GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I own an Opel Ampera with 90k km and on last year inspection I decided to change the battery cooling liquids as for Europe is required on every 5 year or 160k km. No problem since now. Last week I travel on a mountain trip. I drive about 400km with AC on(I understand that for some users that was a reason for error), and abour 100km on climbing on mountain roads. I arrive at the destination and park the car on ramp, with the front side higher. Ouside was about 10 degrees at night, I don't know if it matter and in the morning, as I open the door the message pop up saying "Service high voltage charging system."
After reading some post on forum, I understand it's something about cooling liquid level or a bad sensor reading. Car let me drive normal cut don't let me charge and the engine light is steady on.
Now I put a picture with my actual level, originally it was on the middle side, just between the joint but after the service was done I don't remember exactly but I think it was on the top side of the black sticker, not like now, on the bottom. I suspect some bubbles ware traped on the system and now that the car was parked on ramp maybe it triggered the sensor...I don/t know..
Any sugestion are appreceated, I have an appointment on 3 Aug on the only service in the country for this car and I don't know if it is covered by waranty.
Please tell me the correct level because I read many oppinion, on top of black label on on the bottom.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,111 Posts
There is a fluid level sensor in the tank which is a relatively poor design and tends to fail. The failure of this sensor will cause the car to think that the coolant level is low and prevent charging as well as illuminating the engine light. Basically at this point it sounds like your sensor has probably failed and will require either replacement, or bypass. IF you are still in the Voltec warranty, this should be covered, otherwise the sensor is relatively inexpensive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
I believe that the sensor that freshcut is referring to is outside, below and in proximity to the underside of the fluid canister. I changed mine to the WOT sensor a few years ago as a precaution. To date, I haven't had a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So the level is fine, it doesn't need more dexcool and it shouldn't trigger the error code. Any chance was caused by a low 12v battery? I changed 2 batteries until now, every 2 and a half years. Every time was causing some error like service steering column lock, wich I didn't mention also appear on one morning after shvcs error.
My car was registered 06.2014 so it is on Voltec warranty and I don't want to use WOT defeat plug.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
You do realize that the GM sensor chosen is not a gold plated part, rather one that can fail, with pain-in-the-ass consequences, don't you? With that realization, you might want to reconsider your desire not to use the WOT replacement.

I'm prejudiced, I admit. But, I consider replacement of the sensor with the WOT sensor to be a one-time insurance payment. I made that payment for my 2014 Volt.

To answer your original question regarding coolant level, it should be level with the top of the black label. Where it is at in your picture might allow tripping of the low coolant level warning with a possibly bad sensor. Alternatively, the whole system is just too sensitive to coolant level.

The dealer service department might replace the sensor and clear the trouble code...for a price, with no guarantee that it won't happen again. I didn't want to go through that hassle and expense and opted for using the WOT sensor, which was easy to install.

I recommend that you read the WOT Sensor list in this forum. WOT has pointed out that there is other software that will protect the battery from overheating and that this sensor is really not needed to protect it. To explain that point, the sensor was introduced as a result of the battery of the test car that was used by the EPA in it's crash test not being properly disabled by pulling the master kill jumper. That oversight, after a three-week interval with the crashed car in storage, allowed coolant that had been leaking onto the battery to erupt into flames. The coolant sensor and additional software was added (together with reinforcement of the battery location) to insure acceptance by the EPA that GM had completely resolved the battery-fire potential...a battery fire initially caused by the EPA not insuring that the battery had been isolated by pulling the master kill jumper.

My recommendation to you is to correct the coolant level and add the WOT sensor. Good luck.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,019 Posts
To explain that point, the sensor was introduced as a result of the battery of the test car that was used by the EPA in it's crash test not being properly disabled by pulling the master kill jumper. That oversight, after a three-week interval with the crashed car in storage, allowed coolant that had been leaking onto the battery to erupt into flames. The coolant sensor and additional software was added (together with reinforcement of the battery location) to insure acceptance by the EPA that GM had completely resolved the battery-fire potential...a battery fire initially caused by the EPA not insuring that the battery had been isolated by pulling the master kill jumper.
But without that sensor. I only have 3 weeks to exit the crashed, upside down car. Is that enough time? Could be cutting it close...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You do realize that the GM sensor chosen is not a gold plated part, rather one that can fail, with pain-in-the-ass consequences, don't you? With that realization, you might want to reconsider your desire not to use the WOT replacement.

I'm prejudiced, I admit. But, I consider replacement of the sensor with the WOT sensor to be a one-time insurance payment. I made that payment for my 2014 Volt.

