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Discussion Starter #1
Well I had really been hoping this was due to the really hot weather and the Volt taking more battery power to run the cooling for the batteries but the weather has gotten milder and the error is still happening.

It seems to happen if I park the Volt within 5-10 minutes of it switching to gas. Usually if the gas usage is at .003 or .007 when I start it up I'll get the message. Today it did it with the gas being at .020

Of course the error clears after it runs a while but that is what I'm wondering about. Is the error logged so if I take it in for service they can see this has been happening A LOT?

Next question how likely is it this will be covered under warranty? She does have just over 80,000 miles but the battery and charging system are covered for 8 years aren't they?

Anyway I do want to take it in for service but I'm really afraid they will not be able to find anything given you've got to run out the battery and just a bit on gas then shutdown and start up again before you might encounter this error.

I'd appreciate any advice.

Thanks
 

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When you click the OnStar button, what error codes do they give you?

Warranty will depend on what the issue is, right?
 

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You're not crazy this has happened to me twice. Both times after running one the freeway for an hour or so in CS mode and stopping for a few minutes to run errands. After restarting the ICE runs hard and power is reduced for a few minutes. The dealer could not find any error codes.
 

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These instances should not occur, I would press the OnStar button for diagnostics and also bring to your dealer. The Volt is designed to run flawlessly in the hottest and coldest of climates, so be descriptive with your dealer, and also call the Volt Advisor hotline so they can help to engage the dealer and properly resolve the problem.
 

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Is the ICE running really hard on the start? If so then it simply might be the battery is below the desired SOC and the engine is running hard to replenish it. That would not generate an error since there technically isn't anything wrong. However, it seems highly unlikely this would happen multiple times in a month. If it's an error it might be something as basic as your coolant being a bit low.

The warranty is limited by miles or time, whichever comes first.

You're not crazy this has happened to me twice. Both times after running one the freeway for an hour or so in CS mode and stopping for a few minutes to run errands. After restarting the ICE runs hard and power is reduced for a few minutes. The dealer could not find any error codes.
He's describing a very different situation. In has case he either is running in CS Mode for a very brief time or never actually running in CS Mode.
 

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Well I had really been hoping this was due to the really hot weather and the Volt taking more battery power to run the cooling for the batteries but the weather has gotten milder and the error is still happening.

It seems to happen if I park the Volt within 5-10 minutes of it switching to gas. Usually if the gas usage is at .003 or .007 when I start it up I'll get the message. Today it did it with the gas being at .020

Of course the error clears after it runs a while but that is what I'm wondering about. Is the error logged so if I take it in for service they can see this has been happening A LOT?

Next question how likely is it this will be covered under warranty? She does have just over 80,000 miles but the battery and charging system are covered for 8 years aren't they?

Anyway I do want to take it in for service but I'm really afraid they will not be able to find anything given you've got to run out the battery and just a bit on gas then shutdown and start up again before you might encounter this error.

I'd appreciate any advice.

Thanks
The next time this happens clearly document the instance by using your phone to video it. Call OnStar and ask for any codes. Take to the dealer and play the video.
 

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He's describing a very different situation. In has case he either is running in CS Mode for a very brief time or never actually running in CS Mode.
I have to disagree. It seems the issue is why does the car goes into the propulsion reduced state when it is hasnt been driven hard in CS/Normal mode. Both the OP and I experienced the problem after briefly stopping. There is no reason why the SOC should have dropped to a point where propulsion power is reduced, I was driving on level city streets. The 55 KW range extender should have been able to deliver the power easily, but in both cases it didn't think it could. Why?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Is the ICE running really hard on the start? If so then it simply might be the battery is below the desired SOC and the engine is running hard to replenish it. That would not generate an error since there technically isn't anything wrong. However, it seems highly unlikely this would happen multiple times in a month. If it's an error it might be something as basic as your coolant being a bit low.

The warranty is limited by miles or time, whichever comes first.

He's describing a very different situation. In has case he either is running in CS Mode for a very brief time or never actually running in CS Mode.
It would be awesome if it was just the coolant. And you are correct I'm running in CS Mode for just a couple of miles before arriving at my destination and shutting down. Then when it starts up again is when I see the message.

