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So, I went on a 10 day vacation out of town and left my 2016 Volt at a friend's house near the airport. We got back after 10 days (I left it in her driveway, not plugged in), and the Volt was completely dead ... fob would not work. I had never had to use the mechanical key before (THAT was fun figuring out at 10pm in the pitch black in the rain!). So, I got the front door open, and my friend got her jumper cables ... opened the hood -- no battery :mad: Ah yes, battery is in the back ... but how to open the hatch with no battery??!! I couldn't. So, I ended up running the jumper cables through the back door and out into the hatch (not much fun ....). I was able to successfully jump it, and then drive home 60 miles. But after this experience I have some questions for the Volt experts on the forum:

1) Am I mistaken, or shouldn't the Volt (or any car) be able to handle 10 days without an electric hookup WITHOUT fully draining? The battery is the stock 60 month Delco ... and I've ready comments here on the forum before that it's "weak" ... thoughts?
2) Should I take it to the dealer to replace it with another lame battery? Or should I just go ahead and invest in a high performance battery?
3) I'm curious now about HOW the Volt charges the 'small' battery: I typically run on lithium battery only propulsion about 90% of the time ... if the alternator is not spinning (ie: the ICE is not running), how does the small battery charge up?? Is there a trickle that runs from the big lithium battery? Or ?
4) Does anybody know a mechanical mechanism to open the rear hatch? out in the real world with a dead battery, not being able to open the hatch for a jump start is a royal PIA !!

thanks in advance ...
Jd
 

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Yeah, that is a tricky situation.
1) there are jump terminals under the hood, but hard to find. Look in the manual and familiarize yourself with them.
2) there is a hidden hatch release inside that works in that situation. Look that up, too.
3) Yes, you should be able to park for 10 days. Not sure why it died. May have had a weak battery for some reason.
4) The 12V battery charges whenever the car is turned on, even if the engine is not running. Its voltage also is maintained whenever the car is plugged in.
5) for longer parking, you can put the car into a "transport mode" that lowers the current draw from the security system and the key proximity system, etc.
 

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You should not be connecting directly to the battery when jump starting. The Volt has positive and negative terminals under the hood for use when jump starting. See page 307 (at least in the 2018 model year manual) in the owners manual.

As for charging the 12 volt battery I assume that's done from the high voltage system be it the battery or when the car is plugged in.
 

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1) Am I mistaken, or shouldn't the Volt (or any car) be able to handle 10 days without an electric hookup WITHOUT fully draining?
Yes.

2) Should I take it to the dealer to replace it with another lame battery? Or should I just go ahead and invest in a high performance battery?
That depends. You are assuming the battery is at fault. There could be some other problem. Especially if the car is still under warranty, it would make sense to take it to the dealer and tell them what happened. If it isn't under warranty and you don't want to spend the money, you could replace the battery with a "better" one. But it seems like testing the battery first would make sense.

3) I'm curious now about HOW the Volt charges the 'small' battery:
There is a mechanism for the big battery to charge the little battery.
 

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So, I went on a 10 day vacation out of town and left my 2016 Volt at a friend's house near the airport. We got back after 10 days (I left it in her driveway, not plugged in), and the Volt was completely dead ... fob would not work. I had never had to use the mechanical key before (THAT was fun figuring out at 10pm in the pitch black in the rain!). So, I got the front door open, and my friend got her jumper cables ... opened the hood -- no battery :mad: Ah yes, battery is in the back ... but how to open the hatch with no battery??!! I couldn't. So, I ended up running the jumper cables through the back door and out into the hatch (not much fun ....). I was able to successfully jump it, and then drive home 60 miles. But after this experience I have some questions for the Volt experts on the forum:

