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Ford Escape Hybrid Battery Pack Questions

mperskimperski Posts: 13
Does anyone know of a way to charge the hybrid battery with a battery charger?


  • Just adding to my post, My hybrid battery is not low I would like to charge it to a higher state, lets say 80-90% so it will run in EV mode longer. I'm trying to increase my mileage. I wondered if I put a charger on the 12V battery and hit the recharge button in the kick panel if that would help any.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,237
    Since we don't have a specific discussion dealing with the hybrid battery pack, I'm going to rename this one to use it as the start of one!

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  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The HVBattery State of Charge (SoC) is closely monitored by elements of the powertrain control module to prevent exactly what you are attempting to do. Ford engineers have determined that keeping the HVBattery between 40 and 60 % will allow the battery to perform well past the 8 (or 10) years and 100,000 (or 150,000) miles that the special warranty covers.

    Remember, SoC is only one variable that controls when the ICE comes on. I don't know if charging to 80 or 90 percent will get you the benefits you think.....especially if you include the expense of replacing the HVBattery. Likewise, it would be nice to use the electric motor (only) at times over 40mph but there is motor life to be considered as well.

    If you wait a few years, some fully engineered and tested plug-in conversion kits may be on the market to get the advantage of increased EV operation. :D

    [The recharge button on the kick panel does not work the way you propose]
  • I'm sure that battery life is the main reason why the Soc is only 40-60% that's why I'm only wanting 80% or so. I've been able to drive almost 2 miles in ev mode at 30mph, increasing the battery charge would certainly extend the range some. Also if I started with the battery more charged up instead of low, the alternator would put less drag on the engine when first starting which would also increase mpg. I intend on selling the vehicle in 3yrs or around 60,000 miles, and buying a full EV assuming they are available by then. Used hybrids are bringing top dollar, especially the Escapes if you can even find one!

    Some one is already making a conversion kit but they are not cost effective. I think their around $19,000 or some outrageous amount.

    Also my heated seats get hot then cool off, then hot again and so on. Are they on a timer or are they not working properly and a circuit breaker is kicking?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I don't have the heated seats but I have read that they are on a timer.

    There is no alternator in the FEH. The HVBattery is charged through a motor/generator (MG1) directly by the ICE or when you engage the brake pedal. "Drag" during operation can be felt in MG1 during regenerative braking and can be negated during coasting by shifting into "N" (nuetral).

    The ICE operates during "first starting" for several reasons and most of them cannot be avoided to improve FE. The catalytic converter has to get up to temperature. The engine has to get up to temperature (can be accelerated by using a block heater to hasten the engine getting to temperature during/after cold overnights).

    There are numerous driving techniques that have been developed by the "hypermiling" community and documented on these forums. Many cases of folks getting over 40 mpg in their FEH consistently. [Without increasing SoC beyond the 40-60% range] :D
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "There is no alternator in the FEH. The HVBattery is charged through a motor/generator (MG1) directly by the ICE or when you engage the brake pedal."

    Just a side note. "MG1" is a Toyota HSD term. The Ford system was independently developed; I wonder if Ford uses the same terminology...
  • I found this doc which is a guide for emergency response people for dealing with the escape high voltage system. It might be good to know
  • autodrautodr Posts: 27
    One effective way to increase the mileage on electric drive mode would be turn to off some electrical goodies... like those heated seats. Even though they are on the 12v side and are being fed by the 12v battery, the 12v side is being recharged by the HV side. Instead of an alternator, what you have... for the 12v side.. is a DC to DC converter. That is the box sitting on the pass. inner fender behind the dual coolant resivours. It is taking power from the HV side and charging up the 12v battery.. and runing for 12v goodies, like the radio, heated seats, and what ever else you are running on the 12v side.

    Otherwise, the short answer to your original question is "no", it is designed to keep you from messing with it for your own good.
  • I have an '08 hybrid and live in Baltimore city. On cold mornings it seems to take about 10-15 minutes for the car to go into EV mode. By this time I am usually out of the city and onto the highway. Is this normal? Friends with Prius' and camry hybrids don't report this.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Sounds rather normal....remember, the PCM takes a lot of variables into account before it allows EV......Catalytic Converter Temp, HVBattery Temp.....many of them sensitive to cold temperatures.
  • rita15rita15 Posts: 3
    Hi guys, I have a 2005 Escape hybrid, and driving it after a while it doesn't switch to battery. Is that normal?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    I assume you are a new owner of a used 2005 FEH.

