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Just came back from a 6 month trip in my camper. This is the second time I have left my 2012 volt for 4 months or better. I live in New Mexico and the car is left in my garage, so exceeding the 86 degree storage temp is quite possible. The first time I just left it plugged in to the standard 120v charger so the battery cooling system could still run. I found out the hard way that the 12v battery goes dead (which runs the cooling system). This is the reason for Steverino's step 2 and trying to outsmart the car. My second long trip this past summer was a 6 month trip, so I decided to follow the instructions in the Volt owners manual (Steverino's third step). I disconnected the 12v battery and put a stick in the hatch closer to make sure it did not latch (hard to get to the battery from the back seat, and the hatch won't unlock without the 12v battery). Came back yesterday, connected the 12v battery and the Key Fobs no longer worked. I thought the car had forgotten the fobs, but turns out both fob batteries are dead. The big battery and the 12v battery were both fine. Maybe the 12v charger is the best route so the battery cooling system can still run.
 

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Interesting to re-read these posts. I'm on post #16 over a year ago, lamenting what to do for my biz trips. 3 months ago, I found myself in CTriders position of having the dead 12V battery (after a 12 day biz trip), car in the garage, and having a hard time getting a jump (separate thread on that).

I've since learned that the +12V battery is Not charged by the J1772 plug, although a s/w update in 2013(?) now Does give the 12V some charge at the end of the traction battery charge cycle. Otherwise, the 12V is only charged as you drive it. I now drive around with a solar panel and charge controller in the back and can monitor voltage and power going into the battery (as well as cumulative energy input).

So next time the car is at the airport for 2 weeks, I'll be ready with hopefully sufficient solar capacity. Or if in the garage, with a trickle charger, and/or plugged in.
 

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I will be winter storing my 2013 for 2-3 months. Thought I would start with traction battery at 50% and plug in the 8A EVSE plus a trickle charger on the 12V battery with both on a timer to charge 1 hour per day.

But then I'd get the loss of AC warning every day. So maybe just the trickle charge?
 

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I also neeed advice on this

I am needing to store my 2015 Volt for 70 days in freezing weather. I am curious if any replies were made or any other forums? Advice? Suffering from battery damage paranoia.


In Steverino's article #3 battery disconnect he says:

Would storing a Volt at very cold temperatures damage the high voltage battery? For example, go on a trip leaving the Volt at home or flying out of some nearby airports where temps could reach -20F, stay below 0F for 36 hours, or stay 10F or below for a week. Over a period of a month, it might be average 20F, be rarely above 32F and get occasional cold snaps.

The most likely scenario for me would be trips two or three weeks away; could this damage the hv battery?
What about being away for months in the winter?
Would it be advisable to store it in a heated garage? At what storage duration should it be in a heated garage vs outside in the cold? At what temps do you have to start to worry about this? From comments by Canadian members, very cold temps are OK when used normally (daily or almost daily).

PS Is it considered more polite on this forum to start a new thread rather than resurrecting two year old thread? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I am needing to store my 2015 Volt for 70 days in freezing weather. I am curious if any replies were made or any other forums? Advice? Suffering from battery damage paranoia.
Cold/freezing weather won't damage the battery. Instead, they will temporarily lose power output and/or energy capacity. Extremely hot blistering temps are more of a threat to any battery, whether in your phone or you car.

The best option if available is to keep the car plugged in. When plugged in, the TMS will function to keep the battery heated (or cooled) depending on average cell temps. When unplugged battery heat will not activate. But if your car is stored outside in extreme freezing temps and not plugged in, the worst that can happen is the battery will get cold-soaked and you'll need to plug it in to warm up the battery.

From the owner's manual
"BATTERY TOO COLD, PLUG IN TO WARM
This message displays during extremely cold temperatures, when the vehicle will not start until the high voltage battery is warm enough. Plug the vehicle in to allow the charging system to warm the high voltage battery, then the vehicle can be started."

In an extreme cold soak, the electrolyte freezes and the car won't start unless/until you plug it in and allow it to use grid energy to warm the battery.

The requirements for the rare "BATTERY TOO COLD, PLUG IN TO WARM" message to appear are
1) The ICE cannot or will not start (low SOC, out-of-fuel, or some other problem)
2) AND the battery has been cold soaked for days (or many, many hours depending on the sub-zero temps). Keep in mind the insulation of the battery is such that it dramatically slows heat loss from the battery.
3) AND the battery pack temperature (not to be confused with the outside temps) has been lowered to near or just below -25°C (-13°F). Some say -20°C (-4°F)

In less extreme cold, the car will start the ICE until the battery is warmed by the battery heater, then switch to the battery Of course, the battery must have a state if charge > 0 miles. See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?96274-Volt-Cold-Weather-Performance&p=1296098#post1296098

Also —and having nothing to do with the cold soaked battery scenario— the ICE can also start in cold weather regardless of the battery SOC, depending on the ambient air temperature and the temp of the engine coolant. If this happens, you'll see a message "Engine Running Due To Temperature". The ICE will run for about 10 minutes to heat up it's coolant so the cabin will have hot air from the ICE's waste heat. As the coolant losses heat, it will eventually drop below a set point and the ICE will kick on again, repeating the process.
 

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So, for a 17 day trip ok to just leave it in a warm closed garage unplugged? I mean my old gas cars would not get a dead 12 volt battery in 17 days - cant the volt make it? Or do I need to try some weekend 30 minute of main battery charge trick? Or?
 

