What’s going on now? All of a sudden the motor support is gone. Sweat is pearling down your forehead and a mysterious error code is flashing on your display. Panic mode ON! What’s your eMTB trying to tell you and what do you have to do to carry on riding?
This article was updated by the E-MOUNTAINBIKE team on the 19th December 2019
If you spend enough time on the internet, you’re familiar with “Error 404 – Page not found”. And eMTBs, too, can display error codes to warn you that something is wrong with the system. Errors occur, for example, when a sensor fails to calibrate correctly, when a connection is interrupted or when the software encounters an anomaly. Before we go deeper into the error codes of the individual systems, here are a few general tips on how to solve the most common problems on the fly:
- Switch off the bike completely and wait for approximately 10 seconds. As with a computer, rebooting can work wonders!
- Check that your battery is correctly installed and charged
- Are all contacts intact? See if the display is properly engaged and check all visible connection points.
- Is the spoke magnet still there? Is it twisted? If the magnet is missing, the motor can’t determine the speed correctly and either switch into an emergency mode or stop working altogether.
If these simple steps don’t do the trick, have a look at the error code and check what it means – it really helps! Below are some of the most common error codes and their solutions.
Bosch error codes
The Bosch Performance CX is the most widely used eMTB motor on the market. A glance at the comprehensive user manual of the Bosch ebike system lists 60 different error codes with their causes and solutions – these also apply to Bosch’s 4th generation motor, the new Performance Line CX 2020. We asked the people at Bosch eBike Systems to enlighten us on the most common error messages of their onboard computer.
|430||Internal battery of the on-board computer empty||Recharge the onboard computer. This is possible via the handlebar mount, where the onboard computer is charged from the ebike battery, or with the help of a mobile phone charger and the USB connection of the onboard computer.|
|431||Software version error||The system has found an outdated or incompatible software version. Your Bosch ebike dealer can update the software using the Bosch DiagnosticTool. Your dealer uses online access to the Bosch ebike server to obtain the correct software.|
|503||Speed sensor error||Check the placement of the spoke magnet (8 to 14 mm distance is optimal, parallel to the line on the sensor). Restart the system if necessary. If the problem persists, contact your Bosch ebike dealer.|
|7xx||Gearbox error||A gearbox error is an eShift problem. The drivetrain is not configured correctly, which can result in the drivetrain and the Bosch drive system not working together correctly. The Bosch system indicates the error and the adjustment or correction must be made on the respective drivetrain. Please refer to your drivetrain manufacturer’s operating instructions.|
Luckily, according to Bosch eBike Systems, only very few isolated error messages occur in practice.
Brose error codes
Brose motors feature in Specialized, Rotwild, FANTIC, BULLS and some other eMTBs. However, unlike its competitors, Bosch and Shimano, Brose doesn’t offer a complete system consisting of motor and battery, so there is no uniform fault diagnosis. Each manufacturer uses individual solutions for their battery, software, control unit and display, says Volkmar Rollenbeck, Brose Product Manager for eBikes.
Brose as full service provider
In summer 2019, Brose introduced a range of in-house displays and batteries to go with their popular Drive S, Drive S Mag and several other motors, which finally allow them to provide their own complete systems.
With the Brose Service Tool, specialist dealers can access the data of the motor and provide quick and easy diagnosis.
Brose/Specialized Turbo error codes
For all Levo and Kenevo models, Specialized relies on a Brose motor with a dedicated software that can be configured via the Mission Control App. Since Specialized doesn’t rely on displays, system errors are indicated by the three red LEDs flashing on the battery. If the three red LEDs are flashing, you should connect the bike to the Mission Control app.
We asked Dominik Geyer, Global Business & Marketing Manager for Specialized Turbo models, to give us some advice:
“We’ve made huge progress in diagnostics over the past year and integrated a ‘Diagnostics & Resolution’ function into our Mission Control App. In other words: Should your bike ever give you trouble, the system won’t just give you a fault diagnosis or error code, but also provide you with clear instructions on how to solve the problem on the trail and help you resume your ride. In some cases you’ll be able to solve the problem by yourself relatively quickly – sometimes just cleaning and drying the connector helps! This could save you a trip to the dealer and perhaps prevent you from having to leave your bike in the workshop for a few days. And of course, there will be some errors you won’t be able to fix yourself. In this case, we recommend contacting a specialist dealer straight away. The following examples, which are also live in the latest version of the Mission Control app, illustrate this”
“At the same time we expanded the diagnostic function for our dealers. By connecting any Turbo-bike to the ‘Turbo Studio’ (our trade service platform), dealers will obtain the error codes and all the relevant instructions they need to eliminate the problem”
Badly aligned spoke magnets are the true Achilles heel of eMTB systems. By installing the speed sensor directly into the brake rotor, Specialized has successfully eliminated this recurring error code.
