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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
7/13/14: After 2 weeks, the car was returned. New charging receptacle, new relay block unit and 25% of battery replaced. For those researching this or a similar charging problem, I would read the detailed posts below and then determine if this is what you are experiencing. Below is a chronological order. I updated this post each time I had the issue, which I documented over ~ 3 weeks.

I made additional entries in response to questions/comments from others. Thanks to all that helped here. Let me know if you have any questions about information I did not communicate.

Bottom line: appears to be fixed and happy to have my 3500 lb computer back.


ORIGINAL POST STARTS BELOW.....

Have a long post here; could use advice of the forum and/or experience of those that have had similar events.

Background:
1. Have 2012 Volt
2. 30,000 Miles
3. Level 2 EVSE Bosch Power Max with dedicated outlet, wired using 50 amp cord with 50 amp outlet; electrician installed; inspected by county; installed in garage; garage does not have HVAC; Power Max not under warranty.
4. Level 1 Voltec EVSE (came with car). 2nd Gen as it has black 120 volt cord (I believe originals were all orange corded). Plugged directly to wall, not on extension cord, not plugged into power strip - right into the outlet on the wall. Battery back up for Fios and an "Invisible Fence" brand dog fence run off same outlet.
5. House was built in 2000. On reliable electrical system (Potomac Edison) and rarely have power issues/outages. Even in storms.
6. Generally, either EVSE 'system' has worked well. Last fall (Nov 2014) I did have the Bosch L2 stop charging, causing codes P0D17 and P1E00. Had car's software updated as an abundance of caution for glitch caused by previous generation Bosch (SPX) L2s. Codes usually clear after 5 cycles of turning vehicle on/off.
7. I did take 2x to Chevy dealership in fall 2014 to get codes cleared and car checked, but they found no issues - and cleared codes.

June 12, 2015 L2 "Problem": effectively, the L2 refused to charge the car
o - Arrived home at 9 pm. Had been in low 90s and was in high 80's even at 9 pm; humid.
o - Battery was at zero (fully depleted).
o - Insert L2 nozzle; properly seated (I checked).
o - Light on dash comes on solid green; L2 green light flashes (both do this indicating normal function when charging)
o - Within 2 minutes, car clicks, L2 clicks and light on dash goes dark, not yellow, dark; no horn - no notice from car.
o - Light on charger goes to solid green (indicating charging process has completed); does not go red at any time.
o - I call On Star (since the CEL goes on, as expected). I tell them the code and they confirm: P0D17 (no other codes).

I try several times to re-start charging process with L2. Same results as described above.

I even turned car on/off 5 times to clear out CEL and code.

1 more time, but same result. So I decide to try the 'backup' - the L1 EVSE...... please see next section.


June 12 L1 at first refuses to charge....

o - L1 has 4 green light on. Plug into car.
o - L1 EVSE and car get into cat fight
o - Same light sequence as above with L2 EVSE.
o - Takes 2-3 attempts.
o - Finally, get it to 'take'.
o - Normally would take 8 hrs to recharge battery; took ~ 9 hrs.

June 13
o - Car's Guess-o-meter says I will get 50 miles
o - Drove car 20 miles on battery. Had A/C on. Stop go, local traffic.
o - Arrive home and about 30 miles on Guess-o-meter.
o - Plug in using L-1 at 6:15 pm.
o - Center Stack says that the 120 volt charging process will be completed at 9:15
o - Charge process goes fine - no stops; except....
o - On Star send notice at 10:45 that charging is done - took 1.5h longer than the car originally estimated. Hmmmm.

UPDATE ON CHARGING EVENTS

NOTE: Every time above and below charging process is interrupted, I get the CEL code P0D17. I confirm that via the OnStar diagnostic.

June 14 (hot & humid, plugged in late afternoon; on sunny side of house)
o - Car said I used 2kWh
o - Plugged in the L1 EVSE
o - Charged - no problems.

June 16 (hot & humid, plugged in at 6:15 pm; on sunny side of house)
o - Fully depleted battery
o - Car said I used 10.5 kWh
o - Plugged in L2 EVSE
o - After 10 minutes, received notice from OnStar via e-mail: "Charging Interrupted"
o - No audible alarm from car.
o - Light on dash was yellow.
o - Light on L2 EVSE was solid green (typical of 'completed charging')
o - Pulled L2 nozzle, reseated,
o - Charging continues 1.5 hrs later with no further problems (yet)

June 17 (warm, low humidity, evening)
o - Decide to charge with L1 - just to see what happens.
o - Still have CEL from night before.
o - After 20 minutes, I receive email notice from OnStar: charging interrupted
o - Dang
o - Go outside about 10 minutes later
o - Car is still charging. Huh?

