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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,
I had/have an interesting issue with my Bolt. I charge a lot for work and somewhere along the way when someone else was unplugging my car, my charging port lock/latch was broken. Now the port doesn't lock. I can hear the lock motor try to engage and it apparently satisfies the computers enough for charging to still work fine, but the port isn't actually locked. This means it would be theoretically possible for someone to unplug the car while it's DC charging. This wasn't a real issue until Thanksgiving when I did exactly that. I'd plugged in at EA, my wife walked our kids to Wendy's since Walmart was closed (good on ya, Walmart, let folks enjoy Thanksgiving). Then, lo and behold, my wife calls and says Wendy's is closed too. Good on ya Wendy's, but my 3 year old does need a bathroom and snack! New plan: I'll unplug and drive them to the McDonald's on the other side of the highway. I'm in a rush since we're already running late for Thanksgiving dinner. I reach to unplug without thinking to stop the charge on the charger or in the car, and forgot I don't have a working port lock that would keep me from doing something bad. Thumb on the connector button, pull the connector out, and along with it comes a small sound and a whiff of ozone. Oh snap! I just unplugged a hot charging cable with 100+ amps flowing at ~360 volts DC! There was an arc! Well, that was dumb. Pressing the button on the cord should generally signal to a charger to stop, but that does take just a fraction of a second to process, and it's not expecting it be pressed since the port latch being locked should lock the connector latch making it impossible to press the button anyway, so who knows if it's even monitoring that. Regardless, it didn't stop a hot disconnect from happening on my Bolt.

I ferry the family to McDonalds for bathrooms and snacks and come back, and the sinking feeling I had is right- the Bolt doesn't want to charge. I tried every working CCS cable at the EA site and all of them give an error and the Bolt says 'Unable to charge'. Weelllllll shiiittt, we have 98 miles to Thanksgiving and only 70 miles of range. Let's see if I can figure this out while the family is getting nuggets so Thanksgiving isn't ruined by my idiocy. Fortunately, I used to work for an EV OEM as a field engineer and currently work for a charging infrastructure company, so I have some ideas on how to fix it. Most likely the problem is the car and resetting everything is plan A- unfortunately I can't do that the usual way since I don't have a wrench to disconnect the battery. Instead, I pop the cover off the under-hood fuse block and look for fuses with an acronym label that suggests something to do with charging. I don't recall every fuse I pulled and put back, but it included the RESS, I think the BECM, and a couple others. There is a mini fuse puller in there but it's still tricky with cold fingers. Try again, and presto, we're back in action. At least one of those modules I power-cycled was upset at what I did and went back to normal after a power cycle. Now you know one possible fix if that's happened to you and you just did a Google search while stranded at a charging station in 2027.

I still have the original problem, though- it's possible to unplug my Bolt while it's DC charging and this could happen again. I am hoping the community here can tell me if this is a known breakage and if there's a remedy short of going to the dealer and getting on their wait list for replacement of the charge port. I've personally replaced the charge port lock motors on some electric buses, so that's possible at least with some charge port designs- does the Bolt allow that? Has anyone had to fix a charging port that's not locking before? Has anyone had this issue and taken their Bolt to the dealer?

This is not the same issue as post-recall Bolts locking their ports. I read enough on that to know that my issue is different. This appears to be a physical breakage of the charge port latch and/or lock motor, not the software problem that's causing some post-recall Bolt owners to be unable to plug in at all.

Here's my charge port, which looks identical to every other DC-equipped Bolt charge port. Nothing to see except to illustrate that the silver latch piece is still there, it just doesn't move down into the locked position when I plug in to charge.

Automotive lighting Automotive tire Tire Wheel Helmet
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cool story, sorry for what happened to you

About your problem I suspect it is because of that misplaced/crooked gasket :LOL:
You know, I forgot about that. Here I am posting pictures of my crooked gasket on the internet and not even thinking about it.

I tried bending it back once or twice and then forgot about it since it doesn't seem to affect anything.
 

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I just had a similar problem, but with the cable latch side. Apparently, the latch is fragile and if you drop it, it may break off, as mine did. Gotta treat those cable with care. Now it won't latch and commence charging. Fortunately, I had another (slower) cable and could actually charge my car.

I used superglue to reattach the plastic latch and it does work, but not sure how long it will hold. I'm sure at some point plugging in in and out will snap it off.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Any joy from dealerships replacing or repairing the cable?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just had a similar problem, but with the cable latch side. Apparently, the latch is fragile and if you drop it, it may break off, as mine did.
I haven't had the issue. I'm surprised to hear that your Bolt didn't want to charge without the latch- my Bolt (quite evidently) is willing to charge without the latch lock engaged. I also had an olllld first-gen Volt EVSE that was entirely missing the latch AND the plastic around the pins and that still charged the Volt OK. Didn't test with a Bolt since that EVSE was sold with the car.
 

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I guess this is one of the benefits of having the cable on a pulley hanging from the ceiling - impossible to accidentally (or even deliberately) drop it...
I totally agree. I was thinking of the same couple of days ago. I would be interested in seeing what kind of pulley can be used to achieve this. I mean, i could always attach a rope that'll prevent the handle from hitting the ground. Looking for an elegant solution. 😆
 
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