GEM E2 charge indicator light

I recently purchased a 2002 GEM E2. Lately, the charge indicator is blinking red, although once I remove the cord and turn it on, it reads 100% charged. The charge indicator used to turn green once fully charged. Any thoughts?

The charger error codes are a sticky post on this forum. All known codes are on this list.

Red means that the charger does not see battery voltage, or that battery voltage is too low. This can also be a weak connection between the charger and batteries, a bad battery, or a bad charger. To avoid replacing expensive parts, start by testing batteries, and then cleaning and tightening all connections. Also, check if the charger has been "micro upgraded. " Look for this tag on the charger. Zivan, the maker, will test and repair their chargers. After ten years of use, all of ours have now been serviced.


I’ll get after it ASAP. Thanks!

Just did a quick check. I don’t see a sticker showing a “Micro Upgrade”. It does have the little switch under the tab, and it is pointing to “F”. The previous owner put regular 12-volt batteries in it, I think. The are just a few months old. This blinking light just started during the past couple of weeks. Just drove it around, and it seems fine, otherwise. Does Zivan have a list of service locations? Thanks for the help, and thanks for the patience. I’m new to this!

I emailed Zivan just a little while ago, and already got a response. They asked me to mail in the charger with a copy of their email. I’ll take care of that first thing tomorrow!

Charger is in the mail for an update. I’m really new to the GEM car scene. I noticed that I have 6 brand new Die Hard deep cycle marine batteries installed in my E2. I guess I’ll try and get the most out of these, since they’re new. When the time comes to install new batteries, what is the best choice, and how much do they cost? Thanks!

One more question…(probably not my last!). The previous owner installed a little stereo docking station (for an ipod or something similar). He has it wired directly to one of the marine batteries. Is there a better way to wire this, like maybe through a fuse in the fuse box? Can I add another fuse?

Another question! I’d like to test the batteries while the charger is being upgraded. What is the best method of testing them? I’ve had batteries that read full voltage before, but ran down immediately when being used, so I guess direct voltage is not the best indicator, although I’m still not sure. Do the batteries need to be disconnected from each other for testing?

Don’t see any problem with connecting a small load across one battery. A fuse should be installed close to the positive battery connection. I remember that GEM included a dedicated radio circuit in the wiring harness.


The batteries can be tested in several ways. Charge each battery with a 12 volt charger. Flooded batteries can be tested with a hydrometer when fully charged. A handheld load tester is another tool that puts some load on the battery to see how it holds up. A simple check with an accurate volt meter is how I usually test batteries. First, the vehicle is driven until it is very weak. Then I check each battery several times and average the results. If one or more of them show a tenth of a volt less than the others, it is no good. Example: 12.6, 12.6, 12.6, 12.5, 12.6, 12.6. Plug in the charger right after this test. Be sure a battery is bad before replacing.


Thanks, Daniel.

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While I’m awaiting the return of the updated charger, I’ve been filling and charging the marine batteries. Here’s my question…once I get everything up and running with the GEM, I’ll be leaving it at my camp. I get out there about every other weekend. What’s the best method of charging when I’m not there? Should I simply leave it charging, or wait and charge it up only when I’m there? Should the master switch be kept on, or off when not in use for up to 2 weeks or so?

The Zivan charger will not cycle and must be restarted if the GEM is left idle. The master switch must be closed (on) for the charger to work. Open the master switch if the GEM is not in use.


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What Daniel said. Opening the switch will not allow the batteries to charge since it breaks the circuit prevents current flow. That is typically done when servicing the GEM’s electrical circuit or you wish to disable the unit for some reason.

Well, $150 plus 2 shipping charges later (I don’t know why I thought the micro upgrade was free) my charger is on the way back. Since the cart was purchased only a few months ago with brand new deep cycle marine batteries, I guess I’ll try and get the most out of them. I’ll charge each battery up individually before I install the charger, and then hope for the best!

Okay, one more thing. Thanks, by the way, for your patience with me! In looking to upgrade the batteries, should I go with AGM or gel batteries? I don’t really understand the difference. Thanks!

I’m not sure there is a material difference between them as far as run-time performance is concerned. AGM is “absorbed glass mat” which simply means there is a “glass” mat (fiberglass) sandwiched between the plates which “absorbs” the acid and prevents it from spilling out. GEL is the same concept but uses a chemical agent to “gel” the fluid instead of a mat. Both are designed to be “maintenance free” BUT part of the tradeoff is the higher cost of these technologies and both are “twitchy” about the charging profile. Too much amperage over too short of time will destroy the technology and drastically shorten battery life. Because of the intolerance for overcharge, you’ll eventually have to deal with “unbalanced” batteries (where some are charged to a higher level than others in the string) and I think a battery maintenance system becomes more critical (like that built-in to your octopus charger in theory) with these technologies.

Other than that, I’m not aware of any practical performance differences between these two technologies when used in a GEM. Other applications of course have different performance requirements.

Personally I like FLA (flooded lead acid) because that technology is lower in cost and a well proven technology that’s stood the test of time. FLA takes “overcharging” much better than either GEL or AGM so less need for a battery maintenance system. Because of this tolerance you can overcharge the entire string to bring back any unbalanced batteries. You do have to mind the fluid levels because overcharging can “boil off” water. But even that is overrated IMO since you can use “gas recovery battery caps” which are designed to recapture the escaping gases (Hydrogen and Oxygen) and convert them back into water and redirect that back into the battery thus minimizing water issues during the charging cycle. My “industrial” Trojans for example came with these caps pre-installed. “Maintenance free” isn’t that big a deal to me so I don’t mind checking the fluid levels from time to time in any event.

Pay your money and make your choice!!


BOOOOM!!! JUSTTTT what i needed, The master switch must be closed (on) for the charger to work… I had it to red which is OFF

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Hi: Where can I find the Master switch?

under the seat with the batteries.