GM Volt Forum banner
1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to posting, but have lurked on forum for a while.

I was driving my 2014 Volt (60K miles) on the freeway 2 weeks ago and the "reduced propulsion power" screen came on. Then the car DIED in the middle of traffic, slowing down due to loss of engine. The biggest problem- I lost my hazards and turn signals. No way to tell anyone why my car was suddenly slowing down. Still had blue tooth/intermittent stereo.

Car got to side of road (barely) and then "initializing" screen starting coming on over and over. Finally got hazards on after several minutes.

Turns out the car's main battery failed, but still super concerned about losing my ability to communicate with other drivers. Battery replaced under warranty, no one able to explain what happened with the signaling system. 12V completely drained after tow because car could not be turned off (of course I had to pay for that).

Anyone else had this happen? Any other explanations or suggestions for me? I'm sketched out about getting on the road again for longer trips. I know it's highly unlikely this will happen again, but I don't feel like the dealer or Volt tech really could figure out the problems....

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
New to posting, but have lurked on forum for a while.

I was driving my 2014 Volt (60K miles) on the freeway 2 weeks ago and the "reduced propulsion power" screen came on. Then the car DIED in the middle of traffic, slowing down due to loss of engine. The biggest problem- I lost my hazards and turn signals. No way to tell anyone why my car was suddenly slowing down. Still had blue tooth/intermittent stereo.

Car got to side of road (barely) and then "initializing" screen starting coming on over and over. Finally got hazards on after several minutes.

Turns out the car's main battery failed, but still super concerned about losing my ability to communicate with other drivers. Battery replaced under warranty, no one able to explain what happened with the signaling system. 12V completely drained after tow because car could not be turned off (of course I had to pay for that).

Anyone else had this happen? Any other explanations or suggestions for me? I'm sketched out about getting on the road again for longer trips. I know it's highly unlikely this will happen again, but I don't feel like the dealer or Volt tech really could figure out the problems....

Thanks
It's quite common for someone to hit the Mode button twice to get to sport and have the exact problem you just had, or at least think they hit that button and without looking to see what they are doing hit the start/stop button instead.
I've done it myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,059 Posts
There’s a youtube video out there created by someone who wanted to find out what happened if you ran out of gas in your Volt (using Hold Mode), and then depleted your battery, too.

When you run out of gas, you can use your remaining grid battery power, but in Reduced Propulsion Mode. When you then fully deplete the battery and reach the "switch to gas" state of charge (and have no gas), you apparently are given access to the power remaining in the battery buffer between the "switch to gas" state of charge and the "hard floor" state of charge. This is less than 1 kWh, but might be enough to allow you to limp along a couple of miles to a refueling station.

When the fellow in the video reached this stage, he noted he had lost any cabin climate control (can’t remember if it was heat or air conditioning)... suggesting that after you’ve lost use of the engine and have entered Reduced Propulsion Mode and are running on the battery, the car might be programmed to turn off some electric consumption sources to conserve as much energy as possible so what’s left can be available to the motor for getting where you need to go.

You did not mention if you were driving in Hold Mode or were already driving on a depleted battery when the Reduced Propulsion message appeared... If the battery was already depleted, then you would have had very little power remaining in the battery buffer above the "hard floor" state of charge when the problem occurred, and the car did everything it could to save power for propulsion to get you to the side of the road at least. Perhaps turn signals and emergency flashers are included in the items turned off in Reduced Propulsion Mode so the remaining power can be used to propel the car???
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
There’s a youtube video out there created by someone who wanted to find out what happened if you ran out of gas in your Volt (using Hold Mode), and then depleted your battery, too.

When you run out of gas, you can use your remaining grid battery power, but in Reduced Propulsion Mode. When you then fully deplete the battery and reach the "switch to gas" state of charge (and have no gas), you apparently are given access to the power remaining in the battery buffer between the "switch to gas" state of charge and the "hard floor" state of charge. This is less than 1 kWh, but might be enough to allow you to limp along a couple of miles to a refueling station.

When the fellow in the video reached this stage, he noted he had lost any cabin climate control (can’t remember if it was heat or air conditioning)... suggesting that after you’ve lost use of the engine and have entered Reduced Propulsion Mode and are running on the battery, the car might be programmed to turn off some electric consumption sources to conserve as much energy as possible so what’s left can be available to the motor for getting where you need to go.

You did not mention if you were driving in Hold Mode or were already driving on a depleted battery when the Reduced Propulsion message appeared... If the battery was already depleted, then you would have had very little power remaining in the battery buffer above the "hard floor" state of charge when the problem occurred, and the car did everything it could to save power for propulsion to get you to the side of the road at least. Perhaps turn signals and emergency flashers are included in the items turned off in Reduced Propulsion Mode so the remaining power can be used to propel the car???
No. Turn signals and flashers work normally in PPR, at least on my 2012. The 2011 that a magazine ran completely out and drove until it stopped still had flashers on afterwards in their video (sadly no longer online anywhere I can find.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,028 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,101 Posts
It's quite common for someone to hit the Mode button twice to get to sport and have the exact problem you just had, or at least think they hit that button and without looking to see what they are doing hit the start/stop button instead.
I've done it myself.
You don't get RPP if you accidentally shut off the car, it just shuts down. You would also still have your hazard lights.

Perhaps turn signals and emergency flashers are included in the items turned off in Reduced Propulsion Mode so the remaining power can be used to propel the car???
That's highly unlikely, because it would be utterly stupid, and a blatant disregard for safety.

It sounds like there may have been multiple concurrent failures here. It's really hard to say what it could be. It could be something as simple as mice chewing some wires, causing a serious electrical fault that made the computers go haywire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,576 Posts
Don't confuse the main traction battery with the 12v automotive battery. OPs issue was with the 12v system, not the main traction battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,059 Posts
The OP’s original posting indicated the Reduced Propulsion episode occurred suddenly while driving on the freeway, and once parked on the side of the road, the "initializing" glitch happened (seems to be saying the 12 volt battery was drained after the tow because the glitch prevented the car from being turned off, and was not the cause of the original problem). He indicated the original problem was a failure of the "main" battery, which was "replaced under warranty." That’s a somewhat brief comment to make if the main traction battery itself failed and needed to be replaced.

Unmentioned was the driving mode when the RP problem hit. If the car was traveling at freeway speeds in Extended Range Mode with a fully depleted battery, then a loss of access to the gas engine would have triggered a Reduced Propulsion episode with propulsion provided by the electric motor. Unlike an ordinary RP episode caused by running out of gas with some remaining battery power, at this particular moment, there was less than 1 kWh before the state of charge dropped to the "hard floor" level. The car was traveling at freeway speeds, which would have rapidly sucked up this final bit of fuel.

The youtube video link provided by FI Spyder shows that in that particular event, the turn signal WAS working as the car was running out of battery after running out of gas and then fully depleting the battery (the driver in the video noted the heat had been turned off at this point).

I suspect the particular combination of circumstances experienced by the OP and the actual root cause of the problem itself produced the loss of access to the turn signals and emergency flashers.
 
1 - 8 of 8 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