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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Hi all,
I just bought a used volt 2013. This morning is my first charge of it, which showed a full 34 miles. However, after several errands I noticed that the battery drained quickly and only 20 miles later it switched to gas.
I looked at the energy info panel and it shows 10.8KWhr has been consumed, compared to 16.5 KWhr of new battery stated on the internet.
Did I buy a volt have a degraded battery? Or is it too early to tell.
 

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Hi all,
I just bought a used volt 2013. This morning is my first charge of it, which showed a full 34 miles. However, after several errands I noticed that the battery drained quickly and only 20 miles later it switched to gas.
I looked at the energy info panel and it shows 10.8KWhr has been consumed, compared to 16.5 KWhr of new battery stated on the internet.
Did I buy a volt have a degraded battery? Or is it too early to tell.
There is not enough information, for example where are you located? What was the morning temperature today? If you used the electric heat and drove it like you stole it then you could have drained the battery in only 20 miles. Also, although the 2013 battery pack is 16.5 kWh you can only access, use 10.8 kWh. 34 miles with full charge is reasonable, the estimated EV range should slightly increase as you start to drive the Volt with a lighter foot on the accelerator pedal. Learn to pre-condition the Volt's cabin for comfort while the Volt is plugged in.
 

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Not necessarily. Run it through a few full charge/ discharge cycles and let it get used to your driving style. Outside temperature will greatly affect the range too.

The energy panel only shows what the car can use. (usually 10.1-10.2 kwh on my car) The higher number on the internet may because they are measuring the total input energy which is due to the charging losses.

How many miles are on it? EV/Gas?
 

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To maintain battery longevity, GM restricts the use of the Gen 1 battery to about 65% of full capacity, so you never are charging the battery to 100% or discharging it down to 0%. 65% of 16.5 kWh is 10.7+ kWh, so if you got 10.8 from a full charge, you’re doing fine. The total kWh Used at time of "switch to gas" may vary for several reasons.

Fuel is stored in fuel units, not distance units, so how far you can drive on 1 kWh of electricity depends on your driving habits and the driving conditions (terrain, weather, etc.) and the condition of the car (tire pressure, etc.). The computer gathers data as you drive to create an estimate of how far you can go on the remaining amount of fuel. A "new" used car will have range estimates based on the previous owner’s driving habits. It will take time for the computer to gather your personal driving data before the full charge range estimates start to reflect the "mileage" you get from your driving habits in your driving terrain and environment.
 

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This morning is my first charge of it, which showed a full 34 miles. However, after several errands I noticed that the battery drained quickly and only 20 miles later it switched to gas.
I looked at the energy info panel and it shows 10.8KWhr has been consumed, compared to 16.5 KWhr of new battery stated on the internet.
Did I buy a volt have a degraded battery? Or is it too early to tell.
Hopefully, things will get much better as you 'learn' how to drive it - You used 10.8 Kwh to go just 20 miles, which is . . . . atrocious - That's more than half a kilowatt per mile. Many drivers get 4 to 5 miles per Kw . . . . you're not even getting 2! Your battery is probably just fine . . . . it did show a full 34 miles when you charged it, which tells you that the last owner knew how to drive it

Don
 

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Hi all,
I just bought a used volt 2013. This morning is my first charge of it, which showed a full 34 miles. However, after several errands I noticed that the battery drained quickly and only 20 miles later it switched to gas.
I looked at the energy info panel and it shows 10.8KWhr has been consumed, compared to 16.5 KWhr of new battery stated on the internet.
Did I buy a volt have a degraded battery? Or is it too early to tell.
When I bought my 2013 in May it showed 47 Km. After a few charges but more importantly a run into a few towns away where I drove until the ICE kicked in it slowly went up to 70 Km when fully charged. Now that cooler weather is here (7 - 12 C) it is back down to 57 Km. (over coming thicker grease in bearings, heater, defogger, etc.) I'll let you do the conversions (good exercise to use rest of the world units of measure).:)

Just like an ICE, the harder you accelerate to more energy you use, the faster you go the more air resistance you are working against. It is different of course as ICE has more relative "waste" at low speeds with a sweet spot usually between 90 kph and 110 kph. whereas the electric motors have a more straight line usage as air resistance increases.

As mentioned, although the battery "size" is 16, the usable amount is just over 10 for battery longevity.
 

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When I bought my 2013 in May it showed 47 Km. After a few charges but more importantly a run into a few towns away where I drove until the ICE kicked in it slowly went up to 70 Km when fully charged. Now that cooler weather is here (7 - 12 C) it is back down to 57 Km. (over coming thicker grease in bearings, heater, defogger, etc.) I'll let you do the conversions (good exercise to use rest of the world units of measure).:)

Just like an ICE, the harder you accelerate to more energy you use, the faster you go the more air resistance you are working against. It is different of course as ICE has more relative "waste" at low speeds with a sweet spot usually between 90 kph and 110 kph. whereas the electric motors have a more straight line usage as air resistance increases.

As mentioned, although the battery "size" is 16, the usable amount is just over 10 for battery longevity.
I find it sort of funny that this is your season to decrease range, Mine just went back over 40 miles on my 2012 using L and little braking ( disclaimer when I use max regeneration I am like a hawk in my rear view mirror and tap the brakes accordingly). The max AC season is finally over here in AZ and we will preheat on any cool mornings.
 

