Audi e-tron Forum – News, Specs, Pricing & Ownership… banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Do e-tron's have built in surge protection? Reason I ask is that mine received a surge whilst connected (not charging) and it has done some damage which is, as yet, not fully explained, known or costed by Audi.
They are at present asking me to claim on car insurance or pay myself for repairs.
Car is A3 etron and was connected to wall charger at home.

Thanks
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
142 Posts
I'd say the short answer is, "probably not."

I would expect some level of overvolt protection with the built-in charging system. Although generally speaking, surge protection is only meant to mitigate certain levels of power surges. In other words, even if there was surge protection, if there is enough electricity, it's going to be useless.

Audi and most manufacturers simply suggest disconnecting the charger during a storm (p.108 in the manual). A whole-house surge protector also wouldn't be a bad idea. But once again, they have their limits. Which, of course, is why there is home insurance.

And even though it's not under the best circumstances, welcome to the forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Interestingly other manufacturers do have protection, specifically checked with Tesla, Hyundai and Kia.
I'm not seeing that a one line in the manual makes all owners aware and also happily liable for damages caused.
Also in countries with high storm occurrences is unplugging all the time theres any risk really the proposed user action?
Not so sure they would sell many of these in the Alps, Pyranees and Mediterranean!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
142 Posts
Interestingly other manufacturers do have protection, specifically checked with Tesla, Hyundai and Kia.
I'm not seeing that a one line in the manual makes all owners aware and also happily liable for damages caused.
Also in countries with high storm occurrences is unplugging all the time theres any risk really the proposed user action?
Not so sure they would sell many of these in the Alps, Pyranees and Mediterranean!
Unless the manufactures directly advertise such a feature in writing, state the specifications, and "coverage," I wouldn't give it much weight. There are some levels of "surge protection" that are often nothing more than basic overvoltage protection or have such a low or high tolerance they are useless.

I don't think you'll find ANY manufacture willing to state they have sufficient surge protection to leave a vehicle plugged in during a storm, let alone make themselves accountable for any damage as the result of a surge. Especially as there are other common causes for surges beyond a lightning strike. I can almost guarantee if they found damage as the result of a surge, they'd be telling those drivers the same thing Audi did.

Pick a company, dig into the fine print, and you'll find something that says they aren't responsible for that type of damage. Don't fully trust any verbal promises or on a forum. Even this post. ;)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
129 Posts
This is probably going to sound ridiculous! But out of interest and genuinely in need of educating myself.
Does the wall charger itself not have a built in surge protector?

I am just thinking this>

My wall charger does have a surge protector built in and in fact my electrician added another "Thing (no idea what it is) My set up goes like this.

Cable out of fuse board in garage > cable in to a surge protector > Cable out to another mains high voltage switch > Cable in to external wall charger > (Charger has its own Trip switch.) > Charge cable plugged in to external wall charger > cable out to car.

I am guessing that this is enough?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
142 Posts
This is probably going to sound ridiculous! But out of interest and genuinely in need of educating myself.
Does the wall charger itself not have a built in surge protector?

I am just thinking this>

My wall charger does have a surge protector built in and in fact my electrician added another "Thing (no idea what it is) My set up goes like this.

Cable out of fuse board in garage > cable in to a surge protector > Cable out to another mains high voltage switch > Cable in to external wall charger > (Charger has its own Trip switch.) > Charge cable plugged in to external wall charger > cable out to car.

I am guessing that this is enough?
Your electrician would have to speak to what they installed unless you can find a model# on the hardware he installed. A google search would then usually indicate how much it is rated to handle.

Some things to keep in mind:
  • Many electronics can handle small voltage spikes or surges that happen every day.
  • Surge protectors are simply meant to help mitigate certain levels of power surges.
  • Not all surge protectors are created equal; you typically get what you pay for.
  • They all have limitations, per their specifications, regarding how much "surge" they can suppress.
  • They don't last forever; after handling so much electricity over time, their performance will degrade. Or in the case of a big enough surge, it may already be toast.
  • TIP #1: Most have a light; when it starts to flicker or goes out, it's time for a replacement!
  • There are in fact other surprisingly common causes for surges and spikes, everything from appliances in the house, to bad wiring, and power grid issues.
  • Virtually nothing is going to be able to handle a direct lightning strike; that's why we have home insurance!
  • TIP #2: During a lightning storm, always unplug expensive and sensitive electronics!
I just had my 14-50 outlet installed this past weekend, and went for the optional Eaton Ultra2 Whole-Home Surge Protection. Wasn't much considering what I was already spending on the installation and when combined with existing surge/UPS in the house, it'll be a nice added level of protection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
The fitting of surge protection is, at present optional for home EV points afaik.
I still have one overarching query about the whole unplug in a storm point. What happens if you live in an area of high storm activity or cannot get to unplug in time? Surely the car is not fit for purpose/reasonable use? A heart surgeon in operating theater cannot be expected to go unplug his car mid op!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
142 Posts
The fitting of surge protection is, at present optional for home EV points afaik.
I still have one overarching query about the whole unplug in a storm point. What happens if you live in an area of high storm activity or cannot get to unplug in time? Surely the car is not fit for purpose/reasonable use? A heart surgeon in operating theater cannot be expected to go unplug his car mid op!
Yeah, any surge protection, is an optional added level of protection.

I have a considerable IT background and have seen far too many very expensive things die from even moderate surges. This could be over time with enough frequency, or even a single big one, surges can kill anything. So for me, it isn't optional. ;)

If I lived in an area of high storm activity, I would keep an eye on the weather and pay a bit more for better surge protection. And if it's a common occurrence, I'd probably already be "paying" for it via insurance premiums, regardless. Once again, insurance is there for a reason. Lightening is often categorized along with a hurricane or tornado, in that it's an "act of god." Sometimes, you simply can't do anything other than deal with it and move on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I still don't see how Audi have informed me that there is a risk here and that I should protect my asset with surge protection, something I would happily have done for a modest cost vs the current 2k+ repair bill. There should be massive stickers on the charge connector highlighting dangers and all new owners should have the dangers clearly detailed in documentation. Other manufacturers still seem to build on protection as reasonable use activity!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
142 Posts
I still don't see how Audi have informed me that there is a risk here and that I should protect my asset with surge protection, something I would happily have done for a modest cost vs the current 2k+ repair bill. There should be massive stickers on the charge connector highlighting dangers and all new owners should have the dangers clearly detailed in documentation. Other manufacturers still seem to build on protection as reasonable use activity!
I do agree that all manufactures of anything electronic should better communicate the risks of power surges. Instead of hiding it in the owner's manual, fine print, or on a tiny hard-to-read label somewhere.

However, based on my personal experience, I seriously doubt any manufacture is offering more "real-world" protection against surges than Audi. Sorry, but until I see that in writing or via hard evidence, that's simply not something I can accept. I've been involved in the IT and automotive industry far too long for that. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
If your EVSE is one that plugs into a 14-50 outlet, they make plug-in surge protectors for 50a RV service that you could buy for some additional protection. Many of them also report mis-wiring and abnormal voltage conditions. If you are using your EVSE with an unfamilar outlet, this can give you more confidence that you are not about to damage your car by plugging into sub-standard electrical source
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top