niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:42 pm

Hello,

I recently bought a 2014 Spark EV with ~62K miles.
It's my first EV and I love it, the only issue is I live in Las Vegas so my range is less than ideal since so much energy is used to keep the battery and me cool. Since I was having range issues, I decided to calculate the battery capacity.

I have calculated it manually using the advice on this forum by charging to full, driving around, and using the kWh value from the "MyLink" display.
I also have Torque Pro and used that to report the battery capacity estimate.

results:
Manual value = 12.6 kWh
Torque value = 12.4 kWh

So I decided to take it to the dealer so they could confirm the values and hopefully replace my battery since both of those are about 40% degradation and my warranty kicks in at 35%

Here is where the issues started.

The first dealer I took it to told me it was impossible to determine the current battery capacity and sent me on my way without doing anything.
This didn't make sense to me since the manual states that "A dealer service technician will determine if the battery energy capacity (kWh storage) is within the proper limit… Typical tests can take up to 24 hours.” At this point I called corporate to see if they could explain it to me, maybe I was misunderstanding. Corporate got back to me and recommended a different dealer who said they could perform the test.

I took my vehicle to the second dealer and left it for 2 days. When they called me to pick it up they said everything was good. So I asked them what the kWh capacity they measured was, since my measurements were below the 35% warranty threshold I wanted to know what they were measuring. The salesperson said they didn’t have it, but they would get it from the tech and have it on my paperwork when I picked up the vehicle. Well, when I arrived there was nothing on my paperwork. They then went back and forth with the salespeople and the tech, in the end, they told me they “scanned over 250 battery codes and everything is within GM specs” but they were not able to tell me what the values were or what the GM specs are.

So I’m looking for some advice.
Is there a test they can do to determine the kWh capacity of the battery? The owner’s manual makes it sound like there is, but the dealers are saying it’s not possible.
Am I crazy for wanting to see the results of the test?
If you have been through the battery warranty/replacement process, how did you do it? I have been asking them to test the battery "Capacity and Degradation". Is that the wrong question, should I be saying something else?
I’m still talking with corporate but since the dealer said “it's all good” they are not sure what to do. They are going to talk with the EV department and get back to me next week.
I expected this to be a simple process and I’m getting frustrated since I have spent multiple days and hundreds of dollars, but they have not been able to provide me with an answer to my question “what is the current kWh capacity of my battery.”

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sat Aug 21, 2021 3:46 pm

niik wrote:
Fri Aug 20, 2021 1:42 pm
Hello,

I recently bought a 2014 Spark EV with ~62K miles.
It's my first EV and I love it, the only issue is I live in Las Vegas so my range is less than ideal since so much energy is used to keep the battery and me cool. Since I was having range issues, I decided to calculate the battery capacity.

I have calculated it manually using the advice on this forum by charging to full, driving around, and using the kWh value from the "MyLink" display.
I also have Torque Pro and used that to report the battery capacity estimate.

results:
Manual value = 12.6 kWh
Torque value = 12.4 kWh

So I decided to take it to the dealer so they could confirm the values and hopefully replace my battery since both of those are about 40% degradation and my warranty kicks in at 35%

Here is where the issues started.

The first dealer I took it to told me it was impossible to determine the current battery capacity and sent me on my way without doing anything.
This didn't make sense to me since the manual states that "A dealer service technician will determine if the battery energy capacity (kWh storage) is within the proper limit… Typical tests can take up to 24 hours.” At this point I called corporate to see if they could explain it to me, maybe I was misunderstanding. Corporate got back to me and recommended a different dealer who said they could perform the test.

I took my vehicle to the second dealer and left it for 2 days. When they called me to pick it up they said everything was good. So I asked them what the kWh capacity they measured was, since my measurements were below the 35% warranty threshold I wanted to know what they were measuring. The salesperson said they didn’t have it, but they would get it from the tech and have it on my paperwork when I picked up the vehicle. Well, when I arrived there was nothing on my paperwork. They then went back and forth with the salespeople and the tech, in the end, they told me they “scanned over 250 battery codes and everything is within GM specs” but they were not able to tell me what the values were or what the GM specs are.

So I’m looking for some advice.
Is there a test they can do to determine the kWh capacity of the battery? The owner’s manual makes it sound like there is, but the dealers are saying it’s not possible.
Am I crazy for wanting to see the results of the test?
If you have been through the battery warranty/replacement process, how did you do it? I have been asking them to test the battery "Capacity and Degradation". Is that the wrong question, should I be saying something else?
I’m still talking with corporate but since the dealer said “it's all good” they are not sure what to do. They are going to talk with the EV department and get back to me next week.
I expected this to be a simple process and I’m getting frustrated since I have spent multiple days and hundreds of dollars, but they have not been able to provide me with an answer to my question “what is the current kWh capacity of my battery.”
The Limited Warranty book for the 2014 Spark EV states ..."Depending on use, the battery may degrade as little as 10% to as much as 35% of capacity over the warranty period. A dealer service technician will determine if the battery energy capacity (kWh storage) is within the proper limit given the age and mileage of the vehicle. Typical tests can take up to 24 hours."

