I’ve been curating a few FAQs from here and elsewhere:
A. Fix bad battery health data (without dealer)?
B. What’s my battery health? (without ODB2)
C. How do I disable LDW on startup?
D. How do I disable aircon on startup?
E. Wi-fi and the app
F. How to default to split-screen P-side-P display?
G. What happens when battery range goes to zero?
H. If the car has a 12 kWh or 40 Ah battery, why does a full charge use much less?
J. What does the Eco button actually do?
K. How do the ICE and the motor-generators work together?
L. Random thoughts on tyres
M. A mantra on battery health
N. What’s that little light for?
O. Known recalls
P. Where’s the (other) fuse box?
Q. Air conditioning and heater
R. My beeping PHEV won’t beeping lock!
S. Regen and braking (aka: “B0 or B5, which is best?”)
U. Units: Arrgh!
W. Condensation / misted glass
X. How do I start the engine?
ZZ. Notable threads, jargon, abbreviations, TLAs, etc.
Suggestions welcome! Mention or PM Richi Jennings; or email email@example.com
A. FIX BAD BATTERY HEALTH DATA WITHOUT GOING TO THE DEALER?
The idea here is to use up as much of the traction-battery’s reserve as we can, before performing a normal home charge. We also give the cells time for their electrolytes to stabilise—both before and after the charge. This is similar to the “BMS recalibration” process that dealers perform (see section A.2 for more info).
- Arrive home in evening with low charge
- Park up, but do not plug in. Allow battery to “rest”—to cool cells and stabilise electrolytes (say 60–120 mins)
- Using the remote app, go to Timer|Climate
- Spin the Mode to HEAT
- Select 30min in Operation Time
- Touch Home
- Touch Climate ON/OFF to manually switch on the heater
- Wait for battery reserve to be depleted (heater will automatically turn off). Battery should now be below 25% SoC (no bars on the display)
- Allow battery to “rest” again (as step 2)
- Charge overnight at 10A or 16A
- Allow battery to “rest” again (as step 2)
- Optional: Restart the charge session and wait for it to complete
- Optional: Do not drive the car next day, which should allow the cells’ electrolyte to fully disperse and demonstrate to the BMS that the battery has more headroom than it thought (assuming of course that it does)
Note that this process isn’t magic; it won’t fix a degraded battery, but it can help the BMS to learn more about your battery. The BMS is always learning, so these steps are designed to give it the best data to go on. But it's only helpful if the BMS has got confused in the past—it won't fix a truly unhealthy battery.
Over the next 1,000 miles, your SoH and guess-o-meter range should relearn and hopefully start to increase, all else being equal. It’ll help if you also follow the tips in FAQ#M.
- This process as written won’t work on a 3h, but you should be able to deplete the battery by driving at slow speed.
- This is of limited use on a European MY2019 car, due to the additional bugginess of the BMS
A.2. What the dealership does
The Workshop manual calls it “DRIVE BATTERY CAPACITY AUTOMATIC MEASUREMENT (M549-45-557-14600-01)”—the tech should follow the revised instructions from the latest Service Bulletin, which I think is MSB-17EXL54-501, dated May 16, 2017. We often abbreviate this to DBCAM. The dealer tech may also refer to it as “Battery auto capacity measured” [sic].
This procedure forces the BMS to re-learn the battery SoH, which can be useful if it’s got confused. It can take three days to do it properly, so be prepared for the dealership to hang on to the car.
The dealer may want to just “reset” or “initialise” the estimated capacity, without going through all this process (see section A.4 below). The Workshop Manual says not to do that, unless you’re replacing the battery, but that if you do it by mistake, then you must next go through the up-to-3-day DBCAM measurement process.
I suspect this is why some customers have seen weird results—i.e., the dealer selected the wrong option in the MUT3 diagnostic unit and gave it back to the customer with an impossible “100% SoH.”
There is another, shorter procedure, known as “Cell Smoothing,” which the dealer may want to try first. Many dealer techs believe this procedure to be the same as DBCAM, but it’s clearly different. We believe this procedure does an in-depth cell balancing (a bottom balance in the jargon). This is a useful first step in diagnosing a possible damaged battery, but it is not a substitute for DBCAM, if you suspect the BMS is confused. Don’t be fobbed off by a “successful” smoothing, even if accompanied by a printout that shows 80 cells at the same Voltage.
Some dealers are more clueful than others. Hilariously, one tech actually tested the 12V auxiliary battery and told the owner everything was fine.
A.3. “The BMS is buggy as heck”
The BMS is always trying to adjust its SoH estimate, but often doesn't do a great job. Giving it a variety of conditions is the best way to help it be accurate.
- full charge from 25%
- partial charge from 75%
- interrupted charge
- 2-hour pause before and after a charge
- toggle heater on/off to prompt a "top-up" charge several hours after a full charge
- 80% DC/CHAdeMO charge
- and possibly even charging on a slope (a bit random this idea, but it might cause electrolytes to diffuse differently)
A.4. Reset? Initialize?
Another procedure in the workshop manual is known incorrectly as a BMU Reset. However, that's badly confusing terminology that Mitsubishi changed in 2014, in the service bulletin MSB-14EXML00_54-001: “RESET ESTIMATED INFORMATION AND CONTROL INFORMATION OF DRIVE BATTERY CAPACITY.”
I believe dealers had been performing this procedure incorrectly, which is why it was clarified in the MSB. But it appears dealers are still getting this wrong. The procedure has always included two separate MUT-III commands, both of which include the word "reset" in their names:
- Batt. capa. estimated info. reset
- Control information reset
Again, both resets need to be performed.
