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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently got a weird error with my 2016 volt, I'll get in and start the car, CEL is on, only code is P1E000. Sometimes it'll show I have no electric range but the HUD battery bar is fully green (and I know it's charged). I can get around this by restarting the car a seemingly random number of times (~3-10) until it starts as normal with expected battery capacity and doesn't complain about anything else (although CEL is still on). At this point I can drive normally to my destination (although I'm limiting this as I do not want to get stranded). If I attempt to put it in gear during the no battery power mode, there's no AC, it immediately tells me to shift back to park, and will just roll if not in park. However all dash screens have power.

Plugging in my level 1 portable charger will sometimes turn the charging indicator on the front dash to green and do the charge initiation success beep, but won't end up charging the car. When I come back to it, the dash charging light is yellow and the screen says "unable to charge". Going to the charge menu on the center screen usually says "unable to charge" but will sometimes show me the menu periodically. All status lights on the OEM portable charger are solidly lit when plugged in (although the piece of soft plastic on the OEM charger was partially peeling away when I checked it, not sure if age or overheating was the cause). No debris seems to be blocking either the charger jacks or receptacle, and the charger action feels the same as it always has, solidly locking, etc. In addition, the car's condition continues to reoccur even after not charging and being power cycled, which I would think wouldn't happen if it was specifically the charger failing.

The first couple times I got the error, on a couple of startups only the ICE would come on, the AC would blow uncooled air, but I could drive a small distance (before stopping out of caution) and the driver side display would say "reduced propulsion" or something similar. Now this doesn't happen anymore and only the situation that occurs is the one I've described above.

HV battery coolant is JUST below the fill line, so I don't believe that's the problem, and I don't currently have access to any OEM coolant. Also I know there's a specific OBD2 code for low coolant that I am not getting.

The next available appointment at my only nearby chevy dealer who has a volt tech is 16 days away, which I've scheduled. But I'm curious if anybody has ideas what might be happening so I can attempt to address it myself sooner than 16 days (and however long it sits at the dealer)

TLDR: getting P1E00 CEL code alone, won't charge, shows 0-1 mile range unless restarted 3-10 times, haven't seen anybody else getting this exact situation online, more diagnostic details above
 

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Recently got a weird error with my 2016 volt, I'll get in and start the car, CEL is on, only code is P1E000. Sometimes it'll show I have no electric range but the HUD battery bar is fully green (and I know it's charged). I can get around this by restarting the car a seemingly random number of times (~3-10) until it starts as normal with expected battery capacity and doesn't complain about anything else (although CEL is still on). At this point I can drive normally to my destination (although I'm limiting this as I do not want to get stranded). If I attempt to put it in gear during the no battery power mode, there's no AC, it immediately tells me to shift back to park, and will just roll if not in park. However all dash screens have power.

Plugging in my level 1 portable charger will sometimes turn the charging indicator on the front dash to green and do the charge initiation success beep, but won't end up charging the car. When I come back to it, the dash charging light is yellow and the screen says "unable to charge". Going to the charge menu on the center screen usually says "unable to charge" but will sometimes show me the menu periodically. All status lights on the OEM portable charger are solidly lit when plugged in (although the piece of soft plastic on the OEM charger was partially peeling away when I checked it, not sure if age or overheating was the cause). No debris seems to be blocking either the charger jacks or receptacle, and the charger action feels the same as it always has, solidly locking, etc. In addition, the car's condition continues to reoccur even after not charging and being power cycled, which I would think wouldn't happen if it was specifically the charger failing.

The first couple times I got the error, on a couple of startups only the ICE would come on, the AC would blow uncooled air, but I could drive a small distance (before stopping out of caution) and the driver side display would say "reduced propulsion" or something similar. Now this doesn't happen anymore and only the situation that occurs is the one I've described above.

HV battery coolant is JUST below the fill line, so I don't believe that's the problem, and I don't currently have access to any OEM coolant. Also I know there's a specific OBD2 code for low coolant that I am not getting.

