xylhim
Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:12 pm

DFCS modification to prevent errors

Thu May 28, 2015 7:24 am

I was doing my usual scanning on plugshare for DC fast charge installations, and noticed an interesting comment on one of the EVgo charging sites:
Stopped to try to get a fast charge on my spark ev. Unfortunately the fast change didn't work I called and they couldn't get it to work for me. I am a GM employee and for those who have a spark and are having unsuccessful fast charges, there is an updated bulletin that makes a slight modification to the receptacle on the vehicle to fix this issue. The associate was nice enough to get me a free charge on the 240.
Has anyone checked with their dealer to find out if you can get the receptacle changed so that there aren't as many errors using the DCFS system?

NORTON
Posts: 1351
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Thu May 28, 2015 9:02 am

Here is a link to the mod. It looks easy. You could do it yourself if you follow the instructions.
http://vitalysmobileautodiagnostics.com ... t-spark-ev

Mine charges fine on the local DCFC without this mod, but I may do it for future proofing.
'14 Spark EV 2LT w/ DCFC. 85k miles.
'17 Bolt Premier w/ It All! 53k miles.
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try, nope, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed it.

mczajka
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 am
Contact: Website

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Thu May 28, 2015 9:17 am

My dealer is going to do it today (since they have the car for a few other things). I plan on taking some long trips to VA and eventually in areas around MD, so I would like to reduce any problems like this to a minimum. I really appreciate you all starting this thread.
Mark Czajka
Director
MD Volt Inc.
www.mdvolt.org

2015 Silver Spark EV 1LT w/ Fast charge
2013 White Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

sTeeve
Posts: 167
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 1:02 pm
Location: Decatur, Georgia, USA

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:33 pm

mczajka wrote:My dealer is going to do it today (since they have the car for a few other things). I plan on taking some long trips to VA and eventually in areas around MD, so I would like to reduce any problems like this to a minimum. I really appreciate you all starting this thread.
Mark,
Did your dealer do this mod?
2014 Spark EV

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:01 pm

I haven't yet tried the DCFC charging option on my 2015 Spark EV but, after reading on PlugShare about owners having so many problems with the DC chargers for the Spark EV, I decided to be proactive and went to the link posted by Norton above and downloaded the socket modification instructions with photos. After some careful measuring and taping, I took my trusty Drumel Tool and carefully trimmed the two guides until they looked like the photo.

The comments on PlugShare also suggest the DCFC chargers have other problems in addition to the plug-socket connection problem. Now that I have modified the socket on my car, I plan to make my first tests next week at 4-5 different DCFC locations within 60 miles of where I live.

8 June: I have now charged twice on the NRG eVgo DCFC at the West Valley Mall in Tracy, CA and once on the NRG eVgo DCFC at the Livermore Premium Outlets in Livermore, CA. I had no problems at either location so I am thinking the modification worked. An NRG eVgo charger in Sacramento, CA is next.

11 June: I drove 60 miles to the DCFC charger at SMUD HQ in Sacramento. No problems connecting and "Sparkie" got a 100% fill in 25 minutes. I only saw one charging station with one SAE Combo CCS connector and one CHAdeMO connector. The cables are short so you need to position your vehicle so the charging port is nearest the charger. This is a GreenLots location and not NRG eVgo. There is also a credit card reader if you do not have a GreenLots RFID FOB.
Last edited by MrDRMorgan on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Sparkler
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:33 am
Location: SJ, CA

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:14 pm

I have done a lot of DCFC with my Sparkler, with a few different brands of chargers, and those ribs almost look brand new, like they don't get in the way at all.

There was a few times when a new NRG station would not work, and I was told they were having to replace the cable and connector to fix them. So perhaps the charge cable connectors were out of spec and filing the plastic off lets you get around that, but it seems that everywhere I DC charge works fine now without any mods to my car.
2014 1LT Electric Blue with Fast Charging
Replaced 4-14-17 with Arctic Blue Bolt EV BoltaDrome
https://www.voltstats.net/BoltEV/Stats/Details/9509

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Fri Jun 05, 2015 6:57 am

Thanks Sparkler-
Are you in San Jose, CA?

I live in Manteca, CA and DCFC charging stations are few and far between here. My daughter lives in Roseville which is about 75 miles from my home. Between my home and my daughter's home there are only 2 compatible DCFC chargers. I filed down the little ribs to reduce my chances of having a problem charging my car if I drive to her home and back. The closest DCFC charging station to me is in Tracy which is about 18 miles from my home. That will be my first DCFC test location as soon as I get my RFID card from NRG.

I have another 65 mile one-way route I want to try and that is from home to Oakland and back. I have identified about 4 more potential DCFC chargers along the route.

Sparkler
Posts: 116
Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2013 9:33 am
Location: SJ, CA

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:08 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:Thanks Sparkler-
Are you in San Jose, CA?
Yep.
2014 1LT Electric Blue with Fast Charging
Replaced 4-14-17 with Arctic Blue Bolt EV BoltaDrome
https://www.voltstats.net/BoltEV/Stats/Details/9509

Nashco
Posts: 537
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 12:00 am
Location: Portland, OR

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:24 pm

NORTON wrote:Here is a link to the mod. It looks easy. You could do it yourself if you follow the instructions.
http://vitalysmobileautodiagnostics.com ... t-spark-ev
I heard a rumor that new cars (2015+) should have the socket correct from the factory, but I haven't been able to compare my 2014 to my friend's 2015 cars to confirm this, nor did I get a specific time the connector changed (build dates, VIN, etc.). Of course, any of us can bring the car into the dealer to get it checked/modified for free to prevent charging problems.

Bryce

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: DFCS modification to prevent errors

Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:04 pm

Bryce -

It is possible my 2015 Spark EV may have not needed the socket modification to function correctly at NRG eVgo charge stations. The modification was simple for me to do and, by doing it, hopefully I eliminated the possibility of having a socket / plug charging issue at a location that could have prevented me from getting home. So far, I have not had any problems.

I plan to perform my next charging test drive by driving to an NRG eVgo charge station in Sacramento 60 miles away. If the Sacramento station were to be out of order, I would have to continue on to Citrus Heights to a second station which is about 15 - 20 miles from the Sacramento station. Getting home from Citrus Heights would probably push the limits of a full charge.

Please let me know if you find out anything about the 2015 models not needing the modification.

I sure would like to see more NRG eVgo DCFC charging stations along HWY 99 in the cities of Elk Grove, Stockton, Manteca and Modesto.

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