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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, as I was driving home, my Volt didn't switch to gas when the battery went to zero. It coasted to a stop about 3 blocks from home, a few neighbors and I pushed it the rest of the way.
It won't accept a charge and the gas engine won't run.
Got a tow to the local Chevy dealer, he says the root cause is a bad cell in Group 3, which will need to be replaced. $6800 for Group 3 only or he recommends the entire battery pack for $11000 to avoid a similar issue on remaining cells. (New Battery comes with 1yr or 12,000 mile warranty).

Any recommendations on what to do?

Other Data:
2011 (Purchased on 7 April 2011) (Voltec warrantee expired 40 days ago > 8 years)
50,205 miles on 115 gallons
12 Volt Battery replaced July 2018, 12.2 volts
Codes at failure:
P1E00 MIL Illuminating fault
P0CD2, (Charged door is sticky, slow to open, true)
P0AFA (Hybrid Battery System Voltage Low)

Blue Book Value: Trade-In $7,085, Private Party $9237.
Owner is mechanically inclined and has a second vehicle, 2001 Blazer.

PS I always accepted that someday, the Volt would loose range and I would be driving a fancy Prius, but this failure mode has me discouraged (just a brick now).
 

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You can contact GM and see if they will adjust the price of the battery section. Another option is to purchase a used battery pack, the whole battery, then find someone who can install it. This is a specialized repair, requires training with high voltage battery systems and also a special Volt battery lift unit for lowering, replacing the battery pack.

The salvage company that has the battery pack should be able to arrange shipping the pack to your installer. You will have to have the Volt towed to the installer. The local dealer might be willing to install a second hand battery but of course there would be no warranty. If it does not work you will be out of pocket for all the labor, shop materials, then start over with the salvage company and another pack.

Another option is to donate the car to a charity, they will often accept a vehicle even if not running. Then you are free to shop for another Gen1 or Gen2 Volt if that still suits your driving needs.
 

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A 3rd party supplier with locations in about two dozen cities across the US, sells refurbished (?) battery pack with 36 month warranty for $5000 USD when the old battery pack is returned to them: https://greentecauto.com/hybrid-batt...t-volt-battery They will also do the installation. Looks like there is a Houston location.
 

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A 3rd party supplier with locations in about two dozen cities across the US, sells refurbished (?) battery pack with 36 month warranty for $5000 USD when the old battery pack is returned to them: https://greentecauto.com/hybrid-batt...t-volt-battery They will also do the installation. Looks like there is a Houston location.
Good to know. Have five years left on the Voltec warranty, but I am planning to keep these cars until the wheels fall off, so hopefully by the time the factory warranty is over there will be even more and cheaper options on this, but this is good that there’s one not too far from DC. There are a heck of a lot of EVs around the Washington area.

Thanks


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I would call GM and file a complaint. I say this from experience. I had a chevy that was just out of power train warranty when the plastic (They put in metal ones when fixing) thermometer housing cracked, lost all oil, and ruined engine (Not sure this would constitute powertrain though). My options were to rebuild engine, get a new engine, or get rid of the car. At the time I could not afford the engine so I was going to get rid of it but my mom suggested filing a complaint. Called GM to file complaint, told them what happened, and they offered to (I didn’t bring up money) to help pay to rebuild engine. They ended up paying for the engine rebuild. The only thing I had to do was pay for the new thermometer housing, which was like 80 or something instead of 5000ish. I do not want to get your hopes up but it is worth a shot. I apologize if they do not offer, I just wanted to give you my experience.
 

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Wow, sorry to hear that your failure happened so soon out of warranty. I have been trying to make it to 100K before the 8 years are up on our 2012. I have 18K to go and less than a year to get there. If you still have full coverage on the car, you should be able to find someplace to park it during a rainstorm. My wife used to work down there with HCTRA, and the bottom level of the parking garage would flood during any heavy rainstorm. She liked to park down there because there were always lots of open parking spaces there. Security then made her move it whenever it rained good.
 

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The cost of the repair exceeds the resale value of the car, if it didn't have the issue. Considering this, it makes sense to either sell it "as is" for parts, or check out the third party repair option.

