Just died. Doesn't turn on. No power. No screen - Broke AGAIN

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
I've got a 3 mos old Himiway Cruiser Step Thru (about 300 miles). I've had no problems until two days ago. In the middle of a ride, I stopped and talked to friends for about 40 minutes and it shut itself off as it should. But it won't start at all. The power button does NOTHING. I rode it the 4 miles back with no power. Tried several times to start it. Nothing. No screen. No power. No nothing. Battery is fully charged - 53 volts. No short between the terminals on the bike side.

Himiway first wanted to send me a new LCD screen, but then decided they'd send me a new controller instead - whenever they get back in stock. No idea on that. I don't believe I'm corresponding with a human, just some AI e-mail.

TODAY, out of the blue, it turned on. Looked fine. I moved it about 6' to get ready for a ride and came back to it off again (would have timed out) but NOW it's dead once again. Won't start. This seems to me like it HAS to be a loose connection somewhere. My gut doesn't think it's a controller. I think they are just throwing parts at me and maybe by Christmas, they'll get the right one.

Start my retirement next week. Had lots and lots of trips planned with my bike. I've checked all the connections I can find and they look ok. I've not seen any other similar posts. Any ideas that can help get my retirement started on two wheels I'd greatly appreciate.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Could be the controller, but while you're waiting for that try disconnecting everything you can, spray some ACF-50 link, or similar, on all contacts and put them back together. I had something similar and it was just a tiny bit of invisible corrosion on the battery contacts. ACF-50's them and no problem since.

TT
 

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
I'll give that a try. I see there are several up inside the tube. Looks like you have to pull the controller off to get those out. Am I thinking lazy, or are they "safe" up in there? I did find the large connector to the motor (the one that lies along the frame, just ahead of the sprocket) loose, but it certainly looks clean. I'll try that. WD-40 work in short term? ACF-50 looks to take a couple weeks.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Eh, I dunno about WD-40, Maybe. Any hardware or auto parts store ought to have some kind of contact cleaner or dielectric grease.

You can start with the easy-to-get-at contacts and see what happens.

TT
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
NO NO to WD40. It will makes things worse. A totally dead system points to no power. I'd first check the battery to make sure it's charged and showing proper voltage at its terminals. You can google for the value, depending on the rated voltage. Next, look at connections. Finally, check wire continuity for wires that have failed.

It would help if you had a schematic, but you probably don't. A schematic would tell you if there are any hidden fuses, for example.
 

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
NO NO to WD40. It will makes things worse. A totally dead system points to no power. I'd first check the battery to make sure it's charged and showing proper voltage at its terminals. You can google for the value, depending on the rated voltage. Next, look at connections. Finally, check wire continuity for wires that have failed.

It would help if you had a schematic, but you probably don't. A schematic would tell you if there are any hidden fuses, for example.
No WD-40. I found contact cleaner. Thanks. Back in the old days we'd spray WD-40 in the distributer cap and in spark plug connectors and it worked like magic.

I checked voltage (53) and continuity on the corresponding contacts on the bike with no short. And I'd LOVE a schematic. I thought it was a fuse, but then it fired up for a few minutes, so it's likely not a fuse. Somewhere it's a bad connection and Himiway is wasting my time waiting on a controller.

Thanks. I'll check my connections. Not sure I can check continuity. I don't know where the other end goes in most cases.
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
No WD-40. I found contact cleaner. Thanks. Back in the old days we'd spray WD-40 in the distributer cap and in spark plug connectors and it worked like magic.

I checked voltage (53) and continuity on the corresponding contacts on the bike with no short. And I'd LOVE a schematic. I thought it was a fuse, but then it fired up for a few minutes, so it's likely not a fuse. Somewhere it's a bad connection and Himiway is wasting my time waiting on a controller.

Thanks. I'll check my connections. Not sure I can check continuity. I don't know where the other end goes in most cases.
WD 40 works on wires by bolstering the insulation. In the old days, wet distributor (high voltage) wires often had insulation that deteriorated over time, and with dirt on the outside. WD40 was a temporary fix.

In any decent system, the wires will be color coded, so that will give you a clue if you choose to check continuity. With the battery out, and with modern meters that have lots of safety protection, you could also just check all options for a particular wire/connector. After all, a wire does go somewhere! If you can't find an end, be suspicious. And I'd focus on the wires from the battery terminals.

I'd put my money on the battery though, since batteries are known to fail unexpectedly and your symptom is consistent with no power at all.
 

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
Battery was my thought, but it's 53 volts and before this, had never been off the bike. Spraying cleaner on every contact and letting them dry. Hopefully, will see before the grandkids get here in an hour for a bike ride.
 

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
Thank you all for your help. It gives me things and ideas, but so far nothing.

Oddly (to me) I have 53 volts on the BIKE SIDE, with no battery installed between 3&6 and 2&5. 1.5 volts between 1&4. This power is stored in the controller? Battery had been off for just a few mintues.

2&5 were the terminals Himiway told me to check. 53 volts.

