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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the first time I tried using the onboard charging timer in the car. Previously I used only the timer in my ChargePoint home charger app. Often in the morning I would see 10, 15 or more notices from the Audi app that charging was complete. As the charge dropped to 79% from the requested 80%, the charge cycle would reinitiate to bring it back to 80%. These cycles continued endlessly until the ChargePoint timer window closed out, stopping any further charging. However with each 79%>80% cycle, like many of us, I'd get the 'charge complete' app notice and hence the endless notifications from the app based on how many of these cycles actually occurred.

Fast forward to last night when I tried the onboard timer instead of the ChargePoint timer for the first time. I set the timer for a departure of 5:30am even though I was going nowhere. The charging began at 2:26am and ended at 5:30am with no apparent problems. I got one single notification from the Audi app that charging was successful. That's where the good news ends. Just like using the ChargePoint timer when you set a charging window that's unnecessarily long for the required charge, when I went into the garage at about 8am, I heard the relays clicking as another low energy cycle was apparently beginning. Now that was just by chance, as I'm sure there were many other of these brief cycles that occurred between 5:30am when the real charging ended and 8am when I entered the garage. The good thing was that the app sent out only one 'charge complete' notification.

Now granted this could be part of the 'conditioning' routine, but good grief, this constant cycling of the relays clicking & clacking away cannot be good for longevity of the system. It would seem that if you're using the onboard timer, you really want to accurately time your departure or you'll get these endless cycles. But on the weekend, many of us don't know exactly when we're leaving the house but still want to charge the car overnight. After all, it is the weekend. At least with the ChargePoint timer I can estimate the necessary charge time to bring the SoC to 80% and dial in that amount. That minimizes the wear & tear on the relays & what ever other system components are involved in the charging cycling. It would also minimize the number of app notifications I get.
 

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Here's what worked for me with my MY2021: set the car to unlock the charging cable when AC charging is complete. The charging will no longer cycle every 5 minutes, and you won't get multiple notifications.

If you're charging someplace safe, like your garage, this is a perfectly feasible work-around. If it's in a less safe area, this unfortunately might not work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here's what worked for me with my MY2021: set the car to unlock the charging cable when AC charging is complete. The charging will no longer cycle every 5 minutes, and you won't get multiple notifications.

If you're charging someplace safe, like your garage, this is a perfectly feasible work-around. If it's in a less safe area, this unfortunately might not work for you.
I've actually got it set up that way. Do you use the onboard timer in the car or your charger's timer (if you have one)?
 

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I do not use the onboard timer at all. My charger is just a dumb charger, so no timer or other fancy stuff.

Another thing I noticed is when charging is done and the plug unlocks, in the app it will show charging not possible. So, it wouldn't let me manually start a charge even if I wanted to. I wonder what your app says when it's finished charging. Perhaps there is a different software version on your car that behaves differently.

BTW, don't take this the wrong way, but have you double checked that you have it set to unlock on AC charging and not DC charging? When you turn off the car, the option to change the DC setting pops up, but not the AC setting. You have to dig into the settings to change that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Beef. Yeah, definitely set to unlock on AC. I'll charge using my ChargePoint again tonight and see what happens. Interestingly the issue had gone away for a week or so and it returned a few night ago.

This morning the cycling was occurring using the onboard timer, even though I only got the one notification. So it seems that getting just one notification is no guarantee that frequent cycling is not occurring. It seemed to behave in a manner consistent with what I've read about from others in terms of 'conditioning', but I can't believe this is good for components of the charging system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So a large serving of humble pie for me. :oops: Somehow the settings got reversed and I had locked for AC & unlocked for DC. This was exactly the opposite of how I normally had it set. I guess maybe that's the point where I started getting multiple notifications again. Wow, I just don't know how that happened, but thanks for making me check.

So tonight I'll try it again with the proper settings and see if the behavior reverts back to the single notification and one charge cycle. :)
 

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So after all that, my car has decided to suddenly change behavior. The AC connector is still set to unlock after charging (and it does), but now it's started the 5 minute cycling again, as well as the multiple notifications.

Also, in the app, it now simply says cable unlocked instead of charging not possible.

What the heck, Audi? There have been no changes to the car or my charger setup, so clearly Audi can change the behavior remotely somehow. Not happy!

Guess I will have to put it back to 100% charge, as the the multiple cycles and notifications aren't okay. I just don't understand why Audi would ever let behavior like this leave any sort of beta testing phase...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Sorry to hear that, Beef. Have you tried turning audible notifications off so you don’t get audible alerts? Of course this would do nothing for the multiple cycles, which I feel is the real concern.

