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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I just picked up my 2013 Volt earlier this week and have noticed that the battery takes quite long to charge,

Through research I found that I can change the "Charge Level Preference" but the button seems to be grayed out on my car.

I would like to be able to select the 12 amp charge level, I have also noticed that even though the car is fully charged the light on the dashboard remains a solid Green - would the two issues be related?

I have attached an image of the issue

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

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The L1 level should be switchable at any time, even during active charging or driving. Next time you're driving, try setting it then before you park (it only resets when you switch to park and then back into gear)

Does the green light ever switch to flashing, even after a few hours?
There's something strange with your charging system from that alone.

If you have access to OBD, check what the charging details are like.
It can show you % battery charge level, the volts/amps of the current charging status.

Leave it to charge completely and leave it plugged in overnight to see if the light ever switches to flashing.
We've had some exceptionally cold days yesterday and today - it could be the car switched on battery heat while charging.
As that alone can take more power than the 8A setting can provide, it could still be actively charging and just playing a game of two steps forward, one step back as the heat cycles on and off. Given enough time it should catch up. Especially since it looks like you're in a garage vs outside.
Battery heat can also be polled via OBD to know if that's the case.
 

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Hello,

I just picked up my 2013 Volt earlier this week and have noticed that the battery takes quite long to charge,

Through research I found that I can change the "Charge Level Preference" but the button seems to be grayed out on my car.

I would like to be able to select the 12 amp charge level, I have also noticed that even though the car is fully charged the light on the dashboard remains a solid Green - would the two issues be related?

I have attached an image of the issue

Thanks in advance for the help!
Have you attempted to clear all radio settings under radio settings/software version?

Are any other possible radio menu items also "dimmed" out and not selectable?
Do you happen to have the radio config checkbox setting to enable auto set the time?

If auto set the time is avail as a radio setting, more than likely your 2013 Volt has been equipped with a radio compatible with the 2014-2015 Gen1.

Unless the GM service dept you bought this from is able to reprogram your radio with 2013 compatible calibration software you may have to get the radio replaced in order to get the 12A/8A selection back.
 

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From your photo, it looks like your car is currently plugged in (I can see the solid green charge light in the windshield reflection). You cannot change the amperage during charging. You must change it before you plug in, and before you shut down the car. It will reset to 8 amps every time you unplug the car and start it. Nothing you can do about that.
 

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From your photo, it looks like your car is currently plugged in (I can see the solid green charge light in the windshield reflection). You cannot change the amperage during charging. You must change it before you plug in, and before you shut down the car. It will reset to 8 amps every time you unplug the car and start it. Nothing you can do about that.
I can change it in my 2014.
Done it a few times when I plugged in at the cottage and forgot to up it. Just hop in the car, fire up the display and pick the number. The time to charge calculation should update immediately.
Turn off car and let it do its thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
First off thanks for the quick reply guys! I hope I can figure this out

canehdian:

The car has never had the flashing Green light in the 4 times that I have charged it, last night it charged for 17 hours in the garage and still stayed a solid Green.

I have a Bluetooth OBD2 scanner that I use with the Torque app, I have not used it with this car yet but ill give that a try, Ill look for the % battery charge level, the volts/amps of the current charging status.


somms: I can take a look for the radio config checkbox setting, I havnt really looked though all the radio settings but I assumed everything would be okay because I bought the car used from a Chevrolet dealer.


mvanzanten : The menu button is always Grayed out, even when driving, I saw on this forum that theres a few steps you can take if the system reboots while driving, I did that but still no menu available.

I really do hope that I can figure this out as charging at 12 amps was a big factor when getting the car, a 16 hour charge takes a big chunk of the functionality out.
 

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Do you actually get a 2011/2012 EVSE, which has a switch on it to change between 8/12A ?
If the EVSE is set to 8A, the car (2013+) will properly gray out the selection, since the EVSE is telling the car 8A max.
 

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Saw a very similar issue elsewhere a few days back.

Disconnect the 12V battery in the back for about 30 seconds and then reconnect it, that'll fresh boot everything. I suspect you'll find the issue is gone.

If that does solve it, it could be an indicator that your 12v battery is nearing end of life....these sorts of odd issues are an indicator of that.

Do you actually get a 2011/2012 EVSE, which has a switch on it to change between 8/12A ?
If the EVSE is set to 8A, the car (2013+) will properly gray out the selection, since the EVSE is telling the car 8A max.
Yes, that is another possibility. Post a picture of your EVSE - if it has a button on the front it may be the 2011-2012 version on which the EVSE controls the charge rate vs the car - if 8A is selected, the car would have no ability to select 12 as the EVSE may only be advertising 8.

Wouldn't explain the light staying solid green even after a full charge, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi guys,

The charger I got with the car looks exactly like this one, I was just doing some reading and it looks like I have a 2011/2012 charger?

volt charger.jpg

When its plugged in all 4 lights on the lower row are lit up and that means 12 amps? or should I go back to the dealer and ask for a newer charger?
 

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Pretty sure that's one of the ones that was recalled - the new updated ones were all black, no orange buttons or cord. Take that one to a GM dealer and they should replace it for you, I believe the recall still exists. Previous owner maybe bought it used somewhere.

