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Sorry for this post in this section of the forum. I don't come here much, but I will if I get closer to buying a Bolt.

My '14 Spark EV (Bolt's daddy :p) at 56k miles has been flawless until a month ago and Friday 8-26-18 it broke again.
This is what I have been posting in other forums.
And it's a cautionary tale if your Bolts need servicing someday:

Just to recap:
Both times car is dead after a very brief DCFC <charge>. Tap the CP <ChargePoint> card to start and stop the charge session. Indication shows it added ~20 miles of range.
Both times car boots up fine but there is no Go Pedal response and there is now a check engine light.

>1st time: dealer installs a new HPCM2 [Hybrid Power Control Module 2]. Covered by warranty. I was told it is a common part used on the Volt and the Bolt and they had it in stock. Has a fault code that can't be reset.
Car is fine for a month. I did not do a DCFC until I made another Airport Run, Friday morning, O-dark:thiry...

>2nd time: dealer service manager says they want to "TRY" an $800 Airbag module and it's not covered by the Power Train Warranty even though it takes out the Power Train.
He says "It's the next item in the 'Trouble Tree' we use to trouble shoot".

No mention if it needs another HPCM2 this time, but he blathers on about 'Hard Codes' that can't be reset in these modules and they are then 'Bricked'.

And if this does not fix the problem I am still out $800? I ask, 'Then what?' and he doesn't know.
"That's the top of the tree."

In his defense, this is all the info he has to go on. Is it pride that keeps these guys from calling GM EV Tech Support?
Couldn't GM provide some sort of 'Test Only' modules that can have the 'hard codes' reset? Trouble Shooting tools! For modern EV's!

I kind of doubt this is the kind of trouble shooting Nissan and Tesla does. I know this wouldn't fly in Aviation.

Please,
Does anyone have a contact at GM's EV Engineering? GM needs to up their trouble shooting game.


This is not how I want my future Bolt to be worked on.

In Summary: I would pay for this $800 Airbag module if the service manager was not being cagey about what happens when I pick up my car and drive immediately to the same DCFC station and I'm stranded again.

This is not a case of getting bad fuel at a certain gas station. I got the electrons just fine.
So let's say this DCFC station is putting out an 800 VDC spike when I stop the charge.
All of the 12 VDC systems are getting power provided by the APM when powered up and the 12 V battery when not.

If I worked in GM EV Engineering I'd be all over this situation. These things can be tested scientifically.
Hard fixes and answers are what's needed. Not "Let's try this next", at the owner's expense, with no guarantees.
 

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That definitely sounds like something that needs to be escalated to GM at a corporate level. I'm surprised there's no diagnostics tool that can immediately identify the exact cause of issue.

Also, they shouldn't need to replace the airbag. I believe they can simply "spoof" it by unplugging the existing airbag connection and hooking up a resistor. Hey, if you're going to troubleshoot... trouble shoot.
 

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"Hard codes that cannot be reset" - indicates they don't know how to reset the code. ALL codes can be reset one way or another.
Somebody at GM knows how to reset these codes, but it sounds like nobody at that dealership knows. You are right, the dealership needs to get on the phone with GM engineering.

I used to work with large airplane maintenance systems, these are quite a bit more evolved (and of course expensive) than what's in our cars. Having an airplane sitting on the ground because nobody can figure out how to fix it is VERY expensive.
 

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I'd escalate. There are special Federal warranties on emissions and safety components that might apply.
It's been awhile but I believe the airbag control module is also the crash data recorder.
"Part Swapping" to fix a car is rarely done today. There must be a problem with GM's troubleshooting tree, or their diagnostic code segment in the ECM.

Something is not right. If the black box puts up a crash flag (airbag deployment), the car won't energize the traction battery until reset. And it is re-settable. Nothing about DCFC should trigger a black box airbag deployment event.

GM's repairs used to be guaranteed. If they don't fix the problem, you don't pay. Apparently they never fixed the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The Saga Continues:

Car is still in the shop. Yesterday, I told the shop to get the part on the way. I thought the GM EV team was doing this for me.
3-5 days to get the part. I guess overnight or next day is too much to ask for this little lightweight box.
They still want me to pay for a part that took them twice to find and it takes out my Power Train after a DCFC session.

