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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had an issue with my battery, but a short was found and repaired. This weekend I received the Service Lithium-ion battery message but OnStar does not see the code. I received a text from OnStar but when I called they told me they did not have any codes being thrown. I received the message around the same time that I was using a portable air compressor to add air to my tire, plugged in to the cars outlet (cigarette lighter). Could that have caused this? Everything else is perfect with the car. No issue since. Thoughts?
 

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I have used a portable air compressor plugged into the car many times and never had such an issue. Don't see how it would be related as the power from the compressor comes from the 12V battery.

Was your car fully on or just auxiliary power on?
 

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I suspect coincidence rather than causation. Simple test: try it again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At first I just pressed the on button and received a notice on the DIC to put my foot on the brake, so I then did that. I had the compressor already plugged in and it went on when I put my foot on the brake and started the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
True. I had already put it away when I received the text.
 

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I'm thinking I'd be reluctant to power an air compressor, or any mechanical device with the 12v battery of the volt. Without the ability for a powerful alternator to charge the battery while you're using it, you are simply draining your battery. And it seems from other posts on this forum that's a no-no.
 

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I'm thinking I'd be reluctant to power an air compressor, or any mechanical device with the 12v battery of the volt. Without the ability for a powerful alternator to charge the battery while you're using it, you are simply draining your battery. And it seems from other posts on this forum that's a no-no.
I have done it many times with the car's included air compressor. There is no issue, the car must be on.
 

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I'm thinking I'd be reluctant to power an air compressor, or any mechanical device with the 12v battery of the volt. Without the ability for a powerful alternator to charge the battery while you're using it, you are simply draining your battery. And it seems from other posts on this forum that's a no-no.
The accessory port is not powered unless the Volt is turned on. When the Volt is running the auxiliary power module (APM), a DC to DC converter, powers the Volt from the high voltage traction battery and recharges the 12V battery. Simply turned on, the Volt uses 500 watts to run the electronics. Running a tire inflator will not drain the 12V battery or tax the high voltage traction battery.
 

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Sounds like bad Karma to me. Why take the risk when you can go to Harbor Freight and buy a cheap compressor which has more uses than just airing up tires.
 

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The compressor was on and actively pumping when you turned on the car?
I wonder if it sensed a rather high 12V load when initialising the APM and that set off red flags thinking something was wrong with the APM?
 

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I'm thinking I'd be reluctant to power an air compressor, or any mechanical device with the 12v battery of the volt. Without the ability for a powerful alternator to charge the battery while you're using it, you are simply draining your battery. And it seems from other posts on this forum that's a no-no.
IIRC, the DC-DC converter is rated around 1500 watts. The alternator in many cars the Volts size is 105 amps - which is comparable. E.g., 13.5v x 105 amps is about 1400 watts. Except you'd never get anywhere close to 105 amps out of an alternator at idle.
 

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IIRC, the DC-DC converter is rated around 1500 watts. The alternator in many cars the Volts size is 105 amps - which is comparable. E.g., 13.5v x 105 amps is about 1400 watts. Except you'd never get anywhere close to 105 amps out of an alternator at idle.
The front and rear accessory ports are fused, 15 watts combined for both ports, so the maximum accessory power draw is limited to less than to 200W.
 

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I suspect coincidence rather than causation. Simple test: try it again.
+1, Done this many times with the portable compressor while the Volt is Ready On and Off.

I'm thinking I'd be reluctant to power an air compressor, or any mechanical device with the 12v battery of the volt. Without the ability for a powerful alternator to charge the battery while you're using it, you are simply draining your battery. And it seems from other posts on this forum that's a no-no.
The dc-dc converter is capable of supplying in excess of 100 amps, which is more than some comparably sized car's alternator output, there is no reason to be concerned with draining the battery if the car is on while using the compressor that comes with the Volt.
Many people on this forum have successfully run 1000 watt inverters for long periods of time from their Volt.
 

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If no CEL and a one time message, it was probably a random glitch and likely nothing wrong. Is the 12v ok? Maybe your 12v is borderline and is causing some grief. You would not be the first person to have a 12v failing very early in its life. I would just keep an eye on things for a week or two and also mention it to the dealer and remind them of the previous fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The compressor was on and actively pumping when you turned on the car?
I wonder if it sensed a rather high 12V load when initialising the APM and that set off red flags thinking something was wrong with the APM?
I had the compressor on, but it was not working. I then tried just hitting the on button without depressing the brake thinking it would put the Volt in accessory mode. Nothing happened. I received the message to press the brake. When I turned the car on the compressor went on. It's a small portable compressor that fits in your glove compartment. Not very big or powerful, but I thought maybe the initial jolt sent the warning. So far this week there has been nothing unusual. I believe it was my error. I seem to learn something new every week from this car. Still love it!
 

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What did the message say exactly? I have never heard of a message about the LiIon battery. When mine went kapoot, all I got was a check-engine light followed by the car not starting again. There weren't any error messages anywhere.
 

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I'm thinking I'd be reluctant to power an air compressor, or any mechanical device with the 12v battery of the volt. Without the ability for a powerful alternator to charge the battery while you're using it, you are simply draining your battery. And it seems from other posts on this forum that's a no-no.
The APM is far more powerful than an alternator. It has access to 100 kW at close to 400 volts (maximum HV battery draw) anytime the car is running, which is about 8,000 amps at the 12V battery. Obviously it won't ever use the whole power of the LiIon battery to charge the 12V, but you could run an industrial shop vac off the APM if you had a powerful enough 12 VDC - 120 VAC inverter.
 

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The APM is far more powerful than an alternator. It has access to 100 kW at close to 400 volts (maximum HV battery draw) anytime the car is running, which is about 8,000 amps at the 12V battery. Obviously it won't ever use the whole power of the LiIon battery to charge the 12V, but you could run an industrial shop vac off the APM if you had a powerful enough 12 VDC - 120 VAC inverter.
The traction battery may be capable of instantaneously delivering 100KW at 400V but the APM is limited to about 1500W or about 111 amps at 13.5V. The auxiliary ports are fused at 15 amps total (for both auxiliary ports) so the maximum output available from the two auxiliary ports is 200W at 12V. If you connect leads directly to the 12V battery you may be able run a 1000W inverter while using the Volt's APM to supply power to keep the 12V battery charged. The reason you won't have access to the full 1500W is that the when the Volt is powered on it is always drawing about 500W to run the Volt's 12V system.
 

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The traction battery may be capable of instantaneously delivering 100KW at 400V but the APM is limited to about 1500W or about 111 amps at 13.5V. The auxiliary ports are fused at 15 amps total (for both auxiliary ports) so the maximum output available from the two auxiliary ports is 200W at 12V. If you connect leads directly to the 12V battery you may be able run a 1000W inverter while using the Volt's APM to supply power to keep the 12V battery charged. The reason you won't have access to the full 1500W is that the when the Volt is powered on it is always drawing about 500W to run the Volt's 12V system.
+1, well stated. The car would need > 8/0AWG wires just so they wouldn't melt with 8,000 Amps @14 Volts.
 
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