Maybe the L1 reset itself on its own. Hard to say if it set off the CEL, since I had not cleared it before I started to charge. Lesson learned for next time.

June 18 (warm, very humid, post thunderstorm, dark outside)
o - Charged with L2
o - 1.5 hr in, got notice from OnStar: Charging Interrupted.
o - Go out to car - no light on dash (zero); light on L2 solid green (normal indication that charging is complete)
o - Re-seat L2 nozzle to car - cycles from no light to yellow light (on dash) and then stays on yellow - never goes to green.
o - Unplug - dash charging indicator light goes dark
o - Re-seat L2 nozzle again - cycles to yellow then to green (solid)
o - Completed charge is normal amount of time.

June 19 (warm, humid, dark outside)
o - Charged with with L2. Needed full cahrge
o - 1/2 hr in, got notice from OnStar: Charging Interrupted.
o - Go out to car - no light on dash (zero); light on L2 solid green (normal indication that charging is complete)
o - Car is locked, so I unlock; light on dash turn from dark to yellow. Relock car to see what happens; dash light stays on yellow
o - Re-seat L2 nozzle to car - cycles from yellow light (on dash) and then to green.
o - 20 minutes later notice car is not charging (green light is OFF on dash); NO e-mail notice from OnStar
o - Thus, charging interrupted for 2nd time tonight
o - Go out to car - no light on dash (zero); light on L2 solid green (normal indication that charging is complete)
o - Car is locked, so I unlock; light on dash turn from dark to yellow. Relock car to see what happens; dash light stays on yellow
o - Re-seat L2 nozzle to car - cycles from yellow light (on dash) and then to green.
o - 20 minutes later notice car is not charging (yellow dash light on); NO e-mail notice from OnStar
o - Thus, charging interrupted for 3rd time tonight
o - Go out to car - light on L2 solid green (normal indication that charging is complete)
o - Car is locked, so I unlock; light on dash stays on yellow. Relock car to see what happens; dash light stays on yellow
o - Change to L1
o - Seat L1 nozzle to car - cycles from yellow light (on dash) and then to green.
o - Charged fine, finally
o - Codes P10EE and P0D17 present, per On Star check

June 21 (very hot, humid, sunny outside)
o - Charge using L1
o - Used 10.2 kWh; Car needed full charge
o - no problem

June 22 (hot, humid, dark outside)
o - Charge using L1
o - Used 10.5 kWh; Car needed full charge
o - 30 minutes into charge get e-mail notice from OnStar - Charging Interrupted
o - go out to car - charge dash light is yellow; L1 has solid green lights
o - reseat EVSE nozzle.

June 24 (hot, post t-storm, dark outside)
o - Battery was at about 2/3rd capacity - Used !4 kWh;
o - Went to dealership and used L2. Ran for 30 minutes
o - no issues; only was able to recharge part way before they closed.
o - drove home; needed about 2 kWh to top out.
o - used L2
o - no problems; charged just fine

June 25 (hot, sunny outside)
o - Battery used was about 1.5 kWh;
o - used L2 in my house
o - no problems; charged just fine

NOTE: An observation of mine is that the pattern in general seems to be that if I am doing a recharge, but the battery has something 'in the tank' (in my case it has been 60% or more), then it seems to charge with no issues using L1 or L2. Problem seems to occur consistently when battery is at 0 miles.

June 26 (dark, cool, dry outside)
o - Battery used was 10.7 kWh;
o - used L2 in my house
o - charge interrupt after 10 minutes
o - used L1 next
o - charge interrupted after 30 minutes
o - at no time did either EVSE throw red lights.
o - every time the dash board charging light went from green to dark. I was standing there both times.

June 27 (dark, cool, day of heavy rain)
o - Battery used was 10.1 kWh;
o - NOT fully depleted - Guess-o-meter said 2 more miles left.
o - used L2 in my house
o - no issues.

June 28 (sunny, cool, dry outside)
o - Battery used was 10.5 kWh;
o - thus battery fully depleted
o - used L2 in my house
o - charge interrupt after 10 minutes
o - EVSE did not throw red lights.
o - dash board charging light was dark when I went to car
o - reseated L2 EVSE, charged up fine after that.

