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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, so my car has been at the dealer for the phantom remote start issue, which they claim is now fixed, but I also asked them to replace the A/C compressor because, well frankly, it sounds like it's grinding itself to death whenever it runs when its hot outside. Granted, it is cold outside now so the dealer can't witness the problem first-hand like they would be able to during the summer, but I assume they would be able to plug their computer in to the car and force the A/C compressor to spool up to max so they can hear what it sounds like under a load (they say they can't). Anyway, they called today and, as expected, they said "the A/C is working fine". I wouldn't really care and I would just take it back in the summer, except that my bumper to bumper warranty expired on December 31st (after I dropped it off for the work), so as soon as I pick up the car they will close the ticket and any further work will have to come out of my pocket.

I need input from other Volt owners --- below are three different instances of my Volt's A/C compressor sounding like a chainsaw. Please click at lease one of these links and take a listen and tell me: does your Volt A/C sound like this when it's hot outside? In a couple of the videos you can hear birds in the background as a point of sound-loudness reference, and further to that point when the compressor is running like this you can't have a normal conversation standing outside the car (have to yell loudly over the noise to be heard). Lastly, when this happens, while driving I can feel vibrations throughout the entire car --- most noticeably in the steering wheel and peddles. Also FYI the engine is not running during any of these videos.

Is this normal sounding? Also, does anyone know if the Volt A/C compressor is covered under the power train warranty? (dealer says it's not, info in the warranty manual says it is...)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/2mce2kfhzgd10o4/frombehind.mov?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/tm6e206ba0nxdsk/spoolingup.mov?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/4n2982et2hq33mw/wobblingsound.mov?dl=0
 

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Sounds pretty normal to me. Both my 2012 and my 2014 Volts both make about that same sound when the AC runs in Comfort mode.

ECO mode is significantly quieter.

The sound you hear is a variable speed electric compressor. It's similar in size to a 2 ton HVAC compressor for your home. They make a lot of noise too.

It sure makes less noise than my neighbors For F150 pickup truck starting in the morning!

At any rate... I doubt your dealer will say it's "defective" sounds completely normal to me.
 

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I've never heard a sound like that. sounds more like vibrating sheet metal to me than the compressor. Here's a suggestion that you can try in the dealer's service bay: have them fully charge the car; plug the car in, turn in on, turn the cabin heat up to hi and turn on recurculate and have the heat blow from the floor vents and warm up the interior as much as possible.

while it is doing this, set the climate system to auto dehumidify.
After the interior is toasty, turn the desired cabin temperature down to 62 and set the system on either windshield vents or face vents. That should get the AC compressor running.
 

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Do what Paulacton84 said. That will get the AC going full speed. Be sure to heat the interior as high as possible -- I'd say run the heat for at least 5 minutes.

I have heard a quiet whisper version of the "spooling up" sound when the car is sitting in the garage and starting to charge on a hot summer night. But it is NOT that loud. Some people mistake the sound for the ICE running, but it is substantially quieter than the ICE.

I would get the Volt Adviser people involved on this one, too.
 

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on another topic in your original post, you mention "THE phantom remote start issue".
Ive been reading most threads for the last 18 months and I don't know about a phantom remote start issue. some people who sit on their key fob, or squeeze it into their tight jeans, and a few who left the car on when they got out, only to find that it was still on when they got back and had drained the battery and started the generator engine, but no true phantom starts.... did I miss something?
 

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I think it's hard to tell. I've never listened to the Volt from outside the car and a recording can amplify the sound a lot. Looks like you're heating the sensor which may change the normal operation.

I think you're OK on the warranty. You've reported a problem. If they can't reproduce it that doesn't mean there isn't a problem.

We haven't seen very many problems with the AC.
 

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I had this and onstar said it was not them even thought I knew it was the volt them couldn't help me either the onstar.

What I had to do which worked was hit the cancel remote start on the onstar app. And I signed out and never signed back in since like weeks ago.

I called volt advisory and told them how I fixed the issue. They wwre very happy to hear and said they would tell others because the problem was coming about and no one knew what dot do.

So sign into onstar app cancel the remote start then log out and don't use it.

My car hasn't started on its own since.

Hope that helps
 

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In my opinion these sounds are completely normal. The Volt's AC is unlike any other car. Because it is electric, it can ratchet the AC higher or lower as needed for the ambient temperatures. That is the "spooling" sound you're hearing. Sometimes it will also alternate between two levels, which is the "wobbling sound" you're hearing.