If the new battery part was warrantied for 8 years/100,000 miles then maybe it would be worth it. With a 1 year warranty, no way.
 

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If you are feeling really handy, a junkyard battery pack on www.car-part.com goes for $1500-$2300. I'm sure you could negotiate a bit too. You should be able to at least get mileage, date of loss, and a picture of the car from the site for many of the cars.

Sorry this happened to you. It really sucks!
 

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I feel ya. I just spent $1500 on a junkyard pack (2012, 98K miles, 9 hour drive round-trip) and another ~$500 in tools to do the swap myself; it's a gamble. If my car had only 50K, I maybe would have tried to identify the failing cell and tried to replace just that cell group with a section of cells from ebay. There's a small section from a '14 for $435 there now. I have no idea if this would actually work.
 

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What are the options with totaling the car through insurance? If the repairs theoretically exceed the value, could it be totaled?
 

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What are the options with totaling the car through insurance? If the repairs theoretically exceed the value, could it be totaled?
That would only apply if the vehicle was involved in a collision or if it was otherwise damaged or stolen. The only thing that protects you against a part failing, in this case the battery pack section, is the limited warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thought I would give you an update:
At the Chevy Dealer/ Repair Dept:

Options:
A. Replace the bad Battery group #3 (remanufactured) - $6827 - 1 yr/ 12,000 miles warranty
B. Replace the whole Battery (remanufactured) - $ 11,700 - 1 yr/ 12,000 mile warranty
C. Sell car as is to dealer -- they offered $500
D. Reset the fault and see if it comes back? Sorry, that won't work.
E. Bypass Battery group #3 and accept less range? Sorry can't do that.
F. Buy a salvaged battery and dealer installs it. Nope we don't do that.
G. Complain to GM! Yep, here is the customer service #
Yeah, they offered cost assistance, my cost $3000 to replace group 3 only of battery, 1yr/ 12,000.
Anyone have any experience with longevity of just replacing a single group???

H. GreenTec will install a refurbished battery pack with cells of later design for $5900 + towing, 3yr unlimited mileage warranty
I. DIY with salvage battery - $1200 to $1500. no warranty.
J. Part it out and sell it on EBay

Any advice based on those options?
 

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K. Donate vehicle, as is, to Salvation Army; Melwood; Etc. The car does not have to be running, they will arrange a tow. You get a receipt and take a tax write off on your income taxes for 2019. You should be able to claim KBB value for the Volt. Shop for a replacement Gen1 or Gen2 Volt that meets your needs and budget.
 

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Tough call, man. My first choice would probably be G, then H. If I had a lot of time on my hands, then maybe I.

Do you still like Volts? You ok financially? If time was tight and I was ok money-wise, I'd consider grabbing a 2019 gen2 while they're still out there (and have a partial tax credit), then fixing the 2011 using (I) in my spare time and selling it.
 

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Really tough call, indeed. I'd go with H or maybe I, if I was mechanically inclined and had tons of time (and patience) in my hands.

Good luck.
 

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I'm doing option (I) right now, but after what I found when I measured the voltages in my 139K pack, I wonder if I'm not throwing good money after bad... I'll make a separate post shortly. I would totally take (H) over (G) though, if I could afford it, because there's no guarantee GM will do the same for you next time. AND, the (H) option uses cells from 2015 cars; it's not just a fix, it's an upgrade!
 

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(G) will be my choice based on the premise that I will sell it immediately after the repair. I would not want to keep the car.
If I had a lot of time on my hands and am mechanically inclined, then (I). I will still sell the car, though.
 

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(G) - Provided $3,000 is the total cost. Then either:
1. Sell the vehicle immediately afterwards. This will allow you to recover the greatest return. This would be my choice.
2. Keep and plan for disposal if hitting another replacement. The battery really shouldn't have failed at that low mileage, provided it's been charged regularly. You'd be taking a risk, hoping that it would cheaper in the long term.

(H) - If the total cost for (G) is really $3,000 +X,+Y,+Z, and then drive it to it dies. The three year replacement battery warranty would take your 2011 Volt to year 11.
 
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