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I've posted here before about range issues with my 2017 Bolt. These lead to 38 days out of service and a full replacement of the battery. This was in April and May. Visit # 1 - 3-4hrs and visit #2 - 38 days. See previous thread: https://www.chevybolt.org/threads/range-keeps-dropping-at-dealer-for-second-time.32643/

2 weeks ago, when charging the car ahead of a road trip to Sequoia National park the car showed a service message when I tried to charge it at one of my office's Level 2 charging stations. "Service High Voltage Charging System". Considering this reduced the car to charging at 1kwh there was no way we were taking it on a road trip. We left the car at home and were forced to put the miles onto our second car, all the way saying how lucky we were that the service message didn't show up somewhere around Visalia...

Dropped the Bolt off at the dealership, visit #3, and was denied a loaner by the service advisor. None available. Fortunately I got the car back that same day after they added some coolant for the EV battery and declared that it was "road trip ready!".

On Friday (24hrs after pickup from the dealership) I plugged the car in and charged it at the office. The car charged but, but the end of the session was displaying the same service message and was back to limiting us to 1kwh. Hot-tailed it back to the dealership on Saturday morning, visit #4, since we couldn't do hardly anything with the car anyways. I was told I'd get a call first thing in the AM on Tuesday (Labor Day weekend). Of course that call didn't come and I had to call them up at 2:30p to find out...well...nothing other than I still wouldn't get a loaner, or any assistance with getting myself around, and no news on the actual car. The service advisor recommended getting in touch with GM customer assistance to ask for a solution. I called and opened a case.

Today, the service advisor rings me up. We "think" there's a coolant leak but can't find any trace of the liquid. We need to drive the car 30-40 miles and need your agreement. I gave them that agreement and asked, again, about transportation. Nope...still no loaners. You're on your own.

Got a call from GM customer assistance. I now have a case advisor who asked me to detail the ongoing issues. She said that they were starting an investigation into a buy-back of my car. When I asked for details on what that actually entails she said she couldn't say at this point. IF the buy-back is approved another department would take over with whom I would discuss the options. For now she had to open the investigation, whether I want it or not, because of how long the car has been out of service.

The advisor from GM indicated that they've had multiple complaints about the dealership and that loaners are a notorious problem as they just don't have enough. She also said that there's nothing that she can do, other than 3 days of car rental, up to a $35 max and for a GM vehicle, and that she can't force the dealership to give me a car. Basically I'm stranded.

Needless to say I'm not a fan of Chevrolet, and even less of this dealership, and that I'm less than thrilled on having to deal with this process or face the possibility of needing to look for another car at this time. I'd gladly take any input anyone has on the buy-backs with GM. I haven't got the slightest knowledge of how these things work, especially with a leased car.

I'm glad Bolt ownership has treated many of you so well. Looks like I got stuck with one of the duds. Unfortunately it has significantly tainted my experience.
 

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I tried to charge it at one of my office's Level 2 charging stations. "Service High Voltage Charging System". Considering this reduced the car to charging at 1kwh there was no way we were taking it on a road trip.
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On Friday (24hrs after pickup from the dealership) I plugged the car in and charged it at the office. The car charged but, but the end of the session was displaying the same service message and was back to limiting us to 1kwh.
Sorry to hear about your troubles, but you've used the wrong units, I think. If you're talking about charging rate, that's measured in kW, a measure of power. kWh is a measure of energy.

If you charged at 1000 watts (1 kW) for 1 hour, 1000 watt-hours or 1 kilowatt-hour (kWh) came from the "wall". 1 kW * 6 hours? 6 kWh came from the "wall".

6 kW for 1 hour? 6 kWh came from the "wall".

If only 1 kWh came from the wall and it stopped, you only filled about 1/60th of your battery.

It helps when explaining things to use the right units. The car uses the right units. Ditto for charging stations and their apps.
 

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This is quite a contrast to my experience -- everything directly opposite!

My two-month-old 2019 got the message Service High Voltage Charging System, with no other symptoms whatsoever.

Took it to the dealer in San Jose and they gave me an ICE loaner.

They called me back 1 hour later saying there was a coolant leak, having confirmed with GM that the battery would be replaced, and it would take 5 days.

5 days later I got my car back... two months later things are still good!
 

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If GM does indeed buy-back your 2017 Bolt... what would you replace it with?


Unfortunately, it seems that many dealerships just don't have mechanics with the skills necessary to perform advanced diagnostics and/or repairs to complex EV's like the Bolt.
 