Jun 30, 2015: Car left with Criswell Chevrolet Service (Gaithersburg, MD)

Jul 13, 2015: Car available for pickup

In summary, replaced: 1/4 of the propulsion battery, charge receptacle, and relay block. My cost: $0 (warranty). Dealer estimated cost if I paid: $8500


Service was very communicative and helpful. I give service writer (John Weschler) credit for that. Tech (Ken) found leaking battery when he very thoroughly investigated my original charging issue, described above. I think everyone was surprised about the battery leak because I never had low coolant. Apparently Ken is the sole Volt tech and that is all he works on. Kudos to Criswell for having a dedicated technician who is, by all accounts here, very thorough. I have been told Criswell is all about training for their folks on this car, so that is good.

Let's hope all is fixed. If not, it's not for lack of trying. Criswell expects the original matter to be fixed, as do I. They did 3 road tests/full battery discharges to ensure they could not replicate the problem, ergo that it did not resurface.

Thank you.
 

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My 2014 had some intermittant charging issues. Eventually got a email from onstar to bring it in for the HV system check and a CEL light. Dealership took a awhile to figure it out. Ended up replacing a relay unit in the battery assembly. Car had about 8k miles at the time. There have also been a few incidents with the charging socket on the cars.

RF from the invisible fence getting into something through the AC circuit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thank you for the post !! Would it be possible to share the information they provided to you - service bulletin #, part #, or precise description of repair, etc., that would be very helpful. Regards.

(Edit 7-15-15: Turns out the OP to which I was responding here had relay block unit replaced; mine was too.)
 

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The longer L1 charging happens when it is hot outside. The battery/charger TMS runs to keep things cool, so your charge takes longer. Not sure what is causing your issues with L2 though. Have you tried a public charger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
CalrksonCote (like the bike in the avatar!):

I did not realize (although I should have) that the heat would cause the longer charge. I did notice last evening and today (June 12 & 13 events noted above) that fans were running while charging. Although charging, it was eating some electric, no doubt, to keep things cool. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

With regards to the L2, no I have not yet tried the public charger. The Chevy dealership has a free L2, so to me that is 'public' and I may wander down that way tomorrow to see what happens on their L2. Of course I will update the information here in this thread when I do that.

An engineer friend has suggested that part of the factors in this problem may be the cord and electrical socket. As described above, the power goes: panel, wire to outlet, 50 amp oven cord (6ft long) to Bosch Power Max. Although cord and outlet are each rated at 50 AMPS, perhaps the L2 Bosch Power Max, does not like something about that configuration (I was the one who had the cord and socket/outlet installed to code by the electrician; they were not in the box with the unit). My friend suggested having the electrician return to hardwire the Bosch Power Max L2 directly to the electrical panel - that way the circuit would eliminate the cord/outlet variables and help to isolate if the issue is the L2 or the car. In other words, if no more L2 failures, it was the cord/outlet. If L2 failures continue, then it could be either car or L2.

Thank you for the response.



The longer L1 charging happens when it is hot outside. The battery/charger TMS runs to keep things cool, so your charge takes longer. Not sure what is causing your issues with L2 though. Have you tried a public charger?
 

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did you try the L1 at 8 amp setting ? At least for a short time to see if you get any error light on the charger cord or car


if the 120 Volt charger cord at 8 amp works and 12 doesn't generally point to house power problems.

you can always try at a different location ie not at your house.
 

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During hot weather it is common for the line voltage to sag a bit. If you have a multi-meter or kill-a-watt check your voltage. Recent line work in your neighborhood can also have shifted the voltage higher or lower. Most appliances will not care but the EVSE might. A couple years ago I had a problem with my grid-tied solar inverter kicking off from high voltage. Turns out that recent line work had raised the 120v to 130. The local POCO came, re-tapped a transformer, and brought the nominal voltage back to 120v.
 

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Rather than futzing around drive to the dealer and plug the Volt into its 240v charger. If it works, then you know it's your EVSE. If it doesn't then they can reproduce the problem and fix it.

My guess is it's the 240 EVSE. Your time using the 120v charge cord is about right given the temperature. But it could be a car problem. Best to check it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Don C: Thanks for your ideas. They are helpful. My "futzing" is intentional - I am gathering evidence and information because it helps to show up at the dealership with evidence. If I say "it's not working, fix it" or I say, "it's not working; the Volt forum had some ideas and they are....", I have received better results taking the latter approach. Your point of using charger at dealership is something I have previously noted that I intend to do.

My dealership does listen, but it makes a much better case when you have something empirical (a code, a part number, a description) if someone else had same issue.

