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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all. I don't believe I have had to post here before, although I have done a lot of reading and found answers to most of my questions without needing to ask. Unfortunately I'm here for a second opinion.

About a month ago, I purchased a 2014 Volt, with 106k miles from a private party. Obviously, I'm acutely aware that the vehicle and battery are out of warranty. The car was very well taken care of, and in immaculate condition. I paid $9000. The owner was knowledgeable about the car and he did offer that they took it in one time for a failing cell which was fixed under warranty. He is pretty sure the failure was in section 3. The car had always been serviced by the same tech at a Chevy dealer in Ocala, the previous owner seemed to have a lot of faith in that technician. The car's been fabulous for this short time I've owned it, until this past Saturday.

I left my house with about 1/2 battery capacity remaining on Saturday morning. It hadn't been sitting long, I commute and charge to full every day, but since they have a free charging station near my office, I will often leave the car overnight at 1/2 capacity (after my commute) and it will get charged to full the next day...I figure, let someone else pay for the electricity. I had no worries about the battery not being full, assuming the car would just switch to gas and I would continue on my day trip to Orlando. It did switch to gas just as I went to merge onto a toll road. I moderately depressed the accelerator to merge into traffic, and I got the "Propulsion Power Reduced" message and a check engine light. I was able to continue on, but the message never cleared. I thought maybe if I stopped and even gave it some charge; it might snap out of this little fit. I did stop at a charger, it would not charge and the engine would not even start.

I had it towed back to the Chevy dealer nearest my home, Bob Steele Chevrolet. They just called me and said cell 90 had failed in section 1, the codes were P1E00 and P0AFA. Capacity code 0198. Total to repair $6300.

For the last 6 years or so, I have owned and driven a 1st Gen Honda Insight, and have been inside that pack, done the grid charging etc, so I'm not a newb to hybrid vehicles. In fact, I'm not surprised that a moderate request of power was coincident with the message and CEL; because when my Insight's battery acts, up...it's usually upon moderate or hard acceleration. My experience has been that there's often guys / gals out there that are extremely knowledgeable and have figured out how to extend the life of the vehicle without forking over the entire value of the vehicle just to get it back on the road. I've already seen there's some really smart people here, so I'm hoping to get a recommendation on what I should do next.

My thoughts are, a $6300 repair would be painful but potentially acceptable IF it meant an entirely new battery and hence not much left to worry about on the car. I'm pretty sure this isn't the case. From what I know now, doing the repair would mean 2 of 3 sections would have been replaced in the same 2-3 month time period. I'm not really tempted to authorize the repair when the next cell failure could be another few weeks down the road, and then another huge repair bill. Section two would still be original if I did the repair, with sections 1 and 3 replaced...Fewer old parts, but not zero...and that last one is going to be expensive too when it fails. I'd be concerned either the often cited section 3 would fail again (hopefully not under my watch), or the 8 year old section 2 would fail. Section 3 was just replaced a couple months ago, though.

I also plan to talk to the original dealer and see what they can do, either a second opinion / recommendation or a better quote on the repair. The original owner suggested the recent dealer quote I got is definitely inflated.

So if this were you... You just paid $9000 for your Volt, then got slapped with a $6300 estimate from the dealer, what would you do? Slap in a used module and sell the car? Go for the repair? Something else?

This is a great forum and I appreciate any wisdom you all could provide. I just haven't had enough time with the Volt to get an intimate understanding of all its parts just yet. It really would make me happy to find a shop in Central Florida who is very knowledgeable about the Volt.
 

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So they are only going to repair the section not the whole battery. Are they giving Warranty.

there a Greentec center
Near Tampa. 6300 or 8000 something. Depending on warranty lenght you want. Sometimes that cost invcludes labor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thats correct, the estimate was for replacing Section 1 only. I did see the GreenTec place in Tampa, that’s certainly a consideration. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows what the practical difference is, especially with regard to longevity between what I would get from a dealer repair (2 replaced and one original battery section) and a refurb battery from GreenTec. Being that the GreenTec would be balanced, that would seem to be the better option, but I don’t know what at all to expect from two new and one old battery sections working together.

Thoughts? Opinions?
 

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Makes me sad that we're seeing more posts like this, I feel for you. In a perfect world, there'd be a way to do a light overhaul on the pack (where the handful of failing or marginal cells could be individually replaced) for like $1000. Back in the real world, you could talk to Greentec to see how they actually do things (if they'll tell you). If they are doing an overhaul like I described above, that may be a better option than a dealer section replacement, since that would not address any marginal cells in the remaining old sections. Personally I'd probably go with Greentec, at least they give you a warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Personally I'd probably go with Greentec, at least they give you a warranty.
That's the direction I'm leaning, based on what I've learned so far. It would be nice to not break the car's history of all service work being done at a single GM dealer (part of why I decided to pull the trigger on this car), but Greentec is just looking like the more sensible option. Elsewhere on the forum I read the dealer offers a 1 year, 12k mile warranty on the battery sections where Greentec would be at least 18 months on the entire battery...and the price is comparable to GM replacing just one section.