In my case after putting the AC unlock setting back to where it had been, charging behaved properly with only one notification, although the SoC was left at 79%, not 80%. That’s fine and what I’ve observed before when things were working properly. FWIW my app did say ‘charging not possible’, but that’s more likely due to my charger’s timer window having closed. Do I think it’s permanently fixed? Nope.

I agree, contrary to what I would have thought, it does seem that Audi has some control over this behavior. I doubt it was coincidence that my issue suddenly disappeared when the new app and background work was completed.
 

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For me, the constant cycling is my biggest concern. I don't want the charging circuitry to fail and have to deal with warranty work. Since it's a 3 year lease, the battery wear from 100% charging is simply a lesser concern for me. I kind of feel bad saying that, as I've always tried to take care of my lease cars to the best of my ability for the next owner. But, this is out of my control, and Audi doesn't seem to care to provide a proper fix.

I'd be curious to hear your results on the cycling if you disabled the timer in your charger. I plan on also trying the charging again tonight and seeing how it behaves before setting it back to 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I use the timer to take advantage of the special off-hours EV charging rates my utility offers. I agree with you that it’s the wear & tear that the constant cycling can cause that concerns me. Notifications can be turned off, the cycling can’t when we run into this bug.

As far as the timer is concerned, there’s no need to disable it since simply extending the timer window beyond what is needed, will show if the issue still exists.

I’ll post updates on any changes that take place.
 

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Gotcha. We don't have those fancy time-of-use plans here.

Do keep us updated, and I'll also update here tonight after charging.
 

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So, an update after further testing. Whether I have the cord set to unlock or not, the 5 minute cycling happens if set to charge less than 100%. I also am getting notifications for every cycle as well. No idea what changed, but it wasn't on my end.

So, for now, I set it back to charge to 100%. I don't want to deal with the premature cycling wear, nor the constant notifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just looked at mine, and I got only one notification and a final charge of 79%. I’m assuming it ended at 80%, did that mysterious drop to 79%, but this time didn’t do the endless 79-80-79 cycling. The only thing I changed was the setting for unlocking of AC charging when complete.

I gave my ChargePoint a 3 hour window for charging since it only needed about 18% to get to 80%. This allowed enough time to show the cycling issue if it was still there, but not enough time to cycle 50 times throughout the night.

Such a bizarre issue. If the problem reappears, I’ll also set the charge to 100%, but only allow enough time on the ChargePoint to get to the neighborhood of 80%. Unfortunately these workarounds require a smart charger which many don’t have.
 

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Noticing the title of this thread, is the car actually recycling through charge/discharge? If so, as others have pointed out, the constant switching of relays an cycling of the charging system can't be good for the car. Also, even shallow charging cycles are not good for the battery (although here, you can't get much more shallow!)--also where does that 1% go in a car with no phantom drain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The car is definitely cycling as I and others have observed. My theory is that we’re talking about a fraction of a percent drop. So if the car drops to 79.99% (as I suspect most batteries do after a charge has completed) it results in another low level cycle.

We know the car really has no phantom drain like my MS did, so to me this is a logical theory. Further, I’ve never seen my SoC go from, say, 65% to 64%. The only drop that seemingly anyone has seen is the 80>79%.
 

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I think I will join this conversation. I live in Norway and have the same problem, as described in this thread, with my E-tron SB 2021. I frequently visit forums to see if a fix or a workaround has been released.
Even though Audi E-tron was last year's most sold vehicle in Norway, excess charging cycles do not seem to be a significant problem here, although some have had similar issues. My charging installation make use of a 3-phase, 32A, 240V smart charger that could supply up to 22kW to the vehicle. My own E-tron will utilize 11kW since I do not have the 22kW option.
The setup I use is as follows:
  • I use a combination of MMI and myAudi app (Android) to manage the charging.
  • I use a special setup linked to my home address, but I have also used the general setting, and the results are the same.
  • The limit is set to 80%.
  • I plug in the charging cable when I leave the car at the parking place in the evening.
  • The charging will start immediately, and the car usually reach charge limit within 2 to 3 hours.
After reaching the 80% charge limit, the system will start to initiate periodic charging attempts with a repeat cycle of 3 minutes (not 5 minutes). The first restart is asynchronous, it may come at any time after desired SoC is reached, but from there on it is exactly 3 minutes intervals, measured from the end of each cycle. If myAudi app is closed on the phone, I only get one notification on the phone corresponding to the time when the original charging session was ended. But, if the app is open and running, I will get several notifications (now as black labels on the app) with a message that charging ended, one for each cycle.

