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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During the last 2 or 3 overnight charges, the OnStar MyLink app showed 99% on the battery indicator after a full charge. (see attached image) I didn't think too much about it, figuring it was just an app glitch, since everything else seemed normal. But yesterday morning when I went to unplug the charge cord from the car, I noticed the Charging Status Indicator (in the car) wasn't doing its Short Flashing Green thing. I checked the Charge Cord Status Indicator lights (on the charge cord) and light B on the right was flashing red. I un-plugged the charge cord from the car and the light on the charge cord went back to green. I called OnStar from the car and asked for a diagnostics check. No problems found.

So I did the following experiment:

1. Drove about 4 miles to lose 1 bar on the battery indicator.
2. Plugged in to charge. Got normal green light indicating charging.
3. Stayed in the garage monitoring the CSI and charge cord lights.
4. After about 45 minutes, CSI green light goes off, no short flashing green, charge cord light B flashes red and OnStar MyLink app shows 99% battery.
5. Unplug charge cord from car, charge cord light B stays red.
6. Unplug charge cord from wall to reset (owner's manual page 9-56)
7. Plug charge cord back into wall outlet, indicator B still flashing red.
8. Wait 30 minutes, plug charge cord back into wall, all indicators green.

It seems that letting the charge cord rest awhile, or cool down, restores normal function. I monitored the temperature of the charge cord unit during the charge cycle and the highest temp was 118 degrees (near the top, on the side) so it doesn't appear to be overheating.

I will call the dealer as recommended in the owner's manual, but I wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this, and how it was resolved.

Thanks,

Frank
 

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My original 120 volt charge cord overheated, faulted and needed to be cooled by a fan to work most of the time. It required about a 30 minute cool down to work again before I got the idea to use a small fan to blow cool air towards the back of the charge cord where the wall mount is located. (Removing the wall mount from the charge cord helped the air flow.) The charge cord was replaced by the Chevrolet dealer. The replacement runs much cooler, doesn't need the fan and does not fault.
 

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I just had the same problem today. Fault light on the 110V charger keeps coming on, and the charger seems very hot. I've had the Volt on the 110V charger for five months with no problem. No check engine light - Volt seems fine and ran fine today. Not sure why the charger would be overheating all of the sudden. It seems like the problem would be the charging system in the Volt drawing too much current, but the Volt doesn't seem to think so.
 
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Keep an eye on that giveusroom. If it continues to run hot, take it to the dealer and have them take a look at that.
 

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Update: Took my volt into a local dealer. I was the first Volt they had seen in the shop. (The dealer has sold 2 volts, so at least I have a local authorized dealer now).

Of course, they were clueless, but at least GM eventually told them that I could have another charger, and it is being shipped to them.

Note that my charger will charge at 8 amps (takes forever), but overheats at 12 amps. It worked fine for five months.

I think GM has a real problem with the chargers. My guess is that they run pretty hot, as there is a slight resistive loss in the package causing a lot of heat dissipation. Over time, if there is any increase in resistance for any reason (corrosion, dirty contacts) the resistance and heat dissipation goes up. Since they are pretty close to overheating anyway, a slight increase causes them to overtemp. They are going to have to put a little more engineering into these chargers if they want them to be reliable. I see other threads talking about them simply not lighting up. It would be a shame for these stupid little charge cords to be the thing that gives the car a bad name.
 

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Hearing about issues with the 110v charge cord makes me wonder about mine. I keep mine stored in the car, and because I have a 240v Voltec installed, I haven't used the 110v charge cord in 6 weeks. So, should I worry that mine might be defective? Is it covered by the 8yr warranty, or the 3yr bumper-to-bumper warranty?
 
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@Fishhawk

The 120v charge cord the comes with the Volt is covered under the 3yr bumper-to-bumper warranty.
 

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It seems that letting the charge cord rest awhile, or cool down, restores normal function.
Is the plug your cord plugged in to GFCI protected? First off, if not, it probably should be. Even if it's an indoor plug an inexpensive GFCI plug adapter can be found at places like Home Depot and Lowes.

I presume that if it is GFCI protected, it's not tripping, right? If it isn't protected, are you going to add a GFCI to it? I've seen weird things happen with ground faults, especially when things get warm...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Is the plug your cord plugged in to GFCI protected? First off, if not, it probably should be. Even if it's an indoor plug an inexpensive GFCI plug adapter can be found at places like Home Depot and Lowes.

I presume that if it is GFCI protected, it's not tripping, right? If it isn't protected, are you going to add a GFCI to it? I've seen weird things happen with ground faults, especially when things get warm...
Hi Rusty

Yes, it is GFCI protected, and I pressed the test button to make sure it was functioning. And no, it's not tripping. The weird thing is that the charge cord works normally until charging is completed. I've checked this several times, and when the Volt reaches full charge, the green light on the dash goes off, then within 5 seconds the red light on the charge cord comes on. The red light on the charge cord stays on as long as it is plugged into the Volt, even after it (the charge cord) cools down. As soon as I unplug the charge cord from the Volt, the charge cord resets, and the light turns green.

If I ignore the lights, (no quick flashing on the Volt and red light on charge cord) then everything works normally. Why the charge cord faults only after charging is completed is the mystery.

I have not taken it to the dealer yet, since it is still able to fully charge and I'm waiting for the wife's day off to give me a ride home from the dealer. I suspect there's a problem with the charge cord and the dealer will order a replacement. But it will take them a whole day to figure that out, and that will be a whole day without my Volt!

