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SO this happened to me a couple of years ago.

Tried to start the car, most of the accessories are running but I can tell power steering is dead. Try to turn it off and I get "Initializing Wait to Shift", Eventually after several restarts it will start up again. But then I get propulsion power reduced and whatever battery I have left disappears and I'm running on gas. Gas engine is humming very loudly and the car doesn't go over 30 mph. Eventually I got it home and plugged it in and came back later and it worked. Took it to the dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Fast forward to 5 nights ago. Same thing happens, then happens again 4 nights ago. Hasn't happened since and check engine light has gone away.

What is going on with my Volt? (2012 Model)
 

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Sorry to hear of your problem. Could be many things. Do you know if there were any codes and, if there were, what codes? A problem that shows up every couple of years is not going to be easy to find, and you have to believe the dealer checked for codes. If you check at the bottom of the page there are several different threads with owners having some of the same symptoms. The fix ran from essentially rebooting the car -- which from what you've said might be what is needed in your case -- to having to have an inverter replaced.

Intermittent problems can be the worst things.
 

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one item that sometimes can cause oddball, hard to track, problems is a loose connection on the small 12 volt battery under that hatch, or a dying 12 volt battery. when was the last time that you had yours replaced? take a look at the lugs and make sure they are seated correctly and tight. Also verify your battery coolant level in the battery coolant reservoir.
 
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SO this happened to me a couple of years ago.

Tried to start the car, most of the accessories are running but I can tell power steering is dead. Try to turn it off and I get "Initializing Wait to Shift", Eventually after several restarts it will start up again. But then I get propulsion power reduced and whatever battery I have left disappears and I'm running on gas. Gas engine is humming very loudly and the car doesn't go over 30 mph. Eventually I got it home and plugged it in and came back later and it worked. Took it to the dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Fast forward to 5 nights ago. Same thing happens, then happens again 4 nights ago. Hasn't happened since and check engine light has gone away.

What is going on with my Volt? (2012 Model)
Hi Chris1290,

We're sorry to hear about this intermittent concern with your Volt. We recognize that you might be seeking advice from other forum users, however we'd be happy to lend an additional layer of support if you'd like to return to your dealership for a second look.

If you're interested, please send us your contact information, VIN, mileage and preferred dealer in a private message.

All the best,
Lauren E.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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SO this happened to me a couple of years ago.

Tried to start the car, most of the accessories are running but I can tell power steering is dead. Try to turn it off and I get "Initializing Wait to Shift", Eventually after several restarts it will start up again. But then I get propulsion power reduced and whatever battery I have left disappears and I'm running on gas. Gas engine is humming very loudly and the car doesn't go over 30 mph. Eventually I got it home and plugged it in and came back later and it worked. Took it to the dealer and they couldn't find anything wrong with it.

Fast forward to 5 nights ago. Same thing happens, then happens again 4 nights ago. Hasn't happened since and check engine light has gone away.

What is going on with my Volt? (2012 Model)
Just curious if you ever got to the bottom of this? Something very similar just happened to my son's 2012. He was driving, and said at the moment when the battery was empty and it should have switched over to the gas motor, he got this same message - "Power Propulsion Reduced." Unlike yours, his gas motor did not come on and he could not continue driving. When he pushes the power button, his info screen says "Initializing Wait to Shift," but neither the electric motor nor the gas motor comes on. After a minute or so, the message goes way, the dash stays lit with all the check lights and speedometer, radio, etc. on, but the motors aren't on and the will not drive. Neither will the car turn off - when he pushes the power button it just goes through the same cycle again. The car is inoperable and had to be towed.
 

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Just curious if you ever got to the bottom of this? Something very similar just happened to my son's 2012. He was driving, and said at the moment when the battery was empty and it should have switched over to the gas motor, he got this same message - "Power Propulsion Reduced." Unlike yours, his gas motor did not come on and he could not continue driving. When he pushes the power button, his info screen says "Initializing Wait to Shift," but neither the electric motor nor the gas motor comes on. After a minute or so, the message goes way, the dash stays lit with all the check lights and speedometer, radio, etc. on, but the motors aren't on and the will not drive. Neither will the car turn off - when he pushes the power button it just goes through the same cycle again. The car is inoperable and had to be towed.
Had this exact issue. Did you ever figure out what your sons issue was and did you get it fixed?
 

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I see reduced propulsion message anytime I try to start the car after EV battery is depleted. I let it run for a short while, say 2 minutes. Then turn car off, then on again. Reduced propulsion message disappears. I'm sure it needs something expensive. I try not to have let the battery run depleted if I have to stop before recharging.
 

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I see reduced propulsion message anytime I try to start the car after EV battery is depleted. I let it run for a short while, say 2 minutes. Then turn car off, then on again. Reduced propulsion message disappears. I'm sure it needs something expensive. I try not to have let the battery run depleted if I have to stop before recharging.
I doubt you need anything expensive, this is pretty normal operation, especially if you turn it off very shortly after depleting the battery. If your car switches to gas and you need to shut it off soon after, park it and let the engine run until it shuts off, that will build the battery buffer back up before you turn it off. It might not prevent the reduced propulsion upon restart every time, but it will certainly help.
 

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I see reduced propulsion message anytime I try to start the car after EV battery is depleted. I let it run for a short while, say 2 minutes. Then turn car off, then on again. Reduced propulsion message disappears. I'm sure it needs something expensive. I try not to have let the battery run depleted if I have to stop before recharging.
In my case, the battery switched over to engine about a mile or so from my house when the message popped up (Which didn't bother me as I've seen it's not out of the norm in some cases). When I got home though, I did immediately turn it off as normal but it wouldn't take a charge. I went back to start it, to see if a message was there, and I haven't been able to get it to start since. "Initializing wait to shift" pops up but it never starts. I have tried jumping and even replaced the 12V (worth a shot). I even checked some of the service mode stuff up here, no luck. I'm having to get it towed to a dealer today for them to look into the issue. 2013 that I bought four days before this happened. I had it checked out by a third party tech before purchase and, at the time, he said everything checked out great. I feel it could be something easy for them to fix, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little worried about what they're going to call me with as a new owner haha

So, are you saying if the EV battery depletes shortly before getting home I should let it run for 5-10 minutes to regen some? Thanks
 

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In my case, the battery switched over to engine about a mile or so from my house when the message popped up (Which didn't bother me as I've seen it's not out of the norm in some cases). When I got home though, I did immediately turn it off as normal but it wouldn't take a charge. I went back to start it, to see if a message was there, and I haven't been able to get it to start since. "Initializing wait to shift" pops up but it never starts. I have tried jumping and even replaced the 12V (worth a shot). I even checked some of the service mode stuff up here, no luck. I'm having to get it towed to a dealer today for them to look into the issue. 2013 that I bought four days before this happened. I had it checked out by a third party tech before purchase and, at the time, he said everything checked out great. I feel it could be something easy for them to fix, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not a little worried about what they're going to call me with as a new owner haha

So, are you saying if the EV battery depletes shortly before getting home I should let it run for 5-10 minutes to regen some? Thanks
It shouldn't take that long. A minute or two will probably be enough. The key is letting the engine go until it's done its thing and it's doesn't want to charge the battery anymore, just like you were sitting at a long traffic light.
 

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It shouldn't take that long. A minute or two will probably be enough. The key is letting the engine go until it's done its thing and it's doesn't want to charge the battery anymore, just like you were sitting at a long traffic light.
So if I'm driving and still have a good stretch from my destination I suppose it would go away after a few minutes? Still seems like it shouldn't be a thing.
 
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