Following an Initialise, assuming you’ve not replaced the traction battery, you should:
Following an Initialise, assuming you’ve not replaced the traction battery, you should:
- Rewrite battery age value, using the date code sticker on the left side of the pack
- Rewrite battery odometer value, using the distance travelled in kilometers (assuming this is the original traction battery)
- DBCAM (see section A.2)
B. WHAT’S MY BATTERY HEALTH? (without an ODB2 dongle)
Use the Charge Cost feature in the MMCS to work out how many kWh were used for a full charge. It’s not super-accurate, but gives a useful indication.
I set the price per kWh to £0.10 to easily work it out. On my MY14 with 85,000 miles, I see £0.88 to £0.98 (i.e., 8.8 to 9.8 kWh) from an “empty” battery, depending on how much reserve charge was left in the battery when I got home and on whether the BMU decides to slightly overcharge on this occasion. Averaging several charge cycles, let’s call it £0.93 (i.e., 9.3 kWh).
Remember to read the graph in READY mode (it can silently fail if you’re in ACC or ACC2).
So if you average a few full charges and divide by 9.55, you should get an indication of your SoH (as a percentage of 38 Ah, which is how the PHEVwatchdog app calculates it).
Here’s the nerdy working: A 40 Ah battery is specced at 12 kWh (nominal 300 Volts), but you can only put in 8.4 kWh from 25% SoC (see part H). You also need to allow for roughly 12% wasted energy that turns to heat, so a battery with factory-spec capacity would average about £0.96 charge cost (9.55 kWh energy in equals 8.4 kWh stored).
- So for my battery when the BMS was estimating 97.4%: 9.3 ÷ 9.55 ≃ 97.4% SoH
- ...and when it was estimating 99.5% and drawing ~9.5 kWh: 9.5 ÷ 9.55 ≃ 99.5%
- ...and now that it’s estimating 100.3% and drawing ~9.8 kWh: 9.8 ÷ 9.55 = 100.3%
C. HOW DO I DISABLE LDW ON STARTUP? (the beeps when crossing lane markings)
- Start the car (LDW auto-enabled as usual).
- Turn LDW off
- Press and hold LDW for about 15 sec (when you release it, LDW2 is displayed)
Some say LDW “can’t be disabled” on UK models, but that seems to be a misunderstanding: LDW2 makes the switch sticky, so whatever state it is in when powered down is the state it powers up in.
D. HOW DO I DISABLE AIR CONDITIONING ON STARTUP?
To stop the air-conditioning compressor coming on in climate-control Auto mode, press and hold the aircon button (snowflake) for 10 seconds.
When you hear three rapid beeps, then the auto button is disconnected from the aircon button. So when you switch aircon off, it’ll be off the next time you drive.
But beware of not running the aircon for a few weeks: The lack of lubrication from circulating the gas/oil mix can lead to premature failure down the line.
Alternatively, if you just want to stop it this one time, start up in FakeReady mode, where you can adjust the climate control settings (see section ZZ: Jargon).
E. WI-FI AND THE REMOTE APP
E.1. App won’t connect
If you have a 10-digit wi-fi passkey, you need to use the original app (not "I' and not "II"). However, this app has a bug that stops it working on Android 8.
Depending on where you live and what phone you have, you might find the older versions of the app have been replaced by a shiny new one. The new one has a display with a white background, rather than the black background of the older app. This app will not work with a 10-digit passkey.
There is a service campaign (“recall”) to upgrade the wi-fi module firmware to give it a longer, 14-character passcode. Earlier versions of the campaign were withdrawn, because it was bricking the wi-fi module; however, everything seems OK now and it’s available again. If your dealer is unaware, ask them to search for the bulletin or check with Colt (Mitsubishi UK).
E.2. Where’s my wi-fi passcode?
You can get the code for free by writing to MMC via this form: mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/enquiries/customer-service
However, if the car has had the update mentioned above, MMC probably won’t know your new passcode. So you’ll have to ask your dealer for it.
E.3. How do I reset the wi-fi? (when you have two phones registered already)
You can only register two phones. So you might need to deregister everything and start again: Reset it by carefully following these steps (1–5 must be performed within 30 seconds):
- Get in the car and fully close the drivers door
- Turn on the hazard lights (triangle button)
- Enter ACC mode (without pressing the brake pedal, press the power button once so that it glows orange)
- Alternately press and release the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons on the key fob 5 times (i.e., 10 presses in total). This must be done within 10 seconds of entering ACC mode in step (2)
- Listen for one beep, followed by 1 or 2 more beeps
- Repeat step 4, except do 10 pairs of presses (i.e., 20 presses in total)
- Listen for one beep, followed by NO more beeps
- Switch off car (press Power button twice) and hazard lights
If you only hear a single beep, with no following beeps, you have successfully reset the wi-fi. You can now register two phones with the car again. If you hear more beeps after the first, try again from step (1).
E.4. I still can’t connect my Android phone
Beware of over-thinking things. Yes, the car has a wi-fi access point, but you shouldn’t try to manually connect to it (unless you have an iPhone/iPad). Let the app manage things and it should work just fine.
Delete the car’s entry from the list of saved wi-fi names and just let the app manage the connection: Long-press on the saved entry and select Forget.
However, some Android phones may include extra apps or customised UI that try to “help” you connect to wi-fi and get in the way. That’s unfortunate, but hopefully those phones have a way to disable that behaviour—it can mess up the PHEV app's logic for putting you back on a good network when you exit the app. See this thread by William Walker for details of how he tweaked the settings on his Samsung phone.
