ElectricFeels
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:39 am

New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:58 am

I owned my Chevy Spark EV blissfully for 11 days and felt really good about my purchase/lease. Unfortunately I had to have it towed to the dealership at 11PM after it wouldn't start. Here is the sequence of events:

1. Attempted to start the car per usual, foot on gas etc.
2. The screens lit up with every service light and a series of different error messages in the steering wheel screen including "Service Stabili Track," "Battery Saver Active," "Service Brake Assist" and "Shift to Park" (Car was already in Park)
3. The car didn't make the 'start up' noise it usually made and wouldn't drive forwards or backwards
4. After all the error screens turned off (20-30 minutes later) we had Triple A come out and Jump start the battery under the hood (which the manual says is ok to do)
5. We jump started the vehicle and the car did the same thing when we powered it up, meaning all the service lights and screens turned on, but this time we were able to shift it into Neutral
6. We loaded it onto a flatbed and took it back to the dealership
7. They replaced the battery the next day and the paperwork from the dealership reads "1 battery had bad cell diag charging system 13.9 volts, battery fail load test, replace battery"

I asked if there was any 'user' error, if I was charging it incorrectly, or if I should charge it more or less, they didn't seem to think so and said that "it was rare and just a bad cell." I figured I would post my experience here to make sure it was truly 'rare' and let other users know that this error/defect exists in some batteries. I'll keep you posted if anything else occurs. I'm still proud and happy with my car, I just have a serious ping of doubt since it's only 11 days old. Let me know what you all think, or if you've experienced similar issues.

MysteriousJ
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:29 am
Location: Sacramento, CA

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Fri Mar 21, 2014 12:29 pm

You may have just gotten a bad battery. This usually happens when the manufacturer goes with the cheapest battery possible to cut costs.

Something similar happened to Tesla Model S' and their 12v batteries failing because they cheaped out on them.

emv
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:47 pm
Location: PDX

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:14 pm

High tech everywhere and you're left stranded by a bum 12 volt battery. It fits in with the normal failure curve: things are most likely to fail very quickly, then failure drops to nothingness for quite a while, and finally as old age sets in the failure rate increases.

Outside of hooking it up to a charger, I can't think of anything you could do to destroy that battery. When you plug in you charge the traction battery, not the 12 volt. It's charge is maintained by the car using energy from the traction battery while the car is running.
2014 Spark, 2005 Prius. When we take the Prius we say we're taking the gas hog.

nozferatu
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:40 pm

ElectricFeels wrote:I owned my Chevy Spark EV blissfully for 11 days and felt really good about my purchase/lease. Unfortunately I had to have it towed to the dealership at 11PM after it wouldn't start. Here is the sequence of events:

1. Attempted to start the car per usual, foot on gas etc.
2. The screens lit up with every service light and a series of different error messages in the steering wheel screen including "Service Stabili Track," "Battery Saver Active," "Service Brake Assist" and "Shift to Park" (Car was already in Park)
3. The car didn't make the 'start up' noise it usually made and wouldn't drive forwards or backwards
4. After all the error screens turned off (20-30 minutes later) we had Triple A come out and Jump start the battery under the hood (which the manual says is ok to do)
5. We jump started the vehicle and the car did the same thing when we powered it up, meaning all the service lights and screens turned on, but this time we were able to shift it into Neutral
6. We loaded it onto a flatbed and took it back to the dealership
7. They replaced the battery the next day and the paperwork from the dealership reads "1 battery had bad cell diag charging system 13.9 volts, battery fail load test, replace battery"

I asked if there was any 'user' error, if I was charging it incorrectly, or if I should charge it more or less, they didn't seem to think so and said that "it was rare and just a bad cell." I figured I would post my experience here to make sure it was truly 'rare' and let other users know that this error/defect exists in some batteries. I'll keep you posted if anything else occurs. I'm still proud and happy with my car, I just have a serious ping of doubt since it's only 11 days old. Let me know what you all think, or if you've experienced similar issues.
I'm a little unclear...did the 12V battery fail or your car's battery (main propulsion)?

ElectricFeels
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:39 am

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:30 pm

Yes, the battery with the bad cell was the 12V battery under the hood.

nozferatu
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:48 pm

ElectricFeels wrote:Yes, the battery with the bad cell was the 12V battery under the hood.

Oh ok...I assume that's not quite as serious as the main battery pack failing?

tigger19687
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:24 am
Location: Boston

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:34 am

Can someone tell me what brand battery is under the hood?

Just curious

nozferatu
Posts: 575
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:07 am

tigger19687 wrote:Can someone tell me what brand battery is under the hood?

Just curious
AC Delco I believe...at least it is for my car.

emv
Posts: 193
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2014 10:47 pm
Location: PDX

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:17 am

tigger19687 wrote:Can someone tell me what brand battery is under the hood?

Just curious
Absolutely AC/Delco. After all, they are a subsidiary of GM.
2014 Spark, 2005 Prius. When we take the Prius we say we're taking the gas hog.

tigger19687
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2014 6:24 am
Location: Boston

Re: New Spark EV - towed for dead battery

Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:19 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot that

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