But yes, the button controls the charge level indicator lights - 2 lights = 8A, 4 lights = 12A.

If the car is still reporting only the 8A rate with all 4 indicators lit on the EVSE, try the reboot on the car, as it's not likely the EVSE, unless it's malfunctioning.
 

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Does it look like the plug was repaired or modified at all on yours? That was the problem with the recalled ones - the plugs were fraying/breaking/overheating.

The dealers were supposed to cut the power cord and toss them out when they were swapped for the new updated model. Perhaps someone fished yours out of a dumpster, installed a new plug/cord, and put it back in service. There was reports of that happening back in 11/12....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Everything looks all good on the wire going to the outlet and the wire going to the car,

I have attached a picture of the actual unit,

Was there ever a deadline to replace the charger? Im wondering if the option will come back to charge at 12 amps if I get the later charger.

and from what I read you have to unhook the battery in the trunk for 20 min to do the hard reset?

IMG_20180114_211214.jpg
 

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Yeah, that charger looks all original. AFAIK you should still have no problem exchanging it for one of the new all-black units. Find the related documents online and print them out to bring with you - don't be surprised if the dealer is clueless - again, most are not very well educated on Volts, especially issues dating back to 2011/2012.

I'd still do the reset though. A 30 second disconnect should be all that's necessary really, but give it a few minutes to make sure everything powers down.

As mentioned before, odd things start to happen sometimes when the 12V battery starts to show voltage sag - the other post I referenced elsewhere was someone who couldn't select their Time Based Charging settings - a reboot fixed things.
 

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Heres some details on the original charger replacement program.

https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1063283_got-a-2011-chevy-volt-check-your-110v-charge-cable

Some Google searching with appropriate keywords will turn up all sorts of other info from back in that time period.

If the dealer still feigns ignorance, call GM customer service and speak to them there - they'll straighten out the dealer for you.

If you can massage it somehow, ask if they'll provide you with the newer (2016+, second generation Volt) charger instead as the replacement - it carries a little secret in that it's dual voltage, so it'll function as a level 2 with a 240V circuit and an adapter. ;) . AFAIK the price isn't that much different - offer to pay the difference if they're willing to do it.
 

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If memory serves me correctly, unplugging the EVSE from the vehicle and pressing the button on the EVSE will toggle between 8 amp and 12 amps.

Obviously you'd want to make sure the plug doesn't over heat tho.
 

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Seems odd to me that the Charge Level button on the center display would be grayed out even while you are driving (i.e., when no charge cord is plugged into the car). Have you checked the Charge Mode setting to confirm that a previous owner’s delayed or rate based setting configuration is not still in place (and possibly interfering with the charge level setting option)?

The Driver’s Display and the Center Display Power Flow graphics screen should both show you the approximate state of charge. A full charge should be showing ten green bars. The Center Display’s Energy Usage screen shows the usage (electric miles/kWh Used, gas miles/Gas Used) "since the last full charge." When your battery is fully recharged, this screen resets the numbers to zero. Is your usage screen reset to zeros in the morning?

One further item I’ve just noticed in the manuals in the Driving and Operating section is the comment: "If the vehicle is plugged in and vehicle power is on, the CSI (the Charging Status Feedback light on the dash) will be on solid green. The same is true during a remote start if the vehicle is plugged in."

When you are observing this solid green light in the morning, is it while the car is being preconditioned for your daily drive? A solid green light during a remote start, it would seem, is normal.
 

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Seems odd to me that the Charge Level button on the center display would be grayed out even while you are driving (i.e., when no charge cord is plugged into the car).
This.
Even if the EVSE was advertising 8A only, two things
1) the car shouldn't restrict when not plugged in. It has no way of knowing 8A max is coming up.
2) the car shouldn't care whether you can select 12 or not - it's going to override to 8A if that's what the EVSE says
i.e. you can select it all you want but you're never getting 12. There's no reason to grey out the button, though. Seems like unnecessary coding for feedback most users would never understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
wordptom:

I didnt even factor preheating the car would turn the light solid green, I went out to the garage this morning before remote starting the car and the light was flashing Green, Thanks!

PrivatePilot:

I will try the hard reset when I get a chance and I will try to return the charger to the dealer and hopefully be set up with the proper one, Im still confused as to why the charge level preference is never available to me. Ill try the hard reset and see if it comes back

canehdian:

Yeah right? The option is always Gray no matter the state of the car, Im wondering how common this is, I have had the car less than a week but this kind of annoying that I cant get a full charge on weeknights

If anything happens ill definitely update this thread
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi all,

So I do have the auto set time feature

I disconnected the battery in the trunk and I'm still unable to select the charge level preference,

I will be heading to the dealer this weekend to see if they can figure it out

I'll post results here
 

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Hi all,

So I do have the auto set time feature

I disconnected the battery in the trunk and I'm still unable to select the charge level preference,

I will be heading to the dealer this weekend to see if they can figure it out

I'll post results here
Auto Time feature wasn't avail for 2013 Gen1 Volts.

Somehow your Volt is equipped with a radio that is not 100% compatible for 2013 MY.

The GM service dept may be able to program the proper software to fix this or it may take replacement of the radio altogether.

I take it no luck when you cleared out all the old radio settings under software!?:confused:
 
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