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Hey there.

My wife took a trip last week to our cottage 500km from home. She ran the charge down and the generator kicked in and she continued her trip, no problems.While going up long hill through the mountains she encountered a propulsion power is reduced indicater. This has happened a few times while going up large hills for prolonged periods. I believe this is normal.

She arrived at the cottage no problems and for the next few days ran the Volt on generator power only as she was unsure how to, or where to plug the car in. There were no issues or warnings for a couple of days.

The day she was to leave for home, she got in the car and pushed the Power/Start button and released the Park Brake. She put it into Drive, let her foot off the brake pedal and the car rolled backwards and up against a pile of gravel which thankfully stopped her from hitting the cottage.

The car did light up upon pushing the Start button but did not have the usual startup sound. There was no power to the wheels to move her forwards.

There was a warning indication "Battery saver active" first then later said service brake assist. At this time she could not shut the car off or reboot and resart. The dash remained lit up, but still no drive power.

I informed her to plug the car in and charge it for an hour and see what happens. She tried and the car finally shut down, or at least the dash went to sleep and was no longer lit up. At this time, she could not lock the doors with the remote or the door button.
I told her to unplug and leave it, at least it was no longer actively lit up.

5 days later we arrived back at the cottage and i wanted to plug the Volt in and give it a complete charge to see if that clears anything up. The car was completely dead. I could not even open the power plug door and the doors were still unlocked and did not respond to the key fob.

I am thinking that the regular 12 volt car battery is completely discharged as well as the drive batteries.

Thoughts?
 

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I informed her to plug the car in and charge it for an hour and see what happens. She tried and the car finally shut down, or at least the dash went to sleep and was no longer lit up. At this time, she could not lock the doors with the remote or the door button.
I told her to unplug and leave it, at least it was no longer actively lit up.
5 days later we arrived back at the cottage and i wanted to plug the Volt in and give it a complete charge to see if that clears anything up. The car was completely dead. I could not even open the power plug door and the doors were still unlocked and did not respond to the key fob.
I am thinking that the regular 12 volt car battery is completely discharged as well as the drive batteries.

Thoughts?
12-volt is dead at least. It'll need a few hours on a battery charger with an AGM setting and MAYBE replacement. APM (Aux Power Module) that converts 360v DC to 14v DC may need reprogramming/repair/replacement as well, but that would be the CAUSE of the problem, not fallout. I suspect that the reduced power message and all that is completely unrelated and normal operation, and the problem is entirely that the marginal 12v sat for a few days unplugged which was enough to push the voltage even lower, which meant that computers didn't all start up properly when it became time to go home. And that's the generalized symptom of "Volt 12v battery failing" is that wacky electronic stuff happens occasionally, getting worse over time, until the 12v is replaced. Among the "wacky electronic stuff" that can happen is "APM not turning on" and "high-voltage contactors not turning on", so it's really easy for a marginal 12v to turn into a completely drained 12v by any of many failure paths.
 

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Dead 12 volt battery.
Try a jump start using the under the hood terminals. If the car starts and runs, you have only a 12 volt battery problem. If the car starts, then dies when the jump battery is removed, the DC to DC Aux Power Module (alternator) has failed and will have to be towed.
 

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How can the make and model be unknown? When shopping for a car, I insist on knowing the year, make, and model.
 

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... While going up long hill through the mountains she encountered a propulsion power is reduced indicater. This has happened a few times while going up large hills for prolonged periods. I believe this is normal ... Thoughts?
After you get the VOLT repaired, consider trying "Mountain Mode" while going up long hill through the mountains. Note, that if you don't have sufficient battery charge remaining, Mountain Mode needs to be selected some tens of minutes before the climb (so the propulsion battery can be partially charged above "0" EV miles). See the manual for more information on Mountain Mode, if you don't have one, pdfs are readily available online.

>>I could not even open the power plug door
So, sounds like pre 2014 Gen 1. I think (?) my 2014 charge door was all manual, just push to open.

>>Year, make model unknown
What is with the original title? Did you borrow the VOLT from a relative or friend?
 

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After you get the VOLT repaired, consider trying "Mountain Mode" while going up long hill through the mountains. Note, that if you don't have sufficient battery charge remaining, Mountain Mode needs to be selected some tens of minutes before the climb (so the propulsion battery can be partially charged above "0" EV miles). See the manual for more information on Mountain Mode, if you don't have one, pdfs are readily available online.

>>I could not even open the power plug door
So, sounds like pre 2014 Gen 1. I think (?) my 2014 charge door was all manual, just push to open.

>>Year, make model unknown
What is with the original title? Did you borrow the VOLT from a relative or friend?
And if the OP can jump start the car, put it into mountain mode right away, build up some miles.
 

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It sounds like the incident started with a service mode mistake - if the car doesn't think you're pressing the brake pedal and you hold the On button for several seconds, it will start in Service Mode, which looks like it's on, but there's no little green car in the lower left and no propulsion.

