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One more time, with almost 200,000 Volts produced, if it were that easy to R&R one failed cell from a Volt battery, there would be someone offering the service. That no one here knows of where to get this done, it's either not feasible or not economical.

jack vines
i realize that if you havent heard about it, it cant be true, dont know about the other ones you refer to
but
removing cells out of a volt batery - Yahoo Video Search Results
thats an old one,latest one i have seen is that they cut the u joiner close to the cell, drill the welds out and join it together with bolts and a metal plate to squeeze the cells together instead of the welds
looks to me about a hour to swap a cell with module on the bench
way cheaper than spending 12 grand
this battery thing, i feel its more fear mongering, than anything
 

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if it were that easy to R&R one failed cell from a Volt battery, there would be someone offering the service. That no one here knows of where to get this done, it's either not feasible or not economical.

jack vines
The battery modules can be separated and swapped but the cells within are apparently welded/glued together.


Here's a guy breaking them out of a module (referred to bysupchrgamx). It's a semi-destructive process


Of course it's easy to remove and replace individual cells in a Tesla battery, lol

 

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I shouldn't be in this conversation, as I'm by no means a Volt expert, but just because some handyhack in his garage can make a YouTube about cutting up a Volt battery, doesn't prove it's feasible or economical. If the process were either, wouldn't there be several here testifying and recommending vendors instead of yet another rant about having to send their otherwise solid Volt to the scrap yard? Just asking those who've been there, done that to weigh in.

jack vines
 

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I'm hopeful the "handyhacks" will figure it out and someone will turn it into a service. GreenTech is pretty close to this, they just swap the entire thing and fiddle with the individual cells after the fact.
 

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2012 Volt Premium (Cyber Gray Metallic) - Stock
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I’m sorry that some are experiencing a battery failure, which is a real concern, however very few talk about getting their car back on the road. If I bought another 2012 for the cost of my HV battery, and it went south 6 months later, I would have TWO dead 2012’s sitting in my driveway. So for those who are “disposing” of their cars, what are they doing? Buying a replacement that could also fail? Buying a whole new car with a warranty? For me the cheapest but risky option was to replace the HV battery, and that turned out to work just fine. It’s the rest of the car that I now have to worry about, but that is to be expected on any used car.
 

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2018 Volt Premium, Purchased March 2019, 57k miles
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That would be the case with almost every electric made, if the battery fails out of warranty. Throw it out and buy a new one.
If I'd fully understood that, I probably would have purchased my second choice, a 2018 Civic. I knew the battery would have a limited life. But I figured it would die slowly with range decreasing and the car would operate more and more like a traditional hybrid. 40Mpg in a peppy and quiet car like this isn't too shabby! And I'd benefit by all the miles I did NOT put on the gas engine.
 

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If I'd fully understood that, I probably would have purchased my second choice, a 2018 Civic. I knew the battery would have a limited life. But I figured it would die slowly with range decreasing and the car would operate more and more like a traditional hybrid. 40Mpg in a peppy and quiet car like this isn't too shabby! And I'd benefit by all the miles I did NOT put on the gas engine.
In today’s day and age, almost every purchase (whether that be vehicle, appliance, computer) carries some trade offs. I upgraded my current house to the highest efficiency AC and furnace available at the time, and the ongoing service costs (parts, maintenance) has been super expensive. However, my energy bill is a fraction of what it used to be, mainly because the old AC and furnace were reaching the end of their lives. I think the Volt is the same deal. You may pay more for maintenance (battery and complex electric drive system) but save a considerable amount in gas. Whether or not that trade off is up to the individual. My Volt has cost more than a Civic to run so far, but the smiles per mile has been a huge factor in me keeping the car. Will it last another 9-10 years? Who knows…
 

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EDIT: Corrected link


Link to a detailed teardown/rebuild of a Volt battery:

Swapping cells could be done, but it does not look to be simple, quick, or inexpensive, It is labor intensive, and looks like there could easily be problems sealing the coolant loop. Module swap looks like a more viable option.
 

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I bought the car new 7.5 years ago and have ~120k miles on the car. Was getting ~40 miles per charge recently using A/C and gentle driving. Was on a trip a few hours from home when the reduced propulsion warning popped up. I stopped for gas because it was almost empty. The car would not start, lights would come on but there was zero battery and the engine would not start. Had the car towed to the nearest dealer and got a ride home. The dealer called the next business day to tell me the car needed a new battery. The dealer was working the GM to see if they would cover some/all of the batter cost. After a few days the answer came back, NO COVERAGE! The cost to replace the batter is almost $12k. No way am I putting that much money into a car worth less than $5k.

Definitely be the last GM product I buy. $40k disposable car!!!

The car has been towed to a junk yard and sold for salvage.

I've warned the two people I work with that own gen2 Volts.
Will you buy another electric vehicle? As it has already been said, the problem is not with the brand, it is the technology.
 

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Trouble free and then this? I would’ve asked for DTC codes and got a second or third opinion before concluding it was junk.
 

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EDIT: Corrected link


Link to a detailed teardown/rebuild of a Volt battery:

Swapping cells could be done, but it does not look to be simple, quick, or inexpensive, It is labor intensive, and looks like there could easily be problems sealing the coolant loop. Module swap looks like a more viable option.
His videos are always great. I don't think individual cells are replaceable. He doesn't actually show removal or replacement of an individual cell. He alludes to "cutting it out" at 23:10 to show us what one looks like. He also says multiple cells are welded together. So, like the Tesla video, you are not going to be able to remove individual cells without destruction.
 
