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The volt left me stranded on the interstate the other day. It is a 2012 with 67,000 miles, 96.4 lifetime MPG. I bought it used in 2014 from a chevy dealer and was extremely happy. I have had the software updates, the coolant sensor issue and repair and this is now the second major problem with what is in my mind a nearly new vehicle.

The car was towed to the dealer for diagnosis and repair yesterday, so I don't yet know the cause of the issue. But this is the potentially the second major problem with the car. The first was the internal charger died and I could not charge the battery, either from the wall or from the engine. The second issue is the failure of the ICE to start after exhausting the battery drive. Reading on this forum leads me to believe that the problem could be as simple as a dead 12v battery, or as complicated as a failure in the main pack (my instinct says the problem is here).

I had one issue prior to this "no start" that I was going to have addressed this week. For 3 days prior to this no start, the battery was not fully charging in the AM. This was evident by decreased range on the guesstimator and the absence of full bar from the battery display. Essentially, overnight my range dipped from +/- 35 miles to 26-28 in the three days prior to the stranding.

Since this is the second major issue with the car in the 2.5 years I have owned it, should I keep it? Can I expect more "catastrophic" breakdowns in the near future, or are these just teething pains? Buying a new 2017 is not a reality now, plus I prefer the more angular 1st gen and my commute is a perfect match for the range of the 1st gen. I am currently 6 weeks or so between fill ups. I use the ICE at least once a week for extended trips etc, so I am confident that the engine and 12 volt are fine.

I will wait to hear from the dealer what the problem is, but I have little faith in them. Once their service adviser informed me that if I don't choose the correct setting on the "wall charger" (evse) I could cause the vehicle to "catch fire." I asked for a manager. I am sure they will lead the problem back to non-nitrogen air in the tires, or some other rubbish with an up charge.

your thoughts....
 

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My 2011 has 84,000 and hasn't cost me a dime except tire expense and 2 oil changes. The issues I have had GM covered under warranty, issued loaner cars, bent over backwards to make us happy. I have had the "A" motor outboard bearing changed, a new EVSE, the onboard charger, and of course all the recall items like coolant sensor, lift gate struts etc all done with a smile from my service department and not a penny out of my pocket. Still love the Volt after 4 1/2 years of ownership. You appreciate it when you jump into an ICE vehicle, like an Equinox for example with its clunky tranny. Just my 2 cents
 

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I have had the software updates, the coolant sensor issue and repair
For $29 I replaced my coolant sensor with the WOT sensor so I'll never have to deal with this. Took about 15 minutes and is something almost anyone can do. You'll likely be taking the car in again for that sensor. I recommend replacing it with the WOT sensor.

The second issue is the failure of the ICE to start after exhausting the battery drive. Reading on this forum leads me to believe that the problem could be as simple as a dead 12v battery, or as complicated as a failure in the main pack (my instinct says the problem is here).
A loose 12V battery cable or a dying 12V battery can cause a host of issues. It would be my instinct to check these first.


For 3 days prior to this no start, the battery was not fully charging in the AM. This was evident by decreased range on the guesstimator and the absence of full bar from the battery display. Essentially, overnight my range dipped from +/- 35 miles to 26-28 in the three days prior to the strandin
120V EVSE or 240v? 8amp setting or 12A? Immediate charge or set to delayed charge?

The only thing that counts here is the number of bars of charge. The range estimate is essentially irrelevant.
 

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... Once their service adviser informed me that if I don't choose the correct setting on the "wall charger" (evse) I could cause the vehicle to "catch fire." I asked for a manager. I am sure they will lead the problem back to non-nitrogen air in the tires, or some other rubbish with an up charge.

your thoughts....
I think dealerships are the worst... Do these service writers get ANY training at all on the Volt?
Or is it all off the cuff BS?

How can an owner find a dealership with a Volt Tech that likes the car and wants to work on it?

