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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I wanted to document the issue with my volt. My Volt has only 9100 miles on it and has been very reliable. On Thursday last week 4 day s ago I started hearing this loud whining noise coming from the engine compartment. I immediately went online to discover this is a common issue with a bearing in the drivetrain, and is a major repair. The dealer has been very nice and gave me a loaner and offerred to pay for some of my Gas. the only problen is the Bearing is on Back order with no ETA. I was hoping that GM would have been better now on Quality control, specifically in the Drivetrain. So much for that.
I wonder how many people have had this issue?
 

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I suspect this isn't a quality problem but an engineering design issue.
...either insufficient cooling / lubrication

...or the part is not robust enough for the high maximum torque experienced.

lots of off the line heavy acceleration? = early failure
 

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The problem is with a plastic ball spacer ring in the bearing. The replacement ball spacer ring is brass.

Torque and acceleration have little to do with it. The plastic part will eventually fail and need replacement in all of the Volt's that have them.
 

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Can you be more descriptive in describing the sound and when it is made. I have a noise that occurs after the car has been sitting and sounds like an HVAC blower behind the firewall, it goes away after about 10 or 15 seconds.

It's one of those intermittent noises dealers hate. But if there is a TSB published that may help me know if what I'm hearing is a problem or just how the Volt sounds.

Thanks
 

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The problem is with a plastic ball spacer ring in the bearing. The replacement ball spacer ring is brass.

Torque and acceleration have little to do with it. The plastic part will eventually fail and need replacement in all of the Volt's that have them.
We never heard this problem until last year, and I know a lot of Volt with large numbers of miles on them and no issues. Is it possible the plastic part is a late change? Do you have pictures and info relating to this?

If all Volts have the plastic version, I doubt the conclusion that it'll eventually fail is right - we have an awful lot of fleet miles to not be seeing a rising tide if the part is truely inadequate to the designed task.
 

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We never heard this problem until last year, and I know a lot of Volt with large numbers of miles on them and no issues. Is it possible the plastic part is a late change? Do you have pictures and info relating to this?

If all Volts have the plastic version, I doubt the conclusion that it'll eventually fail is right - we have an awful lot of fleet miles to not be seeing a rising tide if the part is truely inadequate to the designed task.
There are several posts on this subject. Some of them do include pictures of the bearing part.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?18355-Motor-bearing-failed

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?17877-Loud-whining-during-regen&highlight=noise+bearing

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...ring-Take-a-listen...&highlight=noise+bearing

It's possible the problem is isolated to a particular run of bearing spacers. Perhaps some of the plastic spacers don't disintegrate. So it may not be a widespread problem yet.

What is troubling... We are hearing from more and more people that they have also experienced this bearing problem. And customers are complaining that Chevy does not seem to keep this part in stock. Customers are being forced to wait weeks on end to get the replacement part. Meanwhile Chevy is being forced to pay for extended rental car periods due to a shortage of replacement parts. It's becoming a real problem. An expensive problem for Chevrolet. Chevy needs to order enough of these replacement parts to avoid paying for weeks and months of rental car fees.

(Not to mention frustration and bad will for customers.)
 

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What is troubling... We are hearing from more and more people that they have also experienced this bearing problem.
Stuff happens. Easy for me to say since I've had zero issues but I'm sure you understand that usually it's the part you don't expect to have a problem with that you have the problem with. No doubt both customers and GM would like the part in stock. But if the failures were unexpected it may take a while for it to get sorted and to build the inventory.
 

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The third link in the above post was a thread started by me. I still have the sound (listen to it in the first post of that thread) but do not think it is the same bearing problem since the sound does not change when MGB's RPM drops when MGA take over part of the load at constant highway speeds. Could be transmission or wheel in origin since sound is directly related to speed. Is your sound proportional? Loud enough to be heard at highway speeds? Model Year?
 

