Changed Battery, now "Comms Failure EMS" - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Changed Battery, now "Comms Failure EMS"

Thursday, I wanted to take the car out for a drive. Took off the trickle charger, and car didn't crank (aka battery seemed dead). Didn't have time to think about it, so put the trickle charger back on and left.

Friday I tried again, same thing, so figured battery probably dead. Car was acting odd...rear lights flashing lightly, front lights on. I pressed the light button on then off and that ended that. I assumed it was because battery was really weak.

Today decided to swap the battery out, so took the battery out of the car and brought it to Autozone. When they initially tested it, it showed a little over 9V. They tried to charge it over 2 hours and found that it wasn't holding charge.

Bought a new battery, and put it in.

Go to try and start the car, and I get "Comms Failure EMS" showing in the right display. Car won't let me crank.

Plugged in the Foxwell and got the following codes:
U0100: Lost communication with ECU
P1613: Forced Mechanical Limphome Position OR secondary air injection system


I tried to clear the codes, but I'm not sure if the Foxwell worked as it didn't seem to clear it.

What the heck did I do?

Tried to search around and only found where people tried to jump the car with the key in the ignition. Only thing I can think of is I may have tried to start it with the trickle charger connected (can't remember).

Thought I'd see if anybody had any ideas before scheduling and towing to the dealer. I'm fearing the worst in my head right now .

Last edited by shakham; 04-21-2019 at 05:03 PM.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 06:40 PM
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Check your ignition relay. You might just need to remove it and reinstall it. Hopefully this solves the issue. Below is a post about the failure and the fix for that owner. Your owners manual should show where that relay is buried.

https://www.thelotusforums.com/forum...s-failure-ems/

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ShadowWulf369 View Post
Check your ignition relay. You might just need to remove it and reinstall it. Hopefully this solves the issue. Below is a post about the failure and the fix for that owner. Your owners manual should show where that relay is buried.

https://www.thelotusforums.com/forum...s-failure-ems/
I pulled the rear fuse box and did a couple of things:
- reset the Ignition relay.
- made sure TCU Main relay is set.
- checked the R7 - ECU Ignition - IPS fuse
- checked R5 - TCU Main Relay

It's tough pulling stuff in that small area .

Didn't seem to fix anything.

I did some more testing. Everything in the car seems to work. Headlights, doors, windows, alarms, etc.

The only anomaly I saw as the auto window up-down when you open the door isn't working, and the fuel gauge isn't showing any fuel, yet it shows the fuel mileage remaining.

I'm able to read codes with my Foxwell OBD2 reader, so this means the ECU is still doing something.

I saw this pretty recent thread:
https://www.lotustalk.com/forums/f17...re-ems-404617/

However, everybody talks about frying when jumping.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 07:16 AM
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You're probably going to need someone with a tech centre at a minimum to try to reload the ECU flash. I doubt it was your trickle charger, but maybe the 2 hour charging Autozone did was using a high-rate charger, which I wouldn't try on these cars with how sensitive the electricals are.

You could also take Phil up on his offer to look at one of the fried ECUs. He might be able to breathe life back into it if there's no actual physical damage.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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You're probably going to need someone with a tech centre at a minimum to try to reload the ECU flash. I doubt it was your trickle charger, but maybe the 2 hour charging Autozone did was using a high-rate charger, which I wouldn't try on these cars with how sensitive the electricals are.

You could also take Phil up on his offer to look at one of the fried ECUs. He might be able to breathe life back into it if there's no actual physical damage.
Let drop Phil a line and see if he has had any progress. Would be happy to make this part of an mod upgrade .

I was looking to reflash, but wanted to swap out the exhaust (at a minimum) first.

As for Autozone...
I should have been more specific. I brought the battery to them, not the car.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:56 AM
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maybe the 2 hour charging Autozone did was using a high-rate charger, which I wouldn't try on these cars with how sensitive the electricals are.
A "high-rate" charger is the right way to revive a discharged lead-acid battery. Doing it with a trickle charger is like filling an empty bathtub with a teaspoon.

A rule-of-thumb bulk charging rate for lead-acid batteries is .1C, or 10% of the capacity. A typical car battery is around 60-80 amp-hours capacity, so a bulk charging rate of around 6-8 amps is the way to do it.

Trickle chargers are for keeping fully-charged batteries fully charged, period.

To the OP, nothing you described could have "fried" the ECU. Your conscience should be clear. Unfortunately, without more detailed diagnostics, there's not much further you can go on this one -- I'm guessing here that you're not in possession of an oscilloscope.

It may be worth your while to confirm other wiring items beyond the ones you've already checked -- security of connections, voltages at key connectors, ground points, etc -- but you have probably already thought of this.