    Full Electric Vehicle or EV mode will only be noticeable on the FEH under certain conditions. The rest of the time the High Voltage HVBattery will drive the traction motor to assist the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) in propelling the FEH. The ICE stays on for many reasons - not all of them related to propulsion. For instance, only the traction motor (and HVBattery) can propel the FEH in reverse. So when you first start the FEH and back out of a parking spot, you are operating as an electric vehicle even though the ICE is running.

    Because of other design limitations the ICE will always run at speeds over 40mph

    After several minutes of driving in nominal weather, the FEH should easily operate in EV mode at speeds below 25mph (i.e., parking lots, etc.) as long as the driver is gentle on the "gas" pedal. If this doesn't happen - something may be wrong.
  • rita15rita15 Posts: 3
    Thanks for the answer. I just bougt this used one, and the problem is if I drive it for like half an hour, even if I stop, or go very slow, it doesn't turn off the engine anymore. The next day it works perfectly again. I discovered if it just turns off the engine but I have to push the gas again immediatly and it has to turn on, it never stops again.

    Who can check what is the problem? It doesn't show any failure code on the computer.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The engine will run constantly if you have the airconditioner/heater selector positioned on any of the red symbols - including defrost, etc.
  • rita15rita15 Posts: 3
    I know that. Nothing is on, I drive it normaly, but after a while it decides not to switch off anymore.
  • dhc1dhc1 Posts: 1
    Have a 2006 FEH with 40000 miles. No problems until today. Went to start car this morning but not enough charge to start ICE. Checked 12Volt and it was down to 8.5 volts. Recharged 12V using battery charger and engine started easily. But after turning off engine and removing key the continual clicking of a relay could be heard in the engine compartment. After about 3 hours battery was again to low to start car. Hadn't noticed any problems previously, high voltage system was kicking in as normal. Any suggestions?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Have the DC to DC downconverter checked by the dealer. I believe it charges the 12V battery. It is one of the "hybrid" unique components covered under the 100k warranty.
  • tpaultpaul Posts: 3
    Just brought an 06 Escape Hybrid. The only time the car switches to EV mode is during the the first half hour or so of driving. The rest of the day ICE continues to run even when stopped or when driving under 20 mph. Even when it is working during the first half hour of the first drive of the day, it does not do so as expected, under 25mph, instead it kicks into EV mode at 15 -20 mph. Also, the needle on the gauge at the left which indicates assist and charge never moves. We make sure that the AC is off so that is not the problem. Millage on the car is 56,000. Any ideas? Has anyone else had a similar problem and a possible resolution?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    The PCM (computer) is definitely getting a signal that is telling it not to use EV. There are many many reasons the FEH will switch out of EV, even at 15-20 mph.
    Throttle position
    HVBattery State of Charge
    Brake pedal positon
    Heater Controls Positon (and of the red positions)
    Gear Shift Lever position

    I would try driving in L for awhile to see if it makes a difference. Then it might be worth it to see if someone can see if there are any fault codes registered in the FEH computer.
  • tpaultpaul Posts: 3
    Computer has been checked out,tried it in low,everything is off,battery is charged. Only works in the morning,but as soon as things warm up,EV stops stops working. To bad Ca. Lemon Law doesn't apply to used cars.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    "Computer has been checked out..", does that mean it has no DTCs or diagnostic codes stored? A dealer or a mechanic with an OBD II tester should be able to search the computer brain of the vehicle for "errors" or "out of range" readings the computer has seen.
  • grecnigrecni Posts: 3
    I've been having this exact same problem for months with my 06. After 1/2 hour or less of driving the vehicle will no longer go into EV mode. I've taken it into the local Ford dealer and the "hybrid" expert states there is nothing in the computer and "this is normal behavior", which I know from 3 years of driving that this is nothing like normal. Unfortunately if the computer doesn't tell him what to do he has no idea how to think independently and troubleshoot.
  • grecnigrecni Posts: 3
    tpaul, Were you ever able to get this problem resolved?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I've been having this exact same problem for months with my 06. After 1/2 hour or less of driving the vehicle will no longer go into EV mode."