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Again, sorry for your loss. However, the possibility of problems is inherent in the crapshoot of owning/leasing a POV. I know BMW, M-B, Audi, Porsche owners who paid two/three times as much as the Bolt cost and have had issues which took them out of service for days and weeks, stranded them in dangerous situations. Given the complexity of modern vehicles, that they're as reliable as they are is remarkable.

jack vines
 

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Again, sorry for your loss. However, the possibility of problems is inherent in the crapshoot of owning/leasing a POV. I know BMW, M-B, Audi, Porsche owners who paid two/three times as much as the Bolt cost and have had issues which took them out of service for days and weeks, stranded them in dangerous situations. Given the complexity of modern vehicles, that they're as reliable as they are is remarkable.

And one more time, the Bolt is the most reliable of the dozens of vehicles we've owned over the past sixty years.

jack vines
 

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Regardless of the outcome, ask corporate GM to reimburse for your lease payments while the car is out of service. We had a similar experience with Volvo (multiple dealer trips, over a month out of service) and they covered the lease payments and the rental car we got on our own. Not sure if GM will handle it the same way, but you should definitely ask.
 

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Given the complexity of modern vehicles, that they're as reliable as they are is remarkable.
jack vines
My biggest fear is not the complexity of the vehicles, it's the lack of complexity in the service arm of EV ownership. I've seen first hand how GM publishes graphical, almost idiot proof, tech procedures on how to replace or fix any component. It's all online now, no more binders of DVD's to load on 'one' shop computer. With all this hand holding, more and more ' tech's ' screw it up from start to finish.
 

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It takes time to transition to new tech, even if it's simpler than the previous tech. I work with hardware guys, and lets just say they aren't the brightest bulbs. No dummies for sure, but they know what they know, and don't pick up new stuff very easily.

People that know electronics probably seek higher paying jobs.

... and diagnostics has never been very popular, but instead throwing parts at a problem until it disappears. That's generally true of how society addresses problems too. No diagnosis, just react.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If GM does indeed buy-back your 2017 Bolt... what would you replace it with?


Unfortunately, it seems that many dealerships just don't have mechanics with the skills necessary to perform advanced diagnostics and/or repairs to complex EV's like the Bolt.
First off let's see if they do decide to do a buy-back, then let's see what conditions they offer. We're one year away from the end of the lease and most cars we'd want to target aren't even available yet (Tesla Y, Volvo full electric). I was actually counting on reaching Sept 2020 before having to make any decisions.

If we do have to change, despite the fact that I know issues can occur with any brand of vehicle, I'll be disinclined to go back to a GM car. I've already been very displeased with the overall quality (though my expectations were low) of the build, so all of this has made the thought of sticking with them very difficult. But, who knows. The price point on the Bolt's payments is what we wanted to pay relative to the use we have for this car and there aren't many others where you can reach $225/month. Honestly we may even go away from an EV altogether for the time being.

Regarding your second remark, I have made a point of expressing to the GM customer rep that the level of service for EVs is clearly lacking and that they need to address that asap.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Again, sorry for your loss. However, the possibility of problems is inherent in the crapshoot of owning/leasing a POV. I know BMW, M-B, Audi, Porsche owners who paid two/three times as much as the Bolt cost and have had issues which took them out of service for days and weeks, stranded them in dangerous situations. Given the complexity of modern vehicles, that they're as reliable as they are is remarkable.

And one more time, the Bolt is the most reliable of the dozens of vehicles we've owned over the past sixty years.

jack vines
Indeed, it's a crapshoot. I once had a new generation Mini with which we had months of check engine lights that the dealer just couldn't figure out. Eventually it lead to changing out the entire engine. 13 years later my parents still own that car and haven't had any sort of major issue. You never know.

I'm simply sharing my experience and not making a judgement call on the vehicle itself. I know many on this forum are delighted with their cars and I only wish that that remains so. Unfortunately, for me, that has not been the case. The biggest issue has been the way the Chevy dealer has dealt with all this, in ways that even the GM customer rep is dumbfounded and ashamed. I've owned a BMW, an Audi and own a Porsche. I've dealt with service for all 3 and haven't been blown away by either of them, except Audi. BMW always treated me like crap because of my age and Porsche put me in a loaner which even GM shouldn't provide. Audi, however, were genuinely passionate about cars and the experience and went above and beyond to help me out on a few things. My aunt, however, would strongly disagree with that after a terrible experience with Audi back in the 90s.

My point is, everyone will have varying opinions, all of them very much linked to how lucky they are with their car and what dealership they work with. With Chevy I got unlucky with the car and the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
This is quite a contrast to my experience -- everything directly opposite!

My two-month-old 2019 got the message Service High Voltage Charging System, with no other symptoms whatsoever.

Took it to the dealer in San Jose and they gave me an ICE loaner.

They called me back 1 hour later saying there was a coolant leak, having confirmed with GM that the battery would be replaced, and it would take 5 days.