E.5. I still can’t connect my iPhone / iPad
Go to the Settings app and disable Wi-Fi Assist: “Go to Settings > Cellular or Settings > Mobile Data. Then scroll down and tap the slider for Wi-Fi Assist.” [support.apple.com/en-us/HT205296]
Once you’ve successfully set it up, in the Settings app, go to Wi-Fi, select the PHEV’s network, and turn off Auto-Join (thanks to Charlie Heard for the tip).
F. HOW TO DEFAULT TO SPLIT-SCREEN P-SIDE-P DISPLAY?
In the map display, hold the North/Compass button which then splits the display in two. Half nearest driver displays the map, half furthest away gives options to choose one of a range of other displays—audio, EV, etc.
It stays on even after restarting. To return to this display, press MAP.
G. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN BATTERY RANGE GOES TO ZERO?
When you reach zero miles (“----”) on the guess-o-meter, you’re at 30% state-of-charge. The computer aims to keep the battery SoC roughly in the 25% to 30% range (which is why you rarely see the final bar go away on the in-dash display). That’s a swing of around 2 Ah—roughly half the SoC-swing from “full” to “empty” in a non-plugin gen2 Prius, for example.
It uses that charge for things like:
- tootling around at low speed
- running the AC, pumps, hydraulic brake boost, power steering (all electric)
- motor assist if you press on
- synchronising the speeds of the ICE and both ends of the transmission when entering parallel mode (avoids slipping the small wet clutch)
- powering the 12V system, including the accessory battery
To do that, it needs to continue to generate electricity. Some of that comes “for free”:
- regenerative braking
- synchronising ICE/transmission speeds (when it needs to reduce one of those speeds)
In a regular ICE vehicle, these would just waste energy as heat: brake friction, clutch slip, torque-converter losses, etc.
At low loads, it also generates electricity by running the engine closer to the thermal-efficiency sweet spot on the speed/load curve, which produces excess power, so it charges the battery from that excess. This is completely alien to ICE.
At higher road speeds, it’ll switch to parallel-hybrid mode, where the ICE directly drives the front wheels and mops up any spare power to charge the battery.
See also Part K for info on the clever GKN transaxle that allows all this to happen.
H. IF THE CAR HAS A 12 kWh OR 40 Ah BATTERY, WHY DOES A FULL CHARGE USE MUCH LESS?
EVs and hybrids never “fully” charge nor discharge their batteries.
Back in the 1990s, Toyota and Honda discovered that if you restrict the SoC to a swing of about 40% to 60%, the battery essentially lasts for ever (for the life of the car, anyway). This is why you see MY2005 Prius taxis at 300,000+ miles.
But that was NiMH chemistries. Lithium-ion chemistries can stretch the point. For example, the Outlander PHEV uses around 75% of the rated cell capacity (confusingly, the cell manufacturer defines “100%” SoC, as relating to an open-circuit Voltage of 4.1V, which is about 10% less than the chemistry would imply). Newer cell designs can safely stretch the low-water mark even lower.
This also means the effective battery capacity will be significantly less than the rated capacity (depending on how the specs are written). Internet fluff implies the PHEV has a 12kWh/40Ah battery, which is essentially true, but it only uses about 70% of that (roughly 28 Ah, equating to roughly 8.4 kWh charging energy input).
The other thing to understand about battery chemistry is that there are no absolutes. Zero and 100% are kinda fuzzy and open to interpretation—a bit like defining the height where space starts, and what we mean by zero height, or “sea level” (which differs by season, moon phase, latitude, climate change, etc.) It’s even possible to charge a cell below what the manufacturer defines as zero, but that damages it faster than the manufacturer’s specs. Similarly, you can continue to charge a cell past “100%” but you shouldn’t, for the same reason.
Confusingly, the PHEV’s BMS does go slightly above what it calls 100% every few charges, but “100%” is more like 90% of the cell's capability, as discussed above. It presumably does this when the cell temperatures are low and the open-circuit Voltage hasn’t yet reached 4.1V—it keeps track of the charge going into the cells (so-called “Coulomb counting”), so this could be an indication that the BMS’s SoH estimate is pessimistic.
And finally, don't forget that the BMS’s SoC number is always an estimate. It's based on combining several measurements, integrating them, adjusting for previous experience, adding a fiddle-factor for expected change over time, and disembowelling chickens in Minato-ku. And an SoC measurement at a point in time while you're driving or charging will be inaccurate (for more on this, see section M). So if you see the SoC drop after the car’s been sitting for a couple of hours, you’ve not “lost” charge, it’s just the BMS changing its mind.
H.2. The “kWh” stored is kinda meaningless
The cells in the battery don't† actually store electrical energy. No really: they store charge:
- Power is measured in Watts (Amps × Volts)
- Energy is measured in Watt∙hours (not strictly an SI unit, but whatever)
- Charge is measured in Coulombs (Amps × seconds)
We often talk in terms of energy delivered when that charge is realised, but because the Voltage varies depending on how much current is delivered, the relationship between the power output and the charge used is variable, therefore so is the energy (i.e., the power integrated over time). There’s also an effect due to cell temperature.
So the most efficient way to turn charge into energy is to be gentle on the throttle. You’ll get more power out of the same charge over the period of time you’re extracting it from the cells (i.e., converting charge back to electrical energy is more efficient).
†—of course, you can’t destroy or create energy, only convert it. Think of charge as chemical energy, stored in similar way to how you convert kinetic energy to potential energy when you move uphill.
J. WHAT DOES THE ECO BUTTON ACTUALLY DO?
As far as I know, Eco mode only does two things (or three, depending on how you look at it):
- Puts the aircon into a low-power mode (unless you’ve changed this in the settings).
