I was also advised that the cylinder head gasket had failed. The car has only covered 15 K miles from new so I was a little skeptical about the head gasket at that time. The garage that recovered the car advised that the head cylinder gasket had failed. When I arrived at Barrow taking a new battery with me (second battery) the mechanic from the garage then told me about the problems regarding the incorrectly connected jump leads. After fitting the battery the engine would not crank over and some of the instrument display warning lamps did not illuminate as required. At this time I suspected the worst and thought how much damage has connecting the jump leads the incorrect way now done to this engine management and vehicle electrical systems?

I recovered the car back to our workshops and using the manufacturers checking procedures for the listed fault codes present at that time, which consisted of network codes, ABS codes, instrument display codes etc, I have a list recorded, all the codes listed pointed to one single power supply missing from the engine PCM, yes one fuse, a 7.5 A. After renewing that fuse and clearing down the fault codes none came back, the fuel pump was heard to prime in the tank and the engine started immediately. I was amazed to be honest, a list of codes the length of a tree and all repaired by changing one fuse. I must take my hat off to the designers at Ford who designed this electrical system, to be able to protect so many systems from serious short circuits like this and not damage any control units on the car at all, that must be considered an excellent design of vehicle electrics/electronics.

Having looked at the cooling system prior to this I observed a serious amount of engine oil in the cooling system header tank. I was not convinced that the cylinder head gasket was the cause of this at the time because the car has also two coolers fitted, one for the automatic transmission and a engine oil cooler. I decided to have them tested first and neither of them came back as the fault, so an engine block test clearly showed that engine oil was entering the cooling system, but the giveaway was the cooling system pressure building up once the engine started warming up. As the engine cylinder head material moved when heating up the engine oil supply was forced and drawn into the coolant jackets and through the cylinders.

Technically the car was probably not worth repairing but I was told to repair it. Having rebuilt the engine and cooling system, exchanging the radiator and heater matrix, using chemical cleaners inside the cooling system, the engine now runs OK again however, checks today show that the charging system voltage is still low at 13.2 V, and at the moment it seems the engine cooling fan only works when the A/C is switched on, so I'm thinking the coolant fan is malfunctioning and maybe in city driving the engine has overheated.

So I'd like some guidance please, maybe a good checking routine to find out why the coolant fan does not activate when the engine temperature rises to the limit for fan operation, and why the Smart Charging System operation is not operating correctly!

Remember gents, no fault codes on the electrical systems anywhere. The alternator is not the cause, we have bench tested this unit and can gain up to 15 v from it.

Thanks for reading.

Technician
TwoWaves
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Technician » Sun Jun 23, 2019 10:52 pm

Just an update on this. The engine cooling fan operation is now resolved and the only problem I have now is the same problem the car had in this thread; https://topic19391.html?smart+charging#p88081

In the thread above I was communicating with Danny at the time and the last posts were saying that if I passed the chassis number to Danny that he would check some data for me and advise, however, reading through the thread Danny never came back with any information.

We talked about a battery management system fitted to the negative side of the battery on this car and I did advise that one was not fitted, however I'm now wondering if a BMS is fitted integral in the alternator?

I have soul searched through Ford eTIS information for this and can't see any data to advise me otherwise.

I did a pico test on the charging system and recorded some LIN data in April this year but that is at work on another computer. Saturday I did a scope check of the charging system and have that file to hand. If somebody more experienced with the pico could look at decoding the information and advise please I'd be very much in appreciation of this. The file I have on the other computer at work from memory I seem to remember that the data packets were all failing showing x in each section instead of ticks. This is a new area of understanding and I'm not the best to say whether the data is accurate or not. Thanks for reading.

