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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.
Sparkie was a use case of 1, and we were all impressed & hopeful based on that example. I don't remember seeing any other reports here where the owner has high mileage on the car (150k+) with no issues. However there are multiple reports on the forum of battery sections or packs having to be be replaced either inside or outside of warranty. You are correct that we don't have all the data, and can only base conclusions from the owners posting here. It would be great if GM made the actual battery data public, however that's unlikely to happen, so we just have the owners experiences to go on.


Having put a lot miles on various cars, you do have to deal with some things as the numbers creep up, such as brakes, suspension, wheel bearings, water pumps, and ignition system. However I've never had a $10k repair on any vehicle. I don't think I've ever even had an individual $2k repair outside of accidents. If you're diligent about maintenance and not abusive, they tend to be reliable for a very long time.
 

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J.Smith,
There is an app to see what each cell voltage is, I would start there.

Stephen
Agreed, the cost of an diagnostics port reader and the MyGreenVolt app is nominal. It will let you know if an individual cell is bad or the entire pack, or if it looks fine. However I don't see where GreenTech is doing battery section replacements only, and I don't believe GM is anymore either, so the end result may be the same.
 

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Sparkie was a use case of 1, and we were all impressed & hopeful based on that example. I don't remember seeing any other reports here where the owner has high mileage on the car (150k+) with no issues. However there are multiple reports on the forum of battery sections or packs having to be be replaced either inside or outside of warranty. You are correct that we don't have all the data, and can only base conclusions from the owners posting here. It would be great if GM made the actual battery data public, however that's unlikely to happen, so we just have the owners experiences to go on.
Maybe Sparkie is a one-off, but the Chevy techs misdiagnosed Sparkie's issue as a failed battery pack as well. I find it hard to believe OP went from no warnings such as reduced EV range to a failed traction battery.
 
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Brian Baptista on the Chevy volt diy repair and modding group could likely help the op, a subscription to GMs own service and a few diagnostics would tell the story, my volt was bricked due to a cooroded connector to the fuel pump, which came off as a battery issue as well
 
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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?
These are questions you'll need to direct to the OP.
 

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Discussion Starter #47 (Edited)
No, you can’t keep driving a Gen 1 Volt on the gas motor when the battery has serious issues.

Your 2012 Volt is powered by a battery (not normally described as a plural, "batteries"). When the usable portion of the battery is depleted (65% of the battery’s full capacity), the car runs on generator output. If a power request can’t be met by generator output (e.g., flooring the accelerator to pass someone while traveling at high speed), power is "borrowed" from what is remaining in the battery, and then replaced when demand lessens. IOW, a properly functioning battery is required for the propulsion system to work.

If some of the cells in the battery have developed problems significant enough to cause the battery to malfunction, you can’t just "unplug" the electric motor from the malfunctioning battery and expect it to run on generator output alone... among other issues, you would lose the regenerative braking system if there’s no battery available to be recharged by the regen...

Sounds like your dealer is not familiar with a Gen 1 Volt. You write, "They say it’s most likely the batteries and they are at 8 percent life left. I don’t exactly know what that means." Neither do I. The Volt doesn’t run on "batteries" (plural). It has a large main battery (some call it the "traction battery" as distinct from the 12-volt battery in the hatch area) in the floor of the car beneath the seats (Wikipedia describes the 2011 battery pack as consisting of "288 individual cells arranged into nine modules"). A 2012 Volt whose main battery had degraded 92% from 16 kWh to 1.2 kWh full rated capacity wouldn’t be able to power the car at all. The battery warranty suggests the battery is expected to lose no more than 30% of full capacity over the 8 year warranty, and that level of degradation tends to produce PPR errors when the engine is used. Were you experiencing any? Can you still drive it with the engine running? If you switch to Mountain Mode, will it recharge the battery to the ~4 bar level, and then run on battery power if you turn the car off and back on again?

Do you know if the cell balancing program has been performed on your 2012 Volt (GM program #N172130462)? It is possible your battery is having some serious issues at the battery cell level that prevent it from operating properly. Such issues might require replacing the battery.
Sorry for the late reply, had not turned on the post notifications in the forum. Here’s the only info I have. This was a daily driver, 60-100 miles or more a day, sits outside year round in Minnesota, so extreme temp changes are common. They say battery life is 8 percent of new....it doesn’t make sense...The car was charging and using 8.6 kWh in the cold, it would use a bit more in the summer. It used to use 8.9 kW,but not since they did the reprogram for cars that were giving the propulsion reduced warning frequently a year ago. I had just got the propulsion reduced warning a week before it set off the SHVCS warning. The Chevy dealer here is totally in the dark with Volts, they were relying on the recommendations from Chevrolet techs directly per our conversation. I had noticed more of a lag a couple times when switching over from ice/battery lately. Otherwise there has been no indication of this issue. Maybe a second opinion would reveal something better, but I doubt it if they were talk to the Volt techs at corporate. I had spent $250 on the initial coolant sensor repair that didn’t fix it and they were going to charge me another $480....I told them they had better have a really good explanation for this given that they were sitting there waiting for corporate gm techs to tell them what to do, they dropped the $480 charge. I am not inclined to go somewhere else and get charged again for the same answer. So I am looking at just trading and taking it in the jaw on trade in value with service lights on....
 

