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We are still early in the life cycle of the EV. On the other hand with million mile batteries around the corner the only thing they will worry about is the recycling either because it's economical or because it's mandated.
 

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Perhaps I am not understanding the issue but you purchased a used car and drove it for approximately 140K miles and now you're unhappy that you have to perform some a repair?
You could replace the engine and transmission in a Honda Civic for half that price after labor, so it is very expensive just for parts. I'd be pissed too given a quote like that.

However, that quote doesn't really make sense as lithium batteries should be way cheaper by now.

If for some reason there isn't a kit of new balanced cells you can have installed, perhaps an entire unit could just be dropped out of a totaled Volt at a junkyard that is newer, and give them your dead one as a replacement core? What some dealers will do when they don't really want to undertake something because they think it will be a hassle is instead of saying no will just quote twice the price something should cost to do.
 

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The EV is a rapidly evolving product. Volt owners are pioneers. The repair industry will respond as long as the manufacturers allow access to the software. Automotive battery packs contain hundreds of cells, and are grouped in modules. Current repair involves either replacement of the entire pack ($$$) or replacement of a module ($$). Repair techniques will evolve to replacement or isolation of a defective cell ($). A pack can be returned to usable service by isolating a defective cell(s). Currently, this must be done mechanically at the exposed cell involving much labour and knowledge. I'm sure packs will evolve to complete this procedure via software. The manufacturer with the best warranty will win many sales.
 

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I get it, most people would be upset if their car stopped running, but I have been wishing for years that my perfectly good Volt would ruin its battery or get tboned so I would be forced to get a new car. I guess I am just a weirdo.

I am curious whether as a Minnesota car, if would be interesting to understand the OPs parking/charging habits and how they dealt with the cold, and whether that might have contributed to the demise of the battery. Did you have a warm garage, or was it parked outside?
 
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Electricity is basically universal it does not matter the source...since there is a big empty volume where the GEN1 battery goes, what about adapting a Gen2 battery( I am aware it is different in size and volume) or even pack Tesla or panasonic batteries?. It will need new modules and cooling system. As new EV models come alive, perhaps there is a future for modular batteries to reach the 380 volts or even higher voltage or even range. If you are desperate remove the ICE, remove the battery and get a regular cruze engine in the front... large storage in T shape for tools or other items .
 

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You guys kill me, just wait until it happens to you....I have had plenty of repairs on this car, usual BS return repairs for the coolant sensor failure and getting raped for a computer reprogram each time, failed cabin heater and engine thermostat luckily under warranty, failed generator rotor bearing $1,100, and now the ultimate kick in the balls of a major battery failure with a $10,000 bill not including labor...Sure you can drive 8+ hours to Chicago one way for a $6500 replacement with 36 month warranty, are you kidding? We have been test dummies for Chevrolet. This car is now not worth the tires it’s sitting on. If this were a gas motor I guarantee it would still be on the road another 100,000 miles easy or drop a salvage motor in for under a grand, myself, worst case senario. I see I have struck a nerve with a few of you who are basking in denial of reality here in the absurdity of the cost of replacement. I researched before buying and saw all these glowing reviews of reliability of the Volt, thats a load of crap that nobody can sell me now, due to first hand experience... This car has now easily taken first place in lack of reliability and cost of ownership, and I have owned over 30 cars and trucks. My eyes are wide open to this fact.
If, after 180K miles, I should need a new HV battery I won't be upset. IMO 180K miles is a significant number of miles where repair costs may outweigh the value of the vehicle.
 

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I am curious whether as a Minnesota car, if would be interesting to understand the OPs parking/charging habits and how they dealt with the cold, and whether that might have contributed to the demise of the battery. Did you have a warm garage, or was it parked outside?
From everything I've read over the years, the cold won't damage the cells, the effects are just temporary, but heat can (but the Volt's thermal management prevents this). What may induce issues over time is not leveling the cell voltage in the pack by charging to full, and then an amount of time plugged in afterwards for the leveling. If you're charging overnight most nights then that wouldn't be an issue. I'm curious on the charging regimen as well, assuming the OP isn't now PO'd and gone.
 