- Remaps the throttle-pedal curve, so you have to push it further to go at the same speed or accelerate at the same rate as Normal mode. But by the time you reach the bottom of the pedal travel, it’s exactly the same.
- This possibly has a knock-on effect on the cruise control, so it’ll accelerate slower to your set speed.
Eco mode’s pedal remapping also makes it easier to stay on the left of the power meter, to stop the ICE cutting in.
J.2. Climate Control and preventing the ICE running
In Eco mode, the car is less likely to use the ICE to provide heat rather than using electricity from the traction battery (GX4h and above). It’s generally only noticeable in cold weather.
Normally, if the computer thinks generating heat from the electric heater won’t warm the cabin quickly enough, then it starts the ICE for heating. In Eco mode, the rule is relaxed, so it’s less likely to start the ICE.
Tip: If you set the cabin temperature to minimum (15°C), then the ICE normally won’t start. In winter, set the temperature to 15°C before stopping the car, and when starting:
- If you’re unsure how the climate control was last set, start in FakeReady/ACC2 mode (press Start twice without touching the brake pedal) and set to 15
- Turn car on (Start button while pressing the brake pedal)
- Hit Eco button
That way, you prevent ICE startup. (Obviously, preheating improves this.)
Example: “I got in the car after my wife had used it and she’d left it set at 20°C, with an outside temp of 7C - the ICE started immediately.”
Thanks to Paul Sayer for the original writeup. This works on pre-MY2017 cars; later model-year cars with the EV button may have changed the behaviour.
K. HOW DO THE ICE AND THE MOTOR-GENERATORS WORK TOGETHER?
First things first: No manner what Mitsubishi’s Marketing people call it, the PHEV transaxle isn’t a CVT. Nor is it use what Toyota calls an “eCVT” (which is based around a clever planetary gearset, rather than the steel or rubber band of a CVT).
The PHEV has a single-speed transaxle mated to the ICE. Made by GKN, which calls it a “Multimode eTransmission,” the gearbox coordinates the ICE and the two front motor-generators using a small wet clutch. There’s another clutch known as the torque limiter that joins the ICE and the transaxle. (There’s a third motor-generator on the rear axle to provide AWD, but no kinetic coupling or power transfer front-to-back.)
There’s a very good video below, which explains how it works:
L. RANDOM THOUGHTS ON TYRES
Shop around and you can see fitted tyre prices ranging £70-£170 each. Search the group and you’ll find loads of recommendations for tyres that are better value than the OEM Toyo covers. The OEM tyres aren’t the quietest, nor do they have great rolling resistance, and they have average grip.
Owner recommendations include, but are not limited to:
- Michelin Crossclimate SUV (has Three Peak symbol, so can legally go up restricted roads)
- Michelin Primacy 4
- Accelera Iota ST68 (very good value, if you can find them in the right size)
- Vredestein Sportrac 5 (good value)
- Falken FK510 SUV
L.2. Uneven tyre wear
If you’re getting odd tyre wear, such as only on one shoulder, get a laser 4-wheel alignment check (toe-in only). Yes, 4-wheel: If the rear toe-in is wrong, it can cause the front tyres to wear like that, I kid you not.
If after adjusting the toe angled they see a significant problem with the camber or caster measurements, you might want to talk to a dealer, because Mitsubishi recommend those not be adjusted.
L.3. “All four tyres must be the same”
Be aware that Mitsubishi says you must use the same type of tyre on all four corners, and that you should rotate them, to prevent a difference in wear. There’s (ahem) some debate about whether this advice is bogus (MMC says it’s to avoid wear on the centre differential, but the PHEV doesn’t have a centre diff).
Further muddying the waters, a 2015 dealer notice sent by Mitsubishi UK says, “If the vehicle detects a tyre of a different rolling radius (however slight) it will indicate that an EV service is required.” This advice also seems bogus—there are countless drivers who have a lot more tread on their rear tyres than the fronts and have never seen an EV-service warning. However, your humble editor cleared up some weird, jerky regen behaviour by replacing his front set to match his rears.
And a few owners have found having different tyre types front/back throws up this warning. Other have found that maximum regenerative braking is reduced. So there’s something to be said for rotating the tyres front/back every service, then buying four at a time when they wear out.
Note: You should ensure the same tyre type and wear-level in L/R pairs on the same axle, as is good practice with any car.
L.4. Winter tyres?
If you want a separate set of wheels to put winter tyres on, check out this thread.
Other members swear by Michelin Crossclimate+ SUV as an all-weather tyre (discussion in this thread).
M. A MANTRA FOR BATTERY HEALTH
Well, a tentative mantra, at least:
- ABC: Always Be Charging—even if your battery’s full; even if you don’t plan to drive it today (or, if you prefer, TtBMS: Trust the Battery-Management System). You don’t need to baby the battery by (say) stopping the charge session early—in fact, that can confuse things, because you’ll prevent the top-balance phase from working.
- Don’t use the timer to optimise when the session ends, just plug it in (but it’s a good idea to delay charging for an hour or two, to let the battery cool and the electrolytes to stabilise). Of course, taking advantage of off-peak electricity is another good reason to delay the start. The key here is to give the battery plenty of time between the end of the drive and charging it—and again between charging and driving it (see next point).
- Where possible, allow the cells to cool and the charge to dissipate through the electrolytes for an hour or two before driving off. (Let the BMS do its thing and give it time to monitor the cell Voltages—the data might tell it something new about the SoH.)
- Don’t be scared of B5 regen nor DC rapid-charging: Bursts of high charge current are good for the physics of lithium-ion cells, and peak rapid charging current is much less than peak regen.
