willeert
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Sun May 20, 2018 1:50 pm

A few weeks ago we were coming home in our Bolt. The State of Charge meter was indicating 25% full. The vehicle gave us a low power remaining / propulsion power reduced warning and slowed the car. The SOC bars turned orange and black and started to disappear. Within 3 Km we were dead beside the road with the battery indicating 0% SOC.

After looking on this forum it was apparent that there was a Customer Satisfaction Program #18097 out on the Bolt to reprogram the hybrid powertrain control module 2. We took the car in and had this done. When we got the car back it was much different. Our SOC meter was reading lower and the guess-o-meter range was much reduced. I could not figure out where all the energy went to while the car was in the shop.

On our way home we stopped and charged the car fully with hilltop reserve off. We set off down the highway and started taking readings. The car averaged 2.37 Kwh per 5% of the SOC meter. Prior to going in the shop it had always averaged around 3 - 3.1 Kwh per 5%. This explained the loss of SOC and suggested range following the recall update. The car was telling us that the battery capacity was now 47.5 Kwh. If the new capacity is 60 Kwh then our battery is down 21% in capacity. We contacted our dealer, sent him the data and suggested that they should start looking at a warranty battery to restore our Bolts battery capacity to what one would expect for a car with 12,000 Km / 6700 miles on it. We heard nothing back from them.

We ran another test on our battery capacity a few days later. This test indicated each 5% is now worth 2.19 Kwh which calculates out to a total battery capacity of 43.9 Kwh. The battery continues to diminish in capacity and is now at 27% loss of capacity. I contacted the dealer again and gave them the new data. They have escalated the problem to GM Canada and are waiting to see what happens.

We live in Manitoba and this 1 of 2 Bolts in the province. I have a lot of faith in the dealer and feel they are doing what they can for me. I read that GM can diagnose battery problems via OnStar and have suggested to them that if this is possible that it be done. So far GM Canada seems (and it could be a bad perception) to be doing little to help the dealer out. I read of others getting replacement batteries and our Bolt is telling us our battery has lost capacity and is continuing to die.

So the question is - How does GM decide to replace a battery? How do they make up their minds a battery is failing and requires replacement? WE do not want to continue driving our car and watch the battery capacity reduce until we are dead by the side of raod again. We like our Bolt and enjoy driving it. This is a newer technology and one would expect a few problems. One would also expect that the Producer be very responsive in a timely fashion to the problems however.

Will

JeffN
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:32 am

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Sun May 20, 2018 3:08 pm

You can read more about the battery software updates here:

https://electricrevs.com/2018/05/10/gm- ... -bolt-evs/

Read about the details of the underlying battery cell problem here:

https://electricrevs.com/2018/04/02/new ... e-to-fail/

If your battery went immediately from 25% full to orange low battery warning and reduced propulsion then you may have a weak cell which requires a pack replacement.

If you are technically savvy (or have a techie friend) you can find the details in the above article about how to see the individual cell group health using a cheap diagnostic tool and smartphone software.

Your GM dealer should be able to do this using their own diagnostic tools.

SeanNelson
Posts: 1406
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2016 2:43 am
Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Mon May 21, 2018 12:18 am

willeert wrote:How does GM decide to replace a battery? How do they make up their minds a battery is failing and requires replacement?

The car's onboard software reports issue like this to GM directly - they've been contacting people with problematic batteries to arrange for replacement.

The updated battery software has been known to cause wonky range estimates, it may take a charge cycle or two for things to settle down. Meanwhile, it sounds like your dealer is following up for you - at this point you'll just have to wait and see what they come back with. But if your range continues to be suspect and you don't hear back from them in a timely fashion, then by all means escalate the issue!

willeert
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Mon May 21, 2018 2:22 pm

This not a range issue - although the indicated range is reduced. The issue is battery capacity. I think what I am up against is the fact that I live in Manitoba. As I understand it GM has the policy of not selling Bolts in areas that do not give a rebate of some kind to purchase one. Manitoba gives no rebates. We were able (and happy to do so) to purchase a Bolt from a Chev dealer in Winnipeg who had obtained one for a purchaser that could not take the car. They are not a certified Bolt dealer as such. I suspect that there are special tools that permit diagnostic functions, such as determining battery capacity, to take place that my dealer may not have. This would explain the "pause" that I am encountering with my battery problem.

It seems from the feedback I am getting here that if a battery pack is determined to be failing it gets replaced. The Bolt is telling me - based on Kwh used per 5% SOC that the battery pack capacity is far from design capacity and it is failing.

I am electronically handy and have reviewed the links that JeffN posted (Thanks Jeff). I can buy the equipment and do self diagnostics on the battery pack. I do not think that this is the route that a customer should have to take however. Even if I self diagnose the battery sooner or later the car will have to go into the dealer and they will have to do the diagnostics for themselves.

Oh well - Hopefully GM Canada will take my problem seriously and do something. At this time I feel like so far they are not understanding my woes. I am certainly not in a position to give up with this problem. We still enjoying the car but we bought it because of the range given by the battery capacity. We live in the country and our nearest town is a 120 Km round trip. At -25C with the winter reduction in range the car would give range anxiety making it town and back as it is now. 1 in 1000 failures and 1 of 2 Bolts in Manitoba....