5 days later I got my car back... two months later things are still good!
Sounds like your dealer is better suited to deal with EVs. My dealership always seems to drag their feet about doing real investigation. They suspect a coolant leak but don't seem to have gone much deeper into verifications.

In the latest update they've now driven my car over 110 miles the last two days and say it's ready for me to pick up. I'm very curious to see if the warning message shows back up as I'm concerned that the coolant leak may have damaged the battery.
 

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Regarding your second remark, I have made a point of expressing to the GM customer rep that the level of service for EVs is clearly lacking and that they need to address that asap.
This is not meant to disregard your poor experience. However I do feel compelled to point out that we're not even into the Early Adopters stage of EVs yet. It's not surprising that dealers have a lack of skilled service techs for EVs considering we're still in the Innovation stage. That is to say, I can see both sides of the argument; that you should be taken care of with a rental, and that it's understandable that there isn't someone knowledgeable to service a car that came out in 2017 (ok, 2016 but barely), and represents less than 1% of the vehicles sold.




I'm surprised you've had experiences with many other manufacturers too. I've only ever had 1 car that had any amount of warranty left, but never had an issue with any car that would have warranted a visit to the dealership. That seems to speak of the unreliability of certain brands, or perhaps just not being lucky with vehicles.

Not suggesting this of you, but it does remind me of a friend who claims every manufacturer he drives has poor transmissions. He's replaced a transmission at least once on every vehicle he's owned. He uses the throttle like an on/off switch, so it's downshifting as he punches it, then he coasts until the speed bleeds off, then punches it again... it never occurs to him that he's the common thread with the failures.
 

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Follow-up service for any electric vehicle is a crap shoot at this point. I bought the Bolt because of the extensive dealer network. Any of us can experience Kendallg's problem with our Bolt. We just pray that we don't have a nagging problem though and give thanks when we don't. In the future, there will be independent services that we can use use to solve tough problems, and dealers will be better at diagnosing them. This is part of the transition process to a new technology. Best of luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This is not meant to disregard your poor experience. However I do feel compelled to point out that we're not even into the Early Adopters stage of EVs yet. It's not surprising that dealers have a lack of skilled service techs for EVs considering we're still in the Innovation stage. That is to say, I can see both sides of the argument; that you should be taken care of with a rental, and that it's understandable that there isn't someone knowledgeable to service a car that came out in 2017 (ok, 2016 but barely), and represents less than 1% of the vehicles sold.




I'm surprised you've had experiences with many other manufacturers too. I've only ever had 1 car that had any amount of warranty left, but never had an issue with any car that would have warranted a visit to the dealership. That seems to speak of the unreliability of certain brands, or perhaps just not being lucky with vehicles.

Not suggesting this of you, but it does remind me of a friend who claims every manufacturer he drives has poor transmissions. He's replaced a transmission at least once on every vehicle he's owned. He uses the throttle like an on/off switch, so it's downshifting as he punches it, then he coasts until the speed bleeds off, then punches it again... it never occurs to him that he's the common thread with the failures.
Your points are valid, though I think it would also be fair to assume that a manufacturer, of any type of customer object, should be prepared to service any specific needs of that item once it hits the market. Buying a Bolt does not come with a disclaimer that service windows will be longer due to lack of knowledge of the vehicle throughout dealer networks. In theory, prior to release of a new item, the manufacturer should be prepared to provide reliable service to its clients. I also think that, depending on the dealership, there will be significant differences in the ability to service EVs, as has been displayed on this forum. Unfortunately the dealership closest to my home seems, according to reports I've seen and interaction with other customers, ill-prepared to service any type of vehicle, let alone EVs.

I should nuance that my experience with other manufacturers hasn't all been related to warranty repairs. I never had a problem with my BMW (bought new and under warranty) or Audi (bought used and out of warranty) and had to do limited repairs on my 2006 Cayman S (bought used and out of warranty) which, at 13 years old, understandably has required a couple "wear and tear" interventions (replaced starter, replaced battery). That said, these experiences have been sufficient to develop an impression of each dealer network and the experience that was offered.
 

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This is not meant to disregard your poor experience. However I do feel compelled to point out that we're not even into the Early Adopters stage of EVs yet. It's not surprising that dealers have a lack of skilled service techs for EVs considering we're still in the Innovation stage. That is to say, I can see both sides of the argument; that you should be taken care of with a rental, and that it's understandable that there isn't someone knowledgeable to service a car that came out in 2017 (ok, 2016 but barely), and represents less than 1% of the vehicles sold.
It really depends on your local region. So no excuses for dealers in the big cities of California but perfectly fine in some other areas, IMHO.
 
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