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Discussion Starter #21
Though I’ll bet most ICE mechanics won’t touch the volt given all the extra high voltage parts. It might cost a little more for a Voltec Technician to perform the transplant, but it might be worth it. So $2k, yeah, $7k, no way
This is my current strategy actually. I am hoping to find a newer engine from Japan and have a local mechanic drop it in for cash. I am hoping to pay 2-3k for it. But trying to find someone willing and able to do it might be tricky.
 

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This is my current strategy actually. I am hoping to find a newer engine from Japan and have a local mechanic drop it in for cash. I am hoping to pay 2-3k for it. But trying to find someone willing and able to do it might be tricky.
I believe that Mexico was the country in which the Volt ICE was manufactured. There were plans to bring the manufacturing into the US, but, I don’t think that happened. Japan wasn’t involved in the manufacture of the ICE, AFAIK. I would look at getting a Volt ICE from a junk yard and finding a mechanic to do the replacement. Good luck with your repair.
 

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A competent mechanic should be able to do an engine swap on a Volt. The high voltage components need not be removed, although it would be wise to pull the propulsion battery disconnect (located under the mat in the bottom of the center console) after disconnecting the 12v battery, just to be safe.
 

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This is my current strategy actually. I am hoping to find a newer engine from Japan and have a local mechanic drop it in for cash. I am hoping to pay 2-3k for it. But trying to find someone willing and able to do it might be tricky.
where are you located?
 

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According to a member's post (frankydude) on this thread, 2012s are prone to this problem:

I would think any competent mechanic can do a compression/blowdown test for less than your dealer quoted you.

Good luck and please let us know what happens.
 

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According to a member's post (frankydude) on this thread, 2012s are prone to this problem:

I would think any competent mechanic can do a compression/blowdown test for less than your dealer quoted you.

Good luck and please let us know what happens.
If you think about it, usually a compression test involves disconnecting a spark plug, installing the compression tester into the spark plug chamber, and cranking the starter to measure your compression. Without a traditional starter, a competent mechanic might be stuck at this point. I'm not sure what would happen if you tried to start the car with the hood open and the coil pack off the spark plugs. Would the car try cranking the engine, or would it sense something missing and not try? Maybe compression testers are different for these types of cars?
 

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I think the sad news is the Volt is just not a long-lived car. I have a Toyota 4Runner with 200K miles on it that is more reliable than my 2013 Volt which has just died on me twice (it's got 45K miles). We'll be replacing the Volt soon with a Tesla Model 3.
 

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You are short changing yourself. I had 180,000 miles on my '71 Javelin and didn't burn any oil, 150,000 on my '91 Integra and didn't burn any oil. 116,000 on my '80 TR7 and doesn't burn any oil. Maintenance items like brakes and shocks are easily preplaced. I don't know how long these would have lasted if I didn't change cars every 20 to 27 years.
I completely agree. 100K miles is just breaking in.... not breaking down!
 

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The dealership is not providing a clear picture of the issue. So, let's back up a little. How long have you owned the car? Has the oil been changed, if so, regularly? Did you hear any noises, if so, what noises, when, and for how long? Have you had any indication of trouble before, if so, please describe. Have you seen error messages, warnings or lights on the display before? Did you hear any noise at the time the engine quit, if so, please describe. When the car was towed, was there a large oil leak?

These may seem like a lot of questions, but answers to them would help steer the vast resources at your disposal.
I drove my car (chevy volt 2012) from AZ to OR. After getting past the mountain pass in Bend I stopped for gas. My car started and I got on the interstate then immediately the propulsion went out and a code said engine not available and I pulled off to the side and the check engine light was on. I called for my car to be towed to the dealership. After 5 days of no word or reply from the dealership I was told they want to run compression tests for $500 but it seems the engine needs to be replaced at a cost of $7400.

1) I know I can find an engine for cheaper than that
2) does anyone know of a mechanic who deals with volts in Portland, OR?
Almost the identical thing happened to me a few months ago, returning from Monterey CA after helping my daughter move, and driving through the desert between the coast and Bakersfield on the way home to Irvine. I sat beside the road until a state trooper was called to bring me water and give me a seat in his cool car while I waited hours for a tow truck. He actually towed me all the way to my business in Lakewood, since my dealer is just two blocks away. The next morning it started up just fine. My car is a 2014, and at the time was about 90,000 miles. I took it in to the Dealer and they kept it a few days, and I think may have replaced something minor but said everything was under warranty, washed and cleaned and polished my car and didn't charge me a dime. If you want to call them, it's Harbor Chevrolet in Long Beach California on Cherry Avenue, ask for Bill, and remind him that Ms Toji's car had the same problem. Maybe he can help you. I believe it had something to do with driving uphill in the heat and using Mountain, but frankly, I'm an old lady and my memory is not perfect! But I doubt you need a new engine.
 

