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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Purchased 2013 Volt and at just 46,000 miles the evaporator corroded and leaked due to tape used in manufacturing process. Despite rendering car undrivable without A/C in Florida heat, GM would not honor Voltech warranty or even offer to help fix the problem. Much less I tried to help sending pics detailing the problem, since this same evaporator was used in many other cars. But they never even responded. Shameful and unacceptable on a very expensive investment from a life long customer whose Dad retired from GM. My Dad tried to get help and still they didnt honor the warrany or even help for that matter. Here is the evaporator pics:
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How did the tape cause damage?
 

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The A/C, while definitely a nice thing and maybe necessary in the Florida heat, us not a part of the Voltec drivetrain and would not be covered under the Voltec warranty. Sorry to say it but it is the facts.


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Discussion Starter #4
The A/C, while definitely a nice thing and maybe necessary in the Florida heat, us not a part of the Voltec drivetrain and would not be covered under the Voltec warranty. Sorry to say it but it is the facts.


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Not just nice. Read. If temp is over 88 it has to be working or the battery will over heat. So, battery life in hot temps depends on A/C working. That is beside the point though. At 46,000 miles evap failure and no help fixing it monetarily or otherwise. Pathetic.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How did the tape cause damage?
Everywhere the sponge tape was stuck on the aluminum evap radiator it corroded. Put under pressure in water tank once out of the car, and sure enough the leaks were from the pit marks you see in the pictures where the sponge tape was removed. But GM had no interest.
 

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Not just nice. Read. If temp is over 88 it has to be working or the battery will over heat. So, battery life in hot temps depends on A/C working. That is beside the point though. At 46,000 miles evap failure and no help fixing it monetarily or otherwise. Pathetic.
Ok, you may have a point there. I didn’t realize that the A/C ran to cool the battery, I thought it only ran the coolant pump and cooling fan. My apologies.


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once again,gm shoots them self in the foot.typical
 

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It is what it is. It is not a high voltage component and not covered under the Voltec warranty. Brakes and rotors are required for the Volt to operate too but they’re not covered under Voltec components either.

How much is a replacement of the evaporator? Also, did a certified Voltec dealer do this work and remove the evaporator?
 

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Ok, you may have a point there. I didn’t realize that the A/C ran to cool the battery, I thought it only ran the coolant pump and cooling fan. My apologies.


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No apology needed by you. I am just very disheartened about being taken for granted after being so loyal to GM my entire life.
 

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It is what it is. It is not a high voltage component and not covered under the Voltec warranty. Brakes and rotors are required for the Volt to operate too but they’re not covered under Voltec components either.

How much is a replacement of the evaporator? Also, did a certified Voltec dealer do this work and remove the evaporator?
Yes, but they are not integral to the electrical operations. Cost was $1,995, plus another $1,000 in other fluids, sensors, etc. Could not afford that expense so after 6 months of planning, tool aquisition, and studying (all while driving my 2002 Pontiac Montana) I did the job myself. In all it cost me $190 in parts and fluids, another $150 for VCX NANO by VXDIAG and software, and at end (and unexpected bullshit deal) another $495 for the dealer to reset my steering column position with the compuer which I was unable to do with the VCX Nano. Now, at 58,000 miles, the passenger in seat airbag weight sensor is going out. NTSB is investigating this one so I plan to wait for their outcome, fix it and sell it. A/C works great now though. So before buying a GM car now you should plan for probably another $20k in sevice on top of what you paid for a vehicle all before 60,000 miles. Should have purchased a Tesla.
 

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Should have purchased a Tesla.
Although I understand your frustration, that last sentence had me ROFL. You stated that you couldn't afford what you were told was a $3000 repair and you are going to buy a Tesla? A wrecked one I assume that has had the HV battery removed?

At least you were able to get the parts for the Volt. If you had an issue with the out of warranty Tesla good luck finding a part.
 

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The diagram of the battery cooling system shows that it's a completely different circuit than the cabin A/C and A/C evaporator: The Chevrolet Volt Cooling/Heating Systems Explained

edited to add: thinking about it a little more, it's obvious that the coolant systems aren't connected because the A/C system uses a coolant that evaporates and condenses (freon) and the battery coolant system uses engine coolant.