With the Bolt coming out it shouldn't be 'who drew the short straw' is the tech that gets the GM EV Training.
I think some are afraid to work on it.... Maybe they believe the service writer's BS....

I'd hang in there. You have a 8yr/100k mile warranty. Use it ! And use your Volt Advisor to reign in the local yahoos.
 

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Well we have 2 Volts an '11 and a'12. Neither car has cost us anything other than normal maintenance items. So far the coolant sensor fix requiring a HPCM2 refresh has been done to both cars under 8/100K warranty per my dealer. Each of them displayed all the conditions described in issue. Both triggered from a "low" coolant level. Now watching that like a hawk.

BTW I too am seriously considering the WOT fix for both cars. Really this issue is a code design/programming error by GM. While low coolant could be an issue it simply should not disable the charging aspects of the car. There are several other more critical sensors (like the battery temp sensors) that should and do disconnect the charging until issue is determined by the dealer. But low coolant level with no other critical issue, I don't think so. If anything this should be a "nag" warning just like washer fluid levels, perhaps a 2 stage warning on the coolant with both a warning level and a fatal level as well. I could see some creative programming there as well, for instance with a 2 stage sensor the time between triggers could indicate a fatal coolant event. i.e. all the coolant running out within X amount of time would trigger both levels.

Also, it really sounds like the sensor may not be DexCool compatible as its original design use was washer fluid levels but that is a minor problem compared to the codes reaction to the low coolant trigger.

While I don't feel by-passing the sensor is correct approach it does seem like the expedient thing to do considering the consequences of a large dealer bill at some point.
 

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Once their service adviser informed me that if I don't choose the correct setting on the "wall charger" (evse) I could cause the vehicle to "catch fire."
They were close in the caution.

They should have said that if you are using the 120V EVSE, and are using it with the 12A setting (instead of 8A setting) plugged into a 120V outlet that is old, worn, supplied by back-stabbed wiring, or is on a circuit shared with freezers, refrigerators, etc., you will likely cause either the wires to smoke or melt, the outlet to smoke or melt, the plug to smoke or melt, or worst case cause a fire.

As far as my 2011 Volt goes, I have spent $36 out-of-pocket on an oil change during the 5+ years I have owned it. With 80k miles, it's still the most reliable and problem free vehicle I have ever owned. Yes, I have taken the car in for a number of customer service campaigns (voluntary "recall/upgrades"), but all were handled well and in a timely manner. No complaints. You'd have a very hard time convincing me to sell this car before, oh, 2026.
 

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Sorry to hear that.

Report back what the cause was.

I had a Corvette leave me stranded from a sensor fault once. Nothing really wrong with the car, just a cheap sensor failed.

Our Volts left one of us stranded for less than an hour with a rapid tire deflation. The puncture leaked so fast, the kit could do nothing about it. Had to grab a spare from home and rescue my daughter.

Other than that, no Volt's, Cad's, GMC's, Old's, or other Chevy's have stranded us in about the last 1/2 million miles since 2000. Pretty reliable in general, not like my 2 Nissans.
 

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I think dealerships are the worst... Do these service writers get ANY training at all on the Volt?
Or is it all off the cuff BS?

How can an owner find a dealership with a Volt Tech that likes the car and wants to work on it?

With the Bolt coming out it shouldn't be 'who drew the short straw' is the tech that gets the GM EV Training.
I think some are afraid to work on it.... Maybe they believe the service writer's BS....

I'd hang in there. You have a 8yr/100k mile warranty. Use it ! And use your Volt Advisor to reign in the local yahoos.
The dealer I go to the Volt guy is also the Corvette guy. I don't think he drew the short straw. He probably doesn't have to do ball joints on 200k mile pick ups with long term oil leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
My dealer has James, he is the lead tech and drives a volt. He was there when I bought the car, but I have not seen him since. I kinda thought he might be "volt guy".

Anyway, it's noon here and they have not pulled the car in yet. I should get a phone call today or tomorrow. I'll update as I go. Thanks all
for the input.
 

