GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
I live in Wisconsin. My car was parked outside all day today at -15°. When I attempted to remote start it to warm it up it failed. I'm not sure what happened but when I went out to the car it started easily. It said it had 15 miles of EV range but almost immediately switched to the gas generator and the EV range dimmed out. I assumed that the extreme temps killed the batteries. At home, I parked in the garage (30°) and plugged it in. The 15 miles of EV range came back and it started to charge normally from that point, so the charge was not actually lost.
I have no idea what happened. Does anybody know any details of Volt behavior in sub-zero temperatures?
Thanks, Eli
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
Hi,
I live in Wisconsin. My car was parked outside all day today at -15°. When I attempted to remote start it to warm it up it failed. I'm not sure what happened but when I went out to the car it started easily. It said it had 15 miles of EV range but almost immediately switched to the gas generator and the EV range dimmed out. I assumed that the extreme temps killed the batteries. At home, I parked in the garage (30°) and plugged it in. The 15 miles of EV range came back and it started to charge normally from that point, so the charge was not actually lost.
I have no idea what happened. Does anybody know any details of Volt behavior in sub-zero temperatures?
Thanks, Eli
Normal vehicle condition that will force the ICE to run when the ICE is needed to maintain the high-voltage battery temperature...
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
8,680 Posts
There are a few threads on this right now. It's largely uncharted territory - we're learning as we go.

Best guess is that the battery fell through a critical temperature range and the car stopped using it to protect it until it was warmed back up. If you'd driven further, the car would have finished warming the battery and switched back to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
If you'd driven it far enough the car would have reverted to normal mode (with ERDTT, of course).
Nothing to worry about, given the conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Normal operation

Hi,
I live in Wisconsin. My car was parked outside all day today at -15°. When I attempted to remote start it to warm it up it failed. I'm not sure what happened but when I went out to the car it started easily. It said it had 15 miles of EV range but almost immediately switched to the gas generator and the EV range dimmed out. I assumed that the extreme temps killed the batteries. At home, I parked in the garage (30°) and plugged it in. The 15 miles of EV range came back and it started to charge normally from that point, so the charge was not actually lost.
I have no idea what happened. Does anybody know any details of Volt behavior in sub-zero temperatures?
Thanks, Eli

Hey, I am in chicago, and totally understand you dilemma. I have a new volt with about 300 miles on it, but have done a lot of research on this. In this crazy cold, the engine will run frequently no matter how much power you have in the battery. This is to protect your battery and drivetrain, so no worries. You will use more fuel in the super cold. But its a small price to pay. When things go back to normal, with temps around 20-35 f, the car will go back to saving u tons of fuel.

Also, the on star app is functional, but not that intuitive. You may have frequent failed attempts at remote starting your volt, nothing wrong with the car, just a poorly designed app.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I also live in Wis. and parked all day at -15 F. I did get my Volt to remote start- but upon getting in and starting, it displayed "reduced power". The engine ran for the entire trip home which is about 17 miles. The battery showed no reduction in charge and stayed at 5.9 kWh. Guess the Volt's battery doesn't tolerate the extreme cold very well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,549 Posts
Mine did about the same the other day in +19 deg (2 days of not using the car but was plugged in )- asked onstar to check had 19 error codes.

Added gas as I only keep 1 gal in the tank. 4 miles of driving I restarted a few times engine light off and back to normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
741 Posts
If the battery gets "cold soaked" to -15, the engine will run until the battery pack rises above some temperature point it feels is adequate. If you are a 2013, watch the message center. You will get no mention of engine running and the gas gauge will show up. Also the electric heat is unlikely to be on. This is all meant to protect the battery. If it was plugged in it would behave normally. Once the battery pack warms up sufficiently, then will get 2 messages (one engine, one for ice), the electric heater will turn on (for at least one cycle) and it will return to mixing gas and all electric modes. Amazingly enough the Volt is still getting well over 25 in short drive modes in -15 weather AFTER a 12 hr cold soak....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,663 Posts
While our Volt's are garaged they have been driven in temps as low as -10 degrees. So far our 2012 and 2013 have performed flawlessly and without drama.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
I'm in Northwestern Ontario and yes I've had my poor Volt at work in -35C (-31 F) weather at work without a plug for 8 hours. In the 2013 edition, the battery will essentially shutdown probably because it is too cold. If you leave it plugged in, the Volt will at regular intervals draw power to keep the battery warm. It should still start in this weather although without a battery, you'll notice that the Volt runs very slowly and that the throttle becomes linked to the speed of the gas engine. I'm not too thrilled driving in this mode because I don't like pushing the gas engine this hard in cold weather so I tend to be very light on the throttle. Granted when it's this cold everyone else is in the same boat because in a regular car flooring it hard could break your transmission so being slow isn't a huge issue.

