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The battery in my 2014 Volt will be 3years old within a few months. Previous comments on the 12-volt battery seem to indicate a replacement is in order at about three years to avoid a problem. My simple question is, what is the best battery as a replacement in terms of reliability and long life?? Thanks!
 

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Your Volt uses an AGM 12V battery, the charging system is set up for the special charging requirements of an AGM battery. I have had good service from Optima brand AGM batteries, that was a number of years ago so I am not sure if Optima still provides a high quality battery.
 

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3 years seems awfully for a replacement, I got 9 years on my original battery in my last car. Moving the battery from under the hood to the trunk doubles the life.
 

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3 years seems awfully for a replacement, I got 9 years on my original battery in my last car. Moving the battery from under the hood to the trunk doubles the life.
That is a good point. In my case I installed an Optima AGM battery in my Saab that was going through batteries every 12 months, the Optima was able to last 3 years in the same engine bay environment. Heat, vibration and load all affect the life of a 12V battery. (Optima claimed 2X greater resistance to heat and 9X more resistance to damage due to vibration.) I have no reason to doubt their claim.

Moving the battery away from the engine compartment reduces exposure to heat and vibration, not sure about the effect of the load on the 12V battery in the Volt. I would look for signs of corrosion on the battery terminals, have the battery load tested. If it passes a load test and not showing signs of acid leakage (source of the corrosion at the battery terminal posts) I would probably wait until the Volt's 12V battery was 4 years old before considering replacing the battery. Also consider how long you plan to keep the 2014 Volt, no sense in replacing a battery that is working if the car is not long for being in your fleet. I tend to buy batteries in the fall, it is just a habit. I have had batteries fail at any time of year. I had one Optima battery that failed within the first 12 months, that battery was defective and I received a free replacement Optima battery.
 

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The battery in my 2014 Volt will be 3years old within a few months. Previous comments on the 12-volt battery seem to indicate a replacement is in order at about three years to avoid a problem. My simple question is, what is the best battery as a replacement in terms of reliability and long life?? Thanks!
Rather than be a replacer of parts due to some internet chatter, test the battery.
 

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What's the load pattern on a Volt battery look like? It's clearly very different from an ICE car. My last car had a 5.7L Hemi, the battery was in the trunk and lasted 9 years, all of my previous cars went through batteries every 4 years. The Volt only uses it's ICE after the battery is drained so much, if not most, of the time the battery doesn't have to crank the engine, on top of that it's a very small engine. If you are running on the ICE in a city the Volt shuts the engine off at stops which increases the number of engine starts the battery has to do, assuming that's a frequent occurrence for you. I can imagine that the battery life in a Volt would have a much wider variation then it would in a conventional car, for people who are the battery 90% or more of the time the battery by only be subject to time based degradation, whereas someone who does a lot of start stop driving on the Volt's ICE would see a lower battery life.
 

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Rather than be a replacer of parts due to some internet chatter, test the battery.
See the FAQ above for details on that
 

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What's the load pattern on a Volt battery look like? It's clearly very different from an ICE car. My last car had a 5.7L Hemi, the battery was in the trunk and lasted 9 years, all of my previous cars went through batteries every 4 years. The Volt only uses it's ICE after the battery is drained so much, if not most, of the time the battery doesn't have to crank the engine, on top of that it's a very small engine. If you are running on the ICE in a city the Volt shuts the engine off at stops which increases the number of engine starts the battery has to do, assuming that's a frequent occurrence for you. I can imagine that the battery life in a Volt would have a much wider variation then it would in a conventional car, for people who are the battery 90% or more of the time the battery by only be subject to time based degradation, whereas someone who does a lot of start stop driving on the Volt's ICE would see a lower battery life.
I thought that the ICE was started with one of the motors connected to the large battery. The 12 volt battery might be involved in that it supplies power to the computers, but that's it. Frequent starts of the ICE in city traffic when in Hold mode or running in CS mode won't involve the 12 volt battery.

I believe that the AGM battery is rated at 40 Ah - double check that.
 

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What's the load pattern on a Volt battery look like? It's clearly very different from an ICE car. My last car had a 5.7L Hemi, the battery was in the trunk and lasted 9 years, all of my previous cars went through batteries every 4 years. The Volt only uses it's ICE after the battery is drained so much, if not most, of the time the battery doesn't have to crank the engine, on top of that it's a very small engine. If you are running on the ICE in a city the Volt shuts the engine off at stops which increases the number of engine starts the battery has to do, assuming that's a frequent occurrence for you. I can imagine that the battery life in a Volt would have a much wider variation then it would in a conventional car, for people who are the battery 90% or more of the time the battery by only be subject to time based degradation, whereas someone who does a lot of start stop driving on the Volt's ICE would see a lower battery life.
The 12v doesn't get used to start the ICE in the Volt. The HV battery uses the motor-generator to spin the engine at about 1400 RPM and then the ignition system is turned on using power drawn from the APM, and which time (usually, at least) the motor-generator switches to "generator" and THAT feeds the HV system, including the APM. The 12v is only supposed to be being used to power the systems that stay live when the car is off, and to boot the computers and run them until they determine it's okay to switch to the HV power system, at which time the APM is supposed to take over the low-voltage duties.

