Volt will not start

When Volts are available, here will be the place to talk about how to Detail, Maintain and Customize your Volt. Other good topics are charging (solar or otherwise) smartphone app usage, etc.
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Volt will not start

Postby Frenchrd » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:23 pm

I just returned home from vacation, and was gone 7 days without driving my 2012 Volt.. The car was completely dead and would not start when I got in in it. I called roadside assistance immediately and when jumped by a GM roadside assistance person, only the electrical functions (I.e. radio) would come on. Before I left on vacation there was 17 miles on the battery gage, and it still shows that. When plugged into the 110 volt outlet the car does not show charging. I can only get the electrical functions to come on when it is being jumped started. This is very worrisome as I have been enjoying the Volt to date (9000 miles), and now I can't depend upon it to be ready to use if I am gone for an extended period of time. The failure to start created bad impressions of the Volt by local bystanders. The car is about to be towed by GM roadside assistance to a nearby Chevy dealer. Luckily my car was in our garage and not parked at the airport. So far the Volt assistance folks have been very proactive, but I am still worried that this will happen again in the future.

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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:46 pm

Re: Volt will not start

Postby jmc8176 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:49 pm

Did you have it plugged in while you were gone? I think it is supposed to stay plugged in.

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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Re: Volt will not start

Postby Frenchrd » Sun Aug 12, 2012 6:41 am

Update: GM roadside service came to tow my Volt to the closes Chevy dealer and it was quite embarrassing to see it being towed from my house and through our neighborhood. When it was dropped off at the GM dealership (Saturday), they had to jump start it (again, only the electronics came on) to move the gear selector out of park to get it off the tow truck. When the jump box was connected to the car it showed 12 volts on the battery ( I assume this is for the AGM battery), not sure what this means, but the car still would not start, but we could shift the vehicle to neutral. It should be pointed out that there is no manual override if you want to open the charging door on the car. It will only work when the electrical system is working. Another note, if you have to get the car towed, don't count on the GM roadside assistance person knowing anything about the car. When they came to jump the car one of the guys said you can't jump start it because it is an electric car! I had to get the owners manual out to show them it could be jump started.

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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Re: Volt will not start

Postby Frenchrd » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:08 pm

Update: GM Volt technician determined it was a faulty cell in the 12V AGM battery. Battery to be replaced. The staff at Elco Chevrolet were extremely helpful and went the extra mile to make sure I was taken care of.

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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:03 pm

Re: Volt will not start

Postby Frenchrd » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:21 pm

Update: just picked up my Volt after the battery was replaced, and the service technician mentioned to me that the battery drain can happen if you are using your Bluetooth connected phone--turn your car off---walk away from the car still talking on your phone. Evidently the car's system is looking for the Bluetooth phone connection and uses the 12V battery doing this, thus draining the battery. He recommended disconnecting from your call before you get out of the car. When I got home I did a test with my iPhone 4s:

1. Turned car on and turned on Bluetooth, walked around my two story home and saw that the phone was still connected via the Bluetooth.

2. I had my wife go to the garage and turn the car off, which immediately caused the phone to disconnect from the Bluetooth.

3. Next test: I got back in the car paired the iPhone and car, drove out of the drive way and initiated a call with my wife via the Bluetooth.

4. I pulled back into the garage, continuing to talk with my wife, turned the car off and I could still have a conversation with her in the car via the Bluetooth, even though the vehicle was turned off.

5. I got out of the car, still talking with my wife and could hear her voice through the car's speaker system while I walked away from the car. The call lost the Bluetooth connection approx 120 feet away from car.

6. So evidently there will be some connectivity through the Bluetooth system with your car and your phone even after you are out and away from your vehicle (with the vehicle turned off).

7. From now on I will be turning off Bluetooth on my phone when I get home or in close proximity of the vehicle. GM engineers need to fix this issue, as the Bluetooth connection should sever (like the radio does) once the vehicle is turned off and you are outside of the vehicle.

Chevrolet Cust Svc
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:38 pm
Location: Detroit, Michigan

Re: Volt will not start

Postby Chevrolet Cust Svc » Thu Aug 16, 2012 12:21 pm

Sorry to hear about the issue you recently had, Frenchrd. Glad to hear you are back in your Volt. I will definitely pass along your comments about this issue being looked into.

Volt Advisor Trevor
Chevrolet Volt Advisor Team
If you have any further questions feel free to contact the Chevrolet Volt Advisor Team
(877) 486-5846
Volt Advisor Hours:
Monday - Friday 8AM to 11PM EST.
Saturday 11AM to 8PM EST.

Closed on Sunday.

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Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:46 pm

Re: Volt will not start

Postby sandiegovoltowner » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:00 pm

I had a different issue arise this past week, but the result was the same--my Volt would not start. I was running an errand at noon and when I pulled into the post office and parked, a message light came on saying "remote not detected." I turned the car off, then tried starting it again. It started, but the message--"remote not detected"--remained. I went into the post office and when I came out five minutes later, everything was dead. The only way I could open the door was with the manual feature of the remote. I called my dealer, who referred me to Onstar, who ordered a tow truck. The car was towed into the dealership and kept over night. Complete hassle. When I came back the following day, the dealer said the remote had worked OK for them, and they couldn't replicate the problem. Their best guess was that an electrical interference in the area had caused the car not to be able to detect the remote.

This gives me an uneasy feeling. The dealer knows nothing about the problem, nor does Onstar, and I have no idea when it may occur again. (I've had the car six months, and it has 4,000 miles on it.)

Anybody have this problem? Anybody have a theory as to what caused it? Anybody know a way to get the car started without a remote?

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Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:18 am

Re: Volt will not start

Postby ValerieVolt » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:48 am


I'm sorry you had to go through the trouble of having your Volt towed. Electronics are susceptible to electromagnetic interference and the time and place for substantial interference is not always easy to locate. Nearby electronics, cell phones, power lines, solar flares, radio (FM or AM) can cause interference and depending on the weather the location and magnitude of this interference can change. Hence why the dealer/service technician may not have been able to reproduce this. Very frustrating.

The indication that key fob not detected could be intermittent or it could be the result of a dead battery in your key fob, or a localized region of severe interference. Not to worry. Next time you are in a jamb (or at your earliest convenience for practice) try this:
1) locate and open the small storage bin above your radio. It is on the top of the dash board.
2) remove all contents
3) there is a flexible rubber tray/liner at the bottom of the bin. This liner has a small outline that the key fob will fit snugly into.
4) important, you can remove the liner to see what I'm talking about but put it back in as this outline provides critical placement of the fob.
5) if you want, for practice remove the 5v battery from the fob to improve your confidence that you are doing it right when you are potentially in a stressful "no-start" situation.
6) lay the fob in the grove in the liner, make sure it is nestled in there.
7) Start your Volt!
8) remember this handy trick, and if it didn't work, reorient the fob so that the other side is facing up.


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