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Chevyvolthelp,

That sounds like a load of crap. I would need them to show me how they determined that "a great deal of air/fuel mixture is getting into the engine oil area" Like show that the oil has a strong odor of gasoline, oil is basically water viscosity, a chemical test showing the contents of the oil. And no engine codes provided like at least a code for a misfire? that would definitely be in the ECM memory. That is a BS diagnosis probably suggested by a salesman visiting the garage, setting up a possible future sale in his mind. I would like to see the written description of the problem, probably won't get it because you could sue them with this BS diagnosis. First of all only a qualified EV Tech is allowed to touch a GM EV or Hybrid vehicle. Ask them the name of their qualified EV tech on staff and ask to speak with him/her, maybe you will get some useful information. Just remember you are in their house and understand that business comes first, good will comes 2nd or 3rd if at all. I'm technically and mechanicaly savy so I would tow it out of there if I had a place to work on it and take the time and effort to fix the car but that is just me. For the average person that is the last thing they should do. Maybe consider selling the car as is from where it is at as a possibility. Take it to an aftermarket specialist for Volts. The dealer will only be interested in retail work @$60/hr + new marked up parts or warranty work they get paid for from GM, that is to be expected...
It's official "your in a pickle"

Stephen



. “We have found a great deal of air/fuel mixture is getting into the engine oil area, usually indicating piston damage in the combustion engine. In this instance we would recommend replacing the engine. To know 100% for sure would require permission to use up to $500 (instead of the $145) to perform leakdown and compression tests on the engine. To replace the engine would be $7400. and it could take about 2 weeks to get here. Please let me know your thoughts. Thank you.”
 

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Based on your description, it sounds like the engine overheated. If you engage Mountain mode when running up a grade and the traction battery is below a minimum charge, the engine revs up higher than in any other mode. The engine may have sounded louder than usual. It should not have overheated, but it might have. The gurgling may have been boiling coolant or coolant overflow into the coolant reservoir. Check coolant levels and see if the car will start and run normally. Apart from the check engine light, there may be nothing seriously amiss. In any event, take Steverino's advice and get a second mechanic's opinion. The dealer does not appear to have even tried to do basic diagnostics or tried to get the motor to run, which should inexpensively help identify any issue.
 
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Keep in mind the engine in the OP’s 2012 Volt is functioning as a generator, not as an automobile engine, and has no direct connection to the drivetrain at all.
No. There is a direct connection to the drive train at higher speeds. GM hid that for a little bit and there was a little controversy when it first came out. But, it makes sense to have the engine drive the wheels at certain speeds as that is more efficient.
 

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No. There is a direct connection to the drive train at higher speeds. GM hid that for a little bit and there was a little controversy when it first came out. But, it makes sense to have the engine drive the wheels at certain speeds as that is more efficient.
Yes, in that “overdrive” mode it is connected, but I would say it’s participating in the pushing of the car, but not 100% like an ice vehicle is directly connected to the wheels through the transmission. Press or release the accelerator while cruising in this mode, and the clutches pull the ICE out of the propulsion chain.... so it’s still valid that there is less wear and tear on the volt engine compared to an ice vehicle that has to withstand the impact of all the forces on the drivetrain.
 
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jbakerjonathan,

You still need an EV specialist to "Marry" a different motor to the controller in a volt, you need the service software for the controller to "learn" about the different engine. At least that is my understanding, someone please correct me if I'm wrong about this.

Stephen

I believe that Mexico was the country in which the Volt ICE was manufactured. There were plans to bring the manufacturing into the US, but, I don’t think that happened. Japan wasn’t involved in the manufacture of the ICE, AFAIK. I would look at getting a Volt ICE from a junk yard and finding a mechanic to do the replacement. Good luck with your repair.
 

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Apparently you don't need an EV specialist for the ICE portion replacement of the engine in a Volt, only if replacing EV components like the transaxle:


Stephen
 

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No. There is a direct connection to the drive train at higher speeds. GM hid that for a little bit and there was a little controversy when it first came out. But, it makes sense to have the engine drive the wheels at certain speeds as that is more efficient.
Let me clarify my "no direct connection to the drivetrain" comment. My understanding is the Gen 1 Volt extends its range by clutching the gas engine to the smaller motor MGA, which then operates as a generator to create electricity as needed (~90 kWh per tank of fuel). The Gen 1's larger motor, MGB, is capable of providing full performance using either grid power from the battery or gas-generated electricity from the generator.

The gas engine’s only connection to the Gen 1 Volt’s propulsion system is via this clutch that couples it to MGA.

At times, one-motor propulsion can become inefficient. By clutching MGA to the ring gear in a two-motor configuration, MGB’s speed can be reduced (improving efficiency) and both motors contribute propulsion torque. In Electric Mode, both motors would be consuming battery power, so it becomes practical mostly at higher speeds when "performance" is less important (the common example is when smoothly cruising at 70+ mph).

When the range is being extended, however, it is engine torque, and not battery power, that is "cranking" MGA’s shaft. The computer may now seek to improve efficiency by shifting the system into two-motor configuration even at lower speeds (e.g., when smoothly cruising at 35 mph and higher). This "split-power" mode allows the engine to turn the motor/generator that turns the ring gear, and engine torque contributes to propulsion torque.

