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Hi

I picked up a new 2016 Volt about 3 weeks ago as my DD ( I commute from about 80 miles per day from DC suburbs to downtown Baltimore ) and things were fine till this Monday. I was on Md Rt 97 going about 65-70 mph ( Hold Mode / ICE ) had about 16 mile of battery left when a got a warning to shift to PARK and pull off road; did so but the car died fast 10 sec or so. Called in to Onstar and arranged for Police pull in to set up a warning for other cars and they got me a flatbed to the nearest dealer ( took about 35 minutes total). During the wait time the car electronics progressive died until the emergency blinked did not work. The car was brick by the time the flatbed got to my location.

1) Did a bit googling and this problem seems endemic to electric cars that use DC to DC transformers to charge their 12V battery:

https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/thr...ypical-according-to-tesla-service-tech.41006/

http://www.edmunds.com/tesla/model-.../2013-tesla-model-s-stuck-on-the-freeway.html

http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?t=12448

Not sure why this is but these cars have a different duty cycle for the 12V than normal ICE cars ...

This seems very dangerous to me in that one has very little time to get off the road before shutdown..sort of like the key falling out of the ignition ..

2) My Volt is at the dealer being serviced.


Any other 2016/2017 Volts with same issues ?

As a note ..experienced car nut had 4 Corvettes & 2 BMW's .. 2 engineering degrees and retired from NASA now work in Bio IT .. Just seems bad engineering to have such a crap design ( Volt, Tesla, Leaf ) but maybe they all use the DC to DC converter..


Cheers
 

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Well, when I turned in my leased Leaf at five years, it was still on it's original battery with no issues... However, the Leaf has a very small conventional lead-acid battery - not AGM - and some specific charging issues, neither of which apply to the Volt... Thus, I suspect that your incident is isolated and simply infant mortality of the battery...

I'm an EE too, by the way. :)
 

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I don't think it has much to do with an electric car. I have a friend who bought a new F-350 or something like that and it died two days after he got it home. I do believe it's more difficult to recognize that the 12v battery in an electric car is failing. In an ICE it won't crank. In an electric the car starting doesn't take much juice, so the car may start but you get bizarre behaviors.
 

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In over 5 years, I don't believe we have ever has anyone that has had their Auxiliary Power Module (DC-DC Converter) ever fail. They have been highly reliable. So much so people are even using them to power 2kW inverters to power their homes in power outages.

The immediacy of your 12V crash is also unheard of here. There have been numerous 12V battery issues over the years, but usually they manifest as a dead battery after sitting OFF for some period.

So your symptoms as described isn't something we've really seen or heard of yet, especially on the Gen2 cars. I suspect your either had some sort of short occur within the battery itself or some other major open or short somewhere in the 12V cabling order for the 12V to crash so hard, so quickly. Could the APM have failed? sure. But it is not a common failure among ANY electric vehicle.

Please keep us advised as to what the dealer finds.

Welcome to gm-volt.com

WopOnTour
 

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Sorry your new car left you stranded. That's the first time I've read of one acting this way.

As a matter of design, this is certainly NOT a design flaw. It would never be DESIGNED to shut off while driving. What this looks like is a DEFECT. From the sound of it the DC to DC inverter likely did fail. Without it the car ran off the 12v battery for as long as it lasted, and once it got below 10 volts you got the message to pull over. Then, further draining it to under 8 volts where the emergency flashers ceased to operate.

Once it goes in for warranty repair you'll find out what part needed replacement. Once replaced, I'm sure it'll work perfectly, just as it was designed to do.

When an alternator fails on a ICE automobile, it will do the exact same thing: run on battery till the spark is too weak. Not a design flaw, just a failure.

I love my Volt, and I'm sure you will too after this is all fixed up.
 

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ON a conventional car, detecting a bad 12V battery (yes, they can happen to new cars also) is easy because it will have trouble cranking. in an EV, it might fail in the middle of a drive, like in your case. Not sure if you had a bad battery or a bad DC-DC converter (akin to a bad alternator on a ICE vehicle). It is too bad that you had to go through this ordeal but you can see that 12V related issues, however vocal they may be, are very few and far in between when it comes to Volts.
 

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We had a new Nissan and the 12V died 14 months later. One minute it was starting the car, the next not even a click. 3V=dead. Car had a 30 min highway commute twice daily so no lack of charging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I see ...

Yep I get it.. On a normal ICE the startup load functions as a sorta go-no go load test for the 12V battery; that is lacking on the electric cars. The ICE with a bad battery just won't start; where as the electric can stop while driving. But note in any case it would be nice to have a bit more warning. Ordered a cheap cigarette socket voltmeter to see if that give me bit more info...

BTW.. I really liked the car when it was working ...
 

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I carry a Juno Jumper, first in my Gen 1 and now in my Gen 2. I am wondering if this jump start device, if connected to a dying battery would get one home. I hope I never have to find out. Both my Volts have been trouble-free.
 

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Also not sure why you think a dc-dc to maintain the AGM battery is a crap design. Normally the dc-dc can provide 2KW to the 12V bus, while the car is on. Plenty to ride through most AGM battery issues. The AGM battery is under ~ 0.5KW load to start up the computers to get the car going. Certainly not an ICE cold cranking load, but the AGM is used exactly because there is a more steady load, not a burst load to start.

