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Save Your Irreplaceable Contactors! "Clunk, clunk, clunk..."
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Thread: Save Your Irreplaceable Contactors! "Clunk, clunk, clunk..."

  1. #1
    Senior Member ElectricTireShredder's Avatar
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    Save Your Irreplaceable Contactors! "Clunk, clunk, clunk..."

    They cost more than a complete drivable used car! They WILL eventually wear out, possibly before the drive battery, but are ONLY available by buying a complete battery pack.

    Contactors are what make the "clunk" sound you can hear when you open the left door, or shortly after shutting down, plugging in, or unplugging. They're essential, to connect & disconnect the drive battery, & as a moving part, they're subject to wear.

    At least one user reported contactor failure, & was told by the dealer that they're considered part of the battery pack, & unavailable as a separate unit! I believe others have confirmed this. Another user reported increasingly frequent failures* which seem to be due to contactor wear.

    SO, I recently HALVED the number of "clunks" per round-trip commute from EIGHT, to FOUR, simply because I:

    - Turn it on as SOON as I open the left door.
    - Shut off & immediately turn it back to the ACC position when stopping to plug in, then turn off.
    - Use the right door or hatch for access when parked.
    - If it's charging when I'm leaving, I turn the key to "acc" before I unplug, then turn the key to "start".


    Otherwise they clunk & wear:

    1) When you open the left door
    2) Shortly after opening the door
    3) When you turn the key
    4) Soon after you turn the key off
    5) When you plug in
    6) When you unplug, or when fully charged
    7-12) Repeat all of the above for charging at each end of a round-trip commute

    * Correctable with AlfaOBD, so far.
    Last edited by ElectricTireShredder; 12-04-2020 at 08:41 PM.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to ElectricTireShredder For This Useful Post:

    Jiri GrandPa (01-05-2021)

  3. #2
    Senior Member ElectricTireShredder's Avatar
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    UPDATE! When practical I now leave the key in accessory mode & lock it inside:

    Yet another user is facing a $7,000 bill due to contactor failure:

    http://www.fiat500usaforum.com/showthread.php?38054-I%92m-ready-or-scrap-this-POS


    (1st reference to $7k on Pg 6, post 59)

    I'm pretty sure there was at least one more user reporting contactor failure in between my first post above & this latest one.


    So in addition to my simple procedure above, which quickly became second-nature, I now put in a bit of extra effort: When I'm only stopping for a few minutes for a drop-off or pickup I now leave the key in accessory mode & lock it inside using the car's second metal key in the door handle slot (the fob won't work when the other key is in the ignition).
    2013 500e has been my only car since 2015.

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