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I've read many threads about the 12v battery going bad and how some carry a supplemental booster pack. What I haven't been able to determine is the size needed (peak amps and mAh) and whether they have been used/useful or just spitting away more money and space?
I don't actually need one right now but I'll be away from home a lot in the coming months and wondered if it is a need item or a nice to have item. My 2014 is coming up on 3 years and on an ICE I wouldn't consider that getting old at all. But on the Volt it seems they can just get weird over night.

Any recommendations?
 

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I don't think the 12v batteries have a shorter life when used in EVs, it's just that you don't get any warning. With an ICE the engine has a hard time turning over, which is a huge hint. In an EV it's all electronic, so you don't notice a problem until things go off in unexpected ways.

The thing to keep in mind is that you only need to start a computer, not turn over an engine, so you don't need a lot of juice. The trick IMO is to find a small charger that isn't low quality. I carry one but I wouldn't recommend it. Never had to use it but it just seems a bit dicey. Something like this might work better. Appears to be of decent quality. https://www.amazon.com/ETABLE-18000...&sr=1-124&keywords=battery+charger+automotive
 

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My only warning is if you are in a very cold climate, Li-Ion batteries do not work. Your jump starter likely won't work if it has been in your car at -20 F all night.

You honestly don't need much, unlike a gas car it doesn't use a 12V starter motor that requires hundreds of amps, just a bunch of computers.

The demands on the battery are a little different than an ICE, maybe higher steady state current but lower starting current.

This thread might be of interest to you:
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread...thium-ion-replacement-for-the-12V-AGM-battery
Mainly the small size of the jump start unit, doesn't take much. I wouldn't actually replace my AGM with one of those due to my cold climate and keeping power for headlights, seat heaters, etc, but the initial start demand is not high and once it is running it gets help from high voltage system through the inverter.

Eric
 

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Just as an FYI...
AGM 12v Battery Education - Battery University

I have one of the small booster packs because, as stated above, you really just need to get the computer running and the high voltage system will take it from there.

The BIG question, is does the OP know where to hook a booster pack up under the hood? It's important to know because if you have no power, you can't open the hatch in the back.
 

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I purchased a "booster" a few years ago for just the reason that you mention. After 2 warranty replacements from the booster manufacturer, I still haven't had to use it. It could be possible that storing the Li-Ion booster inside the Volt in the heat of Arizona may have contributed to their death. If the latest one also dies, I'm not sure where I will go, maybe lightweight jumper cables which would be considerably cheaper than another brand of booster.

Six years and counting on the OEM 12v battery in our dry heat. Either I've been lucky (knock on wood), or the Volt engineers did a good job of specifying the 12v system.

VIN # B0985
 

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Bought one of these: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MNT0K5Q

Sized mostly because this one will be useful for starting other people's cars as well. And since I'm running about 3:1 others:me jumpstarts in my life so far, that's probably how it'll get used for the most part.

Which reminds me, it's time to bring it in for its semi-annual top up...
 

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You are probably good with the AGM battery in the Volt for 5 years unless it is subjected to extreme heat and or cold.
 

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Mine is over 3 years old. This is about the time I usually just replace it. No fun to get stranded.
 

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I've read many threads about the 12v battery going bad and how some carry a supplemental booster pack. What I haven't been able to determine is the size needed (peak amps and mAh) and whether they have been used/useful or just spitting away more money and space?
I don't actually need one right now but I'll be away from home a lot in the coming months and wondered if it is a need item or a nice to have item. My 2014 is coming up on 3 years and on an ICE I wouldn't consider that getting old at all. But on the Volt it seems they can just get weird over night.

Any recommendations?
400 Amps would easily start the Volt and is actually over-kill for the Volt, but assuming you would want to boost someone else off as well, stick with OVER 400 amps. I personally like the Noco Genius...
 

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I carry a Juno Jumper from Juno Power. It's about the size of a large smart phone and will jump up to a 3 liter engine. I have used it to jump my 1300 cc motorcycle. I top off the charge every few months. On special it cost about $70 3 years ago. A case I provided fits easily in the rear storage compartment of my '16.
 

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I'm going to the dealer this weekend to replace my 12V battery. I'm going on 5.5 years of use, and my Volt was completely dead when I tried to go home, last Thursday. I suspect my new Dashcam didn't turn off, but if that is the case, it doesn't pull much power and the battery must not have a lot of capacity left.

What is interesting, though, is what it took to jump the Volt with a completely dead 12V. The temperature was low enough to need to engage the starter, although I didn't know it. I tried to start it about 1 minute after connecting the jumper cables connect to another vehicle. Everything lit up, so I assumed it started. I jumped up to disconnect the cables to let my generous colleague go home asap. The car dimmed and went complete dark within 5 seconds. After re-attaching the cables and leaving it for ~10 minutes, I tried, again, and the engine started. Only then, did I disconnect the jumper cables. Success. The error codes eventually cleared...regardless of the size of the jumper you buy, leave it connected for a while before turning the car on.
 

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I would rather test my Battery every few months. The load on the battery is very low but the Volt's electronics are sensitive to bad voltage.
 

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