Brose/ROTWILD error codes
On older Rotwild eMTB models, a twisted spoke magnet was the most common source of error. The German brand has finally addressed the issue, integrating the speed sensor directly into the brake rotor of all new ROTWILD models.
Ole Wittrock, head of Marketing & Communication at ROTWILD, points out one more important aspect: “For example, if you’re overusing your brakes on long challenging descents, the small dust particles released from your brake pads will cover the speed sensor and stop it from working properly, causing inconsistent power delivery and thus a stuttering motor”. In this case, cleaning the sensor with a cloth will get you out of trouble.
Stephan Koch, one of ROTWILD’s sales representatives adds: “Plug-in couplings on the display may get torn out when crashing. If the bike is dead, it is worth checking these before contacting your dealer for further diagnosis”
Panasonic error codes
Swiss ebike pioneer FLYER is one of the few manufacturers to use Panasonic motors. We asked Anja Knaus, Head of Corporate Communications, to tell us about the most common error messages that occur with this motor.
The three most common errors are:
|6C-3A||Torque sensor error||Take your feet off the pedals when switching on the motor.|
|6B-39||Speed sensor error||Check that the speed sensor magnet is installed correctly and restart the system.|
|6A-38||Motor overheating||Let the system cool down and restart|
Find all common error codes for Panasonic displays and FLYER Intelligent Technology(FIT) display directly on the FLYER website.
Should an error persist after a system-reset, you should contact your dealer.
Shimano STEPS error codes
The Shimano STEPS E8000 is the second most widely used motor on the market after the Bosch Performance CX. We approached Paul Lange, Shimano’s general representative in Germany, and asked about the most common error codes for the Shimano STEPS E8000 motor. Michael Wild, Head of Marketing/PR at Paul Lange, explained the top 3 most frequently occurring error codes, which also apply to Shimano E7000, E6100 and E5000 STEPS motors.
|Error code||Cause||Operating restriction when an error is displayed||Solution|
|W013||The torque sensor may not have been fully initialised.||It is possible that the
support is less than usual, or it fails completely.
|Take your feet off the pedals, press the battery power switch and restart the system.
Important: don’t put any pressure on the pedals while switching on and off.
|W011||The riding speed is not detected.||The maximum speed up to which support is provided may be less than usual.||Check whether the speed sensor is installed correctly and the spoke magnet is in the correct position.The distance from the speed sensor (observe the markings) on the chainstay to the spoke magnet should be between 3 and 17 mm.|
|W010||Motor temperature is higher than in normal operation.||It’s possible that the support is less than usual.||Take a break and wait until the temperature of the motor has dropped. The support function should not be used until then.|
You can avoid Shimano’s notorious W013 error code by keeping your feet off the pedals when switching on the motor.
TQ-Drives E-Mobility error codes
The TQ HPR 120S is somewhat of a new yet old friend in the motor market. While it has has been used on M1 models for some time, it’s thanks to Haibike’s FLYON range that the small Bavarian company became popular in the eMTB world. German brand Storck is also planning to use the powerful TQ HPR 120S motor on their E:drenic GTQ bike.
TQ-Drives E-Mobility also acts as a complete system provider and offers the Marquardt display, which you can find on eBikes such as BULLS, FANTIC or ROTWILD. According to Daniel Theil, Product Manager E-Mobility at TQ-E-Mobility, the most common error codes for this display are the following.
If you’re unable to solve your issues with TQ’s troubleshooting guide, you’re better off contacting an official dealer – says Daniel Theil. These are trained professionals who will use specific diagnostic software to identify errors and analyse your bike’s fault memory.
TQ-Drives E-Mobility/Haibike FLYON error codes
According to Ingo Beutner, Head of Engineering at Haibike, the Haibike FLYON shows both the error code and its solution. The most common n. 74 error code, for example, concerns the torque sensor and appears when a rider turns on the system with a foot on the pedal, which stops the sensor from calibrating properly. If you take your foot off the pedal when restarting the system, the error will be rectified straight away. Occasionally, you could come across errors with the speed sensor too, but you can rectify these by restarting and thus recalibrating the motor. According to Ingo, restarting the motor will actually address most of the errors. More complicated issues, which usually require the intervention of a dealer, are indicated by a code and written into the internal error memory of the FLYON system. When a dealer connects your bike to the service software, this will offer a detailed overview of all current errors and at the same time provide instructions to help the mechanic fix the bug.
