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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, got a charger that was overheating the plug (wall to charger). Couldn't find any writeups on this except for the newer ones that actually have a cover that can be removed.

I had to pry off one side of the covers that act as way to keep your cord wrapped in place, then I had to dremel cut one side open. These are sealed and no other way to open it.

You can see the insulation flaking off the wires and is a definite fire hazard. I bought a heavy duty plug and has some spare pool light wiring which I believe is 14 guage. I used black plastic epoxy to seal it all back up. No easy task but she's back in operation and again and is now using the proper gauge wiring and no longer a fire hazard.

Electronics Electrical wiring Technology Electronic device Wire Electronics Cable Technology Electronic device Wire Wire Electrical wiring Cable Technology Auto part View attachment 154533 Vehicle door Automotive mirror Rear-view mirror Vehicle Auto part
 

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WOW! That is pretty scary. Pretty sure the newer ones have better/heavier gauge wires.
Personally, given you had the unit open, I would have used 12 Gauge wire to be a bit safer. The burnt wires certainly do not look like 14 gauge. One question, did you use 12 Amp charging a lot or just 8 Amp? If only 8 Amp that is even more dangerous. Thanks for the photos.
 

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Reiterate: WOW! That is pretty scary. Was that the original OEM charger or an aftermarket? When overheating starts it sometimes introduces more resistance with oxided wires which makes it overheat more in an increasing cycle (not usually a problem with soldered multistrand though). Almost as if the insulation was subpar re its temperature resistance with further exacerbated the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not real sure on the gauge, but was bigger than the stock wire. Either way, no more hot wires.

Not sure what a 12 or 8 amp your speaking of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Reiterate: WOW! That is pretty scary. Was that the original OEM charger or an aftermarket? When overheating starts it sometimes introduces more resistance with oxided wires which makes it overheat more in an increasing cycle (not usually a problem with soldered multistrand though). Almost as if the insulation was subpar re its temperature resistance with further exacerbated the problem.
Yes, you can see it was an OEM Voltec charger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I called the local dealer as I read that all these 2011 and 2012 charger would be replaced for free, but they said there was no recall, blah blah. Knowing I was going to get the run around, I proceeded to remedy the issue myself.
 

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Yes, you can see it was an OEM Voltec charger.
I'm afraid I don't know what an OEM charger looks like as when I bought my used 2013 Volt from a Honda dealer it came with a new L2 charger (don't know what happened to the original one).
 

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Hmm, that's the exact EVSE I took out of the trunk to charge my sister's 2011 the other day. I think it was never used. She only uses L2 at home. I thought it might have been the updated (post recall(?)/TSB) one. I thought the bad ones had orange cords?
 

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That would be the charging rate that you are using. If you have not set it to 12 Amps, then it defaults to 8 Amps.
I run mine automatically at 12 Amps in my "Home" location.
If the wires burnt up at 8 Amps, that is a serious problem. I would call GM (not the local dealer) and check on warranty.
I would think that they would be have liability if there was a fire. Much like the $0.50 ignition switch fix, they held off on, that killed many people.
 

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Lear is the manufacturer of that one. Their name's on the circuit board. I had one of their round, wall-mounted "Voltec" 240V units as well. It died after 12 months, 1 week and I was out $450. I think Lear makes crap. Obviously the wire insulation was marginal at best and not up to the task.
 

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That would be the charging rate that you are using. If you have not set it to 12 Amps, then it defaults to 8 Amps.
I run mine automatically at 12 Amps in my "Home" location.
If the wires burnt up at 8 Amps, that is a serious problem. I would call GM (not the local dealer) and check on warranty.
I would think that they would be have liability if there was a fire. Much like the $0.50 ignition switch fix, they held off on, that killed many people.
The charge current on the OEM EVSE for 2011 is set on the EVSE not in the car. Selection is done by pressing a mechanical button on the EVSE which stays in the selected mode until it is pressed again to change the current setting.

VIN # B0985
 

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That would be the charging rate that you are using. If you have not set it to 12 Amps, then it defaults to 8 Amps.
I run mine automatically at 12 Amps in my "Home" location.
If the wires burnt up at 8 Amps, that is a serious problem. I would call GM (not the local dealer) and check on warranty.
I would think that they would be have liability if there was a fire. Much like the $0.50 ignition switch fix, they held off on, that killed many people.
Send GM some pictures as well to get their attention. Seems like a liability problem and an endangerment to customers and their houses!

Wow, wow, wow ... and people raise a stink about quality control of other cars.

 

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I think that is the recalled model. GM is well aware of the problems with that one. You should be able to trade that in for a safe one, if you can find a dealer that follows proper policy and actually performs recall work when it is appropriate.
 

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I think that is the recalled model. GM is well aware of the problems with that one. You should be able to trade that in for a safe one, if you can find a dealer that follows proper policy and actually performs recall work when it is appropriate.
The recalled unit had an orange cord on it from the wall to the unit. His original wire was black.
 

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Might change the title to EVSE instead of charger in case folks want to find it. It is not the charger but the charge cord or EVSE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The charge current on the OEM EVSE for 2011 is set on the EVSE not in the car. Selection is done by pressing a mechanical button on the EVSE which stays in the selected mode until it is pressed again to change the current setting.

VIN # B0985
Interesting. Didn't know that. I have it charging my Volt right now at it's default level with no issue on the cord heating up like it did before.
 

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The recalled unit had an orange cord on it from the wall to the unit. His original wire was black.
Right, looking at the pictures more closely, the orange power cord is the replacement cord, not the original. The condition of that wiring is pretty scary, especially considering that is not even one of the recalled units, and it was still working (just overheating) when the OP decided to look inside.
 

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Send GM some pictures as well to get their attention. Seems like a liability problem and an endangerment to customers and their houses!

Wow, wow, wow ... and people raise a stink about quality control of other cars.

Agree send pics to GM. Others have opened the 2011 and 2012 units and had similar pictures.
 

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Interesting. Didn't know that. I have it charging my Volt right now at it's default level with no issue on the cord heating up like it did before.
The "default" level could be either 8A or 12A depending on what the EVSE was set for. There are 2 buttons on the front of the EVSE, one of which is used to set the "default" current level. IFRC the EVSE will illuminate 1 of the green lights for 8A and 2 green lights for 12A.

VIN # B0985
 

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@AZ EV Driver - That is partially correct....

The EVSE indicates to the car the maximum current it can deliver. The car will not try to draw more current than that, but may draw less.

When charging from 120V (L1), the car (Volt, Gen 1) defaults to drawing 8 Amps, but can be set to draw 12Amps for a single charging session. If the EVSE indicates it can deliver something less than 8/12 Amps (unusual), the car will charge at whatever the EVSE indicates.

When charging from 208V/240V (L2), the Volt will draw the lesser of either 16Amps (the most it can draw), or whatever the EVSE has indicated it can deliver (usually at least 20Amps).

@MPDano - you are likely charging at 8 Amps if you're using the OEM EVSE, and not switching the car to 12Amps (instructions in the user guide.)
 
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