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Electricity is basically universal it does not matter the source...since there is a big empty volume where the GEN1 battery goes, what about adapting a Gen2 battery( I am aware it is different in size and volume) or even pack Tesla or panasonic batteries?.
Modern cars freak out when you replace an incandescent blinker with a LED even when using resistors that should be very close to the original bulb (been there, done that), so I'd be surprised if that was an easy undertaking with how sensitive the computer systems are these days to changes.
 

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The statement that you have to make "some sort of repair" surely diminishes the situation. It is a major repair! It’s not like you are needing to replace and alternator. I suspect a misdiagnosis personally. I had an issue recently at 140k where the I got reduced propulsion warning and the computer shut off the battery. My local repair guy found a bad ground under the car and reflashed the computer. I had zero confidence but it’s been about 5k since and no issues. One would hope to get at least 200-250k out of it like we would a typical engine. With that said it is relatively new technology and we should not expect 250k like an engine that has been improved for well over a century.
I do not mean to diminish the situation. It sucks and I'd be bummed too. However I wouldn't go to a forum and complain about how a vehicle that has 180K miles on it is a PoS because it needs a major repair.
 

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I'm guessing from some of the responses that they are not used to putting a lot of miles on a car. Having a $10k repair on a 9 year old car with 180k miles is far outside the norm, for the regular ownership experience. The OP is also correct that if the cost of the repair exceeds the savings in fuel & maintenance compared to a regular car, then it was a financial failure.
It may not be the norm but it's also not unusual. Certainly not to the point of declaring said vehicle a PoS.
 

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Meanwhile...folks regularly


I don't know... We'll see. I think many folks never keep a car long enough to realize these situations and that's what "some" automakers who will not be named...might be banking on. Like I said, I still stand by my opinion that public desires and acceptance will decide the truth in the end. If it's SO bad as you say for most, then these manufacturers will be forced to change course, but if "most" succumb to the ever-increasing aspects of a throwaway society, then maybe they'll have made the right bet. I don't think there's anything "wrong" with current battery reliability personally, or at least I haven't seen enough to convince me there is any significant issue...but there IS something wrong with the market for refurbishment/replacement/upgrade of said batteries. It should NOT be a death sentence for a vehicle to need a replacement pack.
A new (as in from the factory) motor for my X5 costs $30K making the $10K battery pack look like a down right bargain. The problem with EVs is their limited, relatively speaking, availability and lack of familiarity by independent service facilities. Thus dealer pricing and service is about the only option for most owners.

Many people shy away from EV (whether pure of hybrid) vehicles due to battery concerns. Those who do not are either really green, early technology adopters, or expect to only keep the vehicle within the warranty (specifically the warranty which covers the battery).

IMO the OP has a vehicle with 180K miles on it (of which he's personally put on 140K) and, now that he has to replace the battery, has decided this car is a piece of junk. I disagree, I think the 180K miles on the car is about right for the, at the time, battery technology.

I am of the personal belief that EV technology isn't quite there yet. It's good but it does have limits. A battery life of 180K may be one of those limits. Until that changes anyone who feels 180K miles is too little needs to avoid the technology until it can meet their expectations.
 

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A new (as in from the factory) motor for my X5 costs $30K making the $10K battery pack look like a down right bargain. The problem with EVs is their limited, relatively speaking, availability and lack of familiarity by independent service facilities. Thus dealer pricing and service is about the only option for most owners.

I am of the personal belief that EV technology isn't quite there yet. It's good but it does have limits. A battery life of 180K may be one of those limits. Until that changes anyone who feels 180K miles is too little needs to avoid the technology until it can meet their expectations.
What about Sparky that went 480,000 miles and is still going? I know of a car that only went 20,000 miles on its ICE motor, does that mean that ICE motors are unreliable and shouldn't be bought? Or the thousands of Hyundai, Kia's that just stop or burn up (even after recalls) with no recourse to new engines, are all of them bad?
 

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Personally, I think there is more to the story than we know. You don't get to 180,000 miles then all of the sudden your dealer says your battery has only 8% life remaining. For one, I seriously doubt they can even measure "remaining life". Also, there must have been some indication long before this battery failure that could have been caught and maybe diagnosed much earlier. Just MY opinion, I don't think it is even a battery problem.
 

