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My 2012 Volt was plugged and actively being charged with my level 2 Blink branded charger on my driveway. Then a bolt of lightning struck approximately 30 feet away. The 30A breaker tripped. My car can still run but is not able to accept a charge.

- I have tried numerous chargers (friend, neighbors, various public ones). I'm 100% sure my car is not able to take a charge.
- I have checked various fuses that seemed to relate to anything with the EV aspect of the car. There is a 40A charging system fuse. All are intact via continuity tester.
- The larger fuses off the positive terminal off the 12Vdc battery are intact.
- I attempted to reset the computer by unplugging the negative terminal of the 12Vdc battery for a while. Made no difference.
- There IS a check engine light after I pulled and replaced a bunch of fuses. I have not checked it.
- When I plug in the various chargers, the car does not recognize it is even plugged in. So the dash says "plug in your car" and the car still lets me drive.
- I am still getting an audible and physical click. I have blown out the port w/ compressed air. It is not a charging port mechanical connection problem

Thoughts? I know I'm going to have to take it in to the dealer. But I'm looking to get a little smarter so I can be more engaged when I speak to the Volt-Technician and my insurance company. Note I am an electrical engineer, so feel free to get technical.

Thanks folks!
 
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Why I'm putting in a 20 amp rocker switch on my L2, not for lightning strikes (we don't get those) but for trees falling on electrical lines in winter (we get those every winter such as it is). Is your charger OK (I know you tried others)? I'm a little surprised the charger would survive but the car didn't but stranger things have happened.
 

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The charging unit under the front fascia will probably be replaced. It's the silver box under the headlight here:



Hopefully the damage didn't go beyond this unit.
 

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The charging unit under the front fascia will probably be replaced. It's the silver box under the headlight here:



Hopefully the damage didn't go beyond this unit.
I agree with this. Probably some type of surge, akin to a micro EMP possibly generated in a cable, damaged it. Being a 2012 it may no longer be covered by the Voltec warranty, depending on the inservice date. If it is not covered and it were me I would want the damaged part.

As an electrical engineer you might want to open it up and see if you can figure out what happened.
 

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- When I plug in the various chargers, the car does not recognize it is even plugged in. So the dash says "plug in your car" and the car still lets me drive.
Be careful driving it as-is. If the DC-DC converter is not charging the 12V battery, the car will only run as long as the 12V can power the various computers; then you are stranded. Easy enough to check the voltage with car on and off to see if it is charging.
 

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I would say the on board car charger also.
Makes me glad I tend to unplug chargers on my EV's during a thunder storm even though I have insurance and all.
Just sounds like another head ache I don't want to deal with.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Brief update
- I drove home and it gave me the limited propulsion warning
- it did not let me turn on AC (or it never kicked the compressor on)
- it has an error code of C1240.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's hard for me to know if my charger is busted or not. The Blink's in general have been very low quality. So it may have had no surge protection and just had a big relay. Which probably would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
If the DC-DC converter is not charging the 12V battery, the car will only run as long as the 12V can power the various computers; then you are stranded. Easy enough to check the voltage with car on and off to see if it is charging.
This is a great point.
 

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What's the SOC of the traction battery?
Can MM charge the traction battery?

There is also a proximity signal on the J1772 port. That's how the car knows a plug is there (the latch lever has an electrical switch connected to it). Proximity goes only to the cars OBCM. Generally not to the EVSE.
 

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If the volt throws a charging code, it's a latch code. It'll lock out charging until it is reflashed and reset. It's a safety measure. It's the same frustration people have with the coolant sensor and the reason for the bypass mod. It may or may not have damaged something else.

That said, you can reflash it yourself with a SPS sub, but best bet is a dealer trip, and be as vague as possible why the car won't charge. If you mention anything about a surge, lightning or whatever other than it won't charge they will hold it against you.

Then if the code returns after the reset and reprogram they can figure out what is wrong, and if not then you are good to go.

You mentioned trying other chargers, has anyone else with an EV tried your charger?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What's the SOC of the traction battery?
Can MM charge the traction battery?

There is also a proximity signal on the J1772 port. That's how the car knows a plug is there (the latch lever has an electrical switch connected to it). Proximity goes only to the cars OBCM. Generally not to the EVSE.
The traction battery is not charged. I don't know a way to get a more accurate SOC.
I haven't tested the prox signal, but that's next on my list. I'm going to the dealer tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
You mentioned trying other chargers, has anyone else with an EV tried your charger?
Negative. But the Blink charger it was plugged into when lightning hit had always been wonky. The 110V L1 Volt charger was plugged into the wall, but not connected to my car, also appears to have broken. A volt owner friend with a 2013 could not get it to work. I opened this up but there was no clear fuse in there. So I'm not sure.

I've got an appointment with a volt-tech tomorrow and will post an update.
 

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Negative. But the Blink charger it was plugged into when lightning hit had always been wonky. The 110V L1 Volt charger was plugged into the wall, but not connected to my car, also appears to have broken. A volt owner friend with a 2013 could not get it to work. I opened this up but there was no clear fuse in there. So I'm not sure.

I've got an appointment with a volt-tech tomorrow and will post an update.
ok, good luck. Again, as much as you'll want to "help" them, don't.

Just tell them the car won't charge and bring your level 1 EVSE for them to "test" as well.
 

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Thanks for the pic. i'm totally going to open it up!
I'd advise again opening up that car-mounted charger, unless you really know what you are doing. Those orange cables go to the ~350v main battery which is quite capable of killing you in a spectacular display of Darwin Award winning video.
 

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If you got zapped by the 350V DC, you wouldn't know it. It's not like AC where it alternates and pulses. DC doesn't let go at all and with batteries you have WAY more amps available than most AC.

It's a little harder to get shocked by DC as you have to be in between the path to ground. In AC ground is the ground, as in earth. In DC unless you are touching the ground path and also the hot, you won't get shocked, just like a bird on a power line. But if you do a squirrel and reach out and touch the HV and also are still touching ground, TOASTY. Mortal Kombat style.

I wouldn't open it. It's probably not fixable at all if something is fried, it's probably a logic chip and not a simple fuse or diode popped and it's quite likely that it is still under warranty if you don't admit anything and just be a dumb consumer.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
CONCLUSION TO THIS STORY...
After many hours at the Chevy dealership, here's the highlights

- The strange error code I was getting was due to me putting a fuse back in the wrong spot. ooops...
- The charging receptacle (the piece that mates with the EVSE plug/cable) was damaged. It was definitely cracked. I suspect this was a growing problem the lightning may have made worst. Not sure. This was replaced but did not fix the problem. Note the Volt Tech reported this component being cracked is a common repair.
- Next the battery charging module was replaced (the piece up front right under the bumper). This also did not fix the problem. Whether it was broken or not can't be known with certainty.
The HPCM2 was replaced. I'm not super sure but this is the brain and AI that calculates your range and stuff. This was replaced and the car is now fixed!
- My Level 1 EVSE that came with my Volt is destroyed. The two smaller pins on the side are supposed to read 1V put read like 0.1 V. So the lightning wiped this, which is surprising as it was plugged in, but was not plugged into my car.

All items except the EVSE were covered by the Voltec warranty. It was $1,700 worth in parts alone. Ouch...
 
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