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Old 04-20-2018, 05:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default have you had a battery module replaced in your car?

and if so, then what was your subsequent experience with the car after you got it back?
did it run like it was brand new? did you notice any other issues that then later on had to be fettled with to get right?
anything else you want to report?
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It really depends on who replaces the module. Many csp's don't have the equipment to balance the new module. I came up with a special individual lithium charger I put together to move the module voltage up and down to exactly match the other 14 existing units. In this manner when I'm finished putting the pack together it is 100% balanced within one charge cycle. I also got the same equipment for Harleyguy, Alex Pop at Elite, and Bernie at Atlanta.
On the other hand, when someone doesn't do this and just slams a module in the battery causing an imbalance, it can take weeks to balance itself. Often running the other modules below threshold in doing so.
My two cents of course. The longer term answer is these batteries will never be new again. Its 6+ year old lithium.
The goal of a module replacement is to have voltage equality and no diminishing range of warning lights.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm certainly no expert, but I can tell you my still-ongoing experience.

I just had one replaced and picked my car up on Monday. My battery range was varying from 18 to a high of 24 miles prior to replacement (but typically 18~20). He said it should slowly improve, but that I needed to charge then discharge it 6-7 times while the batteries balance. The first couple of days I was around 20-21 miles, and then today was 23.8. I'll take it back probably on Monday for him to look at it and replace my visor.

I'll let you know how the next few days go.
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Old 04-20-2018, 07:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FiskerPhilly View Post
It really depends on who replaces the module. Many csp's don't have the equipment to balance the new module. I came up with a special individual lithium charger I put together to move the module voltage up and down to exactly match the other 14 existing units. In this manner when I'm finished putting the pack together it is 100% balanced within one charge cycle. I also got the same equipment for Harleyguy, Alex Pop at Elite, and Bernie at Atlanta.
On the other hand, when someone doesn't do this and just slams a module in the battery causing an imbalance, it can take weeks to balance itself. Often running the other modules below threshold in doing so.
My two cents of course. The longer term answer is these batteries will never be new again. Its 6+ year old lithium.
The goal of a module replacement is to have voltage equality and no diminishing range of warning lights.
I wish you were closer...
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Old 04-20-2018, 08:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by EasyEd View Post
I'm certainly no expert, but I can tell you my still-ongoing experience.

I just had one replaced and picked my car up on Monday. My battery range was varying from 18 to a high of 24 miles prior to replacement (but typically 18~20). He said it should slowly improve, but that I needed to charge then discharge it 6-7 times while the batteries balance. The first couple of days I was around 20-21 miles, and then today was 23.8. I'll take it back probably on Monday for him to look at it and replace my visor.

I'll let you know how the next few days go.
Yes. That's exactly what I was saying. With my methods, they leave the next day with 50 miles, no drop. I also believe its detrimental to the overall state of health doing what you are doing. Wish I could've helped.
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Old 04-23-2018, 10:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My experience: I had a bad module or two, which led to the behavior of the range falling linearly while I drove until about 11 miles remaining, where it would then fall immediately to zero, often accompanied by a MIL/CEL. I sent the car to Joe, he swapped out the modules and rebalanced the pack. I got the car back with "50 miles" of range, which would linearly fall to zero as expected. My feeling is that my true real-world range is at least as good as it was when the car was new. It's been nearly two years now and I've had no issues, follow-ups or other challenges. The Karma has been very well behaved.

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Old 04-24-2018, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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ok, follow up question....
i may need to replace 2 modules. i am informed that the cost of doing this will approach $8k including labor.

i also understand that an entire new pack of 15 modules, can cost as little as $12k, and that the labor might add another $2k, so $14k.

it is tempting to consider doing the latter and then having a brand new pack that theoretically should last a decade.

has anybody else explored this battery calc juggle?

thoughts?
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Old 04-24-2018, 10:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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ok, follow up question....
i may need to replace 2 modules. i am informed that the cost of doing this will approach $8k including labor.

i also understand that an entire new pack of 15 modules, can cost as little as $12k, and that the labor might add another $2k, so $14k.

it is tempting to consider doing the latter and then having a brand new pack that theoretically should last a decade.

has anybody else explored this battery calc juggle?

thoughts?
"new" packs are really new old stock packs and are already aged (most built 2012 or earlier- ~a123 bk)
If your tech is not skilled at balancing and replacing modules you are better off going with the new old stock pack... If you are using a skilled tech that knows how to diagnose, replace and balance modules; replacing the defective modules is a better bet.

It would not be smart to have a parts-swapper shop replace the modules; without balancing.

The labor on replacing a full pack should be much cheaper than the labor to open up the defective pack and replace the bad modules. But pricing is all over the place. Your best bet is to talk to Joe.

Last edited by PowerSource; 04-24-2018 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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thanks for that.

presently, a very able and experienced tech is replacing 2 modules. i hope it works.

is there any value to the used batteries that are in the car now? for example if i were to choose to go the way of replacing the entire pack sometime down the road, could i sell the other modules? and if so, what value do they have?

Last edited by rosssr; 04-24-2018 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:50 PM   #10 (permalink)
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thanks for that.

presently, a very able and experienced tech is replacing 2 modules. i hope it works.

is there any value to the used batteries that are in the car now? for example if i were to choose to go the way of replacing the entire pack sometime down the road, could i sell the other modules? and if so, what value do they have?
The modules in the pack have different orientations.. some modules are worth more than others. But not really worth much at all as a whole. The battery tech in the Karma is pretty old and not very usable for modern transportation re-purpose applications. You could possibly use the old pack as a grid storage array at your home with a solar system and the appropriate inverters. That is probably the best and highest use for your old pack.

A Tesla powerwall @10kWh (vs the purported 20.1kWh in the MY12 cars) costs about $3500 the chemistry in the Karma is a bit safer and can be used for grid storage applications. That is what I would do.

Last edited by PowerSource; 04-24-2018 at 11:54 PM.
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