As noted above, at this point your main problem is a dead 12V battery, which may simply be discharged or might be faulty. The car won't charge if plugged in after turning on, including in Service Mode.
 

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How can the make and model be unknown? When shopping for a car, I insist on knowing the year, make, and model.
It's unknown when someone posts an issue and doesn't list those details. The OP has now posted them. :)
 

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I had the service mode issue one time unexpectedly, and I agree, that's what it sounds like may have happened.

FWIW the brakes WILL still work when there's no boost assistance - one just needs to push the brake pedal harder - a LOT harder, but the car will stop. Alternately, use the emergency brake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies and info.

The GM dealership found me a battery, but it was 4 days away. I was quoted $361.96, I talked him down to wholesale at $243.25
I called Lordco to see if they could get me one quicker or even cheaper. They could get one in 5 hours. I was quoted $349.00, I was able to purchase wholesale at $229.24. I picked it up and will install it in the morning. Fingers crossed.
FYI. I did jump the car with my booster pack and it fired up. Removed booster and it continued to run. Great news.
Does not appear to be charging though as the yellow light indicator is not lit. No worries, fingers crossed tommorrow when i replace.
Thanks again. Will update when i am finished.
 

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Thanks for the replies and info.

The GM dealership found me a battery, but it was 4 days away. I was quoted $361.96, I talked him down to wholesale at $243.25
I called Lordco to see if they could get me one quicker or even cheaper. They could get one in 5 hours. I was quoted $349.00, I was able to purchase wholesale at $229.24. I picked it up and will install it in the morning. Fingers crossed.
FYI. I did jump the car with my booster pack and it fired up. Removed booster and it continued to run. Great news.
Does not appear to be charging though as the yellow light indicator is not lit. No worries, fingers crossed tommorrow when i replace.
Thanks again. Will update when i am finished.
They're $165 at Sears this week. http://www.sears.com/diehard-advanc...sellerId=SEARS&prdNo=1&blockNo=1&blockType=G1
 

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FYI. I did jump the car with my booster pack and it fired up. Removed booster and it continued to run. Great news.
Does not appear to be charging though as the yellow light indicator is not lit. No worries, fingers crossed tommorrow when i replace.
Thanks again. Will update when i am finished.
Also you're missing some details or steps in here. I'm pretty sure the Volt will not start charging while it's on. You can turn it on, AFTER it's started charging and it'll put ~500 watts to running the car and whatever's left to charging. Which might not be a lot on an 8-amp L1 plug. But if the 12v is dead, then there's no way for the car to notice that the charging plug has been inserted so it can't start charging then. So you have to

1. jumpstart car.
2. drive or let it sit while on for an hour or so, to hopefully get some charge into the 12v.
3. turn car off.
4. Plug car in.
5. THEN you should get the yellow then green light and the car will charge.

Without step 2, you're just in the "dead car" state and have to start all over again. (Alternatively, you can just go put in the new (hopefully charged) 12v and plug in to bring back everything to a steady state, but not everybody will have easy means to bring the 12v to the car, as opposed to having to use the car to go get the 12v.)
 

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Also you're missing some details or steps in here. I'm pretty sure the Volt will not start charging while it's on. You can turn it on, AFTER it's started charging and it'll put ~500 watts to running the car and whatever's left to charging. Which might not be a lot on an 8-amp L1 plug. But if the 12v is dead, then there's no way for the car to notice that the charging plug has been inserted so it can't start charging then. So you have to

1. jumpstart car.
2. drive or let it sit while on for an hour or so, to hopefully get some charge into the 12v.
3. turn car off.
4. Plug car in.
5. THEN you should get the yellow then green light and the car will charge.

Without step 2, you're just in the "dead car" state and have to start all over again. (Alternatively, you can just go put in the new (hopefully charged) 12v and plug in to bring back everything to a steady state, but not everybody will have easy means to bring the 12v to the car, as opposed to having to use the car to go get the 12v.)
Once started, the OP could also put it into Mountain Mode and let the ICE charge the traction battery which should in turn attempt charge the 12V. I've never done this, but I'd guess it would not need an hour in MM.
 

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Once started, the OP could also put it into Mountain Mode and let the ICE charge the traction battery which should in turn attempt charge the 12V. I've never done this, but I'd guess it would not need an hour in MM.
~20 minutes, and a third of a gallon, IIRC. But just being ON should fire up the APM to charge the 12v.
 

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Just by simply plugging into L1/L2 provides @14VDC trickle charge to the AGM while charging as well...
Right, but only if the car already has 12v power. A dead car will not handshake with the EVSE to even start charging. I'm pretty sure a car that's turned on will not either. Without a live, functional 12v, you cannot start charging the HV system, which means you cannot start charging the 12v either.
 

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If you call Sears and buy it from them over the phone (at least this is how I did this yesterday) they will also give you a coupon for $20 off. My total including taxes ended up at 159 bucks!
 
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