- If you really want to baby the cells, run the battery down a little if you're leaving it unused for a week or more. The ideal is around 4/16 bars of the battery meter, which equates to about 45% SoC, but don’t sweat the details—if you can only get it down to 15 bars, that’s better than leaving it full. Also, don’t leave it really empty: try to charge it up to at least 2/16 bars.
N. WHAT’S THAT LITTLE LIGHT FOR?
There’s a small, yellowish light in the roof console, which seems to illuminate randomly. In fact, it comes on with the headlights.
It doesn’t make any sense if it’s a tell-tale that your headlights are on, because that’s already a symbol on the dashboard. MMC dealers have been known to tell customers that it’s designed to illuminate the handbrake, but the bulb is scarcely bright enough to do that.
See this thread for more discussion: facebook.com/groups/342911965900842/permalink/802531129938921
Here are all the known recalls in the UK for PHEVs. This section was last updated October 30, 2018.
If you’re at all unsure if your vehicle needs any of these done, don’t rely on Mitsubishi sending you a letter. Fill out the form at mitsubishi-cars.co.uk/enquiries/recall – you should get an email reply which you can show your dealer (assuming the reply says your car is being recalled).
O.1 Fuel Leak (built 3rd calendar quarter 2015)
“There is a possibility that a connection of the fuel pipe to the fuel hose has been improperly mounted in production. On affected vehicles inspect the installation of the fuel hose connector and if found to be improper, remove and reconnect correctly.”
O.2 ICE Fail (built before mid-2015)
“The Internal Combustion Engine may not operate correctly. DTC’s will be generated, the engine-warning lamp will illuminate and the combination meter will display a message. In the worst case, the internal combustion engine will fail to start and charge the main traction battery. If the warnings are ignored, the main traction battery will become depleted and the vehicle will lose all drive.
“Apply countermeasure software to the ECU and replace the spark plugs with ones of approved specification.” Note that when MMC says “the ECU” they actually mean two ECUs—one for the ICE and one known as the PHEV ECU.
O.3 ECU Relay Overheats (built late 2014 to mid-2016)
“The engine Electronic Control Unit Relay may overheat and fail. This could interrupt power supply to the engine and will cause the engine malfunction warning lamp to illuminate. The engine may stall and may not restart.
“The engine ECU power relay will be replaced with a new relay.”
O.4 Door latch fail (built 2nd quarter 2015 to 1st Q 2016)
“The locking mechanism in the door latch assembly may not operate properly in high temperatures. As a result the door may latch correctly and may unintentionally open whilst driving.
“A modified assembly is available and depending on vehicle identification number, the remedy is to replace either both O/S door latches or on all four doors.”
O.5 Handbrake/Rear-Calliper (built before February 2016)
Earlier model years have a design flaw that causes the rear brakes to bind. Over time, the handbrake mechanism and/or the self-adjuster in the rear brake calliper can seize. It typically happens on the left first (on right-hand drive cars). You’ll find the initial travel of the handbrake lever feeling “floppy,” or discover hot rear brakes after a drive.
Several countries have recall campaigns for this issue. The UK’s recall campaign was announced in August 2018. The campaign covers tens of thousands of UK vehicles, including all Outlanders and the ASX, so be ready for a delay before it can be fixed!
If you’ve previously paid for the repair, there is a process for reimbursement, but this is something you’ll need to discuss with the dealer first—a refund isn’t guaranteed.
At least one owner has been told the free repair does not run to replacing worn pads. But other owners have had the pads replaced at no charge as part of the repair. You should insist on new pads as well if there’s any suggestion that the pads are “glazed” (i.e., damaged by heat from dragging at speed). Glazed pads are less effective and might damage the disks. You should argue that MMC agree to a “goodwill” repair.
Previously: MMC had extended the warranty on the callipers up to five years or 93,000 miles. Several owners have had success getting their dealer to honour this and the previous “goodwill” policy, although one owner was refused, due to supposed “abuse” of the brakes.
It’s worth persisting: Your humble editor was quoted £750 by his trusted, inexpensive local garage to replace both brake callipers, due to the cost of the parts from MMC!
We believe MMC will announce an official recall once it’s built up an inventory of parts in the UK, because a few dealers have said as much to owners.
[Previous versions of this FAQ included ideas on how to fix it yourself; if you want a copy, let me know]
Diagnosis: There’s a rubber boot that protects the mechanism from water and dirt, but it doesn’t make a good seal. To test the system...
First, we’re going to pump the footbrake to ensure the calipers self-adjust:
- On level ground, with the handbrake still off, put the car in READY mode, and stay in P
- Wait for the brake booster pump to stop buzzing
- Push the footbrake as far as it’ll go, hold for a second, and release
- Repeat step (3) as many as 15 times
Next, let’s see how the handbrake lever behaves:
- Pull the handbrake up by five clicks
- Release the handbrake
- Press and release the footbrake
- The lever shouldn’t feel loose when you pull it up again (if it does feel loose past the first click, either the mechanism is seized or the handbrake cable needs adjusting)
Acid test: Can you roll the car back and forth and have it roll to a gentle stop without the brake grabbing on?
- In P, on level ground: release the handbrake
- Put your foot on the brake (ensures handbrake mechanism fully releases)
- Shift to N
- Release the brake
- Pop it briefly into D or R to creep forward/back a little, then quickly back to N
- The car should gently come to a stop, without the final “stiction” jerk you get with a dragging brake
- Try it in the other direction as well
Finally, check the handbrake holds as it should: On a slope, it should need no more than 6 clicks to properly keep the car stationary when shifted to N. Bouncing up and down in the seat shouldn’t make the brakes creak!
|Go seicho arigatou gozaimashita!|
Info from the U.S. recall documentation:
Due to insufficient rust prevention to the operating shaft of the parking brake and insufficient sealing performance of the rear brake caliper lever boot, water may penetrate the brake caliper lever boot and the parking brake operating shaft, causing caliper body and/or parking brake operating shaft corrosion. As a result, the operating shaft may bind, causing the rear brakes to drag and/or decrease parking brake performance.