Three times this week I've gotten that message so it really just doesn't think the battery has enough juice and it will just spend the next five minutes limping along while it runs the engine trying to create power to dump into the battery.

Anyway I was really hoping the battery and recharging system had 8 year. I just remembered when the car was new they weren't too sure how long the batteries might last so they committed to servicing them for that time. But at 82,000 miles I suppose I'm out of luck and this does feel like a problem with the charging system.

For those who asked about OnStar I haven't checked with them because when my five years was up I didn't renew.
 

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Anyway I was really hoping the battery and recharging system had 8 year. I just remembered when the car was new they weren't too sure how long the batteries might last so they committed to servicing them for that time. But at 82,000 miles I suppose I'm out of luck and this does feel like a problem with the charging system.
Don't be too worried about the miles. Given how close you are, and given GM's past history, if you dealer is good there is a good probability that this would be fixed under warranty if there is something actually wrong with the power train. So take it in and find out.

I have to disagree. It seems the issue is why does the car goes into the propulsion reduced state when it is hasnt been driven hard in CS/Normal mode. Both the OP and I experienced the problem after briefly stopping. There is no reason why the SOC should have dropped to a point where propulsion power is reduced, I was driving on level city streets. The 55 KW range extender should have been able to deliver the power easily, but in both cases it didn't think it could. Why?
Two differences. My assumption is that the battery SOC is playing a role, and the "propulsion reduced" message is the result of the battery SOC being low and the engine being stressed. Since the car can take the SOC charge down right before it switches to the engine, I can see this happening if you just switch to the engine and then immediately turn it off. That seems to be his situation. In your case you were running in CS Mode for quite a while. In this situation the car slightly raises the SOC. You can see this on the road. Every once in a while the SOC rises, the engine kicks off, and you run in CD Mode.

The other difference is you have gotten this rarely. He gets it commonly.
 

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I thought the Voltec warranty was 8 years/100,000 miles. Longer in California. You should be OK on warranty coverage.

I could see this happening if the battery is very low due to being at the bottom of the window where the generator kicks on, and also if the ICE is started at a temperature where it runs at idle speed for a while to warm up before going into full power mode. It would not surprise me to see that happen on a rare basis. My car has never done it, but I rarely use the ICE. Odd that you are seeing it regularly. Unless you have something about your driving pattern that just happens to perfectly match up with that scenario and you repeat it accurately. In that case, using hold mode or mountain mode could disrupt that pattern if you wanted to experiment with it. If not, just call a volt advisor and take it in.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The first time I saw the message was about two months ago and I immediately drove to the dealership but by the time I arrived the message had disappeared.

Don't know why this has just started happening my driving pattern hasn't changed. I thought it might have to do with a very hot summer but it's been cooler the past week and the battery cooling wasn't immediately running like it had been when it was over 100 outside. So less energy is being used but still seeing this message.

Not sure why I thought the warranty mileage was 80,000 rather than 100,000 could have been confusing it with the 8 year thing. Fingers crossed it is a covered part.

I've got an appointment for tomorrow morning. I'll report back with the findings.
 

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Don't be too worried about the miles. Given how close you are, and given GM's past history, if you dealer is good there is a good probability that this would be fixed under warranty if there is something actually wrong with the power train. So take it in and find out.

Two differences. My assumption is that the battery SOC is playing a role, and the "propulsion reduced" message is the result of the battery SOC being low and the engine being stressed. Since the car can take the SOC charge down right before it switches to the engine, I can see this happening if you just switch to the engine and then immediately turn it off. That seems to be his situation. In your case you were running in CS Mode for quite a while. In this situation the car slightly raises the SOC. You can see this on the road. Every once in a while the SOC rises, the engine kicks off, and you run in CD Mode.

The other difference is you have gotten this rarely. He gets it commonly.
OK, I see your point. I'm thinking the symptoms sound like a faulty battery level sensor. One of the other issues I've had is my range estimate seems to erroneously drop occasionally. On one occasion my range dropped 14 miles just backing out of my garage but I still was able to drive my normal range so the battery was fine. I have taken my Volt to the dealer twice. No error codes were found and they tested the battery, which was fine. They reloaded the software and so far no reoccurrence of the problem.
 

