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Also, don't ignore the importance of properly programmed 12 V battery charging parameters. EVs don't use their 12 V batteries the same as ICE, and if you set them up to charge like a 12 V on an ICE, you'll decrease their life expectancy. A properly tended flood acid battery should last nearly as long as an AGM. Tesla also uses AGM batteries, and their 12 V batteries appear to have about half to a third of the typical lifespan of the AGM in the Bolt EV.
Yes, the horror stories of dead 12V batteries in the Ford PHEVs showed the disastrous effects of a poorly planned 12V system.
 

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Yes, the horror stories of dead 12V batteries in the Ford PHEVs showed the disastrous effects of a poorly planned 12V system.
Yes, I believe that was one of the recalls we had done on our C-MAX. For what it's worth, I believe Toyota actually got it mostly right with their Prius, though it sounds like their DC-DC system was a little under-powered.
 

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On that note: a reminder that the Bolt does have a mechanical key on the driver door. I've seen more than one person claim to be locked out when the battery died and think they can't pop the hood to jump it. So anybody who doesn't know: there's a key in the fob, a spot under the driver door handle that it fits in to pry up the cover, and a standard keyhole to unlock the door.

And to Eric's comment, I agree 100%. Let my mother and her fiancé take the Bolt for a spin and the only thing I had to really show them was how to shift. Other than that they drove it like any ICE without difficulty. Thanks to blended braking it's not even that inefficient of a way to drive it, either.
Recognize that the little plastic keyhole cover has maybe five on-off cycles before the little plastic tabs that hold it on are damaged enough that it will no longer stay on. I suspect that a replacement is quite pricey, because of the color-match issue. It's probably the biggest reason that taking just the key with you while surfing is a bad idea...unless you don't care if the keyhole cap is missing.
 

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Very easy to test the 12 volt battery. Go to your favorite local mechanic or even some parts store. A load test takes five minutes and are very reliable. I have a cheap load tester at home since I deal with all kinds of batteries and it works great. Also the Bolt’s battery does not have to turn a starter motor so it can have reduced capacity and still work. I would spend my money instead on a small lithium power pack jump starter. Costco has a nice one for $59. I keep it in its case in the tray below the dash. Just remember to charge it up with the cigarette lighter cord every 4-6 months.
Lithium Ion battery packs tend to have a limited lifespan, and self-discharge is a concern over time as well. Those battery packs are super handy, but I'd hate to need it for the first time, 4 years after purchasing it, and find out they don't work anymore, the hard way. (Without charging, which takes a long time even if power is available)
 

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Lithium Ion battery packs tend to have a limited lifespan, and self-discharge is a concern over time as well. Those battery packs are super handy, but I'd hate to need it for the first time, 4 years after purchasing it, and find out they don't work anymore, the hard way.
This is exactly why I use my Li-Ion booster pack to charge my tablet every 3 months. I tells me that it's working, it tells me how much juice it has (based on how far it charges the tablet) and at the end I give it a full charge so that I know it's ready should I need it.

What I've found is that the booster pack discharges by about 15-20% in that 3-month interval - so anyone using these should at least charge it up every few months to make sure it's not dead when you need it.
 

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I too have a 2017 with a 2016 12 volt battery. Thinking of putting in one of these..
Lithium battery. One of my friends put one in his Leaf several years ago and has had no problems.
 

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I think GM has taken a step on good care of the batteries, I don't have the exact links, but as long as you Traction Battery has charge, the Bolt will turn on the DC/DC converter to keep the 12v battery topped. If it's plugged in, it will come and do that even more frequently, it shows on my juice box history graphs (available if you want)
If you have a valid concern for the 12V battery status at any time, you can get one of those 12V portable jump starters that can get you out in a pinch.
I had this problem with two Priuses--had to replace both 12v batteries after a few years. It's a problem if you don't drive much.
I had worse problems with the BMW I3. Failed generator, not detected by the dealer. Just changed battery. No more BMWs, thank you.

I'm driving the Bolt even less lately due to our never ending c virus crisis. My understanding is the system is smart enough to keep the 12v battery charged--at least when I'm wall-charging the main battery. Correct me if I'm wrong.
 

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My understanding is the system is smart enough to keep the 12v battery charged--at least when I'm wall-charging the main battery. Correct me if I'm wrong.
My understanding is it will even check once in awhile when not plugged in. Unlike my backup ICE that just sits. It does nothing but let the battery go dead. I have a reminder on my calendar to charge it every 6 weeks. Then it's a pain pulling an extension cord and clipping a charger to the battery. The Bolt has a nicely designed exterior connector for the traction battery that will ensure the 12V is charged too. EVs are so much better.
 

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My understanding is it will even check once in awhile when not plugged in. Unlike my backup ICE that just sits. It does nothing but let the battery go dead. I have a reminder on my calendar to charge it every 6 weeks. Then it's a pain pulling an extension cord and clipping a charger to the battery. The Bolt has a nicely designed exterior connector for the traction battery that will ensure the 12V is charged too. EVs are so much better.
This is probably overkill but I was thinking of putting a little trickle charger permanently under the hood and having just the plug hang out the front if possible. Then charge 12 volt battery and traction battery at same time. Harbor freight has them at a ridiculos low price and I have been using one on my garden tractor for two years no problems. Seems I am driving less due to covid too.
 

