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Discussion Starter #1
Apparently my 12V battery kicked the bucket rather unceremoniously yesterday, about 2 months after the same happened in our Pacifica Hybrid.

As an aside, the fact that a 12V battery is critical to these cars operating, and the fact that there's no warning or simple message ("REPLACE THE BATTERY, BONEHEAD" is my suggestion) before you're left with a dead car and/or series of cryptic messages that lead you to believe the car is on the verge of exploding is a rather fundamental engineering/user experience miss.

In any event, after charging from about 30% to my usual 80%, my wife unplugged the car from our L2 charger and it was totally dead. No door lights, chimes, etc. Based on info here and my Pacifica experience I assumed it was the 12V battery. This appears to be confirmed in that I connected the car to a battery charger and lights, etc. were restored and the charger initially indicated only 4V from the battery. I didn't want to leave the 12V on the charger since it's not designed for AGM batteries.

I have a 1000A LiIon "jumper pack." On connecting this all systems in the car appeared normal and I was able to hit start, and I got the "Service Battery" and "Battery System Error" messages, red battery light, as well as the blue "particle globe" and recalibrating transmission. However I could not shift into drive and only got to N where I then put the car back in park.

Following forum advice, I left the car alone, but after about 10 minutes (when the LiIon pack ran out of juice) the car was dead again. It's hard to tell if the car actually "started" and the traction battery is providing power to the 12V systems. I do heard a big "plunk" from the engine when the battery booster is removed, which I assume is the disconnect to the traction battery, so I'm hoping the traction battery is joining the party but it's hard to tell.

Any steps I can take to get driveable and down to the dealer or is there a tow truck in my future? I'm charging the LiIon pack now but it's several hours to full so I've only got the patience for one more go and want to make sure I get it right.
 

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If you read 4 volts on the battery then it's probably kaput. That's usually a sign that a cell is damaged and you won't be able to get it to put out 12 volts. It will need replaced.
 

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Order a replacement battery from Amazon. When it arrives, install it in the Bolt. Have we forgotten how to swing a wrench already?
 

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Order a replacement battery from Amazon. When it arrives, install it in the Bolt. Have we forgotten how to swing a wrench already?
I'm at the "Spend the $200 for an aftermarket and save ~$200 in hassle with my life" versus "Make the dealer/GM pay for a replacement of a poorly-spec'ed part" stage of grief. I'm more than adept at wrench swinging but hate enabling entropy created by badly behaving companies....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you read 4 volts on the battery then it's probably kaput. That's usually a sign that a cell is damaged and you won't be able to get it to put out 12 volts. It will need replaced.
That's my suspicion as well, just trying to figure out if there's any way to get it started in this condition, if for nothing else so when/if this happens in the future (which according to Murphy's Law will occur 1000 miles from home, in a blizzard, with a drive that's uphill in all directions) I'll be prepared to at least get moving again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm at the "Spend the $200 for an aftermarket and save ~$200 in hassle with my life" versus "Make the dealer/GM pay for a replacement of a poorly-spec'ed part" stage of grief. I'm more than adept at wrench swinging but hate enabling entropy created by badly behaving companies....
Also it appears that neither Amazon, NAPA, AutoZone, AdvanceAuto, Batteries Plus, or any other sites have a replacement 12V battery for the Bolt. Advance Auto did helpfully recommend a CR2032 coin battery as the #1 option in their list of potential fits. Somehow I don't think that will work...
 

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Also it appears that neither Amazon, NAPA, AutoZone, AdvanceAuto, Batteries Plus, or any other sites have a replacement 12V battery for the Bolt. Advance Auto did helpfully recommend a CR2032 coin battery as the #1 option in their list of potential fits. Somehow I don't think that will work...
Those are 3V. So I suspect you'd need 4 of them. :D

Mike
 

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Also it appears that neither Amazon, NAPA, AutoZone, AdvanceAuto, Batteries Plus, or any other sites have a replacement 12V battery for the Bolt. Advance Auto did helpfully recommend a CR2032 coin battery as the #1 option in their list of potential fits. Somehow I don't think that will work...
I'm a commercial manager for Advance Auto Parts in Missouri,,,you are correct,,,we don't show that battery,,I went out and looked what battery is in my 2019 Premier,,,it's a group size 140,,,I have a local supplier that I can get Delco and it is available,,,call your local Advance store and ask for there commercial manager and if he's worth anything he should be able to find you that battery!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So patching together various posts and some experimentation I managed to get the car moving. Here's the exact procedure I followed:

1) Connect LiIon battery booster. In my case there are some "safety checks" in my booster (I assume looking for voltage and preventing putting the terminals on backwards) that I had to override to activate the pack. As soon as that was done the car "came to life" in a state that looks like it's on (radio on, dash on, etc.).

2) I don't think the car is actually "started" in this state, so with key in pocket, not touching anything hit the "Start" button to power off the car

3) Counted an ISO/UN metric standard "5 Mississippis"

4) Foot on brake, hit start. Vehicle comes to life.

