Your iD4 not fully charging can be a problem if your commute is long distance. I’ve been a mechanic for 25 years, and very soon, we’ll have you fully charged.
The most common reasons your VW iD4 will not to fully charge include:
- The upper charge limit is set to 80%
- Problem with your Level 2 charger
- Scheduled Charging is set
In this article, we’ll examine why your VW iD4 is not fully charging, what to look for and how to fix it.
Upper Charge Limit is Set to 80%
The most common reason that your car is not fully charging is that the charge limit is set to below 100%. VW recommends that most charging is done at home using Level 1 or Level 2 charging.
If your daily routine is a short commute, then the upper battery charge limit should be set to 80%.
The lower limit should be set to 20% if the climate is warm and not below 40% if conditions are below zero.
If you are driving long distances each day, then the upper limit should be 100%.
So how does this explain why your iD4 hasn’t fully charged? When you set the vehicle to charge, you’re met with several options on the Infotainment screen.
They range from Current Location to Current Charge Level and, more importantly, the slider at the bottom, which displays the upper and lower charge limit (usually 20% – 80%).
If you have a location entered as ‘Home,’ then your car will recognize through GPS that it is at its Home and will charge to the Upper Charge Limit.
You can change this slider at any time but charging to 80% is perfectly fine if you are regularly charging.
The reason behind the 80% charge is to protect your Lithium-Ion batteries. Continually charging your Lithium-Ion to 100% will, over time, degrade the battery and ultimately shorten its life. The same can be said for the lower limit. Allowing your battery to deplete completely is damaging to your battery.
Using a fast charger will generate more heat in your batteries, so it’s even more important only to charge 80% when using a fast charger.
So why don’t they just have the charging level lower? I hear you ask. Well, although the charge is displaying 80%, there’s always a buffer charge in your battery. It’s not something you should rely on; it’s designed to prevent stranded iD4s.
Problem With Your Level 2 Charger
Another reason for your car to not fully charge is a problem with your Level 2 charging cable. It could be:
- Damaged cable
- Cable is not fully compatible
Your charging cable is made of sturdy stuff. Thick insulated plastic/rubber. But they are prone to some abuse. They can get dropped on the floor, left out in the elements, but worst of all, get driven across with your car wheels.
Driving across your cable can cause damage to the internal wiring. This results in your car not charging or, worse, your car charging intermittently.
This can explain why you go to your car in the morning, and you only have a minimal amount of charge. Your car has been trying to charge on and off all night but hasn’t entirely made the grade.
If your cable is damaged, the best and only solution is to replace it. Damaged cables can lead to exposed wires which can cause serious injury and harm.
Cable Not Fully Compatible
A cable is a cable, right? Well, not quite. Your iD4 comes with a Level 1 charging cable, but let’s be honest, unless you never go anywhere, it’s not a practical solution to charging. It can take up to 50 hours with a Level 1.
A Level 2 makes much more sense. It will charge your car to full overnight, but in some instances, not every cable suits every Electric Vehicle. EVs are becoming increasingly prevalent in people’s lives, and your iD4 may not be your first EV. It may be your second EV or, indeed, an additional EV in your household.
But you can’t assume what charges your Leaf (for example) will be the best choice for your iD4.
This could be because your Leaf and its cable have some years on them, and the extra cable usage on a second EV is putting strain on it. Your iD4 deserves the best Level 2 cable you can afford. They range from $300 to $700.
The price difference is the difference between Hard Wired and Portable. The hard-wired is available up to 48A, but to be honest, it’s not that much quicker than the 40A, but a good bit more expensive. Hardwire chargers also have to be installed by a professional electrician; this can cost up to $1500 and may not suit everyone if you live in an apartment or rent.
The portable chargers also offer different variants of NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 13-10. They are less expensive and also require less work to install.
|Brand||Cost||Hard Wired / Portable|
|JuiceBox 40||$700||Hard Wired|
|WallBox 48||$700||Hard Wired|
When you’re buying your iD4, ask your dealership which Level 2 they recommend. They might have a promotion available with a local store.
But the main thing is not to assume that the cable you have at home already is fully compatible with your iD4.
Scheduled Charging is Set
Scheduled Charging in the iD4 is not as intuitive as you would like. In fact, if you check out some VW forums online, there are a lot of angry complaints about it being so glitchy and, all in all, not working so well. VW is relatively new to the EV market. Everyone is playing catch up with Tesla, which is streets ahead in terms of technology.
But, with each update, VW gets a bit better, and the iD4 is a super-smart-looking car, so I certainly will give VW some wriggle room.
Scheduled Charging is an option in your car settings to allow you to charge your car at the optimum time, usually at night when electricity is at its cheapest.
But unfortunately, it doesn’t always kick in, and you can arrive at your car ready for your commute only to realize it hasn’t been fully charged. And this is not good!
There are things you need to put in process to avoid half charge the next morning:
- Go to the Vehicle Settings Menu
- Select the Location Pin (through GPS)
- Add a name – such as Home
- Select the timer to set the schedule
- Set a Departure Time
- Set the day of departure
- Activate it by checking the box beside the time
- Plug in your cable
The difference between iD4 charging and other EVs is that the Scheduled Charging is calculated on your Departure Time. If you don’t enter a Departure Time, then the charging may not happen.
The computers calculate how long it will take to charge and work backward from your Departure Time. But as we know, lots of variables can happen in the interim. Loss of connection, loss of power.
VW currently has no plans to change the way Scheduled Charging works but charging your EV is the most important thing about your EV. It’s vital that it is reliable and works every time.
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