Here is Chevy's EV troubleshooting at its finest:
_________________________________________________________________
Team,

I spoke with my service manager earlier today and here is what he came up with:

RO# xxxx
VIN# KL8CL6S03EC4xxxxxx
TAC CASE # 8-455xxxxxx

“In a nut shell when he goes to the airport and hooks up to the Quick Charger there, he sets codes in the computer and the gear shifter does not recognize what gear it is in. it sets a code p1ff4-00 in the system DTC P1FF4
System Isolation / Impact Sensor Fault - Hybrid/EV Battery System Contactors Open
The HPCM2 has been replaced and all of the programming has been done. There are no SIR codes so TAC recommended replacing the Sensing Diagnostic Module since it could be causing the fault disabling the fast charge.

Conditions for Setting the DTC
• The hybrid/EV powertrain control module 1 detects a "passive" isolation fault
• P1AF0, P1AF2, or P1E22 is set in the hybrid/EV powertrain control module 1.
• The supplemental inflatable restraint module roll over, air bag, or inertia sensors are not working.
OR
• The hybrid/EV powertrain control module 1 detects a "passive" isolation fault
• P1AF0, P1AF2, or P1E22 is set in the hybrid/EV powertrain control module 1.
• DTC U184E is set.
OR
• The hybrid/EV powertrain control module 2 has lost communications with the hybrid/EV powertrain control module 1.
• DTC U184E is set.
OR
• The hybrid/EV powertrain control module 2 has lost communications with the hybrid/EV powertrain control module 1.
• The supplemental inflatable restraint module roll over, air bag, or inertia sensors are not working
The vehicle is out of the B2B warranty and the SDM is not part of the Hybrid/Volt warranty we ran a calculator and it showed customer participation at 75%.

_______________________

So, it COULD BE This OR This OR This.......Not very precise... They're throwing an $800 SDM at it. (~$237 online.)

HPCM 2 was replaced 1st try. There was NO Airbag light either time.
(Also, it changes gear selection, just NO GO Pedal response.)


I told them how unimpressed I was with this.
I work in Flight Certification. We have Break-Out Boxes and 'T'-Harnesses to gather data so we know exactly what is going on.

And I'm still not getting a straight answer to "What happens when I go directly to a DCFC station and I'm stranded again?" Do I have to also pay for the 2nd guess on their list?

Wish me luck, I might have the car back by next week sometime.... Place Yo Bets!!!
Will they fix it on the second try?

I miss my BEV....:(

(I wonder if the new Hyundai and Kia BEV's have better troubleshooting procedures in place?
They are coming out with very competitive cars to the Bolt.
Chevy is currently getting a lot (most?) of their EV components from Korea.)
 

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This happened to my Spark EV twice on DCFC session, same charger. I avoid that Autonation Chevy free 20kw CCS charger like a plague. Note - any other fast charger, including exactly same model that is close to my house, does not cause the issue. The issue is specific to 1 fast charger in my case.
Nothing needs replacing - my guesstimate it is an issue with DCFC software where on failed fast charging event DCFC contactor is left in the wrong state and it triggers isolation fault on the next isolation check. Reason for this guesstimate – my fast charge would fail, but the “Ready” is still green. If I attempt to fast charge again, the car gets disabled, same codes as your Spark EV.
What I run on my GDS2 to clear the DCFC fault is
"High Voltage 2 -> Configuration Reset Functions -> DC Charging disabled reset".
After that run the usual High Voltage Disabled reset sequence.
Note - I am rocking a salvaged Spark EV I rebuild myself, before my Tesla M3 AWD shows up, so going to the dealer is not an option...
BTW, I started carrying old laptop wit cigarette lighter charger, and GDS2 in my Spark EV so I can field reset the fault. Never needed to use the setup, but it is always there.
To the Chevy engineers, software team, if you reading this, better state cleanup is needed after failed DCFC charging event. Don't rush disabling the car...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This happened to my Spark EV twice on DCFC session, same charger. I avoid that Autonation Chevy free 20kw CCS charger like a plague. ....
Reason for this guesstimate – my fast charge would fail, but the “Ready” is still green. If I attempt to fast charge again, the car gets disabled, same codes as your Spark EV.
What I run on my GDS2 to clear the DCFC fault is
"High Voltage 2 -> Configuration Reset Functions -> DC Charging disabled reset".
After that run the usual High Voltage Disabled reset sequence.
.....
To the Chevy engineers, software team, if you reading this, better state cleanup is needed after failed DCFC charging event. Don't rush disabling the car...
Dang, it sounds like you know this chit. Maybe better than whoever is giving the dealership tech rep help...

