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Discussion Starter #1
I unlocked my Volt using the key in the door rather than the button on the keyfob. Big mistake. The Volt would not start! I tried to put the key fob into the hole in the front dashboard, no help. I held down the start and break for several minutes. Locked and unlocked the car with the keyfob. I called Onstar and no help. I walked away with the keyfob, about 1/5 of a mile. Came back, no help.

After almost exactly an hour, I tried holding down the start and breaks for a minute and it finally started. I was stranded for 1 hour. Not happy. Is there a fix for this besides never opening the Volt using the key?
 

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I take it you have a 2013 Volt? On the 2012 Volt there is a button on the door handle I use to unlock it. Doesn't the 2013 have this also? No need to use the key unless the Volt is powerless.
 

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I unlocked my Volt using the key in the door rather than the button on the keyfob. Big mistake. The Volt would not start! I tried to put the key fob into the hole in the front dashboard, no help. I held down the start and break for several minutes. Locked and unlocked the car with the keyfob. I called Onstar and no help. I walked away with the keyfob, about 1/5 of a mile. Came back, no help.

After almost exactly an hour, I tried holding down the start and breaks for a minute and it finally started. I was stranded for 1 hour. Not happy. Is there a fix for this besides never opening the Volt using the key?
Was the security light in the instrument cluster on?

The security light in the instrument cluster comes on if there is a problem with arming or disarming the theft-deterrent system.
When trying to start the vehicle, the security light comes on briefly when the vehicle is turned on.
If the vehicle does not start and the security light stays on, there is a problem with the system. Attempt to turn the vehicle off and try it again.

Also, you are NOT leaving the 2nd FOB in the car are you?

And when you said Onstar was no help, did you ask if your car had any codes set?
 

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I had to run out and check. I didn't know there was a keyhole.

I use the silver button. All locks are set to open at once.
 

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I take it you have a 2013 Volt? On the 2012 Volt there is a button on the door handle I use to unlock it. Doesn't the 2013 have this also? No need to use the key unless the Volt is powerless.
I could be wrong but I don't think the exterior door button will work if the battery in the key fob is dead.

KNS
 

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Could the issue have been compounded by holding the start button down too long and the car being sent into service mode?

I have had a few "close calls?" when I have had friends/relatives holding down the start button down when starting the Volt. I think people are waiting for the noise of the ICE before they think they should release the button. Not trying to imply that the OP doesn't know how to start his Volt, just saying that when reading the post this is what came to mind.
 

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as we have talked about before - even a FOB with NO-battery inside can still start the Volt but you need the key to open the door or help from onstar or the remote app.
 

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Could the issue have been compounded by holding the start button down too long and the car being sent into service mode?

I have had a few "close calls?" when I have had friends/relatives holding down the start button down when starting the Volt. I think people are waiting for the noise of the ICE before they think they should release the button. Not trying to imply that the OP doesn't know how to start his Volt, just saying that when reading the post this is what came to mind.
That is what I was thinking. You shouldn't be holding the start button. It's a simple push, not a push and hold.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Was the security light in the instrument cluster on?

The security light in the instrument cluster comes on if there is a problem with arming or disarming the theft-deterrent system.
When trying to start the vehicle, the security light comes on briefly when the vehicle is turned on.
If the vehicle does not start and the security light stays on, there is a problem with the system. Attempt to turn the vehicle off and try it again.

Also, you are NOT leaving the 2nd FOB in the car are you?

And when you said Onstar was no help, did you ask if your car had any codes set?
No Security light on the cluster, in fact, the cluster itself would not come on.

2nd FOB not in the car, it was in another state at the time.

Onstar found no codes. All they could do is call a wrecker.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is what I was thinking. You shouldn't be holding the start button. It's a simple push, not a push and hold.
"Push and Hold" of the start button was only tried as a last resort, after the car failed to start a number of times using a typical short push.

It was a push and hold that seemed to eventually work, after about an hour of sitting.
 

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What happens if one does a "push and hold" accidentally when trying to start the Volt?
I believe the car goes into Service Mode...and I'm not sure how easy it is to bring out of Service Mode.

EDIT: I guess it's no big deal to enter/exit Service Mode. Here's some information from the 2012 manual...

View attachment Pages from 2k12volt.pdf
 

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In an event such as this, it might be worth trying the 'dead keyfob' starting procedure. That is, a key into the lock located under the mat of the center dash cubby.
 
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