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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
TLDR: new 2023 EUV purchased three days ago has an empty battery coolant tank.

So I picked up my new 2023 EUV on Wednesday. This was a custom order I placed in November, was real lucky to find a dealer with an open allocation that also sold at MSRP! The dealer is about 60 miles away and everything was great on the drive home. Got home with about 68% battery so the next day I decided to try out a local EA station, mostly just to get familiar with it. I did that on Thursday. It charged... really slow, even considering the SoC but I didn't think anything of it at the time. It couldn't get past 15 kW after 20 minutes and it was about 45 degrees out.

Today, Friday, I was just setting some stuff up in the car. I wasn't going anywhere but I turned it on just to fiddle with the settings. Check engine light was on. Got OnStar to do a diagnosis, I got code P1FFE (issue with charging system, service some time) and code P19FF (issue with battery conditioning system, service in 1 day) Well I don't want to drive 60 miles with an error so I made an appointment Monday morning at a much closer dealer.

But I did some Googling and found here and other places some posts about coolant after battery replacements... so I popped the hood to take a look. And yup, the battery coolant tank is empty! The other two are fine (and the cabin heat works great). This isn't a battery replacement, this is a 2023 with a build date of a month ago and an odometer of 70 miles. Yipes!

Really hope someone just goofed and there was an air bubble in the system and I didn't just leak coolant all over the greater Seattle Tacoma area. Or worse, it's leaking into the battery... but I think then it would be throwing more errors? I hope?

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UPDATE (1/23): Unfortunately, it wasn't just a bad vacuum fill like I hoped. Turns out a clamp is missing from part of the coolant line and the coolant did in fact spill out. They pointed it out to me on a chart of the coolant system but it was all just a bunch of tubes to me, I will try to remember to get a picture next time I'm there. They are getting the missing part sent overnight so we'll see what happens tomorrow. I never got a "propulsion reduced" error or anything so given the mild pacific northwest winter I'm pretty sure the battery never actually overheated or anything.

UPDATE (1/25): Got the car back from the dealer, appears to drive fine! I went to an EVGo station afterwards and starting from a SoC of ~67% up to 80% pulled a steady 15kW the whole time which still seems low to me, but I did verify that the coolant stayed in the tank this time. It's 45 degrees here so I'm just gonna assume it couldn't heat the battery fast enough until it was throttled more due to charge level (I'm still new at this!). I guess next I'll let it drain down to less than 40% before I try my next charge.

Here's the report from the dealer, I asked if they still had the diagram of the coolant system with the missing part circled but they couldn't find it.
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It's a 412xxxx. I don't remember the exact build date but it was mid December when the bot on the Chevy site switched to saying that the car had been produced. Then a week ago my dealer said it had arrived locally via train, so it took about a month.
 

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It's a 412xxxx. I don't remember the exact build date but it was mid December when the bot on the Chevy site switched to saying that the car had been produced. Then a week ago my dealer said it had arrived locally via train, so it took about a month.
Ok. They have been shipping cars in those 4 VIN ranges (randomly) since at least last summer and they are still the only ranges I'm seeing. I assume that all of them are part of a vast number of cars that were sitting due to the stop sale but I don't actually know. If so, it could explain the issues with weak 12 volt batteries and low coolant reservoirs. Careful examination of the interiors and underside of the cars shows them to be perfectly factory fresh in every way. What we need is an update from some spies in Orion who can tell us about the stored inventory levels and also what is streaming out of the plant. When taking delivery, it would be wise to check these things under the hood before you leave the dealer.
 

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It is possible you have an internal leak in the battery. There is a drain plug on it that will tell all when pulled. Pain to get to, it is on the bottom, the protective panel will have to come off to get to it.
If there was a leak in the battery internally, you would already know it. You might even be able to see it, from far away.
 

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The short and simple is that it either leaked out or that it was never filled. From the little pink drops showing inside the tank, I'd lean towards the leak theory.

The leak could be a missing plug, a loose hose, or a split hose. Whatever the cause, the dealer should have noticed something amiss when they did the pre-delivery check.

Looks like your Bolt needs a flat bed ride back to the dealership.
 

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12/16 build, 2017, white LT
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It is possible you have an internal leak in the battery. There is a drain plug on it that will tell all when pulled. Pain to get to, it is on the bottom, the protective panel will have to come off to get to it.
This is the first I have heard of a battery tray drain plug. It does not appear in any discussion, or video I am aware of. A coolant loop vacuum test should be performed if a leak is suspected.