5) Leave key in vehicle, remove battery booster, close hood

6) I left the car for ~20 minutes with the key inside in this state based on some other threads, and with the intent of making the car sit by itself and think about what it had done

7) Reenter car, cross fingers, shift into drive. I did get a blip in the power steering and thought I caught some warning lights on the dash but it could have been the transition of the lights from on to off upon leaving my garage. The yellow "car with an exclamation point" light is on, but not other messages or fault indicators. Drove around a bit and then shut it down. I assume I'll have to do this dance again to get it to the dealer.


I called the dealer and they did not have any batteries in stock (we did get to play the usual "Volt???" "No, Bolt... WITH A BEEEE" game) but the parts guy was nice enough to order one for me from Delco and they'll have it on hand tomorrow for replacement under warranty. The parts guy did mention they need to "put it on the tester for an hour" before GM will let them comp the replacement, so I couldn't just replace the battery myself with GM footing the bill.

Hopefully this helps someone. A little disappointing a modern 12V battery dies without warning after 26 months, but better now that at 37 months I guess.
 

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Good to hear about a warranty replacement.I,ll add a battery voltage check to a short list of frequent Maintence checkups, tire pressure, coolant levels,battery voltage,clean windows,cleanout trash.
 

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The big question that comes to my mind is: When you connect e.g. your LiIon jumper pack to an AGM battery with one or more bad cells, I assume the bad cells just sink the voltage of the LiIon pack down to e.g 4V and drain it fairly quickly without benefit. In an ICE car, you need the muscle of the AGM battery to run the starter motor. But in an EV, you're really not powering much with the LiIon jumper pack, just some electronics. So I would think rather than connecting the LiIon pack in parallel with the AGM battery, you would be better off removing the AGM battery from the circuit, and just connecting your jumper to the car's battery connectors. I.e. get the bad AGM battery out of the way. Is there a reason not to do it that way?
 

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The big question that comes to my mind is: When you connect e.g. your LiIon jumper pack to an AGM battery with one or more bad cells, I assume the bad cells just sink the voltage of the LiIon pack down to e.g 4V and drain it fairly quickly without benefit. In an ICE car, you need the muscle of the AGM battery to run the starter motor. But in an EV, you're really not powering much with the LiIon jumper pack, just some electronics. So I would think rather than connecting the LiIon pack in parallel with the AGM battery, you would be better off removing the AGM battery from the circuit, and just connecting your jumper to the car's battery connectors. I.e. get the bad AGM battery out of the way. Is there a reason not to do it that way?
Not sure I'd do that. The car is going to try to "charge" the jumper pack and I'm not sure how that would affect the car or the jumper pack. Maybe someone knows... but that sounds like a risky experiment to me.

Mike
 

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Some really funny comments throughout the thread! I'm used to batteries failing because of engine heat but when in a remote location they seem l=to last a very long time. Leads me to think it is a defective battery that had a cell failure. The location it's mounted in doesn't seem to be hot like in a conventional car - turbocharged cars are the worst. Best battery life I've gotten with a conventional 12V battery was my 91 BMW which had it in the trunk. Wife's Smart car has it mounted under the passenger's feet, also a cool location and very long lasting as well. VW Jetta was different - it ate batteries. My 2013 Volt's battery is 7 years old and still going strong.

I agree with OP that the messages are a design miss. Needs to be better.
 

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I had multiple batteries die on me in gas cars. The visual warning on the instrument panel is useless. It never gave me any clue the batteries were deteriorating, till one day it didn't crank start the engine. Cranking became my "instrument panel". A weak cranking usually meant something was up with the battery.

There isn't cranking in EV. I won't be too surprised when it dies on me without warning. Perhaps a real voltage read out may be better. I have it as part of my torque pro cluster.

-TL

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The yellow "car with an exclamation point" light is on, but not other messages or fault indicators
I just went thru this dead battery issue as well on my 2017 and it's posted on another thread here. Just be advised that after you replace the battery that this "car exclam"! message will still appear for a while and then it should disappear. My wife was on her way to the dealership when it went out so we simply cancelled that appt. and it's been fine since. hth
 

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Does anyone have experience with AAA battery service for their Chevy Bolt. I had planned for the day the car wouldn't start to just call them and have the guy install a new one. Now I am wondering if the 12 volt battery is so proprietary, what is the likelihood they would have it in stock? TIA
 

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Does anyone have experience with AAA battery service for their Chevy Bolt. I had planned for the day the car wouldn't start to just call them and have the guy install a new one. Now I am wondering if the 12 volt battery is so proprietary, what is the likelihood they would have it in stock? TIA
May be better to call roadside assistance, and have the car towed to nearest dealership.

-TL

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Where they'll try to charge you $300 for a $200 battery.
I guess you can ask the roadside assistance or AAA to tow back home and wait for battery. It is probably not an option while you are on a trip.

-TL

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