Recommendation from the previous owner was to contact the service manager at the original dealer and see if there's anything he can do, being that the car is barely out of warranty and section 3 was replaced just 2 months ago. I'm still going to do that, and unless he comes in at a fraction of the Greentec cost (unlikely I think), a refurb from Greentec just makes more sense.

I wonder if Greentec would negotiate on the price, since in their core return they'd be getting section 3, apparently the most likely to have problems, with only 2 months of use on it. Maybe wishful thinking, and doesn't really matter. Seems wasteful to replace a part that just got replaced, but GM paid for section 3, not me or the previous owner.

I appreciate the feedback, all and welcome more ideas. Sometimes it helps just airing out ideas to come to a solution.
 

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I agree that if the replacement battery was new, the cost although high, could be worth it. However new batteries are not available, and through either GreenTech or the dealership you will be getting a used battery. If you intend to have it replaced and drive it a long time, GreenTech's 18 month unlimited mile warranty is attractive. The $6,000 price listed is not including installation, so it will also be more expensive.

If you intend to sell it afterwards, or drive it a short time and sell it, then you also need to find and consider the current residual value. For example: If you spend $6.300 to fix it, and are able to sell it for the $9,000 you bought it for the net is $2,700. However if the current residual is $4,000 as is, then you would be better off not having it repaired.

Before making a final decision, I'd get a quote for GreenTech's replacement cost including installation, as well the purchase offers from CarBrain, Peddle, ect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, Off Oil. Those are good ideas. Repairing and then selling has been another thing I'm considering but wouldn't have to decide immediately, I don't think. Having paid $9000 for the car just recently, I know used car prices are a bit inflated and I think I could get a little extra for a "new" battery with warranty, I think I would still net a loss of about $5000. $9k purchase plus $6500 in repairs and maybe I could get $10k for the car if I sold it. A $5k loss kinda makes me just want to keep it.

Thanks for the discussion folks, keep it going... As I said, just talking it out with people helps to guide me towards decisions. That's just as if not more helpful than tech-y advice.
 

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[QUOTE$1000. Back in the real world, you could talk to Greentec to see how they actually do things (if they'll tell you). If they are doing an overhaul like I described above, that may be a better option than a dealer section replacem
[/QUOTE]
Greentec said they buy old batteries and swaps sections ( maybe even cells) to make a good battery. So the higher priced warranty option most probably is a better battery.

if you spend the money to fix it I would drive it as long as ye can

did you call GM customer service? Some lucky fellow got his battery replaced even with it being a Few weeks out of warranty. Like 2 weeks ago here. But yours is more than 6 years
 

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I feel your pain. I bought a 2012 with around 64k miles for $10,250 out the door in August 2020. I hadn’t even had the car a full year before my HV battery went, and got a GM reman installed at the dealer for $9,500. Then my transmission wouldn’t move so I got that fixed at a forum recommended dealer. And now my front end is making some wicked noise again, even after new everything (shocks, CV joints, ball joints, tie rods, and control arms). It’s a car, things break down, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason as to when things will fail. For reference, my C6 Corvette is at 152k with ZERO drivetrain issues and most accessories are original. I barely even did any suspension work. So…really, it’s the luck of the draw and I would just go with the Greentec reman battery if I were you. Just be aware that anything else - radiator, transmission, electrical system, etc. can still render the car inoperable even after a big repair.
 

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You've actually checked the "in service" date for your car to 100% confirm that you do not have VOLTEC 8 year warranty still remaining??
 

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You've actually checked the "in service" date for your car to 100% confirm that you do not have VOLTEC 8 year warranty still remaining??
It's over 100,000 miles, so the warranty is expired.
 

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Some people are reporting they are getting battery replacements from GM while out of warranty. I’m wondering what’s the “secret phrase” to get these, as none of my out of warranty major repairs were covered, even when I asked if GM Corporate would be willing to split the cost. And I was polite about it too, stating this is my 5th GM vehicle, albeit used.
 

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Some people are reporting they are getting battery replacements from GM while out of warranty. I’m wondering what’s the “secret phrase” to get these, as none of my out of warranty major repairs were covered, even when I asked if GM Corporate would be willing to split the cost. And I was polite about it too, stating this is my 5th GM vehicle, albeit used.
I believe there was only the one reported here, and there may be other factors involved other than the mileage we were not aware of.
 

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Some people are reporting they are getting battery replacements from GM while out of warranty. I’m wondering what’s the “secret phrase” to get these, as none of my out of warranty major repairs were covered, even when I asked if GM Corporate would be willing to split the cost. And I was polite about it too, stating this is my 5th GM vehicle, albeit used.
It is possible an "out of warranty" Volt could actually be a Volt whose Vehicle Emission Control Information label (found under the hood of your Volt) shows the vehicle is equipped with the level of emission control equipment that classifies it as a PZEV class vehicle, rather than as a ULEV class vehicle. Those are two different CARB classification levels, not labels indicating CARB compliance/non-compliance.