The fastest way to go back to normal again, I've found is to drive around for a few minutes to warm up the engine. Then park somewhere, shutdown and wait a few minutes. I suspect the car is able to use the warm engine to help speed up warming up the battery somehow BUT if you keep driving around in weather this cold, the heat doesn't always get a chance to make it back to the battery pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
I'm in Northwestern Ontario and yes I've had my poor Volt at work in -35C (-31 F) weather at work without a plug for 8 hours. In the 2013 edition, the battery will essentially shutdown probably because it is too cold. If you leave it plugged in, the Volt will at regular intervals draw power to keep the battery warm. It should still start in this weather although without a battery, you'll notice that the Volt runs very slowly and that the throttle becomes linked to the speed of the gas engine. I'm not too thrilled driving in this mode because I don't like pushing the gas engine this hard in cold weather so I tend to be very light on the throttle. Granted when it's this cold everyone else is in the same boat because in a regular car flooring it hard could break your transmission so being slow isn't a huge issue.

The fastest way to go back to normal again, I've found is to drive around for a few minutes to warm up the engine. Then park somewhere, shutdown and wait a few minutes. I suspect the car is able to use the warm engine to help speed up warming up the battery somehow BUT if you keep driving around in weather this cold, the heat doesn't always get a chance to make it back to the battery pack.
I'm surprised you don't have outlets for block heaters up there. There can't be too many conventional cars that will start after a soak at those temperatures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,890 Posts
If the battery gets "cold soaked" to -15, the engine will run until the battery pack rises above some temperature point it feels is adequate.
If the internal battery temperature is reduced to -15F, the car won't start at all. The high-voltage battery is needed to start the engine, but if the battery is below -14F it can't draw any electrical current.

The fastest way to go back to normal again, I've found is to drive around for a few minutes to warm up the engine. Then park somewhere, shutdown and wait a few minutes. I suspect the car is able to use the warm engine to help speed up warming up the battery somehow BUT if you keep driving around in weather this cold, the heat doesn't always get a chance to make it back to the battery pack.
I think your suspicions are misplaced. There's no way for heat from the engine coolant to warm the battery. The battery uses it's own internal electric heating elements to heat itself.
The battery heater could use electric energy from the engine/generator to warm itself, but then turning off the car would be counter-productive. And if the battery is warm enough to start the engine, then it should probably have no problem sending ~2kw to the battery heater to heat itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
If the internal battery temperature is reduced to -15F, the car won't start at all. The high-voltage battery is needed to start the engine, but if the battery is below -14F it can't draw any electrical current.
I just realized I have no idea how the ICE engine actually kicks on. As there is no 12VDC Starter motor (confirmed in other threads) what turns the engine? A higher voltage starter motor? The second, usually generating, 55KW motor? Engaging the Red Matter injectors? ;)

Thanks in advance..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
If the internal battery temperature is reduced to -15F, the car won't start at all. The high-voltage battery is needed to start the engine, but if the battery is below -14F it can't draw any electrical current.

I just realized I have no idea how the ICE engine actually kicks on. As there is no 12VDC Starter motor (confirmed in other threads) what turns the engine? A higher voltage starter motor? The second, usually generating, 55KW motor? Engaging the Red Matter injectors? ;)

Thanks in advance..
This vehicle does not use a 12 V starter motor to crank the ICE. A much more powerful 300 V motor/generator located within the transmission is utilised to crank the ICE. The 300 V drive motor generator can rotate the ICE to operating speed (800 RPM) within just a few hundred milliseconds. The 300 V drive motor generator allows near-instant starting of the ICE.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?92617-Extreme-Cold-Weather-real-world-performance-information.&p=1242241#post1242241
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top