I'd like to add that this weekend I have driven the car around 40 miles and I can say that the battery voltage charging at the garage was 13.2 V, the battery was fully charged at 12.6 V. Today using the cars instrumentation display the battery voltage is 11.4 V without the engine running and when running the charging voltage is 12.1 V. I have not used any electrics on the car during the drive except what the engine uses to run it. As I previously pointed out there is no fault codes to indicate a charging problem on this car so I'm at a loss why the battery discharges.
Attachments
Ford_Fiesta_2012_Petrol_Smart Charging System Test_ Incorrect battery type.psdata
(14.95 MiB) Downloaded 16 times

Iver
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Iver » Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:15 pm

no fault codes on the electrical systems anywhere. The alternator is not the cause, we have bench tested this unit and can gain up to 15 v from it.
What Scanner are you using, they are not equal as you know. Bench testing the alternator is great but not ideal as the Purists will argue and with good reason. Are you able to drive alternator output up & down with a scan tool ?
Smart charge pico.jpg
A couple of points that may need a better look in that capture ( would be nice to see channel Labels). I guess blue is battery voltage, red is current measured somewhere ? and green being the LIN.

The current flow there is a constant 120 Amps which is probably not too far from cranking amps on a little petrol engine. That would be alarm bells for me on a vehicle that drives well for 200 miles and the battery goes flat a month later. Of course the cabling between the battery and alternator can survive that current but I would imagine it to be "warm" to say the least. That aside What is Pulling 120 Amps on that car ?

The Linbus signal is not quite being pulled down to a clean 0v earth but in the absence of any fault codes you could set that aside for now, the signal can be decoded as you can see in the picture so you should be able tor promote and monitor change quite easily using a scan tool actuation or simply adding and removing heavy loads.

I it has BMS then there should be a PID that can be monitored.

I'd like to add that this weekend I have driven the car around 40 miles and I can say that the battery voltage charging at the garage was 13.2 V, the battery was fully charged at 12.6 V. Today using the cars instrumentation display the battery voltage is 11.4 V without the engine running and when running the charging voltage is 12.1 V.
Your post would have been far more informative if you added current consumption or charge current to the voltages above.

I read this as you are using one measuring device to measure voltage then another (instrument display) Would be good to remain consistent with your measurement tools and when the Display is showing 11.4v what is Pico reading ? An inconsistency there could be your best clue to the root cause of this.

For a battery to drop from 12.6v to 11.4v may warrant an overnight drain test.

Dont put too much emphasis on the charging voltages unlike conventional systems where we like them at 14v or so. With the Smart Charge the controller will calculate what is needed and when and then in turn make it happen.

What is the Charge Current and Voltage with the LIN wire removed ?

Technician
TwoWaves
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Technician » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:53 pm

Iver wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 12:15 pm
no fault codes on the electrical systems anywhere. The alternator is not the cause, we have bench tested this unit and can gain up to 15 v from it.
What Scanner are you using, they are not equal as you know. Bench testing the alternator is great but not ideal as the Purists will argue and with good reason. Are you able to drive alternator output up & down with a scan tool ?

VERDICT 7 No it seems the software 18.4 is a load of rubbish.

Smart charge pico.jpg
A couple of points that may need a better look in that capture ( would be nice to see channel Labels). I guess blue is battery voltage, red is current measured somewhere ? and green being the LIN.

Yes you are correct Current measured by way of an amps clamp directly at the rear of the alternator, all vehicle electrics switched on and engine at fast idle.

The current flow there is a constant 120 Amps which is probably not too far from cranking amps on a little petrol engine. That would be alarm bells for me on a vehicle that drives well for 200 miles and the battery goes flat a month later. Of course the cabling between the battery and alternator can survive that current but I would imagine it to be "warm" to say the least. That aside What is Pulling 120 Amps on that car ?

I suppose that is the problem with scopes, its not possible to see what pulls the amps unless like you say the operator uses channel labels, sorry that'll be my fault

The Linbus signal is not quite being pulled down to a clean 0v earth but in the absence of any fault codes you could set that aside for now, the signal can be decoded as you can see in the picture so you should be able tor promote and monitor change quite easily using a scan tool actuation or simply adding and removing heavy loads.

Looks like I'll have to set it up so that I can add/remove loads manually as the scanner software is useless

I it has BMS then there should be a PID that can be monitored.