1) Am I mistaken, or shouldn't the Volt (or any car) be able to handle 10 days without an electric hookup WITHOUT fully draining? The battery is the stock 60 month Delco ... and I've ready comments here on the forum before that it's "weak" ... thoughts?
2) Should I take it to the dealer to replace it with another lame battery? Or should I just go ahead and invest in a high performance battery?
3) I'm curious now about HOW the Volt charges the 'small' battery: I typically run on lithium battery only propulsion about 90% of the time ... if the alternator is not spinning (ie: the ICE is not running), how does the small battery charge up?? Is there a trickle that runs from the big lithium battery? Or ?
4) Does anybody know a mechanical mechanism to open the rear hatch? out in the real world with a dead battery, not being able to open the hatch for a jump start is a royal PIA !!

thanks in advance ...
Jd
1) You can jump start the Volt using either the jump start connections under the hood or by accessing the 12V battery under the floor of the hatch storage area.

2) To open the hatch manually you would need to climb into the hatch area from the back seat and remove the hatch cover plate on the inside of the hatch, then use a tool such as a large blade screwdriver to turn and open the latching mechanism.

3) The Volt should be able to be parked, unplugged for up to 30 days with no starting issue when you return. The fact that your Volt would not start indicates a failing 12V AGM battery. This battery is used to boot up the Volt's systems. Once started, the Volt will run the 12V systems using a DC to DC inverter called the Accessory Power Module. There is no alternator in the Volt, the APM provides 12V power for the electrical system and maintains the 12V AGM battery needed to boot up the Volt's systems. When the Volt is plugged in the Volt will charge and maintain the 12V AGM battery. The Volt's absorbtive glass mat (AGM) battery is sealed, never needs water added. The Volt's 12V AGM battery is covered under the 3-year, 36k bumper-to-bumper warranty. If you need to replace the battery on your own, not go to a Chevrolet dealer, be sure to replace the 12V battery with the same Group 47 12V AGM type battery. It must be an AGM type battery.

4) See the Volt Owner's Manual regarding the location of the under the hood jump starter terminal locations (the negative terminal is on the firewall on the driver's side. The positive terminal is also on the driver's side but underneath a 12V electrical system terminal strip plastic cover.) Once you know where the front jump terminals are located, if you ever need to jump start the Volt again, it will be easier using the front jump start terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You guys are amazing -- I LOVE this forum! And thanks for your comments ....

1) I was unaware of the jumpers under the hood, and indeed it shows them in my manual ... with an almost brand new car, I got lazy and assumed I wouldn't need to mess with the battery (or jumper cables) for a few years. So, of course "Mr. Murphy" paid me a visit!

2) Thanks snic for your comment about 'assuming it's the battery' ... you are correct, it might not be. Perhaps there is an electrical draw somewhere there isn't supposed to be. I'm still under warranty for another 4 months, so I'll take it in.

3) Thanks jcanoe for the comment about how the volt uses and APM ... that makes sense to me, but never had the opportunity to look into this. I had a 1/2 full charge in the big lithium battery: so, when the little battery started running low during the 10 idle days, why didn't the APM kick in and charge the little battery? From your description, it sounds like the APM only kicks in when charging or when the car is running? That's a bummer.

4) thanks about the info on the remote hatch release ... now that I know about the charge points under the hood, I don't think I'll be needing this piece of info (except in unusual circumstances).

thanks again everyone! I'll let you know if I hear anything interesting from the dealer when they check this out ...
best,
Jd
 

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When I bought my new Volt a friend had just sold hers and offered me her fast charger. (Very Nice of her) As we were talking she said she had loved her Volt except for one instance when the 12 Volt Battery died. I think she ended up getting towed. I'm a manual reader anyway, but because of her story one of the first things I checked out was the under the hood jumping spots. So not only did I do that, I also bought a little Li-On jump starter from Costco.
 

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You guys are amazing -- I LOVE this forum! And thanks for your comments ....

1) I was unaware of the jumpers under the hood, and indeed it shows them in my manual ... with an almost brand new car, I got lazy and assumed I wouldn't need to mess with the battery (or jumper cables) for a few years. So, of course "Mr. Murphy" paid me a visit!

