Electronic and/or battery issue that will not allow the car to start

Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
  • 2015 LINCOLN MKZ HYBRID
  • 2.0L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 55,100 MILES
I have the car listed above with an electronic and/or battery issue that won't allow the car to start. I would like to chat with a Hybrid expert. Thank you.
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Thursday, April 29th, 2021 AT 2:03 PM

20 Replies

Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
We can help. Please provide the specific issues and we can respond with what we think you need to do.

Here is a guide on the battery that has some good info:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/hybrid-battery-information

Please let us know if you have codes and if you have not checked then we need to scan for them.

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/checking-a-service-engine-soon-or-check-engine-light-on-or-flashing

Let us know what you find.

Thanks
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Saturday, May 1st, 2021 AT 7:43 AM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Kenny,

Thank you for your reply. It is Orthodox Easter weekend here so we'll be back online on Wednesday when I'll get some DTC reads and I'll fly them over to you as soon as I have them. I also want to do some more testing so that I have clearer symptoms for a more precise guess.

So my move. I'll be in touch shortly. Thank you for your patience and desire to help.

Best regards from Sofia, Bulgaria.
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Monday, May 3rd, 2021 AT 2:19 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Thank you for the update. We will be here when you get back to us. Thanks
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Tuesday, May 4th, 2021 AT 4:15 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Kenny,

Back on track here so here's a long message for you to build a picture.

I bought a 2015 Lincoln MKZ 2.0 Hybrid with a soft head-on collision (frame intact) from the States to export to Europe for my Dad as a gift, to make the old man happy with a great American car.

VIN is 3LN6L2LU4FR626585. Mileage is 55,100.

The car was run & drive and prior to purchase I had a video of the gasoline engine running rough because of a broken vacuum line. No issues during transport. The car would start fine and drive well enough to be moved around. It had both headlights smashed, as well as the radiator fan. Two of the three radiators (gas engine coolant and refrigerant) were cracked and leaked out.

When it arrived, I started it and it ran as in the video. The hybrid battery was showing at around 15% and after a short time it kicked into electric. That's how I drove it off the trailer and into the shop - on electric.

My mechanic started dismantling the front end to remove damaged components. Radiators were taken out, radiator fan too. I ordered some parts. Here's a chronological history of what happened next:

1. Vacuum was fully repaired. Car was started on gas and ran smooth. No weird messages on dash except a Check Engine MIL which was there before the purchase.
2. Main 12V battery went dead - possibly because it read hood as constantly open. (We then shorted the hood lock chain to simulate it being closed.)
3. The mechanic hooked a 12V charger to the battery for a few hours without disconnecting a terminal - like on a normal car. 12V battery was charged.
4. Everything that was disconnected during repair was duly connected. The only thing left disconnected on the car were the missing headlamps. Even the broken radiator fan was connected although damaged.

HERE PROBLEMS BEGIN:
5. We started the car on gas. It would start normally, again no weird messages on dash. It would run fine for about 10-15 seconds and turn itself off. NEW red message "Stop Safely Now" would light up on dash and not go away. Other messages would read "Full Accessory Power Active" (yellow) and "Check Headlamp System" (yellow.) Nothing else worth mentioning.
6. We noticed that the hybrid battery now showed completely empty.
7. Upon later attempts the same day the car would shift gears fine but never start again.
8. We checked the 12V battery's voltage and it was good. Nonetheless, since we could not check the amps, we put in a brand new 12V battery just to eliminate this as a possible cause, however highly improbable. Same behavior with the new battery. "Stop Safely Now" message remained active and car would not crank.
9. We put the old 12V battery back in place - no change again, as expected.
10. We left the car for a day - unlocked but presumably put to sleep.
11. On the following day 12V battery was fine but steps 5 through 7 happened all over again. Funny thing is the car would start to begin with when it couldn't the day before. For a brief minute at first ignition the "Stop Safely Now" message was NOT there. There was a green one - "Ready to Drive".
12. When the car started, during the short time it ran it wouldn't rev. Then it would go back to "Stop Safely Now" and die.
13. We left the car locked for a week over Easter, 12V battery charged and connected.
14. Today we went to see what's happening and steps 5 through 7 happened yet again.
15. We had a diagnostic tool today so we took some code readings.
16. We looked closely for visible signs of a damaged or disconnected electrical line at the hybrid PCM but everything looked intact, close to brand new.

