Chevy Bolt EV Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,564 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
A coworker called me this morning and asked if I had jumper cables in my car because his car wouldn't start in a parking lot where he stopped. Sadly, I couldn't help him as I rarely carry jumper cables with me and particularly not in my new Bolt. It got me to thinking though, can you use the Bolt to jump another car?

I consulted the manual and it just gave the procedure to jump start the Bolt if the 12v battery is dead and that seems odd to me as I thought the 12v battery was always maintained by the high voltage battery. How could you have a dead battery and still have a charge in the HV battery enough to continue driving? I guess maybe if the 12v battery were defective.

The manual had no comment on using the Bolt to start another car. They neither said you could do it, or couldn't do it. My guess is the Bolt does not have a starter battery as there is no starter motor. It likely has a deep cycle type of battery, so starting another car would be tough on it, but still should work. I wonder, would the 12v battery management system kick in to help with the load and draw power from the HV battery? It's probably better to decline to help and not jump, but it does make me curious. A good question for a Chevy engineer familiar with the Bolt.

Anybody know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
People have been aghast that I did it, but I jumped another car from my Prius C which basically has the same battery setup as the Bolt - a small 12V AGM battery to power the car's electronics when it's turned "off" and a high voltage hybrid battery that charges the 12V battery through a power converter whenever the car is turned "on".

To charge the other car I turned the car "on" since the 12V battery isn't really sized for cranking an engine. With the car turned "on" the 12V battery is supplemented by the converted 12V power coming from the hybrid battery.

I jumped the other car right from the battery terminals of the Prius C - it seemed to work just fine, no problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
782 Posts
given that I've jumped cars from just a "bare" battery sitting on the ground - there is no reason the Bolt can't jump-start another car - I'd recommend doing it when the Bolt is on - so that the battery in the Bolt is being charged while it's jumping another car…

that being said I never like jump starting another car - and there is some unclear mythology regarding the demands this places on the battery that is doing the jumping…
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,031 Posts
I found this video of someone jump starting a Crown Vic with a Nissan Leaf... is this the same concept or am I just shooting a dumb...? This was posted like 4 years ago btw.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
544 Posts
I prefer to have a portable jump starter in my car than use my Bolt to jump start someone. It also makes it a much easier experience as you don't need to position the cars correctly, so if you ever need to give someone a jump on the side of the road, it is way easier to use a portable jump starter than your car, no matter what kind of car you have.

It also means you can give yourself a jump start if ever needed and not need to wait on anyone else to come by.

https://www.amazon.com/Jump-Starters/b?ie=UTF8&node=318336011
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
735 Posts
I prefer to have a portable jump starter in my car than use my Bolt to jump start someone. It also makes it a much easier experience as you don't need to position the cars correctly, so if you ever need to give someone a jump on the side of the road, it is way easier to use a portable jump starter than your car, no matter what kind of car you have.

It also means you can give yourself a jump start if ever needed and not need to wait on anyone else to come by.

https://www.amazon.com/Jump-Starters/b?ie=UTF8&node=318336011
I was just about to suggest that. Not only can use those jump starters for jump starting but a lot of them these days are multipurpose. Buddy of mine uses his for weekend trips up to the cottage and of course jump starting his or a strangers car.

Plus its easier to warranty a portable jump starter than something you messed up on your car ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
given that I've jumped cars from just a "bare" battery sitting on the ground - there is no reason the Bolt can't jump-start another car...
The thing to be aware of is that the Bolt has a small battery which isn't sized for the very high currents needed to crank an ICE vehicle.

...I'd recommend doing it when the Bolt is on - so that the battery in the Bolt is being charged while it's jumping another car…
Yes, exactly. That's worked fine in my experience with using my Prius C as the "donor" vehicle.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6 Posts
The easiest way and safest way is to simply purchase a jump starter like the source. I realize that I can jump start another car with my car or vice verses, but geez, to me it really isn't worth the risk anymore with all the electronics on a car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
642 Posts
I jumped my daughter's Kia Soul with my 2017 Volt once. Used the 12v battery in the hatch and hooked it up as you would any other car. Worked without issue. I suspect you could do the same with the Bolt's 12v battery, however, there were instructions in the Volt's manual about how to jump another car... which were basically the same instructions you'd use with any car. I'm surprised no one has tried it with the Bolt.

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,775 Posts
The easiest way and safest way is to simply purchase a jump starter like the source. I realize that I can jump start another car with my car or vice verses, but geez, to me it really isn't worth the risk anymore with all the electronics on a car.
I've done that, but I consider it more for using on my own car than for jumping another car. I'm just a bit skeptical that it could really provide enough power to crank an ICE engine. Still, that's what they're marketed for so I guess I'd try it if someone needed a jump.

It's important to note, though, that the batteries in these jump packs don't hold a charge forever. I've found that the pack I bought looses about 20-25% of its energy over the course of a few months. So I discharge it and recharge it every 3 months. I discharge it by using it to charge my laptop, which gives me a rough idea of how much energy it holds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,777 Posts
Lead acid jump packs should not be discharged, but instead maintained at full charge as much as possible. Lithium Ion jump packs also should not be discharged. Ideal health for them is around 50% charge, but I'd shoot for something higher like 85% to maximize the utility of having a jump pack.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
146 Posts
I'm just a bit skeptical that it could really provide enough power to crank an ICE engine. Still, that's what they're marketed for so I guess I'd try it if someone needed a jump.
I have started a few ICE vehicles with a small lithium jump start/battery pack, no problem on a Nissan Altima, BMW Z3, and others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
66 Posts
Jump started my friend's Mazda twice with my Bolt this week. No problems. Also, I have jumped my wife's car with my Nissan Leaf years ago. Again, no problems. In both cases the Bolt or Leaf was turned on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
928 Posts
I've jumped cars with the Bolt. What I do is link up the cars with the cables and leave it that way for like 10 minutes. Just sit there in the Bolt with the car on. I never hit the starter without letting that low batt suck down 1500 watts for a while.

Like the others said, its probably smarter to just use a cheap starter box instead of a big $35k jumper box if you can help it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
492 Posts
Wouldn't suggest jumping another car with the Bolt.....the landing would SUCK!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
About a month ago someone left one of the Corolla trunks open. After a few days the trunk light ran down the battery.
I simply drove the Bolt up, hooked up exactly the same as any other car would, ( the Bolt has
a - (neg) post on one of the modules).
Hit the Corolla starter, (it started in about 1 second), unhooked, & was on my way.
Trying to jump a big diesel tractor, or bulldozer might be asking for too much from the little Bolt battery, but a little 4 banger, not so much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
573 Posts
I would never jump a car with a Bolt. Can you imagine what a power surge created by the process would do to the electronics? Not worth the chance. But I would let the person use my portable lithium pack in the trunk...
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top