telero
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:37 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Thu Aug 18, 2016 7:27 am

Had an issue last week where the Spark wouldn't power on normally. This was on a 3 week old 2016 1LT w/DCFS at 800 miles.

The week prior had one instance of the battery saver active message come on and the "READY" indicator next to the gear indicator on the instrument panel wasn't on. A few minutes and couple of power cycle attempts later it worked fine.

Then one night after work the following messages and indicators came on when attempting to power on:
1. Battery Saver Active
2. Service Battery Charging System
3. Service StabiliTrak
4. Service Brake Assist
5. Service Airbag
6. Shift to Park
7. Low Battery


Those messages plus the corresponding indicators (Car with exclamation point, Car with slippery tracks, Brake with exclamation point, Airbag, Battery, ABS, and P with Wrench) would all come/stay on after they would have normally turned off after a successful power on. Even the "Shift to Park" message while the indicator showed as being in park.

This happened when my wife was leaving work to come home around 10pm and 20 miles from home. I went up to try a simple jumpstart which did not work, then we used the OnStar button to report the problem. They got a hold of Chevrolet support who worked on getting a tow service. Unfortunately the tow was going to be about 90 minutes out, and it was already after 11pm by the time we got to this point. Since I was going to have to bring my wife back to work in the morning anyway, we decided to schedule the tow for the following morning. Unfortunately I didn't bring a multimeter to see what the battery was reading.

The following morning the tow was extremely easy. The driver was right on time and only needed the key. Dropped it off at the local dealer and got a call from them a couple hours later. They determined it needed a new 12V battery and had to order the AGM battery to be in the following day.

This is basically the same story as found here: http://www.mychevysparkev.com/forum/vie ... f=7&t=3703. While this doesn't seem like a common problem, it's definitely happened before. Overall I was pleased with the OnStar, Chevy customer service, tow service, and service center. Slightly annoyed with the battery manufacturer.

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nikwax
Posts: 567
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 3:27 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:12 am

seems to happen with new 12 volt batteries. I have a colleague who had to have his Prius towed when the 12 volt battery failed in his new car. U shaped failure curve.
2015 Spark EV 1LT DCFC
BF Goodrich g-Force Super Sport A/S
ClipperCreek EVSE

NORTON
Posts: 1230
Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:52 am
Location: KC,MO

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Sat Aug 20, 2016 5:43 am

Another aspect of automotive batteries is service shops only can do a quick 'Load Test' on them.
100 Amp for 10 seconds,,, or whatever it is.

The other test is a 'Capacity Test', where a steady draw of ~25 Amps is put on the battery and results are measured in 'minutes to 10 Volt'.
That's the 'Reserve Capacity' number you see on batteries.

In Aviation a battery should be 'Cap Checked' every year.

I had a case where I had the smallest hybrid ever sold here in America and the 12 V lead acid battery would pass the load test, but it was acting goofy and failing on me a few times.
I took it to work and gave it a Cap Check and it failed in <8 minutes instead of the rated 45 minutes.

I'm just pointing out car shops only have one simple way of testing a car battery. And sometimes it misses bad batteries.

When in doubt, treat the car to a brand new battery.
Used '14 2LT w/ DCFC. +71 K miles.
Mostly free charging! Only one LONG visit to the shop....
GM needs Modern Troubleshooting tools for Modern EV's.
3 step Trouble Tree, 2nd guess not covered by warranty and cost $800. 3rd guess fixed the problem.

EldRitch
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:20 pm

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:05 pm

Worth pointing out that a dead 12v battery will disable a gas engined car, too.

telero
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:37 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:12 am

EldRitch wrote:Worth pointing out that a dead 12v battery will disable a gas engined car, too.
True, but an ICE can usually be jumped without a good battery and then the alternator could possibly get you home or to a service center without a tow.

EldRitch
Posts: 137
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:20 pm

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:16 am

Yeah - I guess an alternator isn't much use when the motor stops at traffic lights.
:D

cwerdna
Posts: 478
Joined: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:35 am
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Sun Aug 21, 2016 9:59 pm

nikwax wrote:I have a colleague who had to have his Prius towed when the 12 volt battery failed in his new car. U shaped failure curve.
He could've jumped start it. I had to do that w/my 06 Prius when my dad (who was borrowing it) flattened the 12 volt. It was down below 6 volts.

kevin
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:52 am
Location: Los Gatos

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:25 am

telero wrote:
EldRitch wrote:Worth pointing out that a dead 12v battery will disable a gas engined car, too.
True, but an ICE can usually be jumped without a good battery and then the alternator could possibly get you home or to a service center without a tow.
Surely an EV could do the same? The DC/DC converter would provide the power the Spark EV can provide up to ~2.2kW @ 12V.

Actually I suspect that you could not run a modern car without a battery - the alternator would not provide a stable enough voltage to run the car.

kevin

telero
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:37 am
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:28 am

kevin wrote: Surely an EV could do the same? The DC/DC converter would provide the power the Spark EV can provide up to ~2.2kW @ 12V.

Actually I suspect that you could not run a modern car without a battery - the alternator would not provide a stable enough voltage to run the car.

kevin
Apparently not though. Would be nice if it would have, wouldn't have had to have it towed.

wywa
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2016 2:47 am

Re: Bad 12V battery equals disabled car

Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:09 am

So could this car have been started by jumping the 12v battery? It doesn't seem that they actually tried to do this.

By substituting a good battery to enable a startup (and the current requirements of the startup sequence) would that allow the dc-dc converter to kick in to supply enough 12v to allow a road trip? After jumping could a 'battery eliminator' provide enough 12v to allow normal operation given that the dead cell battery is essentially a missing battery? Small 'battery eliminators' popular with dirt bikes are just capacitors (or perhaps some sort of active circuit).
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