I hope some engineers are watching and involved.
I DO NOT plan to avoid any of the 15 identical 50kW DCFC stations that are around the metro area.

I got an email from the dealer service advisor saying they got the part today (1 week after I said 'Let's do this, order the part'. I thought the Chevy HQ rep was in touch with them..).

It's getting a new SDM, the 'Black Box' crash data recorder, which is not covered by the Powertrain warranty.

I replied with this:

Subject: RE: '14 Spark EV

That’s great !
Is there any chance that it will be ready to pick up this evening?

Coincidentally, I have an O-dark-thirty airport run tomorrow morning.
I’d love to do it in the Spark EV!!
This would allow me to test it at the exact same DCFC station that I got stranded at the last two times I used that station.

I hope I don’t see you tomorrow after being towed back again.

Note:
I don’t blame you guys. GM’s EV Engineering group should be all over this situation and getting to the bottom of what was taking out my car.
I realize all you guys have is a trouble tree to follow, unless you get direct help from EV Engineering.

I’ve been asking my contacts at Chevy what happens if the car goes down for the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] time after a DCFC session?
Do I have to also pay for the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] guess in the trouble tree?

Thanks,

She replied 'Let's wait and see...'


 

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Dang, it sounds like you know this chit. Maybe better than whoever is giving the dealership tech rep help...

I hope some engineers are watching and involved.
I DO NOT plan to avoid any of the 15 identical 50kW DCFC stations that are around the metro area.

I got an email from the dealer service advisor saying they got the part today (1 week after I said 'Let's do this, order the part'. I thought the Chevy HQ rep was in touch with them..).

It's getting a new SDM, the 'Black Box' crash data recorder, which is not covered by the Powertrain warranty.

I replied with this:

Subject: RE: '14 Spark EV

That’s great !
Is there any chance that it will be ready to pick up this evening?

Coincidentally, I have an O-dark-thirty airport run tomorrow morning.
I’d love to do it in the Spark EV!!
This would allow me to test it at the exact same DCFC station that I got stranded at the last two times I used that station.

I hope I don’t see you tomorrow after being towed back again.

Note:
I don’t blame you guys. GM’s EV Engineering group should be all over this situation and getting to the bottom of what was taking out my car.
I realize all you guys have is a trouble tree to follow, unless you get direct help from EV Engineering.

I’ve been asking my contacts at Chevy what happens if the car goes down for the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] time after a DCFC session?
Do I have to also pay for the 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] guess in the trouble tree?

Thanks,

She replied 'Let's wait and see...'


I would not try it with the same physical charger that disabled you before.
In my case the same Valencia Autonation chevy 20kw charger disabled me twice.
Exact same model but different instance charger works, and the two different 50kw chargers work.
Also - if your 1st charge attempt fails due to fault, but the car is not disabled and is "Ready", do not try charging again at the same fast charger.
Best of luck, and try avoiding what my wife calls TOS (Tow Of Shame) ...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
.....do not try charging again at the same fast charger.
Best of luck, and try avoiding what my wife calls TOS (Tow Of Shame) ...
Funny! I use the same expression and I can proudly state that I have never done the TOS!!:cool:

Also funny about avoiding that one particular DCFC station...

That's exactly what the service manager told me yesterday!!
Say What?? Like,, that one is getting water in my electrons? It has a strange voodoo that can't be technically be explained?:confused:
(I have a ChargePoint email saying that station has been used many times before and after my incident, never a complaint.)

And he said if I ever get caught using that particular DCFC station and break down again,,,, NO MORE WARRANTY.
OK, he is just following whatever HQ is telling him. I asked for that in writing.

And he said the car is up and running!! They were about to drive it to the prep center where their 24kW DCFC is located.
The car would be ready on Monday. They want to test if for while longer.

And then, I find a vmail from him around 6PM saying the car failed again at their DCFC center.
They are next going to replace the module that deals with DCFC functions. :confused: ?duhh?? :rolleyes: ya think?
Oh, and they were going to overnight it! Yay! I don't have to wait another week for slow-boat shipping.:)

ps. I'm posting this as my log of this event, sorry, if it too long.

