Dead car after long trip
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Thread: Dead car after long trip

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Meadow Vista

    Default Dead car after long trip

    Recently took a 6 hour drive and stayed the night at a hotel. Started with a full charge on the battery. When I stopped the car and after unloading I noticed when I went to lock the doors that the center consul was still lit and the Volt logo was on even though the car was turned off. Noticed a less than 10% battery notation that flashed quickly on the car. Locked the doors and left it for about 15 minutes to see if it would power down. After 15 minutes the center consul was still lit and the logo was still on. Turned the car on and off 3 times but the consul still did not power down. Figured that the car consul might take longer than the 15 minutes and went to bed. No charging available at the hotel.

    Next morning, no power to anything. Had to use the key to unlock the doors. Chevy sent a tow driver to get the car and they were able to jump start it. Had them take it to the dealer ship to check anyways since I was far from home and did not want any issues during the long drive back.

    The dealer said that there were numerous low voltage codes but the car was holding a charge and working fine. They deleted the fault codes and sent me on my merry way with no explanation. I am not agreeing with their diagnosis. Something happened to cause the center consul to stay on and drain the battery overnight and when I arrived at the hotel the cars battery was nearly depleted. Shouldn't the battery have charged over the long trip and not been depleted? I read that there were phone blue tooth issues that have been know to cause the center consul problem, but my Volt dealer said that there was no updates that she could see and it still does not explain the low battery after a long trip. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011


    The long trip isn't likely to be related - lots of us have driven long trips with no issues, and the 12V battery is charged both during charging and when the car is on. It sounds like whatever caused the center console to stay on is your real problem.

    There is a battery protection program that is supposed to sit everything off after 10 minutes, but obviously it didn't in your case. Past documented cases have related to Bluetooth events - a call that didn't transition to /from bluetooth correctly, a failed pair. Of course, your problem could be completely different, and an update was released that is supposed to have addressed the BT issues...
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Los Angeles


    Sounds like it is definitely the 12V system, but what is keeping it on is the question. Bluetooth is a possible explanation, but if this is your first long trip and you always charge overnight, this is an issue that might have been around for a long time without your noticing. The 12V battery will only charge when the car is "On" or the main battery is being charged. If something in the car is still on overnight, it the 12V battery will quickly drain and not receive any extra juice from the main battery.



  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Central NY


    As others mentioned, it may be a strange Bluetooth issue if you use that. You may want to check with your dealer to see if there's any updates available for Bluetooth related issues causing the 12V system to stay powered on/frozen.
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL


    Key question from me is, did you have a Blue tooth link to the car? IMO the one time I had this kind of event was when I got my first Smart phone Galaxy S3 and was fooling with the Blue tooth link.

    One stop at the dealer over night, no known causes. Turn blue tooth off of phone before walking away now.

    If this event occurs again, turn car ON and pull the hood release. This should start the engine and recharge the 12V battery.
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    "Don't try to out-think the Volt"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Baton Rouge, LA


    I have seen this issue and I am able to reproduce it fairly easily. I am not sure yours is the exact issue, but is sounds like it.

    The problem is the car thinks a blue tooth call is still in progress even though you may have powered off your phone. You can tell this because if you adjust the volume on the center stack, the car will show it is adjusting the phone volume even though there is no phone call in progress or the phone is powered off.

    I am able to reproduce it doing the following.

    Your phone must be bluetooth linked to the car.
    Make a call and switch your audio source for the call from phone to car and back to phone. You must do it quickly ...
    You may have to do this a few times, but I am almost able to do it on the first try ..

    The fast switching seems to confuse the car's bluetooth and it never acknowledges the fact the call has switched back to the phone.

    The way to get the car to acknowledge the call is ended is too push the button on your steering wheel to make a phone call, then push the button to hang up.

    As for an update, I was getting a different answer depending on who I spoke to. After two months of dealing with GM/OnStar I supposedly had all the updates I could get, but I was still able to reproduce the issue. Last I heard from GM/Onstar was that a fix was in the makes and would be available at the end of this year or early next year.
    Last edited by ewiggins; 11-02-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012


    Another thing is.. I have a 2013 and noticed sometimes the centre console stays on too long. .so am now in the habit of turning off the centre console before I leave the car (Just press the "radio" Button) . Then I press the power (Blue) button.

    Then I always look , and as I open the door, to get out, I see the centre console go black and switch off.

    I would love to see in future iterations of the Volt, a clearer indication upon leaving the Volt, that Everything is turned off.
    Last edited by marty2627; 11-02-2013 at 07:30 PM.
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Western Illinois


    This should not be a bluetooth issue IMO or at least not a bluetooth issue alone. I would believe it to be the 12V system. The OP said the situation arose after a long trip and the center console was still on. I'd be willing to wager his 12V system was already low at this point.

    I had a similar situation on our first long trip but had the opposite problem. When maybe 15 minutes after reaching our destination, I was showing the car to my brother-in-law that was seeing the Volt for the first time. When I turned the car on, there was no center console. I had one of those cigarette lighter plug-in things that shows you the voltage of the battery and charging voltages of an alternator and plugged it in. I was in the yellow, instead of the green and we had just traveled 250 miles.

    I drive my MY 2012 Volt over 100 miles daily for my commute. Every morning (connected to L2 in home garage over night) this little plugged in cigarette lighter device will show that I'm charging the 12V system on my way to work 99 times out of 100 when I check it. (I currently have it plugged into the 12V socket in the upper dash compartment.) While plugged into the OEM EVSE while at work, I can check another 99 out of 100 on the trip home to find that it says that it isn't charging. That's a 50+ miles trip where it isn't charging.

    I still haven't been able to figure out the 12V charging system on my Volt.
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  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL


    Mine is a 12' with ~15K miles. I've had two issues related to "phone connection". IE, sound and A/C reduced like when using Bluetooth calling.

    The first event resulted in the car going into a loop and locking up and would not boot up. Towed home, pulled into L2 charger and after a couple of hours charging all was working well. Trip to dealer, no issues found.

    Second event, turned on Blue tooth to make a call. Stopped to shop on the way home. Left Blue tooth on while car was parked for ~15 min. Upon return, radio and AC in mode to make call. Cycled Blue tooth off to rectify the situation. Cycled a couple of times to confirm.

    Now I make sure to TURN OFF Bluetooth before turning off car and walking away.

    JMHO or experience. Take it for what it's worth.
    Pearl White 2012

    "Don't try to out-think the Volt"

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