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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
My car has ~47K mi on it. Getting ready for a lil road trip, I took it the local dealer for an oil change as it was due.

The next morning after ~40 miles the battery is depleted, the gas engine fails to turn on. Managed to get to the side of the hwy. CEL, get towed to a local dealer. They replace the 12V battery.

Pickup the next morning, manage to drive ~100 miles on the gas engine before selecting normal mode while driving through a small town. When battery is depleted, gas engine fails to start. Again coast to the side of the road, get towed to local dealer. They determine previous dealer hadn't cleared codes or something after an overnight charge of both battery systems.

Next morning pickup & continue on. Week later primarily driven on battery, same thing. Engine won't run after battery is depleted.

Never had any problems with the vehicle prior to this, seemingly ongoing saga.
Any thoughts? Sick of getting stuck on the side of the road, not to mention the feeling of no propulsion while on the hwy.

thanks
 

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Might not be an engine problem.

The couple of times I've read of something similar, it was actually a problem with a battery pack module or BMS sensor that was causing the car to shut down for low cell voltage before the engine came on.

See what happens in Mountain Mode as a test/workaround.

The codes should tell the story...
 

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I have a couple of thoughts One is that it was never the 12v battery in the first place. Usually when the 12v dies you see a bunch of weird minor stuff -- like the display goes on the fritz -- and/or the car won't start. My second thought is either this is a giant coincidence or something was disconnected or pulled or reconnected oddly during the oil change. Maybe an incorrect reset when trying to reset the oil life? Anyway, can you force the engine to start by opening the hood?

Agree with Walter that the codes should give a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Pick another dealer.
As it was a lil road trip, the 4 dealer visits have all been different ones. Most of which seem to be greeted with "oh, another Volt..."


Currently at #4, waiting to see what happens next.

Never knew about the hood open start function, now I do. Thanks

When the engine fails to start, the display is hung up on battery mode and doesn't swap over to gas.
 

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I thinks it's because your Volt has no production year...

How do we even know it's a Gen 1?
 

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My car has ~47K mi on it. Getting ready for a lil road trip, I took it the local dealer for an oil change as it was due.

The next morning after ~40 miles the battery is depleted, the gas engine fails to turn on. Managed to get to the side of the hwy. CEL, get towed to a local dealer. They replace the 12V battery.

Pickup the next morning, manage to drive ~100 miles on the gas engine before selecting normal mode while driving through a small town. When battery is depleted, gas engine fails to start. Again coast to the side of the road, get towed to local dealer. They determine previous dealer hadn't cleared codes or something after an overnight charge of both battery systems.

Next morning pickup & continue on. Week later primarily driven on battery, same thing. Engine won't run after battery is depleted.

Never had any problems with the vehicle prior to this, seemingly ongoing saga.
Any thoughts? Sick of getting stuck on the side of the road, not to mention the feeling of no propulsion while on the hwy.

thanks
So what codes were displayed on EACH of these incidents??

Is this the used 2013 you got back in 2014??
 

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My question is why on earth would they replace the 12V battery and send you on your way? The 12V has absolutely nothing to do with the gas engine whatsoever, and a dealer should most definitely know that.

Did the engine run fine before they changed the oil? They could have disrupted something while changing it and didn't realize it. Worst case scenario is obviously that they did something wrong during the oil change and the engine seized...but it doesn't sound like that was the case.

You're not losing propulsion power when this happens, are you? The car should still have power for a couple miles if the engine fails to start. If you are losing propulsion power, then it is probably what saghost mentioned and the vehicle is not switching to range extending mode when it should, and is instead shutting down due to a low battery condition.

If it's truly a failed engine start, it should sound and feel like the engine is running roughly at a low RPM (while MGA is attempting to start it), and then you'll get a message after a few seconds of this that says "Engine Not Available".
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's a 2013 I purchased new as a leftover in 2014, along with the extended warranty fortunately.
Also suspicious of something amiss with the oil change, certainly pointed out the recent service.

No running issues previously. Was involved in a minor accident recently, rear ended with about $3K in damage to the bumper area.

All three stops we did have a "propulsion power" message but no rough running, only slow coast to a srop, about one minute. No more warning than that.
 

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It's a 2013 I purchased new as a leftover in 2014, along with the extended warranty fortunately.
Also suspicious of something amiss with the oil change, certainly pointed out the recent service.

No running issues previously. Was involved in a minor accident recently, rear ended with about $3K in damage to the bumper area.

All three stops we did have a "propulsion power" message but no rough running, only slow coast to a srop, about one minute. No more warning than that.
And the engine never came on at all? That's a battery/BMS problem - the engine should try to come on with nearly a kilowatt hour of usable power left, which should carry you at least two or three miles with an error message about the engine not being available.

Get the codes - from Onstar, from the dealer, or from Autozone (I think they read codes for folks for free? or was that only for a limited time?)
 

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Seems a little too coincidental that the engine was fine before the oil change, and not after (assuming you used the engine before the oil change as well).

I suspect the dealer did something wrong, please report back what you find! Sadly a great vehicle can still be a victim of a poor dealership.
 

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It has always concerned me that the Volt is the only car that I know of where you can do a repair like a oil change and forget to add or top off a fluid and the car can work for up to 6 weeks before there is a issue. Since the car can perform 6 weeks before the engine starts, you may find out the hard way that something was forget like adding oil or the filter. Most oil changers do make mistakes from time to time since they work on so many cars. A loose oil filter is the most common, they normally find this out when they start the engine to remove the car from the shop. Everyone in the shop gets to see the long oil trail leading to the stall of the guilty tech, no place to hide for that tech! Most if not all lube techs do not know how to start the engine on a fully charged Volt to check there work so down the road it goes. I have not heard or seen this issue arise YET but I'm sure it has happened somewhere.
 

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A failure to start is not quite the same thing as an engine failure.
No, however, if the failure to start is due to a seized engine, that is indeed an engine failure. Although I would imagine the Volt would throw even more codes if it detected MGA cannot move during the attempt to start the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Initial stop codes:

PE100
POAFA
P1B110

2nd stop:
No documented codes. I talked to the tech, who recalled a bcm code. Both batteries were completely dead when he got to it. After resetting, he was able to get them both to take a charge. Cells were w/in 1 %. Drove the battery down until gas engine started, seemed fine, recharged & sent on our way.

the latest codes thrown:
P1E00
P0AFA
C0196
U1534

current diagnosis: bad cell, replacement ordered
 

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the latest codes thrown (unsure of prior ones):

P1E00
P0AFA
C0196
U1534

current diagnosis: bad cell, replacement ordered
Odd symptom of a bad cell; they must have improved the logic for that in 2016. When I had a bad cell, it was still able to start the engine and ran 100% ICE (including idling while stopped) until I shut it down, and then refused to start again.
 
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