Its working…

I realized after a few weeks of using the C-Max that the Value Charge/Charge Now setting on the car was “global” (See this post). In short: The setting wouldn’t change when switching profiles.

Last week I had the car in for its first oil change and a few recalls. One of the recalls did involve reprogramming the telematics module. Over the next few days I noticed that the charge setting would switch when the profiles changed..! After watching the screens change as it switches profiles it would appear that when they reprogrammed the telematics module they fixed the value charge/charge now switch–its no longer global.

Finally now I can use it the way it was meant to be used.


Its working…

Alexa start my car

Here is something interesting: Ford will be integrating My Ford Mobile with Amazon’s Echo (Alexa).

According to the article you’ll be able to start your car, lock and unlock the doors, etc. by speaking with Alexa. This represents simple commands that Alexa can send to My Ford Mobil.

More interesting is that you’ll be able to command Alexa to do things from inside the car (set your house temperature, cue up music, etc.). This must mean that there will be a Sync app for Alexa on Sync 3 equipped vehicles (this is the easiest, and most logical course for applying this functionality).

Much like adding watch support to My Ford Mobile (about a year ago) this seems like something pretty easy to accomplish as most of the work involves linking internet servers (Ford’s My Ford Mobile server with Amazon’s–heck who knows: maybe My Ford Mobile is hosted in AWS!).


Alexa start my car

Hey Sync 3…tune to…

In a moment of deja vu my coworker who had owned the FFE decided that he also would like a PHEV. After much deliberations on his and his family’s part he also ended up with a C-Max Energi (but of course! LOL). At least this time, though, our vehicles are different colors so we aren’t complete twins like last time.

The story of his acquiring the C-Max is long, sorted, and follows in line with his history at the dealership he uses (we’re very surprised the dealership just didn’t hand him $500 to go to a different dealer for his next car when his FFE lease was up LOL).

Also in line with his Ford plug-in experiences has had at least one issue, however “minor” this one may be: He couldn’t use Sync 3’s voice commands to tune to a channel above 76. This seems like a really odd corner case. You could manually tune to channels 77 and up, but hitting the Sync button and saying “Sirius 100” would result with “unavailable channel”? (even when listening to a channel above 76). ┬áThis was a really odd one.

The fix for it seems to be: Perform a master reset. The master reset process forces the Sync module to rebuild its phonetic channel map (along with erasing all your presets, removing the vehicle from my Ford mobile, and a bunch of other erasing things). (There is another solution but you have to have some test equipment or know someone at SiriusXM.)

Other than that his C-Max has been good; no charge connectors melting, no checking if the car can float (The C-Max is a hefty 3800 lbs…I don’t think it will float as good as the FFE did LOL).


Hey Sync 3…tune to…

Sync 3

I’m quickly approaching 1 month of driving around the C-Max Energi. On the whole I like it a lot. I’ve only filled the gas tank once after 750 miles of driving (in these winter temps I can get at most half of my round-trip commute in on EV alone).

I’ve played with Sync 3 quite a bit now. After driving 4 cars with My Ford Touch in them your first impression of Sync 3 is “Fast”. It really is so much more responsive than MFT ever was. Even the map display on the Nav screen is fast: It tracks your driving amazingly with no redraws (even the slightest turn shows up on the map in real time).

Here we have the map display showing the range circles. I haven’t looked up what they mean yet but I would speculate that the inner circle is the worst case range (running heat, etc.) and the outer circle is the best case range. Even at this scale you can see the map pan and rotate as you drive..its pretty impressive.

Entering a destination into Sync 3 is much easier than MFT ever was as well. You simply type in the address or intersection you’re looking for and it shows you live results like a Google search. Of course if you already have the destination programmed in you can simply hit one of the buttons.

Searching for charging stations is pretty simple too: Hit the “Charging” button above.

Although it appears the list isn’t complete as this station was missing:

(I charged there briefly while I was taking the above pictures.)

On the whole I find Sync 3 to be a vast improvement over MFT. It still has some bugs, however, as noted in my “Buggy Car” post and the fact that when I left for this trip the car stuck on the rear camera for about a half mile before it rebooted and came back to life.


Sync 3

Value Charge–C-Max Edition

I think I have a handle on value charging C-Max Energi/Sync 3 style. In my list of bugs earlier I had indicated an issue with the car and MyFord Mobile accurately representing the Value Charge/Charge Now state.

Well I think I’ve settled on a solution to that. A bit of review first: In MyFord Mobile you can setup multiple charging locations. Once you’ve charged somewhere you can log in and set that location up to “Value Charge”–scheduled charging. On the FFE this worked quite well; I had a “Home” charging location that would start charging at 4am every morning (timed such that the car would be fully charged within about an hour of me departing for work). Doing this can prolong the life of the battery (since its only sitting for a short time at a full charge level) and takes advantage of the power company’s overnight rates.

When I got the C-Max Energi one of the first things I did was to setup the same charge schedule for the “Home” charge location. At that point is where things went kind of goofy. Every time I would check the two locations (Home and the default) either in the car or via web or mobile app I’d get a different setting for each location as far as Value Charge and Charge Now. I was able to get the car to Value Charge by checking on the setting in the car just before turning it off in the garage (ensuring that it was going to charge using the home location and it was set to Value Charge). After doing this a few days I started to notice that even though the screen said it was set to charge using the “Home” location it wouldn’t–setting the on screen prompt to Value Charge would sometimes set Default to Value Charge and leave “Home” at Charge Now…!?

On the C-Max Energi this is a bit more of an issue than on the FFE simply because of range and battery size. On the FFE when I’d come home after work I’d usually only use about 50% of the battery and the rest of the days driving wouldn’t take the other 50% thus most of the time I could leave the home location on Value Charge and be good (in addition, the FFE has a handy display on the dash that allows you to quickly flip between Value Charge and Charge Now after you turn off the car; this is missing on the C-Max). With the C-Max I’ll come home with a depleted “EV” battery and will sometimes want to charge a bit for further evening activities–thus I’m finding I flip back and forth between Value Charge and Charge Now a lot more frequently.

My workaround is this: I’ve deleted the “Home” location and setup a charge schedule for the default (the same as what I had before: start charging at 4am). Now the car has only 1 entry and switching between Value Charge and Charge Now will only switch the default. I’m not really concerned about having multiple charge locations anyway (on the FFE I only ever had the one “Home” one). Since the C-Max also has a gas engine it is unlikely that I’ll make as much use of public charging as I did on the FFE–it simply isn’t necessary.


Value Charge–C-Max Edition