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Around one month ago, I bought a 2013 Chevy Volt on IAA Auction in California and brought it to Texas to rebuild it.

Thanks to a lot of reading and procedures on this forum was this possible (Thanks to WOT and other members who posted their problems) and that's why I want to post my project and when possible, I'll add pictures.

The car was involved in a light front left accident leaving a broken bumper cover and deployed both seatbelt pretensioners. No airbags were deployed. The worst part was that the front radiator (electronics and battery) was fine when I picked up the car but I damaged it during transport.

The first thing I did was to remove the seatbelts and the airbag control module located on the central console to send them to a place in Georgia where they rebuild them to a pre-collision condition. The interesting part of this is that there's no need to reprogram the SDM, they return it as it was before the collision so is Plug n Play. To remove the seatbelts, I had to remove the B-pillar panels; you just remove a screw on the top and the rest are just clips. Then I needed to remove the upper bolt and the retractor bolt. They're Torx so you need a T50 Torx driver. Then you remove the other part attached to the seat with the same T50.

To remove the SDM I had to remove the entire center console, beginning with the shifter stick and then the rear part. mostly they areclips and a few screws and then you release the SDM main connectors and unplug them and I removed three 10mm nuts to remove the SDM. If you do this make sure you disconnect your 12 V battery. (On the whole process the car was with no 12V battery because in fact it was totally dead). When I got the parts back I did the opposite to reinstall them. BTW: In this case i checked the front impact sensor with a multimeter and they were all fine so I didn't need to replace any.

While I was waiting for the SDM and seatbelts to get back I installed a new electronics/battery radiator. As there was no front bumper it was a very easy process. The tricky part was to put new coolant properly. I bought a gallon of ACDelco Dexcool at the dealer 50/50 blend. And I had to buy a Vac n Fill (similar) tool on amazon. I used an air compressor to make the vacuum and remove all the air trapped in the radiador and refll it with the new coolant. Then with a VCX Nano interface and GDS2 software and a laptop I did the bleeding process.

The next thing was to reinstall the headlights and the new bumper cover (I painted it before installing it).

And finally was the moment of truth. when I had everything reinstalled I had to do the widely mentioned unlocking procedure so the car could be in "Ready' again.

I did it as WOT said in his post but using my VCX Nano tools, the laptop and the GDS2 emulated software. What I did exactly was first (if my memory doesn't fail), Go to Vehicle diagnostics and Read and clear all DTC's
2nd: Go to Modules - Hybrid Control module 2 and Clear High voltage secure DTCs
3rd Go to Modules - Hybrid Control module and Clear High voltage secure DTCs
4th again go to Go to Modules - Hybrid Control module 2 and Clear High voltage secure DTCs
and finally again go to Vehicle diagnostics and clear DTCs

turned it off and on again and (as the hood was open) immediately the engine turned on and the dashboard shows "ready" status and it was the most beautiful sound to me to hear (Engine runing) :)

Put it to charge and the dash light turned green and the battery finally charged.

I had to admit that I tried to do the unlock procedure while the SDM was in transit (so the car was with no SDM) and it didn't work because the SRS module failed communication DTC (for obvious reason) was appearing again and again so the car never unlocked until I reinstalled the SDM and and seatbelts and the Check airbag dash warning disappeared.

The next thing I'm gonna do is to drive the car to Mexico (where I live) and import it.

It's late here so I'll upload pictures tomorrow or other day.

The thing in car auctions is that I see a lot of these cars with no "Run and Drive" and ppl think they have mechanical problems so the bids end usually lower than usual in other cars. and many of then end in junkyards for just minor accidents for the lock problem so I hope this post help many ppl with that.

Sorry if I don't write in English fine but it's not my language. I try to do my best.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I have a couple of doubts here.

One is the front radiator. I don't now why it sweats or condense water. One thing to note here is that it is very hot and humid here in Texas now.

The other doubt is: Do you recommend to do alignment before driving it to Mexico? (In Mexico is a lot way cheaper than here in the States, so I don't know whether to do it here or wait till I get to Mexico and do it there) I dont notice any problem with the steering but it was an accident (minor but finally a collision).

Other: Can I use a regular battery rather than the original AGM Battery? (for now I have it with a borrowed regular battery and it works fine)

And Finally and MOST IMPORTANT DOUBT: As I have the VCX Nano, I could get Tis2Web for I thin $40 for this car only. Do you think It is worth to pay that money to update the moduled and ECMs and all that stuff? ... The car has no problems now so I dont know if it is recommended to update the software. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

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Could you share your cost of this vehicle?
Looking forward to seeing some pics.
 

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I have a couple of doubts here.

One is the front radiator. I don't now why it sweats or condense water. One thing to note here is that it is very hot and humid here in Texas now.