I've looked through the software and I can't find any pid for the BMS

I'd like to add that this weekend I have driven the car around 40 miles and I can say that the battery voltage charging at the garage was 13.2 V, the battery was fully charged at 12.6 V. Today using the cars instrumentation display the battery voltage is 11.4 V without the engine running and when running the charging voltage is 12.1 V.
Your post would have been far more informative if you added current consumption or charge current to the voltages above.

When I measured the 13.2 volts the engine was running at fast idle and the current consumption above was with all electrics operating, this was done at the garage. I knew there was a problem and I did not do anymore testing at the garage. Sunday I was at home when I went out to the car and read the 11.4 V from the instrument display, which when I started the car increased to 12.1 V.

I read this as you are using one measuring device to measure voltage then another (instrument display) Would be good to remain consistent with your measurement tools and when the Display is showing 11.4v what is Pico reading ? An inconsistency there could be your best clue to the root cause of this.

I'll look at the differences tomorrow between the instrument display and the Pico reading and post back

For a battery to drop from 12.6v to 11.4v may warrant an overnight drain test.

I'll arrange to do an overnight drain test and report back

Dont put too much emphasis on the charging voltages unlike conventional systems where we like them at 14v or so. With the Smart Charge the controller will calculate what is needed and when and then in turn make it happen.

What is the Charge Current and Voltage with the LIN wire removed ?

I did remove the LIN connection Saturday and started the engine, a voltage reading of 13.9 V was shown
Danny on here quite some time back mentioned about the ignition system interfering with the PCM, something about electrical interference I think. I'd be interested in knowing how I'd test for that to rule out the ignition causing any problems.

I have read today from a Ford technician who explained how to test the three wire smart charging systems. I'll assume that the single wire LIN is the same system just transferring all data on one wire instead of three!

The ford technician went on to talk about the smart charging system requiring inputs from the air intake temperature sensor and coolant temperature. The Fiesta does not have an air temperature sensor as far as I can tell, but uses a MAP sensor. The coolant temperature gauge is a bar graph display and given that I have very little experience with the car the first observations of this bar graph display was Saturday during the first engine warm up phase. Waiting for the engine to warm up and monitoring the temperature via both the coolant hoses using an thermal imaging device and reading the bar graph display, the temperature increased and did not overheat, the cooling fan eventually did cut in. The bar graph display showed 4 bars and never shows more.

Saturday evening was the first time I thought I noticed a problem with the operation of the coolant bar graph display. The car had been stood a couple of hours and when I went out to the car and switched on the ignition, the coolant bar graph display immediately moved up to show 4 bars. I thought that was strange. Sunday was the second time I thought I'd noticed a problem with the coolant bar graph display. Initially having been stood overnight the coolant bar graph display read nothing on the bar graphs as would be expected, so then I started the engine and started to drive the car, and within the inside of two minutes driving the coolant bar graph display was showing 4 bars, indicating the engine was at normal operating temperature. Clearly this cannot be correct, and the engine does not boil or over heat.

Today I thought reading your reply above, I'll put the Pico on the engine and do some tests as above, but before I do those I wanted to test the cooling system temperature circuit. having connected to the temperature sensor and gaining a voltage reading of 4 v, I set the scope running and just let the data build. Watching the scope trace there were glitches that exceeded the 5 V threshold and caused over range on the scope, the trace being very noisy, however continued observations showed that as the temperature was rising the voltage was reducing, clearly seen on the trace, and then about mid point in the scope trace the trace stopped recording, I immediately remembered about the software glitch and somebody on here saying that if you wait the scope will keep recording the data and start running again, so I did, however the scope started live data again at the very end of the scope screen and when I tried to press stop on the scope to go and save the data, the scope locked up, I could not click and depress the stop button the scope froze, and when it restarted I lost the data and the engine was too warm to repeat the test, so at that point I was gutted.

The scope data today reading the charging voltage was showing 13.5 V. If the car had a silver calcium battery fitted, which produces about 0.8 v more than a lead acid, then I'd of been looking at about 14.3 V tonight. I am going to update the pico software and do the tests again. I'm curious as to whether the coolant temperature circuit operation being noisy would interfere with the smart charging system and cause my current problems, this being something I've not looked at previously.