This is where we're at so far. Here are the DTCs:

* P1A0C - Hybrid Powertrain Control Module - Engine Disabled (THE BIG ONE!)
* P0532 - A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor A Circuit Low (we know why)
* P0480 - Fan 1 Control Circuit Malfunction (we know why)
* P0073 - Ambient Air Temperature Sensor Malfunction (we don't know why but don't care)

No other codes. We tried resetting those but none could even be deleted except the first one.

So now the question is: How do we get this thing to start and rev and drive on gas?

Why would it start after it's been sleeping for a day and still not rev?

How do we get the hybrid batteries to charge when we can't drive the car on gas?

Thank you for your help, any tips would be highly appreciated. I'm in the dark here and I really need someone with hybrid experience to point me in the right direction.

Looking forward to your reply.

Best regards,

Krassi Stoichev
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Thursday, May 6th, 2021 AT 1:55 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Let's start with this info on this code. Does the engine crank but not start? If so, try cranking it continuously for 30 seconds and see if it starts.

Take a look at this material and let me know. I suspect we are going to have to move onto the other codes as we most likely have something that the PCM is not liking and preventing the start.
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Friday, May 7th, 2021 AT 6:08 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
No.

When it has sat for 24 hours or longer, no "Stop Safely Now" message is displayed and the engine cranks and starts but can't rev. 10 seconds later it dies, the message appears and the car won't crank again at all no matter what we do.

Your screenshots state it is possible that something else triggers the engine to shut off and not start again but I can't make any sense of it being alright when the car got here. Everything is connected as it was back then. We had a vacuum leak from a broken Vapor Canister Purge Valve/Solenoid and a cracked intake manifold. If the no-start was due to vacuum leak, it would have been there then and not now. Now the vacuum is repaired so we should probably exclude it.

I'm thinking, how possible is it that the car won't start because the hybrid batteries are completely discharged right now?

And let me just say that when the "Stop Safely Now" message kicks in the car does not maintain a limited function so one could pull over safely. It just shuts off right away. So it's not in limp mode. I know limp mode could display the same message but this is definitely no limp mode because the engine just shuts off. No time to even change lanes if you're on the road.
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Saturday, May 8th, 2021 AT 7:06 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Okay. Maybe I missed this before. If the hybrid battery is completely drained then that is going to cause the immediate stall like this. The gas engine is meant to suppliant the battery system. It will not operate unless the gas motor has the ability to maintain a minimum level of charge in the hybrid battery.

This vehicle will not just operate on the gas engine if the electric drive side is inoperable. So if the battery is below this level then the gas engine will not be able to recharge or sustain that level so it shuts the vehicle down.
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Sunday, May 9th, 2021 AT 8:01 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Good, that could point me in the right direction.

So what is the way to charge the hybrid battery at least partially? I watched some videos that this could be done via a 230-300V current in the realm of 1.4-1.5 amps in a couple of hours on the Japanese hybrids. What do I need to get this hybrid pack up a bit? Apparently, I cannot drive the car to charge it through the gasoline engine or through braking. There are no service shops that service hybrid batteries in the whole country. So I would really appreciate a good hint.

Thank you.
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Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 3:27 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
The only way that I am aware of is with a stage 2 charger. The vehicle normally comes with a stage 1 charger which will fully charge the battery in 8 hours.

However, stage 2 will charge it in a few hours. However, the stage 2 is the only one that will have a chance at picking it up after it is fully discharged.

However, these are 240 volt but 30-40 amps. Which is why they are able to charge it quicker.

I attached some details on what is offered here in the US below.
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Monday, May 10th, 2021 AT 7:46 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Kenny,

I have talked to a technician who will take out the hybrid battery this week so we can try to service it. Charge it rather. I will keep you posted when we get it out and then you and I can build a strategy.

Thank you for sticking around.
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Sunday, May 16th, 2021 AT 1:29 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Meanwhile, I have a question:

Is the Level 2 charger an AC charger? What goes into the battery - AC or DC?
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Sunday, May 16th, 2021 AT 2:37 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
The level 1 and 2 use AC to charge the battery. Electric vehicles use both AC and DC voltage depending on what system it is.

There is one level called level 3 in some areas that is called DC fast charging. This is normally one of those large charging stations that they have at airports, restaurants or other locations. These take a lot of voltage and can cost up to $50,000 to install so they are not that common.
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Monday, May 17th, 2021 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Thank you.

I've watched some videos on YouTube on charging hybrid packs. There's a shop in Venice, CA - venicehybridtech.com - the guy talks about charging different-sized packs via different AC voltage between 145V and 330V but always cut down to 1.4 amps. Below is a link where you can see the whole thing. He says that charges a hybrid pack in about three hours.