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OK. I think I see a drain plug at the front center in this shot. I would guess, if there is enough coolant on the bottom of the battery tray to run out that drain, it would have thrown isolation codes galore.

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That would freak me out.

But since it's been a really short time you've been driving it, it probably doesn't have any heat damage. Hopefully no DCFC'ing.
The pack itself didn't get too hot in normal driving and charging this time of year.
Leaf's somehow survive for a while without active thermal management.... :p

So keep the faith!
Maybe it's an obvious external leak and the pack itself is sealed. That coolant loop vacuum test should tell.
It's probably just some tech cutting corners and not performing the 'vac-fill' procedure during the pack replacement, if that happened....
 

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Hopefully no DCFC'ing.

It's probably just some tech cutting corners and not performing the 'vac-fill' procedure during the pack replacement, if that happened....
"I decided to try out a local EA station, mostly just to get familiar with it. I did that on Thursday. It charged... really slow, even considering the SoC but I didn't think anything of it at the time. It couldn't get past 15 kW after 20 minutes and it was about 45 degrees out."

"This isn't a battery replacement, this is a 2023 with a build date of a month ago and an odometer of 70 miles"
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah I mean.... since it drove fine and only had the problem after trying to DCFC on a cold day, my theory is that there was just air bubbles in there (improper vac-fill?). So that was probably the first time the car tried to actively manage the battery's temperature in this mild pacific northwest winter. Doing so would "burp" the air into the tank.

Well that's my theory anyway. I'll find out soon....
 

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Yeah I mean.... since it drove fine and only had the problem after trying to DCFC on a cold day, my theory is that there was just air bubbles in there (improper vac-fill?). So that was probably the first time the car tried to actively manage the battery's temperature in this mild pacific northwest winter. Doing so would "burp" the air into the tank.

Well that's my theory anyway. I'll find out soon....
That would be my theory too. The disturbing thing is, I was all over the service manager at the dealership who replaced our battery, with just this scenario, and couldn't understand how they wouldn't follow the procedure in the service manual. But how the heck do they mess up this step at the factory?!.
 

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Pure incompetence of the dealer. Didn't they not do pre delivery inspection?
It's one of the first things i checked after i took delivery of my car and i got home. All three reservoirs looked good.

Call the dealer who sold you the vehicle and tell them how incompetent they are.
That should work really good, especially when you need to take it back in for some other warranty related work.

You must have some sort of crystal ball that tells you the dealer did not check the coolant level.

I'm gonna use my magic 8 ball and guess the dealer did check but, after driving for a couple days, the coolant dropped because maybe an air bubble was still in the system.
 

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That should work really good, especially when you need to take it back in for some other warranty related work.

You must have some sort of crystal ball that tells you the dealer did not check the coolant level.

I'm gonna use my magic 8 ball and guess the dealer did check but, after driving for a couple days, the coolant dropped because maybe an air bubble was still in the system.
Hmm.. Should the OP take some donuts to the dealer instead for sound such a great job?

Coolant dropping to such low level triggering an error code is a mistake that can't be overlooked. I don't think they did a thorough PDI. They probably opened the hood, took a peek and closed it. They're supposed to test drive and then check everything.

I'm a firm believer that if some one made a mistake, they should be made aware of it so it doesn't happen again. In this case, maybe the dealer will learn from this and fix their process so another customer will not have this problem.

You use a magic 8 ball and I use a crystal ball. 🤷‍♂️
 

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If so, it could explain the issues with weak 12 volt batteries and low coolant reservoirs.
How would that possibly explain a low coolant reservoir?
 

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But how the heck do they mess up this step at the factory?!.
I worked three decades in aerospace and you would think this would be simple to follow procedures. I can attest that it is anything but. Especially with vac fill procedures. We had one piece of space hardware that we made a rotation fixture to reorientate the hardware as we did the oil filling after pulling a hard vacuum. Was amazing to watch the air bubbles appear after working them through the maze of plumbing.

edit: many mistakes are made from rushing the procedure. takes time.
 

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These cars don't have enough crazy things that can go bad... I used to be into (owning and working on) VW TDIs. There were certain years where the engine coolant could wick into the vehicle's wiring harness through the coolant tank level sensor. There were cases where people had their tail light assemblies filled with coolant! The repair was full vehicle wiring harness replacement. Not cheap or easy. Later models had a liquid-cooled EGR system that liked to leak coolant into the exhaust stream. Not enough to belch white smoke, but enough to make you wonder where all your coolant was going.
 
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