Due to an inappropriate manufacturing process, the automatic adjuster in the rear brake caliper, with built-in parking brake, may not work. If the automatic adjusters do not work, as brake pads wear, the parking brake lever's effective engagement point will increase until the parking brake no longer engages.
If blue paint mark is found on the hook of the caliper lever or if “G” is stamped near the nut, the caliper is already a countermeasure unit. No further inspection or replacement work is required. Check both left and right rear brake caliper assemblies.
Inspect the clearance between the Caliper Lever and Stopper. If the ... clearance between the lever and stopper is more than 2 mm when the parking lever inside the cabin is released ... or if the lever is stiff to return when manually operated, replace caliper body assembly.
O.6 FCM software update (cars with FCM built 3rd Q 2016 to late 2017)“FCM might activate brake for longer than necessary. The ECU will be rewritten with modified software.”
O.7 Brake hydraulic unit interrupted (built 3rd Q 2016 to early 2018)“Driver assist programme functions through the hydraulic brake unit may be interrupted. The ECU will be rewritten with modified software.”
O.8 Sub-BMU update (early MY2019 cars)Not strictly a recall in the UK, but this update improves compatibility with CHAdeMO rapids.
P. WHERE’S THE (OTHER) FUSE BOX?
The two obvious fuse boxes are in the engine compartment. But there’s another one, hidden away behind the glovebox.
- See this thread for a video
- See this link for more fuse-box info
- Photos of how to remove the glovebox
Q. AIR CONDITIONING and HEATER
Some notes about the climate control…
Q.1. A warning about PAG oil
The PHEV, like most HEVs and all BEVs, has an electric aircon compressor (i.e., it’s not belt-driven from the ICE). This means it must not use the “PAG” oil additive that most cars use in their aircon refrigerant systems. And aircon techs need to take care not to pollute your car’s aircon with any PAG that’s already in their pipes.
A competent aircon tech will look up the correct-spec oil/UV dye for an Outlander PHEV, use a clean machine to vacuum the old gas/refill, and check for leaks with a UV lamp. (Having heard from other owners whose lease companies sent them to Kwik Fit, I rang round a few local branches, but none of them are properly equipped to do the job.)
This also means you can’t use the DIY top-up cans from Halfrauds.
Why? The refrigerant/oil mixture is in contact with the windings of the compressor's electric motor, so there's a chance that a high voltage might get through the oil to the chassis ground. Conventional PAG oil is typically conductive enough that this is a problem.
(Note that this is a different issue to the choice of refrigerant. The PHEV uses the standard R134a gas, not the newer type that new cars started to use around 2015.)
More info in this writeup from Denso, which makes the electric compressor.
Q.2. Maintenance is essential
The aircon isn’t just there to keep you cool, it also keeps the battery cool.
Excess heat is a cell killer, so frequently check the aircon is working properly—if not get it looked at ASAP!
Q.3. Stopping the engine firing up when it’s cold
It’s often said that if it’s cold outside, running the climate control will fire up the engine. This isn’t strictly true (in cars with an electric heater).
The logic is more about the difference between the cabin temperature and your climate-control temperature setting. The cabin sensor is behind the three little slashes in the dashboard, below the Start button. If you’ve pre-heated the car, the difference can be greater before the ICE will fire up.
Here's what I think is going on: The unit estimates how hard it needs to drive the electric heater to reach your target temp in a reasonable amount of time. If the demand would be more than about 5 kW, it uses the engine to help generate heat in the loop. But that 5 kW includes the aircon compressor, so it's a good plan to disable aircon until later. (This "reasonable amount of time" is longer if you press the Eco button.)
Q.4. My heater doesn’t heat
First thing to check is the easy fix: Sometimes the computer in the climate-control unit gets confused. Put the car in ACC2 mode and push AUTO; then press the MODE button about 20 times, pausing for five seconds between each press. This will cycle the system through every setting of the air flaps.
Also easy: If the car will preheat OK, but not get hot in normal driving, the cabin temperature sensor might be blocked with fluff. It's hiding behind the small gashes in the dashboard, just below the START button. Get a can of compressed air and blow it out. If this fixes it, but only temporarily, then the sensor might be reading incorrectly.
More involved: A fairly common problem seems to be that the filter gets clogged. It’s been said that the problem is leftover sand in the engine block from the original metal casting process. Paul Mason fixed his own car, and kindly wrote up the process in this excellent step-by-step.
Other possibilities, which probably need professional help:
- Blocked 4-way valve
- Blocked cabin heater matrix
- Broken electric heater or electric pump (does it heat from the engine OK?)
There's more discussion in this thread.
R. MY BEEPING PHEV WON’T LOCK!
Car won’t lock? It could be that your interior key-fob sensor is too sensitive (or that you really do have a key fob inside the car).
Jan Dilloway: “Ever since I got my MY16 4h, the ... lock button on the boot has only worked randomly and the majority of the time would just beep at me and do nothing when I tried to lock the car. I had given up on it as the beeping upset the dogs and had resorted to using the key instead.
“However, after persevering at it tonight, I found out it was thinking the key in my pocket was still inside the vehicle if I stood too close when pressing the button. Do it at arm’s length and it works every time.
“[There’s] a display on the dash telling me the problem, but of course you can’t see that when standing at the boot!!!”
