GM Volt Forum banner

2013 Volt - Traction Battery Issue

11113 Views 42 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  gergg
My 2013 Volt with 89k miles had a CEL come on last week, took it to the dealer a week or so ago where they said one section of the battery needed to be replaced. Because they told me this one other time and it ended up not being true I waited for confirmation this time before posting here. I checked in with the service department today and they said that GM is sending a replacement for one section of the main traction battery. The service rep said there were bad cells, but I haven't seen that written/confirmed anywhere. He did say the battery is ordered, but it will take 3 weeks to get here. Oh, and tonight when leaving work another CEL came on stating something like "Service high voltage charging systems" and the car will not accept a charge at all.....Soooo, off to the dealership again in the morning, getting really tired of this car......love/hate relationship with the Volt, great car when it is working, but I have never in my life had so many issues with a vehicle.
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
WOTs COOLANT LEVEL SENSOR / SERVICE HIGH VOLTAGE CHARGING SYSTEM MESSAGE DEFEAT PLUG

Heads-up there is an inexpensive defeat plug that would make redundant unnecessary visits into the GM service dept. in order to clear these latched codes preventing charging and is a no-brainer mod for high-mileage Gen1s approaching end of warranty periods IMHO!;)
Sounds like a great idea, especially if I keep this car past 100k.....I guess I will see how they handle this one, might get this part asap.
Was this issue fixed in Gen 2? I believe it was.

89K miles on a 2013, whoa! Lots of driving, huh? If you're the original owner, it wouldn't hurt to make some noise up the chain at GM. I've had some issues with my '13 and, after making some noise, they offered me some $$$ to get out of the car (so long as it's a GM car of course)--still debating on taking it. Just the offer itself made me feel better about the brand and that GM is acknowledging that this is not acceptable.
I bought it as a CPO with 13k miles on it. I use it as a commuter car and we drive it whenever possible so the miles add up for sure. What chain did you climb? This is my first GM vehicle ever(I am not young) and quite possibly my last.
WOT's plug eliminates a failed coolant sensor as a source of the CEL and the resultant latched code. If the reason for CEL is something else, like failed cells, I fail to see how it would help in a case like this. Why do you feel otherwise?
Yeah, I figured I would wait to see the reason for the CEL, if it seems to be the sensor then maybe WOT's part will make sense.
I spoke to the service writer today, he said it was the largest section of battery that is being replaced, 3-4 weeks before it gets to the dealership. They were nice enough to give me a rental car until the work on the Volt is completed. He also told me they have completed a fair number of these replacements.
isn't that part of the voltec warranty? I think they have to.
I think it is too, but my situation was interesting because the car was running safely with the bad battery, then I got another CEL that seemed to indicate another problem, but they just said get a rental car until we get everything resolved.
I wonder how many that is. "It happens all the time" seems to be thing that just comes out of a mechanic's mouth instead of "I empathize with your disappointment."
I asked if the tech guy had performed any of these battery replacements....he just laughed a bit and said, oh yeah, plenty. I don't live in the most populated area either, so I was a little surprised by the comment, but happy that he had experience doing the job.
I guess you would have to define "plenty." I doubt there have been many nation wide. It would be interesting to know how many nation wide have been done.
Well, he wasn't offering exact numbers, but his "plenty" seemed to indicate more than a few based on other comments they made like...... witnessing the tech on many occasions having the batteries spread out on the shop floor for a few days during the repairs. I also spoke to a service rep that worked in the shop for 3 years previously and he said that these battery replacements weren't super frequent, but not infrequent either......so take that for what it is worth, but my W A G is they fail more than we can imagine.
And the question to myself is....when are the other 2 sections going to fail, and what is that going to cost to replace them out of warranty. Every car has its maintenance costs, just need to calculate the Volt's to see if it makes economical sense to keep it.
Well, I got my Volt back sooner than expected. They found skewed temp sensor in both cell#3 & 4, says they replaced #3 cell section. I have all the codes etc., just don't have time to type it out right now. Drove it today for the first time, it seemed to be doing some funky stuff....like gaining a bar/4 miles after parking for a few hours.....it also showed 11.5 kWh used where I was getting 9.8ish before....I also noticed that my miles/kWh were less than I normally saw on a known daily commute. I expect things to settle in and be back closer to normal after a few charge cycles.
Gaining or losing miles after sitting is not unusual. Remember, you are looking at an estimate. So re-calibration can happen. kWh used is also an estimate and can be skewed by many small battery top-off vs. full discharge/recharge.
Thanks for the thoughts Steverino...... I've driven this car for 90k miles, I have a really good idea what is usual/unusual, gaining 4 miles and a bar after parking for 3 hours is certainly not normal in my car(never ever gained any miles ever, period)....sure as heck like gaining instead of losing 6 miles which is what was happening before the battery switch-out. These messages are posted to help others understand their Volts if they encounter similar issues, to marginalize these "issues" due to homerism is not helpful to anyone. I will report back after a week of driving to see how she behaves.
Things seemed to be working fine until leaving work today and the dreaded CEL came on again. Get to go back to the dealer once again tomorrow, this is getting ridiculous now.....in fairness, I have no idea if the CEL is relative to the battery replacement, but if I was a betting man.....
When I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I noticed that the Volt charge light on the dash was blinking as if it were fully charged(like usual), but it stopped 2 bars early. I unplugged and plugged it back in and it began to charge again, I had to leave before it was completely charged. Not sure if this might be related to the current CEL or possibly the recent battery replacement. I did drop off the car at the dealer this afternoon.....more to come.
My 2013 volt with 30K mostly electric miles threw a cel in mid Feb. I took it to the dealer 2/20 and found out today, mid March that the battery section is on order but I am 43 in line. The chevy volt factory rep did not know when it would ship. Do you think 3-4 weeks is to be expected?
My first battery replacement took less than 3 weeks.....I say first replacement as I just got back from the Chevy Dealer, they said my CEL was due to a 2nd section of the battery going bad, that's right, 2 bad battery sections and 1 week after another, I have requested that the 3rd section be replaced too, this is not good. This time it is section 2, section 3 was replaced already, they are waiting on GM tech to give a definitive answer on what to do. I guess the good news is I will have 2, possibly all 3 sections replaced, but I feel like I have a ticking time bomb with this car.

