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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Transmission failure/replacement after 2600 miles

Tonight I got back into town after leaving my 2017 Volt at the airport for about 10 days. The car was parked in a covered spot and plugged into an L2 charger the whole time. Temperatures ranged from probably around 15-70 degrees while I was gone.

Ambient temperature was about 20 degrees tonight when I got in. I knew something may be problematic when I couldn't precondition the car via the OnStar app. I just kept getting an error message in the app saying the car couldn't be communicated with even though I was able to view the charge status, etc. in the app.

When I got close to the car in the shuttle bus I tried to use the key fob to start the precondition mode but the car would just flash the turn signals so I knew it wasn't working (usually the actual taillights would turn on).

When I actually got to the car I was able to unlock the doors with the proximity button on the handles.

Got in the car, push the button to start and the car turns on like normal with the dash displays, except no "READY" indicator and the check engine light to the right of the screen is on. I also noticed that the heated seats would not turn on even though the rest of the center console things seemed to be working (radio, climate control, etc.).

I turned the car off and back on several times and this same condition persisted. I called OnStar and they ran diagnostics and said they saw "Problem with electric propulsion system - Service vehicle immediately". OnStar suggested that I turn the car off, get out, and walk a good distance away (taking the key with me) for a few minutes to allow it to reboot. I did this and returned to the car.

When I got back in the car and pushed the power button I got the message "Key not present" which I have had issues with in the past. I placed the key in the special spot in the center console and pushed the power button again. This time the car turned on and I got the "READY" indicator, but the check engine light was still on.

I wanted to see if the engine would start so first I went into the climate control menu and changed the engine assisted heat from Deferred to On. It was only 20 degrees so I figured this would cause the engine to start. Nothing happened.

I then put the car in Hold mode but the engine didn't start then either.

I was concerned at this point that I may be able to drive the car but that the engine wouldn't work and I live just slightly beyond EV range from the airport. I called OnStar again and they reported that they still saw the same Electric Propulsion System message. They offered to transfer me to roadside assistance to see if they would be willing to tow me all the way back to my town rather than the Chevy dealer close to the airport.

The OnStar roadside assistance people were useless. First they kept asking me if I need somebody to come jumpstart the car so they obviously aren't familiar with the Volt. Then they told me that the towing is only for 25 miles maximum so I would have to pay for anything beyond that. I also kept encountering OnStar reps who told me that the "Volt Advisors" leave at 8 PM so after that there is no specialty assistance for Volt owners. I guess we aren't supposed to drive after 8 PM...

After hanging up with OnStar I turned the car off again and turned it back on. This time the engine started immediately and I got the engine running due to temperature message that I expected. The check engine light was still on but I was able to drive home successfully. The car seemed to be performing fine other than the check engine light being on.

Has anybody else had this issue? Is this a random problem or could it have something to do with the car sitting outside at the airport for 10 days? The first OnStar advisor seemed to think it shouldn't be left plugged in for that long but I've never heard of that being an issue.

I guess I need to take it to the dealer now since the check engine light remains on.
 

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when you change the assisted heat thing you have to cycle power to make it take effect to the new setting
 

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I have not had this happen to me but, I can tell you that the Onstar module will shut down after a few days of inactivity. That explains why you could not get the app to work. And if I remember correctly, making a change of the ERDTT setting also requires a restart before the setting is changed. You could have just popped the hood with the car on to see if the engine will start.
The other symptoms sound familiar and there may be a software update to address what you encountered, so a dealer visit is in order.
Is it possible that the Check Engine lamp was on when you parked it? Remote starts are disabled if there is a MIL.
 

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Sorry to hear about your troubles -- 2017 owner here who's car decided to just die in the middle of driving home from work and left me stranded on the side of the road. (12V system died after I got underway)

I'll say this -- don't expect GM to be particularly helpful, after I got my car back from being towed/fixed (2nd time it's had fuse/electrical issues) when I started asking questions or to talk to someone higher up the Volt Advisors/GM reps here on the forum just tried to spin me around and say "we cant give out that information", but we can refer you back to the dealer.

For me, it was some fuse that blew making the 12V system not ever able to top up. First time it was in the shop a high voltage fuse blew. Apparently the volt eats all the rare fuses you throw at it.

The car itself when working is amazing, but I've had mine a little over 6 months and between the problems and GM as a company being a dick I'll actually be looking into a Model3 a year or two after release. It feels wrong and weird to say that especially considering I JUST bought my volt.
 

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Onstar should have added the "open the hood advice."

and good idea to have any on site service check 12 Volt battery voltage
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies. A few points in response to some of the questions:

- The car definitely didn't have the CEL on when I parked it. Everything was working fine.

- It seems unlikely to me that there was a power surge or anything with a fuse since the car is now running.

- The onstar app was working because I could view the charge status, tire pressures, etc and update them fine. It just wouldn't work to do the precondition.

I also want to add that the car functioned fine on the way home and switched between the engine on and off multiple times for the assisted heating.

