P215B - first trouble with our Spark

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coolcat

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2024
Messages
11
Location
Franklin, WI
It’s cold and icy out. Warmer than it has been, we are currently at 13° although the last few days we’ve been regularly in negative temperatures. My wife got in the Spark to head to work and I think she was running a little bit late and was a little heavy footed. She only got to the first stop sign away from our house and the car wouldn’t move, she said it shut off on her, I took her a different car and we swapped. When I got in the car was off and the parking brake was set, she had turned on the warning flashers. I just put my foot on the brake and pushed the power button and the car turned on, it had a warning light that looks like a car with an “!” In the middle of it. I shifted to drive and it seems to be driving normally for me. I brought it right home and plugged in my OBD reader. It’s showing a code P215B. I’m not finding much information on this in relation to the spark but I found a post in a Bolt forum. The explanation given my my OBD reader is that it’s a vehicle speed - output shaft speed correlation error. At this point, I’m thinking it was caused by excessive wheel spin likely due to all of the ice on the road. Well, the ice combined with my wife’s foot.

My OBD reader was able to erase the code and the warning light is now off. We will attempt to continue using the car as normal. I’m just posting to see if anyone else has experienced anything like this. This is the first real issue. We’ve had with the car since buying it last May.
 
Losing traction turns on the TC Light to tell you the system is helping you out. This is a routine function that can happen all the time if it's slick out.
It will not set a Fault Code.

I didn't look for your code and since it's gone, forget about it.(y)

It's been said that a week 12V battery can make funny codes appear.
Maybe keep an eye on that. Most batteries have a small round sticker with the month/year of manufacture.
 
I have never driven in snow or ice with my Spark but I watched a few videos of people who do. One person said in snow or slippery conditions when coming to a full stop you should put the Spark in neutral while braking so all four wheels are using the mechanical brakes. Otherwise you are only using the front wheels which are using the electric motor for brake regen. You are a lot more likely to lose traction under those circumstances.
 
First time hearing about neutral. That’s a good trick. I will say as much as my frugal side loves this car, it is terrible in the snow. Ive gotten to the point of pumping the brakes because in slick conditions it seems to stop braking when the wheels sense a slip. Talk about getting your attention. No ABS light or anything to indicate a problem.
 
Losing traction turns on the TC Light to tell you the system is helping you out. This is a routine function that can happen all the time if it's slick out.
It will not set a Fault Code.

I didn't look for your code and since it's gone, forget about it.(y)

It's been said that a week 12V battery can make funny codes appear.
Maybe keep an eye on that. Most batteries have a small round sticker with the month/year of manufacture.
Yeah. I know and understand traction control. Maybe you didn't read my post? Fault code P215B. It didn't just go away, I used my OBD scanner to read it and erase it. The issue has not happened again. I believe it was a combination of exuberant driving and slick/icy conditions that caused wheel spin in excess of what the system was happy with.
 
I have never driven in snow or ice with my Spark but I watched a few videos of people who do. One person said in snow or slippery conditions when coming to a full stop you should put the Spark in neutral while braking so all four wheels are using the mechanical brakes. Otherwise you are only using the front wheels which are using the electric motor for brake regen. You are a lot more likely to lose traction under those circumstances.
Alternatively you can just step harder on the brake pedal. The regen can only do so much and if you attempt to brake harder than it can slow you down you'll engage the brake pads. Of course, excessive braking force on ice can cause loss of traction as well. The guy I bought my Spark from made a point to tell me about shifting to neutral to disable regen to scrub the rust off of the rotors after rain. Funny thing is, I've never had to do that. I guess I have a more "spirited" driving style than he did.
 
First time hearing about neutral. That’s a good trick. I will say as much as my frugal side loves this car, it is terrible in the snow. Ive gotten to the point of pumping the brakes because in slick conditions it seems to stop braking when the wheels sense a slip. Talk about getting your attention. No ABS light or anything to indicate a problem.
In my experience ABS kicking in feels almost the same as a complete loss of braking in many vehicles. Some older ABS systems are rudimentary enough that you can hear and feel the ABS modulator working but that's not always the case.
 
....I believe it was a combination of exuberant driving and slick/icy conditions that caused wheel spin in excess of what the system was happy with.
You can believe that.
I don't.
I don't think a 'driving style' or 'slick conditions' ever sets a Fault Code. What would the fault be exactly?
 
I guess I've found the resident troll? It's code P215B. Which is literally the first thing I typed when I was posting this thread. It's there in the title.

At this point Norton you have a choice to make. You can realize you're making an ass of yourself and just slink away back into the dark corner where you came from or you can continue on attempting to for some reason deny the issue my car exhibited and the code that was set on it when it happened and confirm that you are indeed the troll of this forum. I can't wait to see which path you choose. Either way I do not care what you believe or what your opinions are because you're clearly not here to help in any way.
 
Yeah. I know and understand traction control. Maybe you didn't read my post? Fault code P215B. It didn't just go away, I used my OBD scanner to read it and erase it. The issue has not happened again. I believe it was a combination of exuberant driving and slick/icy conditions that caused wheel spin in excess of what the system was happy with.
I had a similar issue with my 2015 a couple of years back (can't remember the code, it's on a paper somewhere). Similar road conditions. Recd Stabilitrak warning and three "bong" sounds. Brake pedal went to the floor. Was close to home so just drove the rest of the way. Restarted vehicle. No CEL/MIL.
Nothing on OBD scanner. Recd an automated email from OnStar that night with the following message:

An issue with the StabiliTrak® stability control system in your 2015 Chevrolet Spark has been detected. Please service your vehicle within 7 days.
Please disregard this message if your vehicle is already in for service. Inaccurate notifications can be generated during service.
Please see your dealer for service.

Called OnStar and had them do a remote diag. Nothing came up.
Sent it into the dealer. Same result.

My diagnosis: Gremlins.
 
Thanks for sharing @daemoncan . I agree with the gremlins diagnosis. We don’t have onstar so I’ll just have to wonder if they would have been able to provide any insight into what happened. I’ve considered doing a trial subscription but just haven’t. I had to restart the car to get it to drive home but my wife says she tried that a couple of times before I got there with no success. Was she just rushing it too much? Possibly. If it ever happens again I’ll certainly share it again here because I believe that owners like us sharing our experiences is what makes sites like this valuable for all.
 
My spark is terrible in snow even with good tires and in rain over metal street covers it'll slide, I've learned to put it in regular drive, the regen on slick surfaces is an adventure.
 
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