GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 115 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Have seen a few posts from Erick Belmer elsewhere in the last few days. His famous high mile Gen1 Volt “Sparkie” has started to exhibit symptoms suggestive of the battery starting to fail. Voltage sags while climbing hills that cause the REX to come on to restore voltage levels, and now random repeated SHVCS errors even after the bottle fix. Not sure if the second issue is related, but the voltage fall outs causing the engine to have to start (even with the battery showing range left) is certainly an indicator something is going on with the battery, and he says it started even before this cold snap hit North America.

He’s looking for options on a new battery, not imminently, but it looks like with 150,000 electric miles on his existing pack, that could be wise.

I suggested he get GM to do the “deep dive” test on the battery using their diagnostic systems to see if they have any more insight on what exactly may be happening, so it will be an interesting story to follow.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
1,027 Posts
If GM had any goodwill at all they'd fix him up as a brand ambassador. Instead they are going to tell him to piss off leave him with a few grand in bills worth more than the car and tell him to buy a new volt.

GM and Chevrolet don't give a piss about their customers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,038 Posts
I really hope GM takes care of Mr. Belmer. He has been an incredible brand ambassador for Chevy and deserves a highly reduced rate on any repairs needed for his Volt, or a really outstanding employee price on a new Volt. Flip side of the coin, maybe Chevy should buy Sparkie from him for $20,000 and let him buy a new, reduced price, fully loaded, Volt with that money. Chevy could learn a lot by tearing Sparkies pack and drivetrain down. It is at 419,000+ miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
With 5 years production and 100,000 Gen1 Volts one would think that a few salvaged battery packs could be found cheap. Anyone have experience in a battery swap out and able to relate the total cost and success in the operation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
With 419,000 miles, I would say he got his moneys worth out of the battery pack and his Volt. The battery may only have 150,000 miles in pure electric mode but since the battery is constantly being charged and discharged even when driving in gas mode, it really has 419,000 miles on it.

It would be nice if GM would make sure he gets fixed up and makes it to 1/2 million miles but giving him a nice discount on a 2018 Volt might be more sensible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,672 Posts
Any engineer worth their degrees and education will give anything to get their hands on a machine like this and do a tear down, then re-build it. Let's hope the real engineers at GM get their way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,320 Posts
a really outstanding employee price on a new Volt
Mr. Belmer can get employee pricing right now on a 2017 Volt. It would cost what 4K to swap in a replacement pack. Lot to invest in an ultra high mileage car considering everything else that might be at or near it's service limits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
The mileage on the battery isn't all that impressive, 150K is about what you would expect to be the upper limit. 269K on the engine is a lot more impressive for a Chevy. He's gotten his money's worth out of that car, it would be silly to replace the battery unless GM gives him one for free. A 2018 Volt would make the most sense for him, a Bolt is probably not the right car in his circumstances, not because of range which given that he has destination charging at his plant is probably sufficient, but because of battery life. He's established the upper limit of the battery's life at 150K which for him is only a year and a half.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,583 Posts
He's established the upper limit of the battery's life at 150K which for him is only a year and a half.
When GM was doing their pre-production testing of the Volt they put 200K to 250k miles on the battery before they stopped testing. 150K is what the battery is warranted for in CA, 100k miles in most other states.

So he's established that the battery warranty is a decent indicator of the battery performance and for most owners it's the same as "lifetime".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,796 Posts
With 419,000 miles, I would say he got his moneys worth out of the battery pack and his Volt....
It would be nice if GM would make sure he gets fixed up and makes it to 1/2 million miles ....
Is there a line in the sand when a running car needs to be crushed?

.... Lot to invest in an ultra high mileage car considering everything else that might be at or near it's service limits.
"Service limits" What is that exactly?
Is the engine consuming oil or is the car leaking fluids all over the place?

You don't see airplanes being crushed because "they have a lot of miles on them". (Well, a few rare ones have airframe time limits.)

A car is a collection of bits and bobs. Replace the friction points when they wear and keep going, just like an airliner.