How would the 12-Volt battery come into play in my situation? Seems like if it was low on power it would remain that way unless somehow the traction battery was able to charge up the 12 Volt one?

It seems odd to me with the key not present message as well, as if somehow that could be related but maybe not. Once I got home I turned the car off and then a few minutes later needed to move it and it turned on fine with the key in my pocket (not in the "special spot" in the center console. The check engine light is still on though.
 

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It could have been a stuck contactor. Sitting that long in the cold, it may have had problems closing the HV contactor for powering on the high voltage system.

I doubt it would be a 12V system issue because it ended up starting after several tries and stayed on the entire way home. The car can't run without sufficient 12V voltage to maintain the computers for the HV system.
 

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I'm not 100% certain on a gen 2 car, but first generation Volts stop talking to OnStar after three or four days parked to save the battery and I suspect the new cars do the same.

Hold mode won't turn the engine on until you start driving.
 

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I would think the car would have generat some codes, so to be safe I'd schedule a visit to your local for a check up. BTW was your car involved in the recent RECALL?
 

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^^^ Yeah, what Bazinga said.

Had mine done yesterday (took ~30 minutes) and it immediately came to mind reading your post. You'll have to reset to the "deferred" assisted engine heat setting. My ICE came on when I went to leave the dealership (the temp was 20 deg F) though I had previously set it on the deferred setting. I changed it without effect, and that's when I realized I needed to shut everything off to have it take effect.
 
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Tonight I got back into town after leaving my 2017 Volt at the airport for about 10 days. The car was parked in a covered spot and plugged into an L2 charger the whole time. Temperatures ranged from probably around 15-70 degrees while I was gone.

Ambient temperature was about 20 degrees tonight when I got in. I knew something may be problematic when I couldn't precondition the car via the OnStar app. I just kept getting an error message in the app saying the car couldn't be communicated with even though I was able to view the charge status, etc. in the app.

When I got close to the car in the shuttle bus I tried to use the key fob to start the precondition mode but the car would just flash the turn signals so I knew it wasn't working (usually the actual taillights would turn on).

When I actually got to the car I was able to unlock the doors with the proximity button on the handles.

Got in the car, push the button to start and the car turns on like normal with the dash displays, except no "READY" indicator and the check engine light to the right of the screen is on. I also noticed that the heated seats would not turn on even though the rest of the center console things seemed to be working (radio, climate control, etc.).

I turned the car off and back on several times and this same condition persisted. I called OnStar and they ran diagnostics and said they saw "Problem with electric propulsion system - Service vehicle immediately". OnStar suggested that I turn the car off, get out, and walk a good distance away (taking the key with me) for a few minutes to allow it to reboot. I did this and returned to the car.

When I got back in the car and pushed the power button I got the message "Key not present" which I have had issues with in the past. I placed the key in the special spot in the center console and pushed the power button again. This time the car turned on and I got the "READY" indicator, but the check engine light was still on.

I wanted to see if the engine would start so first I went into the climate control menu and changed the engine assisted heat from Deferred to On. It was only 20 degrees so I figured this would cause the engine to start. Nothing happened.

I then put the car in Hold mode but the engine didn't start then either.

I was concerned at this point that I may be able to drive the car but that the engine wouldn't work and I live just slightly beyond EV range from the airport. I called OnStar again and they reported that they still saw the same Electric Propulsion System message. They offered to transfer me to roadside assistance to see if they would be willing to tow me all the way back to my town rather than the Chevy dealer close to the airport.

The OnStar roadside assistance people were useless. First they kept asking me if I need somebody to come jumpstart the car so they obviously aren't familiar with the Volt. Then they told me that the towing is only for 25 miles maximum so I would have to pay for anything beyond that. I also kept encountering OnStar reps who told me that the "Volt Advisors" leave at 8 PM so after that there is no specialty assistance for Volt owners. I guess we aren't supposed to drive after 8 PM...

After hanging up with OnStar I turned the car off again and turned it back on. This time the engine started immediately and I got the engine running due to temperature message that I expected. The check engine light was still on but I was able to drive home successfully. The car seemed to be performing fine other than the check engine light being on.

Has anybody else had this issue? Is this a random problem or could it have something to do with the car sitting outside at the airport for 10 days? The first OnStar advisor seemed to think it shouldn't be left plugged in for that long but I've never heard of that being an issue.

I guess I need to take it to the dealer now since the check engine light remains on.
I do apologize if this incident caused you any undue stress or inconvenience, VoltFish. This is definitely not a situation we'd like for our customers to experience, and if you'd like, our team is happy to lend you our assistance.

Firstly, I'd like to provide some clarification on your OnStar-specific concerns. Please know that the current generation of OnStar hardware present in your vehicle goes into a sleep mode after 48 hours. In order to use the app Remote Start feature again, a physical ignition cycle must take place. However, this does not excuse the inconvenience or frustration caused to you when you called in, and for this I do apologize.

I'd also like to offer you our assistance while your Volt is at your dealership. If you'd like, we can certainly work alongside them throughout diagnosis/service.