I'm not able to check continuity. The connectors are too tiny for my probes and the wires disappear into the tube. I've got a wire from the remote to the display that is permanent. No disconnect. I'm a little suspicious of the remote being bad. Maybe as simple as the button not turning it on.

I've got a wire from the throttle that has one connection and disappears into the tube. I've got one wire for each brake that has a connection I've cleaned and disappears into the tube. I've also got one connector for the headlight. Those and the brake, shifter cables all go into the tube.

At the bottom, most of the wires come out of the tube straight into the controller. Nothing to clean. There is ONE connector that goes to the brake light. I can't really get to it, but I don't think it's the issue.

Then there is the large cable that goes along the right side of the frame to the motor. It's got a bigger connection that has a screw type cylinder to secure it. This was loose, but the connection seemed clean. I cleaned it, blew it out with air and re-secured. Nothing.

With a magnifying glass I can see one tiny scrape on #2, looks like where it contacts the male piece. But, with 53 volts apparently in the controller, it seems power is getting from battery to controller.

The fact that it started briefly yesterday tells me not a fuse, but a loose connection of some sort.

I'm thinking remote? Ways to test this? Other ideas?

Thanks again for at least giving me hope. No ride with the littles today I guess.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
WD 40 changed their formula in the 1990's. California and other states required a change or it would be banned. The 'old days' of good ol' dubya-d-40 are gone:confused: More than anything it is an oily cleaner.
 

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
WD 40 changed their formula in the 1990's. California and other states required a change or it would be banned. The 'old days' of good ol' dubya-d-40 are gone:confused: More than anything it is an oily cleaner.
That would explain it. Back in the day, we used it after a car flooded out. It dispersed moisture.
 

tk40yr

Member
Region
USA
I let it set several hours. Voltage readings on both the bike without battery and the battery remain at 53 volts. Put battery back on and it turned on - ONCE. Lights worked, assist levels worked. Everything appeared to work, but before I could on it to ride, it timed out again and won't come back on.

I'm mystified. Thanks for any help.
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
I let it set several hours. Voltage readings on both the bike without battery and the battery remain at 53 volts. Put battery back on and it turned on - ONCE. Lights worked, assist levels worked. Everything appeared to work, but before I could on it to ride, it timed out again and won't come back on.

I'm mystified. Thanks for any help.
This sounds like a controller problem now. The only way you can determine that is to swap in a new controller. The tipoffs to me are first it works for a short period of time and second when it doesn't work, the display is off. It's unlikely that a bad remote (or a bad throttle, for that matter) would lead to a blank display, but who knows without a schematic.

The heavy cable with the screw terminal is the main power cable for the motor. It's a high current cable, so it's bigger.
 

tomjasz

Well-Known Member
ACF50 and Boeshield are both used in commercial aircraft and avionics. FAR superior to WD or contact cleaners. I can't imagine why it would take weeks to buy either.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
Checking the connections was a good thing to try. You may just have to wait on a new controller now. I hope that fixes it.

TT
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
A bit of a historic note: "contact cleaners" originally came into common usage for cleaning low voltage low current contacts that had become noisy. Think TV tuners "back in the day". They had contacts that spent a lot of time unconnected, so they'd build up a bit of oxide. The circuits within which these contacts worked were extremely noise sensitive. These were extremely low power circuits. The contacts you have in an ebike are nothing like that. Connectors are specifically designed to avoid surface corrosion problems, and use materials that aren't very corrosion prone. Switches are another category entirely, and not usually a problem area for newer gear.

You'll see a lot of stuff advertised and sold as "contact cleaner". Most of them are probably as useful (and sold by the same companies) as car gasoline additives that claim to double your mileage. Heck, even WD40's manufacturer sells a WD40 branded contact cleaner! In case you're wondering, it's made up of a propellant and three quick evaporating solvents, so it's basically a degreaser. Not much good for corrosion.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
A bit of a historic note: "contact cleaners" originally came into common usage for cleaning low voltage low current contacts that had become noisy. Think TV tuners "back in the day". They had contacts that spent a lot of time unconnected, so they'd build up a bit of oxide. The circuits within which these contacts worked were extremely noise sensitive. These were extremely low power circuits. The contacts you have in an ebike are nothing like that. Connectors are specifically designed to avoid surface corrosion problems, and use materials that aren't very corrosion prone. Switches are another category entirely, and not usually a problem area for newer gear.

You'll see a lot of stuff advertised and sold as "contact cleaner". Most of them are probably as useful (and sold by the same companies) as car gasoline additives that claim to double your mileage. Heck, even WD40's manufacturer sells a WD40 branded contact cleaner! In case you're wondering, it's made up of a propellant and three quick evaporating solvents, so it's basically a degreaser. Not much good for corrosion.
Most often I use contact cleaner on my well pump switch. A true contact switch that's 220 volts at 40 amps. Its standard practice in the plumbing services industry. Saves a lot of headaches when done periodically. Not low voltage or amps. Secondary use is my tractor, third is my MC and last are my ebikes. Especially the TMM4 torque sensor, as was told to me by the North American lead tech for BH. All that aside I learned where and when to use CC from my father, an electrical engineer. YMMV.