You love your Audi e-tron but when it doesn’t unplug, it’s worse than useless. Don’t panic! I’m a mechanic, and this problem is common and usually easily fixed. Let’s sort this problem out right now.
Common reasons your Audi e-tron won’t unplug include:
- User Error
- Problem with the charge port
- Problem with the charger
In this article, we’ll look at why the plug won’t release and how to fix the problem.
User Error: At Home and Fast Charging
Not being able to unplug your Audi e-tron is most certainly a problem. The problem is more exacerbated if you are at a fast charger. We’ll look at unplugging at home and a fast charger separately. Although both are a complete pain, each comes with different problems.
Unplugging At Home
Charging your e-tron at home is the most common way for EV owners to charge. But unplugging your cable has to follow a specific procedure for it to release without a problem.
- Unlock the car
- Press the center of the port button
- Remove the charge connector
- Within 30 seconds or the charging cable will relock
- The charge port will then close automatically
All seems straightforward enough, but usually, it’s early morning, only halfway through your first cup of coffee, and things can go wrong. We forget that the car is locked.
And when locked, the car’s connector socket won’t release the cable. If you have tried to remove the connector out of sequence, you will first have to reset it to neutralize the error. You can do this easily by following these steps:
- Turn the power on/off
- Lock and then unlock the car
- Deactivate the preconditioning (if set)
- Press the port button
- Remove connector
If this doesn’t work, we’ll look at some other issues. But first, we’ll discuss unplugging the cable at a fast charger.
User error at a fast charger can also be why your e-tron won’t unplug. However, there can be other reasons.
As before, the sequence in which you end charging and remove the cable is important.
The difference with a fast charger is that you have probably been sitting in your car while it was charging.
- Unlock the car
- Press the charge port button
- Remove the charger
But unfortunately, this doesn’t always work because you have been in the car. If this is the case, try the following:
- Open and close the driver’s door
- Unlock and lock the car
- Press the port button and the unlock icon on your fob at the same time
This should release the cable. At a fast charger, your car must be secure while charging. So although you have followed procedure, the software needs to be fully sure that everything is as it should be.
Preconditioning Switched Off
This is more of a quirk that needs to be observed if you are unplugging your connector. If you have the Climate Control activated, you can’t unplug the charge port cable.
Turning the vehicle on and off again will not cancel the preconditioning setting. You have to turn it off onscreen physically.
- Go to the Home screen
- Select Vehicle
- Air conditioning
- Temperature Icon
Hitting the icon turns the preconditioning on or off.
This is also the case if you have Preconditioning Scheduled. The same process must be followed.
Problem with The Charge Port
Like anything mechanical or electrical, things go wrong from time to time. The charge port on your Audi e-tron is no exception. Thankfully when problems occur, they can quickly be diagnosed with Light Indicators.
|Light Color||Light meaning|
|No light||Vehicle not charging|
The timer is possibly set
|White||Connection is being established|
|Green – Pulsing||Battery is charging|
|Green – Flashing||Timer is set|
|Yellow||No power supply to the cable|
|Yellow – Flashing||The car is not in a secure position. Park is not selected.|
|Red||The charging cable is not positioned correctly|
Charging cable damaged
Both charging ports are currently open
The temperature outside is too low or high
Any Red Lights are never good. Charging an EV can only occur when conditions are completely safe. The same goes for unplugging. If there is a chance that the cable is unsafe, it won’t be released. Try disconnecting the cable at the wall and then from the car.
Firstly check that only one charge port is open. If both are open, then the cable will not release. Try closing the other port door by hand. Once the second port is closed, the cable will release.
If this doesn’t work, a malfunction has occurred, and an emergency release is required or Audi assistance.
Problem with the Charger
As before, the charger is an electrical item, and problems can occur. The control unit also has a series of lights indicating what’s happening (or what’s not!).
There are icons on the wall charger – a house, a car, and the control panel. It’s these that we have to keep an eye on. The last icon is the reset button, which is always worth pressing first if there seems to be a problem.
|Light color||Light Meaning||Solution|
|Yellow beside the house||Power cable overheating|
Incorrect phase being used
|Allow the cable to cool and seek electrician advice|
|Flashing Yellow beside House||Power has been restricted. Reduced power from the source||Possible scheduled electrical outage or reduction|
|Red beside the House||Insufficient power|
|Do not use|
Seek electrical advice
|Flashing Yellow beside the car||Malfunction in-vehicle charging||Seek Audi advice|
|Red beside the Car||Insufficient power|
|Do not use|
Seek electrical advice
|Yellow beside the Charge Unit icon||Unit has overheated||Contact Audi|
|Flashing Yellow Charge Unit icon||Cable has a fault||Contact Audi to have the cable replaced|
|Red Charge Unit icon||Control unit fault||Disconnect and reconnect after 60 seconds|
|Flashing Red Charge Unit icon||Self-test of the unit has failed||Disconnect and reconnect after 60 seconds|
|Red lights beside all three icons||Residual current detected||Try resetting the unit|
|Flashing Red lights beside all three icons||Unit wired incorrectly||Contact electrician|
Green lights are good, but when we see Yellow or Red, it suggests a problem. Most faults are temporarily caused by the unit overheating, and as the unit cools, the fault will clear.
A series of Red lights are a bigger problem. The unit detects an overvoltage or a malfunction, and charging can’t continue.
Disconnecting the charger at the wall should allow you to safely unplug your cable from the port.
If the cable does not release, then a manual release will have to be performed.
Emergency Manual Release
Performing an Emergency Manual Release is the last resort. But sometimes needs must. If you have tried everything to release the cable to no avail, then a manual release is the only solution left available.
However, be aware that once you have released your cable manually, you must book your Audi into an authorized dealer to have the release set up.
To complete the manual release, follow these steps:
- Ensure charging has ceased
- The car must be in Park
- Unlock the car
- Open the hood
- Select the relevant port side
- Open the cover compartment
- Here you will find two pull tabs
- Gently pull the YELLOW tab
- Do not use force
- Excessive force can damage the mechanism
- The connector will then release
- Secure the loop and close the compartment
- Go to an Audi Dealer
The last point is the most important. The charge port may encounter problems at the next charge if the release hasn’t been reset.
Hopefully, the cable has been released with one of the previous solutions, and you haven’t had to resort to the Emergency Manual Release.
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