One inspection I perform on a 12,000 mile service is a check of the level and condition of transaxle fluid. Most often the lubricant appears unremarkable, but occasionally I find the oil is milky, opaque and overfull. In conventional cars this usually means that coolant has contaminated the oil, which can leak happen to engine oil through a head gasket leak or to transmission fluid through a transmission cooler. Continue reading Water in the transaxle and more!
Based on an observation by Tom Goesch of ThinkParts4U and a Think owner, we’ve made a preliminary correlation between charger (or charger fuse) failure (internal to the PCU) and failure of the radiator fan low speed resistor. This is still a very new discovery, and I’m still thinking about the best course of action (and collecting better ideas from smarter people), but it’s in everyone’s best interest to get this issue checked out because the repair bill will exceed $1000 if you are so unfortunate as to be affected by it. Continue reading Radiator Fan Low Speed Resistor Failure
I recently sent out a help request for diagnosing a car that intermittently dies while driving. I’ve attached two files of the CAN data covering two occurrences of the car spontaneously shutting down. If anyone can find the key to why the car shuts down, I’ll buy you lunch!
Here are some charts of Data2: The first one is all of the data and the second one is zoomed in to just the area surrounding the BUS HEAVY error.
I simply sorted the message IDs and assigned them integer values. Here’s a key:
(They’re not exactly in order because the spreadsheet got a little bit confused by the hexidecimal numbers, thinking they were text.)
I would prefer to repair all the Thinks in the world with my own labor at a reasonable price. But I’m afraid traveling to the locations of all Thinks that are in need of repair would not be feasible unless the price was wildly unreasonable.
So I will provide the best advice that I can to anyone that chooses to take up the challenge of Think repair. By accessing the advice on this website you agree to not hold me liable for any damage or injury that may result from attempted repairs or maintenance. Continue reading Indemnification
In a previous post I rated this as the #3 most serious problem with the Think City. It can put you in an awfully awkward situation, but won’t kill your car completely, as long as it doesn’t cause you to get into a wreck. Continue reading The Problem with Shifting Gears
The circular plastic connector that plugs into the traction battery is fitted with heat-shrinkable tubing lined with adhesive which makes a pretty good water-tight seal between the connector body and the plastic loom that protects the wire harness. Unfortunately, the upstream end on the wire harness often leaks, and the seal only serves to hold the water in. The connector includes a rubber weather-pack around every single wire, but because the harness slopes up, the water in the loom is pressurized by gravity and eventually works past the seal and causes galvanic corrosion. I have seen a few cases in which pins actually broke off inside of sockets and could only be removed using a specialized tool: a paperclip.
I don’t think that the water that gets into the connector goes on to enter the battery– I don’t think any pressure would build up on the weather-pack on the bulkhead-mounted socket, the battery-side of the connector. But water definitely finds a way in through other flaws in the battery case seal.
Every Think that I have ever done any battery work on has that heat-shrink broken loose from the connector to allow water to drain.
Here’s a list of Think service providers that I’ve taken and modified from Jim McL’s blog:
I’ve made a few updates, but maintaining and revising this list will be an ongoing process. Please let me know your experiences with your local shops so that other Think owners in your area can benefit from your wisdom. Continue reading Think Service Centers
The Power Conversion Unit is home to many of the most important components of a Think. It is a big heavy aluminum box with a bunch of orange cables connected to it. Continue reading A tour inside the PCU