Charging ports are becoming an essential part of our daily lives as EV owners. While these charging ports are designed to make powering your EV a breeze, they can sometimes cause issues that leave you scratching your head.
Fear not, you are in the right place – in this comprehensive guide to charging port troubleshooting, we’ll dive deep into common EV charging port problems like why is my EV car charger port not working? or what to do if your charger gets stuck. This guide has the necessary answers to fix them. Let’s get started!
How do I open my EV charging point?
If you are unable to get your EV charging port open then you are going to be stuck with a flat battery and a car that won’t pass its electric MOT.
All EV charging points are different, we have put together a number of general steps that will work on most EVs. Try and work through this list to get your electric car charging port open again.
The first step is to locate your charging port
- Can’t find the charging port?
Most EV charging ports are located behind a flap or cover, much like a petrol cap. In the UK this is likely to be on the left-hand side, on either the front or rear
- Make sure you unlock your car
Your EV needs to be unlocked before attempting to open the charging port. Some models automatically lock the charging port when the vehicle is locked to prevent other people from opening the port
How to open the EV charging port cover
- Button or switch
Some EVs have a button or switch, usually located on the dashboard or driver’s door, that you can press or flip to release the charging port cover. After pressing the button or flipping the switch, the charging port cover should pop open.
- Manual release
Other EVs might require you to open the charging port cover manually. To do this, simply apply gentle pressure near the edge of the cover with your fingers and pull it open, or you may have to push it in gently and it will pop out.
- Key fob
Some electric vehicles allow you to open the charging port cover using the key fob. Press the designated button on the key fob, and the charging port cover should unlock and open.
- Touch-sensitive release
A few EV models have a touch-sensitive release mechanism for the charging port cover. Gently press or tap the cover, and it should open automatically. If you’re still having trouble opening the charging port, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific instructions related to your make and model.
What can you do if your EV charging port won’t unlock?
If your EV charging port won’t unlock you can try some of these steps to resolve the issue:
- Reset the vehicle’s systems
Power off your EV completely, exit the vehicle, and lock it using the key fob. Wait for a few minutes and then unlock and restart the car. This process should reset the vehicle’s systems and if it’s a system problem, release the charging port.
- Check the key fob battery
If your EV relies on the key fob to unlock the charging port, make sure the key fob battery is not dead. Replace the battery and try unlocking the charging port again.
- Check your EV’s owner’s manual for specific troubleshooting instructions and if that doesn’t help call your car dealership or EV manufacturer. They can diagnose the EV repair and servicing options.
Why is my EV car charger port not working?
If your car charger port isn’t working, there could be a few possible reasons:
- Charger Issues
The problem might not be with the car but with the charger itself. Check if the charger is working properly by testing it on another EV if possible.
- Cable Problems
Inspect the charging cable for any visible damage. Damaged cables can prevent your vehicle from charging properly.
- Software Glitch
In some cases, the issue could be a software glitch. Restarting the vehicle or resetting its software, if possible, might help.
- Dirt stuck in the Charging Port
Sometimes, the charging port can get clogged with dirt, preventing a good connection. You can clean it gently using a soft cloth or compressed air.
- Electrical Issues
Your EV charging port is connected to the vehicle’s electrical system. Any issues with the wiring or fuses can affect its operation.
- Defective Charging Port
If the charging port is defective or damaged, it will need to be replaced.
What to do if your EV Charging cable gets stuck in your charging port?
Before attempting to remove a stuck charging cable, you need to stop the EV from charging. Continuing to charge your electric vehicle while trying to unplug the cable could result in damage to the charging equipment or your vehicle. Press the “Stop” button on the charging station or simply unplug the cable from the station. This will help prevent any potential electrical hazards or damage when trying to remove the stuck cable.
Once again double-check that the car is unlocked, a locked vehicle is the cause of many charging problems! Electric vehicles are designed to lock the charging cable in place when the car is locked, so unlocking the car may simply release the charging cable.
If your electric vehicle features a release button for the charging cable, give it another go! Sometimes, the locking mechanism may not fully disengage on the first attempt so keep trying.
Remember to be gentle when trying to remove the cable so as not to damage the charging port or even the cable. Instead, try and work it out gently and follow the appropriate troubleshooting steps provided by your EV manufacturer. If you are still stuck you should contact your EV breakdown cover provider or EV manufacturer.