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I never expect more than 100k out of a car. At 71 years old, I've owned dozens of cars, most of them bought new, and only one of them did I go past 100k miles (a Volvo) and then only to 108k, and then sold it. I get sick of a car LONG before it gets to 100k. I believe most people are more like me than they are the guy who sticks with a car for 250k, until the car is literally falling apart. Besides, sticking with a car for 15 or 20 years the owner is losing out on the technology improvements that come in such a long period.

And, most cars, once you get past 60k or so you gonna start needing big repairs. Don't see any way to avoid that.
 

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I never expect more than 100k out of a car. At 71 years old, I've owned dozens of cars, most of them bought new, and only one of them did I go past 100k miles (a Volvo) and then only to 108k, and then sold it. I get sick of a car LONG before it gets to 100k. I believe most people are more like me than they are the guy who sticks with a car for 250k, until the car is literally falling apart. Besides, sticking with a car for 15 or 20 years the owner is losing out on the technology improvements that come in such a long period.

And, most cars, once you get past 60k or so you gonna start needing big repairs. Don't see any way to avoid that.
I keep my cars for a long time. Around 180,000 miles but I don't drive a lot any more. Never needed big repairs, did maintenance on my own. Cost me next to nothing. If I'm not going to like a car for 20 to thirty years, I don't buy it. As for technology improvements my most fun car to drive is my TR7. Never took my Volt on a road trip yet, maybe this year or next depending on pandemic. We'll see what it's like.
 

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The OP’s second post said, "So here’s my question. Can I keep driving it on the gas motor or will it leave me stranded at some point very soon?" That suggests his 2012 Volt at 180K miles is still capable of being driven, but he can’t charge the battery from the wall because of a "Service High Voltage System" problem that the local repair people have been unable to repair, so he’s driving on gas-generated electricity.

That’s why I suggested earlier that he try switching to Mountain Mode to see if the car is still capable of charging the battery, even if not from the wall. That’s also why I asked if the car had had the cell balancing procedure performed on it. Malfunctioning cells and cell management procedures can trigger a loss of the use of grid power for driving in Electric Mode without necessarily bricking the car or throwing a code. Perhaps the local shop’s analysis of the problem ("hmm... battery has only 8 percent life left...") is why they suggested it might be time to replace the battery.

Is it possible that getting a second diagnosis from a GM service department that works on Volts (somewhere closer than Chicago, hopefully?) would provide a better analysis of whether or not the issue could be solved without replacing part or all of the battery?
 

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OP, I'd be upset too, though a decent percentage of cars would need sizeable repairs by 180k miles... engines, transmissions, etc. $10k is on the high side for sure, though. Early on, we had evidence that a battery would be more like $3k (someone posted screen shots of a dealer computer screen, IIRC). I believe that was based on a 3rd party company buying old packs to use in grid-leveling projects. I'm guessing that deal fell through or ended, so the subsidized price went away and we're left with the $10k. I wouldn't pay it... others have posted that Greentec option (they have several locations, but sounds like none near you). A handy mechanic in this forum recently posted a fairly detailed procedure of how he did a battery swap in his garage (without exotic tools) from a used pack he got off ebay for a few thousand... might be something you could consider. He was even able to sell his old pack to someone wanting to salvage the useful portions for a solar project (I think, though I might be confusing stories here).

I do think it's unfair to lambast all Volts because of your experience. There's a guy named Sparkie that drove his Volt almost to 500k miles... is that typical? Or is your experience typical? Hard to say without real data instead of anecdotes, but it does seem that Volts can go a lot of miles w/o needing a new pack, you just got unlucky, which again can happen with any car. Though it does seem to be true that "getting unlucky" in a Volt is more expensive than in similarly priced cars.
 

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J.Smith,

If only it was that easy but unfortunately it is not. The gen2 HV battery cells have different charge and discharge profiles than the gen 1 batteries. This is reflected in the software to run and use the new Gen2 batteries. Besides, even replacing the old type with same, Battery has to be "married" to new controller to use them. We need to hear from a Voltec Tech on what options for repair are, (outside of the dealership of course). 8% is vague without a string of codes and sounds like BS to me. There is an app to see what each cell voltage is, I would start there.

Stephen

Modern cars freak out when you replace an incandescent blinker with a LED even when using resistors that should be very close to the original bulb (been there, done that), so I'd be surprised if that was an easy undertaking with how sensitive the computer systems are these days to changes.
 
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