A PZEV class Volt, registered in California, or in a state adopting both the CARB emissions requirements and CARB emissions warranty regulations, may by covered by the CARB warranty terms (10 years/150K miles for the battery) that extend beyond the Voltec 8-year/100K mile limitation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great discussion, all. I don't think my Volt is PZEV because I bought it from the original owner, who purchased it at Palm Chevrolet in Ocala, FL. I am planning on calling Greentec today to get the specifics on replacing the battery. Then I'll likely be renting a car dolly and towing the vehicle to Tampa. I will probably keep the car for some period of time and move onward sometime before the Greentec warranty expires. I'm not mad at the Volt, I'm just frustrated with the situation. I decided on the Volt against a Leaf because a battery replacement in a Leaf is about $5000 which makes the cars (in the age range I was looking at) essentially worthless when their batteries fail. That's precisely the situation I was trying to avoid, but that's pretty much where I'm at now. I think the Volt's saving grace is that it is a great looking and well put together vehicle, I don't think I feel the same about the Leaf. I probably would have cut my losses and bailed had I found myself in this situation with a Leaf. But I really like the Volt, so I'm gonna try to extend my experience with it.

This is my first Li-ion hybrid vehicle and I don't know too much about the batteries or their longevity. I think I was swayed by the statement to the effect of "GM hasn't replaced a battery yet" when I decided a Volt was going to be my next vehicle. There's obviously many caveats to that, or maybe it's just not true anymore. Is there something about Li-ion batteries themselves that reduce their longevity compared to other chemistries? I'm somewhat familiar with NiMH packs such as that in in my 2001 Insight which I'm now driving. Again. My Insight had its battery pack replaced in 2004 according to records, and I'm still driving it every day. It does have weak cells, I get around them by grid charging and not flogging the pack but it's still going 17 years later.

Sure, the Insight is a lot less complicated than the Volt and maybe the relative simplicity allowed the smart folks out there to figure out how to keep the Honda packs going? I haven't yet seen anyone doing something similar for the Volt, or maybe even Li-ion packs in general. Do they not respond to the "grid charging" methodology in the same way? It seems the only thing that can be done is to re-assemble batteries with good cells, rather than trying to remediate the cells in place as is possible with other chemistries?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well, I just talked to GreenTec.
“Yeah we have one, it’s $6000 and 18 month warranty.”
“Ok, when can I take it to the shop in Tampa?”
“I think they may have a backlog, let me find out and call you back.”
“Ok.”
———-

“So there can be anywhere from a 1 to 4 month wait.”

It appears they don‘t actually have any Volt batteries. They won’t actually build one until they have an order, which I understand. A $500 deposit will get the build process going but there’s no telling how long it will take, I assume they have to go out and buy up all the used junkyard batteries and put one together that works.

I suppose I understand the economics of why it has to be this way but man....I am beyond frustrated that once I made a decision to just spend the money and get it done, I am kicked in the face again.

I suppose the purpose of airing this out...is to let anyone else know what to expect who might find themselves in line for a first gen Volt battery. They show it in stock online like you should be able to purchase it right now and get it installed lickety split... That is NOT the case.
 

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Well, I just talked to GreenTec.
“Yeah we have one, it’s $6000 and 18 month warr They show it in stock online like you should be able to purchase it right now and get it installed lickety split... That is NOT the case.
thanks .
But Not what I wanted to hear.
Do not wish to drive the van 98 miles a day for 3-5months. If IF IF something happens which it may not.

bought the 2015 volt in March of 2017 for only 21k with only 1800miles. But now for 25k your lucky to get a Bolt with under 23k miles. And now the Kia and HyundyI EV’s are quite a bit more. Gee things sure have changed.

With 94k miles I need to make a decision also.

I read that thing about GM not replacing any batteries and realize it’s false after seeing so many threads here.

I still like the car and will probably keep rolling the dice. Had a minor PPR event last weekend.
I thought it may have gone away, but not so
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Add onto that, Tim....I imagine if you had to get warranty service from GreenTec, guess what...paying the bill or not, I bet you’re waiting yet another 1-4 months. Bet your bottom dollar the warranty doesn’t make any provisions for vehicle downtime. And if they have to foot the bill for a warranty claim, what’s the rush?

I will correct my earlier post, my wife straightneed me out...the lady at GreenTec said 1-4 months, not 1-6. Still...

I really wonder what the procedure is at GreenTec. Do they buy a pack from a wrecked car and if it tests OK, charge some guy $6000 for it? What determines how many packs they will buy to get to what level of reliability? The econonomics are just too unpredictable here, and from that perspective none of this should be a surprise.

However....if you have something on your website with a BUY NOW button, I think you ought to have at least ONE ready to ship. Otherwise, why is it on your website? I see why nobody else has them, for sure. Why even try to sell them if you make it so cringeworthy to even pull the trigger?

I think I am just venting now.
 

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I also doubt that $6,000 price included installation. For $6,000 they ship it and you have to return the core. Did you ask about the installation costs if done at the Tampa location?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had assumed about a $500 installation cost based on things I have read, but I don’t remember where. She did say that the $6000 includes installation, or free installation as I think she worded it. There would be no core charge because upon installation, they would already have my old battery.
 
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