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

13203 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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Thanks for the pic. i'm totally going to open it up!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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