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This is probably overkill but I was thinking of putting a little trickle charger permanently under the hood and having just the plug hang out the front if possible. Then charge 12 volt battery and traction battery at same time. Harbor freight has them at a ridiculos low price and I have been using one on my garden tractor for two years no problems. Seems I am driving less due to covid too.
Those absurdly cheap Harbor Freight trickle chargers are not AGM battery compatible, to my knowledge.

Also they've let two deep cycle marine batteries die, before I gave up on them. :( (Or else I got two bad ones in a row, but that was enough to put me off of them)
 

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Haven't had any issues with the Bolt 12v battery, but the battery in our 2016 Miata has a tendency to go dead. There is so much parasitic draw from the electronics that when we bought it from the dealer, they had to replace the battery 3mo after we bought it, and I had to replace it AGAIN just a year later! I put a battery maintainer on it now.
 

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My understanding is it will even check once in awhile when not plugged in. Unlike my backup ICE that just sits. It does nothing but let the battery go dead. I have a reminder on my calendar to charge it every 6 weeks. Then it's a pain pulling an extension cord and clipping a charger to the battery. The Bolt has a nicely designed exterior connector for the traction battery that will ensure the 12V is charged too. EVs are so much better.
Maybe that's what that battery idiot light indicates when you power on. It stays on for a just a few seconds, then goes off. Perhaps telling you it has checked the 12v battery?
 

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Maybe that's what that battery idiot light indicates when you power on.
Never noticed. But recall that all idiot lights light up so you know that the lights themselves are working I guess. Other cars I have with air bags have an idiot light that means it's actually checking the air bag circuit. So maybe the Bolt's light for the battery is doing just that.
 

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Those absurdly cheap Harbor Freight trickle chargers are not AGM battery compatible, to my knowledge.

Also they've let two deep cycle marine batteries die, before I gave up on them. :( (Or else I got two bad ones in a row, but that was enough to put me off of them)
The Harbor Freight cheap trickle chargers are AGM compatible according to the instruction sheet: https://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/42000-42999/42292.pdf
I've had expensive Battery Minder trickle chargers fail so the take away for me is operator participation. It takes months for a large AGM to self discharge so if you don't check your battery in at least a two month period it is your own fault. I have been guilty of not checking batteries on trickle chargers and if there is no charge situation the finger always point to me, not the charger.
 

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I would spend my money instead on a small lithium power pack jump starter. Costco has a nice one for $59. I keep it in its case in the tray below the dash.
That's what I do. With my old LEAF, it had other benefits: the LEAF had some weird failure modes, where Telematics (a bit like OnStar) would not go to sleep, and would drain the 12v battery. (there was even one bug, where if you used the remote keyfob app, and your app crashed, then the 12v battery would drain-out!). So there was always a slim chance that you'd go out to your car in the morning and need a jump start, even if you had a 1-month old 12v battery. I keep mine in the trunk with the air compressor. For "bonus points," I charge my tablet for a while to run the lithium pack down to 75% or so before storing it. The Bolt takes practically no energy to "start," but it does require something.
 

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I have been guilty of not checking batteries on trickle chargers and if there is no charge situation the finger always point to me, not the charger.
Yeah; I've lost two motorcycle batteries that way. Something else blew the circuit breaker ... end result was no trickle.
 

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I remember a GM engineer (or a related personnel) commenting about using the stick shifter instead of buttons to make it feel as close to a traditional car as possible. I can see the logic, but I think we can now move on to buttons these days.
I need a shifter/buttons that let me rock the car forwards/back when stuck in snow. Where I live, roads are mostly plowed, but curbside street parking areas are often only plowed when a "snow emergency" is declared. When you park next to the curb, you get stuck in snow. To get moving with a stick shift, you rock the car forwards and back by shifting quickly between 1 and R: exactly as the car starts to run up into the snow, and before the tires break free and spin, you clutch, flip to the other direction, and unclutch. When you time your gear changes right, this rocking feels a bit like swinging on a swingset (where you kick your legs out at just the right time to change direction).

It's harder to do with an automatic transmission, but I found the LEAF even harder than most automatics. It seemed like there was a 0.5 second delay when shifting betwen D and R, which would kill the rocking motion. I think something on the Bolt like a simple zero-delay forward/back change using the shifter could work nicely.

Or, maybe as people buy more EVs, cities will just have to plow better/more often.
 

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This is probably overkill but I was thinking of putting a little trickle charger permanently under the hood and having just the plug hang out the front if possible. Then charge 12 volt battery and traction battery at same time. Harbor freight has them at a ridiculos low price and I have been using one on my garden tractor for two years no problems. Seems I am driving less due to covid too.
That would have the side-benefit that if your 12v battery exhausted itself (for whatever reason), you could just plug in the trickle charger, rather than using the key to open the door to pop the hood to attach a trickle charger. As Greg mentioned, the keyhole cover may wear out after a few uses.
 

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I too have a 2017 with a 2016 12 volt battery. Thinking of putting in one of these..
Lithium battery. One of my friends put one in his Leaf several years ago and has had no problems.
Not a good idea if the car encounters freezing conditions. LiFePO4 is damaged when charged under freezing conditions, and the Bolt locates the battery outside of the passenger cabin where it is more exposed to temperature fluctuation.

I've been running one in a Prius for 5 years now, but it's located inside the passenger compartment.

... I'd personally be tempted to test on the Bolt with a cheap low capacity battery, or relocate the battery to the glove box.
 
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