I take this to mean the dealer will charge the battery to 100% and discharge it over time to measure the actual kWh capacity. I wonder if any Chevy dealer even knows how to do this given how dangerous 400 VDC can be. Regardless, the dealer should be able to read the same battery capacity PID value as Torque Pro does and, the dealer should be able to provide you with the results of their test reading. I suspect they did not do anything.

I am on my way to having the same issue with both of my Spark EVs.

As reported by TorquePro:

My 2014 currently is at 14.4 kWh with only 28,700 miles on the ODO and I have about 1 year left on the warranty. I too am using 12.4 kWh as the warranty limit for my 2014 Spark EV.

My 2016 Spark EV is even worse with 13.3 kWh left with 35,600 miles on the ODO. I estimate the warranty limit for the 2016 to be 11.4 kWh.

niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:13 pm

Ya I think all they did was look for error codes.
But there were no errors, as I already knew.

I agree, I figured the test the manual was talking about would involve charging and discharging the battery to measure its capacity.

I just don't know how to get them to do the real test. I've tried 2 dealerships and contacted chevy HQ. I'm not sure what to do next.

Thank for the input, I'll keep working on it and let you know what the magic words are once I figure it out.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Sun Aug 22, 2021 2:03 pm

niik wrote:
Sat Aug 21, 2021 7:13 pm
Ya I think all they did was look for error codes.
But there were no errors, as I already knew.

I agree, I figured the test the manual was talking about would involve charging and discharging the battery to measure its capacity.

I just don't know how to get them to do the real test. I've tried 2 dealerships and contacted chevy HQ. I'm not sure what to do next.

Thank for the input, I'll keep working on it and let you know what the magic words are once I figure it out.
TorquePro can display the numeric value for battery capacity in kWh. If the dealer refuses to do a test, then they should accept what the car is reporting and they should be able to display it on their equipment. I am going to try that tomorrow when I take my 2014 Spark EV in for a faulty transmission fluid temperature sensor. According to the sensor, my transmission temperature is either +90C or -27C. When it shows 90C, a small motor (pump) can be heard running under the hood. My 2016 Spark EV usually shows the transmission fluid temperature to be +27C in the morning after charging overnight.

niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:35 pm

Let me know how it goes for you. I'm interested to know if this is just an issue with the dealers in my area if it's a Chevy thing.

I discovered I have dashcam video of the whole "service" they performed and all they did was scan the codes. However, they put on the work order they did a "Multi-point Vehicle Inspection" even though I specifically asked them to just test the battery.

I'm sending the videos to Chevy HQ since their previous response was "[since] you have the diagnoses from the dealership that the battery is within specs that no repair will be made and the battery will not be replaced at this time" but I have video showing that they did not do anything other than scan the codes. If that is all that is needed then they should have been able to tell me the test results when I asked.

Anyway, this is my first time with a vehicle warranty and taking my car to a dealership and it's been one of the most frustrating experiences I have ever had with a car.

I hope your experience is better than mine.

Does anyone know the chevy testing procedure for determining degradation?

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:57 pm

niik wrote:
Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:35 pm
Let me know how it goes for you. I'm interested to know if this is just an issue with the dealers in my area if it's a Chevy thing.

I discovered I have dashcam video of the whole "service" they performed and all they did was scan the codes. However, they put on the work order they did a "Multi-point Vehicle Inspection" even though I specifically asked them to just test the battery.

I'm sending the videos to Chevy HQ since their previous response was "[since] you have the diagnoses from the dealership that the battery is within specs that no repair will be made and the battery will not be replaced at this time" but I have video showing that they did not do anything other than scan the codes. If that is all that is needed then they should have been able to tell me the test results when I asked.

Anyway, this is my first time with a vehicle warranty and taking my car to a dealership and it's been one of the most frustrating experiences I have ever had with a car.

I hope your experience is better than mine.

Does anyone know the chevy testing procedure for determining degradation?
One of the PIDs I use for my TorquePro application does collect the current battery capacity for the vehicle. This is the value I use to plot the battery degradation rate for my 2014 and 2016 Spark EVs. In my opinion, that is the value that should be used to decide whether the battery gets replaced or not. I just do not see a service tech doing a discharge test on a 400 VDC , 20 kWh battery - tooooo dangerous!