In the comments another guy who apparently does that for a living says WHY SO HIGH? Better charge slower at 250-300 milliamps in 10 hours to get the most badly discharged cells back to life when the rest are fully charged. And the Venice guy agrees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx22rUnnrCU

It really makes me wonder how those Level 2 chargers you sent me will impact the hybrid battery if they are rated at 30-40 amps. This is over 100 times more than what seems to be the most recommended approach.

My car's hybrid battery has 74 cells which to their standard with Priuses is huge. They recommend charging it with a 330V current but still not over 1.5 amps. I'm totally new to this whole hybrids topic so please help me make some sense of it.

Thanks.
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 AT 12:10 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
I think the confusion in this is that this video is talking about about restoring or rebuilding a Hybrid battery that is completely discharged and the charger that I showed you is for maintaining the battery that is operating.

The charge at low amps is so that it tried to slowly bring the cells back to life so that it can start operating again. This may be what you need but this is very different then the level 2 charger. If you purchased one of these high speed chargers that they talk about that delivers low amps then you will only get the best use out of it when the battery is completely discharged.

The 30 amp home chargers are meant to ensure the battery gets charged as quickly as possible.

Think of it like when a 12 volt car battery is drained. You are not going to hook up a battery tender/trickle charger. You are going to hook it to another car or jump box that will deliver 12 volts at the higher amperage so that it jumps it off.

The trickle charger is there to slowly charge the battery at a low amp so that it massages the cells and keeps them alive.
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Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 AT 8:04 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
You explained it perfectly, just like I had it in my head.

The confusion, I guess, came from the fact that in my first big message where I explained the chronology of events, #6 states that the hybrid battery is now completely discharged so I took it you based your advice on this fact. You've been kind enough to read my messages and reply so don't worry, we'll get on the right track eventually. :D

So I'm taking it I need a slow charger now. We're having the battery pack taken down today and I'll send you pictures later so you can point me to where I hook up the charger when I find one.

Thank you again for your time.
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Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 AT 4:51 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
Totally understand. I must have missed that fact or just glanced over it.

What I would suggest is reach out to one of these hybrid battery restoration companies and see what they recommend for your specific situation. Any time I have seen a battery this discharged, it gets replaced so I am not confident that slow charging it will restore it, only because I have not experienced it.

However, I am sure we can figure something out.
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Wednesday, May 19th, 2021 AT 6:11 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
The hybrid battery is out. Please find attached some photos.

Please let me know where I hook up the charger. You can circle the right terminals and shoot the pic right back to me.

I'm working on getting a slow charger. It's the only shot I have here. No service techs around. I can try calling someone in the States but people tend to be somewhat reserved when they see a weird unknown phone number.

P.S: What are the black-capped cells as opposed to the red-capped?
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Thursday, May 20th, 2021 AT 2:14 PM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
I can't stress this enough. Please be careful. If your batteries are drained at this point then you may be safe but once you charge them you are going to have enough voltage to seriously hurt you or worse.

I have not been this far into a battery pack but I know that you have two sets of batteries here.

I circled them below. You are going to have to charge them separately most likely, depending on what type of charger you get. A popular one is called Prolong but it only charges up to 250 volts and it appears each one of these batteries are 150 volts.

Also, all those individual caps are to connect all the individual plates. You need to find the positive and negative for all the plates and connect the charger to these.

As for where to connect, you are going to have to find the positive and negative terminals for the entire batteries and you can find this by testing for voltage and when you find that you have around 150 volts per battery pack then you can use these points to connect the charger.

I attached some pictures of a battery off an Escape which is going to be similar to yours.

If you are not using hybrid battery insulated gloves then I would invest in a pair and remove any jewelry when working on it.
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Thursday, May 20th, 2021 AT 8:12 PM
Tiny
KGBS
  • MEMBER
Sorry for the long silence, crazy prom season just ended here.

So when I check a dead battery for voltage, should there be any? To find the correct terminals to connect the charger, that is. The way I see it, right now I detect no voltage so I'm guessing the outer terminals of the cells with the triple caps would be the right ones to work with, please see photo.

No need to mention rubber gloves, of course.
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Tuesday, June 1st, 2021 AT 4:04 AM
Tiny
KASEKENNY1
  • EXPERT
If you have no voltage then I suspect you have a circuit issue with the battery. I have never seen one of these batteries have 0 volts so I would think you are not checking it on the stud that has all the cells connected to it.

Usually these posts/studs are to the left of this location. I circled the general location.
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Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021 AT 6:44 PM

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