The Volt's AC is not simply just an on/off system but has various "levels" it can be turned onto, and in my opinion that is all you're hearing. My Volt "spools up" in the hot weather as well.

I don't think you have anything to worry about. They have the issue documented, in the unlikely event that you have your AC fail outside of warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I'm familiar with it being a variable speed electric compressor, which is awesome for efficiency's sake; my concern was with the fact that it sounds like death when its running at higher speeds - tt literally vibrates the car. I wouldn't even be worried about it right now, except that my warranty expired on Dec 31st and when I asked the dealer to confirm that the compressor is covered under the power train warranty, they told me nope - it is only covered under the bumper to bumper, not the power train warranty -- which conflicts with the warranty info packet provided to me with the car (see page 14 at http://www.chevrolet.com/content/dam/Chevrolet/northamerica/usa/nscwebsite/en/Home/Ownership/Manuals and Videos/02_pdf/2k12chev_lim_wm.pdf). I probably should just dismiss what the dealer is telling me, as they are clearly incompetent (e.g., they told me they couldn't test the A/C because the car was out of gas and the A/C only runs when the engine is running. Amusingly, the car did run itself out of gas while at the dealer due to the phantom remote start issue, but obviously the engine running has nothing to do with the A/C in a Volt).

Thanks for the input everyone!
 

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Sounds normal to me. My 2011 has made the same sounds many times while parked in my hot garage. You didn't say what the temp was when you recorded the sounds. On the warmest days with the garage closed up, it gets pretty warm inside and my Volt sometimes sounds pretty loud for awhile.
 

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In the videos posted, yeah, it sounds a bit loud.

Is that running in Comfort, cranked down? (basically so the compressor runs balls-out as hard as it can)

It sounds fairly normal in the second video while it ramps up, then it gets into what sounds like the balls-out hard driving speed, which can probably be kinda loud. In normal use, it probably shouldn't get to those speeds except for rare occasions, and it shouldn't run there all that long. That is, if you're not intentionally cranking it using Comfort mode dropping the temperature down as far as it will go.


The AC unit of course has to be part of the drive train, since it is integral to the battery cooling system. I'd at least tell them you want it recorded on the vehicle's record that you have complained about it.
 

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As others have said it's normal. I had a similar concern but we re-created the issue with our other Volt. Ambient temperatures have to be hot to where the car is attempting to cool the battery and the cabin at the same time. The compressor will be forced to ramp up very high to compensate. If you disconnect the charge cable it will quiet down immediately.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-POGVwetq0

As far as the A/C compressor is concerned I'd say you have a clueless dealer which is par for the course unfortunately. The E-Compressor is a part of the Voltec system as it is required to be operational for the battery TMS system to fuction. Hence it is covered under the Voltec warranty. It just also happens to be used as the compressor for the interior HVAC.
 

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Originally Posted by Voltsurgeryguy[quote name="Fulgerite" post=2115617][quote name="Paulacton84" post=2115537]did I miss something?
Yup. You missed this post by OnStar:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?149697-2012-Chevy-Volt-remote-starting-on-its-own&p=2105609#post2105609[/QUOTE]

I had this and onstar said it was not them even thought I knew it was the volt them couldn't help me either the onstar.

What I had to do which worked was hit the cancel remote start on the onstar app. And I signed out and never signed back in since like weeks ago.

I called volt advisory and told them how I fixed the issue. They wwre very happy to hear and said they would tell others because the problem was coming about and no one knew what dot do.

So sign into onstar app cancel the remote start then log out and don't use it.

My car hasn't started on its own since.

Hope that helps[/QUOTE]

Voltsurgeryguy,

I'm very glad to hear that you were able to resolve the issue on your own! Thank you also for sharing your experience with our Volt advisors. I'm certain that the data you provided helped us narrow down the cause of the issue.

As a preventative measure, we have removed the remote start features from the RemoteLink application until aproximately mid-January while our engineering teams enact a permanent resolution for this issue. If you - or anyone else - finds themselves experiencing unwanted remote starts, please press the OnStar button in your vehicle and request a remote door unlock. The new command being sent to the system will knock the old remote start command out of the computer, and stop it from repeatedly starting the vehicle.

We greatly apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you!

~Sara, OnStar Advisor
Social Media Team
 
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