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My name is Robert. I am new to the GM-Volt Forum. I own a 2012 Volt, which I purchased used from a dealership after it had just returned from a lease. I have owned it for over two years now. I purchased the extended warranty, which expired just 49 days ago. I love my car and have been happy with it so far. I drive mostly electric miles, 155 MPG to-date, with only 31,000 on the odometer.

Today, I was greeted with a lovely "Service High Voltage Charging System" with the check engine light on. Well, I joined this forum so that I could look up this error code and see what gives. I love my Volt but, this makes me very upset. I see lots of postings listing problems with the charging system. This concerns me because lithium-ion batteries can catch fire, under the right conditions. The idea of a cooling system failing, while my car is plugged-in and charging in the garage, terrifies me. Could my car overheat, catch fire, and set my house ablaze?

My problem it turns out, has to do with the battery coolant level sensor supposedly being bad. I have replied to an existing thread on the subject and am hoping someone can help me. Some people say that this would be covered under the 100,000 mile Voltec warranty and some say not. My dealer seems to think it's not covered. This is a huge blow as I don't see why a car with only 31k miles on it, that's been continually coddled, would suddenly do this. Not only is it expensive and time consuming to replace the sensor but, this episode undermines my sense of security in the quality of the build and the safety of the car. This is indeed a sad day!
 

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this episode undermines my sense of security in the quality of the build and the safety of the car. This is indeed a sad day!
A bit dramatic and an unwarranted over reaction in my opinion.

A part goes bad after 4 years and now your sense of security in the quality of the build and the safety is totally shaken? Parts go bad, this should not be news.

Your self-alarmist concern about fire, house burning down is ironic, given that this error prevents the car from charging until it is fixed! Why? So you can't charge the battery when the coolant is low. If anything, your panic attack should be assuaged by the fact that the car is coddling you even though the fluid level is not low. It's just a bad sensor thinking the coolant is low.

So no, your battery wont over heat, burn up the car, burn down the house, start your neighbors homes on fire, move on to the rest of the city and ultimately end life on the planet. Instead, the battery will no longer charge until this sensor is replaced.

I do think you should get a Volt advisor involved about the warranty covering the sensor replacement (and take some deep breaths). :)
 

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I have had this code happen twice on my 2012 Volt this last 6 months. Once was for low coolant level and the other required a software reprogram. In both cases it prevented me from charging my car, so it was indeed trying to protect the battery. Both cases were covered by the Voltec warranty and I see no reason to think your case would not be.

I am certain this will turn out fine.
 

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I don't worry about a random meteor striking my house and obliterating me either! I'm sorry OP, but you are going overboard with your worries. Sorry that you are having problems. Get a Volt Adviser involved. IMO, this should be covered under warranty. Report back to us when the problem is resolved. Good luck.
 

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Thank-you for your response. Like I said, I have been very happy with my car. I'm sorry if I sound upset. I love my car. I have been very happy with hit. When people ask me about it, I give them the guided tour and tell them it's the greatest car ever. So, to have something break at 31,000 miles is a bit disconcerting.

As far as battery technology is concerned, I have to confess I do worry a little about the battery sometimes. Airlines don't allow lithium-ion batteries in their cargo holds. And you must have seen the videos online of hoverboards and iPhones catching fire? Now, I'm sure that a computer carefully monitors and controls individual battery charging and cooling, and won't let any cell in the system over-temp. And, I know that the car will shut-off the entire system in case of a crash. And it's not like I have uranium rods in there that will have a melt-down if no coolant shows up - it just can't charge. So, logically, I am sure everything is kosher. Like I said, I'm just frustrated!
 

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Thank-you for your quick reply. Huh - I wonder if they checked the software? I know the fluid level was just fine. That's good to hear that yours was covered by the warranty.
 

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As far as battery technology is concerned, I have to confess I do worry a little about the battery sometimes. Airlines don't allow lithium-ion batteries in their cargo holds. And you must have seen the videos online of hoverboards and iPhones catching fire? Now, I'm sure that a computer carefully monitors and controls individual battery charging and cooling, and won't let any cell in the system over-temp. And, I know that the car will shut-off the entire system in case of a crash. And it's not like I have uranium rods in there that will have a melt-down if no coolant shows up - it just can't charge. So, logically, I am sure everything is kosher. Like I said, I'm just frustrated!
Right, one of the reasons I chose the Volt was how well protected it is from thermal effects and how well engineered it is. If phones, laptops and hoverboard battery systems were as well designed, the batteries they use would last 10 or more years and would not catch fire. And like people, not all lithium ion batteries are the same. Have you noticed there have been no Volt battery fires, even when involved in serious crashes? This is a very safe car. But like any car, parts can go bad.
 

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I've had the same thing happen recently to my 2011 with 31K miles on it. It first appeared a few weeks ago. I took it to the dealer, they did some software updates under the Voltec warranty. After driving about 20 miles, the issue reoccurred. I took it back. This time they called Chevy. Turns out they didn't calibrate one of the updates that they did. All was fine until today, about 500 miles later and working out of town with the car, it reappeared. I now have to wait until I am home next week to try and get it fixed a third time. This really is upsetting me. Not only can I not charge it now, I have to look at that stupid warning message all of the time for the next week. Neither one of my "fixes" had anything to do with the radiator issue, even after they talked to Chevy (at least based on the work order). Is this something that I should bring up to them when I bring it in again?
 

