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Monday, February 17, 2014

How to Reboot the Fiat 500e Electric Vehicle

Fiat 500e Instrument Panel

The Fiat 500e all electric vehicle has been widely acclaimed by the experts and owners alike as a stylish, fun to drive car. Combining the award winning Fiat 500 with an advanced EV drivetrain at an affordable price has made the Fiat 500e a surefire winner.

Like any new technology, there is a learning curve where owners and the public get familiar with its operation and behaviors. On rare occurrences, if there is an issue with an electric vehicle, they may need to be reset or rebooted much like a computer. The following is a post from the Fiat 500 USA Forum that can help an owner of a Fiat 500e that has an issue with its operation. It's a quick and easy check that can keep you on the road. We'd like to thank forum member "inthemovie" for their helpful post in response to a member who had the "Service Electric Vehicle System" warning light illuminate.

You can solve these issues by this fix. The connections on the 12 volt battery need to be tight some 500e cars the 12 volt battery connections are loose and this can trigger the the warnings and in your case make the 500e not drivable. I'm including pictures so you can see how to fix this and reboot the 500e. Electric cars are very complex and 500e can only be rebooted this way. Other electric cars like the Volt can be rebooted by shutting the car down and opening the driver door.

The 500e cannot be rebooted this way. You can have to disconnect power from the 12 volt battery to reset the car. By performing this task I have eliminated the problem you have and I have eliminated the problem that few others have had of grinding braking when stopping. The 500e is very sensitive and to protect the main battery and other systems and it will go into a limp mode and in some cases the 500e will not be able to drive at all.

You can fix this very easy and and I encourage all 500e owners to make sure these connections are secure.

Fiat 500e Motor Cover

First remove this cover by pulling it up. It just pulls right off.

Now you will see the 12 volt car battery and it's the positive connection that we will remove to reset the 500e.

Fiat 500e Battery

Pull off the red plastic cover on the positive side of the 12 volt battery. You will see two ten millimeter nuts. Loosen the one the wrench is on then you can remove the terminal from the battery post.

Fiat 500e Battery Terminal

Keep the terminal disconnected for sixty seconds. Now put the terminal back on the positive battery post with one hand holding it there and with the one hand tighten the ten millimeter nut. Make sure the the other ten millimeter nut right next to this one is tight as well. ( mine was loose and causing the same problem as OP) also check the ten millimeter nut on the negative side a make sure it's tight.

Now turn on the 500e and the error code message will be gone. If not turn the 500e on and off five times and the codes will clear.

Fiat 500e and 10mm Wrench

I keep this ten millimeter wrench in the back of each 500e that I own. As this electric car is a very complex machine and like a computer is might need to be reset. And the only way to to this is the way I described above. Since resetting one of my 500e's back in November I have had no more error messages and that 500e has thousands of miles on it. I have also checked the nuts on the other 500e's that I own and made sure they were tight and have had no trouble with those cars as well.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for informational and entertainment purposes only. The Fiat 500e has a long warranty, so if you have any doubts on you ability to do this work or have any issues, I recommend having it done by a professional. I am not responsible for any issues arriving from you reading this post. Use at your own risk.

Images: fiatgojo, inthemovie


Anonymous said...

Worked like a charm. I now have a 10 mm wrench in my Fiat 500e

james said...

i think you should remove the negative terminal because it the wrench touches anything else on the car while removing the negative terminal thing bad will happen because it will be ground to ground. But on the positive terminal you will get arching.

Unknown said...

Great tip, thanks! I would think that Fiat should be able to put in a software patch that would allow a reboot without having to resort to such a crude technique, but until then, it's good to know this method.

Anonymous said...

Good tip! I got a 2015 mod. I tried this method, but it still shows: Service electric vehicle system... I imported the car from the states and are located in Norway. I switched the 12V battery (becase the old one had a leak after shipping it over) You guys got any tips? Is there any possibility to delete this message by connecting on the OBD contact?

Unknown said...

Hi Im from Italy , i have the some problem .. did u solve it ?

tiNstAg said...

Thank you! Excellent tip - worked like a charm to reset the car in 5 minutes.
Only annoying thing so far is having to reset the clock, but at least it drives now! ;-)

Unknown said...

Sir you are legend... saved me who knows how much at the dealer.. thank you...

Electric Tire Shredder said...

A 30-second 12V-disconnect worked the one time when it didn't work to just turn the key off for 3 minutes for sleep mode (without opening or closing the hatch or either door). However others have needed a bit more, so over the 5.5+ years that it's been my only car, I've compiled a list here:

Unknown said...

Vi prego aiutatemi la mia 500e è bloccata da quel segnale e non riesco a far fare una diagnosi perché in Italia non c’è il software adatta per questo tipo di problemi come posso risolvere datemi una mano e grazie a chiunque voglia aiutarmi

Unknown said...

my 2014 fiat 500e sometimes "goes nuts". Lots of IP lites and a beep. I have to turn it off. get out close the door, lock it, unlock it, and get back in. Then it is fixed.

Unknown said...

Hi I am in Bonaire, in the Caribbean. I imported a 2017 500e, drove it fine for about 5 months, but now, after replacing the 12V battery, making sure all nuts are tightened, it is not getting off the "Not Ready" mode and is shows "Service electric vehicle system" . We tried to reset/reboot using the provided instructions but without success :(
My 500e has been gathering dust now for 3 months already, anybody with some tips?

DefToneR said...

Hey, that happened a lot, the computer enter into "check engine" status because the main controller got a false contact of current or was left without power for long time (when swapping the batteries)

Better here is to get a good Bluetooth OBD2 reader and get the fiat app. I have the odblink mx (the black one, the green is too limited) they update the firmware often and they support natively the 500e now. also the app torque has support for the 500e now. (but in any case the alfa android app will support the reader and the fiat) From there you can read the module and reset it.

Unknown said...

Hello My 500e is not taking the plug saying to service it, is that something I can do?

DefToneR said...

He "unknown" First of all, you should do a reset, like this article says.

Then, you should try a different charger, in case some cable or contact is broken in yours

and 3rd, you should get a ODB2 reader, to actually read the error code. and have a better idea.

If all those fails, then dealer is the last resort.

Lee H. said...

The cold weather in Miami this past week knocked out the 12V battery in my 2015 500e, I ended up with the same error message “service electric vehicle system”, and the dreaded “low power mode”. The closest Fiat dealer certified to work on the 500e is 80 miles away. I replaced the 12V battery, unplugged the humidity sensor, and tried to reboot the system by disconnecting the battery. It worked on the second try. Yay! Thanks ��