What to do if your EV charging port flap opens while driving
If your EV charging port flap opens while driving DON’T PANIC (captain mainwaring!). Here are some steps to follow if this unfortunate event happens to you:
- Find a safe place to pull over
As soon as you notice that your charging port flap is open, find a safe location to pull over. Ensure you are off the road and in a secure spot before addressing the open flap
- Turn on your hazard lights
Get those hazard lights on once you pull over to deal with the open charging port flap
- Test the flap’s locking mechanism
If your EV has a locking mechanism for the charging port flap, test it to ensure it is functioning correctly. Open and close the flap a few times to confirm that it is securely locked in place
- Temporary protection
If it’s not possible to close the charging port then until you can get it repaired then consider using a temporary protective cover, such as a small plastic bag taped on. This should shield the charging port and get you home. Clearly, this is just a temporary solution until you can get it fixed
- Monitor the charging port as you continue driving
Keep an eye on the charging port flap to ensure it remains closed. If the flap opens again, consider having your vehicle inspected by an EV technician as soon as you can
How do you release an electric charger safely from a port?
Many electric vehicles feature a release button for the charging cable, which may be located on the cable itself, inside the vehicle, or on the charging connector. Pressing this release button disengages the locking mechanism, allowing you to gently pull the charging connector out of the charging port.
Once the charger has been safely removed from the charging port, it is important to return or store the charging cable in the right way. If you are using a public charging station, pop it back into its holder. For those using a home charger, neatly roll up the cable and store it in a safe, dry location.
Finally, after removing the charger, remember to close the charging port flap or cover. This is an essential step in protecting the charging portland and preserving the lifespan of your EV.
By following these steps, you can ensure that you safely release the electric charger from your vehicle’s charging port while minimising the risk of damage to your vehicle or charger.
Still stuck? Well if you are still having problems with your charging port we have listed some more specific instructions below for brands that people seem to have the most issues with… Teslas, MGs and Nissans.
How do I open the charging port on my Tesla?
To open the charging port on your Tesla, first, park your vehicle in a location that allows the charging cable to easily reach the charging port. The charging port is located on the left side of the Model 3, behind a door integrated into the rear tail light assembly.
Once your Tesla is in Park, you can open the charging port by pressing and releasing the button on the Tesla charging cable. The button is typically marked with an arrow or symbol.
There are several alternative methods for opening the charging port on your Tesla:
On the touchscreen, tap Controls, and then tap the Charge Port icon (which resembles a lightning bolt). Navigate to Controls > Charging > Open Charge Port on the touchscreen.
Gently press the bottom of the charging port door when your Model 3 is unlocked. If you have a key fob accessory (sold separately), hold down the rear trunk button for 1-2 seconds.
Use voice commands to open the charging port door (refer to your vehicle’s Voice Commands guide). Voice commands can also be used to close the charging port door, as well as to start or stop charging.
By following any of these methods, you can easily open the charging port on your Tesla.
How do I open the charging port on my MG?
To open the charging port on your MG electric vehicle, first, ensure that your vehicle is unlocked. The charging port is located behind a door mounted in the front bumper of the car. To open the door, simply press the door gently and release it, allowing the door to open.
Upon opening the door, you will find two waterproof blanking plugs. The upper plug covers the 7-pin slow/fast charging socket (Type 2 Plug), while the lower plug covers the rapid charging socket (CCS Type Plug). To use the rapid charger, you will need to remove both waterproof blanking plugs.
After charging, make sure to refit the waterproof blanking plugs, starting with the rapid charge socket cover. Then, close the charging port door and push it firmly until the latch secures it in place. Always ensure any excess water is removed from the port area before connecting any charging device.
The charging socket features an electronic locking mechanism to prevent the charging connector and cable from being disconnected inadvertently during charging. The electronic lock activates as soon as the vehicle is locked and remains locked until the car is unlocked. The charging connector can only be unlocked when the vehicle is unlocked.
How do I open the charging port on my Nissan?
To open the charging port on your Nissan electric vehicle, locate the charge port on the hood of the car, positioned just above the Nissan logo. There are two ways to open the charging port:
- Using your car key, press the second button from the bottom, which features an image of a plug going into an open lock and the word “HOLD” below it.
- Alternatively, inside your vehicle, press the button located to the left of your steering wheel that displays a gas pump with a plug coming out of it.
When you open the charging port, the lid may not fully extend, so you might need to lift it further with your hands. No force should be required for this step.
Once opened, a light will illuminate the port, allowing you to see the charging ports even in the dark.
Ready to dive even deeper...
John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.