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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure where the lightning actually hit, but the flash and boom were simultaneous and scared me half to death. I had just re-set my modem about a min before the strike... the strike destroyed the modem... what if I had been holding the modem when the strike happened? If it was a direct power surge it may have injured me, but I suspect it was EMP damage rather than direct damage.

Anyway, my Volt was plugged in at my landlords office next door to the house I am renting, I went over to make a run to best buy for a new modem to find much more damage in his office... secretary was the only one there with most of the lights out. I went around and found the circuit breaker boxes and re-set several tripped breakers. They had at least one computer destroyed that I know of and their phone system is out of service.

The last casualty was my Volt. EVSE is dead, and so is the car... no electrical activity at all, had to use the mechanical key to open the door and no power to anything, not even the dome light.

Thanks to these forums I was able to put the car in neutral for the tow truck, but the electric parking brake was on, so rear wheels were still locked up. The Tow truck driver put a gallon of soapy water on the flat bed to avoid flat spotting my brand new tires. I had it taken to the local dealership and their Volt tech is out until Monday.

After reading another account of a Volt hit this way during a storm I don't have much hope for any recovery... I suspect it is a total loss.

I didn't know about this vulnerability during lightning storms, but I don't feel too bad for not knowing. This lightning was a "bolt out of the blue" with no storm actually happening. It started sprinkling about 5 min after the lightning strike and then stopped raining after less than 15 min with no other thunder or lightning.

I had planned on keeping the 2011 Volt for long distance driving and getting a Bolt this fall. If the Bolt was available now, I would get it and just rent a car if I needed to do a long trip... but with the Bolt not on sale yet and since I can't really afford two new cars it looks like I will be getting a second gen Volt instead of a Bolt!

Keith
 

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Not sure where the lightning actually hit, but the flash and boom were simultaneous and scared me half to death. I had just re-set my modem about a min before the strike... the strike destroyed the modem... what if I had been holding the modem when the strike happened? If it was a direct power surge it may have injured me, but I suspect it was EMP damage rather than direct damage.

Anyway, my Volt was plugged in at my landlords office next door to the house I am renting, I went over to make a run to best buy for a new modem to find much more damage in his office... secretary was the only one there with most of the lights out. I went around and found the circuit breaker boxes and re-set several tripped breakers. They had at least one computer destroyed that I know of and their phone system is out of service.

The last casualty was my Volt. EVSE is dead, and so is the car... no electrical activity at all, had to use the mechanical key to open the door and no power to anything, not even the dome light.

Thanks to these forums I was able to put the car in neutral for the tow truck, but the electric parking brake was on, so rear wheels were still locked up. The Tow truck driver put a gallon of soapy water on the flat bed to avoid flat spotting my brand new tires. I had it taken to the local dealership and their Volt tech is out until Monday.

After reading another account of a Volt hit this way during a storm I don't have much hope for any recovery... I suspect it is a total loss.

I didn't know about this vulnerability during lightning storms, but I don't feel too bad for not knowing. This lightning was a "bolt out of the blue" with no storm actually happening. It started sprinkling about 5 min after the lightning strike and then stopped raining after less than 15 min with no other thunder or lightning.

I had planned on keeping the 2011 Volt for long distance driving and getting a Bolt this fall. If the Bolt was available now, I would get it and just rent a car if I needed to do a long trip... but with the Bolt not on sale yet and since I can't really afford two new cars it looks like I will be getting a second gen Volt instead of a Bolt!

Keith
Wow, sucks your current Volt got toasted, but early congrats on the Gen 2 acquisition!

Chevy is running a 20% off special on leftover '16s....pretty slim pickings (probably less than 100 left nationwide), but if you can find one it'll be a steal.
 

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I am sorry to read about your Volt, but that strike went through the EVSE and did the damage. If the bolt hit the Volt's body, no harm would have been done, except a paint scar where it struck. Metal body cars disperse the energy around and that would not harm anything or anybody inside.
 

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I can understand the EVSE does not have protection for this. Are you sure the car is dead or could there be an in line surge suppressor in the charge circuit of the car? GM should have something like this. Please keep us posted as to what the GM tech tells you. Thank you.
 

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Am betting it's not as bad as you think. Will be interested in hearing what the dealer finds?

Good luck with your dealer and insurance company. Keep us posted.
 

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I can't comment on a Volt's response to a lightning surge, but...

20 years ago lightning hit my neighbor's tree. Exploded the 10' diameter tree, dug a trench across the yard along the power line and destroyed basically everything in my house that was plugged in. Found one night light that was reduced to two individual metal prongs still in the socket.
 

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I can understand the EVSE does not have protection for this. Are you sure the car is dead or could there be an in line surge suppressor in the charge circuit of the car? GM should have something like this. Please keep us posted as to what the GM tech tells you. Thank you.
There is no protection that can fully protect against lightning. Whole home surge protectors and individual surge protectors might help on indirect hits. But there is no surge protector that can absorb the sheer power of lightning.

I can't comment on a Volt's response to a lightning surge, but...

20 years ago lightning hit my neighbor's tree. Exploded the 10' diameter tree, dug a trench across the yard along the power line and destroyed basically everything in my house that was plugged in. Found one night light that was reduced to two individual metal prongs still in the socket.
Similar story. I have a co-worker that experienced a direct lightning hit. Blew his utility power meter off the wall and destroyed every electrical device in his house.

