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I can't find this discussed anywhere. When you go on vacation without the car, is it best to leave the Bolt plugged in or unplugged?
 

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I can't find this discussed anywhere. When you go on vacation without the car, is it best to leave the Bolt plugged in or unplugged?
https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam/gmownercenter/gmna/dynamic/manuals/2017/Chevrolet/BOLT EV/Owner's Manual.pdf
Page 259

Vehicle Storage


Up to Four Weeks

. Plug in the charge cord.

Four Weeks to 12 Months

. Discharge the high voltage
battery until two or three bars
remain on the battery range
indicator (Battery symbol) on the
instrument cluster.

. Do not plug in the charge cord.

. Remove the black negative (−)
cable from the 12-volt battery
and attach a trickle charger to
the battery terminals or keep the
12-volt battery cables connected
and trickle charge from the
underhood remote positive (+)
and negative (−) terminals.
 

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Just my info for this...
Just got back from a 2 week vacation.
When I got home from work before vacation, I had just under 50% left.
Car was going to be in the garage and no big temp swings, so I decided to just leave it unplugged.

Came back and the car was fine. Still just a bit under 50%. I'm sure I lost some, but not anything noticeable.

If I was going to be gone longer, I might have plugged it in (I use Hilltop, so it wouldn't have been left "full").

desiv
 

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Just my info for this...
Just got back from a 2 week vacation.
When I got home from work before vacation, I had just under 50% left.
Car was going to be in the garage and no big temp swings, so I decided to just leave it unplugged.
Came back and the car was fine. Still just a bit under 50%. I'm sure I lost some, but not anything noticeable.
If I was going to be gone longer, I might have plugged it in (I use Hilltop, so it wouldn't have been left "full").

desiv
The manual says to leave it unplugged with the 12v battery on trickle charge if it is not to be used for more than a month. I forget the exact wording. For a week away, leave it plugged in. I did the trickle charge thing for 6 weeks and had no problem. I would worry most about the 12 volt battery. As it ages it might go dead, in which case the car would have to be jump started. So, keeping it trickle charged makes sense for long periods of time.
 

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I wasn't suggesting any course of action for anyone.
Just letting people know what I did and the result.

No recommendations, just information. ;-)

desiv
 

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I think the concern about the 12V battery is with the all of the vampire drains on it.

We went north for 6 weeks soon after getting out Bolt. When we do this with our Volt, I just leave it plugged in, and have never had a problem. So that is what I did with the Bolt. But when we came back, the Bolt would not power up at all, and even with a jump pack, it would not energize. It was towed to the dealership and they said it was a defective 12V battery and replaced it.

This last trip, I followed the instructions to put the Bolt into "Transport Mode" and did not plug it in. When we returned, it powered up just fine, and the Bolt main battery was right where it was when we left. As far as I can tell, this mode turns off the vampire drains on the 12V battery.

We are wary of the trickle charger method, as we know someone that had a trickle charger on one of his cars for a long period of time and it caught fire and he lost his home.

Plus, this procedure is pretty simple:

The main propulsion battery should be down 2 or 3 bars.

Power up the Bolt
Turn on the hazard flashers
Keep your foot on the brake pedal
Push and hold the power button until you see the "Transport Mode On" message on the DIC
Turn off the hazard flashers

If you lock the car, you may have to use the manual key to get back into it.

To turn off Transport Mode, it is exactly the same procedure.

Power up the Bolt
Turn on the hazard flashers
Keep your foot on the brake pedal
Push and hold the power button until you see the "Transport Mode Off" message on the DIC
Turn off the hazard flashers

Then it says to wait two minutes before powering the Bolt back up.

JMHO

Jim I - Very Happy 2012 Volt & 2017 Bolt Owner
 

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Two or three bars sounds very low. I can see this if you are actually transporting the vehicle (less energy in battery if an accident happens) but why is such a low charge state recommend for long-ish term storage?

I'll admit to being ignorant of the whole subject having not read the manual. I just seems odd to me.

I agree with concerns about the trickle charger. I've used them and they alway make me nervous. In particular if the red wire gets a sharp tug and comes off the batter and shorts to ground you could have a real problem (even more so with a regular charger). I'm sure the chargers have short protection of some sort built in but most of them are built as cheaply as possible... I keep a close eye on any 12 volt charger and would never leave one on for weeks unless it was wired with a non-shorting connector and I'd used it enough to have faith in it.

Ron
 

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Two or three bars sounds very low. I can see this if you are actually transporting the vehicle (less energy in battery if an accident happens) but why is such a low charge state recommend for long-ish term storage?
I read "down two or three bars" as "two or three bars away from a full charge". Perhaps the OP could clarify?
 

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I am overseas right now for work (3 months) and wondered what to do with my Bolt. I ended up lending it to a good friend who will drive it to work once a week (and charge there, if needed). He's German and loves his Mercedes S550 and the sound it makes. His biggest gripe about the Bolt (jokingly) is how silent it is when flooring it. I am trying to bring him to the dark side!
 

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Choose the right trickle charger. Marine chargers are good.

Two or three bars sounds very low.