Will

willeert
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Thu May 24, 2018 8:50 pm

I continue not hear back from Chevrolet about my Bolt's lack of battery capacity problem. Although I resent having to do it I have set myself up to get battery data from the OBD2 connection. I had to load a very invasive Bluetooth emulator program into my PC and purchase TorquePro. I also needed Astro file manager to be able to transfer the PID csv file into TorquePro and set it up. All done. I ordered a Bluetooth OBD attachment and after it arrives I will know the state of my battery groups. One would have hoped GM Canada had more interest and customer support for someone who bought a vehicle from them. Disappointing.

Will

willeert
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Wed May 30, 2018 5:03 pm

I heard back from my dealer 2 days ago and we had a phone discussion yesterday. I am pleased we are moving forward. We discussed the Bolts symptoms and why I believe that the battery needs diagnosing. They stated the first step of diagnosis is to bring the vehicle in and leave it overnight. They will give me a loaner rental vehicle. I live about 2+ hours away so will get the Bolt in to them next week. I suggested that others had this problem diagnosed using OnStar however that is not an option in this case.

I have the Torque Pro program reading data from the Bolt OBD2 port. I had to buy an android device in order to pair the Bluetooth OBD 2 adapter with Torque Pro. Bluetooth emulators do not hace this capability.

The battery is fully charged at this time. I can see that cell 29 has a voltage of 3.86 V while most o the rest of the pack is at 4.13 to 4.15 V. Six other cells are in the 4.12V range. I attempted to attach the excel file of the data to this posting but the file extension not recognized???? Also couldn't get a .pdf to work... More stuff I don't understand. If anyone can point me to the correct method of attaching files I am happy to show the data.

Everything I read indicates that my Bolt battery has failed. Hopefully, after going through the reset procedure, GM will realize that also.

I am glad and do feel more positive towards GM now that they are responding to my concerns. The Bolt is a nice car and GM does not make the battery packs.

Will

JeffN
Posts: 126
Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2016 7:32 am

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Wed May 30, 2018 8:44 pm

Thanks for the updates.

willeert
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:10 pm

The Bolt went into the dealer and had the "battery capacity reset" procedure done. It stayed overnight while this happened. After the procedure the service manager and I took a set of readings on the car using the torque - pro to get the data from the OBD2 port. On my way home it was noticeable that the battery capacity had been reset - it was much lower. My battery capacity, based on KwHr used per 5% of the State of Charge meter now calculates out to 38.57 KwHr! Not good.

Gm has reached out to me and we have had a few phone conversations. I have sent them my emails to the dealer and also some data sets on the car. I am pleased that GM is reaching out as part of reaching resolution on this problem.

The dealer has requested that the car come back in and they will perform actual battery tests now. They wish to "drain" the battery, recharge it and then take a set of their own readings. This also a good thing I suppose. It is easy to be critical of organizations however it seems to me that GM has finally realized there is a problem with this car and that it needs to be repaired. I am booking the car in for the required testing next week and hopefully that will get us a decision on what the solution to the battery capacity loss is.

Good things are that my Chevrolet dealer has become a Bolt dealer now. This means they should have all required expertise and equipment to work on this car. It is also good that they are taking seriously my loss of battery capacity problem. I am glad that GM has reached out to me.

Irritations are that we live 2 hours away from the dealer. Each overnight visit means a minimum of 8 hours in the car over 2 days. This is part of living where we do. I also wish that there was a one stop procedure for diagnosing battery problems. These repeated trips to drop the car off and pick it up again are taking a lot of my time. Hopefully as GM gains expertise with these vehicles procedures will become more organized.

Will

gpsman
Posts: 504
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:10 pm

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Sat Jun 09, 2018 7:47 pm

Thanks for the updates.
I’m 90% sure you will get a whole new battery pack.

I live in California and got my Bolt in Feb. 2017.
(I think it was a December 2016 built car.)

Mine was driving fine. No loss of range or warning messages.

Chevy customer care called me out of the blue telling me my car needed a whole new battery. It took 12 days for the new battery to arrive and they installed it on the 13th day. I had a free loaner car (100% gas) for 13 days. I thought my car was fine but they did not want me driving it even though this is Silicon Valley and there are charge plugs on almost every street.

willeert
Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:48 pm

Re: BoBattery failure - How good is the warranty going to be?

Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:34 am

So my Bolt went back to the dealer for actual battery capacity testing. It had to stay overnight. They gave me a loaner rental car.

Next day - The dealer service manager communicated that the battery testing was completed and that cell 29 voltage indicated a problem. He said they were communicating with GM and would let me know. The car stayed overnight again.

Next day - The dealer communicated that GM had approved a new battery for my Bolt. It is due at the dealers mid next week and will be installed at that time. Yay!! Resolution.

So given that my car is one of two Bolts in Manitoba and that the dealer is unfamiliar with them I think they did OK. Once they realized that the problem was not a range problem but a loss of battery capacity problem they did a lot better. I am pleased how quickly they seem able to get a new battery. Now to get my car back and see if it is fixed.....

I am a lot happier.

Will

Return to “Batteries and Charging”