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Discussion Starter #21
Abe, please let us know what You decided and how the car is faring after years if You decide to keep it? Without photos my disposition would be to keep the car and save / invest the spare $ knowing in the future it might need a new pack either due to damage or just simply age. I would think in the future it would cost under $10k for a 66 KWH pack but this is just speculation on my part (assume decreasing pack and labor costs). I agree with all others that $33k for a replacement seems an exorbitant repair estimate! Good luck.
PS little did I know I am now at post 800 - too much time on the net!!
I decided to closely inspect both dents in the battery compartment prior to making my decision. Using bright lights and reading glasses, I examined the first dent (closest to the front of the car) and found that that first impact fortuitously hit where the fore and aft frame member intersected the lateral support, below the bottom skin of the battery compartment. The fore and aft frame member was dented and torn slightly but the lateral support was only dented about 1/2 inch upward. In other words, the battery compartment was not penetrated.

The second impact point was also dented about 1/2 inch, directly in the battery compartment material. I inspected that area very closely and could not find any tears or punctures in the metal - just a dent. That was a relief! The car has not lost any coolant and it runs just as well as it ever did.

I have since driven the car on a 200-mile trip in hot weather (hot by Colorado Standards ~ 85 degrees) from Colorado Springs to Walsenburg, Colorado and performed a rapid charge at the Electrify America charge station in Pueblo. No issues. Next, I drove it from Co Springs to Denver on a full charge, at between 75 and 80 mph. Note, normally I drive at approximately 2 miles below the speed limit to maximize range, but this time I wanted to draw power out of the battery at a high rate to see how it would perform. Again, no issues.

Based on the above-mentioned inspections and tests, I decided to retain the car and the check. I have an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday to apply for the Salvage Title - I'm keeping the car.

My only regret is that as far as I've been able to determine, there doesn't seem to be a way to test the atmosphere inside the battery compartment to determine if it has suffered any oxygen intrusion. Based on John Kelly's videos (filmed at Weber State in Utah), it looks like the whole battery has to be removed and temporarily sealed in order to check the battery compartment atmosphere.
 

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My only regret is that as far as I've been able to determine, there doesn't seem to be a way to test the atmosphere inside the battery compartment to determine if it has suffered any oxygen intrusion. Based on John Kelly's videos (filmed at Weber State in Utah), it looks like the whole battery has to be removed and temporarily sealed in order to check the battery compartment atmosphere.
According to Professor Kelly, air moves in and out of the battery box all the time. It passes through the four Gore-tex fabric vents. The whole point of Gore-Tex is that it allows air to pass through, but not liquid water.

"Gore-Tex is a waterproof, breathable fabric membrane and registered trademark of W. L. Gore and Associates. Invented in 1969, Gore-Tex can repel liquid water while allowing water vapor to pass through and is designed to be a lightweight, waterproof fabric for all-weather use."

 

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Thanks, that's helpful. What is the function of the initial nitorgen purge?
It is to drive the smoke from the smoke test out of the battery pack. I assume they are using nitrogen as a safety precaution. If any part of the smoke is uncombusted hydrocarbons there is always a chance of ignition if they accidentally got the right air/fuel ratio.
 

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It is to drive the smoke from the smoke test out of the battery pack.
What the heck is the "smoke test"? Usually I when I hear that term it's from a do-it-yourselfer who's plugging in their little project for the first time to see if it blows up or not. But I can hardly believe that there would be an official procedure for the Bolt along those lines...
 

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What the heck is the "smoke test"? Usually I when I hear that term it's from a do-it-yourselfer who's plugging in their little project for the first time to see if it blows up or not. But I can hardly believe that there would be an official procedure for the Bolt along those lines...
Yeah...pretty funny choice of terms. If you watch the video, you will see that GM has a piece of equipment which generates smoke they pump into the sealed-up battery enclosure to look for leaks.
 

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What the heck is the "smoke test"? Usually I when I hear that term it's from a do-it-yourselfer who's plugging in their little project for the first time to see if it blows up or not. But I can hardly believe that there would be an official procedure for the Bolt along those lines...
Ahh, those were the days, in the R&D lab. Smoke tests were an all-hands-on-deck event in our lab. Everyone would gather around for the potential carnage, and it's entertainment value. If the designer wasn't careful in keeping track of his board before the test, an occasional tantalum capacitor would find itself soldered backwards across the card's power bus. Tantalums mistreated like this generated a nice firecracker bang, magic smoke, and hilarious facial expressions on the design engineer. After my first experience at entertaining my peers, I always took my boards home with me the night before smoke testing, and even still, examined them closely before plug-in. sigh
 
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