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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2013 chevy volt. My workplace is 35 miles away. If I leave the house, my "charge meter" says I estimate about 40 to 38 miles usually. as soon as I start driving, the meter drops... almost instantly.... its 40....39..38...37..36..35.34.33.32.31...30...29... and then sits at 29 and begins behaving normally.

During that time, the KWH used climbs dramatically from 0 to about 3.1 KwH used within the first miles or 2 of driving. Then it seems to behave normally.

I drive at a conservative (IMO) 60mph to 65mph on the highway on cruise control the whole way to work and get a bit of traffic when i got off the highway for about 5 miles of normal light city mileage (traffic lights and some cars, not bumper to bumper).

When I arrive at work I place it to charge with the LVL1 charger it came with in a normal plug. By the time work ends its fully charged according to the screen. 40 Miles estimated again!.... no wait 39...38.37.35.33...31....28... okay, now it''s 'normal' again for the rest of the drive. the KwH do the same as before. Only that when leaving work I'm going down a ramp leaving the parking garage, i'm generating about the same im wasting on the straight aways between ramps and yet im STILL decreasing massively in miles and my KwH used increases dramatically. Usually by the time i reach the bottom of the parking garage, im already at 30miles estimates and 2KwH used.

My actual drive distance on Electricity is about 29miles to 35 miles depending on if I had to accelerate to merge or had to break due to a jam, etc. but I'm frequently at 32miles to 33 miles on a normal day.

This seems to always happen, every day, all the time. It doesnt seem temperature dependent. winter / summer, doesnt matter.

Any insight? I'm really starting to get frustrated when I see it climb the KwH to 3 and ive barely made a mile in distance. I'm also feeling like I have to drive more and more cautiously/slowly/evenly to reach the same distance (32 to 33).

I also feel like i see Gen1 volts here hitting 38 miles pretty frequently while im barely hitting 32 with effort. Does anyone know why this is happening? is this normal function after a few years? I charge at home with a LVL2 charger, would that matter/cause this to happen with extended use?

Any info appreciated! I've taken it to the dealer 3 times to look into, and either they dont bother or tell me all is dandy because there are no codes. I'm still under warranty for the 8 yr and 100,000 miles but since they cant find anything, i am having a hard time getting them to know/find the issue. I even had them call GM, but they confirmed that "the battery can lose upto 10% charge per year and it's normal" which I call bull on. I've ready plenty of Gen1's here who get 40 miles highway and it seems like my car thinks it will get 40 miles highway too, but then realizes it cant a few minutes into the drive. How can I solve this? Is it even a problem? it feels like a problem...
 

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Climate control will put a big initial hurt on the battery until it levels out.
 

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Mine does the opposite. On the trip into town 8 Km. (5 Miles) is shows I've only used 2 Km. (1.2 miles). I did the conversion for you. It is 60 Km speed limit (36 mph) but I do have A/C on (usually ECO) as it doesn't get hot here (or cold). I won't know the true range till next week when I go to car club meeting a few towns over and I go to full depletion (relatively speaking).
 

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It does this because your battery is failing. However, since this is normal behavior from an old lithium battery, its frowned upon here to say the battery is failing. "It is normal wear of the battery, and it your range estimate makes sense when 2 + 2 = 5"

I'll probably get my account deleted again for letting you in on the secret.
 

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Seems odd. Do you have the auto defog turned on? That may be running the heat and A/C at the same time and using a bunch of battery power for that. Try turning that off and run your A/C in recirculate mode (not auto recirculate, but manual recirculate), and don't select the windshield defrost/defog button.
 

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Bear in mind I'm just guessing because I don't know how the "Kwh used" measurement works. But I have used meters that take voltage heavily into account, and when lithium batteries get older they often exhibit a rapid drop in voltage when they first start to discharge. This is often due to a single failing cell (in smaller packs) and things even out as the voltage reaches a point where the stronger cells can support the load. Should my guess be right it's an indication that some of your drive battery cells may have deteriorated or at the very least their controllers or cables may be failing. Not good news, I know, but the upside is I could be completely wrong.
 

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Barry, this have nothing to do with A/C. I have downhill road and still 2,4 kWh are used for 2,7 km. Car should fly for this amount of energy :), this is probably software & configuration issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This sounds like exactly the same issue Im having. Your post has details I don't know how I could find out about mine but it sounds identical... where even downhill Im spending 3KwH in less than a mile of distance.

Did you get yours fixed yet? Im going to try going again, but it looks like the Volt Techs at the dealer are lost as hell and dont know how to look into these unusual problems where it still 'works' just doesnt work as its supposed to.
 

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Not fixed, they are waiting for Error. Manufacturer did not predicted such Error, now Tech dont know where to search. They are writing to TAC, but they dont see the whole picture.

Important:
Please check what happens when you charge. My car is done with charging 1,5 before estimated charge finish. This is not OK, normally it takes 15 minutes or more to complete. I advise you to check charging every half an hour after 50%. If estimated finish is 12:00 check it at 9:00, 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 11:00, 11:30, 12:00

I think that will finish at 10:30 - 11:00, this is the first issue that Techs dont know about it.
 

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I had exactly the same symptoms on a high mileage 2011 Volt I bought last winter.

I recommend buying a GM GDS2 protocol scanner such as VCX Nano and installing the software on an old laptop. After you jump through the various hoops of making the software and hardware interface work (can be involved), go to modules and at the bottom of the list is the BECM or Battery Energy Control Module. Click into that and look at Data and then Temperature and Voltage data. There are three battery groups of 32 cell groups each and what you want to do is look at each and every cell group and compare the voltage values at full charge and then again when the battery is fully depleted. This is how I found one bad cell group. On my original pack Cell group 2 charged up to 4.12v while all other cell groups only charged to 4.07v. They were all pretty much the same and even the cell group 2 was the same as the rest once I started driving. When I got most of the way through the charge cell group 2 started to fall slightly below and when I got almost through the charge at around 28 miles cell group 2 started to sag badly. This is what you need to do to diagnose one or more bad cell groups.

Fully charged, hot off the charger:

battvolt31018.jpg

Depleted battery pack:

battemp31018.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Jiminy, this is amazing info! I've ordered one from amazon and will use this to have some concrete data to take to the tech next week. Thanks for the images and the specifics on what to look for, with this info I am hopeful!
 

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I don’t have the recall number handy, but, there is a software recall for 2013s having to do with BMS.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi Loboc,

I dont know what BMS is, but id guess its Battery Maintenance Something? Anyways, I did inquire now and apparently my vehicle does need it, although they are unsure if that would solve the issue.
 
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