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I'm very new to this forum, and I have a lot questions, so please bear with me. I had me 12v battery tested at AutoZone they couldn't give me any details other than it could use a charging. I tested it when I got home with a multimeter. It read 12.2v with the car off and 11.88 with the headlights on. Do I need to charge the battery? Thanks.
 

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I'm very new to this forum, and I have a lot questions, so please bear with me. I had me 12v battery tested at AutoZone they couldn't give me any details other than it could use a charging. I tested it when I got home with a multimeter. It read 12.2v with the car off and 11.88 with the headlights on. Do I need to charge the battery? Thanks.
The voltage of a 12V AGM battery, the type of 12V battery in the Volt, when fully charged will be ~12.6V. 12.2V is on the low side of 50% charged. I would be concerned if the voltage dropped below 12.0V. Be aware that AGM batteries require a different charging voltage and procedure than a standard lead-acid battery. If you decide to get a battery charger for your 12V be sure it is designed to properly charge AGM batteries. If you overcharge the 12V AGM battery, something that is easy to do, you will damage the battery.

What year is your Volt and how old is the 12V battery? If your Volt and/or 12V AGM battery is over 4 years old then now would be a good time to replace the 12V battery before it fails and leaves you stranded.
 

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It's a 2012 Volt. I bought it in the Fall of 2016. I have no idea how old the battery is. I guess it would have to be at least 2 years old.
 

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It's a 2012 Volt. I bought it in the Fall of 2016. I have no idea how old the battery is. I guess it would have to be at least 2 years old.
There might be a date code on the battery you can read to determine the age of the battery. If this is the original 12V battery or you are not sure of the age of the battery then it should be replaced. Just be sure you replace the battery with the correct battery size (Group 47) AGM battery. Do not replace the AGM battery with a standard lead-acid battery.
 

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If you decide to use a different brand of Group 47 12V AGM battery from the OE AC Delco part you may not be able to connect the vent tube to the battery. The vent tube is not a drain. The electrolyte in an AGM battery, definitely caustic as it is sulfuric acid/water based, is held in place in the fiberglass mats within the battery (like a well wrung out sponge.) The electrolyte cannot leak out, even if the battery case cracked there would be minimal leaked electrolyte. The tube is there to vent hydrogen and oxygen gas outside the passenger compartment. The AGM battery, also known as a valve regulated lead-acid (VRLA) battery will only open the valve under an extreme over pressure condition as could be created by overcharging the battery. In normal use an AGM battery does not vent any gases. Even then, hydrogen is lighter than air so it is unclear how the hydrogen would vent out the bottom of the tube. As built, GM has to connect a vent tube to the battery because the battery is technically in the passenger compartment.
 

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What year is your Volt and how old is the 12V battery? If your Volt and/or 12V AGM battery is over 4 years old then now would be a good time to replace the 12V battery before it fails and leaves you stranded.
My 2011 Volt has the original battery. So that's 7 years, and over 96K miles. Of course, I don't live in battery baking Arizona.
 

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If you wear your underwear until the elastic fails and it is full of holes it is still underwear but not as comfy as when it was new.

Over the years I had my share of bad alternators and dead 12V batteries (never a bad starter motor.) This has usually been accompanied by just enough aggravation that I never want it to happen again.
 

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Steverino: Thanks for your extended-use experience. I would consider it very far from "normal", and therefore, I would NOT recommend this to anyone.

I'm with jcanoe on this. My schedule, as a free-lance musician, is always time-sensitive, and I can't afford to run a battery to failure prior to replacing. Been there, done that, back when I didn't think I could afford "pro-active" replacement. Back in the 70s-80s, you could HEAR when a battery was getting tired (starter speed would be labored/slower), and could address the issue. With electronics-protected power-hungry modern cars, there is rarely any warning, other than random electronic glitches.

For 20 years, I'm replaced batteries every 3-4 years. Batteries are cheap, compared to $$$ lost from lost work.

OF COURSE, YMMV...!!!
 