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I just had this happen to me for the 2nd time within a month under ordinary circumstances so something is not quite right. It runs in reduced mode for several minutes and then reverts back to normal. The last time it did this (yesterday) I drove a few miles on city streets and then stopped for dinner at a restaurant. When I started it back up after dinner it reported 4 miles of usable EV range. That is further evidence that it went to reduced because it falsely sensed the battery pack as being too low (below 15% or whatever the threshold is). After dinner it correctly sensed the state of charge and showed the extra 4 miles of range added bogusly during the reduced propulsion mode.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well three hours at the dealership and they came up with nothing. Apparently it wasn't throwing any codes. Since I had my phone with me and had snapped a picture of the "Propulsion power is reduced" image from my dash they knew I was telling the truth. They say they ran all sorts of diagnostics but everything was fine.

Sadly I suspected they'd have trouble replicating the problem. I'm completely at a lose why this is now happening but it looks like my daily drive is now going to include five minutes of stress worrying about being able to get up to speed when it spits of that message and starts racing the engine while choking the gas peddle. Or I guess I can just sit in the parking lot and wait until it decides my timeout is up and allows me to proceed.
 

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If it really is that predictable for you, you may be able to prevent it by using hold or mountain mode to retain some charge before the end of your drive. Then when you start up again and it would normally be in low propulsion, it will have enough battery power to keep you in normal propulsion mode. I know that is not a real fix, but it could be a work around.

Also, if it is that predictable, maybe you can arrange to have the scenario happen at the dealership.
 

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I just had this happen to me for the 2nd time within a month under ordinary circumstances so something is not quite right. It runs in reduced mode for several minutes and then reverts back to normal. The last time it did this (yesterday) I drove a few miles on city streets and then stopped for dinner at a restaurant. When I started it back up after dinner it reported 4 miles of usable EV range. That is further evidence that it went to reduced because it falsely sensed the battery pack as being too low (below 15% or whatever the threshold is). After dinner it correctly sensed the state of charge and showed the extra 4 miles of range added bogusly during the reduced propulsion mode.
Ah, that's a good data point. So this is something that's happening in old Volts when you've gone into CS mode?

Seems like a software problem where the readings from the pack don't mean what they used to mean, so the computer misjudges what's happening.
That could simply be:
a) a combination of time, use and the way the pack is managed the software that calculates SoC can't read it right, and the pack needs some re-calibration.
b) pack degradation means that the pack readings don't mean what they used to mean.
 

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Ah, that's a good data point. So this is something that's happening in old Volts when you've gone into CS mode?

Seems like a software problem where the readings from the pack don't mean what they used to mean, so the computer misjudges what's happening.
That could simply be:
a) a combination of time, use and the way the pack is managed the software that calculates SoC can't read it right, and the pack needs some re-calibration.
b) pack degradation means that the pack readings don't mean what they used to mean.
That's my guess also. On two of the three occasions when this has happened to me I called OnStar and had them run a diagnostic check for any codes and they said there were none. It's just a guess, but I suspect that after GM gets more reports of this happening and can evaluate the circumstances they will have to put out a software update that does a better job of estimating quirky state of charge conditions on older well-used battery packs. My car is now over 5.5 years old with 84,000 EV miles and 137,000 miles total.
 

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That's my guess also. On two of the three occasions when this has happened to me I called OnStar and had them run a diagnostic check for any codes and they said there were none. It's just a guess, but I suspect that after GM gets more reports of this happening and can evaluate the circumstances they will have to put out a software update that does a better job of estimating quirky state of charge conditions on older well-used battery packs. My car is now over 5.5 years old with 84,000 EV miles and 137,000 miles total.
The problem may be related to age more than use as my Volt is also 5.5 years old, but has less than 50,000 total miles. In my case it is a minor issue as it quickly recovers. Running in Mountain or Hold Modes is also a good suggestion.
 
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