I think it's important to note that the code is "lost communication with ECU." There are many ways this could happen, only one of which is a voltage-spike-roasted circuit board. In fact, that appears to have been Phil's point in the other thread.

Edit: One question in my mind is, are you seeing a greater-than-normal quiescent load? Although I assume that your old battery was already somewhat weakened after going flat last year (saw it in the archives), it could be that you have something -- e.g. a relay or CAN component -- that is shorted or otherwise leaky. Seeing more than a few milliamps of draw key-out-doors-closed could be a clue.
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Last edited by West-of-Hethel; 04-21-2019 at 09:05 AM.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:17 AM
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A "high-rate" charger is the right way to revive a discharged lead-acid battery. Doing it with a trickle charger is like filling an empty bathtub with a teaspoon.

A rule-of-thumb bulk charging rate for lead-acid batteries is .1C, or 10% of the capacity. A typical car battery is around 60-80 amp-hours capacity, so a bulk charging rate of around 6-8 amps is the way to do it.

Trickle chargers are for keeping fully-charged batteries fully charged, period.
I'm aware, however, since we know that jump starts with the ignition on have caused this in the past, it wouldn't be crazy for connecting a 30-60-90A charger with the ignition on to have similar results. To my knowledge, nobody has ever figured out the mechanism of failure when this happens, but it's never been indicated before outside of that scenario.

None the less, it's not what happened here, so this is maybe a first. The only other person I recall who reported this outside of a jump start with the ignition on admitted that the battery got hooked up backwards.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 11:47 AM
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You will have to reprogram the windows after disconnecting the battery. Same with the auto lock function. The procedure is in the owners manual.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 11:53 AM
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Is your new battery fully charged?
I would check the connector on the ECU (after disconnecting the battery) and clean the connector with some contact cleaner if you have some.
Also check fuse R1 in the rear fuse panel
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 12:15 PM
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I could easily be misremembering, but I thought there was someone who had this error when the gauge cluster plug worked itself loose. I can’t find a thread about it, but checking would be free. I believe you can take off the leather dash cover above the cluster to gain access to the plug (the cover should just be held on by Velcro). I’d just remove and reinsert and see if the situation changes. Again, the cluster shouldn’t cause the entire car to not function, but there shouldn’t be any harm in trying, right? Yes, I know logically this probably won’t work in this case but something is tugging in my mind that someone once had that as an issue...

As a side question, does anything happen on the dash when you go to On? Do the needles sweep to max and back to zero? Does the fuel pump hum for a second or two? Also, does the immobilizer light extinguish after hitting the unlock button on the FOB?

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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You will have to reprogram the windows after disconnecting the battery. Same with the auto lock function. The procedure is in the owners manual.
Ah, thank you. I'll go ahead and deal with that just to remove possibilities.

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Originally Posted by NumberSix View Post
Is your new battery fully charged?
I would check the connector on the ECU (after disconnecting the battery) and clean the connector with some contact cleaner if you have some.
Also check fuse R1 in the rear fuse panel
The new battery is new, so I suspect it's somewhat charged. I used the dielectric grease that comes in the little packet. The contacts are clean, there was no corrosion in the old battery.

I have contact cleaner, will spray some on just to ensure having proper contact. Will check R1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowWulf369 View Post
I could easily be misremembering, but I thought there was someone who had this error when the gauge cluster plug worked itself loose. I can’t find a thread about it, but checking would be free. I believe you can take off the leather dash cover above the cluster to gain access to the plug (the cover should just be held on by Velcro). I’d just remove and reinsert and see if the situation changes. Again, the cluster shouldn’t cause the entire car to not function, but there shouldn’t be any harm in trying, right? Yes, I know logically this probably won’t work in this case but something is tugging in my mind that someone once had that as an issue...

As a side question, does anything happen on the dash when you go to On? Do the needles sweep to max and back to zero? Does the fuel pump hum for a second or two? Also, does the immobilizer light extinguish after hitting the unlock button on the FOB?
What's odd is it all happened after the battery died. I had that flickering rear light thing so maybe so relay was bouncing back and forth and burned out? However I wouldn't think it would cause the ECU error.

Everything seems normal when the dash comes on. Needes sweep max to zero. I don't notice the fuel pump. Immobilizer light works as expected with the unlock button. I have attached a pic of where everything lands at the end.

I'm going to see if I can figure out how to get at the cluster. Never did that before.

BTW is there a quick way to check fuses? Do you have to take them out to test them?

Most cars usually have that exposed leads on the back of the fuse, but the Lotus ones seem to not have that.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by West-of-Hethel View Post
A "high-rate" charger is the right way to revive a discharged lead-acid battery. Doing it with a trickle charger is like filling an empty bathtub with a teaspoon.

A rule-of-thumb bulk charging rate for lead-acid batteries is .1C, or 10% of the capacity. A typical car battery is around 60-80 amp-hours capacity, so a bulk charging rate of around 6-8 amps is the way to do it.

