Dreaded 12V charging error & then OnStar reports it cannot see vehicle subsystems!
NOTE: I posted this originally in the "Owners Forum" before realizing that it should have been posted here. Apologize for the double-posting.
I'd be curious if anyone has had this happen to them:
Yesterday I drove my Volt 15 miles to work and parked it for the day. It was 82 and sunny so the car, being black, naturally gets hot. So at quitting time I get out of the building and hold-down the unlock button so that all the windows roll-down. I get in, start the car, no problems. I start towards my wife's workplace and drive about a quarter mile when I decide that all the windows being down is a bad idea so I hit the switches to roll them all up, two at a time, and then I lean over to turn up the volume on the radio and bam! I see a pop-up on the dash display about a "Charging System Error" and then I notice the orange battery icon glowing on the main dash display. I drive about a quarter mile more to my wife's building and while waiting for her to get off work I decide to power down the vehicle and "reboot it" since it's just a big laptop on wheels. While I'm waiting for her I dig out the manual and see that the only thing it says about the dash battery indicator/icon is that "12V charging system error. Driving short distances with this indicator lit may drain the 12V battery - see dealer for service."
OK, well I had read-up on the "blue-tooth 12V battery drain" theory/problem and yes I do pair my blue-tooth phone with the Volt so I had already bought a portable 12V lithium ion battery to keep in the cargo area in-case this happened to me; so I wasn't concerned that I couldn't potentially restart the vehicle. So the Wife Unit hops in and I restart and the 12V warning and the orange indicator again appear, now keep in-mind the car was only "off" for about 2 minutes. So I immediately call OnStar, well to make a long story short, after two calls to OnStar, pulling over and shutting down and restarting and getting bounced to OnStar Tier II/Tech Support, OnStar says that whatever is going on in the electrical system is preventing them from seeing any of the vehicle sensors; they can see the OnStar equipment just fine, they just can't see beyond it to the cars various systems.
So OK, I work in IT, for almost 30 years now, and I've seen instances where CPUs lock-up due to bad code or more frequently heat-related problems, I've also seen system components hold a charge after being powered down and in doing so preserve their state. Since the Volt's state was "screwed-up" I just decided to drive it home (15 miles) and park it, apply the 220V charger and see what happens. About two hours after plugging it in, it dawns on me that the OnStar Remote Link app is a good way to test to see if the systems state had reset and presto! RemoteLink showed the vehicle as charging along with all the other various stats. I let the car sit overnight and this morning it started just fine, no errors whatsoever. I called OnStar on my drive into work this morning and had them run the vehicle diagnostics and they said "all clear" so whatever it was had cleared.
10 million lines of code and multiple processors and subsystems means that this vehicle is bound to experience this type of problem, so I'm not really concerned, just curious if any of you had seen anything similar. And yes, I have also experience the "Climate Control" bug where the Climate Controls lock up.
By the way, if you're interested in getting a decent 12V backup system, here is what I bought:
Looking forward to your comments!
2012 Chevy Volt (Black): "Panther2"
Two-tone black/tan interior
Silver "Volt" appliques on each side
MD Lic plate: PANTHR2
Bought on Good Friday so man, was it a "Good Friday!"