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At dealer now. 15 pages of code, no cel until after the no-crank stranding situation.

The dealership's battery lift is broken so they can't pull the battery until Thursday or Friday. So no definite answer until then. Service tech thinks it'll be a new propulsion battery and therefore under warranty. My 12 volt system was fine and provided power to all the correct systems. The codes that were created when the malfunction/s occured prevented the ICE from cranking.

Dealership is taking care of me so far.They put me in a nice Malibu loaner. I'm going to keep my fingers, eyes, toes, and other various bits crossed that it keeps going my way. If the battery had to konk out, I'm glad it did under warranty.
 

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So here we are. I am about to make my second payment while the car is in the shop. I fired the original dealer Coggin at the avenvues in Jacksonville, FL. I contacted customer support and was given an apt at Nimnicht on Cassat ave for 11/17. I received a text 11/23 saying that they were going to get the car in shop and find out what is wrong before they charge me for a new battery. The tech at Coggin orginally told me that the battery jack was "broken" and that it would take 2-3 days to repair. When I went in to check, after being placed on hold and getting the phone runaround several times, I was told by the same tech that they had a Volt that had been there for so long they had "lost the ticket" and that was the reason for the delay.

I am extremely dissatisfied with the level of customer service. For that reason alone I have decided to sell the volt. Actually, I would like GM to payoff the loan and let me walk away. They have been generous in providing comfortable loaner vehicles. I am currently driving a Silverado. I am enjoying trying to get 16 mpg, with effort. But, enough is enough, fix it and get it out of your yard before it gets lot damage that they won't repair, or I have to repair their vehicle.

Love, love, love the Volt. Chevy can spin.
 

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I have decided to use this forum as a way to document the progress. Hopefully if anyone else runs into this situation it can help them.

I received the car on 12/6. The dealer said it was ready 12/5, but when I went to pick it up it was less than fully charged. As that was a symptom of an issue prior to no start I refused to take it until it showed a full charge. I paid $250 for a new 12volt battery and came to back to get it Tuesday when it showed full charge. Wednesday 12/7 morning, I had an estimated range of 33 mile. The car bled off miles very quickly on my way to work and home in the evening. The day was in the mid 70's so temperature did not affect the battery. I returned home with only 3 miles estimated range left. I usually would arrive home with 15 or so miles to go after a typical commute. 12/8 was even more of marked bleed. I started with 35 miles and by the time I left the neighborhood, I had 29 miles and had driven barely 1 mile. On the way home I stopped to get a haircut with one mile residual range estimated. The trip to the barber extends my trip 4 miles round trip. I started the car and it instantly went into reduced propulsion. I tried to restart and again reduced propulsion. I had to drive home on a highway going no faster than 37 miles per hour. My total commute is 25 miles roundtrip. I attempted to call customer service again and left a message with my tech, but received no reply.

Today after charging for about 20 hours the propulsion battery is one bar from the top and the total estimated range is 27. MY family won't drive in it for fear of failure.


I wrote letters to the executive officers of GM requesting a buy back as I have already waited 2 months, paid $250, and have had the vehicle in two dealerships. I will wait to see what they say. As I write this I anticipate the vehicle returning to the dealership for more repairs.

The tech at the second dealer said that the first dealer erased all of the errors in the computer. Therefore getting warranty work done is next to impossible. He said he received the car in a "logic lock" condition probably due to number of unplugged connections and hap-hazard work from the original dealer.

Its a shame that such a wonderful little car can receive such poor support. I have had to explain the workings of the car to several techs because they say don't know anything about it. I could understand if this was the first model year. But my car is 4 year old. At this point it seems willful ignorance on the dealer and techs parts to not understand these cars.
 

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I would write this up in a letter--with your letterhead--and get the name/e-mail of a volt advisor to send it to. I created a BIG stink when my 2013 was a "guinea pig" for a GM software update error that took 6 weeks for the local dealership to figure out (yes, they had my car for 6 weeks).