This is my 1st GM vehicle ever and I am 56 years old, the only way I would ever consider driving another one is if GM bought me out of this one and I could consider a gas model....maybe this situation doesn't warrant such a discussion with GM, but that is where I am relative to GM and future ownership.
GM said I would get section #2 delivered and installed by mid next week....not surprisingly, they will not replace section #1 as it is still operational......for now!!
Yeah I hear you Gregg.. I got the same feeling, after driving this 4+ years no problem now in the shop glad to have the warranty, but think will need to consider keeping it since the value is so low, I will probably drive till 7.5 yrs up and get rid of it.

About the milage gain.. just before i got a cel I had 3 miles more on the charge than anytime ever. I never got above 41 or so and then suddenly was 44 every day for a week or so before the cel.
I am frustrated with this car for sure, and I expect the 3rd battery section to fail at some point soon, hopefully before 100k. I am going to get a quote from the dealer on the cost to replace section #1 out of warranty and see if it makes sense to just drive this thing until everything fails.....lol....I honestly expect other issues/repairs if I keep the car past the warranty, so I am still up in the air about what to do.
I got the Volt back, another temp sensor/module in the battery pack #2 that failed. I asked the service advisor to give me a quote on the cost to replace battery section #1 if/when it fails out of warranty, he said approx $4,500. Interesting that the guesstimate mileage available went from 1 left when I parked the car this morning to 5 available at lunch....I drove it at lunch and those extra 4 miles were real and I drained the battery at 11.2 kWh, my average when the car was new was around 10.5 kWh used. The mileage gain of 4 miles is something I never saw until right after the first battery section was replaced, that oddity eventually went away and I settled into about 10.4 kWh....I expect the same thing to happen over the next few days. Hopefully section #1 will fail before 100k, I am at 90k now, section #2 failed a week after Section #3, so fingers crossed...lol
I got the Volt back, another temp sensor/module in the battery pack #2 that failed. I asked the service advisor to give me a quote on the cost to replace battery section #1 if/when it fails out of warranty, he said approx $4,500. Interesting that the guesstimate mileage available went from 1 left when I parked the car this morning to 5 available at lunch....I drove it at lunch and those extra 4 miles were real and I drained the battery at 11.2 kWh, my average when the car was new was around 10.5 kWh used. The mileage gain of 4 miles is something I never saw until right after the first battery section was replaced, that oddity eventually went away and I settled into about 10.4 kWh....I expect the same thing to happen over the next few days. Hopefully section #1 will fail before 100k, I am at 90k now, section #2 failed a week after Section #3, so fingers crossed...lol
Yeah, with sections 3 & 2 replaced I figure I have approx. 70% of the total capacity replaced, certainly is nice to have like new range on the car, just concerned about big dollar out of warranty expenses.
I ended up with 11.2 used today as well, the only difference was I seemed to get extra kWh on the front end, I couldn't even use regen on a steep downhill portion of my commute that I usually can....it is approx 3 miles into my drive, but no regen available....weird...Then when I parked at the office and returned for lunch the guess-o-meter showed 4 miles lost instead of 4 miles gained like the previous day. Still ended up with 11.2 used, just a different path to get there.
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top