2) Thanks snic for your comment about 'assuming it's the battery' ... you are correct, it might not be. Perhaps there is an electrical draw somewhere there isn't supposed to be. I'm still under warranty for another 4 months, so I'll take it in.

3) Thanks jcanoe for the comment about how the volt uses and APM ... that makes sense to me, but never had the opportunity to look into this. I had a 1/2 full charge in the big lithium battery: so, when the little battery started running low during the 10 idle days, why didn't the APM kick in and charge the little battery? From your description, it sounds like the APM only kicks in when charging or when the car is running? That's a bummer.

4) thanks about the info on the remote hatch release ... now that I know about the charge points under the hood, I don't think I'll be needing this piece of info (except in unusual circumstances).

thanks again everyone! I'll let you know if I hear anything interesting from the dealer when they check this out ...
best,
Jd
Correct, the APM only maintains the 12V battery when the Volt is powered on. There is a separate 12V battery charging circuit that will charge the 12V battery whenever the Volt's high voltage battery is being charged. Once the high voltage battery has been charged the Volt will periodically charge, maintain the 12V battery as long as the Volt is plugged in. You can monitor the output of the APM while the Volt is running using a 12V accessory plug to USB charging port adapter. These are available online and can be found with a 12V DC voltage readout. (When the Volt is shut down, before you open the door, the 12V accessory port remains powered on for up to 10 minutes. You can observe the voltage of the 12V AGM battery (without the APM operating) during this time. A fully charged 12V AGM battery would read ~12.6V. A 50% SOC would read ~12.3V. Anything less than ~12.0V indicates a failing or failed battery. (A failed 12V battery with one dead battery cell out of the 6 cells would read ~10.5V or less.)
 

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My 2017’s battery went dead after 5 days unplugged at the airport during spring break. Totally dead, I initially thought the remotes battery was the problem. Once I used the key to get in I realized the battery completely flat.

One of those LiPo jumper batteries was no help. The only way to get it going was to go home and get my truck to boost the 12v battery (I waited some time while the truck put back some juice before I allowed the volt to get going). By this point I was worried the Volt would start on its way, only to die on the way home so I allowed the truck to charge up the Volt’s AGM for longer than I would a regular car. I also had my wife switch it to battery save mode to get the motor going on the trip home.

I suspect those little LiPo batteries are really designed for gas engines. They provide just enough current to get the starter going and then the alternator takes it from there. Of course the volt does not work this way. In my case it got the electronics going for a very short time but then the AGM battery basically suck it dry but not enough to keep it going before I could secure everything (with all our luggage on the ground and with the jumper attached I couldn’t just start moving) and get the family back in.

I cannot think of a way while jumping a flat AGM with those LiPo jump starters, to trick the Volt to start the engine right away and charge the AGM battery. I suspect the only remedy is to carry a charger and extension cord or a boost from gas vehicle to put some charge back in the AGM.

I took the Volt to the dealer who checked it over and said that there was a bulletin regarding the wiring. Retightening or something like that. I have not parked it again for an extended period to test it as we use it every day.

I recommend you ask your dealer if they know about this bulletin or issue.
 

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My 2017’s battery went dead after 5 days unplugged at the airport during spring break. Totally dead, I initially thought the remotes battery was the problem. Once I used the key to get in I realized the battery completely flat.

One of those LiPo jumper batteries was no help. The only way to get it going was to go home and get my truck to boost the 12v battery (I waited some time while the truck put back some juice before I allowed the volt to get going). By this point I was worried the Volt would start on its way, only to die on the way home so I allowed the truck to charge up the Volt’s AGM for longer than I would a regular car. I also had my wife switch it to battery save mode to get the motor going on the trip home.

I suspect those little LiPo batteries are really designed for gas engines. They provide just enough current to get the starter going and then the alternator takes it from there. Of course the volt does not work this way. In my case it got the electronics going for a very short time but then the AGM battery basically suck it dry but not enough to keep it going before I could secure everything (with all our luggage on the ground and with the jumper attached I couldn’t just start moving) and get the family back in.

