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Discussion Starter #1
It's been brutally cold here for a few days now - near -30C at night (-20F) , and yesterday it didn't get above -20C (-4F) at any point yesterday, so things are starting to really get cold soaked here now.

So, just before heading to bed last night I do a status request via MyVoltStar (the OnStar DIY replacement) and I get an odd response from my 2011 - it's reporting that it's only plugged into a 110V EVSE (despite being plugged into an L2) and that the battery is sitting dead despite having been plugged in for most of the day after I got home from an early morning drive. It also shows the car is only using 2A which wouldn't even be enough for the battery heater, much less charging.

So, I go outside, climb in, and hit the power button...and low and behold!



So, I pull up MyGreenVolt and sure enough, the battery is sitting at -5C (23F) which is apparently below the magic temperature.



I discover that my EVSE has apparently stopped working properly for some reason, so I switch to my wives L1 EVSE and it starts drawing 1500W immediately, so I know the battery heater is working.

Sure enough I plug the other EVSE into my wifes Volt, pull up OnStar, and it's reporting it's showing only L1, and it doesn't actually seem to be charging at all despite the green dash light going on. I disconnected it and brought it inside for the night and left my car charging on the L1. Something's wrong with the L2...

This morning everything was back to normal with the car - the battery is warm, and it charged up without any issues.



I brought the L2 EVSE back outside, plugged it back in, and it seems to be working normally again. Apparently it was too cold outside even for it! ;)
 

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That is a very classy and private club Private Pilot, i will talk to my wife to move to Ontario Canada, so I can join !. LOL
 

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Hmmm. I'd keep an eye on that L2 charge cord, PrivatePilot. Assuming the EVSE was plugged in to house current and the car corrected (nothing lose) the only thing I can think of is a lose connection inside the EVSE caused by extreme cold wire shrinkage tugging on the connection.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It seems ok now, just got back from a full battery drive (with ERDTT defeated, on another note, LOL!) and it’s charging properly again now. It’s weird given as how both the EVSE and the cars themselves didn’t seem to think anything was wrong aside from my wife’s car thinking it was a Level1 vs Level2.
 

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It seems you had bigger problems (battery sensor?)
as -5 is within the "normal" operating range (i've seen that many times leaving work - only ill effect is max ~60kW power available if you floor it but no messages or anything of that sort)
-10 only makes engine mandatory (see my signature), but car will still start and drive
the true "plug in to warm" message has yet to be seen for real and have someone completely unable to use the vehicle due to ambient temp.
I wouldn't want to see the weather required to make that happen!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
It seems you had bigger problems (battery sensor?)
as -5 is within the "normal" operating range (i've seen that many times leaving work - only ill effect is max ~60kW power available if you floor it but no messages or anything of that sort)
-10 only makes engine mandatory (see my signature), but car will still start and drive
the true "plug in to warm" message has yet to be seen for real and have someone completely unable to use the vehicle due to ambient temp.
I wouldn't want to see the weather required to make that happen!
Think you're mistaking ERDTT for this issue, with the mentions of -10C? ERDTT can't be configured below -4 on the 11's and 12's FWIW, but anyhow, I'm well aware of ERDTT and am defeating it myself right now as well.

But...

I'm fairly confident that the car would have started and driven on engine alone (in the rare "engine only" mode, even with a full battery) if the battery was actually full. But it was dead, and I mean...FLAT dead. See the SOC listing in MGV below in the one photo I didn't include:



At 16% SOC, and the battery having cold soaked down to -5, the combination was apparently what triggered this - there wasn't physically enough SOC in the battery to roll over the engine anymore after the cold related losses...and if the battery is too cold to roll the engine over, and the SOC too low, this error message makes perfect sense. What else COULD it do?

I don't think that the mysterious "battery too cold plug in to charge" only happens at a finite temperature number as some have thought in the past, it seems to me that it's going to be fairly dependent on the state of charge situation as well - a cold soaked propulsion battery, perhaps coupled with an EVSE that seems to have confused the computer into thinking that it was charging (when in reality, it wasn't) might have caused the perfect storm that let the battery get low (perhaps the battery heater was running and actually depleting the battery, hence being the near 15% hard-cutoff voltage in the battery) that caused all this.

Regardless, it's been an interesting situation.

I just got back from a 30KM (ERDTT defeated) drive and the car is behaving perfectly again. Even the L2 charger that was acting weird is now working just fine again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In related news, in a few weeks we are on a road trip and the car will be left for a period of time alone, and unplugged.

I hope temperature are more moderated by then, but this has me thinking that I really should work on getting at least a 50% SOC back in it the night before leaving the car alone so that it'll have enough to roll over the engine and start (even if only in engine-only mode) when we return, until the battery coolant heater does it's thing and gets the battery back in the loop.
 

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Think you're mistaking ERDTT for this issue, with the mentions of -10C? ERDTT can't be configured below -4 on the 11's and 12's FWIW, but anyhow, I'm well aware of ERDTT and am defeating it myself right now as well.

But...

I'm fairly confident that the car would have started and driven on engine alone (in the rare "engine only" mode, even with a full battery) if the battery was actually full. But it was dead, and I mean...FLAT dead. See the SOC listing in MGV below in the one photo I didn't include:



At 16% SOC, and the battery having cold soaked down to -5, the combination was apparently what triggered this - there wasn't physically enough SOC in the battery to roll over the engine anymore after the cold related losses...and if the battery is too cold to roll the engine over, and the SOC too low, this error message makes perfect sense. What else COULD it do?