Like most things in life, the squeaky wheel gets the grease and you have to be your own best advocate. GM actually has a program where (1) they reimburse Volt owners for gas costs in loaners (at least that's what I was told); or (2) some other form of courtesy reimbursement for the time. In my case, I opted for a $250 merchandise certificate that I used to get some sweet Volt accessories, a new wallet, and an awesome (Volt-branded) backpack.

I understand problems can happen with any car. My wife's supposedly bulletproof honda civic left us stranded on a highway with an ALMOST on fire engine thanks to a KNOWN issue with honda civic's engine block cracking. Honda refused to do the (expensive) recall on this dangerous defect--instead letting customers get stranded first and then paying for it later. Even getting them to reimburse us for the tow truck for this KNOWN issue was a disaster. Worst and most shady experience ever with a supposedly "reliable" car.
 
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I have decided to use this forum as a way to document the progress. Hopefully if anyone else runs into this situation it can help them.

I received the car on 12/6. The dealer said it was ready 12/5, but when I went to pick it up it was less than fully charged. As that was a symptom of an issue prior to no start I refused to take it until it showed a full charge. I paid $250 for a new 12volt battery and came to back to get it Tuesday when it showed full charge. Wednesday 12/7 morning, I had an estimated range of 33 mile. The car bled off miles very quickly on my way to work and home in the evening. The day was in the mid 70's so temperature did not affect the battery. I returned home with only 3 miles estimated range left. I usually would arrive home with 15 or so miles to go after a typical commute. 12/8 was even more of marked bleed. I started with 35 miles and by the time I left the neighborhood, I had 29 miles and had driven barely 1 mile. On the way home I stopped to get a haircut with one mile residual range estimated. The trip to the barber extends my trip 4 miles round trip. I started the car and it instantly went into reduced propulsion. I tried to restart and again reduced propulsion. I had to drive home on a highway going no faster than 37 miles per hour. My total commute is 25 miles roundtrip. I attempted to call customer service again and left a message with my tech, but received no reply.

Today after charging for about 20 hours the propulsion battery is one bar from the top and the total estimated range is 27. MY family won't drive in it for fear of failure.


I wrote letters to the executive officers of GM requesting a buy back as I have already waited 2 months, paid $250, and have had the vehicle in two dealerships. I will wait to see what they say. As I write this I anticipate the vehicle returning to the dealership for more repairs.

The tech at the second dealer said that the first dealer erased all of the errors in the computer. Therefore getting warranty work done is next to impossible. He said he received the car in a "logic lock" condition probably due to number of unplugged connections and hap-hazard work from the original dealer.

Its a shame that such a wonderful little car can receive such poor support. I have had to explain the workings of the car to several techs because they say don't know anything about it. I could understand if this was the first model year. But my car is 4 year old. At this point it seems willful ignorance on the dealer and techs parts to not understand these cars.
HI okidoc,

We can completely understand your dissatisfaction with your experience thus far. If you'd like, I'd be happy to reach out to your dealership and look into this situation further on your behalf. To proceed, please send us a private message with your VIN, contact info, current kms and dealership name.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Amber G.
Chevrolet Customer Care
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Amber G- I sent you a PM. Actually 2.

Volten Rock- I sent out a letter yesterday to the executive officers. We'll see where it gets me.

Tks.

The car actually gets a lot of attention. So I get asked all the time "where is the volt" and the story always starts with a big "sigh". My parking spot at work is against the service road so those that know me, have been watching for the return of the volt. Its kind of a running joke now. Considering this is the second major issue with the car in the 18 months or so that I have owned it, I think I may have a lemon. The lack of dealer integrity on behalf of the first dealer, and the willingness to throw my money at a warranty problem make for a pretty sour taste in my mouth.
 

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...The lack of dealer integrity on behalf of the first dealer, ....
And a lack of training for their techs.
And not enough Tech Support from Chevy.

You can't expect every Chevy dealer to have a Volt expert.

