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I think the battery should be providing propulsion at lower temps (maybe 32F or lower?), but from my observations it appears that the heater tries to raise it up to the 50-60F range when it is cold out.
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But all that is why the manual says to keep the car plugged in all the time if you can. Because it will use that wall power to keep the battery up to that 50-60°F temperature for a couple of days between uses and you then don't have to even worry about it.
Thanks guys. Based on this info and what I think MGV is telling me, it does seem likely that it's a problem with my battery heater, as has been suggested above. We keep the Volt plugged in to Level 2 power when not in use. The MGV readings of battery temperature have been higher than ambient, but not in the 50-60F range; more like 30-45F at startup. I'll monitor this more carefully for awhile and hopefully get more comfortable and confident with the MGV info.

One of the things that confuses me is that there are two different MGV screens that report battery temperature, but they don't report the same temperature at a given time. Below are screenshots from just before the return leg of a 1 mile (each way) errand. [Ambient temperature was 28F and the car was parked, unplugged, for about an hour while I shopped. ICE fired up immediately (prior to shifting into D) and ran on the outgoing trip, until switching to battery for the last 1/4 mile. It ran on battery on entire the return leg.]
As you can see, the top screen from the BATTERY part of the app shows 46-48F, while the lower screen from DASHBOARD shows 52F. Not a huge difference, but I'm confused as to why there would be any difference, presuming they are dependent on data from the same temperature sensors.
I probably need to find a MGV for Idiots thread and educate myself more on the app...
Thanks again!

Light Black Plant Gauge Gadget

Font Gauge Circle Auto part Speedometer
 

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Sbachman,
I have been similarly confused by MGV. The battery voltages and temperatures do not always (if ever) match up. However, you must have the Android version (or a newer version?) as it does not look exactly like my MGV app. Yours shows:
Rectangle Font Automotive exterior Electric blue Circle

on the battery screen (mine is completely blank). But I think that may be a clue... Perhaps there is a temp sensor at the inlet to the battery heater as well as at the outlet, so this screen is showing that there is a slight temperature rise across the heater(?). that would appear to be a good thing if true.

Also speculation, but I am guessing the temp reported on the dashboard screen is the temp sensors within the battery. And this figure might make sense as well as you would expect the battery to be somewhat self-warming as it is flowing current through the drive motors (or charging).

One thing you mentioned regarding the car being left plugged in (Peter aka Hellsop also mentioned it...) I do not think the car will heat the battery when turned off and plugged in unless it gets very cold. So the temps you are reading at first start up are likely correct and expected for sitting in a coldish garage. I will look at my volt since it has not been driven for a day and is fairly cold today in the garage.
 
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Well, it is likely not cold enough in my garage at the moment to be sure... outdoors has been in the 20s all day. garage air temp about 48. At first start up, the battery inlet/outlet showed 52/50 and the battery showed 53. After a few minutes they showed inlet/outlet at 52/54 and battery at 53. A few more minutes and the inlet/outlet was 54/54 and the battery was 54.

Since is is not all that cold in the garage, it is hard to say if this is definitive, but I think it is not. I finally got around to setting up the VCXnano, so I will see if I can play with it and see if there is further info to glean.
 
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Sbachman,
I have been similarly confused by MGV. The battery voltages and temperatures do not always (if ever) match up. However, you must have the Android version (or a newer version?) as it does not look exactly like my MGV app. Yours shows:
View attachment 173755
on the battery screen (mine is completely blank). But I think that may be a clue... Perhaps there is a temp sensor at the inlet to the battery heater as well as at the outlet, so this screen is showing that there is a slight temperature rise across the heater(?). that would appear to be a good thing if true.

Also speculation, but I am guessing the temp reported on the dashboard screen is the temp sensors within the battery. And this figure might make sense as well as you would expect the battery to be somewhat self-warming as it is flowing current through the drive motors (or charging).

One thing you mentioned regarding the car being left plugged in (Peter aka Hellsop also mentioned it...) I do not think the car will heat the battery when turned off and plugged in unless it gets very cold. So the temps you are reading at first start up are likely correct and expected for sitting in a coldish garage. I will look at my volt since it has not been driven for a day and is fairly cold today in the garage.
I have the iPhone version of MGV and I just downloaded it about a month ago, so I think it's current. However, my phone is old (model 7 :rolleyes:), so maybe that's the reason for the difference in the screens. There's a lot I don't know in this arena! Maybe there are some MGV experts out there who can shed more light.

Thanks for your data points. Helpful to me and I suspect also helpful to the OP and others seeing this behavior.
 

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hahahah, I just inherited my daughter's iphone7 so our screens should be similar. I must need to re-download the app...

Here is an interesting thread. There is a gap in the data, but I suspect the volt does not heat the battery when plugged in until it gets below 25F.
 
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… but I'm pretty certain that these symptoms fall outside of those normal (as designed) ICE/battery propulsion behaviors. Something weird is happening to a growing number of early Gen I Volts, according to what I've experienced and what I've read from others.
Same problem with my 2012 Volt with 111K miles. Engine kicks on when any kind of high power need (heat and seat warmers and/or high acceleration) even with full battery. Only codes it throws appear to only happen in the rare occasion that it has momentary trouble starting the gas engine (P0AB9 along with check engine). I took it to the dealer, and they said “voltages were good” and no DTS code for bad battery, but based on my description battery was at the end of its life and needs to be replaced ($23.5K). I am very frustrated with the lack of diagnostic ability to determine if battery is really bad and GM’s attitude towards cars they should still support (a person could have bought a new car with this battery 6 years ago).
 

