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CEL with full charge, goes off after ~ 15 miles

1736 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  CA_MP4
This is my first full day of playing with the Karma. I charged it overnight, and left today with a full charge and full tank of gas.

After a few seconds on the road, I realized that my CEL light was on in place of the speedometer. Uh oh! I pulled over and called the dealer, who said that it's nothing to worry about, they always do that on a full charge; go for a mile or two, and it goes away.

It turns out that he was right, except that it took more like 15 miles for it to go away. I toggled between Stealth and Sport a few times, but that didn't seem to make a difference. I drove to the in-laws, turned it off and turned it back on, and it was still there, but then I drove to a restaurant, went in to eat, and when I came back out the CEL went off and the speedometer came back.

Is he right that I just have to live with this each time I fully charge the battery? If so, does it really take 15 miles to go away, or does it vary based on temperature, speed, etc?

If it matters, I charged it using the portable charger that came with it on a 110V. I didn't do anything special when it finished; just unplugged it from the car, then the wall, then started the car.

If it really does take 15 miles to go away, is there any way to turn off the warning manually? The analog speedometer is a lot harder to read.
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No, the CEL doesn't come on after a full charge every time. Without scanning the car to get the codes, we won't be able to help too much though, unfortunately. I'd suggest picking up an OBD II scanner and leaving it in the car, in case the light ever comes back on again.
Yes, that's not right.

I have had various fuel-system-related CEL/MILs (various fuel system codes come up on my portable OBD-II reader/clear-er) when refueling the Karma if: (a) I overfill it (by squeezing out a bit extra when the pump auto-shutoff shuts off), or (b) I drive it a too-short distance after a fill-up.

My speculation on the latter: the fuel system starts up to pressurize everything, but the 20 foot drive from pump to parking area to go in to the convenience-shop for something to eat or drink, or to get rid of something I ate or drank, leaves things in a state so that on the next startup, I get the fault codes. This appears to match their actual occurrences (they don't come on right after moving from pump, but rather once I come back out of the convenience-store).
Today didn't have any CEL, and it had a full charge, so the dealer was definitely wrong on that one.

My GF reminded me, though, that we did do something yesterday that might have fixed it. When we pulled over after < 1 mile and called the dealer, she read the book, and it referred to the gas cap not being tight. Before calling the dealer, I tried removing it and replacing it, making sure it clicked 5 or 6 times.

Since the CEL went off about 15 miles later, maybe the tightened gas cap helped it to build up the correct pressure? That's seriously a shot in the dark, but it goes along with ct-fiskerbuzz's theory, and it's the only thing that really changed.
Was the engine running at this time?
By definition - a CEL will go off after cycling 3 times without a fault, i.e. after the CEL was set, the ECU will check for the fault again, and if the fault does not reoccur for three cycles, the ECU will cancel the CEL (this is standard OBD diagnostic) the cause for the CEL can still be read with a scanner.
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