If we can assist you in any way, or help to answer any additional questions/concerns you may have, please feel free to send us a private message.

Amber G.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Firstly, I'd like to provide some clarification on your OnStar-specific concerns. Please know that the current generation of OnStar hardware present in your vehicle goes into a sleep mode after 48 hours. In order to use the app Remote Start feature again, a physical ignition cycle must take place. However, this does not excuse the inconvenience or frustration caused to you when you called in, and for this I do apologize.

I'd also like to offer you our assistance while your Volt is at your dealership. If you'd like, we can certainly work alongside them throughout diagnosis/service.
Thanks. I want to point out that the information regarding OnStar seems to be incorrect. I have left my car at the airport multiple times in the past for 4, 5, 6 days at a time and was always able to use the precondition feature via the OnStar app before I got back to the car. Even on this present trip with the car experiencing an issue I was still always able to check the status of the car and see the charge level, tire pressures, etc. across the entire 10 day trip so it seems like OnStar remains active and able to communicate in my car far beyond the stated 48-hour period.

Since the car wouldn't go to READY even when I was sitting in it I don't think the issue had anything to do with OnStar sending the command. It looks like the car just wouldn't start whether it was with the key or the OnStar app.

I took the car to the dealer this morning and asked the to go ahead and do the TSB for the remote receiver module since I have had the issue with "Key not present" in the past. They ordered the part for that. For the main issue they just called me and told me that the car is so new they aren't familiar with the codes, etc. and have emailed GM or the Volt group or something and are waiting a response back to determine what the next steps are.
 

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My guess is the battery was the 12v battery was a bit too low on power after sitting for a week and in the cold. I had a similar issue with my Gen1 where it was cold and the electronics powered up but the car wouldn't move. I could shift in to drive but the pedal did nothing and the CEL was on. It felt like the car was half on and half off. It took about 15 attempts to get it "started" and then it started working and I went to get a new battery.
 

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My guess is the battery was the 12v battery was a bit too low on power after sitting for a week and in the cold. I had a similar issue with my Gen1 where it was cold and the electronics powered up but the car wouldn't move. I could shift in to drive but the pedal did nothing and the CEL was on. It felt like the car was half on and half off. It took about 15 attempts to get it "started" and then it started working and I went to get a new battery.
The Gen 2 should keep the 12V battery charged while plugged in. I've seen the interior light brightness jump a little up and down if I'm sitting with the doors open and the car plugged in, as it cycles the the 12V charger on and off as it gets low.
 

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...Firstly, I'd like to provide some clarification on your OnStar-specific concerns. Please know that the current generation of OnStar hardware present in your vehicle goes into a sleep mode after 48 hours. In order to use the app Remote Start feature again, a physical ignition cycle must take place. However, this does not excuse the inconvenience or frustration caused to you when you called in, and for this I do apologize....
Well, that is good to know. I've had that happen a few times.
 

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Thanks. I want to point out that the information regarding OnStar seems to be incorrect. I have left my car at the airport multiple times in the past for 4, 5, 6 days at a time and was always able to use the precondition feature via the OnStar app before I got back to the car. Even on this present trip with the car experiencing an issue I was still always able to check the status of the car and see the charge level, tire pressures, etc. across the entire 10 day trip so it seems like OnStar remains active and able to communicate in my car far beyond the stated 48-hour period.

Since the car wouldn't go to READY even when I was sitting in it I don't think the issue had anything to do with OnStar sending the command. It looks like the car just wouldn't start whether it was with the key or the OnStar app.

I took the car to the dealer this morning and asked the to go ahead and do the TSB for the remote receiver module since I have had the issue with "Key not present" in the past. They ordered the part for that. For the main issue they just called me and told me that the car is so new they aren't familiar with the codes, etc. and have emailed GM or the Volt group or something and are waiting a response back to determine what the next steps are.
Did the "key not present" happen with both of your fobs?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Did the "key not present" happen with both of your fobs?
Yes. The dealer is replacing the RCDLR module per TSB 16-NA-396 to address that issue now. No word on the main problem with the car not starting properly yet though.
 

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Similar weirdness on my 2016.

Twice, before 15,000

They tested the 12v over and over, after second failure, it finally faulted.

Battery replaced and those troubles went away.

Infotainment is still quite glitchy. Did not act as it should twice today and it's been driven twice. Many times it does things other then the command, and sometimes screen flow changes. More glitchy with Bluetooth connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay, so update...

The dealer called back after talking to the GM people. Apparently somehow the transmission and the electric motors are having a problem and causing things to overcharge. They are replacing the whole transmission unit! Not sure if that includes the electric motors too or what as I'm not that familiar with how all the Voltec pieces fit together. They said it was good I didn't keep driving it... kind of sounded like something bad could happen in that condition.

So... brand new car, 2600 miles on odometer. Transmission replacement. Making me rethink my change of heart with domestic cars that brought me over to the Volt in the first place.
 
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