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So, for a 17 day trip ok to just leave it in a warm closed garage unplugged? I mean my old gas cars would not get a dead 12 volt battery in 17 days - cant the volt make it? Or do I need to try some weekend 30 minute of main battery charge trick? Or?
The Volt's 12 volt battery will hold its charge just like any other car during your 17 day absence. There have been a few instances where someone came back home after a short trip and found their 12 volt battery drained. But, in all of these cases, either something was wrong with the car or the battery itself. The Volt is no different than any other car in the way you treat it.
 

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With our 2014 Volt we went on vacation to Hawaii for about 7 days and left the Volt parked the entire time at the Seattle motel parking lot not plugged, temps were spring like in Seattle at the time, not very warm by any means. When we returned the Volt seem to have the same amount of electric range left in the battery and we had no issues driving home to Seaside.
 

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We will be gone for 5 weeks (this trip and 6 weeks in April) in our 2018 Volt. Never occurred to me there could be a problem, it is our first PHEV. The car will be at the airport in covered parking and not plugged in. Is there a transport mode for the 2018 or do I not have to worry about the car starting when we return in a 2018?
 

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We will be gone for 5 weeks (this trip and 6 weeks in April) in our 2018 Volt. Never occurred to me there could be a problem, it is our first PHEV. The car will be at the airport in covered parking and not plugged in. Is there a transport mode for the 2018 or do I not have to worry about the car starting when we return in a 2018?
There should be the same transport mode in the 2018 as on the other Gen 2 Volt. Assume that the Volt may need a jump start when you return. Purchase a small lithium battery jump starter pack and place it under the front seat or in the glove box or in another easily accessible location. Read the Owner's Manual and become familiar with unlocking the Volt using the emergency key that is stored in the electronic fob.

The Volt's high voltage traction battery should be stored with 3 bars remaining on the battery, you can drive the Volt in Normal mode for part of the way to the airport to use up some of the battery charge.
 

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Is it okay to store the car with a full charge? I got a 19 and it will need to be stored for at least 4 months. We have no Insurance on it right now, not until I return my 17 when its lease ends. So I cannot drive it. It will be in a Garage.
 

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Is it okay to store the car with a full charge? I got a 19 and it will need to be stored for at least 4 months. We have no Insurance on it right now, not until I return my 17 when its lease ends. So I cannot drive it. It will be in a Garage.
Consult the Volt Owner's Manual. All of the answers to your questions regarding long term storage are in the manual.
 

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Consult the Volt Owner's Manual. All of the answers to your questions regarding long term storage are in the manual.
I currently do not have access to the manual and thought I'd get a friendly reply here from other owners. All I'm looking for is confirmation or better information.
 

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I currently do not have access to the manual and thought I'd get a friendly reply here from other owners. All I'm looking for is confirmation or better information.
It is simple:

If you are storing the Volt for up to 4 weeks, do nothing out of the ordinary. GM recommends leaving the Volt plugged in.

If you are storing the Volt for more than 4 weeks, leave the traction battery pack at 3 bars (30%) state of charge. Do not plug in the Volt. Either disconnect the negative terminal of the 12V AGM battery located underneath the floor of the hatch storage area or connect a 12V battery tender to the 12V battery (must be a battery tender that is specifically designed for maintaining AGM type battery.)

The 2017 Volt Owner's Manual does not provide any specific vehicle storage instructions regarding the gas engine and fuel. You don't need to do anything special regarding the fuel in the fuel tank but if you are storing the Volt for a longer term, i.e. more than 3 or 4 months, then E0 unleaded fuel without any added ethanol would be best if this fuel is available in your area. I would not worry about not leaving the fuel tank full as it is sealed and pressurized so outside air cannot enter the fuel system. How much fuel to leave in the tank? The owners manual states you should keep the fuel tank 1/3rd full (approx. 3 gallons) if you don't regularly use any gas. If you leave room in the fuel tank, when you start driving the Volt you will be able to add an equal amount of fresh fuel to the old fuel and this would suspend the fuel maintenance mode from running if the old fuel is allowed to sit in the fuel tank for longer than 12 months.

Normally the Volt will start the gas engine every 6 weeks if the engine has not been used to circulate fluids and lubricate internal engine parts and seals. In an ideal scenario you would want to periodically start the gas engine (releasing the internal hood latch or opening the hood when starting the Volt or any time the Volt is running will cause the gas engine to start.) This assumes the Volt is parked where the exhaust can be ventilated into the outside air and the 12V battery is connected and has been maintained using a battery tender.

The Volt's fuel tank is made of stainless steel, it is sealed and pressurized once the fuel cap is secured in place. If the fuel is more than 12 months old the Volt will start to use up all of the old fuel when the Volt is started, every time the Volt is started thereafter until the old fuel is used up. You can suspend this fuel maintenance by adding an equal volume of fresh fuel to the old fuel. I.e. 4 gallons of 12 month old fuel + 4 gallons of fresh fuel = 8 gallons of 6 month old fuel. The fuel maintenance routine will next run in approximately 6 months time.

I would not worry about the Volt being too warm in MI. Cold temperatures will not negatively affect the battery although in cold temperatures the Volt will not be able to be charged or perform regenerative braking until the battery has had a chance to warm. In extreme cold conditions the battery may not be able to provide enough power to propel the vehicle, the gas engine will run until the battery has reached a proper temperature.

Long term storage of any vehicle has certain risks. Rodents can nest inside the engine compartment and chew up the wiring. Moisture and condensation can accumulate causing rust and corrosion. Rubber parts can dry out and tires can develop flat spots. If it was my vehicle I would find a trusted friend or family member to periodically start the Volt, let the gas engine run for 20 minutes every 4 to 6 weeks and drive the car around the block so the tires don't develop flat spots.
 

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