The next available appointment at my only nearby chevy dealer who has a volt tech is 16 days away, which I've scheduled. But I'm curious if anybody has ideas what might be happening so I can attempt to address it myself sooner than 16 days (and however long it sits at the dealer)

TLDR: getting P1E00 CEL code alone, won't charge, shows 0-1 mile range unless restarted 3-10 times, haven't seen anybody else getting this exact situation online, more diagnostic details above
Check 12V battery and fluid levels under the hood first. Always the first things to check on a Volt. Then report back. Even the slightest low fluid will prevent the car from charging.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
12V battery passes visual inspection and shows 12.4 V with the multimeter. High Voltage Battery Coolant Reservoir is filled above the line. For the Power Electronics Coolant Reservoir, it's unclear whether it's filled the line or not due to being really crammed down in there, but doesn't seem unusually low. The Engine Coolant Surge Tank seems a touch low, but could possibly due to the very slight incline of my driveway.
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If you think these are low enough to be causing this problem, is the dealership the only place to buy OEM dex-cool, and does servicing the coolant yourself void any of the car's warranties?
 

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I would top them up a bit, after my 5 year flush, all the reservoirs were nicely topped up. You can't buy the right Dex-Cool from some GM dealers! When I went to get mine, the local GM dealer tried to sell me the wrong stuff. They weren't Volt dealer at the time but now are selling Bolts so should have it. The dealer next over after finding I traveled 30 miles, next city over to get it, sold it to me at wholesale price.
 
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12V battery passes visual inspection and shows 12.4 V with the multimeter. High Voltage Battery Coolant Reservoir is filled above the line. For the Power Electronics Coolant Reservoir, it's unclear whether it's filled the line or not due to being really crammed down in there, but doesn't seem unusually low. The Engine Coolant Surge Tank seems a touch low, but could possibly due to the very slight incline of my driveway.
View attachment 173023 View attachment 173024 View attachment 173025

If you think these are low enough to be causing this problem, is the dealership the only place to buy OEM dex-cool, and does servicing the coolant yourself void any of the car's warranties?
Nice shots. I would go to the dealer and specify the exact fluid. Do not over fill as that can be just as bad as going empty. If the coolant has any bubbles you will need to drive around a bit to clear it and check again. 15-20km trip should be enough. Check again and add any top up as needed.

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It sounds like another failed BECM (Battery Energy Control Module). This is the computer that monitors and controls the high voltage battery. You'll need to bring it in to a Volt certified dealership for diagnostics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'll see if I can't purchase the OEM dex-cool from the dealer before my appointment 16 days away just to rule that out. Otherwise, like y'all said, it seems like BECM is the most likely cause. Fortunately my dealer's volt tech seems pretty decent, they got me set up with the android auto update last year and didn't try to upsell me too much.

It's super strange that I wouldn't get a specific OBD2 code for either of these problems though.
 

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Regardless of other issues, for an AGM, 12.4 is nowhere near what a full charge should be even if it's running lights and doorchimes at the time.
Good catch. I was going to post that. Still likely to be the BECM - but the 12v battery very well could also be bad.

As for the coolant - (please don't flame here) A few ounces of DISTILLED water could likely be added if low coolant is suspected to be an issue. Better than buying a whole gallon of the coolant (that is distilled water + coolant premixed anyway). Make sure it is distilled, not drinking/filtered/whatever water. If there is any leak, make sure it is fixed and only the correct OEM coolant is used at that service.

-Charlie
 

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Good catch. I was going to post that. Still likely to be the BECM - but the 12v battery very well could also be bad.

As for the coolant - (please don't flame here) A few ounces of DISTILLED water could likely be added if low coolant is suspected to be an issue. Better than buying a whole gallon of the coolant (that is distilled water + coolant premixed anyway). Make sure it is distilled, not drinking/filtered/whatever water. If there is any leak, make sure it is fixed and only the correct OEM coolant is used at that service.

-Charlie
Well either way, the car is several years old and a 12v battery is a good DIY first step. As for it being a BECM, it could be, but I think it's a bit premature to declare that. Like having a headache and demanding brain surgery and all it was in reality was allergies. It may turn out to be the BECM, but first things first, check the basics, and you avoid the dealer charging you handsomely for it. Might as well do fluid checks and replace the 12v battery anyway to eliminate those factors.

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It’s the BECM. Its not the 12 Volt. Prepare to wait for a new module for a month or two. They don’t have them in stock and GM can’t get these due to a chip shortage right now. I hope they can get you a loaner.
 
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