And when phone calls with Tech Support don't get results,
Chevy needs to send out a serious Trouble Shooter.
They could have regional vans with likely Volt parts in stock, they then breeze into town and politely ask the local wrench to step aside.

The Volt is a very complicated vehicle. The Bolt will be simple in comparison.

I blame Corporate for allowing stories like this to continue for so long.
 

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The car actually gets a lot of attention.
I'm sorry to hear about the work situation. I was the "first adopter" at my office a few years ago. The obvious satisfaction with my car (and its interesting looks), inspired others to join the club. We now have owners of a Gen 2, a tesla, and a prius prime. I'm sure more will come. I wish I had sold more than just one additional volt, but the more who "plug in" their cars, the less "weird" it seems and more acceptable.

No matter what you decide to do -- and, personally, I think you've shown more than enough patience -- I hope you stick with EV driving. I would tell GM -- ship me a Bolt EV as my replacement!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
You can't expect every Chevy dealer to have a Volt expert.
But you should expect them to be at least familiar with their corporate product line. The last thing I expect from a service rep is "Volt? That's the one you plug in, right." Didn't the volt debut in 2010/2011? It's 6 years old now. High time to get it right or quit trying and move to the used lot down the street. If you ask me, that is willfully ignorant and damaging to the growing market of EV buyers and the carefully groomed corporate reputation. Unless that is what they are going for, in that case good job, way to swing low.

I sense a business opportunity. Hey GM I will train your personnel on the advantages and limitations of an electric vehicle and how to make sure the vehicle is at least fully charged after service in preparation for customer pickup. That means more to me than washing it. You will experience growth of the EV market share and be able to accumulate MPG offsets for the gas guzzlers, solely by ensuring your staff that have contact with your consumers can talk intelligently with intelligent buyers.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I've made two short trips today in the volt just to see what is going on.

#1 a distance of 3.4 miles one way. After all night charging the beginning range was 28 and one bar was missing form the battery indicator. The same symptom I had before the no start on the highway. The volt returned home, a total of 7.8 miles and had 21 miles range. A consumption of 25%. This was without any a/c, heat, defrost etc. Just radio and auto lights. The temperature was 50 degrees, speed limit was 45 ( I did 50).

#2 a distance of 2.8 miles round trip. Volt charged after the morning run and surprisingly had what i would consider normal mileage estimation of 32 with a full battery gauge. A returned home and had a whopping 21 on the mileage estimator. A 2.8 mile trip used 35% of my range. Temperature is 70 degrees and the speed limit was 50 (I did 50).

I have pictures of the dash of the halfway point on trip #2 if they are needed.

I know that people are going to comment that the reduced range was due to the lower temp, and I will respond by saying "I agree". However, if I had seen this kind of degradation last winter (Florida) I would have started this thread a year ago. Additionally, if the volt only had a range of roughly 11 miles on battery, would you be driving a volt today?

I also know that people are going to say, "the estimator is just an estimator" and I will answer "I understand that the relationship of the estimation to actual miles is non-linear and therefore some miles will appear to bleed off faster than others." Additionally, I will remind those people that the river water is cold and hypothermia will set in about 50 minutes, but they should sit still and remain patient.
 

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HI okidoc,

We can completely understand your dissatisfaction with your experience thus far. If you'd like, I'd be happy to reach out to your dealership and look into this situation further on your behalf. To proceed, please send us a private message with your VIN, contact info, current kms and dealership name.

I hope to hear from you soon,

Amber G.
Chevrolet Customer Care
Don't bother dealing with these people.

Go here. http://www.myfloridalegal.com/lemonlaw

Get the notice of defect http://myfloridalegal.com/pages.nsf/Main/F5967C36E62D911985256CC9005C9F37 and send it as soon as you qualify. You can bypass their blow you off PR BS and get results and if they don't give you EXACTLY what you want, hit them with the Lemon law suit.

http://twitter.com/Aseras/with_replies

They are NOT trying to help you.
 
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