The iD4 is VW’s ‘Electric for the millions, not the millionaires, but what good is that if you can’t charge it? Not to worry, you are in the right place. I’ve been a mechanic for more than twenty-five years, and very shortly, we’ll have you in and on charge.
The three most common reasons VW iD4 won’t charge include:
- No power at the port
- Faulty Cable
- Faulty Fast Charger
In this article, we’ll cover the top three reasons why your iD4 won’t charge, how to diagnose it, and finally, what you can do to fix it right now!
1. No Power at the Port
The number one reason for your iD4 not charging is that no power is going to the car. This can be for several reasons, but you can quickly check your charging port to see what light is showing.
When you go to the car port, the light will either be Green – White, or Red.
|Solid Green||Charging complete|
|Pulsing Green||Charging in progress|
|Flashing Green||Timer control charging activated|
|Blinking White||Charging in preparation|
|Solid White||No charging happening|
|Solid Red||Fault or NO Power|
Reasons why the Light is RED
- No power at the house
- Poor connection in your cable
- Scheduled Charging didn’t work
No Power at the House
More and more frequently, we have power outages, from over-stretching the grid to climate challenges. Most EV owners charge their cars overnight, at home, so it’s a real pain to go out to your car in the morning and realize that it hasn’t fully charged.
You may not have realized there was an outage. My go-to check is the clock on the oven. If it’s flashing, I know the power has been down at some stage during the night. If your power has come back on in the interim, you can continue to charge or evaluate if you have enough range to get you either where you need to go or to a fast charger. If you haven’t, you’ll have to abort your trip and charge until the range increases.
Poor Connection in your Cable
Your cable might receive some power but not enough for a full charge or intermittently. This can be caused by a partial connection. This is more likely to be your wall connection rather than the car. The onboard computers check that a complete seal is being made at the car port before charging begins.
But at the wall, it can be just a standard 240V plug (your cable may be hard-wired. If it is, this won’t apply to you). Someone may have accidentally tugged at the cable and loosened the plug, and it’s no longer fully plugged in but enough to send some power.
Check the connection to see if this is the case. If it is, then you can reset the plug and charge on. Again you may have enough range to get you where you are going, but if not, at least you know why it has happened, and it’s an easy fix.
Scheduled Charging Didn’t Work
The other reason your car didn’t charge because of power issues is that you had a scheduled charging setup, and it didn’t kick in.
You set up the scheduled charging through your app on the phone, but this can be a bit glitchy. The times set in your app don’t always match or correspond with the ones in your car. This can cause confusion, and ultimately, no charge happens; the charge is at a much lower amp level, or it will only charge for a short period of time.
Any or all of these scenarios result in your car with zero or very low range.
To solve the conflict, reset the timing schedule on both your car and your app so that they match, and set the minimum charging level to 80%.
2. Faulty Charging Cable
If you have established that your charging problems are not because of a lack of power, then your cable could be the source of your problem.
Cables give problems when they are damaged, not fully seated, or faulty.
Charging cables are made of sturdy heavy-duty plastic, but you still have to take care of them. The biggest culprit of damaging your cable is your car. If you drive across the cable repeatedly, this will cause irreparable damage. Your iD4 is a very heavy EV at 4665 lbs, heavier than any of the standard Teslas.
To check your cable, first, unplug both ends and look for any damage, cracks, or breaks in the line. You must unplug both ends, so no charge is in the cable. It is a high-voltage cable that can cause burns or fatal shock if exposed.
Also, check each end where the connection to the car and wall happens. Pulling or plugging in at an angle can cause these two places also to have damage.
If you find any damage, you must order a new cable.
The iD4 comes with a Level 1 EVSE, which will only charge your car at 2 miles / kW-hr. We will be living on Mars by the time you charge 100% with this.
The better option is the Level 2 – 240V which comes in a range of different amps. If you are considering installing, I will go for the 40amp; it gives 37-38 miles/kW hr compared to the 48 amp at 42 miles which is little or no difference but a lot more expensive.
There are several brands available such as Juice Box or ChargePoint. VW has its own Level 2 charger, but it’s currently only available to the European market.
3. Faulty Fast Charger
Anyone purchasing an iD4 will receive three years of Free, fast charging with Electrify America.
VW pretty much installed and paid for the Electrify America Network. This was to apologize for the Dieselgate scandal – 3 years of free charging is fantastic. But charging a VW EV is just not as intuitive as you would wish or hope for at an EA fast charger.
This can lead to your iD4 not charging.
When you arrive at an Electrify America Fast Charging Station, you’ll need to follow the following process:
- Open your app
- Plug in the charger
- Select the location of the charger in your app
- Select the specific charger at the station
- Select the correct cable (if there are two available)
- Swipe to begin charging
A lot of steps, and far from plug-and-play. Why do we need all these steps? But more importantly, what if your phone is out of service? No charging is possible. What if your phone is dead? No charging is possible.
It seems peculiar that this network was installed by VW, and yet other EVs that use it have a plug-in and charge system, i.e., the Ford Mach-E. How can it be that the car owned by the creators of EA needs to go through this whole app setup before you can charge?
This creates all kinds of charging issues. As I mentioned, if you have no service on your phone, you can’t connect to the app to detect which charger you are parked at. If you plug in and select the incorrect cable (i.e., No1 instead of No2), you must begin the process again. It is very frustrating and, hopefully, something that EA will work on in the future.
The EA stations are not serviced and monitored as well as they could be. You pull up to the charger, plug it in, and nothing happens due to a cable or charger fault. You then have to move to another space. But it might happen again. Do you leave and go in search of another EA charging station? What is your range? Will you make it? It leads to high-stress situations where users lose faith in the free, fast chargers.
Aside from this, the charging stations listed on your navigation screen are not EA but general Destination Chargers or other fast chargers. To source the EA fast chargers, you need to go to the app on your phone. Again you may not have data or service on your phone to complete this.
I don’t believe the charging of your car should have to rely on another device.
Using a fast charger is not a necessity. the majority of EV owners do charge at home, and although problems can occur at home, they tend to be easier problems to fix.
The biggest fear EV drivers have is range anxiety, which becomes stratospheric when you can’t charge.
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