Trickle chargers are for keeping fully-charged batteries fully charged, period.

To the OP, nothing you described could have "fried" the ECU. Your conscience should be clear. Unfortunately, without more detailed diagnostics, there's not much further you can go on this one -- I'm guessing here that you're not in possession of an oscilloscope.

It may be worth your while to confirm other wiring items beyond the ones you've already checked -- security of connections, voltages at key connectors, ground points, etc -- but you have probably already thought of this.

I think it's important to note that the code is "lost communication with ECU." There are many ways this could happen, only one of which is a voltage-spike-roasted circuit board. In fact, that appears to have been Phil's point in the other thread.

Edit: One question in my mind is, are you seeing a greater-than-normal quiescent load? Although I assume that your old battery was already somewhat weakened after going flat last year (saw it in the archives), it could be that you have something -- e.g. a relay or CAN component -- that is shorted or otherwise leaky. Seeing more than a few milliamps of draw key-out-doors-closed could be a clue.
Yeah, I did drain it once, in Nov 17 when I got the car, as I didn't know that the trunk light would overpower the trickle charger .

I don't have a scope, but if I knew what to look for and what to check, I don't mind getting one.

I also don't mind having someone else look at this (aka dealer), but I want to make sure they have a clue as to what to look for. Will the dealer be able to extract more codes than my Foxwell?
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 02:17 PM
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??Dead Starter, test it or selonoid
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shakham View Post
Ah, thank you. I'll go ahead and deal with that just to remove possibilities.


The new battery is new, so I suspect it's somewhat charged. I used the dielectric grease that comes in the little packet. The contacts are clean, there was no corrosion in the old battery.

I have contact cleaner, will spray some on just to ensure having proper contact. Will check R1.



What's odd is it all happened after the battery died. I had that flickering rear light thing so maybe so relay was bouncing back and forth and burned out? However I wouldn't think it would cause the ECU error.

Everything seems normal when the dash comes on. Needes sweep max to zero. I don't notice the fuel pump. Immobilizer light works as expected with the unlock button. I have attached a pic of where everything lands at the end.

I'm going to see if I can figure out how to get at the cluster. Never did that before.

BTW is there a quick way to check fuses? Do you have to take them out to test them?

Most cars usually have that exposed leads on the back of the fuse, but the Lotus ones seem to not have that.
Okay, the cluster is easier to get at than I though. Never realized that there as a piece there. A simple yank and you see hte back of the instrument cluster. I didn't reset the connector, but pushed it in, and it seemed like it was all solid in there, no play, no movement.

Was wondering, how would I know if I blew a relay? Does it normally come with some sort of engine code?
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:51 PM
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This happens when the ECM gets corrupted usually by applying voltage to a low battery with the key in. There is a recovery process bulletin that utilizes the tech center to recover the ECM. A visit to the dealer will get it sorted
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-03-2019, 10:10 AM
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I have put only 7,000 miles on my 2012 Evora S, and other than a crappy window regulator I've had no problems. What I'm saying is that I have no Evora repair experience, so here is a completely uneducated wild-ass-guess:

The OP showed a dash photo which indicates an Evora w/ the IPS automatic trans. Could the OP's problems be associated with a gearbox electronic issue that makes the car think it's in gear and - therefore - will not crank over? The relative scarcity of IPS owners on this site might also be why nobody has already experienced this same scenario.

Just some well-intended guesses. Hope you get it fixed for the weekend!
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-06-2019, 01:45 PM
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Any revelations with this issue?
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 05-23-2019, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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Car is at the dealer.

They called me saying they need more time for the diagnostic than the 1hr. They said they checked all fuses and relays. ECU isn't responding. I asked them if they are following the bulletin for the ECM recovery process. They said they are.

As I have no idea what the bulletin entails, I have no clue what the are actually doing. Will keep you posted as this moves forward. Hoping to document as to help anybody else with the same problem in the future.
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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Final update...
Dealer had the car for about a week. They did all the basic checks (fuses, etc), then needed to consult with Lotus. End of the day they had to reflash the ECU and TCU, and change a relay (no clue why).

About $700 later, i'm back on the road. Unsure if that is fair price. I guess cost of ownership of a exotic-ish car .

I'm still unsure what exactly happened. My only suspect is that I may have plugged the trickle charger in while ignition was on. Beyond that I can't think of anything else.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 10:33 PM
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I think the lesson learnt from this is to use the battery tender if the car is to be park for more than a week and make sure to turn off the trunk light. I have read a lot of Evora issue on this forum because of weak battery or not driving the car enough to juice its battery. Keeping mine on the tender and my 2013 Evora S still have the original OEM battery – 6+ years and still going strong.
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