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I find it sort of funny that this is your season to decrease range, Mine just went back over 40 miles on my 2012 using L and little braking ( disclaimer when I use max regeneration I am like a hawk in my rear view mirror and tap the brakes accordingly). The max AC season is finally over here in AZ and we will preheat on any cool mornings.
Heater operation takes more juice than A/C. Defogger uses full fan and heater. Cooler weather needs some heater, not into freezing to save a few pennies. Cold lubrication is thicker than warm lubrication. Never gets cold enough to preheat plus charger is inside while car is outside (at least until Tercel 4X4 wagon is restored), I just jump in and go.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi all,
Thank you so much for helping me. It is a 143K 2013 volt, used. The average mpg shown on the energy info is 60 something.
This morning I witnessed the available mileage dropping from 31 miles(fully charged) to 17 miles in about 2 minutes of driving. At the same time the KWhr used went from 0 to about 3.1 KWhr. I wish I was video taping this stuff because the number was just jumping like a slot machine.
There is also an active recall on this car about battery cell balancing:
Recall Number
18V397000
Recall Date
06/14/2018
Component
HYBRID PROPULSION SYSTEM

A rough calculation is 3.1Kwhr/2min = 90KW which corresponds to 250 amp even if we divide it by 360V(the highest voltage on the car, I believe). 250 amp melts everything. So I'm pretty sure there is a counting problem in the software. It's obviously non-physical.
Finger crossed it's just the software update from the recall to solve the problem. Appointment with the local dealer is on Tuesday.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Just got a call from the dealer saying that they finished the software update from the recall.
Hopefully the problem is solved.
If not, I also got an important information that the Volt as a PZEV according to the CCR §1962 has the battery and relative system warranted to 15 yrs/ 150K miles. Our car still has the E and E1 warranty if something happens. (Someone tell me what this is pls). I'm hoping if the battery has truly degraded I can simply have them replace it under the warranty. However, they will charge $150 for the diag.
Will report back once I receive the VCX Nano unit tonight and figure out if the battery went bad.
 

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This morning I witnessed the available mileage dropping from 31 miles(fully charged) to 17 miles in about 2 minutes of driving. At the same time the KWhr used went from 0 to about 3.1 KWhr.
This right here is an indication that you aren't suffering from battery degradation (afaik - someone feel free to correct me if I'm spouting nonsense). Degradation would be having a smaller amount of useable battery - i.e ICE kicks on when you've used 9.2 KWhr (as opposed to ~10.2 KWhr). This is a completely different issue that I recall another forum member posting about sometime within the last few months. It could be anything from a software issue to needing to replace a bad cell, unfortunately I can't remember the outcome for that other member.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just to update, my wife just got the car back from the dealer and the update of the software seems to have fixed the problem. There is no more fast discharge of the battery in the first 3 miles. I got my VCX nano and read all the voltage levels of the cell, they were extremely close for all 3 modules.
I think there is no physical problem with the battery, but will test the voltage level and full charge and deplete just to see if any cell is bad. Will report back/update.
 

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The useable charge is actually about 10.3 KWhr give or take. It is never fully charged or discharged. Depending on driving and environment this could be normal. Got the heat cranked up and have a lead foot it gets less range. Light foot and more economic hvac setting gets more range.
 

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I had a faulty sensor on my Volt 2012 that gave me bad numbers for my battery. Once fixed everything was ok.
 

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p.s. Also check/change your 12 volt battery if it's never been changed. That can cause issues with bad readings on main battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
p.s. Also check/change your 12 volt battery if it's never been changed. That can cause issues with bad readings on main battery.
How do you check the 12 V battery? I thought the voltage of this kind of battery doesn't tell you anything.
 

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How do you check the 12 V battery? I thought the voltage of this kind of battery doesn't tell you anything.
You don't need a battery tester to take some basic measurements from the 12V. When the Volt is powered on, the accessory power module is maintaining the 12V and running all of the 12V systems. Voltage will vary from 12.4V - 15.4V depending on load and temperature. Typically you will see ~13.0V when the Volt is powered on. When you power off the Volt the accessory port, radio and lights stay powered on for ~10 minutes. You can purchase an inexpensive USB power adapter for the accessory port that includes a DC voltmeter. With the Volt powered off, ideally you would want to 12.6V. Typically 12.3V. I would be concerned anytime the voltage dropped below 12.0V. In simple terms, a 12V battery consists of (6) 2.1V cells. If the 12V battery has a dead cell (this would be bad) or shorted cell (this would be very bad) then the voltage reading would be ~10.2V. The things that can affect the life of a 12V battery are time (how old is the battery), vibration, temperature and load. The 12V AGM battery in the Volt has it pretty easy; low vibration, not exposed to engine compartment heat (only local climate temperature extremes) and minimal load. Things that can shorten the life of a battery include a deep discharge (never good for any battery that is not specifically designed for deep cycling (such as a trolling motor marine battery.) The best gauge of a battery under these conditions is probably age. Beyond 4 years I would personally consider replacing the battery when it was convenient to do so else carry a jump starter and be prepared to jump start the Volt (probably when it is least convenient to do so.)
 

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We call it the Guess-O-Meter for a reason ;-)

The electric heater will absolutely drop your range quickly if you use it. If I'm on a longer trip (50+ miles) I'll run the engine to warm the cabin, then switch to battery and shut off the heater.

I seriously doubt you have any battery degradation. If so, you would be one of an extremely small number of owners. Battery degradation in the Volt is almost unheard of, even after 300K miles.
 
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