Frank - Volt # 3470 in So. Cal.
 

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If I ignore the lights, (no quick flashing on the Volt and red light on charge cord) then everything works normally. Why the charge cord faults only after charging is completed is the mystery.
That is strange. A flashing red "!" light does mean charge cord fault. The manual says to wait 30 seconds for it to reset, and if it doesn't to unplug it and plug it back in. OK, that part seems to be working OK but the question is why is it faulting.

The charge cord doesn't know anything about the Volt's end-of-charge cycle. It's mostly just a smart extension cord at that point. So the Volt must be doing something that's setting it off. Whether it's the cord being too sensitive to a normal Volt operation or the Volt doing something whacky is the question. Have you checked with OnStar after this happens for any fault codes? It might be that your Volt's charger (remember, the EVSE is really just a smart cord, the charger's in the car) is doing something weird, and faulting the cord.

Sounds like you're doing all the right things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That is strange. A flashing red "!" light does mean charge cord fault. The manual says to wait 30 seconds for it to reset, and if it doesn't to unplug it and plug it back in. OK, that part seems to be working OK but the question is why is it faulting.

The charge cord doesn't know anything about the Volt's end-of-charge cycle. It's mostly just a smart extension cord at that point. So the Volt must be doing something that's setting it off. Whether it's the cord being too sensitive to a normal Volt operation or the Volt doing something whacky is the question. Have you checked with OnStar after this happens for any fault codes? It might be that your Volt's charger (remember, the EVSE is really just a smart cord, the charger's in the car) is doing something weird, and faulting the cord.

Sounds like you're doing all the right things.
Yes, I called OnStar the first time I "noticed" the flashing red light on the charge cord. They reported no fault with the Volt. "Noticed" is in quotes because, like I said, if ignore the lights everything is normal. It could have been happening before I noticed it.

I know the charge cord worked properly when I first got the Volt, since I paid particular attention to make sure all the lights were indicating correctly. But after a day or two, I just unplugged and drove, so I'm not sure exactly when it started.

Re: the charge cord... it won't reset immediately after charging is completed, (when it is still warm) whether it is plugged into the Volt or not. After 15-30 minutes cooling down it will work normally. The only thing I haven't tried yet is to unplug the charge cord from the Volt immediately after charging (charge cord flashing red) and leaving the charge cord plugged into the wall until it cools (to see if it resets when not plugged into the Volt).

I think I'll go do that now! Good excuse for a short drive on a beautiful So. Cal. afternoon!

Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
OK, so I went for a short drive and plugged in the Volt. After about an hour, the charge completed and all light indicators were NORMAL! Must have been too short a charge time! Sooo... I go for a longer drive for a longer charge time. Same thing! The charge cord and/or the Volt seems to have been miraculously healed! Another charge and still OK.

A self healing car... The Volt truly is amazing!

Frank
 
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Wow, that is strange. I've never heard that happen before. But if it's working for you, that is great! Let us know if you have any other issues with it.
 

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Another Update:
My charge cord problem got progressively worse. Fault light started coming on after a few minutes of plugging in. It also started coming on even in 8 amp mode. It hardly seemed like it had time to overheat, so I'm not sure that's really what is going on, although some kind of thermal isssue is still a strong possibility.

In any case, I received my new charge cord from GM yesterday and it charged fine overnight. However, I noticed that the new charge cord also gets extremely hot. Perhaps my firs cord always got that hot, and I simply didn't know it.

Anyway it looks like my problem is solved with a new cord, and the old one is being sent back to GM for analysis. I also ordered the Voltec charger - I don't want a repeat of this problem, and I think odds are that the convenience charge cords just don't hold up very long.

P.S. I never realized just how much of my life I wasted at gas stations. It's really nice not having that interruption, and its wonderful to be unfazed by whatever the gas price of the day is.
 
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@giveusroom

That's too bad that it got worse, but it is good to hear that you received a new one. Also, that is a good choice to go with the Voltec charger. It will give you a faster and more consistent charge, and of course will also continue to save you trips to the gas stations!
 

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Frank,
Just had the same problem tonight. "B" light blinking red. Tried cooling it down, pluging and replugging, waiting, etc. - nothing worked. After reading the postings on this site and section 9-56 of the owner's mannual, it looks as though I should go off to the dealer to replace the charge cord. I have been using the charge cord since January 6 without a problem. I assume your problem has gone away????

Thanks.
Tom
Volt #327
 

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Mine actually melted last week on Sunday night. The black plastic at the end of the 3-prong was disfigured. The whole cord was really hot. I brought it to my dealer and they ordered a replacement. Unfortunately it won't be in until Thursday this week. It's weird having to drive around on gas...
 

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Mine actually melted last week on Sunday night. The black plastic at the end of the 3-prong was disfigured. The whole cord was really hot. I brought it to my dealer and they ordered a replacement. Unfortunately it won't be in until Thursday this week. It's weird having to drive around on gas...
I suggest checking and/or replacing your wall recepticle as well. It sounds like the heat was generated there, and it could have been cause by poor electrical contact between the plug and the recepticle.
 

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Tried to charge my Volt at a relative's cottage the other day with a 100' 16 gauge extension cord. I set it to reduced charge and it would charge for 3 or 4 minutes before faulting out. I also found an outlet that had a bad ground connection and it would not charge at all. I would point out that I have not had any issues with this charger before or after this incident. I have had this charger since February.

Low voltage or a bad ground on the outlet could be your problem.
 
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