Yamaha error codes
Japanese manufacturer Yamaha is considered a pioneer of ebike motors and has been mass-producing them since 1993. Giant has been building its eMTBs with Yamaha motors since 2013. In addition to Bosch motors, Haibike has been relying on Yamaha systems since 2014. German performance manufacturer R RAYMON, who entered the bike market recently, also rely on Yamaha motors.
The situation with Yamaha is similar to that of Brose since bike manufacturers are free to outfit their eMTB with their own display, battery, etc.. Since the bike manufacturer doesn’t have to use the complete Yamaha system, there are no uniform error codes for eMTBs with Yamaha motors. To make things a bit easier, we’ve compiled a list with all common error combinations.
Yamaha/Giant error codes
On Giant eMTBs, error codes are indicated by flashing battery indicators on the display. In the event of an error, all battery indicators will flash three times. Then one indicator continues to flash while all other battery indicators are off. The continuously flashing indicator indicates the problem. Marc Kessing, Bike Media Relations at Giant Germany, informed us that faults on Giant eMTBs and thus the display of error codes would occur very rarely. If an error code can’t be corrected immediately after it has been displayed, the bike should be taken to a dealer who can read out the exact error code via a Bluetooth connection to the bike.
On the new Trance E+, Stance E+ and the brand-new Reign models, Giant deliberately ditched the large display and swapped it with the new RideControl ONE remote. The compact remote control allows you to shift between riding modes at the push of a button. LEDs provide all relevant info about support levels and battery charge status. A separate LED, which is located between the on/off button and the light button, lights up to indicate an error. The RideControl app allows you to identify the error and also gives you helpful troubleshooting-advice.
|A1||Motor unit (sensors)||witch off the system and switch it on again after approx. 20 seconds.|
|A2||RideControl control unit||-Check plug connection
|A3||Bluetooth||– Switch off the system and switch it on again after approx. 20 seconds
– Replace the RideControl control unit
– Switch off other Bluetooth devices in the vicinity to avoid a pairing effect
|A4||EnergyPak||– Charge the battery
– Update software
|A5||Speed sensor||– Check wiring
– Replacing the sensor
– Check the position of the spoke magnet
Yamaha/Haibike error codes
Michael Albrecht, service manager at the Winora Group, also identifies the twisted spoke magnet on the rear wheel as the most common fault. A twisted spoke magnet on the Yamaha PW-X can be seen on the display as follows:
- SPD SNSR (speed sensor)
- CHK MAGNET (check magnet)
Decoded, the display reads: Check speed sensor and magnets
If the display shows this error message, you should check the position of your spoke magnet. If the error message still persists with the magnet in the right position, get your dealer to check the wiring and plug connection.
While the motor will carry on working and follow the programmed transmission ratios in the event of a fault, it won’t work at full capacity nor display the current speed.
Michael explains that Yamaha’s motor is very reliable and faults in the motor itself are much less frequent. When error codes 31 to 37 are displayed, the error affects the torque sensor. In these cases, you should visit your nearest Winora-/Haibike dealer – often these errors are easy to erase! Error codes 38 and 39 indicate a faulty crank sensor. Unless you’ve established your problem is caused by a dirty or misaligned magnet, Michael recommends referring to a trusted dealer, who can identify the error code with a Yamaha diagnostic tool and erase the error.
Find all latest Haibike manuals on the Winora Group homepage.
|SPD SNSR/CHK MAGNET||Der Speichenmagnet am Hinterrad ist verdreht.||Wie auf dem Display beschrieben, sollte der Speichenmagnet auf seine korrekte Position geprüft werden.Falls diese in Ordnung ist, sollte vom Händler die Verkabelung und Steckverbindung geprüft werden.|
|31/32||Cable connecting torque sensor and controller is defective. /Cable defect between coil and PCB (loose contact, cable loosened).||If the system doesn’t detect any errors, it can return to normal operation after being restarted. Otherwise, the torque sensor or controller must be replaced.|
|33–37||Abnormal standby voltage or abnormal voltage during operation.||If the system doesn’t detect any errors, it can return to normal operation after being restarted.
(If the system detects the same fault several times, it cannot return to normal operation even after it is reset.)
|38||Torque sensor or pedal crank sensor defective.||Replace the torque sensor, controller or drive shaft.|
|39||Short-circuited or crank sensor defective.||Replace the controller or the drive shaft.|
That’s it! Now that you know about all most common error codes you’ll be able to solve minor problems quickly and easily. For a full list of error codes, refer to your owner’s manual. It is good practice to take a picture of all codes with your smartphone, so you can recall them at any time… because there’s nothing more irritating than being stuck in the middle of nowhere, not knowing how to bring your motor back to life. If you still can’t find solve the problem by yourself, you’ll have to contact your trusted dealer. We wish you a peaceful, trouble-free ride!
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Words: Manne Schmitt Photos: Diverse