Got a Motor Error (M-ERR) today. Bike shut down

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
So today, at 1186 miles on the odometer, I had a motor error on my Turbo. About 3 miles into a 3.8 mile ride to breakfast, the bike slowed down just as I thought I should have been able to speed up. The console reported "M-ERR" (which is supposed to be a motor failure). While the console still functioned, there clearly was no pedal assist at all. I pulled over, shut down the bike, and then tried to restart it. The battery went through its diagnostic cycle then shutdown. No power-up. I then disconnected the motor and re-plugged it in. Still wouldn't power up. I then pulled the battery and re-seated it. Still no luck. I rode the rest of the way to the restaurant on pure muscle power.

As I was leaving the restaurant, I tried to power-up, no luck. I started riding home but was finding the last hill (about 1/3 mile pull) difficult on muscle alone. I pulled over to rest just before the peak with about 1 mile to go till home, and lo-and-behold, the bike was able to turn on. I powered up the rest of the hill and got about another 1/2 mile before the motor cut out again and the console screen powered down.

At home I checked the manual (p18 on error codes) and noticed that you need to pull the battery and cycle it out of the bike to reset it after a code. I did this and the bike then powered up. Bike is at the LBS now to see what the diagnostics say.

Another tidbit...my daughter noticed that the seat light was flashing intermittently the other day. I noticed in searching thread here that @Marko had a problem with his Turbo reporting motor failure (see https://electricbikereview.com/forums/threads/motor-malfunction.1100/) and it turned out to be a front light wiring problem. I have rewired mine to allow the rack and seat lights to work in parallel. My wiring job probably was not the best. When I get the bike back, I will go back and re-do that wiring job to insure that it is not screwed up.

Doug
 

bazzapage

Active Member
I too have rewired my lights to have both running. Done a bit more mileage now - 2300km in 9 weeks. Be curious to find what the problem was.
 

Senseiwai

Member
Doug do you have battery version with bluetooth and connect to your Mission Control app to your smartphone?
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Hopefully it was just wiring coming loose. Given how simple these motors are, you'd think any motor errors would be wiring or overheat related. The rear lighting sounds like a good place to start checking once you get the bike back. I'm rather dreading my first power failure. I have ridden my bike with the bike powered off before and while it is certainly doable, it is in no way pleasurable =). Luckily the places I ride are almost always within a mile of a bus stop. So if I'm ever stuck really far from my house, I can make it back with relative ease.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
I got a call from the bike shop today. My guess at diagnosis was correct. There was a crimp in the wire from the light down through the seatpost (the wire directly connected to the light, not the one going through the bottom bracket). It seems it got crimped in my Thudbuster LT and shorted. If you bent the wire, the light cut out and after a bit the motor would cut out. I expect that the wire got caught up in the Thudbuster by the way I routed it. I am going to try to get some small gauge stranded wire to fix the whole thing. It was absolutely pouring rain when I went to the LBS, so I just tok the seatpost and seat home to start the repair. I will finish the repair when I get the bike back on Wednesday.

Doug
 
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James Kohls

Active Member
Glad you found the problem, Doug. Seems like this isn't the first time I've read here that a Turbo owner had a fault in one system caused by another.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Darn, the story did not end. After repairing the wiring up at the seatpost yesterday, I went out again today and it shut down again. SO....I rewired from the bottom bracket all the way to the seat with new wire, connectors, and shrink wrap to protect the junctions and anyplace that it would tend to wear. I will try my morning ride again tomorrow.
 

Sunco

New Member
First post on forum .
On my Turbo S 2016 I got M-ERR. I also had flashing lights but in the end I couldn't charge the battery or connect with bluetooth.
It was faulty battery and was replaced under warranty.
 

James Kohls

Active Member
Darn, the story did not end. After repairing the wiring up at the seatpost yesterday, I went out again today and it shut down again. SO....I rewired from the bottom bracket all the way to the seat with new wire, connectors, and shrink wrap to protect the junctions and anyplace that it would tend to wear. I will try my morning ride again tomorrow.

