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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got rear-ended yesterday in my 2016 (with about 2,500 miles on it!). Happened yesterday afternoon, and I drove the car the about 10 miles home. Should I attempt to charge the battery? I can't open the hatch to see what the battery looks like. I can only access the trunk by going over the rear seats (or putting them down -- haven't tried that yet). I have 5 miles battery power left according to the display.

I'd insert an image, but it looks like I'd have to upload the image somewhere and then link to the uploaded image. I have nowhere to upload the image.

As for the damage, I can't open the hatch or the passenger side rear door. None of the airbags went off. The frame may or may not be bent.

The insurance company has recommended a body shop. Instead of this, should I take the car to the dealer or a shop the dealer recommends? Since this is a unique car, I'm concerned if the body shop has to do anything with the batteries, they won't know what to do.

Thanks for the advice.
 

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Sign up for a free PhotoBucket account. This is where I have been hosting my my photos for the last 10 years or so.

Is the car drive able? Any CEL's? Both are clues as whether you should attempt to charge. But if there is a system fault the car most likely won't generate the pilot signal to the EVSE to send electricity to the car.
 

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If the doors don't open it's bent somewhere. Even just a little. If you use Tapatalk on your smartphone posting pics is easier than sending a picture text message. Never take it to a body shop the insurance recommended. The insurance is only looking out for them. Take it where you want to take it. You can't see the battery from the hatch anyway. It's buried deep inside the car, under all the sheet metal.

Try and charge it. Better to find out now what's broken than after it's fixed.

The body shop should know they can't bake the car at high temps in their booth.
 

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There is no way to view the traction battery from the rear hatch. This battery is located in the center of the car between the front seats and is spread across the car under the rear seats. At the 1:08 point this video shows the location of the traction battery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2F_Ur7-M7U

If you can start the car, the chances are good that the AUX (12V) battery has not been damaged. I would not worry about recharging the car if it were mine.

I would take the car to my dealer and have the service manager advise me as to where the car should be taken for repair.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Tom, I forgot I had a photobucket account. I drove the car the 10 miles (or so -- takes 10 minutes over roads at 25mph; so maybe 5 miles) home from the location where I got hit. Here are some pictures:







If they total the car, I wouldn't get enough to buy the same one. I could only afford this one because I bought it with 20% off. I also don't get much or any of the Federal tax rebate, so it really doesn't pay for me to buy another Volt.
 

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Doesn't
look all that serious from these pics. I would try to charge it, probably will run fine until you can get it in for body work.
 

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Your Volt needs to be inspected by a certified Volt specialist for possible internal damage ASAP. Try charging the battery if you feel you must but don't leave the Volt parked in your garage. Park it outside away from everything else. There is a risk of a hidden coolant leak inside the traction battery. This could cause an electrical short within the traction battery and start a serious fire. It could happen right away or days, even weeks after the initial damage to the vehicle. Anyway, that is what I would do if my Volt was in a similar accident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Your Volt needs to be inspected by a certified Volt specialist for possible internal damage ASAP. Try charging the battery if you feel you must but don't leave the Volt parked in your garage. Park it outside away from everything else. There is a risk of a hidden coolant leak inside the traction battery. This could cause an electrical short within the traction battery and start a serious fire. It could happen right away or days, even weeks after the initial damage to the vehicle. Anyway, that is what I would do if my Volt was in a similar accident.
That doesn't sound good. Perhaps I'll move it outside today.
 

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That doesn't sound good. Perhaps I'll move it outside today.
The risk is very small ( I wouldn't be worried). The only one that happened was on a government test where they wrapped a Volt around a pole, DIDN'T disconnect the traction battery. and stored the car upside down. Then 2 weeks later, it started to smoke a little bit and they found that the coolant had crystallized across some electrical contacts and shorted them out.
 

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The risk is very small ( I wouldn't be worried). The only one that happened was on a government test where they wrapped a Volt around a pole, DIDN'T disconnect the traction battery. and stored the car upside down. Then 2 weeks later, it started to smoke a little bit and they found that the coolant had crystallized across some electrical contacts and shorted them out.
You are right, the likelihood of the 2016 Volt that recently got rear ended catching fire is relatively small but the risk impact, should it happen, is large.

Also, the 2011 Gen I Volt that was crash tested did not just smolder and smoke a little bit. The evidence showed that three weeks after the crash test was performed the Volt experienced a pre-fire pressure event, a.k.a. an explosion, followed by a catastrophic fire. No one was injured in the explosion or the fire as the crashed Volt had been towed to a storage lot. The Volt and several other vehicles parked near the damaged Volt were destroyed by the fire. Here is an article. https://longtailpipe.com/ebooks/green-transportation-guide-buying-owning-charging-plug-in-vehicles-of-all-kinds/electric-cars-are-safer-than-gasoline-cars/chevy-volt-battery-pack-fire-in-2011/
 

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You won't find the tractoin battery in the hatch anyway, the only thing there is the 12V battery. Look underneath the car in front of the rear wheels. There should be a T shaped battery between the wheels and along the center console area. From the looks of the pictures, don't see anything obvious that shows the battery is damaged. if anything, you should get under the rear passenger side to see if there is any damage to the fuel tank.

I hope it's not totaled, but only a body shop can tell you. I'm not qualified.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
An update. I spoke with the dealership, who recommended a body shop (not the preferred body shop for my insurance). I then took it to that body shop. They seemed great. They said they should be able to put the car back in its original condition. They do not believe the main battery has been damaged, but they are going to have the dealership inspect it before they work on the car. They said that at least the muffler, which apparently runs parallel to the main battery's compartment was undamaged (he was concerned it might be damaged and therefore damage the main battery's compartment). Both the owner of the shop and a worker said they think it's fixable and likely would not be totaled, though that depends on the insurance too.

I did not attempt to charge the battery. The battery is at zero miles.

I have to change the body shop from the one recommended by my insurance to the new one. I'll do that when the insurance agent finally calls me back (or I'll call her back later).
 

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I wouldn't be worried about the battery from what I can see. It's buried way down and forward of the damage. Does the car still track straight on the road? I'd be more concerned about the entire car being a bit tweaked out of square.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wouldn't be worried about the battery from what I can see. It's buried way down and forward of the damage. Does the car still track straight on the road? I'd be more concerned about the entire car being a bit tweaked out of square.
I think it tracks OK, but I drove it on very windy, narrow roads (New England) to the body shop. There are almost no straight line roads on the route we took. To me, it seems as if the driving is OK, though.
 

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I don't see any issue why you cannot charge the car. Volt has a lot of safety checks that will prevent you from operating High Voltage side if there are any issues.
 

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If you're driving it on range-extending mode, you're already charging the traction battery any time you slow down. If it drives okay in that state, it should be fine, but obviously the dealer would have to make the official decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, all. I think the battery is fine, but I figured it's better safe than attempting to do something that might be deleterious. And, they basically disable/unplug the main battery to do work anyway, so there's no real necessity to have the battery fully charged. Right now, it's at "zero" (and they could always plug in the charger in the trunk if they want to charge the battery).
 

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Thanks, all. I think the battery is fine, but I figured it's better safe than attempting to do something that might be deleterious. And, they basically disable/unplug the main battery to do work anyway, so there's no real necessity to have the battery fully charged. Right now, it's at "zero" (and they could always plug in the charger in the trunk if they want to charge the battery).
In the pic you posted, what does the service message say?

Looks like S^* S())(*) System" or something like that.. Interested in what it says..
 
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