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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
My '13 Volt (new to me) has 36k miles and is at about 3.5 years since in service. I know some people change out the battery before any trouble while some wait until the end. I was just wondering if I should just change it - when I lock or unlock the doors (either with remote or car handle button) there is a 1 to 2 second delay before it actually works and then it's a pretty slow lock. When I had the car in for an alignment a month ago I asked them to check the battery. I don't think they really checked it because the advisor said "it looked okay to them".

Should I just be safe and replace (ie are the locks a sign of a slowly dying battery)?
 

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You can have a battery load tested in the shop and it will give you an accurate snap shot of its health, but batteries do fail, and you never know when that will happen. Sometimes you get a little warning in an ICE car since it may crank hard, slow, or along those lines, but with the Volt....You probably won't have any warning most of the time as it takes very little effort to start the "Brains". I use a Noco Genius. I simply keep it in the car and problem is solved. Check them out on Amazon as they generally run about $100 give or take. I personally like these because they solve many problems. No waiting on a tow truck. No asking a personal stranger. No waiting on anybody. You can't hook it up wrong as it won't let you. They hold a charge very well. I top mine off every six months. They works well.
 

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I have a 2013 with 43,000 miles on it. The locking delay has been there since Day 1. I believe you would have other issues or warnings if the battery is dying.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like a good idea. There are lots of those to choose from so I'll have to search through them.

My experience, at least with the Auto Parts places, is that the battery will always test bad if it's original and will always test good if it's still under the store warranty.

In addition to the Noco I may just start looking for an OEM battery.
 

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Sounds like a good idea. There are lots of those to choose from so I'll have to search through them.

My experience, at least with the Auto Parts places, is that the battery will always test bad if it's original and will always test good if it's still under the store warranty.

In addition to the Noco I may just start looking for an OEM battery.
Interesting, my wife has a 2008 Saturn Outlook. It still has the original battery!! This battery is behind the passenger seat so it is never exposed to the heat of the engine. It always load tests very strong. They have always recommended to just keep using it. But man, it is getting old. We purchased that car new back in April of 2008.

As a side note, the battery in the Volt is never exposed to the heat of the engine either. This should make it last much longer than a battery that is exposed to excessive heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have an oil change coming up in a month or so, I'll ask the dealer to actually load test the battery this time. Not looking to spend $150 if I don't have to although the battery charger sounds like good idea.
 

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I have an oil change coming up in a month or so, I'll ask the dealer to actually load test the battery this time. Not looking to spend $150 if I don't have to although the battery charger sounds like good idea.
Yeah, the jump starter battery is very small. Really, it is not much larger than a cell phone in dimensions, although thicker. It is really cheap insurance over the long haul. I recently used mine to help a friend jump start his lawnmower. He was absolutely amazed and said he would definitely get one. Most people anymore DO NOT want to help with a jump start as there are some many electronics on a car. They are afraid that it may hurt their own car. You can also use it to charge your cell phone or laptop in a pinch if needed. It is a pretty cool item.
 

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3.5 years on the battery is good. In my experience an older battery can test good one day then fail the next. There is such a thing a preventive maintenance. Not practiced much anymore but some still do. That is replacement before failure after specified time of recommended useful life of the part has passed. Timing belts, batteries, hoses, etc. I would recommend new 12v battery every 3-4 years which is right where you are.

Preventive maintenance is better than being on the side of a road with a busted hose or dead 12v battery.
 

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The 12v won't last forever. I think the rule of thumb is four years. You're in a hot area so your time frame would be a little shorter. I swapped mine out at four years. I'm not in a hot area and there were no signs of failure, but I go hiking and the prospect of being stranded at a remote trail head with a dead 12v wasn't appealing.

I'd probably replace it. That's the more prudent decision. Note that, unlike an ICE vehicle, the 12v battery doesn't have to crank the engine. This puts less stress on the battery but it also eliminates the tell tale signs of a dying battery. In an EV you don't get the same warnings that you're used to. One day everything is fine. The next you have all kinds of problems and weird messages and/or behaviors. We see many people with problems caused by failing or failed 12v.

No right or wrong answer. Just depends on your risk profile.
 

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I was just wondering if I should just change it - when I lock or unlock the doors (either with remote or car handle button) there is a 1 to 2 second delay before it actually works and then it's a pretty slow lock. Should I just be safe and replace (ie are the locks a sign of a slowly dying battery)?
I bought my '13 used last December and the locks have always been "casual" about responding. They work but there is always a delay.

I have an intense dislike of replacing batteries before they actually die, but then again for many years I've kept a "booster pack" in each of my cars so even if the battery goes I can still get one more start to go pick up a new one.