If the AGM battery shorted to the point where even the 2KW dc-dc can't keep it up, the little jumper boxes don't have a chance.
 

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You should know that WOT is your best source of information. If he says to look at the battery or the cabling my guess is this will be the case. But please let us know what your dealer says.
 

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Thanks for the vote of confidence DonC, but upon re-reading the OPs original post, in the absence of any other 12V system related warning lights and given the significant warning period for other indicators (i.e. red BATT lamp, "Low Battery" message usually followed by "Battery Saver Active" or Service Battery Charging System" messages) I am now wondering if this could really have anything to do with the 12V system at all.

got a warning to shift to PARK and pull off road...
There is of course no such warning, but I am assuming perhaps the order is switched around. But that being said the only condition I am aware of that commands "Shift to Park" is when the vehicle is stationary and out-of-Park and the Power button is pressed.
I do not believe there is ANY message that specifically states "Pull off the Road".
No reported, Check Engine Light, No "Propulsion Power is Reduced" message, No other indications of detected fault.
Just doesn't make sense.

Plus, if the 12V battery was completely down the 4-ways would not have worked at all, and if car was OFF with the 4-ways remaining ON they are about the only lighting system that would be permitted to eventually kill the 12V battery. (although ~35 minutes seems a bit quick perhaps )

So I am a bit stumped by the described sequence of events. Simply not jiving...
Hopefully the OP will return an post a copy of the repair order and DTCs recorded so we can ascertain exactly what transpired.

WopOnTour
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
To Clarify

To clarify .. the most of the system worked when I initially pulled off.. OnStar blinkers,,etc.were OK. then an slow but orderly and gradual shut down sequenced happened the last to go was the emergency blinkers at about 30 minutes...

That morning I had stopped at a local business and read the Washington Post got coffee with radio on while engine was off for about 20 min; then ran on Hold Mode, wipers/lights and defogger were on, seat heater was on for bit.. was trying to see what the pure ICE mileage would be ( ~ 42 mpg ) for my commute when it died about 25 miles up the road...

Shift to Park sounds really stupid when one is driving 70 mph..I was taken aback by that ! Took an instance to react so did so and pulled off..The precise text may not be exact b/c of the limited time I saw it .and circumstance of trying to get to safety..

I will post what the dealer gives me when I get the car back... Maybe a GM Volt engineer can chime in ..

Almost sounds like a battery defect, but the older Volts I have been told used AC Delco Pro batteries which is not so cheap.

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DC to DC

I do not think DC to DC is a crap design; pretty much the only way to go an electric..but it is one thing to have a dead car in your driveway and another to be going at speed on a crowded interstate. Kinda scary ! Needs a better warning system.. Looking at the Tesla forums it seems the their system generates a lot more of battery charge cycles than an ICE system. No info for the new Volt though.. But given the short time for my Volt more likely a simple battery defect than anything else..

Cheers
 

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Just found this post on your forums that seems relevant : http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?220562-Volt-2016-Completely-Dead
This would not be similar at all. As WOT mentioned, this is the scenario where someone returns from leaving the car -- for example after being on vacation -- and it doesn't start. We've seen this before. In your situation the car started fine and then died while you were driving.

I still think it's 12v battery related. But we'll see what the dealer says. The other option is that you turned it off or got stuck in some mode or other. The latter would not be a criticism. With a new car and new technology it's easy to get confused. Done it myself. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
More Info

Hi

1) Bit more info ..dealer called ..main fuse blown; that is getting replaced..

2) Yep it helps to read the manual..on page 108 ..a steady lite battery icon on the dash means a 12v battery issue.. think I saw that as I was driving about 20 minutes prior to shut off...wondered what that meant at time..now I know

3) The thread that I thought was relevant, when on reads all the posts, seems to indicate that that Chevy got a few bad batteries/etc from one of its suppliers and put them in some the of 2016 Volts.. That may relevant to my issues..

Cheers
 

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My comments in Blue below:
Hi

1) Bit more info ..dealer called ..main fuse blown; that is getting replaced..
No such thing as a "main" fuse need more clarification please (fuse ID number would be nice)
2) Yep it helps to read the manual..on page 108 ..a steady lite battery icon on the dash means a 12v battery issue.. think I saw that as I was driving about 20 minutes prior to shut off...wondered what that meant at time..now I know
That helps to clarify what actually transpired- thanks
3) The thread that I thought was relevant, when on reads all the posts, seems to indicate that that Chevy got a few bad batteries/etc from one of its suppliers and put them in some the of 2016 Volts.. That may relevant to my issues..
I work behind the scenes, no such indication of any supplier issues besides if you lost charging (i.e. the red BATT warning lamp you just mentioned was ON) it would be considered normal for the 12V battery to deplete to an unusable SOC
Cheers
WopOnTour
 

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..a steady lite battery icon on the dash means a 12v battery issue.. think I saw that as I was driving about 20 minutes prior to shut off...wondered what that meant at time..now I know
Whether you knew the cause or not, what would ever possess you to drive for another 20 minutes without even asking OnStar for advice? You had to know it was trying to tell you SOMETHING was wrong with the battery.
 
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