As for the op it will depend how far the damage got. But if the car is fully dead that means that the surge went through the charger and through the 12V system minimum.
 

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Sounds like it blew a fuse in the Volt, have to fix that at minimum. What happened after that is hard to say. Might need to figure out what insurance will cover this, home owner's (renters) or the auto.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I can understand the EVSE does not have protection for this. Are you sure the car is dead or could there be an in line surge suppressor in the charge circuit of the car? GM should have something like this. Please keep us posted as to what the GM tech tells you. Thank you.
Am betting it's not as bad as you think. Will be interested in hearing what the dealer finds?

Good luck with your dealer and insurance company. Keep us posted.
I am hopeful for a blown fues or tripped circuit breaker, but I am basing my pesemism on this thread:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?93521-lightning-strike-car-doesn-t-start

Sounds like it blew a fuse in the Volt, have to fix that at minimum. What happened after that is hard to say. Might need to figure out what insurance will cover this, home owner's (renters) or the auto.
At minimum I need a new EVSE and any damage to fuses repaired on the Volt itself, plus replacing any computer modules that were destroyed. The damage to computer equipment in the building my Volt was plugged into (on surge suppressor power strips) makes me doubt the systems will be AOK... but we can keep hoping until we are told otherwise! The car insurance is covering the damage under my comprehensive coverage. Lucky for me I have zero deductible on the comprehensive so what ever is wrong I am not out any cash "out of pocket". My coverage includes up to $600 worth of rental car costs as well, that will cover about a month.

If they do total out the car I will ask if they can up the payout due to my new tires that are less than 6 weeks old.

Keith
 

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I heard this story about someone using a lightning strike to power their flux capacitor - no damage to the car. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Try not to worry too much about the lightning strike. My Volt went dead after a strike several years ago and all that was affected was the BCM (Body Control Module) Here is a link to the post and discussion:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?7703-Lightning-Strike!

Volt 63
Some differences, your SPX 240V EVSE was fine, my stock 120V EVSE is dead, you had dash lights when you opened your Volt, there were no lights dash or otherwise when I was able to get my Volt open. You were able to check battery charge level via the Onstar app., for me checking with "myvolt.com" it can not connect with the car to get charge status, and checking "voltstats.net" shows no data updates since the lightning strike.

Keith
 

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I dont know if is or not, but I would be surprised if the Volt wasn't designed to be protected from lightning as it spends much of its life connected to the grid. Lightening protection devices are cheap and provide good protection. They are commonly used in industrial applications to protect building connected to the grid, telephone lines or anything vulnerably to lightning.
 

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there were no lights dash or otherwise when I was able to get my Volt open.
No 12 Volt battery would do that, as others said, I doubt much is actually wrong with the car, for sure it would not be totalled as the electronics as easily replaceable. Its body damage, airbag deployed ect that get cars totalled, not changing a couple of computer modules.
 

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Ohhhh, that sucks. Sorry to hear that man!

Hopefully something can be repaired, but as others have said, if it was a direct strike nothing could really protect the car from that. Fuses will still transmit power for a brief period of time before they 'blow' and the sheer volume of energy from a direct strike couldn't be protected by a fuse alone (or your standard wall panel with 100 amp or whatever sized breaker would be 'enough' protection).

Will your insurance cover the damage to the volt? I'm not even sure but aren't lightning strikes often not included as 'covered'?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ohhhh, that sucks. Sorry to hear that man!

Hopefully something can be repaired, but as others have said, if it was a direct strike nothing could really protect the car from that. Fuses will still transmit power for a brief period of time before they 'blow' and the sheer volume of energy from a direct strike couldn't be protected by a fuse alone (or your standard wall panel with 100 amp or whatever sized breaker would be 'enough' protection).

Will your insurance cover the damage to the volt? I'm not even sure but aren't lightning strikes often not included as 'covered'?
I had full comprehensive coverage on the car, insurance is covering it. Interesting seeing the two sides of the coin here. I have people saying "yeah, no way it survived" and other people saying "naah, no way it was damaged" Even though I linked to a thread where a guys Volt was totaled be a lightning strike... I personally don't think he was lieing or making up stories but Henry_FL doesn't believe it could have happened...

Keith

PS: Just to be clear, I WANT it to be a simple fix... but I am not hopeful.
 

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I have seen cars that took direct hits and it was just a few pieces of electrical equipment.

And I do avionics and we do hirf/lightening pin injection to make sure no damage from direct hits, I am sure cars do this to some extent.

but I think a surge thru the cord could be worse. the neighbor had a hit in the frt yard and it went thu the water pipe and blew it up. I would think that some really bad things happened here but I dont think the car would be totaled for just electronics. I would think the battery would be fairly protected from this.
 

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Hello a lightening rod would probally do more good then a surge protector. i would be very surprised if the protector is rated for strikes.I do not recall even seeing lightening rods anymore.
One hit on googles says it usally blows the charger inside the car. I would assume It all depends on how direct the hit.

Well,,,,, wait to see what the tech Doc says. best of luck.

We get lots of lightening down here in Boynton beach

Fourdoor, sorry this happened to you. It may be that your dealership can replace a part or do a reset to get everything working again. You may want to try connecting your EVSE to a surge protector or having a whole house surge protector installed (or both). Here's a well rated model: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-120-240-Volt-Residential-Whole-House-Surge-Protector-R02-51110-SRG/202993881.
 
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