I am a fan of Chevy's EV's! I always thought a Bolt with ACC or even GM's SuperCruise would be my next car.
Now, I'm a little curious about the KIA and Hyundai BEV offerings that are coming. The next gen LR Leaf may have LG cells and a proper TMS, and ProPILOT.

pss. You know where the shame should be every time my GM is on a tow truck??:(
 

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I was going to recommend an A/B test. A: charge at another DCFC station. If A fails, then you know it's the car. If successful, then B: try the "bad" station.

Sounds like they just did that for you. Perhaps their own DCFC also has water in the electrons? :)

Anyway, good news it happened to them, that's what was needed.
 

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Funny! I use the same expression and I can proudly state that I have never done the TOS!!:cool:

[/SIZE][/COLOR]pss. You know where the shame should be every time my GM is on a tow truck??:(
Have you been towed due to disabled chevy spark EV or not :confused: ? If yes, ten that qualifies as TOS event (from my wife's POV). Being towed by chevy dealership by their tow truck == TOS .

I have never run out of juice, but came very very close ~5 times, and the two tows were due to the charger disabling my Spark EV. I have tried making my case to my wife that it is the charger that disabled and it does not qualify as TOS, but she disagrees.

That's good news that your issue is repeatable and (hopefully) fixable fast. I am all ears how it pans out to your spark. I did not think there was any unique electronics module for the fast charger - just some thick orange wires and the contractor that is controller by the battery management computer.

I analyzed chevy freeze frames and they are very non-conclusive.
I looked a few posts above about what could have caused your issue, and it is either this or this or this or this... If anything, chevy needs to improve their diagnostics tools to provide a more definitive answer...

BTW, those 24kw fast chargers are such a waste of time. I call them half-chargers...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Have you been towed due to disabled chevy spark EV or not :confused: ? If yes, ten that qualifies as TOS event (from my wife's POV). ....
OK, yes. :rolleyes:
It has been towed twice,, and maybe a third time to get it back to the dealership from their prep shop!!
But it was not self-induced towing by me being an idiot, so I feel no personal shame.:eek:

Whoever mans the EV tech support desk and whoever authors this trouble tree and the training courses for technicians should feel the shame.
Once: This might have been a brand new problem with a Chevy BEV.:confused:
Twice, or 3 times for the same exact problem: Shame on them.:mad:
 

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Any new development?
Are you fast charging again or is your Spark EV still in the chevy's shop?
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Standby for News!!

I was told it is ready for pickup on Friday. (I got the old familiar txt from my car earlier that day saying it was done charging!!)

So I swing by the dealer on Saturday morning to pick it up and they want to charge me $344 instead of the original quote of $800.
They want me to pay for the 2nd Module replacement that DID NOT fix the problem.

It then took another week to get the 3rd Module and evidently that was the one that fixed the Whole Problem,,,
over a month in the shop.

This 2nd Module is the SDM which is sort of the 'Flight Data Recorder' for the car. It has accelerometers and G sensors to detect and save data from a Collision Event.
And it's not covered by the Voltec Warranty.

The dealer says "We have to follow GM's Trouble Tree" and that was the 2nd thing to 'TRY',,, at my expense.
The 3rd thing on the Trouble Tree fixed it.

I say "Put my original SDM back in the car and send the new one back to GM for a FACTORY RESET". The claim is "It can't be reset".

I walked out without my car. This is ridiculous.

GM really needs to enter the future and provide some Data Gathering Troubleshooting Tools to help the Service Techs, (and the Field Service Engineers, who were very late to this party) to KNOW EXACTLY what the problem is.

"Let's try Throwing this $800 module at the car and see if it fixes it,,, at the owner's expense",, does not cut it in 2018.

I am not impressed with GM at the moment......
 

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Standby for News!!

I was told it is ready for pickup on Friday. (I got the old familiar txt from my car earlier that day saying it was done charging!!)

So I swing by the dealer on Saturday morning to pick it up and they want to charge me $344 instead of the original quote of $800.
They want me to pay for the 2nd Module replacement that DID NOT fix the problem.

It then took another week to get the 3rd Module and evidently that was the one that fixed the Whole Problem,,,
over a month in the shop.

This 2nd Module is the SDM which is sort of the 'Flight Data Recorder' for the car. It has accelerometers and G sensors to detect and save data from a Collision Event.
And it's not covered by the Voltec Warranty.