Thank you for your time and effort, I will do more tests and upload them as so as I can.

ronw38
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by ronw38 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 11:53 pm

Hi Google " Ford Focus smart charge testing" there are a number of sites that should clarify the situation. Cheers Ron

Iver
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Iver » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:09 pm

Technician

Must say that there is a lot of unnecessary copy & paste in your post. what ever makes you happy but it does make it tedious and difficult to read. Some may not bother. Less is more sometimes !

Back to the Fiesta and some facts.

What on that little car is pulling 120 Amps Constantly ?

What is the current with all the consumers shut down.

If you move the Amp Clamp, (better still if you have a second clamp) from behind the alternator to the Earth Lead on the battery what do you get there ??

And dont lose sight of the fact that it goes 200 miles and is ok for a month - Driver Error or just parked up for a long time.

Thats why VM's have Transport / Showroom Mode.

You might be chasing your take looking for something that does not exist.

Technician
TwoWaves
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Technician » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:13 pm

Iver wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:09 pm
Technician

Must say that there is a lot of unnecessary copy & paste in your post. what ever makes you happy but it does make it tedious and difficult to read. Some may not bother. Less is more sometimes !

Back to the Fiesta and some facts.

What on that little car is pulling 120 Amps Constantly ?

What is the current with all the consumers shut down.

If you move the Amp Clamp, (better still if you have a second clamp) from behind the alternator to the Earth Lead on the battery what do you get there ??

And dont lose sight of the fact that it goes 200 miles and is ok for a month - Driver Error or just parked up for a long time.

Thats why VM's have Transport / Showroom Mode.

You might be chasing your take looking for something that does not exist.
What is pulling 120 amps? That'll be the heated screens x 2, the lights (all) and running about 1500 rpm.

Current with all consumers shut down has not been done yet.

I'll put a second amps clamp round the battery negative and let you know.

I drove the car for 60 miles over the weekend and used only the engine electrics to run the engine with intermittent use of brake lights and indicators, the battery from 12.6 V discharged roughly 40% by Monday. The battery fitted is brand new bought in April this year but is not a silver calcium type. I don't believe this fault to be down to a drain on the battery as the charging system I can see from comparison to another Fiesta is just not charging correctly. My suppliers are getting back to me this morning to confirm/dismiss if a silver calcium battery should be fitted or not. I'll update the thread later...

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TwoWaves
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Technician » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:41 pm

After some computer problems today I've managed to get the Pico running OK tonight and I've captured quite a few psdata files from the Fiesta at various settings etc. As soon as I get a minute I'll load the data files and would appreciate any feedback.

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TwoWaves
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Technician » Thu Jun 27, 2019 12:43 pm

To eliminate any possible intermittent problems or incorrect types of regulator or battery fitted I've put a Ford alternator on and a silver calcium battery. I have checked all the cables battery/alternator and earth connections/returns. The scanner has no facilities for checking/operating the smart charge system. I found a PCM reset facility on the scanner so I did a reset. There are no codes/reported problems but the battery voltage is still at 13.1 to 13.2 V. With Iver's advice I have used two amps clamps, one round the main alternator cable and one round the battery earth return cable. I can see a difference in current flow from the alternator and going back into the battery. That is all I can see!
Attachments
Ford_Fiesta_2012_Petrol_Charging system test new Calcium battery and Ford alternator.psdata
(13.96 MiB) Downloaded 13 times

Iver
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Re: Test Plan for Smart Charging System on Ford Fiesta 1.4 (SPJC)

Post by Iver » Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:08 am

What is pulling 120 amps? That'll be the heated screens x 2, the lights (all) and running about 1500 rpm.
Does that add up to 120 amps ..... ?

From the capture I dont see channel labels so I will guess that you have 93 amps drawn from the alternator of which some 25 amps are being used to charge the new battery.

Do those numbers make any sense to you ?

Also no mention of the discrepancy raised between measured voltage & car display voltage.

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