The nice thing is that we've gone from big and heavy lead-acid based booster packs to ones about the size and weight of a paperback book.

there are cheaper ones out there, but this is a very high quality unit, I've used it to jump my Jeep Cherokee (and my riding mower) so it will definitely handle a Volt...
http://www.batteryjunction.com/wagan-7502.html

I've been told this unit (available at Walmart) is good as well, but I have no personal experience with it.
NOCO Genius Boost Plus GB40 1000A Lithium Jump Starter
 

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Most people anymore DO NOT want to help with a jump start as there are so many electronics on a car. They are afraid that it may hurt their own car.
And that concern is not misplaced

Excerpted from "Why you shouldn't jumpstart a modern car"

The trusty jumper leads that a handy motorist would once have kept in the boot in case of a flat battery have become taboo for modern cars, and National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) technical trainer Darrin Tucker says that’s with good reason.

“The big change from then to now is computers and it’s not as if a modern car has just one – a Mercedes-Benz S-Class from a few years ago has 64 ECUs (Electronic Control Units),” he said.

“A five-year-old Audi was recently taken to an NRMA Approved Repairer with an electrical system so badly damaged by an attempted jumpstart that, in the end, it was actually cheaper to write the car off rather than repairing the damage.”

The proliferation of complex accessories further complicates matters.

leaving the keys in the ignition of the Member’s car can result in a damaged transponder chip in the key and potentially cost hundreds of dollars.

Full article at this link
 

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I tend to replace batteries BEFORE any sign of trouble. 4-years-old is my max. If I buy a used car, I immediately replace the battery and usually the tires. Having several batteries go south on me at an inconvenient (and more expensive) time makes my risk factor higher than some. Especially when I had an invalid in the car for years. Leaving old people in a hot car while things get sorted out is not a good thing. (I'm including myself in that 'old' statement!)

Take a look at the born-on date not the in-service date. Lead-acid batteries have a shelf life as well as an in-service life.

If the battery completely shorts out, a jump or jumper gizmo won't help.
 

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Really? :)

Excerpted from "Why you shouldn't jumpstart a modern car"
Firstly: Here is the actual link

That last little bit, the "leaving the keys in the ignition" bit set off a BS flag in my brain. So I started wondering WHY would connecting a car with a failing 12V battery to a car with a working 12V electrical system cause ECUS to "pop like corn".. That article, aside from being condescending to us non-technical car drivers (despite being a motoring website) even says

"An NRMA technician can revive a flat battery in a modern car by supplying power to the battery but only by following the official jumpstart procedure."

And our volt manuals describe both jumping and being jumped. So... other than have a healthy 12V battery - I am not inclined to follow that bit of cautionary fiction designed to sell roadside assistance plans. And might I add, GOOD DAY SIR! :)
 

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Hi There - Loki (2012 Viridian Joule Volt) checking in - and, yeah, there's a delay on my locks responding too. Had a battery issue about a month back though. Seems the key fob battery was getting weak - the car called it to my attention in time to replace it without any issues. As to the main 12Volt battery - mine's been in service now for 4 years and has shown no signs of failure. I will have Chevy check it when I take the car in for the 150K coolant change later this month.
 

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Just to validate previous posts:
73K on my 2013MY. Original 12V battery, in Texas we usually only get 4 summers out of a battery, so this will probably be it's last.. Has worked like a champ so far.

The door locks ARE slow responders. Especially if you are rearward of the rear doors, like where you need to stand to open the thing. Stand beside the rear door like a butler opening it for her ladyship, press the button and the locks open at normal half-to-full second delay. As my Junior High English teacher Mrs. Perry would say: Annoying but not vexing.

When the Volt first came out there was a lot of talk about "drive-by-wire" and how the Volt was taking a leap by having all-the-things on the canbus, and therefore individually addressable. Well, it wasn't all moved forward but the door locks seem to be part of a secondary (ie: non-time sensitive) ECU control section. Heating and AC, radio controls, can and often do have similar lags. You get used to it. There is a reason they put more knobs and switches back into the new Volt. :)
 

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I have had two new cars that had batteries die within a few months of ownership so changing your battery is not going to guarantee that you are good with a new battery.

The volt uses the more expensive AGM type battery so it won't be cheap to replace and unless you are traveling a lot out of town I would tend to roll the dice for another year or so.
 

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The volt uses the more expensive AGM type battery so it won't be cheap to replace and unless you are traveling a lot out of town I would tend to roll the dice for another year or so.
Heh... my other vehicle is a Jeep and I've always used Optima batteries in it....talk about expensive.
 

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My wife and I went on vacation in our old gasser (didn't want to leave my Volt at a hotel for a week) last October. The day after we left, the hotel called and said the lights were on in our car. Knowing the battery would be dead by the time we got back to the car, I stopped by a local Costco and bought a lithium ion jump starter they had for sale. Only weighs a pound and can be recharged at home or in the car with included adapters.

It worked so well, I bought another one to keep in my Volt, which is still on the original 12 volt battery. I check it twice a year to make sure the terminals are tight and there is no corrosion on the cables. So far so good, and when it has a bad day, I'll be ready!

Costco link
 
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