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It's not GM's Attitude, it's your dealers. Go to a different dealer. yours is a stealership. Or, checkout Greentech Auto, $6k for a replacement.
 
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It's not GM's Attitude, it's your dealers. Go to a different dealer. yours is a stealership. Or, checkout Greentech Auto, $6k for a replacement.
I guess it is hard to know who is screwing me - I will reach out to another dealer for a price, but even if it is half the amount, it is still ridiculous for a 16KWhr battery. I did research on the cost of out of warranty pricing before I bought my Volts and looking back on it, it feels like GM advertised false pricing just to make me feel comfortable to buy.
 

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it feels like GM advertised false pricing just to make me feel comfortable to buy.
If your Volt is still under the 8 year/100k mile warranty and has lost more than 70% then have it repaired under the warranty. But you are past the warranty on both counts. How is GM advertising false pricing exactly?
 

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If your Volt is still under the 8 year/100k mile warranty and has lost more than 70% then have it repaired under the warranty. But you are past the warranty on both counts. How is GM advertising false pricing exactly?
Price for replacement battery was published at $3000 back then - sure I imagined that might go up (and would include some labor on top of that), but I also thought that lithium battery costs would come down. The comfort level that battery replacement costs would be reasonable had significant impact on my purchase decisions. This pricing was clearly a strategic move by GM, and frankly feels like fraud at this point. I assumed until earlier this week that we would keep our Volts until the wheels fell off…

And even if not outright fraud, it tells me I want nothing to do with a company that treats its dedicated customers like that. Also it seems like a bizarre decision given their new found love of EV’s. I would imagine early Volt owners would be the most likely early adopters of GM EV’s…
 

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Price for replacement battery was published at $3000 back then - sure I imagined that might go up (and would include some labor on top of that), but I also thought that lithium battery costs would come down. The comfort level that battery replacement costs would be reasonable had significant impact on my purchase decisions. This pricing was clearly a strategic move by GM, and frankly feels like fraud at this point. I assumed until earlier this week that we would keep our Volts until the wheels fell off…

And even if not outright fraud, it tells me I want nothing to do with a company that treats its dedicated customers like that. Also it seems like a bizarre decision given their new found love of EV’s. I would imagine early Volt owners would be the most likely early adopters of GM EV’s…
It's not fraud, you are being dramatic. But hey, sue GM for fraud based on your solid case of assumptions and expectations.

The replacement battery cost was published by me based on replacements while the car was being produced and batteries were still in production. The rest was speculation on your part when you bought the car rather than a reliance on what GM actually said. You bought a low volume car that's been discontinued but feel entitled to very special treatment based on assumptions you made rather than what GM promised.

Yes, early Volt buyers are often adopters of later EVs. Many bought Gen 2 Volts, some bought Bolts. I bought a Bolt, still have the Volt. When it goes, I'll look around but will seriously consider an Ultium-based EV as well.

One of my relatives will never buy a GM again after the paint peeled on a car back in 1970's. How's the paint on your Volt? Mines great, hasn't peeled. But they, like you, are going to hold a grudge based on the past rather than the present.
 
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It's not fraud, you are being dramatic. But hey, sue GM for fraud based on your solid case of assumptions and expectations.

The replacement battery cost was published by me based on replacements while the car was being produced and batteries were still in production. The rest was speculation on your part when you bought the car rather than a reliance on what GM actually said. You bought a low volume car that's been discontinued but feel entitled to very special treatment based on assumptions you made rather than what GM promised.

Yes, early Volt buyers are often adopters of later EVs. Many bought Gen 2 Volts, some bought Bolts. I bought a Bolt, still have the Volt. When it goes, I'll look around but will seriously consider an Ultium-based EV as well.

One of my relatives will never buy a GM again after the paint peeled on a car back in 1970's. How's the paint on your Volt? Mines great, hasn't peeled. But they, like you, are going to hold a grudge based on the past rather than the present.
I am curious what the line is for you - I could see $7K, maybe 8 or 9, but $23.5 is so far over the line for me. And in such a short amount of time. I have been keeping an eye on this for years knowing it would one day be an issue, and nothing indicated this kind of price jump. If you are OK with it, fine, but I have never considered a car end of life at 8 years. But I don't think most people are budgeting for this kind of expense - and hopefully my posts can help those that read this board make the proper preparations.
 

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I would not pay what amounts to the price of a used car just for the battery, that's nuts. But I'd take a serious look at the $6k Greentech Auto alternative.
 

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I would not pay what amounts to the price of a used car just for the battery, that's nuts. But I'd take a serious look at the $6k Greentech Auto alternative.
I might not have any other good choices given the crazy used car market right now, but seems like these are just old batteries. I know they evaluated them and found they hold good voltages, and maybe mixed and matched some modules, but bottom line is that you are paying $375/KWhr for a 10 year old battery. Current costs of a brand new battery are closer to $100...
 

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Thanks caronjeff for this explanation of why my 2011 Volt often runs in ICE mode even with a full (27 miles or so) battery. I notice this especially when temperatures drop below about 45 degrees at night, but sometimes it happens in warmer weather. Annoying!
 

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OK, you can add the 2011 I've had in the family for over 7 years now to the 1st gens running almost exclusively on gas. It has been my son's car for the last 2 years and it charges just fine, it just doesn't want to use the battery (it does occasionally with no pattern as to why or why not it does). He has the 2011, I have a 2018 trust me, I know all about FMM and EMM and this is 100% not that. It has been cold (for Phoenix) down in the high 30s low 40s, it's possible it is temperature related, we'll see what happens when it warms up.
 

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I’d rather have my Volt burning a little gas than sitting bricked in the driveway or at the dealership.
 
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