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Considering the resistance to replacing batteries regularly among even the conscientious posters here as a general rule, It's pretty likely that OP's PO probably ALSO did not replace the AGM, so we're coming up seven years. It's time. Do it.
 

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The parts store advice of "it could use charging" doesn't make much sense to me. The battery charges whenever the car is on. So if you just drove to the parts store to have it tested, why would it need charging? You had just charged it. If you have a battery problem, it is not due to lack of charging, unless your car's charging system is broken, but if that were the case, your battery would most likely be completely dead, not just low. So that is probably not your issue. The voltages you quoted sound low to me. Your battery is most likely original, plus you live in a hot climate, which would mean it is past due. I recommend you replace it.
 

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My 2012 still has the original battery as well.
I keep a small Li-ion jumper in both my vehicles, so I'm not worried about it dying.
 

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My 2012 still has the original battery as well.
I keep a small Li-ion jumper in both my vehicles, so I'm not worried about it dying.
I just bought a Motormaster 750A lithium battery booster. Supposed to be good for 20 boosts on regular car. Manual override for 0V batteries. Also can be used as a flashlight and a strobe light that can flash SOS code for $100 ($77 USD) from Canadian Tire flyer. Very light weight and compact. Should fit under cargo area no problem. Going to replace battery next year (year 6). Live in most battery friendly environment in N/A.
 

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My 2012 still has the original battery as well.
I keep a small Li-ion jumper in both my vehicles, so I'm not worried about it dying.
Except the problem for folks hasn't been "it died" as in the car won't start or the other traditional issues with a failed 12v battery.

In the Volt, a failing 12v battery seems to cause a stream of computer glitches resulting in error codes, some of which require a dealership to reset. So the REAL question is, spend $130 on a battery, or spend time and money stuck someplace, then $120 on a dealership code reset, and THEN spend $130 on a battery.
 

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My 2012 is also sporting the original 12V battery, including more than a year (2017) down in Houston, TX. I also purchased a battery jump pack about 3 years ago to make sure I didn't get stranded. Got to check on it more often though. Yesterday I noticed it was below 10% and charged it back up.
 

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I haven't had to use any sort of jumper cables or "jump pack" in almost 30 years. I don't wan't anyone (including ME!) coming NEAR my enormously complex and expensive (TO ME!) car with ANYTHING that will potentially harm the electronics system.

Jumper cables are for "what if?" situations. I have virtually eliminated any "what if" situation by always having a reasonably young and healthy battery in my car. (Ditto for tires...I no longer wait until I'm down to 2/32...not worth the risk!)

I hope y'all are enjoying a healthy discussion (flogging a dead horse???) where we can disagree without...uh...shooting each other (except maybe the horse!)...or saying nasty things!
 

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My 2012 is also sporting the original 12V battery, including more than a year (2017) down in Houston, TX. I also purchased a battery jump pack about 3 years ago to make sure I didn't get stranded. Got to check on it more often though. Yesterday I noticed it was below 10% and charged it back up.
What kind of pack is it that self-discharges so fast? A lithium ion one shouldn't get that low for half a decade.
 

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12.2V is low, I replaced my 2013 battery within the last year, and I just checked it (with the EVSE unplugged) and it was 12.5V. If you can't verify that the factory-installed battery was ever replaced, take it to a dealer or Autozone, have them take out the existing battery and read the date code (it will be SOMEWHERE on the battery). If it's the factory battery on a 2012 I would go ahead and replace it.
 

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It's a lithium ion. Don't know if it was the heat of Houston, but after the first year in Seattle's milder climate, it was still at 80%. Maybe one of the cells is going.

I probably shouldn't tell you guys that I am also running the original wiper blades. After 4 years of them working so well (and so much up here in Seattle), I bought factory replacement blades from the Chevy dealer. They have been sitting on the self waiting for their turn to serve because the originals are still doing a good job. I am used to wiper blades that are lucky to make it 2 winter seasons.
 
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