It sucks about the corrosion and kudos for fixing it yourself but I don't see why it would be covered by the Voltec warranty.

edited to add more: thinking about it some more, it's likely that the pinhole corrosion was caused by moisture. Using the A/C causes water to condense on the outside of the evaporator and the foam tape probably retained some of that moisture and, after 7 years, caused the pinhole leaks. It's probably not the case that the tape or adhesive itself is corrosive, it's probably just that it absorbed moisture and the areas it was in contact with stayed wet while the other areas of the evaporator were allowed to dry. You live in FL where it's warm and humid, so you probably use the A/C a lot.
 

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That was just initial quote knowing full well all the other Diagnostics, STEERING RESET, and so on would have pushed the $5k barrier easily. Point is, you pay this much for a car and you should expect it to last 60,000 miles excluding regular maintenance. My Montana has 225k and I haven't had but one major issue with the manifold gasket leak that was easily fixed and cost split was given by GM at 94,000 miles. Analyze it how you want, like it or not, GM loses another life long customer. And that's a shame. Tesla is just a pipe dream for me though, barring some sort of lottery intervention. Lol.
 

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The diagram of the battery cooling system shows that it's a completely different circuit than the cabin A/C and A/C evaporator: The Chevrolet Volt Cooling/Heating Systems Explained

edited to add: thinking about it a little more, it's obvious that the coolant systems aren't connected because the A/C system uses a coolant that evaporates and condenses (freon) and the battery coolant system uses engine coolant.

It sucks about the corrosion and kudos for fixing it yourself but I don't see why it would be covered by the Voltec warranty.

edited to add more: thinking about it some more, it's likely that the pinhole corrosion was caused by moisture. Using the A/C causes water to condense on the outside of the evaporator and the foam tape probably retained some of that moisture and, after 7 years, caused the pinhole leaks. It's probably not the case that the tape or adhesive itself is corrosive, it's probably just that it absorbed moisture and the areas it was in contact with stayed wet while the other areas of the evaporator were allowed to dry. You live in FL where it's warm and humid, so you probably use the A/C a lot.
Dealer even confirmed that driving the car in high heat without a/c system would void the (useless) Voltec Warranty. Not sure why, for when it was torn apart I didn't see any connection other than a couple of what looked like possible vent holes to the battery from the cabin. Only saw those because I followed the manual directly and during tear down took entire center console and back seat completly out.
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Kendall,
You were right. I was wrong. The A/C is used to cool the battery in high temps according to this post: Volt Battery Thermal Management System in the Hot...

BTW, awesome job repairing it yourself.

edited to add: If I had read the description of the system in the link I originally posted, rather than just looking at the diagram, I would have noticed this:

"Position “B” will be commanded whenever the Li-Ion battery cells are too hot. By operating the electric air-conditioning compressor, R-134A refrigerant will be throttled by the thermal expansion valve/s and permit super-cooling of the battery coolant as it passes through the chiller unit."
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Kendall,
You were right. I was wrong. The A/C is used to cool the battery in high temps according to this post: Volt Battery Thermal Management System in the Hot...

BTW, awesome job repairing it yourself.

edited to add: If I had read the description of the system in the link I originally posted, rather than just looking at the diagram, I would have noticed this:

"Position “B” will be commanded whenever the Li-Ion battery cells are too hot. By operating the electric air-conditioning compressor, R-134A refrigerant will be throttled by the thermal expansion valve/s and permit super-cooling of the battery coolant as it passes through the chiller unit."
Well. I didn't drive it until fixed for that very reason. I still dont understand why GM didnt help. Very upsetting. Thanks for compliment, but I would have rather not had to fix it to be honest. The entire experience has left me wondering what will be the brand of cars for my family and daughters going forward. It is one of those things I had just always knew, we would always be General Motors owners. Upsetting.
 

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Everywhere the sponge tape was stuck on the aluminum evap radiator it corroded. Put under pressure in water tank once out of the car, and sure enough the leaks were from the pit marks you see in the pictures where the sponge tape was removed. But GM had no interest.
Is the car near saltwater? Relatives in Sarasota tell me that salt corrosion is common in several things in homes and cars near saltwater in FL including home AC systems.
 

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Despite rendering car undrivable without A/C in Florida heat,
Undriveable at all or just uncomfortable to drive in Florida due to external temperatures? There's a big difference. Also, Florida has the added issue of high levels of airborne salt, which adds to corrosion. You might be able to use the corrosion warranty to get GM to repair it.
 
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Florida has the added issue of high levels of airborne salt, which adds to corrosion. You might be able to use the corrosion warranty to get GM to repair it.
Based in Florida is a red flag when considering the purchase of an aircraft.
And if you think Tesla is a magic answer: Here's a Model 3 after a couple of winters.
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