The dealer says "We have to follow GM's Trouble Tree" and that was the 2nd thing to 'TRY',,, at my expense.
The 3rd thing on the Trouble Tree fixed it.

I say "Put my original SDM back in the car and send the new one back to GM for a FACTORY RESET". The claim is "It can't be reset".

I walked out without my car. This is ridiculous.

GM really needs to enter the future and provide some Data Gathering Troubleshooting Tools to help the Service Techs, (and the Field Service Engineers, who were very late to this party) to KNOW EXACTLY what the problem is.

"Let's try Throwing this $800 module at the car and see if it fixes it,,, at the owner's expense",, does not cut it in 2018.

I am not impressed with GM at the moment......
What is GMs technical name and part # for the 3rd Module that fixed the problem?
It should be listed on the summary paper the dealer gives you when you check out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Paper work has:
AFTER REPLACEMENT OF SDM, CODE PIFF4-00 WOULDN'T CLEAR OUT OF
HPCM2- ART WARRANTY OF HPCM2
HAD INTERNAL FAILURE OF MODULE
PER TAC REPLACED HPCM2.


Above this info it lists 'FP-NUMBER':
13518048
24283993
Then a -1 for Core Return of same number.
23453239
----Looked this one up:Inverter & mounting, battery disconnect. Spark EV. Acsry dc pwr cont. With fast charging.
Yep, the 3rd guess.

So,, 3 "MODULES". There is no description of these part numbers.

I know the 1st time the HPCM2 was replaced, and the car failed at the next DCFC session 1 week later.

I have the Vmail from 2 weeks ago Friday with the Service Manager stating they were going to 'overnight' the 3rd guess on the Trouble Tree, (which they didn't. It got ordered later in the week), and it was covered by the Voltec Warranty.

THE issue is: Asking me to pay for an $800 GUESS from this Trouble Tree.


Again, I don't blame the local Dealership. They are stuck in the middle.
They claim they have to follow the Trouble Tree and eventually Field Service Engineering (TAC) got on the job.

The author, or group, that created this Trouble Tree needs to explain why they think a DCFC session would cause the SDM to see it as a COLLISION EVENT and lock out the HV RELAY.

I don't believe that the SDM can't have a factory reset.
And I definitely don't believe the Customer should pay for this LEARNING EXPERIENCE for EV Engineering at GM.

GM needs to provide modern Data Gathering Tools to Service Techs so it doesn't take 3 guesses to fix modern EV's.

How many of these modules ended up in the chit can? Does GM repair these modules and put them back in service?


How would this look on Social Media if this were a new Bolt with 37k miles?
3 Guesses down.
$800 bill.
Over 1 Month in shop.
 

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That is interesting.
23453239 is the top electronic unit on the stack under the plastic cover that the DCFC fast charging wires connect to. I assume that's were the fast charging contactor is located. Contactor has not failed. I have a feeling this is firmware issue. The fast charger aborts and leaves the DCFC in bad state. Sending that command, DCFC contactor reset, followed by re-enabling the car fixed the issue in my case...
If your Spark EV is under warranty, why should you pay for anything?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
...If your Spark EV is under warranty, why should you pay for anything?
The SDM is not part of the Voltec Warranty.
The other 2 modules are covered by the Voltec Warranty.
The SDM was the 2nd 'Try' using the Trouble Tree.
The 3rd 'Try' fixed it.

Regardless, this is a corporate issue: Asking a customer to pay for a $800 module that DID NOT fix the problem.
 

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If the stored fault logic is something like Fault = (A or B or C), you should not have to trouble shoot this by replacing modules at the owner's expense! There should be a way to determine if it is A or B or C by using a bus analyzer or connector breakout box. The troubleshooting tree should include these steps to determine whether it is A or B or C before calling for replacing any modules.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
If the stored fault logic is something like Fault = (A or B or C), you should not have to trouble shoot this by replacing modules at the owner's expense!
There should be a way to determine if it is A or B or C by using a bus analyzer or connector breakout box. The troubleshooting tree should include these steps to determine whether it is A or B or C before calling for replacing any modules.
Exactly.

I find it hard to believe that GM does not troubleshoot without guessing in a certain sequence.

How do other car manufacturers handle this sort of issue?
 
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