S. REGEN AND BRAKING (aka: “B0 or B5, which is best?”)
I have never seen another PHEV topic generate more religious wars than this. Over and over again, in every PHEV-related forum.
How you choose to use D or the B modes is up to you and your personal preference. Some prefer to leave it in B5 and modulate the throttle, others prefer to paddle up and down while they drive. Frankly, most drivers just leave it in D.
Whatever your preference, know this: Regeneration is not 100% efficient. Expect to recover only 50%–80% of your kinetic energy into the battery. So, just as in a conventional car, a huge part of economical driving is thinking ahead. If you’re able to “predict the future,” you can use the B modes and/or modulate the throttle to best effect.
In order to maintain the momentum that you’ve already paid for, aim to glide in B0—or by modulating the throttle. Your humble editor tends to leave it in B0, so I can glide, then steadily paddle up to B5 as I approach a hazard. Other prefer to leave it in B5 and balance the throttle carefully, in order to glide and then gradually lift off to regen.
As for the brake pedal, just like any other xEV, the initial travel of the Outlander pedal is regen only. But the more you press, the more conventional friction braking you get. It varies by speed—as you slow, you can press harder to get max regen. Below about walking pace, there's no regen available in any mode, as it would conflict with the creep function.
(However, unlike other xEVs, there is more regen available from the pedal when you’re in higher B modes. It’s unclear why Mitsubishi designed it like this. You could even consider it to be a bug.)
You can see the effect by putting it in B5 and watching the left dial go below the regular “off throttle” reading when you brake gently (but taking your eyes off the road might not be advisable!) At extremes, you can regen more than 30 kW before the brake pads touch the disks—this requires some brake pedal action, no matter what B mode you’re in.
(If you’re not in the UK, some of this section might not apply.)
Different types of charging are called so many different names. It’s far more confusing than it needs to be. So let’s go with this:
- Home/Granny: Uses the left-hand socket. Full charge from empty in about 5 hours. Draws 10 Amps from a domestic 3-pin socket, using the “brick-on-a-wire” unit that comes with the car.
aka: Mode 2, slow charging, standard charging, trickle charging (incorrectly)
- Home/Destination: Also uses the left-hand socket, but a bit faster. Full charge from empty in about 3 hours. Draws no more than 16 Amps from a dedicated charge unit—even if it’s a “32 Amp” unit. Charge unit might be a public post, or one installed at your home. Most public chargers need you to supply a “Type 2 to Type 1” cable, such as this one. Some dedicated home chargers have the cable already attached (“tethered”), but some are like the public chargers, needing an extra cable.
aka: Mode 3, SCP, fast charging (confusingly)
- Rapid: Uses the right-hand socket. 80% charge from empty in about 30 minutes. Chargers will be public units, such as the Ecotricity rapid chargers at every motorway services (bar one), at IKEA, at Lidl, the new Instavolt network, etc. aka: Mode 4, DC, CHAdeMO, quick charging, FCP, fast charging (see what I mean about “fast” being confusing?)
T.2. Finding a charger
[todo: list some apps and how to join networks]
T.3. Etiquette guidelines
We’re indebted to Ian Trott for this excellent summary: If you’re going to be using any of the Rapid chargers, it’s always best to stay near your vehicle (this goes for both pure EVs & PHEVs). There’s nothing worse than turning up to a Rapid to find a vehicle plugged in but it’s finished charging. Sometimes when I’ve been desperate I’ve had to wait over an hour.
Think of them like you would a fuel pump: Charge up and then move the vehicle. You wouldn’t using a filling station as a car park. I’ve seen quite a few EV owners now treating Rapids as parking bays. Actions like that will cause major problems in the future as EV adoption rates increase.
It’s all about being considerate towards other users.
- If you can’t stay by the vehicle, consider putting your mobile number(s) on the dashboard
- Some EV drivers feel antagonistic to PHEVs, because we don’t need a charge to get home, but they do (whatever the rights and wrongs, it’s good to understand that some feel this way)
- At a Rapid, don’t restart the charging session after it stops at 80%—it’ll be much slower and you’ll be preventing others using the charger
- Malc Tomlinson reports that the ferry from Harwich to the Netherlands has a Type 2 charge point. If you say at check-in that you want to use it, they give you a sign to put in your window—this tells the loading staff to direct you to the right place on board.
- Locking the cable / preventing theft
U. UNITS: ARRGH!
US-customary gallons are smaller than the “imperial” gallon used in the UK. And people who use litres often think of economy numbers the other way up (litres per 100 km, rather than km per litre, so a lower number is better).
What a mess. So here’s a quick reference table:
l/100km | mpg(UK) | mpg(US) | km/l 3 | 94 | 78 | 33 4 | 70 | 59 | 25 5 | 56 | 47 | 20 6 | 47 | 39 | 17 7 | 40 | 34 | 14 8 | 35 | 29 | 13 9 | 31 | 26 | 11
(figures are rounded, obviously)
V.1. Do you get flashed a lot?
Wayne Blacklaw tells us that the self-levelling mechanism doesn’t work in Auto mode (on the twisty stalk), and Nicole Murru confirms it: facebook.com/groups/342911965900842/permalink/949950205197012
So if you get flashed a lot, try switching to manual.
V.2. Retrofitting LED bulbs
In the UK, it’s now illegal. Specifically, you should not put an LED unit behind a lens that's not designed for it.
You might get away with it for full beams, but you will mess with the dipped beam pattern and cause accidents by blinding other road users. It’s not illegal to sell them, so don’t rely on that.
Since September, DVSA’s instruction to MOT testers is that LED retrofits constitute an automatic MOT fail: “An LED bulb fitted to a halogen headlamp should be rejected for 4.1.4 (c) ‘Light source and lamp not compatible’, even if the headlamp aim is within limits laid down in the requirements.”
