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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone i'm not so familiar with this magnificent masterpiece of car however to cut the story short a friend of mine has a Karma in the Garage which is completely Dead no sign of life at all.
Looking at some posts i conected an external 12V from +12V to chassis using jump cables, The dashboard came to life however the HV batteries are completely down to drive. My main question is there a way to start the Engine directly as you would with a normal car ? also when charging the HV batteries would they charge if the 12V battery is flat ?
Thanks in advance
Vince
 

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Hi Everyone i'm not so familiar with this magnificent masterpiece of car however to cut the story short a friend of mine has a Karma in the Garage which is completely Dead no sign of life at all.
Looking at some posts i connected an external 12V from +12V to chassis using jump cables, The dashboard came to life however the HV batteries are completely down to drive. My main question is there a way to start the Engine directly as you would with a normal car ? also when charging the HV batteries would they charge if the 12V battery is flat ?
Thanks in advance
Vince
I would pull the fuse over the passenger wheel well inside the hood..it's a long gray connection. After that if the 12V battery is dead I assume it would not charge, but if you plug it in you would hear the car make a click sound as it engages the current and does it thing. No sound, no charge.

Sounds like you know where the battery is and I recommend replacing it. Pull the fuse when you do this. You can jump start the car like any other car and it should start. put the car in sport mode and start it that way. To engage the engine put it in D, with your left foot on the brake use your right foot to press the accelerator down and the engine will come alive!

If all else fails you'll need a chicken, preferably live, 2 candles, some cloves, a knife, and some jelly beans :D
 

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Hi Everyone i'm not so familiar with this magnificent masterpiece of car however to cut the story short a friend of mine has a Karma in the Garage which is completely Dead no sign of life at all.
Looking at some posts i conected an external 12V from +12V to chassis using jump cables, The dashboard came to life however the HV batteries are completely down to drive. My main question is there a way to start the Engine directly as you would with a normal car ? also when charging the HV batteries would they charge if the 12V battery is flat ?
Thanks in advance
Vince
I would pull the fuse over the passenger wheel well inside the hood..it's a long gray connection. After that if the 12V battery is dead I assume it would not charge, but if you plug it in you would hear the car make a click sound as it engages the current and does it thing. No sound, no charge.

Sounds like you know where the battery is and I recommend replacing it. Pull the fuse when you do this. You can jump start the car like any other car and it should start. put the car in sport mode and start it that way. To engage the engine put it in D, with your left foot on the brake use your right foot to press the accelerator down and the engine will come alive!

If all else fails you'll need a chicken, preferably live, 2 candles, some cloves, a knife, and some jelly beans :D
Vince,

None of the stuff suggested above is going to do anything for you. The problem is that the HV (big) battery has dropped below its minimum charge level.

The Karma needs to have a minimum amount of charge (around 15%) in the big battery to operate, even when you are using the gas engine. This is because the HV battery operates as a buffer between the generator and the motors, taking in any extra charge generated by the range extender and providing start up power when coming off a full stop.

Here is what I suggest:

Keep the external 12V battery connected and also connect the car to a car charger such as the portable charger that comes with the car. You should hear a series of clicks and the lights on the charger should turn green and start flashing in sequence, indicating that it is charging.

Leave the car connected for 12-16 hours to fully charge the HV battery.

When the the charger stops blinking or after 16 hours, disconnect the car charger and try to start the car again. You should be able to get it fully started at this point. This will solve the immediate problem, but the 12V battery may be beyond rescue, in which case you need to get it replaced. It's a lot easier to do that when the car is running and you can drive it over to the shop.

To answer your final question, the Karma does not have an alternator and the HV battery charges the 12V battery when the car is running. But since the 12V battery powers the circuitry that connects and disconnects the HV battery, if the 12V battery is totally dead, the HV battery cannot power anything, including the 12V battery charger.

Good luck and please post with your progress.
 

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I would pull the fuse over the passenger wheel well inside the hood..it's a long gray connection. After that if the 12V battery is dead I assume it would not charge, but if you plug it in you would hear the car make a click sound as it engages the current and does it thing. No sound, no charge.

Sounds like you know where the battery is and I recommend replacing it. Pull the fuse when you do this. You can jump start the car like any other car and it should start. put the car in sport mode and start it that way. To engage the engine put it in D, with your left foot on the brake use your right foot to press the accelerator down and the engine will come alive!

If all else fails you'll need a chicken, preferably live, 2 candles, some cloves, a knife, and some jelly beans :D
You need to be careful when you recommenced disconnecting the 12 volt disconnect as often as you do. The 12 volt disconnect isn't a fuse plus as a last resort you want to disconnect it except when replacing the 12 volt and that is a precaution not to ground the 12 volt lead while working on the 12 volt system.
Every time you disconnect you take a chance of a voltage spike to the 12 volt system you also lose any codes that might be set that are useful to technicians.
One main problem i have seen is a customer locking the keys in the car after getting the car running and removing the jumper cables and the car dies right away. When ever i recommend a hard reset or a reason to disconnect the 12 volt.
And this is a practice everyone should and the first thing i do when i get a car back running is Open the drivers side window this way if the car dies i can reach in and open the hood and or the door. I also recommend keeping the keys in your pocket at all times.
Everyone appreciates any help that's given but you need to understand most people don't have a clue how to work on a car and even less how to work on a Karma. For this reason you need to spell out every step on how to attempt a repair.
 

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My 2 cents the least of your worries is when the HV battery is left with zero mile. Without a good 12 volt battery you wont be able to charge the HV battery or put the car into ready mode. Once you replace the 12 volt battery you will be able to charge the HV battery.The engine doesn't have an alternator but he has an APM . The APM is the alternator which is located near the firewall with the red cover on the side of it. If you put a volt meter on it while in ready mode you will see an output around 13.5 volts.
After the 12 volt battery goes dead it plays havoc on some of the systems so yes after the car is back running you might need to do a hard reset . And sometimes after a battery replace the car won't go into ready mode without a hard reset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you guys for you suggestions. my real problem and i hope you all understand is that the closest dealer is more than 1000 miles away and it's a shame to have the car in the garage as a lump of steel on wheels, I was expecting with a car so advanced in technology at least some sort of Emergency start even on flat batteries, however the good news is for sure the the Ready mode is ok.
 

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This car is really a (very heavy) "computer" on wheels. With all the reliability of early versions of any other computer system. Sigh.
 

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Thank you guys for you suggestions. my real problem and i hope you all understand is that the closest dealer is more than 1000 miles away and it's a shame to have the car in the garage as a lump of steel on wheels, I was expecting with a car so advanced in technology at least some sort of Emergency start even on flat batteries, however the good news is for sure the the Ready mode is ok.

If it helps... most of it is made of aluminum, some magnesium and a lot of copper.


😉
 

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Out of 12 classic, sports and luxury cars, my 2012 Karma is the best car I've ever owned. It's not even close.
 
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