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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I've developed a ground issue with my Volt that only appears on level 2 stations. The other day when I arrived at work, I plugged in my Volt to the Chargepoint station as I have been doing for over a year, and after a quick click of the relay, charging stopped and I got a Ground Fault error. Before I even tried unplugging and plugging in the cable again, the EVSE suddenly came to life and charging resumed and continued as normal. I figured it was just a fluke and ignored it. That evening when I got home, my Clipper Creek level 2 EVSE did the same thing, however it did not resume charging after a reset. I powered cycled the EVSE at the breaker and it still gave a flashing red Charging Error light, which appears to be a ground fault as well.

I figured that maybe the connector in the car was dirty since I live on a dirt road, so I took some contact cleaner and Q-Tips and very carefully cleaned the pins in the car and then in the EVSE after turning off the power. When I powered it back up and plugged in the car, it started charging again with no issues for about half an hour, then gave the charging fault again and wouldn't resume charging.

I ended up using my Level 1 EVSE that the car came with and it charges fine both at home and again this morning at work. The issue seems to be limited to Level 2 charging, as at work today I tried multiple EVSEs and all of them gave a ground fault error with the exception of one giving a GFI Hard Fault error. I've heard of an issue where the J1772 port on the car can develop small cracks or wear out leading to enough resistance on the pins to cause a fault, but I wanted to see if anyone else has had this issue before dropping $80 on a new charging port, or if I should look elsewhere. I have no warning lights or anything; the car just says Not Able to Charge.

Thanks for your help! I've learned a lot from this forum and don't know where I'd be without it!
 

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I had a similar issue: faulted on 240, not at 120. Turned out to be a relay going bad in the traction battery. two weeks for the relay (like a big fuse), drop the battery, replace the relay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I had a similar issue: faulted on 240, not at 120. Turned out to be a relay going bad in the traction battery. two weeks for the relay (like a big fuse), drop the battery, replace the relay.
Oh no... I was hoping it wouldn't be anything farther downstream. Did you get any DTC codes or anything with this issue? I'm well out of the warranty period (146,000 miles) so I'd have to pay out of pocket at the dealer unless this is something I could manage myself.
 

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Just had a car doing this the other day, charge port, fuse at contactor assay. or hybrid powertrain control module2 are your culprits, I would just about bet it's the hybrid powertrain control module2 especially if there are no DTC's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just had a car doing this the other day, charge port, fuse at contactor assay. or hybrid powertrain control module2 are your culprits, I would just about bet it's the hybrid powertrain control module2 especially if there are no DTC's.
Funny, I just had it in for a recall about a week ago for the hybrid powertrain control module to get updated. It's back at the dealer right now, and I explained to the service advisor that this issue started post-recall. I didn't mention that it worked the first few times after the recall with no issues, but we'll see what comes of it.

I didn't think it'd be the recall since it worked fine for the first couple of days, then started acting up. I'll update when I find out more.
 

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Yes let me know if it ends up to be the hybrid powertrain control module 2 then there is possibly something going on with the reprogramming on that module.
 

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Got it fixed! Thank you GM-Tech for your suggestions.

The dealer called me back a few hours later and said that they redid the Hybrid powertrain control module 2 programming, however it had no effect. They then wanted me to authorize them to do a diagnosis on it which would have required a $400 MINIMUM diagnostic fee. I declined their offer and decided to pick up the car. I figured that their reprogramming would rule out the module, leaving the charging port and the contactor relay. I decided to take a risk and buy a new charge port while at the dealer since it was only going to cost me $125. I could have gotten it cheaper by ordering online, but I figured with the kind of driving I do, I'd spend that money in additional gas so it was better to just get the part and attempt to fix it this weekend while I have some time off.

Actually replacing the charge port was fairly simple. I disconnected the 12v, then pulled the HV disconnect in the center console, waiting 30 minutes (probably excessive but it didn't hurt), and then replacing the port. I used this video which kind of went through everything: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8WDiCu91NA


When I pulled out the old charge port the problem was immediately clear. There was a substantial crack in the back of the unit directly behind the pins (see pic). With all the rain we've had lately it's a no-brainer that water must have gotten in and shorted some of the pins.

The new charge port is a lot tighter, and it makes a satisfying, solid click when plugging into it. VERY happy I didn't have to go to the dealer for this for any more diagnosis. Thank you everyone for your help!

IMG_1243.jpg
 

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Opening it up told the whole story. Definitely water intrusion based on the color of that screw. View attachment 158153
Thanks for this thread and being thorough with the analysis and photos. I'm having a very similar problem for the second time in 5 years. I'm having the port replaced first whether it needs it or not on Monday. Based on what I see here I'm 95% sure that once the new port is in I won't be back at the dealer.

I'll argue with the dealer afterward on who will pay for it, my 8-year B2B extended warranty or me. I really don't care which. I just want it fixed.

Well done Synovialbasher. These are the things that add value here. :D

Addendum: I just went to the car wash and now it won't charge at all on 240V. Dragged the OEM 120V charger out and it's charging on the first try. My symptoms match exactly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for this thread and being thorough with the analysis and photos. I'm having a very similar problem for the second time in 5 years. I'm having the port replaced first whether it needs it or not on Monday. Based on what I see here I'm 95% sure that once the new port is in I won't be back at the dealer.