What is the address to which you are filing your complaint with GM? It is costing me $700 to have the transmission fluid temperature sensor replaced and I think this should be covered by the powertrain warranty.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Tue Aug 24, 2021 3:02 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:57 pm
niik wrote:
Mon Aug 23, 2021 12:35 pm
Let me know how it goes for you. I'm interested to know if this is just an issue with the dealers in my area if it's a Chevy thing.

I discovered I have dashcam video of the whole "service" they performed and all they did was scan the codes. However, they put on the work order they did a "Multi-point Vehicle Inspection" even though I specifically asked them to just test the battery.

I'm sending the videos to Chevy HQ since their previous response was "[since] you have the diagnoses from the dealership that the battery is within specs that no repair will be made and the battery will not be replaced at this time" but I have video showing that they did not do anything other than scan the codes. If that is all that is needed then they should have been able to tell me the test results when I asked.

Anyway, this is my first time with a vehicle warranty and taking my car to a dealership and it's been one of the most frustrating experiences I have ever had with a car.

I hope your experience is better than mine.

Does anyone know the chevy testing procedure for determining degradation?
One of the PIDs I use for my TorquePro application does collect the current battery capacity for the vehicle. This is the value I use to plot the battery degradation rate for my 2014 and 2016 Spark EVs. In my opinion, that is the value that should be used to decide whether the battery gets replaced or not. I just do not see a service tech doing a discharge test on a 400 VDC , 20 kWh battery - tooooo dangerous!

What is the address to which you are filing your complaint with GM? It is costing me $700 to have the transmission fluid temperature sensor replaced and I think this should be covered by the powertrain warranty.
Here is some additional information I found for the 2014 Spark EV: The HV battery in the 2014 Spark EV is rated at 21.3kWh. The warranty point starts when the capacity drops 35% or more. A 35% drop in capacity would yield a capacity of 13.8 kWh. Your car would need to have less than 13.8 kWh when fully charged. Even then, you probably will not get a "new" full capacity battery although the battery in the 2014 Spark EV is no longer available. But, a modification kit is available to use the battery found in the 2015 and 2016 Spark EVs.

niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:14 pm

MrDRMorgan wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:57 pm

What is the address to which you are filing your complaint with GM? It is costing me $700 to have the transmission fluid temperature sensor replaced and I think this should be covered by the powertrain warranty.
I just called their customer assistance number.
18002221020

After the first call they transferred me to "tier 2" and assigned a case number and case worker.

Good luck. I hope they cover that repair for you.

I dont really mind getting the 2015/16 battery as long as its better than my current battery.

When I started I didn't even expect to get anything I just wanted the official capacity value. I had done only a little research so I thought my battery was the same as the 15/16 and the warranty was for 40%. It was only after I started getting BS answers like "that's not possible" that I looked into it more and found that my battery most likely has degraded below the warranty line.

MrDRMorgan
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:27 am
Location: Manteca in Central California

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Thu Aug 26, 2021 1:32 pm

niik wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 4:14 pm
MrDRMorgan wrote:
Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:57 pm

What is the address to which you are filing your complaint with GM? It is costing me $700 to have the transmission fluid temperature sensor replaced and I think this should be covered by the powertrain warranty.
I just called their customer assistance number.
18002221020

After the first call they transferred me to "tier 2" and assigned a case number and case worker.

Good luck. I hope they cover that repair for you.

I dont really mind getting the 2015/16 battery as long as its better than my current battery.

When I started I didn't even expect to get anything I just wanted the official capacity value. I had done only a little research so I thought my battery was the same as the 15/16 and the warranty was for 40%. It was only after I started getting BS answers like "that's not possible" that I looked into it more and found that my battery most likely has degraded below the warranty line.
I called the number you provided and got right through. I am now waiting for a technical specialist to call so I can discuss my transmission fluid temperature sensor problem in detail. If GM says it is not covered, I will be out about $700!

niik
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Aug 20, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Battery warranty advice for 2014 Spark

Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:51 pm

Did they say how much of the $700 was parts and how much was labor? If there are any independent EV mechanics in your area, they might be able to do it cheaper.

Also if the pump is 12v maybe any shop could do it, if it's 400v then it's gonna need someone who knows how to do high voltage work.

On ICE vehicles I either did my own work or found a mechanic I liked. That's not really possible right now with my EV. There are 0 independent EV shops in my area and I am NOT going to touch 400V stuff.

The update on my issue is that they will give me an update tomorrow. I called my caseworker and I guess GM HQ had some kind of power outage and they are about a day behind on stuff.

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