My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

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Steev
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My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

My Vectrix has about 11,000 miles on it; I generally only drive it a few times a month.
On two recent rides, I noticed a slight hesitation in the first mile of the ride affecting both acceleration and regen, but both times it quickly disappeared and the rest of the ride was fine. One time I thought I caught a whiff of something burning.
Then on Monday it completed died while climbing a small hill a few miles from home:

  • Power went to zero, so I pulled over.
  • The dash still looked normal, but the throttle had no effect.
  • I turned the key off to cycle it.
  • I again caught a whiff of smoke from the rear under the seat, perhaps like burnt wire.
  • Turning the key back on after a short wait, the dash and all indicators are all dark.
  • I trailered it home yesterday and tried charging it: still no sign of life.

I plan to start taking it apart and will search for any indication of a short.

Any & all suggestions appreciated!

joaorui5
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Re: My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

Good luck with your adventure.
Mine Vectrix is sitting in my room for almost one year, now completely depleted, no batteries no signs of live, when I stop her it was not charging but it was working, I get an error about temperature sensor.
Next week I'll begin to try to repair it, already order some chargers.

martinwinlow
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Re: My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

Sounds like the classic problem of poorly tightened motor or IGBT connections on the motor controller PCB getting loose and overheating causing the PCB to burn. Eventually it gets so hot the terminal melts. A DIY fix has been done but it is serious and the much easier repair is a replacement PCB. There a few videos on Youtube about it by Antiscab (eg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNJuIynm1f4).

Regards, Martin Winlow
Isle of Colonsay, Scotland
evalbum.com/2092

Steev
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Re: My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

Thanks Martin. I got the batteries out and don't see any thermal damage on the motor controller connections or board. The main fuse is fine.

However, I got zero volts when checking the pack voltage, and isolated a single cell in the front pack that went bad. Photo here: Bad Cell

Question: Could a single bad cell cause the problem I experienced?

I've replaced the cell with a spare, and my next step will be to reassemble & reinstall the batteries. (Oh, I also found a dead mouse that had nibbled through one of the temp sensor wires. I'll fix that too.)

SteveS. 2008 MG Midget lithium conversion => 2011 Think City => 2007 Vectrix => 2015 Tesla 90D

Bikemad
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Re: My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

Question: Could a single bad cell cause the problem I experienced?

I've replaced the cell with a spare, and my next step will be to reassemble & reinstall the batteries. (Oh, I also found a dead mouse that had nibbled through one of the temp sensor wires. I'll fix that too.)

A single cell going open circuit would definitely explain the blank dashboard.
Presumably, an intermittent/failing internal connection within the faulty cell prior to it failing completely would also have caused the "slight hesitation in the first mile of the ride affecting both acceleration and regen" that you experienced.

I suspect that the power suddenly cut out because the available battery voltage eventually dropped too low for the controller, the extremely low voltage would be due to the huge voltage drop (and a huge reverse polarity voltage) across the unusually high internal resistance cell just prior to it failing completely in an open circuit state.

Hopefully, you will be able to confirm that the hesitation has disappeared completely after your test ride when everything has been put back together again.

//i.imgur.com/FnmD5lE.png)

You obviously have far more confidence in your abilities than I have in mine. Replacing the failed cell in the battery is at least something I feel I could tackle, but to be perfectly honest, I wouldn't know where to start when it comes to fixing the dead mouse.

//i.imgur.com/53Yh3Cd.gif)

Alan

Steev
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Re: My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

My fingers are crossed for the Vectrix, but I hold little hope for resurrecting the mouse.

SteveS. 2008 MG Midget lithium conversion => 2011 Think City => 2007 Vectrix => 2015 Tesla 90D

Steev
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Re: My Vectrix died with a slight smell of burnt insulation

The mouse remains dead but Pooter lives!

It was just that one cell, which burned up and became an "open" killing the bike completely. I replaced it with a spare cell, reassembled the pack and the bike, followed this excellent video for the ICL, and she's once again running great.

Many thanks for the help.

SteveS. 2008 MG Midget lithium conversion => 2011 Think City => 2007 Vectrix => 2015 Tesla 90D

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