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Discussion Starter #1
Well, this will be a christmas eve for the story book. coming home from dinner with friends. 2013 Volt with 77K that has been running like a champ seamlessly switches to gas after using up the battery and a few miles later i get the Propulsion Power Reduced alert message. a more proper label would have been Propulsion Power Gone. I'm moving for about another half a mile but i'm going on inertia as there is no power. I pull off to the side of the road and note that the check engine light is on, the gas icon has returned to the upper left corner and there is a very small, empty battery icon where the large battery icon usually resides.

long story short: i'm dead in the water. Triple A tows me to the dealer. well sorta. the dealer is gated and i let the driver take the volt to their garage and they'll tow it back to the dealer the first day it's open which is most likely wednesday. by taking it back to their garage it will only count as one tow.

so here i am on the forum and other places trying to get a read on the possibilities. seems like most of the threads deal with high mileage 2011-2012 and most people weren't left high and dry. as a probably unrelated aside, in the last two days i replaced my headlamps with LEDs and topped off my coolant reservoirs with pre-mixed 50/50 GM approved DexCool. hope i didn't bump anything loose while i was under the hood.

any thoughts and insights appreciated.
 

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Hard to guess without reading some error codes

Did you run the engine after working on the car, or was this the first time?
 

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When you say GM approved, you used the coolant approved for hybrids (same part number as in the owners manual)?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hard to guess without reading some error codes

Did you run the engine after working on the car, or was this the first time?
car work was done sunday. drove sunday, monday day and to a friends house monday evening without any issues whatsoever. i did happen to have my OBD reader in the car. it showed a code but wouldn't show a number beyond 00.
 

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When you say GM approved, you used the coolant approved for hybrids (same part number as in the owners manual)?
i learned on this forum how to add coolant so apparently it's a basic maintenance thing to periodically check. didn't add very much at all. wished there was a much smaller quantity i could have bought as i may have used less than a cup for all three chambers. don't have a pic handy but i believe it was a Prestone DexCool 50/50 premix with a GM logo.
 

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i learned on this forum how to add coolant so apparently it's a basic maintenance thing to periodically check. didn't add very much at all. wished there was a much smaller quantity i could have bought as i may have used less than a cup for all three chambers. don't have a pic handy but i believe it was a Prestone DexCool 50/50 premix with a GM logo.
Not sure that answered my question. On the gas motor side it probably doesn't matter that much, but it has to be the kind for hybrids with no electrical conductivity for battery and electronics cooling.
 

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i learned on this forum how to add coolant so apparently it's a basic maintenance thing to periodically check. didn't add very much at all. wished there was a much smaller quantity i could have bought as i may have used less than a cup for all three chambers. don't have a pic handy but i believe it was a Prestone DexCool 50/50 premix with a GM logo.
There are two kinds. The first GM tried to sell me but the part numbers didn't match (bearing in mind the Canadian part number is different). It was the non deionized type. They didn't have the correct deionized type. The only way you could tell was the slightly different colour of the cap and the part number on the label. Had to go to a dealer a couple towns over. The parts guy on hearing where I came from to get it (40 miles) gave it to me for wholesale price. Now that's service.

Now I'm not saying that is your problem, you might just be like one of those ICE cars that you see pulled over and parked on the side of the road.
 

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As you only added a little fluid, it could not have caused this.

Your code reader can't read the proper code. It can probably read only the standard codes.

Try torque
 

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Discussion Starter #10
As you only added a little fluid, it could not have caused this.

Your code reader can't read the proper code. It can probably read only the standard codes.

Try torque
for now the Volt is at the towing company's garage. first thing tomorrow i will call the dealership nearest me and make sure they have a volt technician. when i was volt shopping two years ago there was a dealership much further away where the GM was a volt enthusiast so i would assume that dealer would have a knowledgeable tech. we'll see if i feel AAA should tow the volt there.
 

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Adding the DexCool premix did not cause PPR, but an empty coolant tank could. You opened the hood and verified the coolant was still level with the top of the black label rather than almost empty?

If it's not a low coolant level, then let's see what the Volt tech diagnoses.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Adding the DexCool premix did not cause PPR, but an empty coolant tank could. You opened the hood and verified the coolant was still level with the top of the black label rather than almost empty?

If it's not a low coolant level, then let's see what the Volt tech diagnoses.
though it was dark, yes i did pop the hood to check if the coolant levels were still fine and they were.
 

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The coolant fill and PPR must be just a coincidence. I've seen the 50-50 Dexcool Prestone at my auto shop, it's "GM approved", and it is for the Volt, etc.

Have you ever changed the 12v?
 

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1. Time like this - I am glad I still have onstar

2. While we wait at least give us the part number of the cooling fluid you used.

3. Wonder if those of us with 2011-2012 volt need to keep the mode in MM to help prevent PPR and switching to gas with extra battery power left in reserve.

There is a repair note about adjusting the battery to ground resistance trigger point but as I recall that should only cause a charging lock out ? ie if the cooling fluid started to be conductive. and that may give a P0AA6 or P1FFF code ( one of the other or both )

-- sorry that egg nog had too much run in it --- will post link if needed later.

hope they get to your car soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If the 12v is faulty the vehicle will not convert to engine on when you are out of battery propulsion. It WILL strand you at the side of the road.

this is a statement made by a poster on another forum. anyone know if this is true?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
1. Time like this - I am glad I still have onstar

2. While we wait at least give us the part number of the cooling fluid you used.

3. Wonder if those of us with 2011-2012 volt need to keep the mode in MM to help prevent PPR and switching to gas with extra battery power left in reserve.

There is a repair note about adjusting the battery to ground resistance trigger point but as I recall that should only cause a charging lock out ? ie if the cooling fluid started to be conductive. and that may give a P0AA6 or P1FFF code ( one of the other or both )

-- sorry that egg nog had too much run in it --- will post link if needed later.

hope they get to your car soon.
actually i'm home now. this happened christmas eve. and i did call Onstar. it didn't occur to me to ask them to read the code and they didn't offer. the call was focused on getting towed. Onstar gave me such a long ETA that I also called AAA and they made it to me first.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The dealer was able to get to the Volt today and called me this afternoon. Said the volt tech reprogrammed the car and everything checks out ok. they asked if i had changed the 12v recently as sometimes the volt loses programming when you change out the battery. (huh?) and no, i haven't put in a new 12v.

$125 diagnostic fee. i'll find out more when i pick it up tomorrow.
 

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Replace the battery. That Volt's battery is at least 5 years old and most battery testers don't properly test AGM batteries. The summer heat in Georgia is a known battery killer. The fact that the car needed to be reprogrammed and the Volt tech was asking if the battery had been replaced recently is a real strong indicator the 12v battery is going out.
 
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