Chevy Volt HV Battery availability

Matt Owner/Technician Ohio Posted   Latest  
Unsolved
Electrification
Parts
2013 Chevrolet Volt 1.4L (4 LUU) (4ET50)
P0AFA — Hybrid/EV Battery System Voltage Low
Low Propulsion Mode

Experienced Hybrid/EV tech here trying to fix my personal 2013 Chevy Volt. I have been experiencing a “low propulsion“ message and code P0AFA for a few months now All signs are pointing to a failing HV Battery. Cell 6 voltage drops .2-.3 V lower than the rest of the pack during a low SOC event. Basically if I let the battery deplete until the ICE is started, especially if that occurs while under load, like accelerating or climbing a hill, it will set the P0AFA and put the vehicle into low propulsion mode until the code is cleared. Bottom line, It needs a battery. Has anyone On the independent side successfully purchased a battery yet? I’ve been trying from my local dealer as well as a large regional GM parts supplier and while they have not specifically told me no, they are making it extremely difficult for me to purchase. The latest I got today was, the battery cost is $16,000 plus a refundable $16,000 core charge, paid in full up front to be placed on a waiting list and I’d see a battery in 4 or 5 months. I am fully prepared to pay for a new battery but this seems like a way of saying “We don’t want to sell you a battery, but we have to make it available, so we are making it financially ludicrous to do so”.

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Interesting
Matt Technician
Massachusetts
Matt
   

I see this with the Nissan Leaf too, except they flat out refuse to sell a high voltage battery new to the aftermarket. As for the Volt, I've worked on my fair share and have seen very few HV Battery issues. I chock it up to the large non-usable kWh buffer, lack of fast charging, ICE back up and only a 3.3 kW onboard charger. Ive calculate only a 20% loss of capacity on a 200k mile Volt pack. I…

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Matt Owner/Technician
Ohio
Matt
   

I’m not opposed to going that route if I have to I’m simply going off of my NiMH experience that has taught me any repair short of a replacement with new is just a temporary counter measure. I plan to keep this car and give it to my son so investing in a “fix it and forget it” solution is what I was hoping for. while I’m doing all of this I’m also hoping to be able to gain some knowledge to help…

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Scott Manager
California
Scott
 

Hi Matt, I own the same YMM. My vehicle received a software update that broke the cell balancing routine, did your vehicle receive it as well? About a year after the vehicle started setting a P0A7F and after performing the correction calibration update I found that the vehicle kept setting the code, Then after more research I found another update that I believe changed the DTC code setting…

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Matt Owner/Technician
Ohio
Matt
 

Interesting. From what I can tell, this vehicle has had minimal interaction with the dealer over its lifespan. 72,000 miles. I purchased this car from a customer in a broken state setting a P0AA6 isolation code. I dropped the battery and replaced the battery coolant heating element, that was corroded and operated on HV. After replacing that I did reflash everything to the current calibrations…

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Matt Owner/Technician
Ohio
Matt
 

Sorry to make another reply but I read the write up on your car. Impressive use of GDS btw. I have an MDI but I’m not very versed with it. While the situation with your car seems similar the conditions of what sets the DTC are slightly different. Mine will only set the code on transition to ICE. If I keep the battery charged and never let the ICE kick in it will never set it. If as the battery…

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Robert Technician
Michigan
Robert
   

Already $$$$$16,000 like Holy Recharge … 2013 is new enough to remember it being Brand New ,in fact I do remember it being Brand New inside the building . I find this post kind of unbelievable .Prius youre just better off with a dealer battery , Volt is like Class 9 Hazardous shipping and Hazardous waste …..I have seen used Hybrid cars go as low as $400 bucks for a Civic . Edit : I didn't mean…

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Matt Owner/Technician
Ohio
Matt
 

I’m old enough to remember when everything I work on was new these days. 😂 Funny you mention that because back in 2010 I was trained that we would be able to do section replacements on Volt batteries in the field. Fast forward 12years later it seems like that they Are not practicing what they preached. Its a LiIon battery. it’s not pharmaceutical, not bio waste or a controlled substance. Why…

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
   

Hi Matt. GM dealership technicians are still replacing battery sections in Generation 1 Volts. Entire A4 battery pack pricing appears accurate, but probably isn't readily available, hence the likely wait list for an assembly build. Section replacement is the current repair method and shipment of all HV batteries has some severe penalities if not in compliance in packaging and…

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Thanks
Matt Owner/Technician
Ohio
Matt
 

Awesome info! Thank you, this is the kind of stuff I was looking for.

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

You're welcome Matt. I've replaced an older Prius NiMH battery and 2 mode hybrid (same innards but in a bigger can) and the Volt battery replacement is quite a bit more involved. That's not to say that anyone with technical skills and the tools couldn't do the job with relative ease, but it is definitely a more involved process requiring cell balancing when sections are replaced. BTW, for…

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Matt Owner/Technician
Ohio
Matt
 

Thank you for the heads up. Much like the medical field, not all Hospitals are equipped like The Cleveland Clinic, but they still have sick people that need treatment. As we see these electrified vehicles age out, (the Tesla Model S is 10 years old this year!), repair strategies are going to be developed in the field out of desperation weather we like it or not. Right or wrong, its going to be…

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Martin Instructor
British Columbia
Martin
 

Agreed on being able to provide service for hybrids and EVs Matt. Out here on the west coast, vehicles don't rust nearly as badly as those in the rust belt provinces and states, so replacing a battery in an otherwise sound vehicle in good condition makes sense. Many Gen 1 Volts are trundling around quite happily on their original batteries out here. Geographic weather influences affect all…

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Scott Manager
California
Scott
 

Hi Martin, thanks for sharing this valuable info. Here’s the other doc [N… that refers to the GM software update which “turned off” cell balancing. My vehicle ran with that software for about 1 year (easily 15,000 miles) and I suspect inflicted damage to some of the cells. Do you have any other feedback on this? Thanks again!

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