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Latest software update - over reporting range (Ford Power-Up)

6926 Views 53 Replies 27 Participants Last post by  cwstnsko
Hi Folks,

At the last software update, related to range - my range drastically dropped.
I figured it was just a winter thing so ignored it.

Then yesterday, I applied the 22-PU1009-MIL-DTE update (Received Jan 08) and after a full 100% charge my range went to 515 km!!!

I checked again and now it's reporting 505km.

I'm using the Ford Charger Pro.

Has anyone else seen an over-reporting charge?

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This is starting to feel like Windows 3.1 in 1992... 🫤
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So I tried eight times and it didn’t work. Tonight I hooked up my battery charger to the tiny little starter battery in the lightning (it’s hilarious that it’s the size of my garden tractor battery). Anyway. It worked. I think the reason it failed to update eight times is because the truck was turned off and there wasn’t enough juice in the starter battery to complete the update or so the Ford computer thinks. I live in a cold climate so the starter battery is probably not at an optimal level and people in warmer climates may not be experiencing the update failure as much as we are. maybe they are too Anyways, that worked for me and it may not be related, but it seems more than coincidental. If you have one, try hooking up a battery charger to your starter battery to see if that gives it the stability to complete the update. It worked for me.
There have been references to the Lightning being designed so as to provide charging to the 12 volt battery as long as the vehicle is plugged into an EVSE.

I think it is now proven that this is not the case. Unfortunate, but at least we know.
So, the question is, when exactly does the big battery charge the little battery?
In the vast majority of modern EVS, the computer will fire up the DC to DC converter when the ignition is turned "on". There is some loss involved in chopping the voltage, so this prevents excessive parasitic draw from the high voltage battery when left sitting over time.

Based on evidence at hand, there is little doubt this is the scenario for the Lightning. In some vehicles, this is a computer-controlled sequence that was later addressed with over the air updates. If Ford built the vehicle with this capability, it can be addressed. Having seen much of the way this vehicle is put together now, however, I think it is more likely a "dumb" relay. A lot of those are Incorporated in this system. This type of relay cannot be upgraded over the air, so the fix would have to be incorporated into later models of the vehicle.

A simple fix would be to increase the size and power of the auxiliary battery. If I still had a Lightning, I would probably put in a Zero Gravity lithium-ion Harley-Davidson battery in its place, and I'm betting it would solve the problem permanently. These batteries idle at a higher voltage, and I believe would keep the electronics in the truck very happy. It would not be subject to the voltage sag that appears to be tripping the "save myself" mode that the truck is going into.
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Make me wonder if they continues to be a major issue, that Ford will do a recall and do something similar.
25 years ago when I was building EV conversions we incorporated a simple 12 volt battery charger connected to the auxiliary battery that fed power off of one side of the HV battery charger. I got tired of having angry customers upset that their EVs would not start, so I fixed it with this simple solution.

Tesla went surprisingly long without learning this lesson, but now charges the 12 volt battery when the vehicle is plugged in. Rivian just flat copied that design with a bunch of other stuff, so they are covered. Anecdotally, the Lightning was supposed to have the 'charge-12-volt when plugged in feature' as well, but evidently either it does not, or it is not working.

For years GM also lacked that small additional charger. It's a bean counter thing. That little charger really racks up in price when you multiply it by hundreds of thousands of vehicles manufactured.

If in fact Ford did not include the 12 volt charging system in the vehicle while it is shore powered, it is actually a pretty straightforward aftermarket edition. Almost tempts me to come out of retirement.. 🤔

An additional auxiliary charger is one way to address this issue. A simpler, and possibly more elegant solution is to just power the DC to DC converter anytime the EVSE is connected. I believe that is incorporated into GM's newest designs.
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RIP, you are the best. I have my motorcycle battery on a tender for the winter. That tender should be enough to do the job, correct? (it is just a little motorcycle one.....) Figure this will be an issue for me at some point.....
In my observations of the digital voltmeter in my 12V socket, HVB hits the LVB hard with a charge as soon as you get in and push the button (contactors engage). Almost always ≥ 14.8V, sometimes above 15V. It then drops down to a fairly consistent 13.8V. When the 12V socket first wakes up, I'm seeing 12.33-12.66V from the LVB.
12.7 volts is the charged resting voltage for a lead acid 12 volt battery. Most protection algorithms will kick in no lower than 12.5v. The numbers you provide make it pretty clear why the updates don't want to come in with that little battery sitting that low.

By comparison, the resting voltage of a 12 volt lithium ion motorcycle battery is 13.1 volts. If you ask Ford techs, they tell you to only use their battery, and are pretty emphatic about that. Still, I can't help thinking a lithium motorcycle battery would solve these problems...🤔
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