How to drive in pure electric mode?

Faults and Technical chat for the Vauxhall Grandland
hockenisgood
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 10:14 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by hockenisgood » Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:43 pm

We have the same issue with our Hybrid4. For the last few days it hasn't gone into electric only mode at all, and if selected manually it just goes back to hybrid. The battery is showing 90% charged (that seems to be the max in cold weather). Has anyone come up with a definitive answer? I tried holding the start button down for 20s but it hasn't made any difference. Ours was pre-registered like Ricom 831's and almost certainly left flat until we bought it in early December. Ricom831 - I see one of your batteries was lower than the other, is that something I can check myself?

Unclecuddles
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2020 8:58 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Unclecuddles » Mon Jan 18, 2021 8:09 pm

hockenisgood wrote:
Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:43 pm
We have the same issue with our Hybrid4. For the last few days it hasn't gone into electric only mode at all, and if selected manually it just goes back to hybrid. The battery is showing 90% charged (that seems to be the max in cold weather). Has anyone come up with a definitive answer? I tried holding the start button down for 20s but it hasn't made any difference. Ours was pre-registered like Ricom 831's and almost certainly left flat until we bought it in early December. Ricom831 - I see one of your batteries was lower than the other, is that something I can check myself?
If mine starts the ICE on first ignition (because it is too cold), I press the start button again to turn off, press it again without pushing the brake pedal just to turn on all the electronics in the car, then press it again with my foot on the pedal, and this time it will start in electric mode. I think if you try an start it straight away with your foot on the brake pedal then I guess the system just sees a surge of power on start up, whereas doing it in two stages potentially reduces the initial surge.

grampymike
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:09 am
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by grampymike » Wed Jan 20, 2021 2:50 pm

Hello all, had my hybrid 4 since mid september, previously had the 1.2 elite nav. Having the same problem with electric mode only not working, now into my third week with this problem, had it happen twice before lasting around a week each time before putting itself right. Drive battery is 90% charged, 12 volt battery is registering 13.3 volts, so should be no issue there, tried the solution by Unclecuddles but doesn't work for me, anyone have any ideas?

Moss5
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:24 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Moss5 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:55 am

Just to muddy the waters, I have read elsewhere that the Tailgate Battery voltage can have an influence. I have no idea if this is true, nor do I know how it is charged. I am sure the designers of this car could have arranged for all batteries to be charged overnight. My own solution requires a 230V extension cable to reach under the bonnet for the smart charger.
2020 Hybrid 4

Moss5
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2020 5:24 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Moss5 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:22 pm

2020 Hybrid 4

Coatgallou
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:53 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Coatgallou » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:51 pm

PHEV at its best?

Research studies have shown that some duty cycles – for example commuting to and from work (shorter runs) every day but charging overnight and avoiding long distances – can result in virtually no use of the ICE.
Suppose this is when electric mode work without issue.

Coatgallou
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:53 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Coatgallou » Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:59 pm

A PHEV at its worst?

At the other end of the spectrum, a PHEV might be deployed on long journeys and never plugged in. This results in a significant disbenefit, the vehicle typically offering worse fuel consumption and emissions than a conventional ICE-only drivetrain.
Many other scenarios are possible though, dependant on many variables, driving styles, weather, temperature, distance to name but a few.

Grandlad
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:15 am

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Grandlad » Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:47 am

I have had a similar problem: car will not go into electric mode, starts in hybrid mode and stays there. ICE runs but car moves with electric drive. The problem didn't appear all at once but came on gradually over a week or two, just before Christmas. Took it into VX about 2 weeks ago, who immediately diagnosed the problem as degraded oil. As the car is now very nearly a year old, I had them do the first service. The oil was changed and now it seems to work OK. They kept the car for a few more days and could find nothing else wrong.
Now this seems to be an unlikely solution at first sight, so I did some research. The Land Rover Disco Sport PHEV users manual (much much much much better than ours) tells owners that sometimes the engine will run when not expected, or longer than expected, in order to prevent premature ageing of the oil. I do nearly all of my miles in electric mode, so the ICE might not run from one month to another. I wonder if this, not being run, has contributed to degraded oil?
Does anyone know why not using the ICE should lead to degraded oil, whereas running it will seemingly extend oil life? Could this be the cause of some of the other reports on here?
Grandland Hybrid4 Ultimate. Moonstone Grey, uprated charger.

