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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
 

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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
I had to leave my Volt parked outside 3 1/2 days during maybe the coldest spell in recorded history in central Mi, as in Friday morning it was -24 F. Monday afternoon (temp like 8 F) it started just fine. I think it takes central Canada type cold to brick a Volt.
 

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If an ICE car can start, so can your Volt. I've had three Volts through three Colorado winters and they perform better than any other front wheel drive car I've owned.
 

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Anywhere your Volt can get, a AAA tow truck can get. I hope you wouldn't call Search & Rescue in such an instance.
 

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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
The "Plug In To Warm" message would only appear if the traction battery itself were to get very, very, very cold. I don't recall the exact temperature that triggers this but I'm thinking that it is -20F or lower. That's battery temp NOT air temp.
The battery is very well insulated and sealed in an metal box. I don't believe any forum members have ever seen the Plug In To Warm warning, and that includes some that live in Alaska and those of us caught in the lower 48 winter of 2013.
Putting a stove under the Volt battery would be a very bad idea. Too many things to go horribly wrong there.
 

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Maybe we should start with where you read such a thing.
Well, they could have read it in the owners manual in the Vehicle Messages section.
 

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As others say, the Volt is not going to be any worse starting in the cold than an ICE, which will often have issues cold soaked to -20 F. I have seen plug into warm message, but it was glitch from sensor not reporting correctly. My Volt had no issues moving at -25 F in the morning parked outside over-night.
 

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I park outside at work (with no opportunity to plug-in), and in February we had a couple days of -35 F weather. After eight hours in these conditions my Volt started, but switched immediately from battery to ICE. This car is amazing. I don't think you need to be concerned about cold weather conditions because this car has been designed and tested to handle it.
 

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Well, they could have read it in the owners manual in the Vehicle Messages section.
BATTERY TOO COLD, PLUG IN TO WARM

This message displays during extremely cold temperatures, when the vehicle will not start until the high voltage battery is warm
enough. Plug the vehicle in and make sure the power button is off to allow the charging system to warm the high voltage battery, then the vehicle can be started.
Well that's nice and vague. Do I have to be in the arctic circle to qualify for "extremely cold temperatures"?
 

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Well that's nice and vague. Do I have to be in the arctic circle to qualify for "extremely cold temperatures"?
I can't think of a reason that a warning couldn't be written in the manual stating that below a specific temperature there may be a message given to plug in to heat the battery before starting, and that would be the temperature that the battery was at for the message to be given, not merely the OAT. Someone at GM thought otherwise <shrug> 8^/
 

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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
When your cold weather makes you look like this...your Volt MAY have trouble starting, but I doubt it...:rolleyes:
 

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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
Use the same excuse you have if your actual car doesn't start. Because from my experience with my Volt, you'll have more problems with an ICE car to start than with the Volt. At even -32 C the Volt starts just great. No ICE cars though. They have problems to even cycle the starter. And I am sure no person goes hiking at -32 C unless he/she is NUTS !
 

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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
When the battery pack gets down to -17F, the electrolyte in the cells will start freezing - which is the point where the plug in to warm message would show up.

Mind you, the pack is ~400 pounds of well insulated thermal mass, and the car warms it during the drive and while plugged in, so the only way to get the pack that cold is to leave it unplugged in temperatures colder than that for a few days - we have never seen it actually happen on a car in the forums.

You don't want to light a stove under the car.
 

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If your car can't start because it's that cold, what the hell is a human doing "hiking" around the country side.
 

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I hike and climb mountains in remote wilderness areas during the winter. I read that the Volt gives a warning and refuses to operate at cold temperatures unless the charger is plugged into an electrical outlet. I want to know what excuse to provide Search & Rescue when I need to be rescued off a Fourteener because my car will not start. Temperatures in Colorado are often below zero during the winter. At what temperature is my Volt going to refuse to start at a trailhead without an electrical outlet to warm the battery system? Will lighting a backpacking stove beneath the Volt warm the battery pack enough to begin operating?

http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/02/28/colorado-a-winter-climb-of-quandary-peak/
-4x4 isn't mandatory to get to these trailheads in the winter?
-If a search and rescue team is required instead of a tow truck, is your lack of preparation in picking out a vehicle that suits your needs a good excuse to put their lives in danger?

I am not sure what you would tell them. You could get some practice by calling 911 and tell them your pizza order wasn't correct.
 

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Don't think anyone has ever reported seeing this message in real life (yet)
There is a stage in extreme cold where it limits battery use and runs more or less like a normal ICE vehicle (you'll hear engine RPMs more or less track with pedal demand) until the battery has warmed up enough and then it will resume normal operation.

To get colder than that and receive this legendary 'plug in to warm', I'd suspect any ICE would be long dead as the lead acid starter battery would be frozen and useless.

Put it this way - at -23C it took 9-10hours to just enter the upper threshold of this extreme cold mode.
If you are somehow away from your vehicle that long in such extreme cold (and longer), you have bigger things to worry about than your car freezing. Namely, yourself freezing.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
14,000-foot Summits in Winter

If your car can't start because it's that cold, what the hell is a human doing "hiking" around the country side.
I grew-up in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. My coldest hike was -70 when the battery in my VW microbus froze while I was driving down a rural road. A few winters ago, I hiked up four Fourteeners in November-February. After a few photographs at each summit, the shutter on my Nikon froze. It was -20 to -40 with high wind chills at the summits. I drove a Prius to the trailheads of 40 Fourteeners in 2011. No need for AWD. A low-clearance hybrid was fine for a careful driver.
 

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Technically the "Plug In to Warm" message appears when the average CELL temperature reaches -13F (-25C) on 2011-12 and -22F (-30C) on 2013 and up. However due to car the insulative nature and location of the battery pack it would typically need to be sitting unplugged for at least 24hrs at these temps before the cells would cool to ambient. Wind chill temps are of course not a really a factor but high winds blowing under the car may affect the heat dissipation rate.

PS> I wouldn't recommend applying any source of external heat to the battery pack let alone a trail stove!! lol

Welcome to gm-volt.com

WopOnTour
 

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I've never seen this mode, but during Snowageddon, the volt suddenly starting the ice with a low rumbling sound startled me a few times. It runs at a very high speed to warm the antifreeze to warm the battery cells. It's an amazing bit of engineering. My diesel tractor wouldn't start, so I couldn't go anywhere anyway since I couldn't plow my driveway. Lucky for me I can work from home as all my meetings are online meetings anyway.
 
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