I'll argue with the dealer afterward on who will pay for it, my 8-year B2B extended warranty or me. I really don't care which. I just want it fixed.

Well done Synovialbasher. These are the things that add value here. :D

Addendum: I just went to the car wash and now it won't charge at all on 240V. Dragged the OEM 120V charger out and it's charging on the first try. My symptoms match exactly.
Glad I could help. There's nothing more frustrating than perusing a forum online and then not getting any resolution on it. It is always gratifying to have a clear solution.

The other thing I had noticed for months on mine was that I would occasionally get ground fault errors on level 1 charging on some chargepoint stations. I figured it was an issue with the station itself, however I'm willing to bet that this crack had been there a while and caused that issue as well.

Even if it hadn't fixed it, I would have kept the new charge port. If anything, the plug fits in a lot tighter and has no wiggle room which gives me more confidence plugging it in during a heavy storm.
 

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Glad I could help. There's nothing more frustrating than perusing a forum online and then not getting any resolution on it. It is always gratifying to have a clear solution.

The other thing I had noticed for months on mine was that I would occasionally get ground fault errors on level 1 charging on some chargepoint stations. I figured it was an issue with the station itself, however I'm willing to bet that this crack had been there a while and caused that issue as well.

Even if it hadn't fixed it, I would have kept the new charge port. If anything, the plug fits in a lot tighter and has no wiggle room which gives me more confidence plugging it in during a heavy storm.
Judging by the amount of rust on that screw, this issue was there for a while. Glad you got it fixed.
 

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Even if it hadn't fixed it, I would have kept the new charge port. If anything, the plug fits in a lot tighter and has no wiggle room which gives me more confidence plugging it in during a heavy storm.
My thinking too.

My OEM 120V EVSE fits tighter than my Clipper Creek 240V and charged right away (I forgot how slow 120V is) but I'm still confident it's the port. I was able to cajole the 240V into working by plugging the car in first, letting it fault and cycling the power at the EVSE wall plug, suggesting a connection problem at the port. 240V worked for a few days that way. That is, until I took it to the car wash. Then 240V was history.

I'll report back after it's resolved to confirm.

Aside: I wasn't aware that there was a circuit board in the port until I saw your photo. I wonder what it is about it that rejects 240V and accepts 120V when it gets wet. Maybe the tech will know.
 

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To conclude my experience.....

The tech plugged my car into 240V and it worked right away. But just as mine not working at home didn't prove anything, neither did this. There were no codes and the tech told me that he couldn't get it fixed free without them. I told him "Whatever - I'm not here to fight with you about it. I want it replaced and we can figure out the rest when we see the unit out of the car".

Next was the meeting between myself, the tech and the service manager (I barged in on their discussion). We talked about my previous experience (which was on my service record and was very similar in which they did replace my port) and the latest experience. I agreed to pay for it if no issue was found. I wanted the port replaced anyway since it's a wear-and-tear item.

We examined it after the work was done and didn't find the big cracks Synovialbasher had. Still not really proof of anything but I was ready to pay for it. After the tech talked to the service manager he told me that it was going to be "taken care of". I thanked him and went to see the manager to get the lowdown on what "taken care of" meant.

No charge, not even for the labor. I already had an extended warranty that the wife wanted and he applied it to that. Technically I had already paid for it, but I was still pleased not to be whipping out my wallet. He characterized it as the customer "having concerns" about the port. Works for me.

An important point is to be made here. I have always treated the entire service staff with respect even when they've screwed up (and they have). The service manager knows me by name because of this and we've had some good chats. I believe this goodwill was extended to me for this reason - we have a good relationship. The next time anyone wishes to disrespect their service people (and some do deserve disrespect) keep this story in mind. Be nice no matter what.

I got the car home, plugged in my 240V and still got a charging error. CRAP!!!

Not so fast...... I plugged in the 120V for a bit and went at the pins of the 240V handle with Q-Tips and alcohol (make sure you unplug it first). A fair amount of black stuff came out on the Q-Tips. Then I unplugged the 120V and plugged in the 240V. SUCCESS!!! It works now.

Did the new charge port contribute to the success? I think it did, and besides that cleaning those pins while it's on the car would be a challenge. Cleaning the EVSE handle pins is easy.

Then I went to the auto parts store and got some CRC electronics cleaner spray. My EVSE plug pins were still pretty dirty. The CRC spray got them looking like new inside.

My advice: If you get a charging error like this clean the pins with CRC electronics cleaner first. It just might be all you need to do. Mine had 5 years of dirt/corrosion/whatever on them.

Thanks go to GM-Tech and Synovialbasher anyway. Their input was very valuable to me and helped guide my own solution.
 

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Glad to have been able to help, you done a good job diagnosing your problem and being over cautious at disabling the high voltage system is always a good thing.
 

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Just wanted to check in, I just had the port on my 14 ELR replaced for the exact same issue. Only bought the car three weeks ago, service manager covered the new part and labour. They did use the correct PN. Tech noted that there was a crack on the back of the housing. New plug receptacle is much easier to unplug from, I bet the old one got cracked from wiggling. Feels like our 15 Volt, the handle pulls straight out.
 
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