To answer your original question regarding coolant level, it should be level with the top of the black label. Where it is at in your picture might allow tripping of the low coolant level warning with a possibly bad sensor. Alternatively, the whole system is just too sensitive to coolant level.

The dealer service department might replace the sensor and clear the trouble code...for a price, with no guarantee that it won't happen again. I didn't want to go through that hassle and expense and opted for using the WOT sensor, which was easy to install.

I recommend that you read the WOT Sensor list in this forum. WOT has pointed out that there is other software that will protect the battery from overheating and that this sensor is really not needed to protect it. To explain that point, the sensor was introduced as a result of the battery of the test car that was used by the EPA in it's crash test not being properly disabled by pulling the master kill jumper. That oversight, after a three-week interval with the crashed car in storage, allowed coolant that had been leaking onto the battery to erupt into flames. The coolant sensor and additional software was added (together with reinforcement of the battery location) to insure acceptance by the EPA that GM had completely resolved the battery-fire potential...a battery fire initially caused by the EPA not insuring that the battery had been isolated by pulling the master kill jumper.

My recommendation to you is to correct the coolant level and add the WOT sensor. Good luck.

Thank's for the advice Jbaker, I just don't want to lose my warranty as there is only one service in the country for this car and if I ever have a bigger problem with my high voltage battery I'm screwed. Maybe it will solve with just add more fluid, to the correct level and clearing the errors. When I made the change of liquids they told me that is possible that some air bubles might get trapped in the system and in time it need to be added fluid to the correct level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
There is a correct way to evacuate and replace the fluids to preclude air bubbles from existing and that equipment should be used by the service department. I had my coolants replaced by my dealer and had no subsequent air bubbles forming. The levels remained where they should be. There may be postings describing the special equipment elsewhere in the forum.

Your concern is warranted. I had planned to replace the WOT sensor with the original one prior to having the coolants replaced but failed to do so. The service department did not discover that the WOT sensor was installed, probably because there was no need to remove it from its place under the tank during the servicing and that it looks like OE when installed.

Adding the correct fluid to the correct level and clearing the codes may or may not work. I've seen postings that claim doing so works. I've also seen postings, including WOTs, explaining (and complaining) that once tripped only the dealer with his equipment can clear the fault. There is certainly every incentive to try doing so yourself.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,375 Posts
But without that sensor. I only have 3 weeks to exit the crashed, upside down car. Is that enough time? Could be cutting it close...
She made it and the Volt didn't catch fire! 8^)
170809
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
594 Posts
There is a correct way to evacuate and replace the fluids to preclude air bubbles from existing and that equipment should be used by the service department. I had my coolants replaced by my dealer and had no subsequent air bubbles forming. The levels remained where they should be. There may be postings describing the special equipment elsewhere in the forum.

Your concern is warranted. I had planned to replace the WOT sensor with the original one prior to having the coolants replaced but failed to do so. The service department did not discover that the WOT sensor was installed, probably because there was no need to remove it from its place under the tank during the servicing and that it looks like OE when installed.

Adding the correct fluid to the correct level and clearing the codes may or may not work. I've seen postings that claim doing so works. I've also seen postings, including WOTs, explaining (and complaining) that once tripped only the dealer with his equipment can clear the fault. There is certainly every incentive to try doing so yourself.

Good luck.
According to this service bulletin


The coolant level should be at the top of the black label, but the low coolant level should not trigger until the level is about 1.5 “ below the tank seam line. DTC P1FFE HV surge tank low coolant level.

My car triggered DTC P1FFF System isolation fault/ sensor fault. The car also goes into the dealer Aug 3 for Voltec warranty replacement.

According to the code reader, it was showing 300 ohms,

My coolant level is also at the bottom of the black label. My DTC does not indicate low coolant level.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I just got back from the service.
The good news and the bad news :
The good new is that everything was ok, the level of cooling, the sensor and what it har triggered the error was low AC "freon" wich I understand if it ain't supply enough air to cool down the High Voltage battery, it will trigger the error.
So, I changed the AC freon and after that, was told it needed 2 software update. That's when the bad news come in.
The fault cannot be clear without update, but with this one I was told that I might have some loss in range. So i read that some Ampera owners have got this problem, I hope not me. I understant it's not the reballancing cells update, as that one was done on 2013 volt recall. Maybe the car is just relearning y driving style but some says it will completely discharge at 8.8 - 9 kwh after update. Currently I was able to pull about 9.5-9.8kwh.
Now my car is charging and I will see if this update affect my range.
Anyone else with range lose after update?
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top