I agree with concerns about the trickle charger. ....... always make me nervous. In particular if the red wire gets a sharp tug and comes off the battery and shorts to ground you could have a real problem ......... chargers have short protection of some sort built in but .......... built as cheaply as possible...
I believe the last comment is key: so it clearly depends on which charger you buy. Being somewhat of a boating person, I went for a not cheap waterproof charger designed for the rough and wet environment of a boat, which has all the protections required of a charger that is going to be left hooked up for long periods of time. It is also designed with built in digital algorithms to charge an AGM battery. The brand is Minn Kota; a small one rated at 5 amps. I also have a bigger dual 10 amp device of the same design that is permanently outside in all weathers, plugged in and charging boat deep cycle AGM batteries. For that setup I have the wiring and batteries under a dockside deck just in case excess water causes a problem. Of course, the Bolt was garaged while it was being maintained under trickle charge, with a garage temperature of 48F over the winter.

I drove my Bolt EV without charging it for a few days, when it went down to about 4 bars left, and I left it with the 12v battery trickle charging for 6 weeks with no problem. I should add that I had a security camera keeping an eye on it, and I looked at the setup, most days for that six weeks from 2500 miles away. I saw nobody giving the wires a sharp tug.... ... just saying...

Personally, I felt I should go with GM's recommendation in their manual; it worked, so why beef about it??

By the way, its quite easy to get a dead Bolt going if the cause is the 12v battery. Its just the same as jump starting ANY car from another car. No big deal.

This happened to me once: when I put the car into "service mode" so I could use its internet connection during a power outage. After 5 hours, I ran the 12 volt battery totally and convincingly dead. To rectify this problem I charged the 12 volt battery with my bigger marine charger, which is a dual 10 amp unit. I had to boost the battery with another charger for a few minutes to put it over the 4 volt level, then I hooked up the marine charger for a few hours. The 12 volt battery was fine thereafter, and after another few thousand miles is still going strong. To my knowledge, the main thing about charging an AGM battery is to avoid charging it over about 14 volts.
 

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Withdrawal symptoms

I am overseas right now for work (3 months) and wondered what to do with my Bolt. I ended up lending it to a good friend who will drive it to work once a week (and charge there, if needed). He's German and loves his Mercedes S550 and the sound it makes. His biggest gripe about the Bolt (jokingly) is how silent it is when flooring it. I am trying to bring him to the dark side!
Two sides to this: we always welcome converts, and boy what were your withdrawal symptoms thinking about someone else driving your beautiful Bolt!!
 

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Two sides to this: we always welcome converts, and boy what were your withdrawal symptoms thinking about someone else driving your beautiful Bolt!!
I do really miss driving my Bolt, but driving down here (Brazil) is kind of fun even though I have a crappy rental.

My friend is a pretty big car guy, so I am just hoping that he enjoys the Bolt as much as I do.
 

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Two or three bars sounds very low. I can see this if you are actually transporting the vehicle (less energy in battery if an accident happens) but why is such a low charge state recommend for long-ish term storage?
Ron

Sorry if I was not clear about the battery.

I meant down two or three bars from a full charge.

Everything I read says not to leave L/I batteries for storage with a full charge.

Jim I
 

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I think the concern about the 12V battery is with the all of the vampire drains on it.



This last trip, I followed the instructions to put the Bolt into "Transport Mode" and did not plug it in. When we returned, it powered up just fine, and the Bolt main battery was right where it was when we left. As far as I can tell, this mode turns off the vampire drains on the 12V battery.

We are wary of the trickle charger method, as we know someone that had a trickle charger on one of his cars for a long period of time and it caught fire and he lost his home.

Plus, this procedure is pretty simple:



JMHO

Jim I - Very Happy 2012 Volt & 2017 Bolt Owner

Thanks for the info, Jim. I was overseas for 3 weeks and followed this procedure, and have no problems with my Bolt now. Wanting to at first corroborate your listed procedure, I looked in the owner's manual but couldn't locate it. Then I Bing'ed it and found it online somewhere. Here is what the procedure said:

2017-2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV Transport Mode
To turn the Transport Mode On/Off, start the vehicle (as indicated by the green Ready light), activate the hazard flashers, press and hold the brake pedal, then press and hold the Start/Stop button at least 15 seconds. The “Transport Mode On/Off” message will appear on the DIC. Then turn the hazard flashers off. Allow the vehicle to sleep at least 2 minutes prior to restarting.
 

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I recently went on a two week vacation, leaving my Bolt with a 'hilltop' charge on it (85% of capacity). When I returned, the charge appeared unchanged. The ambient temperature was below 85 degrees F during my absence, so it's unlikely that battery conditioning occurred during that time.

The 'transport mode' looks very interesting. The factory writeup suggests that the wireless key fob (PEPS key remote) may still work for vehicle entry (the physical key is not required to gain entry) when the Bolt is in transport mode. Can anyone verify this?

https://gm.oemdtc.com/2435/11-08-49-001w-transport-mode-on-message-displayed-in-driver-information-center-dic-and-or-battery-light-is-flashing-follow-procedure-as-outlined-below-2010-2019-buick-cadillac-chevrolet-gmc
 

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Yes, unhooking the 12v and putting it on a trickle charger is most important. The failure to keep the 12v charged is a number one cause of being hauled to the dealer.

My secondary EV, a Miev was left on a dealer's lot, in NV heat, and never charged. When it was given to me, the 12v and the main power battery, both, had to be replaced. That was an extreme mistreatment. Yet, there are other ways to have the 12v die, especially since it gets its charge when the Bolt main power battery is engaged. Have heard of a couple of cases where the converter to low voltage failed, but that should, hopefully, be rare.

I would encourage doing exactly as it says in the manual.
 
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