mczajka
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 am
Contact: Website

service battery charging system

Sun May 17, 2015 11:52 am

I just got my car yesterday. I think there were only about 18 miles on it when I left the dealer (which can be a little scary sometimes). I noticed the 12 volt battery light was on, but I didn't pay much attention to it since the car was powered on (I didn't yet know what the icon meant, although red usually isn't good). The light went away after driving a few miles.

This morning, the red battery icon was on again when I powered on (it was plugged in over night), but I also had a message come up "service battery charging system". I called OnStar from my driveway and they couldn't find the icon (exclamation point inside a triangle). They told me Volt advisors don't work over the weekend, so I should call monday.

I figured since I would be tooling around town, I would just head out and take my chances. I've had my share of 12 volt problems with my Fusion Energi. I drove and stopped a few times (powered off and on), and the message had gone away. I have my jumper backup in the car just in case.

Anyone experience this? A manual I found listed this:

Service battery charging system

This message displays when there is a fault in the 12-volt battery charging system. Take the vehicle to your dealer for service.
Mark Czajka
Director
MD Volt Inc.
www.mdvolt.org

2015 Silver Spark EV 1LT w/ Fast charge
2013 White Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

Jedi2155
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 am
Location: SoCal

Re: service battery charging system

Sun May 17, 2015 9:34 pm

Maybe your vehicle had been on the lot for a while before you picked it up and the 12v battery died. When a lead acid battery is fully discharged, odds are it won't ever work like it use to. If the issue persist, I would check the manufacturing date of your car to try to figure out how old the car was before they sold it, and also maybe try to get a replacement auxiliary battery for it if it was a bad battery. Of course consult the On-Star adviser just in case i'm just shooting bad advice.
Tesla Model 3 Performance (9/28) | Blue | White Seats | 20" | Full Self Driving
2014 Spark EV 2LT - Summit White - Sold as of 8/11/18
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/6330
My previous 2012 Volt
http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578

mczajka
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 am
Contact: Website

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 3:58 am

Same icon and message this morning. Comes up after the car sits for a while (at least overnight). Goes away after driving.

Fortunately I had a volt meter from experiences I had with my other car (30 days of a 12 volt nightmare which turned out to be a short in a wire). It read 12.13 this morning (using a lighter port reader). Somewhere in the middle (yellow) zone. We'll see what it reads about 9 hours from now.

According to this website (http://sandyblogs.com/techlink/?p=2081) the 12V battery, located in the front compartment, is an AGM (Absorbed Gas Mat) type that requires different charging voltages than conventional lead acid batteries.

Image
Mark Czajka
Director
MD Volt Inc.
www.mdvolt.org

2015 Silver Spark EV 1LT w/ Fast charge
2013 White Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

NORTON
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 5:59 am

This is a long post I made in another forum but it applies to all Lead Acid batteries. AGM batteries have a very slightly different 'float charge' level, this is not a big factor.

I had a recent experience with the 12V battery in a 1st Gen Honda Insight.
I had a few cases of the battery inexplicably going dead or almost dead, once immediately after 40 mile road trip out of town.

This battery tested fine twice with the classic auto parts store 'Load Tester'.
This is a 500 CCA battery. The load tester hits the battery with a quick load to watch the voltage drop.

So I charged it overnight and tested it on an Aviation type 'Capacity Tester'.
This test is a steady load and lets the battery discharge to 10.0V, stops and records the minutes.

Automotive batteries do not have an Amp/hour rating.
They use a 'Reserve Capacity' number in minutes with a set discharge at 25A @ 70°F, to 10.5V.

My Insight battery is rated as 'RC' of 85 minutes. It tested 9 minutes to 10.0V...

I bought a brand new battery and did the same test after an overnight charge on a 2A Batteryminder.
It was still at 12.3 Volts after 25 minutes with a 25A load.
I stopped the test at that point and recharged it.

The lesson is: A quickie automotive 'load' test does not really tell the condition of the battery.
'14 Spark EV 2LT w/ DCFC. 85k miles.
'17 Bolt Premier w/ It All! 53k miles.
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try, nope, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed it.

mczajka
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 am
Contact: Website

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 9:41 am

That's good to know, but I've learned from experience. I'm dropping it off the night before, so it will sit. Hopefully when these messages are coming up, it's throwing some codes they can analyze.

I like OnStar. First time I've used it. I called them from my office today and got to an electrical expert. He's going to follow up with the dealer too.

When they ship these cars (from South Korea), do they disable the 12 volt battery? One would think yes.
Mark Czajka
Director
MD Volt Inc.
www.mdvolt.org

2015 Silver Spark EV 1LT w/ Fast charge
2013 White Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

NORTON
Posts: 1349
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 11:17 am

Good point.
There is a way to put the Volt system in 'Storage Mode', or some such term, to keep the background load off the 12 V battery.
Hopefully the Spark EV has a similar mode. But then when it arrives at the dealership and they power it up and put it on the lot, they probably don't put it back in that mode.
I also read on this forum about someone buying a Spark EV that sat on the dealership lot for 500 days. Is that possible?

As said before, a few days with the 12 V lead acid totally discharge damages the battery irreversibly.

You could suggest a sort of load test by leaving the headlights on with the car not powered up. They could measure the current being used with a clamp-on ammeter and calculate if the battery is meeting its 'Reserve Capacity'.

Good luck.
Last edited by NORTON on Mon May 18, 2015 4:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
'14 Spark EV 2LT w/ DCFC. 85k miles.
'17 Bolt Premier w/ It All! 53k miles.
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 1st try, nope, 2nd try / cost $800. 3rd try fixed it.

KingUltra
Posts: 65
Joined: Sat May 02, 2015 9:46 pm

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 2:02 pm

NORTON wrote: I also read on this forum about someone buying a Spark EV that sat on the dealership lot for 500 days. Is that possible?
Some Dealers still have a few 2014's in their lot. So at the minimum it's been 530 days since Jan 1, 2104... even longer if they got the car in late 2013.
Even a lot of the 2015 that sold last month are 6 months old...

oregonsparky
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat May 16, 2015 2:41 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 3:23 pm

There is another post from someone here that had a bad cell in their accessory battery. Just a thought.

jeff
2015 Spark EV 2LT w/ fast charge (returned after lease end)

Jedi2155
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:05 am
Location: SoCal

Re: service battery charging system

Mon May 18, 2015 5:25 pm

My Spark EV I purchase on 4/28/15 is a 2014 model without DCFC that had been sitting for 500 days+. I haven't done a battery test so I haven't had an issue. There was another one on the lot, a Black Granite 2 LT 2014 that had a dead battery which they replaced. Both were sold shortly afterwards.

*edit*
Just checked my manufactured date via the VIN plate by the driver side door. Made In Korea on 09/13 so its ~600+ days.
Tesla Model 3 Performance (9/28) | Blue | White Seats | 20" | Full Self Driving
2014 Spark EV 2LT - Summit White - Sold as of 8/11/18
http://www.voltstats.net/SparkEV/Stats/Details/6330
My previous 2012 Volt
http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/578

mczajka
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 am
Contact: Website

Re: service battery charging system

Tue May 19, 2015 3:05 am

I think mine was ordered in Feb. 2015.

I got the message again this morning with the 12 volt battery light and took a reading of 12.04 volts. I'm taking it in this afternoon and will keep you up to date.
Mark Czajka
Director
MD Volt Inc.
www.mdvolt.org

2015 Silver Spark EV 1LT w/ Fast charge
2013 White Ford Fusion Energi Titanium.

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