I cannot think of a way while jumping a flat AGM with those LiPo jump starters, to trick the Volt to start the engine right away and charge the AGM battery. I suspect the only remedy is to carry a charger and extension cord or a boost from gas vehicle to put some charge back in the AGM.

I took the Volt to the dealer who checked it over and said that there was a bulletin regarding the wiring. Retightening or something like that. I have not parked it again for an extended period to test it as we use it every day.

I recommend you ask your dealer if they know about this bulletin or issue.
If the 12V AGM battery was totally dead or had developed an internal short then the small LiPo jump starter pack would not be able to start the Volt. In that case, if you disconnect the battery cable from the negative terminal of the 12V AGM battery the LiPo would be able to boot up the Volt's systems. The Volt only draws ~500W when powered on (not including any of the 12V accessories running.) 500W would need to be provided by the LiPo supplying 40 amps at 12.6V for just a few seconds, then the Volt's APM would continue to provide power for the Volt's 12V systems. Compared to a conventional starter motor drawing ~150 or more amps while turning over an ICE booting up the Volt requires much less starting power.
 

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My 2017’s battery went dead after 5 days unplugged at the airport during spring break. Totally dead, I initially thought the remotes battery was the problem. Once I used the key to get in I realized the battery completely flat.

One of those LiPo jumper batteries was no help. The only way to get it going was to go home and get my truck to boost the 12v battery (I waited some time while the truck put back some juice before I allowed the volt to get going). By this point I was worried the Volt would start on its way, only to die on the way home so I allowed the truck to charge up the Volt’s AGM for longer than I would a regular car. I also had my wife switch it to battery save mode to get the motor going on the trip home.

I suspect those little LiPo batteries are really designed for gas engines. They provide just enough current to get the starter going and then the alternator takes it from there. Of course the volt does not work this way. In my case it got the electronics going for a very short time but then the AGM battery basically suck it dry but not enough to keep it going before I could secure everything (with all our luggage on the ground and with the jumper attached I couldn’t just start moving) and get the family back in.

I cannot think of a way while jumping a flat AGM with those LiPo jump starters, to trick the Volt to start the engine right away and charge the AGM battery. I suspect the only remedy is to carry a charger and extension cord or a boost from gas vehicle to put some charge back in the AGM.

I took the Volt to the dealer who checked it over and said that there was a bulletin regarding the wiring. Retightening or something like that. I have not parked it again for an extended period to test it as we use it every day.

I recommend you ask your dealer if they know about this bulletin or issue.
So let me understand this - Your high voltage battery was also dead - you had no EV range? My understanding is the high voltage battery charges the 12v battery - as Barry says above "The 12V battery charges whenever the car is turned on, even if the engine is not running. Its voltage also is maintained whenever the car is plugged in." So once you got the car on, you should have been good to go. So no need to get the engine going, although I would guess Hold mode would work for that.

I would have thought it would have worked to put the charger on the jump start points under the hood, turn it on, and go. No need to unload and reload.
 

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...

I cannot think of a way while jumping a flat AGM with those LiPo jump starters, to trick the Volt to start the engine right away and charge the AGM battery. I suspect the only remedy is to carry a charger and extension cord or a boost from gas vehicle to put some charge back in the AGM. ...
Not to hijack the thread, but for this specific instance, I would like to think starting the car with the hood open might accomplish the feat of starting the engine right away, but I've never had to test out the whole "opening your hood to turn the ICE on" trick/maintenance mode so I don't know if there is any real delay to this.
 

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Interesting. Makes me wonder if a lot of electronics weirdnesses that have been reported with '16 Volts have to do with flaky 12V batteries. I've personally experienced inaccurate charge time estimates, "forgetting" the Home location, and, most recently, the apparent brief cutting of power to the OBDC port (or perhaps the voltage dropped below the minimum value needed for the devices plugged into the port to function).