Thanks for commenting on the L1 EVSE; I agree that longer charge could be something else, but it could be normal. I will pursue that as a secondary matter.

Appreciate the input.

Cord: It seems to be OK at the 12 Amp setting. I did try ratcheting it down to 8 when I described above that it took a few times to get the L1 to work on 6/12. That did not work either. Part of the cat fight between car and L1 EVSE! Appreciate your input.

I am planning to try charging with L1 elsewhere just to see. My neighbor is out of town so I may pull up in his driveway and charge there to see what happens.

Cord Posted: "if the 120 Volt charger cord at 8 amp works and 12 doesn't generally point to house power problems.

you can always try at a different location ie not at your house. "
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Me thinks you are correct. But it helps to have empirical evidence to eliminate the car as being the issue.

Criswell Chevrolet has been great. They know I think it is L2EVSE, but they asked me to bring in car anyhow. I let them know what is going on (essentially what I described above); let them know what I am doing; very receptive to me arriving with some ideas to consider based on my experience and anything I gather here.

Thanks to all that have read and contributed. But this is not over.

I just updated EVSE charging 'events' from last 2 charges.

Occums razor says its the Bosch L2. It can't be anything else until its not that .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Each time I have a CEL, I have called On Star to get the code. Almost always (well always in last month) it has been P0D17. When I called yesterday, I asked if they had record of my calls. They said they keep records for last 60 days. This is helpful to know for 'documentation' purposes with the dealership when I take car in to get them to address.

Perhaps another thread years ago notes the OnStar record retention policy for car diagnostics. But it is germane to my situation, so thought I would share for the benefit of others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A short update: I am editing daily the original post. I realize at this point there is no elixir from the forum (reality, not a criticism), so I am documenting the events/facts in the event someone else has same issue or does some research on the matter. Just trying to document the event for usefulness, I suppose.

See entry for June 19. New 'twist'.

In summary, that new twist is: When the car's charging was interrupted and the dash charging light was dark, I unlocked the doors with the remote and the dash charging light went from dark to yellow (solid yellow).

Charge was interrupted a second time. Same thing again.

Never remember this before - so maybe normal, maybe not. Just noting, however, in the event someone says "oh that means....."

I have not yet gone to dealership to try their L2. That will be soon.

Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Preliminary Conclusion: charging port ON THE CAR.

(1) NEVER do the L1 or L2 get red failure lights - never. They are always green and never go any other color than green; have seen this several time when standing 'there' as charging interruption occurs.

(2) Failure of L1 to fully charge before process interrupted. Not as frequent as L2, but frequent enough:
o - Had failure of L1 6/22.
o - Had failure of L1 6/12, multiple times (documented above).

(3) Failure of L2:
o - consistently does not charge uninterrupted;
o - at least one failure per charging event each time I use L2 during this 10+ day experiment
o - ALWAYS fails if full charge needed.

Next Step: Will test charging using L2 at dealership or at a public charging facility.

Will continue to provide updates, and hopefully, some resolution.

Thanks.
 

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This is a long shot -- but have you checked the contacts on the car charge port? (and also on the charger's themselves)

Sometimes they get dirt in them or corrode out.

Just a thought, because to me it sounds like something isn't getting a good contact and it could even be the lower voltage "handshake" connector.

I can see if I can round up some pictures people took of corroded connectors if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you for that idea. Not knowing what a corroded vs. non corroded contact would look like, yes, the pics would be very helpful.

What would be an ideal method to use for cleaning the contacts?

o - For the record, the L2 EVSE was new as of Oct 2014. It installed inside my garage.
o - L1 EVSE came with car. Can not say how it was cared for since I bought car used in Sep 2014.
o - Charging port door area is clean - I am pretty careful in keeping things debris free; of course the contacts could be dirty and I would not know.

Thank you.

This is a long shot -- but have you checked the contacts on the car charge port? (and also on the charger's themselves)

Sometimes they get dirt in them or corrode out.

Just a thought, because to me it sounds like something isn't getting a good contact and it could even be the lower voltage "handshake" connector.

I can see if I can round up some pictures people took of corroded connectors if needed.
 

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I suspect it's your J1772 charge port on the car. We have heard some stories from owners who had failures on the BACK of the connector. (The part you can't see. Inside the car.) The only way to get this issue resolved is to let a qualified Volt mechanic diagnose and correct the problem. Contact cleaner is not going to fix it. (In my opinion.)
 

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I think the OP is treating the issue as a hobby to document and test and document and test. Eventually he/she will tire of it and take it to a dealer to fix and then we will find out what the cause was.
 
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