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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Not too long ago (about a month or so) I had a really strange issue with my Bolt not detecting the key fob. That issue resolved on its own and hasn't come back. Just last night I had an issue after driving about 30 miles back home I plugged the vehicle in and went inside like I normally do. I quickly received an email from OnStar about charging being interrupted. When I went out to check the vehicle it was plugged in with no light on the dash. I checked the status on my JuiceBox Pro 40 and it showed my vehicle was plugged in but not charging. I removed the plug for 2 minutes and inserted again. It definitely clicked into place (I always listen for that) and there are no bent pins or anything in the charge port. The light flashed for about 5-10 seconds and the charger showed it was charging then it just stopped and got another notification that charging was interrupted. At this point I opened the drivers door and noticed the display had a red message "Unable to Charge" along with something like "see charging station". At this point I power cycled my charging station by unplugging, waiting two minutes, and then plugging it back in and waiting for it to boot up. Once it was back online I plugged it in again and the same thing happened. I left it plugged in and went inside to research the issue as it was about 9:30pm.

I did some searching for about 20 minutes and couldn't really find anything so I came back out to the vehicle to look at things again. To my surprise the vehicle appeared to be charging now with a blinking green light on the dash. The charger was supplying 32 amps and it finished charging with no further issues.

I have a load tester on order for the 12v battery but when I put a trickle charger on it today it only charged for about an hour and said it was fully charged (so it wasn't discharged). Is there any way to tell exactly what the error was that caused it to abort the charge? I need to get to the bottom of these strange issues before they leave me stranded or the warranty runs out or both. I have about 4 months left on the B2B warranty.

TIA
 

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It won't charge as you describe if you're using time-of-use metering. That's about the time it goes into lowest rate around here. Maybe that's your situation? Both the car and the Juice Box support this feature so try turning that feature off on both and see if it goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Mike. That is not the issue as we do not have TOU here. The charging station was never setup for that and the Bolt is configured for immediate charging. The only thing I can think is that possibly the voltage dropped too low for a short time last night which caused the Bolt to refuse to charge. I have no way to check the voltage reading at the time though as the charger only shows current voltage.
 

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I would ask if you have departure or arrival charging set on your Bolt EV. This setting can be reset after software updates or 12V undervoltage.

What you describe for your third charge can be explained by the Bolt's arrival or departure charging algorithm.

  • The onboard AC-DC converter needs to know how much true current the EVSE can supply. It's not the signaled capacity. There will always be an undershoot.
  • When first plugged in, the Bolt will turn on the EVSE regardless of the TOU, departure, or arrival settings. It wants to know what it can count on in a few hours.
  • The connection is very brief and uses very little power. Mine takes between 1-2 minutes and consumes 0.02kWh.
    I am on a full 240V, 50A circuit and the Bolt ramps up its current demand and probes the 32A limit on my EVSE.
  • Many hours later, computations done based on the earlier test, the Bolt algorithm turns on the EVSE again and charges to its target.
This is the 'normal' procedure for non-immediate charging. Could it be what happened to your 3rd charge?

Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks Pike! Yeah I am sure it doesn't have anything to do with TOU settings or departure based charging. I set those things up initially when I purchased the vehicle because I was going to take advantage of the EV rates offered by my utility. On further research I was able to get much cheaper generation service by shopping around vs doing the EV plan (TOU) with my utility. Nothing has changed with those settings at all. With that said the vehicle would not have displayed "unable to charge" or sent the OnStar alert about interrupted charging if that were the case. In my case the Bolt is clearly having some sort of error condition causing it to abort the charge and display the error. I would just love to figure out the details of why.

I added some images. Apparently the phone app displays things slightly different from the web based manager for my juicebox. You can see the two failed sessions and then the successful session after.
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Twice I have received "Charging Interrupted" messages when I was unable to return to the Bolt. Both of these were at public AC Level 2 EVSE. When I did return, 1-2 hours later, it was charging fine and had been (based on increase in range on GoM). I presume a transient voltage change (up or down) triggered the message, but when the voltage returned to a suitable range, it just resumed where it left off. I have never received a "Charging Reinstated" message - it just did it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Twice I have received "Charging Interrupted" messages when I was unable to return to the Bolt. Both of these were at public AC Level 2 EVSE. When I did return, 1-2 hours later, it was charging fine and had been (based on increase in range on GoM). I presume a transient voltage change (up or down) triggered the message, but when the voltage returned to a suitable range, it just resumed where it left off. I have never received a "Charging Reinstated" message - it just did it.
Interesting...so it seems like the voltage may have dropped down a little last night and maybe when I plugged in it just wasn't enough for the car to accept the charging session. After the 3rd try I left it plugged in and it started charging on its own....I can only assume once the voltage was back within the acceptable range. You know it would be nice if the vehicle would give a little more info to the user on what was happening.
 

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Interesting...so it seems like the voltage may have dropped down a little last night and maybe when I plugged in it just wasn't enough for the car to accept the charging session. After the 3rd try I left it plugged in and it started charging on its own....I can only assume once the voltage was back within the acceptable range. You know it would be nice if the vehicle would give a little more info to the user on what was happening.
A cheap UPS might give an alarm when the line voltage goes out of range. Could be a more inexpensive way to monitor it. Some slightly more expensive models will even send an alert via e-mail or text msg when it happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have multiple UPS units here set to high sensitivity. Nothing detectable but they are only on one phase. It will have to drop below 96 volts before the UPS will intervene. We did have a 10 second blackout on the 8th (two days before this incident) but nothing else is recorded in the APC software. If it happens again though I am going to be sure to look at the voltage reading on my JuiceBox to see what it is.
 

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A cheap UPS might give an alarm when the line voltage goes out of range. Could be a more inexpensive way to monitor it. Some slightly more expensive models will even send an alert via e-mail or text msg when it happens.
Do most uninterruptible power supply (UPS) devices detect all voltage drops or only significant ones?
 

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@240vPlug The explanation might be very simple and the same issue I experienced a while back with the JuiceBox. One screen of the app has a "dial" face on it that allows you to set a charging limit, swiping through the screen I apparently inadvertently set a limit that caused the same issue you described. Make sure the limit, right arrow, is greyed out and pointing to "200kWh" and the left arrow is green and set to "zero"
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks I checked that and it's good. That is an interesting setting that I didn't know existed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wouldn't the grease attract dirt? I know it is good for connections to keep water out but the charger connection is not constant and there would be a lot of opportunity for dirt/debris to get in there. I am thinking it might do more harm then good in this case.
 

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Hmmmm......
"The grease does not conduct electricity, so it shouldn’t be applied directly to the mating surfaces (pins and sockets) of an electrical connection."
 

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Anyone tried petroleum jelly or corn oil? ;)
 

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Caig Labs makes a lubricant with contact cleaner which they recommend for high current contacts, DeoxIT L260DNP Grease.
 
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