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Bearing/Whinning noise

Hi All,
I wanted to document the issue with my volt. My Volt has only 9100 miles on it and has been very reliable. On Thursday last week 4 day s ago I started hearing this loud whining noise coming from the engine compartment. I immediately went online to discover this is a common issue with a bearing in the drivetrain, and is a major repair. The dealer has been very nice and gave me a loaner and offerred to pay for some of my Gas. the only problen is the Bearing is on Back order with no ETA. I was hoping that GM would have been better now on Quality control, specifically in the Drivetrain. So much for that.
I wonder how many people have had this issue?
Hi All,

I'm new member from Germany and own an Ampera. Yesterday I heard the noise and went to my Service Station. They said one day later (today) the spare part ist not available and I have to wait at least 3-4 Months. It's not clear whether the car has to go back in the factory or the Services Station will get the permission to repair the car.
But this is not a possibility of a solution for me. Opel in Germany (GM) is not able to give me
a replacement Electric-Car, only a gas driven car??

The car has been build on September 2012 with only 3728 miles.

I was my wish to let you know, what happened with my car and to give an answer.

See you
 

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Sorry to hear about the bearing issue. Can you drive the car while waiting for the replacement parts? If not, being given a gas powered car to drive until the Ampera is fixed is what happens here in the States as well. Everyone would prefer being given a temporary Volt to drive instead, but none are available for that purpose.
 

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Hi All,

I'm new member from Germany and own an Ampera. Yesterday I heard the noise and went to my Service Station. They said one day later (today) the spare part ist not available and I have to wait at least 3-4 Months. It's not clear whether the car has to go back in the factory or the Services Station will get the permission to repair the car.
But this is not a possibility of a solution for me. Opel in Germany (GM) is not able to give me
a replacement Electric-Car, only a gas driven car??

The car has been build on September 2012 with only 3728 miles.

I was my wish to let you know, what happened with my car and to give an answer.

See you
3-4 months!!!??!!! that's terrible, what are they making these new bearings from? unobtainium?
 

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Bearing/Whinning noise

Yes it is terrible, the custumer Service said the only possiblity is to change the complete electrical driving unit and therefore there isn't spare part available. Only: back order and date for delivery (3 - 4 months)

3-4 months!!!??!!! that's terrible, what are they making these new bearings from? unobtainium?
 

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temporary ampera

Sorry to hear about the bearing issue. Can you drive the car while waiting for the replacement parts? If not, being given a gas powered car to drive until the Ampera is fixed is what happens here in the States as well. Everyone would prefer being given a temporary Volt to drive instead, but none are available for that purpose.
OK., it's the same in Germany but they will not pay for gas! Now I will try to give back the car, maybe for a new one? Is it possible to get a new one in the US?
 

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My Volt should be finished with this repair now. The motor and motor cover has been replaced. I was told that these parts were sourced directly from the new vehicle assembly stream, so I would not buy into that 3-4 month time line. Perhaps one of the Volt Advisors here can help expedite parts to Germany. Meantime I would drive it and keep an ear to any increase in the noise. IMHO...
 

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After seeing GM advisors get involved with many other posts about issues/questions with the volt. Why is the there no advisors posting on this bearing issue? I think that bothers me more than the issue itself. Is PIP-5081 a real service bulletin that we can all visit the dealers to ask some questions, or do we have to wait until failure numbers reach large numbers. After seeing what Volkswagen did with the high pressure fuel pump failures in the new clean diesels, and the lack of responce from the company. I would hate to see GM sit on their hands and not inform the people who have put their "money where their mouth is" and being an early adopter of the volt.
 

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but they will not pay for gas!
Yes, AND you are forced to listen to an ICE as well! How quickly the Volt changes our perception of cars. Once you go electric, you don't want to go back to the old ways.
 

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Is PIP-5081 a real service bulletin that we can all visit the dealers to ask some questions, or do we have to wait until failure numbers reach large numbers.
Yes it's a real service bulletin that tells dealers to look for a bad bearing if the customer reports the noise and what the replacement part number is. Right now, if you have the noise it gets replaced, until you do it doesn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Back in the shop!

Hi All-
I finally received my May 2012 volt back 10 days ago, and now it is making the same sound again! They replaced the whole motor (not engine) from what they stated. On Monday it is back in the shop (For an unknown time the dealer stated) and back to Enterprise to get a sub $20k econo box. for the price of this car we should receive a nicer car as a loaner. I am previously a BMW owner an always got a BMW of equal or higher value. I hate going back to a gas car but reliability is very important and this costs the same as a BMW.
I am sorry to hear this is a spreading issue since my wife has one also, and so far no major issues. I was hoping for some better quality from GM. :mad:
 
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