Some view this "engine clutched to motor clutched to ring gear" as a direct connection. I view it more as "engine-assisted electric propulsion." The system is not engineered to provide propulsion using only ICE torque (via MGA).

Note that any demand for performance (e.g., pressing the accelerator to pass another vehicle on the highway) when the Gen 1 Volt is in two-motor configuration in either Electric or Extended Range Mode will return the car to single-motor configuration, i.e., 100% (grid or gas-generated) electric propulsion.

I suspect that replacing an engine whose operation is limited to cranking a motor/generator would be less complicated than replacing an engine used to propel the car by itself.
 

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Let me clarify my "no direct connection to the drivetrain" comment. My understanding is the Gen 1 Volt extends its range by clutching the gas engine to the smaller motor MGA, which then operates as a generator to create electricity as needed (~90 kWh per tank of fuel). The Gen 1's larger motor, MGB, is capable of providing full performance using either grid power from the battery or gas-generated electricity from the generator.

The gas engine’s only connection to the Gen 1 Volt’s propulsion system is via this clutch that couples it to MGA.

At times, one-motor propulsion can become inefficient. By clutching MGA to the ring gear in a two-motor configuration, MGB’s speed can be reduced (improving efficiency) and both motors contribute propulsion torque. In Electric Mode, both motors would be consuming battery power, so it becomes practical mostly at higher speeds when "performance" is less important (the common example is when smoothly cruising at 70+ mph).

When the range is being extended, however, it is engine torque, and not battery power, that is "cranking" MGA’s shaft. The computer may now seek to improve efficiency by shifting the system into two-motor configuration even at lower speeds (e.g., when smoothly cruising at 35 mph and higher). This "split-power" mode allows the engine to turn the motor/generator that turns the ring gear, and engine torque contributes to propulsion torque.

Some view this "engine clutched to motor clutched to ring gear" as a direct connection. I view it more as "engine-assisted electric propulsion." The system is not engineered to provide propulsion using only ICE torque (via MGA).

Note that any demand for performance (e.g., pressing the accelerator to pass another vehicle on the highway) when the Gen 1 Volt is in two-motor configuration in either Electric or Extended Range Mode will return the car to single-motor configuration, i.e., 100% (grid or gas-generated) electric propulsion.

I suspect that replacing an engine whose operation is limited to cranking a motor/generator would be less complicated than replacing an engine used to propel the car by itself.
It’s that what I said above, except in much fewer words?
 

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It’s that what I said above, except in much fewer words?
Your comment is supportive, thank you, but when Cheapergear spoke of a "direct connection to the drive train at higher speeds" and the controversy about it, it seemed prudent to me to clarify why the Gen 1 Volt’s generator is clutched to the drive train at all (i.e., using the second motor to assist in propulsion is not done to improve performance, and if it were not done, there would be no controversy) and to observe that, as I understand it, the engine’s "direct connection to the drive train" via the generator motor may occur at speeds as low as 35 mph in Extended Range Mode (in contrast to the higher speeds at which it normally would occur in Electric Mode).

Yes, this propulsion system puts less wear and tear on the engine, which makes it all the more unfortunate that the OP’s engine might need to be replaced...
 

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Your comment is supportive, thank you, but when Cheapergear spoke of a "direct connection to the drive train at higher speeds" and the controversy about it, it seemed prudent to me to clarify why the Gen 1 Volt’s generator is clutched to the drive train at all (i.e., using the second motor to assist in propulsion is not done to improve performance, and if it were not done, there would be no controversy) and to observe that, as I understand it, the engine’s "direct connection to the drive train" via the generator motor may occur at speeds as low as 35 mph in Extended Range Mode (in contrast to the higher speeds at which it normally would occur in Electric Mode).

Yes, this propulsion system puts less wear and tear on the engine, which makes it all the more unfortunate that the OP’s engine might need to be replaced...
Agreed. :)
 

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This is my current strategy actually. I am hoping to find a newer engine from Japan and have a local mechanic drop it in for cash. I am hoping to pay 2-3k for it. But trying to find someone willing and able to do it might be tricky.
This dealership is taking you for a ride! Dealerships are not your friend. Dealerships are independent of the corporations that manufacture cars (people are ignorant of this all over car forums) and are just out to make money. Everything that you have written does not indicate that your motor has failed. Unless you have left out some serious details of oil or parts on the ground. loud banging or smoke, the service writer is trying to rip you off to make as much money as he can. Oh, and service writers are sales people who know little or nothing at all about repairing vehicles.
As an owner of a 2012 with 250k+ miles, I don't think there is anything wrong with your motor. There is a response here of the exact same thing happening. It has also happened to yesterday and many times before. Randomly, the engine becomes unavailable. What is the cause? I do not know but when it does occur I shut the vehicle off, open the door, close the door, and restart. This usually works but sometimes I have to do it a couple of times (which is annoying).
 
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