So far the dealer has been completely unhelpful about these issues. I guess I could ask them to check out the 12 V battery when I take it in later this week for the last service before the warranty expires. They aren't going to understand these subtle symptoms, however.
 

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1. Hard to leave the car on now with the auto shutdown software but ...
2. Easy to push the start button too many times and or too long and place the car in service mode

3. Jump with cables and a stiff voltage source ie a high Amp Hr real battery or another car.

When road side help sees a VOLT they tend to forget it is STILL a car.

keep a users manual on your smartphone or use the onstar app to download a over view manual
it has a good what to do section.

The new digital watches when flipped around on the wrist makes a second good flashlight when you can't hold a phone and a wrench at the same time.

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At least with a VOLT we never need to worry about having a flat or needing a tow :)
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I cannot think of a way while jumping a flat AGM with those LiPo jump starters, to trick the Volt to start the engine right away and charge the AGM battery. I suspect the only remedy is to carry a charger and extension cord or a boost from gas vehicle to put some charge back in the AGM.
The APM charges the AGM battery when the Volt is on regardless of whether or not the engine is running. The power comes from the high voltage system. You could open the hood to force the gas engine to start, but the AGM battery isn't going to charge any faster.
 

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XX --- CUT --- XX

3) I'm curious now about HOW the Volt charges the 'small' battery: I typically run on lithium battery only propulsion about 90% of the time ... if the alternator is not spinning (ie: the ICE is not running), how does the small battery charge up?? Is there a trickle that runs from the big lithium battery? Or ?
4) XX --- CUT --- XX
thanks in advance ...
Jd

BEEN THERE DONE THAT.

The 12v AGM battery is only charged when either the car is on and running or when the high voltage battery is charging.

Ok easy understanding...

The car has to be on...
You get in the car, and push the blue button to start the car. The electronics wake up and the 12v battery will start to charge from the high voltage battery.

The car has to be charging...
The 12v AGM is continuously monitoring the VOLT. The drain is very light but the battery is constantly powering monitors in the car. The car SHOULD be able to stay active for about 30 days.
When you park the car and plug in the charger, the high voltage battery is charged AND the 12v AGM battery is charged.
When the high voltage battery has completed charge, the charger shuts down and most of the electronics in the car shuts down, INCLUDING charging of the 12v AGM battery. All electronics goes to sleep EXCEPT the monitoring electronics which continue to use power from the 12v AGM battery.

Be careful charging the 12v AGM battery. It is considered a maintenance free battery because it is fitted with one way pressure release valves.
If you use the wrong charger or overcharge the battery, it will release the moisture you need to keep the battery alive, and eventually will kill that battery.
 

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Unless I’m wrong I believe the Gen 2 continues to charge the 12V indefinitely so long as it is plugged in. The Onstar module however goes to sleep after 5 days if not remote started.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Unless I’m wrong I believe the Gen 2 continues to charge the 12V indefinitely so long as it is plugged in. The Onstar module however goes to sleep after 5 days if not remote started.


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I think you are incorrrect. I have a GEN 2


I left the VOLT plugged in during the winter. It sat for a week then got snowed in. Since I had a gasser I could use, I took my time digging her out.
I also assumed that if she were plugged in, she would be kept charged.
I finally got access to her in about 30 days, maybe more, and the 12 AGM was dead.

This also brings to mind that the owners manual tells you to put a battery maintainer on the 12v battery if the car will be sitting for an extended amount of time.

Also the owners manual says that when the high voltage battery is not charging, the electronics go to sleep. (this stops any charging of the 12v AGM battery)

I believe the owners manual also says that you have to jump a car with dead battery to "wake up the electronics" to start charging the 12v AGM.

These bits of information are scatterred throughout the owner manual and difficult to find. The manual is not exactly user friendly.

I have been through the dead 12v AGM battery scenario, sort of what this person is talking about and had to find the reason I had the problem.
 
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