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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone ever notice smoke or maybe steam coming from the front-right (passenger) wheel-well area while fast charging?

We never have until today.

We're on the way back home from a coast-to-coast trip. Well, almost coast-to-coast (From SC to MD. From MD to AZ. Back to SC).

On this leg of the trip, we left Ft. Worth, TX and wanted to lay over in Memphis, TN, but when we got to the EA station in Little Rock, AR, this is when I noticed white smoke or maybe steam coming from the front right side of the car. I got out to look closer and noticed it coming from the wheel-well... the side where the DCFC connection is.

Having never seen this before, and being uncertain of what was happening, I told me wife to get out the car, then I grabbed some important things as quickly as possible (we're loaded down as you could imagine, being on a 16 day road trip).

Anyway, I learned that the SOS only works when the car is powered on. So I risked it... powered the car on and pressed the SOS. With the car on, the smoke or steam seemed more prominent. Fans maybe? Well, I also learned that SOS is not for car problems as they directed me to roadside assistance. They also were no help, as he transferred me to the nearest Audi dealer which A) wasn't open because it was 7PM, B) wasn't open because it's Thanksgiving day (I told him this when he mentioned contacting the nearest Audi dealer).

So getting nowhere with SOS or roadside assistance, I decided to at least move the car away from the EA station. if the car was going to go up in flames, I didn't want to also take out any surroundings. By this time I no longer saw smoke or steam coming from the car. I also never received any warnings or errors.

This makes me wonder...

From the time we left Ft. Worth, TX to the time we got to this charger in Little Rock, AR, we'd driven in a cold (46-55 dF), foggy rain the entire way. ~350mi, ~6hrs of driving. 3 fast charging stops prior to this one. All in a steady, cold, foggy (low visibility) rain.

So maybe this was just steam coming from some component in the front-right wheel-well area that's burning off either the think water vapors in the air from all the cold fog, or burning off the "wet" that has gotten on the mystery component and today it's visible because of the cold, foggy evening and lights from the charging stations?

I don't know.

We loaded everything back into the car and risked driving it 10mi to a nearby hotel. The car seemed fine and no smoking / steaming at the hotel.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

We have another ~730mi to get home.

Thanks!
 

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While I have no expertise or experience in this area, your explanation of why it was probably steam sounds about right. Especially since you didn't smell smoke or something burning (I'm sure you would have said something if you had). It would probably be good to find out exactly what the source was, and whether whatever it was, was getting hotter than it should.

That's a real eye-opener about the roadside service -- that they only referred you to the nearest Audi dealer? Google or Siri could've done that much for you. Didn't they even offer to send a tow truck?

Good luck with the rest of your trip...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Didn't they even offer to send a tow truck?

Good luck with the rest of your trip...
No, he didn't, but I may have confused the rep when I asked him wasn't there someone in technical support I could speak to that could maybe remotely diagnose the systems for any abnormalities. This is my second e-tron vehicle (55 and GT), and I'm coming from multiple Teslas. After I thought about it, I guessed Audi doesn't have the ability to check systems remotely.

Anyway, I have some good news.

Before I posted this, I'd searched the forum and Googled for "e-tron GT smoke or steam while fast charging" and couldn't find anything.

After posting, it dawned on me to Google "Taycan smoke or steam while fast charging".

Bingo!

I found this, so it seems perfectly normal considering the cold, foggy rain we're dealing with meets the high humidity and cold temps conditions mentioned in this Taycan thread. Seems that the AC even pulls heat from the cabin and vents it from the front right wheel-well area, so we met all the conditions.


Thanks for your reply!
 

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Good thinking! With a car so new, there is pretty much no recorded history for any of a number of events. I wonder if Audi has a "Self-Study" Guide for the GT like they do for the Quattro. Would be interesting to see how things are layed out in the GT. What level Fast Charger were you working with-150 or 200? My understanding is that, at least for the really fast charging, the car must actively cool the battery, so it may have been venting heat from the battery, as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was on a 350kw station. It wasn't, however, outputting the normal 260kw to my car. At the time we were only pulling 148kw and it ramped down prematurely to 102kw and held there from 45% to 77% which is of course when I started noticing the "steam".
 

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I had this happen to me on my Audi 55 last year. It was more than steem; it made a big bang sound, and steem started I was thinking the car was on fire I got out and frizzing outside left it plunged in and everything was normal. Now I know with the big temp difference, and dc charging can do all this the sound is what scard me the most
 

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I wonder if Audi has a "Self-Study" Guide for the GT like they do for the Quattro. Would be interesting to see how things are layed out in the GT.
@Bakus posted a link to the GT "self-study programme" here, if that's helpful:

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had this happen to me on my Audi 55 last year. It was more than steem; it made a big bang sound, and steem started I was thinking the car was on fire I got out and frizzing outside left it plunged in and everything was normal. Now I know with the big temp difference, and dc charging can do all this the sound is what scard me the most
Ha! We have an e-tron 55 also. You heard the thermal expansion "bang" of the battery pack I think. We've heard that, too. But never saw steam in our SUV.
 

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I was on a 350kw station. It wasn't, however, outputting the normal 260kw to my car. At the time we were only pulling 148kw and it ramped down prematurely to 102kw and held there from 45% to 77% which is of course when I started noticing the "steam".
You normally see charge rates of 260kw to your e-Tron GT? At an EA 350kw station, I've never seen over 200, no matter what the temperature outside or starting level of charge.
 
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