I have recorded a video of the car's charge port and the EVSE when the performance act takes place. I can tell you that even though there is only one notification on the phone, there is definitely action going on in the parking lot. It involves lights, clicking of relays and sound of small electric motors that spins.

I have tried BeefJerky's workaround by having the AC cable unlocked when the charge limit is reached. This works to some extent for me. After reaching 80%, the charging ends. The system becomes silent with no lights in the charge port. myAudi app now says 79%, and the indicator light on the EVSE turns green. But, after some period, a single new cycle is started, but now only with white indicator lights in the charge port. The EVSE also turns blue, and myAudi app raises indicated charge level to 80%. After that, the system comes to a new silence, and the EVSE turns green again. myAudi app is back to 79% SoC, and it says "Not ready to charge". From now on, the system does not seem to have repeated charge cycles. It may have, but there is no external indication of that. Also, after refreshing status on myAudi app an hour later, SoC again shows 80%. From there on, it stays at 80%.

The approach by BeefJerky will therefore, to some extent, work for me, but pre-heating of the car the next morning will, for this workaround, take place solely by means of the HV-battery. The car will not top the battery with what is used for pre-heating. It did manage this when the cable was locked to the car throughout the night.

In addition to excessive wear and tear, my concern is that even if there is no visible activity, the system could still be frequently waking up and consume 12V power. I'm looking forward to a solution. Please notify us if anybody is updated with a fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Doppler, thanks for that excellent write up. I was particularly interested in your observation of the first restart cycle being asynchronous. I had never heard of that nor thought it could be occurring, yet it might well be.

I may be wrong, but it sounds from your description of your charger’s indicator lights you may have the same smart charger I have, the ChargePoint home flex.

Regardless, have you ever tried simply estimating the time required to get to 80% and set the charger’s timer window to fall a bit short of that? This procedure ignores the use of the car’s MMI. Since the car will never get to 80%, you’ll receive only one cycle.

Of course, alternatively, you can set the Audi app for a requested 90% charge and then time it to fall short of the 90% SoC. This method lacks precision in terms of arriving at an exact SoC, but it does eliminate the multiple cycles.

I agree though that BeefJerky’s approach usually works too. I say ‘usually’ because for what ever reason, it’s no longer working for him. Also, in my case I have to verify that my sudden reversion to the repeated cycling was actually due to accidentally changing the MMI’s AC lock setting and not some other unidentified cause.

One would think this should be an easy fix for Audi, but thus far we’ve had nothing.
 

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Lucken, thanks for input. With regard to that the first restart being asynchronous, I have noticed that sometimes the first restart may come quickly, even when the green indicator in the charge port is still on, while other times it may come late when there is no light at all and the EVSE has gone green. From there on, it is always 3 minutes cycles.

My EVSE is a ZapCharger Pro unit. It is controlled by a central unit together with several others that belong to the same apartment structure. The system has a clever load regulation algorithm to optimize capacity. I do not think a single charging station may select when the charging should take place. That is left to the load regulation system. I have, however, never experienced that full charging power is not delivered right away.

I am also somewhat reluctant to use the timer system that comes with the car. From discussions in other threads and forums, it could seem that this may stress the 12V battery, especially if the period from plugging in to start of charging is long.

So, for the time being, I'm using BeefJerky's method, but have an eye on it to ensure that it settles down after the first repeat cycle. The drawback is that the pre-heating session the next morning is not as elegant as it could be. I will also be aware of any changes. I see from other postings that behavior has changed, and things that worked before do not work anymore. For me, I had a good period around April 14th when everything worked fine, including pre-heating.

Beyond this problem, I am really happy with the car. Range, comfort and handling is excellent, and I have never before had as many positive comments about its looks and appearance as I have had for this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Doppler, I agree, the charging issue, although I can work around it, is the only real issue I have with the car.

Now I just got off the phone with the e-Tron group to discuss this issue. This was my second call in to them, the first being about a month ago. There are 4 people in this group that field calls & issues and, if necessary, pass them on to Germany for escalation. The Rep I got, Krystal mentioned something I've never heard before and I know some will scoff at what was said.

She indicated that it is absolutely safe to charge to 100% and battery longevity is not affected. So naturally I asked why does Audi recommend only charging to 80%. She claimed it is only for convenience in that the charge rate is fastest up to 80% and then tapers off. So if a customer doesn't care about charging time & speed, it is safe to charge to 100% on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, it is also what is suggested to avoid the charge cycling.

I mentioned the 2 workarounds that our forum members have developed (AC charge unlock & charge timing to fall just short of the target SoC). She made note of that but indicated that Audi is still working on a software patch.

So take this for what it is, I know some might agree with what she said and others will not. I'm just the messenger. :)
 
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