A big and old Li-Ion battery pack is a new thing in cars.
So, just throw a used, or new, replacement pack in there,,, IF that is really the current issue, and drive on!
Some Volts have had the battery pack exchanged because sensors within the pack have gone bad, remember that?

ps,
I have a bank courier friend that has taken a Honda Accord Wagon to 1.4 MILLION miles before retiring it.
With no major maintenance required on it.
He now has 2 Prii with 400k and 600k and just keeps driving them. He should be an advertisement for Mobil 1!
It's surprising how mostly highway miles are easy on a car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
The mileage on the battery isn't all that impressive,
Let’s not forget that the battery on the Volt is in use constantly, not just when it’s providing propulsion. Even when in CS mode it’s constantly taking and giving charge as a buffer to the generator, as well as Regen, etc.

So, in reality, it has a LOT more than 150,000 miles on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
Let’s not forget that the battery on the Volt is in use constantly, not just when it’s providing propulsion. Even when in CS mode it’s constantly taking and giving charge as a buffer to the generator, as well as Regen, etc.

So, in reality, it has a LOT more than 150,000 miles on it.
You're right. The Gen 1 Volt is a pure series hybrid so it's always running on electricity and the battery is always in use. I'm not sure your observation is true for a Gen 2. At highway speeds the Gen 2's engine directly drives the planetary gear, aside from regen braking I don't think the battery is doing anything once it's been depleted, if I'm wrong about this please correct me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
I would personally retire the car, as I am sure it needs other repairs as well. Picking up a used Volt would probably be cheaper than replacing the pack. 420k miles is more than most vehicles make it. I watch people dump a lot of money into used cars when they get to that point, I think people are more personally attached to them, sometimes it is better just to let it go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
The mileage on the battery isn't all that impressive, 150K is about what you would expect to be the upper limit. ...
150k pure EV miles on a 16? kWh battery which is capable of discharging at 7 C (equal to a P100 pumping 700kW or 938 HP) and the ability to absorb 3.7C charging in Regen (equal to a P100 charging at 370 kW DCFC) is actually not that bad even if you ignore the fact the actual effective battery miles are probably over 250,000.

It appears the Volt battery is might be the most robust Lithium Ion battery ever made.

A 100 kW Volt array would probably propel a car for 1.5 million miles. If the Bolt battery is just as good, it will probably be a million mile battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,511 Posts
I say, "Save Sparkie!" It's more than just another car now, it's an icon. And it would be nice to someday have a "million mile Volt", wouldn't it?

I'm not saying Chevy should foot the whole bill, but should give him a lot of "consideration".
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
643 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I say, "Save Sparkie!" It's more than just another car now, it's an icon. And it would be nice to someday have a "million mile Volt", wouldn't it?

I'm not saying Chevy should foot the whole bill, but should give him a lot of "consideration".
If it does indeed need a new battery pack it’s not exactly a glowing endorsement anymore – it will just further cement preconceptions in non EV owners minds that EV’s eventually need expensive repairs.

I pointed him towards the plentiful scrapyard market where entire replacement packs can be had for around $1500 but he seems to want something more genuine new or officially refurbished.
 

·
Registered
2014 Cadillac ELR
Joined
·
775 Posts
I'm going to go out on a big limb here and say that GM would learn exactly nothing from this car that their own testing didn't tell them years ago.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,634 Posts
I'm going to go out on a big limb here and say that GM would learn exactly nothing from this car that their own testing didn't tell them years ago.
Exactly, they might have interest in confirming their testing, but they have already been through all this. They really don't need high mileage field units. Too many variables. All it might do is encourage them to cut back on the over-built stuff ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,143 Posts
Is there a line in the sand when a running car needs to be crushed?

"Service limits" What is that exactly?
Is the engine consuming oil or is the car leaking fluids all over the place?

You don't see airplanes being crushed because "they have a lot of miles on them". (Well, a few rare ones have airframe time limits.)
Crushed? No. But there's a rigorous schedule of inspection, overhaul and replacement at about monthly, semiannual, biannual and every five years intervals, which involve maybe a day of inspections, lubrication and fluid changes on the "monthly" end, to complete teardown of all systems for overhaul and replacement, plus inspecting every joint, seal, and conduit with xrays for cracks and corrosion.

And THAT is how you make an airplane last for 50 years. The HV pack in a Volt treated the same way would never get 400,000 miles on it because it would have been replaced on a schedule at five years, along with the charge port plug, front and rear glass, front seats, pedal caps, control linkages, brake lines, rotors and calipers, and all the underhood pumps.
 
1 - 20 of 115 Posts
Top