Coatgallou
Posts: 205
Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:53 pm

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Coatgallou » Wed Jan 27, 2021 3:56 pm

I'm sure you may find numerous theories to this question but I would say, in my opinion, oil degrades more through use as particles and moisture are bi- products of combustion and cause the contamination. Oil stood in your engine for 1 year max., with periodic running should not cause degradation.
First question to vx, if the oil is 'degraded', why is the ice running? Surely the default would be to forbid this from running and causing internal damage.
I'm not sure, as I own a TD, if the ice needs to run in order to provide such things as cabin heat and if it runs to help out with other features that use electric power. We are all using heaters, lights, etc more in these months than earlier, especially with the poor weather we have been experiencing.
The ice will surely run periodically as it will need to keep the standard battery at a good level of charge.
Not sure if this helps but you may have further feedback, hopefully giving an insight as to the answers.

Grandlad
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:15 am

Re: How to drive in pure electric mode?

Post by Grandlad » Thu Jan 28, 2021 11:33 am

Coatgallou, many thanks for your comments; common sense would suggest that your assessment is correct, but in the wee small hours of a insomniac night I started to wonder if there wasn't more to the issue. So I did a lot more research on line, read I don't know how many websites, and reached the following conclusions as a result of what I had read:

Virtually all modern cars are supplied with synthetic oil, rather than the older type distilled from petroleum. The synthetic oil is much more regular in structure, is less volatile, does not break down as easily, and is generally better. This is why it seems hardly necessary to top up the oil between changes, whereas in the old days it was a regular issue. In short it forms an inert lubricating medium.

BUT the synthetic oil also contains additives which are specified by the engine manufacturer according to their view of how their engines will be used. This is why, for example VX have their own recipe, as do other manufacturers. These additives don't assist with lubrication, but do provide protection against corrosion, the chemical changes due to combustion products, and performance enhancement. As the engine operates, the lubricating medium doesn't 'wear out' but the additives do, and as the oil reaches the end of its life, the additives become depleted.

HOWEVER, it is a recognised problem with synthetic oils that unless stored sealed in good conditions, the additives can precipitate out as sludge. This is what can happen in an engine filled with synthetic oil, which is not run. The remaining liquid oil therefore consists of the lubricating medium and depleted levels of additives, rather analogous to oil approaching the end of its useful life.

NOW, modern engines are computer controlled through an Engine Control Unit, ECU, or Engine Management Unit, EMU, which does all sorts of things, including working out when the oil might need changing. It doesn't do this by analysis, but by calculation, following an algorithm designed by the manufacturer, and taking inputs regarding how the engine is used, for how long, at what temperature and so on. Based on these inputs, the ECU calculates when the oil probably ought to be changed - it doesn't actually relate to whether it absolutely needs changing.

IN a regular car, the ECU cannot control when the engine runs. All it can do is the calculation, and to issue an alert when conditions are met. With a hybrid, the running of the engine is entirely controlled by the ECU, and therefore it is likely that the ECU recognises that the engine is not being run, and remedies the situation. This explains the language in the Land Rover manual that the engine running is to help prevent the premature ageing of the oil. VX don't mention this, but they don't mention much in the manual, However it does seem that they have adopted the same solution: run the engine.

Given that at least two, completely independent, manufacturers have chosen a similar solution to the same problem, it would seem likely that this might be the answer. Running the engine would not be a problem, as the lubricating qualities of the oil have not degraded, but it presumably does help prevent the precipitation of the additives. I found no information as to whether this would assist in restoring additive levels in the lubricating medium.

I have to say that all the above is simply me thinking out loud, so to speak, based on what I read, but it seems to be, at least, possible, and it does explain the symptoms experienced. The above assessment would also explain why it would be possible to experience the symptoms while having a fully charged 12v battery. In the hybrid cars, the heating and cooling are driven from the high voltage battery, which is why they can operate when the engine is not running. The effect of using them is to reduce the electric range.
Grandland Hybrid4 Ultimate. Moonstone Grey, uprated charger.

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