The other doubt is: Do you recommend to do alignment before driving it to Mexico? (In Mexico is a lot way cheaper than here in the States, so I don't know whether to do it here or wait till I get to Mexico and do it there) I dont notice any problem with the steering but it was an accident (minor but finally a collision).

Other: Can I use a regular battery rather than the original AGM Battery? (for now I have it with a borrowed regular battery and it works fine)

And Finally and MOST IMPORTANT DOUBT: As I have the VCX Nano, I could get Tis2Web for I thin $40 for this car only. Do you think It is worth to pay that money to update the moduled and ECMs and all that stuff? ... The car has no problems now so I dont know if it is recommended to update the software. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
I don't think it's necessary to get the alignment done in the States. I believe it's a standard alignment, nothing special because it's a Volt. I would definitely get the AGM battery. The battery is enclosed in the cabin and you don't want a regular battery venting noxious fumes in there. The TIS subscription is well worth the $40, get it. As to why your radiator sweats, I've never seen that in the California heat. It's not as humid here though. Are you sure it's not the AC sweating?

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This was a very interesting and informative post, and I congratulate you for your fine writing and almost perfect English.

Por si acaso, hay varios miembros de este foro que nuestro segundo idioma es el Español.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Could you share your cost of this vehicle?
Looking forward to seeing some pics.
The auction closed at $4500 plus the fees I paid $5200 in total. It has 60k miles. And I've spent less than $500 in repairs (without counting the tools I bought and the VCX). Do you think it was a good deal? I don't know if it was a good deal or not really but there's one thing and it was worth even if it wasn't a good deal.... the learning... I learnt with this project A LOT... but A LOT

I hope I can upload pictures tomorrow, I need to download them from my tablet.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I don't think it's necessary to get the alignment done in the States. I believe it's a standard alignment, nothing special because it's a Volt. I would definitely get the AGM battery. The battery is enclosed in the cabin and you don't want a regular battery venting noxious fumes in there. The TIS subscription is well worth the $40, get it. As to why your radiator sweats, I've never seen that in the California heat. It's not as humid here though. Are you sure it's not the AC sweating?

Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk
I'm not saying because it is different the alignment process but because it's a very long trip. It's almost 2000 miles. But today was the first time I drive the car and I just released the steering while driving and the car goes straight, so I think that means the alignment is OK.
That's what I tought about the batt.. but it seems it's working now. I left it charging overnight and checked in the morning and it charged to an acceptable level. Im don't know if it's gonna last tough.
When i noticed the radiator sweating i was using A/C... The thing here is that we are to 100 F and almost 90% humidity. I don't know if that could be the reason. The thing is that I've never seen a radiator sweating. I know it is normal from the A/C evaporator but not a front radiator. I don't know if it has something to do with the battery cooling system.

I'll consider Tis subscription. But my concern is if it's worth updating/flashing or if the car is OK, don't mess with the flashing process... I've never done it before and I don't know if it is risky.
 

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This was a very interesting and informative post, and I congratulate you for your fine writing and almost perfect English.

Por si acaso, hay varios miembros de este foro que nuestro segundo idioma es el Español.:cool:
Muchas gracias amigo. Saludos a nuestros hermanos de Puerto Rico.
 

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Just looked and saw a handful of 2013 Volts with around 50k miles selling for around $15k on no haggle price listings
Perhaps there are some others that could comment if this were a good deal or not in terms of what you might expect to pay for a one like you purchased?
But I would say, if you get it back up and running, and intend to drive it yourself, you might have saved yourself about $10k by going this route, and that sounds pretty good to me.
 

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Just looked and saw a handful of 2013 Volts with around 50k miles selling for around $15k on no haggle price listings
Perhaps there are some others that could comment if this were a good deal or not in terms of what you might expect to pay for a one like you purchased?
But I would say, if you get it back up and running, and intend to drive it yourself, you might have saved yourself about $10k by going this route, and that sounds pretty good to me.
Yes, I've seen many of them for more than $10k with the mileage around mine, but of course they are clear title cars. this onehas less value for the salvage (now rebuilt) brand on the title. but as it is for me I think it was a good deal... specially that I rebuilt it and I know exactly how the damage was and I'm sure the car had no structural damage or something bad. Other thing that must be considered is the tax savings. Here in Texas (and I think in most states if not all) when you buy a used car and you register in your name (title transfer) you're charged 6.25 of the SPV (Standard Presumptive Value), but when it is a salvage vehicle that you rebuilt and from the salvage certificate you apply for a rebuilt title and registration you won't pay those taxes. So I saved around $600 just in taxes.

I attach the pics of how I picked it up the car in CA

As you can see the damage was minor.
volt1.jpg
volt2.jpg
volt3.jpg
5.jpg
volt4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have another problem with the car.

