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Author Topic: 2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)  (Read 1090 times)

soy2sauce

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2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« on: January 31, 2016, 10:03:02 AM »

So just over a month ago I bought a used 2012 Zero S ZF6 with just under 800 miles on it. Everything was going well, but due to weather I was barely riding it. Well, after putting a little over 100 miles on the thing it decides not to charge anymore. Here's a breakdown:

Bought it in late December (2015) from a motorcycle dealership in Charlotte NC. Rode it about once a week or so, short trips only, and charged back to full after each ride.

Tuesday: I decide to use the bike to run errands since I'm already out getting a state inspection (VA) and ride it down to 2 of 11 bars. This was the first time I'd seen the battery indication flash because I'd never used it that much in one go. Put it on the charger that afternoon when I got home.

Here's where thing's started acting up. I had a motorcycle safety course the next day and since I would be using it the next day I was curious to see how the charge was coming along. It was a little under 50%. Turned the key back off, left it for about two hours and checked again. Still at the same spot, I knew this wasn't right so I unplugged it and waited 15 seconds, plugged it back in. Checked it twenty minutes later and it was up to about 75%. A few hours later check it again, still stuck at 75%. This time I checked the light indication, it was showing the outer red and green lights flashing, according to the user manual this is indicating high temperature, which is why it will not charge. I couldn't believe it would be running high temp in my cold garage (~50F), but I left it off the charger for about an hour, and put it back on, finally getting it to charge full just before I had to leave for the class.

Wednesday: I drive down to my safety course, mixed city/freeway driving, I use about 25% battery. The instructors tell me first few hours is classroom so I can charge until we ride. Put it on the charger, same indication but I decide to leave it on to see if it will clear itself. During breaks I re-attempted to charge, still high temperature warning. Ride for the course, and ride home, at about 25% battery remaining.

I have not been able to charge since. I have waited 24 hours and tried, still nothing. I called Zero, of course they told me I have to go through an authorized dealer for diagnostics. Closest dealer is in Richmond (over an hour away), and I will take it up there this week if I can't get a solution. Anyone have this problem or hear of it? I've tried to research it but all I've seen is that the 2012 models aren't the most reliable but I haven't found any mention of the same problem.

Would getting the quick charger bypass the internal temperature sensor and get me charging again? I don't want to throw $600 at something 2012 specific if it doesn't work.

Any help or info would be appreciated
Cheers
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protomech

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2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 08:47:46 PM »

You might check with Zero to see if the bike has had the BMS weather proofing recall performed. They should be able to look this up by VIN.

http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/owners/SearchResults?searchType=ID&targetCategory=R&searchCriteria.nhtsa_ids=12V310&refurl=email

You can also reboot the BMS and see if this corrects the problem.

To do so you will need to remove the plug on the front of the battery monolith and press and hold two momentary contact switches with long thin tools.

See the photos here:
http://electricmotorcycleforum.com/boards/index.php?topic=2096.0

Edit: If the high temp indicator is on but the bike can still be ridden, then I think the temperature sensors must be reporting a temperature high enough to disable charging but not high enough to disable operation.

If the BMS is disabling charging with the onboard charger then I think this will also disable the auxiliary port for the off board quick charger. You may be able to check (carefully! the terminals will have a 70V differential and can source hundreds of amps until the fuse melts..) with a multimeter to determine if this port is disabled.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2016, 09:30:00 PM by protomech »
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soy2sauce

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Re: 2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 10:17:08 AM »

I wish I would have read this earlier, already took it to a dealer. I will let you know results of diagnostics come Tuesday when they look at it. How reliable are the 2012s? Will I be able to use this as a commuter or am I SOL?
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protomech

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Re: 2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 06:39:45 PM »

I've used one as a daily commuter for almost four years. Rain or shine, as long as it wasn't icy I was on the Zero.

I had a couple of weatherproofing issues - the BMS corrosion issue linked, haven't had a problem since - and one case where water got into the monolith. Think that was just a fluke, haven't heard of anyone else with that issue.

The main issue with the 2012s is the motor encoder has a very high chance of being potted improperly which allows humidity to enter. This causes the motor "glitch" - it will intermittently run roughly or cut out (had more issues when ambient above 50F for some reason). I've had it happen on 3 motors and eventually just lived with it. Others have had no issues with the glitch at all. Zero makes a 2013 motor refit kit for the 2012s, that would have been my next option (upgraded to a 2014 instead).
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1999 Honda VFR800i | 2014 Zero SR
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soy2sauce

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Re: 2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2016, 08:20:06 AM »

Well that makes me feel a little better. Hopefully when they get back to me tomorrow it's a quick fix. Where can I find the 2013 motor kit? I couldn't find it on the ol google. I'd also like to get passenger pegs eventually but I can't find much for the 2012s anywhere.
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protomech

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2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2016, 07:34:00 PM »

Contact your local dealer, or Zero directly. 888-RUN-ZERO
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1999 Honda VFR800i | 2014 Zero SR
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soy2sauce

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Re: 2012 Zero S ZF6 won't charge (High temp indication)
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2016, 06:02:01 AM »

Just to close the loop, got my bike back from a dealer and nothing fixed.

The bike runs and charges fine now that the weather is warmer, diagnostics showed it was actually a low temp indication preventing it from charging. I have seen a video on youtube of a guy with a 2012 DS who briefly mentions the same problem.

Reading the correspondence between Zero and the dealer it seems that the battery is the issue. There was talk about a "good will" warranty, but it would still cost about $1200 to ship it back and forth from the east coast to Zero. For now I'll just ride it as is, future problems I will probably turn the bike into a Frankenstein bike.
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