Wow, that must've been disappointing. Hopefully you didn't have to ride too far back without the motor.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
Well, my second effort to rewire the taillights included everything from the bottom bracket up to the seat and to the rack. All spade connectors were replaced, all wires tinned and connectors re-soldered after being crimped. Wherever the wire went through a tubing hole or was exposed to external moisture, it was shrink wrapped. All the connections were also shrink wrapped.

I started out on my morning ride and got out to my driveway before I got another M-ERR and it shut down. Total distance on Strava: 260 feet!

Back to the LBS. I spoke with my technician and suggested that now that taillight wiring had been eliminated, I thought it might be the battery based on feedback from @Sunco on this forum. Since the bike seems to fault in less than a mile, I suggested they use a spare battery from another bike in stock. The technician took my bike home for the evening, got a 10 mile+ ride using the other battery and we are concluding the issue is battery. He contacted Specialized and I will get a replacement battery, sometime next week.

I'll let you know the outcome.

Doug
 
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James Kohls

Active Member
Well that's a bummer. At least they are replacing it, but a week without your Turbo? That's like losing your internet for a week!
 

Allan47.7339

Active Member
I had a problem with the connector on the end of the battery. I normally charge my battery after each commute leg so I'd ordered the new capacity battery when it came out. About a week of using it I noticed I didn't have a fresh charge when I left home and assumed I'd forgotten to turn the charger on the previous evening. Deciding to go anyway, I only used power for a few hills and made it to work with a little more effort. I have to remove the battery to charge at my work desk. At some point during the day I realized it wasn't charging and after examination the connector rim had broken so it was out of position in the end of the battery. I was able to get some of a charge by carefully wiggling the connector but on the bike it was not reliable enough to run the motor. It would run the lights. It was a long ride home. Eventually I got a replacement battery. I don't know if it was cracked when I got it or if I mis-handled it taking it in and out of the bike, but I am very careful inserting the battery. The connector in the bicycle is in a soft rubber mount and the magnets help it align so it only needs to be gently put in place. I use the bottle cage to wiggle it slightly after it's in to make sure it clicks into place and to confirm the bottom retention is latched. Fortunately I could use my standard battery to while I was waiting for the repaired battery.

Since then I've added a front rack and rando type handlebar bag so I needed to cut and extend the wiring for the headlight so I could move it to the front. I can confirm from testing, that mis-wired lighting will cause the system to fault and not start if you have the integrated light control.
 

Douglas Ruby

Well-Known Member
We appear to be at the end of the path to resolving my M-ERR fault. My technician at the LBS swapped batteries with another base Turbo, rode the bike 10 miles and had no faults. I could only go a few hundred years before I'd get a fault and the bike would shut down. Specialized agreed to replace the battery. I suggested that I would pay the difference ($200) between the stock 468Wh battery and the Turbo S 691Wh battery and Specialized (through the LBS) agreed. The battery came in yesterday and I got my bike back today. While I haven't ridden it yet, the technician rode another 5 miles to make sure that the Turbo S battery was working properly.

I got the bike back with the mileage set properly (1198.6 miles), the display set properly, and all functional. I had loaded Mission Control prior to picking up the bike. I fired up the app at the bike shop and verified my connection and that it was working. Now the battery is completing its first full charge. I will get back in the saddle tomorrow (unless forecast rain hits first).

With the conversion to Shimano XT 11-speed mechanicals, updates to the Formula brakes, and the 691 Wh battery, I am looking forward to riding my Turbo "S-lite" Range should now go out to over 80 miles at ECO40 and out toi around 35-38 miles at full TURBO. YAY!

Doug
 
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Allan47.7339

Active Member
You will be much happier with 691wh battery. You can be a little more cavalier with the full turbo and still keep a reserve.
 

ROJA

Active Member
Just curious if the battery weighs more? I assume it has more little cells in there, but it's probably not much heavier?