I don't think that the mysterious "battery too cold plug in to charge" only happens at a finite temperature number as some have thought in the past, it seems to me that it's going to be fairly dependent on the state of charge situation as well - a cold soaked propulsion battery, perhaps coupled with an EVSE that seems to have confused the computer into thinking that it was charging (when in reality, it wasn't) might have caused the perfect storm that let the battery get low (perhaps the battery heater was running and actually depleting the battery, hence being the near 15% hard-cutoff voltage in the battery) that caused all this.

Regardless, it's been an interesting situation.

I just got back from a 30KM (ERDTT defeated) drive and the car is behaving perfectly again. Even the L2 charger that was acting weird is now working just fine again.
No, not ERDTT.
Battery temp of -10C results in engine-only operation (see signature)

But what you're saying about SOC makes sense.
My observation has only been at reasonable SOC levels (33%+, enough to get home)
If it was absolutely empty when you parked and then the battery froze, the overall power level could be lower than the system safeguards allow. So literally zero power to start the engine. (in reality the battery has some, but the computer has locked it out entirely to protect damage from extra-deep discharges)
In reality, that is not cold enough to have zero power.
If the programming was smart enough it would know that allowing a couple kW for 2 seconds is not going to kill the battery and would allow it to then get some power flowing back in. But I suppose they put a hard line.
(I'm guessing you used the app to get down to 16%? normally it parks at ~19% and I doubt it would sag a whole 3% from temp)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
But what you're saying about SOC makes sense.
...
If it was absolutely empty when you parked and then the battery froze, the overall power level could be lower than the system safeguards allow. So literally zero power to start the engine.
...
(I'm guessing you used the app to get down to 16%? normally it parks at ~19% and I doubt it would sag a whole 3% from temp
I didn't manually draw it down to the 16% hardline, no - came home from a drive yesterday morning and was indeed running right on the bleeding edge of the battery when I pulled into the driveway, but the engine didn't start.

Like I mentioned, I'm thinking that perhaps the erratic EVSE behaviour is what caused the battery to drain down to the 16% hard cutoff (since the car seemed to think it was plugged in, but it actually wasn't receiving any actual amperage) it would have ran the battery heater, but without sufficient power coming from the EVSE, the battery heater could have been actually depleting the battery. When it hit 16%, boom, the ECM figured something was wrong, probably cut off the battery heater (hence the cold battery well below the +5C range it usually maintains at when plugged in), and then triggered the "battery too cold" warning in lieu of any other option to resolve it's conundrum.

Not sure had the EVSE acted up that I would actually have got this message to begin with.
 

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There are two ERDTT modes, regular that acts as a cabin heater and based on external air temp and a second that some to refer as Deep Cold ERDTT that acts on battery temperature. The first mode is the one people defeat to reduce gas. The second you will only see if you don't plug in regularly, or if your EVSE isn't working


Deep Cold ERDTT drives as a gas car, barely using the battery. Li-ion will be destroyed if using high discharge/charge when too cold, so it draws minimal current until battery has warmed up.

I have seen plug in to warm message once as a glitch. It should only come on at much colder battery temps, like -30 C?
 

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I didn't manually draw it down to the 16% hardline, no - came home from a drive yesterday morning and was indeed running right on the bleeding edge of the battery when I pulled into the driveway, but the engine didn't start.

Like I mentioned, I'm thinking that perhaps the erratic EVSE behaviour is what caused the battery to drain down to the 16% hard cutoff (since the car seemed to think it was plugged in, but it actually wasn't receiving any actual amperage) it would have ran the battery heater, but without sufficient power coming from the EVSE, the battery heater could have been actually depleting the battery. When it hit 16%, boom, the ECM figured something was wrong, probably cut off the battery heater (hence the cold battery well below the +5C range it usually maintains at when plugged in), and then triggered the "battery too cold" warning in lieu of any other option to resolve it's conundrum.

Not sure had the EVSE acted up that I would actually have got this message to begin with.
You definitely seem to have a perfect storm here, lucky you :)
 

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Getting back to the EVSE for a minute, my thinking is the pilot signal was okay but there was some resistance on the actual wires that deliver the power due in part to the cold weather (see post above about potential connections being strained). As far as the car was concerned, the EVSE was connected. As far as the EVSE was concerned, it was communicating with the car but there was no (or almost no) voltage being sent to the charger.

It brings up an interesting question. I wonder how durable the various EVSEs are in extreme temperatures. I would imagine low-end models like the Duosida would fare poorly in extreme cold or heat. Others may do better. Is there any resource out there that rates the various EVSEs in terms performance, price, durability, etc...?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Getting back to the EVSE for a minute, my thinking is the pilot signal was okay but there was some resistance on the actual wires that deliver the power due in part to the cold weather
I had considered that as a possible reason, indeed, but it wouldn't explain why my 2011 was reporting seeing 240V, but my wifes 2012 reported only 120V. Neither were actually taking any charge. I would have expected to see a sporatic situation where it charged some times but not others if it was a corroded pin or something, but I unplugged and plugged in several times and nothing changed. No error codes on either the car or the EVSE either.

I didn't clean the pins or anything when I brought it in to warm it up, and when I brought it back outside and plugged it in again it worked just fine.

I'll have to look at some photos of the actual circuit board. I want to say that if there are any physical relay's on the PCB that one of them was sticking or something.
 
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