I could get the 12V battery back to life charging it overnight on 2 amps charger. (well first I put 10 amps for an hour and the rest of the night 2 amp). aNd in the morning it was reading 12.53 V (it was at less than 3 V before charging it... Totally dead). I installed it to the car and it worked fine.

THe problem now is that it is getting hot... but really HOT... is it normal?
or the battery has some problem?
 

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I have another problem with the car.

I could get the 12V battery back to life charging it overnight on 2 amps charger. (well first I put 10 amps for an hour and the rest of the night 2 amp). aNd in the morning it was reading 12.53 V (it was at less than 3 V before charging it... Totally dead). I installed it to the car and it worked fine.

THe problem now is that it is getting hot... but really HOT... is it normal?
or the battery has some problem?
The 12V AGM battery should not get HOT in use. This indicates an internal short in one or more of the six battery cells. This is very bad! Get the 12V battery replaced right away with the correct type AGM battery. The battery case probably won't rupture as there is a pressure relief valve that is supposed to open to vent hydrogen gas if there is an over pressure condition. The fact that the battery was reading less than 3V indicates that it was beyond recovery when you placed it on the charger.
 

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He's not using an AGM battery, replaced with a standard one. I would spend the extra money and get an AGM battery. I know that special car chargers are needed for an AGM so I wouldn't be surprised if the car charges it slightly different than a standard battery which could affect the life if you use the wrong one.
The 12V AGM battery should not get HOT in use. This indicates an internal short in one or more of the six battery cells. This is very bad! Get the 12V battery replaced right away with the correct type AGM battery. The battery case probably won't rupture as there is a pressure relief valve that is supposed to open to vent hydrogen gas if there is an over pressure condition. The fact that the battery was reading less than 3V indicates that it was beyond recovery when you placed it on the charger.
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I have another problem with the car.

I could get the 12V battery back to life charging it overnight on 2 amps charger. (well first I put 10 amps for an hour and the rest of the night 2 amp). aNd in the morning it was reading 12.53 V (it was at less than 3 V before charging it... Totally dead). I installed it to the car and it worked fine.

THe problem now is that it is getting hot... but really HOT... is it normal?
or the battery has some problem?
AGM batteries have different charge parameters, so you NEED to be using one (some cars can use either, but you have to flip a setting for which one you're using. Volt does AGM only). It's dangerous not to... the overheating you're seeing could be due to this difference and/or because that battery was already beyond saving (if it was at 3V initially, it's already beyond saving).
 

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did you check the current draw from the car? either the battery has an internal short (which seems less likely as it charges up?) or something on the car is pulling too much current.

You have any advice for buying a damaged car at auction? I've been toying for years about buying a car to fix, and my wife's car is getting quite old, so it might work out.

I have a copart lot about 2-3 miles from my house
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
It was the original AGM battery and you guys were right. Battery was bad. That night I unplugged it and it was still hot so I removed it from the car and still was hot so I think it was an internar short or something... I bought a new AGM battery on O'Reilly for $135 (the lady at the store made a price match or something to lower the original $179 price) and now it's working normally... I checked after using it for several miles and it is warm but not hot.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
did you check the current draw from the car? either the battery has an internal short (which seems less likely as it charges up?) or something on the car is pulling too much current.

You have any advice for buying a damaged car at auction? I've been toying for years about buying a car to fix, and my wife's car is getting quite old, so it might work out.

I have a copart lot about 2-3 miles from my house
Sure I can give you some advise.

If you're interested in a Volt look online and look specially for Not running cars... As it is an auction they sell to the higher bidder... As most ppl don't know how Volts work or even how EV's work when a non running volt/ev is at the auction ppl think they have mechanical damage due to the accident and they end usually very low... If you look for Run & Drive volts they'll get a higher price.

But you'll need to invest in a GDS2 scan/program tool... you could buy the cheap chinese version VCX Nano for around $100 on Amazon and it does the same. (you'll need a good laptop with at least 4 GB RAM and Core i3 CPU though). You'll need this tool to unlock the car if it is locked (that's why it doesn't start).

If airbags/seatbelts were deployed you'll need to replace them too and remove and send the SDM (AIrbag computer) to reset/rebuild it to one of the companies that reset airbags modules (you can find many of them on ebay)

THe most important thing: Inspect the vehicle yourself. Check the undercarriage to see if there's no damage, if it was a front collision and the bumper cover is removed check the bumper bar and the mounts if they're not torn, check if the radiators if they're fine. If it was a side impact check if the A, B and C pillars are not torn. Other advice (maybe not an ethical advice) buy a cheap ELM327 scanner but the one with bluetooth or wifi and take concealed to the yard (they won't allow you to bring any kind of tool). With that tool, you download the app on your phone and you can check for any DTC. You can borrow the key, request it and if the 12V battery is dead ask them to jump the car (they have batteries to do so upon request). WHen they to, hook up your ELM 327 to the OBDII port and scan for any DTC... and check any code. If you only see codes related to airbags or like High voltage circuit low voltage or locked or something like that, the car is OK and almost sure it was locked for the accident.

