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Why Is My Electric Car Not Charging? 3 Quick Fixes & the 7 Top Problems

Electric cars are the transport mode of the future, but they’ve also created a new mental illness: “charge anxiety.”

Okay, that’s laying it on too thick. Still, many electric car drivers know the mild worry that builds as the estimated range goes down.

Electric car charging is easier than ever, with rapid chargers springing up all over the nation. But what happens when your electric car will not charge?

If you’re stuck right now, let’s start with three tips to get your electric car back on the road ASAP.

How to Fix Your “Electric Car Not Charging” Problem Fast

If you’re stuck and your electric car is not charging, here are three things you can do to get back on the road:

  1. Switch off the car and press the timer override button to charge outside your normal schedule.
  2. Check your cable and connector to make sure they are compatible with the charger and your car.
  3. Verify the payment for the charge point via your smartphone app.

If the payment method is correct, the ev charging cable and connectors match, and your schedule allows charging, then the problem may be more serious. You can contact your car manufacturer or dealer for more support.

Now that you know some of the quick fixes, let’s take a little more in-depth look at the nine most common problems.

Electric Car Charging Timer Settings

Automatic electric car charging settings could be the culprit.

Many cars come with an automatic charging timer. You can set this to take full advantage of your home charging, especially when your energy tariff is lower. Plug it in with your own charging cable when you get home and it’ll be ready to go the next morning.

However, if you’re out and about with your electric car during the day, your schedule may prevent you from using charging points to add some juice.

Thankfully, there is a simple fix. Simple open your electric vehicle app and adjust the timer to allow you to charge during the day.

Just remember to switch it back to your preferred settings when you get home.

Press the “Timer Override” Button

Some EV drivers may not know about the timer override button on the dash of their car. This handy button saves you the hassle of adjusting the timer for charging your car.

You simply roll up to the charging points, switch the car off, open the charging door, press the timer override button, and start charging.

Let’s break that out into steps to make sure you did it in the right order:

  1. Switch off your electric car at the charging point.
  2. Open the charging door.
  3. Press the timer override button.
  4. Start charging your car’s battery.

If you did a step out of order, like pressing the button before switching off your car, then it might not have worked. Try going through the steps again, in order, and see if your electric car is ready to get some juice.

By the way, many electric vehicles have a time limit for the override button. You have about fifteen minutes after your press the button to start charging. If you don’t get started in time, then the override switches off and your vehicle will only accept a charge according to its programmed schedule.

Using An Extension Cable?

Daring electric car drivers try to get every inch out of their car battery. Sometimes, they come up a few feet short and run out of juice further away than their cable can reach.

When this happens, adding an extension, especially a standard home cable, will probably result in your car failing to charge.

Rapid charging points, even home charging points, push more current than an extension cable can use. Also, the female connector on electric cars is recessed, so the plug is probably not reaching as far as necessary.

The easy fix is to push your car closer to your home charger or the public charging point because then you won’t need the extension.

In the long run, if your home charger needs a longer cable or you are charging two cars, then you can think about relocating the charger so a standard cable reaches your car. If that’s not an option, you can buy extra-long cables that are guaranteed to be safe and reliable.

Using The Wrong Connector?

Charging stations and electric vehicles use several connectors. You’ll need to make sure your charging point connector is compatible with your car.

This is unlikely to be a problem for home chargers but might come up if you buy a new model.

Rapid chargers in public, such as those you find at a motorway service station, could be different.

EV owners should know the type of connector they use so they can plan their public charging around compatible charge points. This includes any motorway service stations you’ll need to use during an extended journey.

The EV charging infrastructure (that’s a big word for the network of charge points around the country) isn’t all the same. Check with your own network to find the best pay as you go or subscription charge points for your journey.

Charging Station Malfunctioning

Imagine pulling into one of the motorway service stations expecting rapid charging while you eat lunch, only to discover there isn’t any juice when you plug in your car. You’ve checked the cables, checked your timer, and it still won’t begin charging.

What’s the problem?

Well, it could be the pod point at fault. Rapid chargers, especially public ones, are in heavy use. You might have rolled up to a pod point that just doesn’t work.

You can run a diagnostic through your car’s app. If you still have the same problem, then notify the pod point owner or operator.

If you are having this problem at home, then you should still check your car and connection. If you’re not getting any juice, then you may need to contact someone for a service on your home charging point.

Car Charged Already

Check your smartphone app to see your current battery level. If you’re fully charged, or close enough, then the charge point may switch itself off to preserve electricity and your car’s battery life.

Rapid chargers, especially at places like retail parks, petrol stations, and free charging points, are much more likely to stop charging when your car charge reaches 80%. These are built-in safety features to prevent over-charging and electricity wastage.

Also, just like phones or tablets, some components on your car will keep using a little bit of juice even when it’s switched off. The charger switches off to prevent overcharging.

Requires Payment

Have you paid for the charging station? We know it’s a simple question, but the answer isn’t always obvious.

Many charging stations require you to download a smartphone app prior to using them. Rapid charging stations instruct EV drivers to use their app or pay by a special RFID card.

The RFID card isn’t very convenient, because you must preload many of them before using them. If you’re not prepared, then you may spend five or ten minutes sorting out the RFID card before you can use their charging stations.

If you’re out of juice and don’t have the app or RFID card to use a paid network charging station, try looking around for free charging stations within your driving range. Using a public charging point, especially one with off-street parking, might just get you home.

To totally avoid this problem, spend a little time one afternoon or evening to work out the most convenient place to charge your car during the day. You might need two or three options, such as public charging stations and fast chargers.

Before you set off on any long distance journeys, plan your charging in the same way. Pay attention to the charging speeds of the charger you plan to use. With a little planning, you can eat lunch while your car is charging.

What to Do Next

If one of our quick fixes didn’t get you back on the road, you may need more help. We offer safe, guaranteed cables to replace a malfunctioning cable or one that is simply too short. Contact your vehicle’s manufacturer for more support if the problem is bigger than your cable.

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