janetplanet
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:31 am

Bolt has gone haywire

Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:55 am

My poor Bolt is sitting in my driveway, incapacitated, unable to be locked or unlocked, started or completely turned off, won't charge, the door lock mechanisms don't work (ie. I can't open the hatchback), the front lights are on and the emergency lights won't stop flashing. The car has basically gone haywire and is stuck in that place. I got into my Bolt a couple hours ago with 90 miles on the battery (ie. the battery wasn't drained) and the first clue was that I couldn't put it from Park into Reverse after trying several times. This has happened before if I rush this process right after starting, but usually I wait 30 seconds and everything works fine. This time, the car stayed in Neutral and wouldn't go into either Reverse or Drive. The display above the steering wheel reads "Service" on top and "Transmission" underneath that, rotating messages with another couple screens. My first thought is to reboot, but how? I can't find anything on YouTube that describes what I'm going through. Second thought is to unplug the battery after reading that worked for someone, but a tutorial video for that looked complicated, time-consuming, risky and dangerous (whether to the car or to myself), and not to be done in the dark. Chance of electrocution and the sort. Ideas anyone? I really don't want to have to tow it to a mechanic tomorrow morning as my day is extremely busy and I need a working Bolt!

SparkE
Moderator
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Bolt has gone haywire

Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:19 am

My first guess s that the 12V battery has very low voltage and the computers are confused. There is a physical key in the key fob. Use it to unlock the door. pop the hood, and test the voltage on your 12V ("accessory" ) battery. Or, if you don't have a voltmeter, and none of your neighbor's do either, just hook up *an AGM-safe* smart charger (one that automatically stops charging when the battery is full) to the 12V battery. If it doesn't show "fully charged" after 10-15 minutes, leave the charger on it for a few hours (if you don't need the car that evening, let it charge all night long).

Oh, and if you can't charge it immediately (or really soon) pop the hood and disconnect the 12V battery so that it won't drain any more while you find a charger you can use. You only need to disconnect ONE of the poles (battery posts / cables) making sure that the cable won't come back and touch the post - that will re-connect the battery to the car.

PS: An "AGM" battery is a special type of lead-acid battery that shouldn't really be charged over 14.5V or so. "Flooded" lead-acid (the old-style ones with liquid between the plates) can be charged at a rate a tad over 15V with no damage, but that will damage an AGM battery. If *you* don't have an AGM-safe 10-20 amp 12V charger, ask one of your neighbors if they do (a good reason to stay on good terms with your neighbors, in general : you need to borrow something that *you* only need to use *maybe* once every 3-5 years, but they might have it and will lend it to you for the day.)

After the battery has been charging for 10-15 minutes, you should be able to get in the car and turn the car on, then turn the car off, and all the lights and stuff should stop.

If the car is still under warranty, bring it to the dealer to have the 12V battery tested - LOAD TESTED, not just "what is the voltage right now?" If the car is under 18 months old, they really should replace the battery for free (not that they necessarily *will*, it is my *opinion* that they *should* do it under warranty).

Good luck. If charging it fixes the problem, and it happens again in the next 3-6 months, you need a new 12V battery, no matter what the dealer told you. Bring it back to the dealer, and insist they replace it, that the 12V battery that came with the car was defective. (Unless the car is 2+ years old - that's a hard case to make with a car that old)

SparkE
Moderator
Posts: 1102
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:53 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Bolt has gone haywire

Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:59 am

So, janetplanet , was your issue resolved? What was the cause of problem?

CGameProgrammer
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:14 pm

Re: Bolt has gone haywire

Wed Oct 23, 2019 6:35 pm

Same thing happened to me back in June and still has not been fixed. My idiot dealer blamed the battery and replaced it twice. The third time it happened, the finally bothered to try to diagnose it and determined the fuse block was bad. That was over a month ago and I still don't have a fixed one; they claim the strike makes it impossible to get one.

What I found though was that the battery remained OK if the car was driven/charged every single day. I bring a portable jumper just in case and sometimes I directly charge the 12V battery with a battery tender but that might not be necessary; I think the regular EV charger does trickle-charge the 12V battery too.

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