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Sorry for the late reply, had not turned on the post notifications in the forum. Here’s the only info I have. They say battery life is 8 percent of new....it does make sense...The car was charging and using 8.6 kWh in the cold, it would use a bit more in the summer. It used to use 8.9 kW,but not since they did the reprogram for cars that were giving the propulsion reduced warning frequently a year ago. I had just got the propulsion reduced warning a week before it set off the SHVCS warning. The Chevy dealer here is totally in the dark with Volts, they were relying on the recommendations from Chevrolet directly per our conversation. I had noticed more of a lag a couple times when switching over from ice/battery lately. Otherwise there has been no indication of this issue. Maybe a second opinion would reveal something better, but I doubt it if they were talk to the Volt techs at corporate. I had spent $250 on the initial coolant sensor repair that didn’t fix it and they were going to charge me another $480....I told them they had beeter have a really good explanation for this given that they were sitting there waiting for corporate gm techs to tell them what to do, they dropped the $480 charge. I am not inclined to go somewhere else and get charged again for the same answer. So I am looking at just trading and taking it in the jaw on trade in value with service lights on....
Can you still drive the car on ice, and will mountain mode rev up the ice and put some noticeable charge in the battery?
 

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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.
I agree with you about the TR-7. I drove my 1976 TR-7 Victory Edition for ~130,000 fun-loving miles. I miss that car.

I've driven the 2014 Volt ~96k road trip miles (total odometer miles ~131k miles). I find it to be a great road car. Knock on wood, I'm hoping to double that mileage before the car falls apart (or I do 8^).
 

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Ok so we have established it will take a charge from the ice generator. Hopefully that means you can run in mountain mode and get something like 10-15 miles of range after the buffer is built up. So in mountain mode it works to charge up that buffer, then the engine slows and acts like it would in normal ice mode. You don’t see the battery range miles until you switch back to normal mode. But until you get a solution to the problem just run it in mountain mode always. My 2011 did the would Take a charge thing once still under warranty and they changed the onboard charger which is mounted under a front fender. Others have talked about defective charge port where you plug into. Just some ideas.
 

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1. what are the present p codes?
2. were the codes gone and did the car charge after the dealer replaced the sensor?
3. when the dealer replaced the coolant sensor, did they reprogram all the necessary modules? there are 2 that are necessary, not just one. I'd assume they did if they were following the service manual... but I made the same mistake when I first tried to reset all my codes after building a dummy coolant sensor. Of course its hard to know what the dealer did after the fact unless you were standing there with them the whole time.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
It now looks like They followed directions from volt technician at GM headquarters. Volt cell balancing program was done Nov. 2019...
Codes are p1e00
P1eC6
Poaa6
Po562
It set the codes the next day after coolant sensor and reprogram.
It will take a charge after the dealership clears the codes until the next start up....
 

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I feel your pain. I too, have a commute of 100+ miles per day and use the Volt to go sightseeing on the weekends. I may have a bad cell or module, but it’s hard to get a definitive answer as to what else may fail on the car after the battery is replaced. Coming from a Cruze Eco, which had expected costs (brakes, tires, clutch, shocks, etc.) the Volt seems to be a little more unpredictable when it comes to major repairs. And I hope you get the car back up and running or find a solution, it sucks not being able to enjoy your Volt.
 

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It set the codes the next day after coolant sensor and reprogram.
Well now ain't that suspicious........

I am rooting that you Volt is very fixable and you get another 100k out of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Well now ain't that suspicious........

I am rooting that you Volt is very fixable and you get another 100k out of it!
It set the codes before they replaced the sensor. I had a WOT sensor bypass in it when it happened, so I know it wasn’t a bad sensor.
 

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It set the codes before they replaced the sensor. I had a WOT sensor bypass in it when it happened, so I know it wasn’t a bad sensor.
OH thats good to know, if you had a wot sensor bypass in then the coolant sensor should have been irrelevant.
 

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When I built my own dummy coolant sensor and did the reprogramming, I found I had to reprogram BOTH

Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2
AND
Battery Energy Control Module

Just doing HPCM2 like most people suggest did not clear the codes and it would immediately return upon starting the car.

(Also, for anyone interested the dummy coolant sensor is simply 24.6 kohms of resistance between the two terminals in that connector. really easy to build your who from a few resistors to match that.)
 

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Yes, the car will charge up in mountain mode.
The battery's most likely good then. You need to find a Chevy dealership that has a Volt technician.
 

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Sparkie was a use case of 1, and we were all impressed & hopeful based on that example. I don't remember seeing any other reports here where the owner has high mileage on the car (150k+) with no issues. However there are multiple reports on the forum of battery sections or packs having to be be replaced either inside or outside of warranty. You are correct that we don't have all the data, and can only base conclusions from the owners posting here. It would be great if GM made the actual battery data public, however that's unlikely to happen, so we just have the owners experiences to go on.
If you go by the information on Voltstats, there are plenty of Volts with 150-250K miles. Several of the leaders are 2011-2012 models in MI:

171914
 
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