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Neither one of my "fixes" had anything to do with the radiator issue, even after they talked to Chevy (at least based on the work order). Is this something that I should bring up to them when I bring it in again?
What radiator issue?

The most common cause for this warning seems to be a low coolant level due to evaporation (boil-off). Second place is a faulty coolant level sensor or it's wiring. Of course, if you puncture your radiator, there will be a rapid loss of coolant, but that's different than coolant loss over the years due to boil-off during charging. Rarely, there have been a few with loss from a leak in the plumbing or connections.
 

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I've had the same thing happen recently to my 2011 with 31K miles on it. It first appeared a few weeks ago. I took it to the dealer, they did some software updates under the Voltec warranty. After driving about 20 miles, the issue reoccurred. I took it back. This time they called Chevy. Turns out they didn't calibrate one of the updates that they did. All was fine until today, about 500 miles later and working out of town with the car, it reappeared. I now have to wait until I am home next week to try and get it fixed a third time. This really is upsetting me. Not only can I not charge it now, I have to look at that stupid warning message all of the time for the next week. Neither one of my "fixes" had anything to do with the radiator issue, even after they talked to Chevy (at least based on the work order). Is this something that I should bring up to them when I bring it in again?
You might be able to remove the warning message and get back to your normal display by rotating the "Select" knob located on the dash on the left side of the steering column.

Let us know what the cause of the problem is, please, when it is fixed so that we can add to our data base of problems and solutions.
 

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I have seen a lot of "loss of isolation" codes in the last few months. There is a update program for the Battery Energy Control Module and the Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2 for this issue. The strange thing is in the last few years, I have not seen these codes set, no they are coming in for this issue and GM just released the updated software a few months ago. Not sure of the cause, does not seem to be related to mileage, more so with time. Have not had one car come back after the program. The update is covered under the voltec warranty as well as the battery radiator if damaged by debris. BTW, coolant does not evaporate over time.
 

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Had the same problem appear Saturday after 5 and a half years and 48K miles. Unable to charge.

Battery coolant level and sensors were ok. Software update installed today fixed the problem. Car is charging now.

Hope this is a once and done fix. It is the only problem worth mentioning I've had since getting my Volt.
 

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What radiator issue?

The most common cause for this warning seems to be a low coolant level due to evaporation (boil-off). Second place is a faulty coolant level sensor or it's wiring. Of course, if you puncture your radiator, there will be a rapid loss of coolant, but that's different than coolant loss over the years due to boil-off during charging. Rarely, there have been a few with loss from a leak in the plumbing or connections.
Sorry, the above are what I meant by "radiator issue", wasn't sure exactly what it was, but they didn't touch that .

You might be able to remove the warning message and get back to your normal display by rotating the "Select" knob located on the dash on the left side of the steering column.

Let us know what the cause of the problem is, please, when it is fixed so that we can add to our data base of problems and solutions.
Yeah, I can get rid of the message, but still have the Check Engine light on. Although yesterday, I made the mistake of viewing the warning on the messages and I couldn't scroll anymore until I turned the car off and back on. Yes, I will get back to you on the final fix.

I have seen a lot of "loss of isolation" codes in the last few months. There is a update program for the Battery Energy Control Module and the Hybrid Powertrain Control Module 2 for this issue. The strange thing is in the last few years, I have not seen these codes set, no they are coming in for this issue and GM just released the updated software a few months ago. Not sure of the cause, does not seem to be related to mileage, more so with time. Have not had one car come back after the program. The update is covered under the voltec warranty as well as the battery radiator if damaged by debris. BTW, coolant does not evaporate over time.
I have the work order that says exactly what they did to "not" fix it. I am out-of-town, so don't have access to it right now. I do believe that it was three different software updates along with something that needed calibrated.

Had the same problem appear Saturday after 5 and a half years and 48K miles. Unable to charge.

Battery coolant level and sensors were ok. Software update installed today fixed the problem. Car is charging now.

Hope this is a once and done fix. It is the only problem worth mentioning I've had since getting my Volt.
Keep us posted on this. I thought I had a software fix also---twice, and it reappeared. FWIW, before I went to the dealer the first time, I just cleared the Check Engine codes out and it worked for a bit, but then reoccurred.
 

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Hello all, sorry it took me so long to get back to this thread, but I have been out of town. After taking my car in for the 3rd time, I mentioned to my service adviser that the mechanic may want to check the coolant sensor as was posted on the forums. He said, thanks, anything will help. Well, lo and behold, the next day, I got a call from him that my car was ready and he also said, "you were right"!! The official diagnosis was an open circuit in the high voltage battery coolant level sensor harness. They replaced the harness and I have driven for around a month and 800 miles with no issues!! Thanks to everyone on here that mentioned that as a probable cause, you saved me a lot of heartache! Also, this was covered under the VOLTEC warranty. I believe some posters had said that they were getting charged for the repair. I had no issues.
 
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