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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Will you buy another electric vehicle? As it has already been said, the problem is not with the brand, it is the technology.
I was a HUGE advocate of the Volt, often saying it was "best of both worlds". I talked two guys at work into buying one. I figured the battery repair/replacement would be in the $3-4k range when I made the purchase...should have researched more. I almost had the Volt towed 2+ hours for the aftermarket $6k battery replacement.

I know ICE vehicles are a dying breed, but that's what I bought to replace the Volt. I'll avoid PHEV and hybrids until the technology matures. I still own stock in one of the bigger charging vendors and believe battery power is the best alternative to ICE.

Didn't expect GM to replace the battery under warranty, but was hopeful for them to subsidize the cost to a reasonable amount.

It would have been nice if I could have used it in ICE mode for a few years. I didn't realize that ICE mode was dependent on some battery function. The 12v battery was is good condition, but with the voltec battery degraded it would not start the ICE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Trouble free and then this? I would’ve asked for DTC codes and got a second or third opinion before concluding it was junk.
Trouble free other than I got the reduced propulsion warning a few times in the last year, it would go away after ~15 minutes on ICE. The warning was on for over 2 hours until I had to stop for gas. It would not start up again. Hindsight, I should have left it running while I refueled.

The dealer was in a small town 2+ hours from home and was the only Chevy dealer in town. I thought about having it towed to a dealer in the next town for a second opinion, but it felt like throwing good money after bad.
 

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im not saying from a manufacturing point of view
but if you were a smart person, with more time than money and handy with a screw driver, maybe all it would take is a very sharp chisel to cut the welds near the u plate,
some nolox to stop oxidization on the new connection and a spring loaded clamp to deal with the cold flow, throw it back together and smoke test the section
or build a little spot welder and use it
course this option is for a pack with a couple bad cell , not for a pack with all the cells that are bad
just presenting an option
 

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I was a HUGE advocate of the Volt, often saying it was "best of both worlds". I talked two guys at work into buying one. I figured the battery repair/replacement would be in the $3-4k range when I made the purchase...should have researched more. I almost had the Volt towed 2+ hours for the aftermarket $6k battery replacement.
It's only relatively recently that battery work became a "replace the whole thing" proposition. While they were still MAKING the batteries and had loose modules around, the 1/3-size modules could be exchanged instead and replacement parts were about $3-4k. Plenty of historical threads here are built out of those facts. However, once all those modules were built into batteries, there are no more modules to swap for except those that are already IN other batteries, which would be work to break down and render the rest of the pack of only speculative use. So no, it's replace the whole thing or suffer now.
 

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2012 Volt Premium (Cyber Gray Metallic) - Stock
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What is the issue with replacing the whole thing? The fact that there’s a 3/100k warranty from the dealer means they are confident the replacements will last. Since I drive 37-40k per year, I’ll run out of mileage before the 3 years ends. Is the worry that the replacements won’t last as long as the originals?

My only real worry is if my car gets totaled, I will have a $9,500 battery in a car that gets hauled off to the scrap yard.
 

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From what I understand, the Gen1 Volt battery is about as heavy-duty and overbuilt as any EV as shown by it's huge reserve capacity (16.5 kWh gross but only ~10.5 kWh net), meaning the battery spends most of its life in the relatively easy center range. I would have definitely gotten a 2nd opinion before junking an otherwise good car.

Battery replacement is expensive, but having a gas engine or transmission replaced at a dealership would easily be $5-6k.
 

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From what I understand, the Gen1 Volt battery is about as heavy-duty and overbuilt as any EV as shown by it's huge reserve capacity (16.5 kWh gross but only ~10.5 kWh net), meaning the battery spends most of its life in the relatively easy center range. I would have definitely gotten a 2nd opinion before junking an otherwise good car.

Battery replacement is expensive, but having a gas engine or transmission replaced at a dealership would easily be $5-6k.
Agreed. It’s not the cost of the battery, it’s the cost of finding a replacement vehicle. If I had a vehicle worth $500 and the cost to get it back on the road was $9,500 but an equivalent (running) used car was $10-12k to buy, wouldn’t it be a wash?
 

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What is the issue with replacing the whole thing? The fact that there’s a 3/100k warranty from the dealer means they are confident the replacements will last. Since I drive 37-40k per year, I’ll run out of mileage before the 3 years ends. Is the worry that the replacements won’t last as long as the originals?

My only real worry is if my car gets totaled, I will have a $9,500 battery in a car that gets hauled off to the scrap yard.
Yes, it's logical that the replacement won't have the same projected life as the original. These aren't new batteries. That seems to be reflected in the reduction of the warranty from 8 years to 3, although the mileage threshold remains the same.

Does the replacement warranty cover both parts and labor, or just the part like most other replacements?

Agreed. It’s not the cost of the battery, it’s the cost of finding a replacement vehicle. If I had a vehicle worth $500 and the cost to get it back on the road was $9,500 but an equivalent (running) used car was $10-12k to buy, wouldn’t it be a wash?
I don't look at it as repair or buy used for the same cost. It's repair for $9,500 or put $10,000 down on a new car which will have a greater expected lifespan. What matters is the TCO from point of the major repair forward, verses the TCO on a new vehicle. Lower cost module replacements can have a big impact on the math.

I strive to buy durable items, and am not a fan of the throw away mentality. However at some point an equipment repair doesn't make sense.
 
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