    I'm not sure you want to go to this much trouble, but you might buy a ScanGuage 2 and hook it up. It has setting for hybrid vehicles and you can program it to tell you things like the battery state of charge & etc. If the battery stops taking a charge that would be information to take to the dealer.

    Also, I have heared of some people having issues with the battery door not opening correctly, although this is supposed to throw a computer code. If the battery is not receiving air or A/C, it may be too hot. The ScanGuage can tell you a lot of info, plus it can read computer codes if they occur.

    I'm currently saving my pennies to buy one...
  • grecnigrecni Posts: 3
    Well I called the service manager at my local Ford Dealer and expained why there really was a problem. I brought the vehicle back in and let it running until I could bring the hybrid specialist out to see it. It was in the mid 70's, the air was off, the vehicled parked and not in EV mode. He agreed it was not working properly.

    The next day they called and said it was the battery pack, that it was not recharging properly and they were ordering a replacement. It will be mid next week before it arrives and it get installed but at least this is a step in the right direction.

    Luckily the battery pack is still under warranty because they said it was a $10,000 part.
  • alice612alice612 Posts: 1
    according to FORD PR people - I am the first consumer to have a ford escape hybrid battery die on me- I have 120 thousand miles on my car. Its 4 years old. One day last week a triangle with an exclamation mark popped up and the message was- pull over safely- I turned off the car and when I turned it on again the message disappeared- this happened 4 more times for the next 50 miles till I got to my Ford dealer- 165 dollars and an hour later I was told the battery was going and it would cost $8,000.00 to replace. but that I could still drive the car safely to Manhatten the next day- Thats about 200 miles round trip. I was told that when the battery starts to go the engine takes over and when the little red triangle comes back on to keep driving. I wonder why no one knew that when the little red triangle comes on if you don't pull over the gas pedal no longer works- I went from 60 to zero by the time I crossed 4 lanes of traffic. I called the service manager who knew that would happen, I have yet to get an answer on why his service people are so poorly trained. I called Ford and they told me I was the first person to ever have a battery die, that there are cabs with 350 thousand miles on them still going strong - If thats the case then what happened to my battery?- they are getting back to me- I keep asking the same question, how long should the battery last and at what point do you decide its time to get rid of your car. One Ford person explained that the warrenty covered the battery up to 100 thousand miles. So I asked, does that mean that at 100 thousand miles you should consider getting rid of the car? The answer was no. I asked what is the threshold, what is the benchmark for these batteries, no one knows, but my Ford dealer was told there was nothing Ford could or would do to help me. Its 8 thousand bucks for a new battery. I think consumers deserve better answers than this.
    I would really appreciate some feedback.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    I am afraid you have discovered the main weakness with all hybrids, not just the Escape. The battery. As a hybrid gets older when do you trade it? Who knows for sure. Many variables enter into the equation. What will be the trade in value of a hybrid that is near the end of its battery life? Not much I'll wager.
  • bow45bow45 Posts: 21
    Hello~ alice612.

    Before I read your post I was considering 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid for my wife’s next car but after I read your post, I think Volkswagen Jetta TDI is the way to go. :confuse:

    I currently drive a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid AWD with 42,000 miles on it and am having a Reverse Sensing System problem. I also had a Wrench Light issue because of a bad Aux Mode Door Actuator. I’m little disappointed with the quality of my Escape. :sick:

    Please keep post what ‘s happening.

    Thank you and good luck.
  • imcooknimcookn Posts: 7
    I just bought a '07 FEH with 90K on it under the theory that the mileage was done on highway travel and the HV battery had minimal charging during this period. What can I estimate the battery life? This car was driven in southern climates.

  • bow45bow45 Posts: 21
    Recently I read an article about the Prius batteries in Car and Driver, May 09, Vol. 54, No.11.

    It says "Toyota sells replacement Prius batteries for about $2,300 and the company pays a $200 "bounty" for the goopy old dead ones." :surprise:

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