Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

First post.

I bought a Bolt a few weeks ago and I'm really pleased with the car. Unfortunately I punctured the AC evaporator plate (the radiator looking thing behind the grill). There was a loud hissing and a cloud of white mist, no liquid. does anyone know if it is okay to drive the car with no AC?

My concern is that the AC system is, I'm guessing, connected to "battery conditioning".

I have checked the Energy display and there was no % of energy used for battery conditioning since last charge.

Thanks, Mark
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,275 Posts
IMO, I would not drive that Bolt anywhere (unless the dealer is down the street) and get it towed to your nearest Bolt dealer to get serviced. Not worth the risk if somehow the HV battery is damaged. Doubt warranty would cover that. New battery is $16k before labor.

Btw, how did the puncture happen?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,486 Posts
The cloud of white mist sounds concerning and with how new the Bolt technology is, probably best for the dealership to take a look at it. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad with a normal gas car, but who knows what that thing is connected to in the Bolt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
297 Posts
If it was out in the "engine" bay, it was the condensor that was punctured and its job is to shed heat energy to the outside. The evaporator will "absorb" the heat from the interior (fan blows over it and you feel cool air) and the system will carry it away to the outside. The hissing and white mist was the refrigerant, so the condensor needs to be repaired or replaced (replacement is the safest option). Then, the system needs to be vacuumed out to get rid of any atmospheric air, and especially the moisture. The system can then be recharged with refrigerant and will be back up and running. Haven't looked closely at the system in the Bolt, but changing out the condensor can't be too difficult but it will be a pricey item at the dealership. This really would be a much better priced fix at an independent mechanic, if your dealership will not do it as a warranty repair. Parts availability will be the challenge here.

Driving a Bolt without the really important part of the battery thermal management system is like driving an EV with an air cooled battery (like the Leaf), not blowing any air at all. If this was me, I would drive the car gently, at night or early morning (when it's coolest) to the closest dealer or trusted independent mechanic to get the work done. Just to be safe, I wouldn't charge the battery either as any heat generated won't have the cooling system kick in if needed. If you absolutely need some battery to get to a service centre, I'd just use the 110v cord that came with the car, and only do this at night when it's coolest.

I also realized another IMPORTANT thing to consider: what is your location? If you're in a hot climate, like the US Southwest, get the car towed. Don't risk the potential heat damage to the battery. If you're in a cooler/more moderate Northern locale (I'm up near Toronto, Canada), then I'd drive it myself to get it repaired, as I described above.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies.

It is the condenser. The dealer, Chevrolet of Watsonville has the part ordered and I have an appointment to have it fixed.

The weather here is pretty moderate (coastal Central CA) so if I drive it (to the appointment) I'll go in the morning (50-60 deg F). Thanks Rick. I've got plenty of charge so I'll avoid charging.

I have emailed Chevy and I'm waiting for a reply on what they suggest. I can't imagine they will say anything but have it towed. Having lived with an air cooled battery for the past 6 years, with no issues I'm pretty confident the Bolt will be fine for a short run to the dealer.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top