W. CONDENSATION / MISTED GLASS
Is your windscreen/windshield often misty? Does it freeze up on the inside in the winter? Are you forever hitting the demist button on the climate control?
Try this collection of tips from the group denizens:
- If you've disabled your aircon (snowflake), consider re-enabling it, because it dries the air
- Check carpets for evidence of leaks
- Check air inlets at base of screen for wet leaves and crud
- Check cabin air filter for wet leaves and crud (see link in Section ZZ for how to get at it)
- Thoroughly clean inside of glass (vapour condenses on dust particles)
- If all else fails, Paul Mason swears by RainX Anti-Fog and a Poundstretcher wardrobe damp-catcher; Kevin Holden likes the Pingi bags. Andy Stein made his own from absorbent cat litter in a pop-sock.
X. HOW DO I START THE ENGINE?
One of the things that can confuse new owners is that when they press the Start button, the car doesn't “start”—in other words, the engine doesn’t run. It takes a moment to realise that, because it’s a hybrid, the engine doesn’t run all the time.
However, if for some reason you really, really want the engine to run—say your country requires it for an emissions test†—then hold down the CHRG button for 10 seconds. You need to be switched on (READY illuminated) and not in gear (in P). To stop the engine, turn off the car by pressing Start
†—at time of writing, the UK “MOT” test doesn't require an emissions test for the Outlander PHEV.
ZZ. NOTABLE THREADS and JARGON
- Install your own towbar with wiring kit
- Using an extension cable with the granny charge brick
- Replace your disgusting front transaxle oil!
- Rear motor mount: common failure
- Fitting dashcams front and rear
- Fitting a new cabin air filter
- Updating the navigation map (or just use Waze!)
- Pre-cooling, -heating, or defrosting
- SAVE and CHRG buttons
- Fixing the Tyre Pressure Monitor Maintenance warning
- Fitting Thule roof bars correctly
- Replacing the key battery
- I can smell burning
- How to get the correct blinker fluid, without paying Mitsubishi’s outrageous prices
- Discussion of this FAQ (previous thread)
- Discussion of this FAQ (current thread)
ZZ.2. Threads about buying a used/pre-owned/2nd-hand PHEV:
ZZ.3. Pimp my PHEV
ZZ.99. Jargon, abbreviations, TLAs, etc.
- ABC: Always Be Charging (see FAQ#M)
- ACC: Adaptive Cruise Control—radar-based cruise control (on the ‘s’ variants) ...or...
- ACC: Accessory mode—when you press Start once without your foot on the brake; lights up orange. Power to the storage box 12V outlet, but not the outlet in front
- ACC2: See Fake READY
- Autonomy: A word used by some English-as-a-second-language speakers to mean EV range
- AVAS: Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System—generates external noise below 22 mph
- BMS / BMU: Battery management system/unit (the terms are essentially interchangeable—but if you want to be picky, the “unit” is the physical box, and the “system” is the set of algorithms that manage the battery)
- BSW: Blind-Spot Warning—sensors that tell you if there's a vehicle where you might not be able to see
- CCC / Colt: The UK Mitsubishi importer is still legally known as The Colt Car Company Ltd.
- EVSE: EV supply equipment—commonly called a “charger” although strictly-speaking the AC charger is inside the car. See also Granny
- Fake READY: ACC2 mode—when you press Start twice without your foot on the brake; lights up green as if in READY mode, but car won’t drive and climate-control won’t work. Power to both 12V outlets.
- FCM: Forward Collision Mitigation System—warns you to brake, then brakes for you at speeds below 50 mph (on the ‘s’ variants)
- GOM: Guess-O-Meter (the EV range indication)
- Granny: The 10-Amp EVSE brick with a household electric plug (see FAQ#T)
- ICE: Internal combustion engine
- LDW: Lane Departure Warning on the ‘s’ variants (see FAQ#C)
- MGN: Mitsubishi Global Navigation
- MMC: Mitsubishi Motors Corp
- MMCS / MMMCS: (Mitsubishi) Multi-Media Control System (the touchscreen audio+nav unit in older models)
- Mode 2, 3, 4: see FAQ#T
- MY: Model Year (e.g., MY2019 or MY19 is the new, bigger-battery version; MY2014.5 is the later revision of the 2014 model year, typically with a UK 64 plate). Note that first registrations of a model year usually happen in the 3rd or 4th quarter of the preceding year—e.g., early MY2016 cars were first registered roughly October 2015 (the entire motor inducstry works like this).
- OCV: See Voc
- ODB2 / ODB-II: The on-board diagnostic port under the steering wheel, which you can use with a suitable dongle to read BMS data (see phevwatchdog.net for an app)
- SDA: Smartphone-link Display Audio (replaces the MMCS)
- SoC: Battery state of charge—in this FAQ, we usually refer to what the BMS gives as SoC via the ODB2, which is about 95% of the cell specifications (see also FAQ#H)
- SoH: Battery state of health, as estimated by the BMS
- Voc: Open-circuit Voltage—the potential across a cell when no power is going in or out, which is the primary indicator to the BMS of the cell’s SoC
Thanks and Acknowledgements
- David “roguegfh” Evans
- Russ “Rustybrowne” Brown (for finding the handbrake rubber boots)
- Gregor Wilkolek (for the fuse-box video)
- Mark “renrutkram” Turner (for the other fuse-box link)
- Daniel Vejdemo (for the TPMS warning tip)
Document history: In the thread at facebook.com/groups/342911965900842/permalink/800900193435348
Document copyright license: cc:by-nc-sa