(Which is why in a couple of threads lately about "dead/dying 12v" I'm much more suspecting issues with the APM, but am wondering why the owners aren't also reporting charging system failure codes. Because the EASY way to make their reported behavior tie up neatly into a logical chain of events is "APM fails silently somehow possibly intermittantly, car runs a while on 12v, and if drive is long enough, strands owner, or 12v turns up low/dead some morning" )
 

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I thought that the ICE was started with one of the motors connected to the large battery. The 12 volt battery might be involved in that it supplies power to the computers, but that's it. Frequent starts of the ICE in city traffic when in Hold mode or running in CS mode won't involve the 12 volt battery.

I believe that the AGM battery is rated at 40 Ah - double check that.
Correct, the 12V battery is not used to start the ICE as in a conventional vehicle. The 12V powers the Volt computer systems during startup only, then the Volt's 12 volt systems are powered by the high voltage traction battery through the APM power inverter module.
 

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Personally, I have never replaced the 12V battery in my 2012 and 2013 Volts. I'm not going to worry about it until they're at least 6 years old, probably more like 10 years old, but that's just me.

Never had an issue with my Honda Civic that was 8 years old either, and a normal car requires a lot more "Cranking amps" to turn over the engine than the Volt needs. (The Volt doesn't start the engine with the 12V battery, one of the motors to does that with the high voltage battery.)

I think most of the 12V battery problems in the Volt are due to some phantom draw/bug with Bluetooth, causing the battery to die, more than anything with the 12V battery itself.
 

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6+ years on my 2011 OE battery. No significant issues. There is more than one of us birds in here.

VIN # B0985
This bird died. One of my 2011 Volts had a failed battery last year, so roughly after 5 years. I bought a replacement from Advance Auto.
 

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What's the load pattern on a Volt battery look like? It's clearly very different from an ICE car. My last car had a 5.7L Hemi, the battery was in the trunk and lasted 9 years, all of my previous cars went through batteries every 4 years. The Volt only uses it's ICE after the battery is drained so much, if not most, of the time the battery doesn't have to crank the engine, on top of that it's a very small engine. If you are running on the ICE in a city the Volt shuts the engine off at stops which increases the number of engine starts the battery has to do, assuming that's a frequent occurrence for you. I can imagine that the battery life in a Volt would have a much wider variation then it would in a conventional car, for people who are the battery 90% or more of the time the battery by only be subject to time based degradation, whereas someone who does a lot of start stop driving on the Volt's ICE would see a lower battery life.
The load pattern on the Volt 12 volt battery has little to do with how many times the ICE starts. The high voltage pack starts the engine. Apparently the various computers are quite sensitive to the 12v battery voltage however, and cause all sorts of errors if the voltage gets too low. I think this is the main reason the battery needs more frequent replacing than it seems like it should. I agree that testing the battery is the best way to determine if it needs replacing.

Dick
 

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Your Volt uses an AGM 12V battery, the charging system is set up for the special charging requirements of an AGM battery. I have had good service from Optima brand AGM batteries, that was a number of years ago so I am not sure if Optima still provides a high quality battery.
I agree that Optima batteries are great. I have them in my other vehicles, however I went to their website to check on their use in my Volt and they state they have no compatible battery. Bummer!

Dick
 

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I agree that Optima batteries are great. I have them in my other vehicles, however I went to their website to check on their use in my Volt and they state they have no compatible battery. Bummer!

Dick
The Optima website refers you to Autobatteries.com: For the 2015 and 2016 Volt this site shows Group Size: H5 AGM, Minimum Cold Cranking Amps: 630, Hybrid; Battery is vented to outside of vehicle.; AGM Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) is required. This should be the same battery that is required for the 2017 Volt, not sure about the 2017 Bolt.
 

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As always, heat is not friendly to battery life (hence the Volts main battery liquid cooling). So I'd expect shorter 12V battery life in very hot southern climates.
 

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As always, heat is not friendly to battery life (hence the Volts main battery liquid cooling). So I'd expect shorter 12V battery life in very hot southern climates.
This climate-related heat is much less than the heat exposure when the battery is located in the engine bay.
 

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The Optima website refers you to Autobatteries.com: For the 2015 and 2016 Volt this site shows Group Size: H5 AGM, Minimum Cold Cranking Amps: 630, Hybrid; Battery is vented to outside of vehicle.; AGM Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) is required. This should be the same battery that is required for the 2017 Volt, not sure about the 2017 Bolt? The key key requirement, for safety, is that the AGM battery is valve regulated, vented to outside the vehicle. If you disregard this safety requirement (not advised!) then any Group: H5 AGM battery that can deliver 630 CCA should work.
Thanks for verifying what's in the FAQ referenced above.
 
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