BTW: COpart won't allow you to buy in California directly. You'll need either to have a dealer license or get a broker. If you need a broker I recommend you autobidmaster... it is the easiest to work with and they allow you to bid on the live auction.

On the other hand. if you're not looking for an specific vehicle, you can go to the yard to see cars and if you see one that you like check the lot number to see details and if you think it's worth ask for the key and test it... and the same... bring your ELM327 in case you want to scan something. I remember once I bought a Cadillac SRX for $1500 just because it had a mechanical problem and the front bumper cover was cracked... but as I brought my ELM327 and scanned it, turns out it was a spark plug/coil not working... I just bought the coil for $75 and that was it, and of course, the bumper cover
 

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Around one month ago, I bought a 2013 Chevy Volt on IAA Auction in California and brought it to Texas to rebuild it.

Thanks to a lot of reading and procedures on this forum was this possible (Thanks to WOT and other members who posted their problems) and that's why I want to post my project and when possible, I'll add pictures.

The car was involved in a light front left accident leaving a broken bumper cover and deployed both seatbelt pretensioners. No airbags were deployed. The worst part was that the front radiator (electronics and battery) was fine when I picked up the car but I damaged it during transport.

The first thing I did was to remove the seatbelts and the airbag control module located on the central console to send them to a place in Georgia where they rebuild them to a pre-collision condition. The interesting part of this is that there's no need to reprogram the SDM, they return it as it was before the collision so is Plug n Play. To remove the seatbelts, I had to remove the B-pillar panels; you just remove a screw on the top and the rest are just clips. Then I needed to remove the upper bolt and the retractor bolt. They're Torx so you need a T50 Torx driver. Then you remove the other part attached to the seat with the same T50.

To remove the SDM I had to remove the entire center console, beginning with the shifter stick and then the rear part. mostly they areclips and a few screws and then you release the SDM main connectors and unplug them and I removed three 10mm nuts to remove the SDM. If you do this make sure you disconnect your 12 V battery. (On the whole process the car was with no 12V battery because in fact it was totally dead). When I got the parts back I did the opposite to reinstall them. BTW: In this case i checked the front impact sensor with a multimeter and they were all fine so I didn't need to replace any.

While I was waiting for the SDM and seatbelts to get back I installed a new electronics/battery radiator. As there was no front bumper it was a very easy process. The tricky part was to put new coolant properly. I bought a gallon of ACDelco Dexcool at the dealer 50/50 blend. And I had to buy a Vac n Fill (similar) tool on amazon. I used an air compressor to make the vacuum and remove all the air trapped in the radiador and refll it with the new coolant. Then with a VCX Nano interface and GDS2 software and a laptop I did the bleeding process.

The next thing was to reinstall the headlights and the new bumper cover (I painted it before installing it).

And finally was the moment of truth. when I had everything reinstalled I had to do the widely mentioned unlocking procedure so the car could be in "Ready' again.

I did it as WOT said in his post but using my VCX Nano tools, the laptop and the GDS2 emulated software. What I did exactly was first (if my memory doesn't fail), Go to Vehicle diagnostics and Read and clear all DTC's
2nd: Go to Modules - Hybrid Control module 2 and Clear High voltage secure DTCs
3rd Go to Modules - Hybrid Control module and Clear High voltage secure DTCs
4th again go to Go to Modules - Hybrid Control module 2 and Clear High voltage secure DTCs
and finally again go to Vehicle diagnostics and clear DTCs

turned it off and on again and (as the hood was open) immediately the engine turned on and the dashboard shows "ready" status and it was the most beautiful sound to me to hear (Engine runing) :)

Put it to charge and the dash light turned green and the battery finally charged.

I had to admit that I tried to do the unlock procedure while the SDM was in transit (so the car was with no SDM) and it didn't work because the SRS module failed communication DTC (for obvious reason) was appearing again and again so the car never unlocked until I reinstalled the SDM and and seatbelts and the Check airbag dash warning disappeared.

The next thing I'm gonna do is to drive the car to Mexico (where I live) and import it.

It's late here so I'll upload pictures tomorrow or other day.

The thing in car auctions is that I see a lot of these cars with no "Run and Drive" and ppl think they have mechanical problems so the bids end usually lower than usual in other cars. and many of then end in junkyards for just minor accidents for the lock problem so I hope this post help many ppl with that.

Sorry if I don't write in English fine but it's not my language. I try to do my best.
glad to see your car ON .
i need to ask/confirmation that in order to unlock the car and Clear High voltage secure DTCs sequence , must i have no DTC's in all modules ?? or in just Hpcm1/hpcm2/bcm only ?
 
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