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Lightning strike - not able to hold a charge but can still drive

13194 Views 32 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  nrvous
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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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?
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.
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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Glad you can charge again, especially with everything covered.

Why was your L1 damaged? From the damage to the onboard charger or the HPCM2? In OP, you said it was on the L2 Blink when it got cooked.
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