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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sudden mileage loss and worried? Finally degraded battery?

OK I dunno what's going on but I'm worried. -- My 12 Volt just started losing charge miles three days ago. Since I bought the car a few months ago this summer I have been consistently charging it to an excellent 40-43 miles before it says 'fully charged.' I have generally been getting these miles too. Almost all of my charges being made on L2 Chargepoint chargers.

Well the other day we had our first 'cold' snap -- temps down to about 53. Now in the mid to upper 60s. That day the car charged only to 40. Then the next day's charge was 39. Then, again, 40. Then 39, and now, on a 110 L1 charge, still maxed out at only 39.

I have tried 'burping' the battery by doing a remote start and subsequent charge up. However to no effect. It still just stops at 39. Right now the outside temp is 67.

Soooooo the car has 97,300 miles on it.

Does this mean the battery is now starting to really fail or does the Volt automatically lower its estimated miles when the temps drop below 70 or something? I always figured the car would always just display the normal 42-43 miles, even in winter, but simply burn the miles off more quickly.

Perplexed and worried. Should I go to GM and ask for a deep battery diagnosis or, gulp, last gasp warranty claim?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
OK I dunno what's going on but I'm worried. -- My 12 Volt just started losing charge miles three days ago. Since I bought the car a few months ago this summer I have been consistently charging it to an excellent 40-43 miles before it says 'fully charged.' I have generally been getting these miles too. Almost all of my charges being made on L2 Chargepoint chargers.

Well the other day we had our first 'cold' snap -- temps down to about 53. Now in the mid to upper 60s. That day the car charged only to 40. Then the next day's charge was 39. Then, again, 40. Then 39, and now, on a 110 L1 charge, still maxed out at only 39.

I have tried 'burping' the battery by doing a remote start and subsequent charge up. However to no effect. It still just stops at 39. Right now the outside temp is 67.

Soooooo the car has 97,300 miles on it.

Does this mean the battery is now starting to really fail or does the Volt automatically lower its estimated miles when the temps drop below 70 or something? I always figured the car would always just display the normal 42-43 miles, even in winter, but simply burn the miles off more quickly.

Perplexed and worried. Should I go to GM and ask for a deep battery diagnosis or, gulp, last gasp warranty claim?
 

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The batteries like warmer temps (80s - 90s) and it is normal to lose range in colder temps. It will return next summer.
 

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The miles display is an estimate based, in part, on the rate of energy consumed in recent driving.

To see the estimate drop with cooler weather s perfectly normal.

Just relax and enjoy your car. Nothing you describe sounds like a battery problem.
 

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What was the relative humidity during the colder day?
Have you been driving in rain?
Have you checked your tire pressures recently?
Has anything changed on your driving routes?
 

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I am glad to read your car has 97,300 and it is still getting estimates in near 40 miles per charge.

During the winter, if you use the heater, you will see a decrease. I think the heater is the 2nd largest drain on battery.
 

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Just the temperature. It will come back.
I have seen about a 4 mile reduction in estimated range also. Every thing is normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What was the relative humidity during the colder day?
Have you been driving in rain?
Have you checked your tire pressures recently?
Has anything changed on your driving routes?

Nothing much else has changed, pretty much same tire pressure, etc., just a tad cooler.

I figured that if anything would drop the mileage display it would be triggered at near freezing weather, not in the 50s. But live and learn. I'm definitely learning a lot with the Volt.

I am sure we'll get some more hot days before winter sets in and so hopefully the charge level will pop back up.

I have to take the car in to the dealer anyway for this intermittent emergency brake snapping noise, and I will ask them to do a once over on the battery anyway. Who knows maybe a cell is gone wobbly or something. Or else the pack will be in beautiful condition and all will be well, hopefully.
 

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Did you change tires? Did the pressure in your tires go down(40+ PSI is better for range)? Remember the 3 T's of EV's Temp. Terrain, Technique. @ 53 F you will have less range than @ 65~75 F. If you have a Smart phone get Torque Pro and a Blue Tooth OBDII connector and you can monitor battery SOC and Battery heating, Which can be lots of power. When it gets cold here in Utah sometimes the car is pulling 6kW to heat the battery. Plus if you run climate @ 53 F it might be heating the cabin which will degrade range big time.

Don't be surprised to see 25 Miles on the display in the winter. Sometimes mine had less last winter (-10 F). Now I see upper 40's lower 50's, I can get 51+ miles of range on the freeway @ 65 mph but in the winter, I sometimes don't get 25 miles of range.
 

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Did you change tires? Did the pressure in your tires go down(40+ PSI is better for range)? Remember the 3 T's of EV's Temp. Terrain, Technique. @ 53 F you will have less range than @ 65~75 F. If you have a Smart phone get Torque Pro and a Blue Tooth OBDII connector and you can monitor battery SOC and Battery heating, Which can be lots of power. When it gets cold here in Utah sometimes the car is pulling 6kW to heat the battery. Plus if you run climate @ 53 F it might be heating the cabin which will degrade range big time.

Don't be surprised to see 25 Miles on the display in the winter. Sometimes mine had less last winter (-10 F). Now I see upper 40's lower 50's, I can get 51+ miles of range on the freeway @ 65 mph but in the winter, I sometimes don't get 25 miles of range.
 

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Relax. You haven't seen anything yet. In the dead of winter, you will be happy to get 30+ miles, especially if you leave your Volt outside to "cold soak" overnight. Then, next summer, you will be gleeful to see your range return to 40+ miles.

Outside temperature is a huge factor in EV range. And don't forget, the battery's temperature management system (TMS) is eating up just as many (or more) electrons than your cabin temperature control system. The Volt's battery is handled with kid gloves, which is why it has such a long life.
 

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yeah I live not too far from Illinois in Iowa, and I was shocked by how much the range dropped when it got cold a couple days ago. It went from over 4 mi/kwh to less than 3.

It really made me realize that I need an EV with 40 mile electric range instead of 20 mile electric range.
 

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Just to reiterate what others said. All normal this time of year. And the car does not "charge to 40 miles". The car estimates you'll get 40 miles based on your past driving.
 

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The number shown at the end of a charge is an ESTIMATE of the range based strictly on recent history. It doesn't take temperature, location, traffic, or anything else into account. Spend less time at 60+ mph, pump up your tires, brake and accelerate more slowly, and your estimate will rise.
 

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Normal, will be about 34 in winter, then next year you will be surprised when it hits 43
 

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50s is definitely cool enough to affect range and range estimates. Your car is behaving exactly as planned, nothing wrong with the battery :)
 

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If only we could have a thread compilation on this subject you could wipe about 10% of the forum database. Call it the "My battery doesn't charge enough" subforum.
 

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do you leave your climate control to comfort or eco and at a warm temperature? If its cooling off outside and the heater is running, I've found heat is the biggest drain on battery range, next to high speed electric driving. If you can on cooler days, go to your climate screen and see if you can make it with fan only, which will disable the heater and ac. And override the fan and turn it down to keep the car from piping in cool air (unless your windows are fogging up, then by all means use ac and heat to restore visibility)

If you have seat heaters, use then instead as well if you are uncomfortable. These tricks may restore some of your range back. I can get away with these on sunny cool days with the black interior since the sun warms the cabin enough to not need to waste battery capacity on the heating.
 
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