Spark ev died while driving!

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broken spark

Member
Joined
May 22, 2024
Messages
18
Location
Clermont flordia
Hello everyone. We recently purchased a 2016 spark ev about a month ago. It was working great until today. We were driving along and it had 10 miles left. Than it suddenly went out of ready mode and came to a stop. Now the car says it has a full battery with 3 miles of range. The exclamation mark warning is on and the car won't go into ready or move. We checked the 12v and it's at 93%. Can anybody help on where to go with this?
 

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I want to add. I have my fair share of experience with these compliance cars. I have a fiat 500e that had the same warning and wouldn't drive. That ended up being caused by the BPCM. Is there any software I can get to start scanning the car?
 
This has happened before, here are some similar experiences in these thread:
https://www.mychevysparkev.com/threads/anyone-had-a-2014-chevy-spark-lock-up.9277/
https://www.mychevysparkev.com/threads/power-loss-during-driving.5094/
https://www.mychevysparkev.com/threads/guessometer-acting-strange.9134/
https://www.mychevysparkev.com/threads/spark-does-not-start-this-morning.5063/
There's likely more but I can't find them right now. You can also find identical experiences in the Bolt EV forums with different suggestions and advice.

What did you use to read 93% for the 12V battery? Was the car off and 12V battery disconnected from the car when you read this to eliminate misleading voltage from the APM float-charging the battery?

The 12V AGM may show a high SOC, but be completely sulfated inside and hold a fraction of its original capacity, or not hold a charge for very long due to an internal short. If this is the original battery that comes with the car, it's at the end of its lifecycle and could be weak. If the battery is 100% you can check how long it runs the headlights for, and compare this with the RC value to gauge how much degredation it has. There are guides online.

If you have a battery charger, I would recommend disconnecting one of the terminals from the car, and charging it off of a charger maintainer for 12-16 hours, ideally a charger with desulfation capability. Disconnecting the battery has the added benefit of resetting and power cycling the computers.

Since you have no visible codes on the dash, the HPCM2 may have thrown its own codes and disabled the car. A typical OBD2 scanner doesn't have advanced functionality to talk to the HPCM2, run diagnostics, or reset HPCM2 codes. De-energizing the car for 10+ minutes (and tending to your 12V battery) is a good way to reset systems. If that doesn't work you could invest in an advanced diagnostic tool like the VCX Nano which is a ~$110 Chinese clone of a 4-figure dealer-level diagnostic tool. It needs to be connected to a laptop via USB but you can do those diagnostic tests of various systems, bleed brakes, reset fault codes not visible on your dash, and reprogram modules.

Otherwise the dealer will use their 4-figure programmer and charge a diagnostic fee along with whatever else they think could use replacing. At least it will move your issue forward but it's never been a wonderful experience.
 
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Thank you for the reply. The car was on the side of the road so I took the 12v out and took it to autozone to get tested. And the guy said it has 93% SOC. I dont believe it's the original battery it's a Napa "the legend" battery from 2022 according to its sticker. I'll start reading and playing around with it tomorrow to see if I can narrow anything down.
 
I am going through this same experience right now. My car is a 2016 ev 2lt with about the same mileage. And my traction battery has failed. You may still have a remainder of the factory powertrain warranty left depending on the manufacture date of your car. I took mine to the dealer and they agreed to either fix it at a 5-6 month estimate of time or they offered to buy it back from me under a lemon law (which is what I am pursuing) all under the manufacture warranty of 8 years or 100k miles. My car died end of April and my warranty expires in August this year just squeaked it in. Be worth checking the date in the door jamb and take it to the dealership if it is still covered under warranty. I have a rental provided by gm for the meantime.
 
I am going through this same experience right now. My car is a 2016 ev 2lt with about the same mileage. And my traction battery has failed. You may still have a remainder of the factory powertrain warranty left depending on the manufacture date of your car. I took mine to the dealer and they agreed to either fix it at a 5-6 month estimate of time or they offered to buy it back from me under a lemon law (which is what I am pursuing) all under the manufacture warranty of 8 years or 100k miles. My car died end of April and my warranty expires in August this year just squeaked it in. Be worth checking the date in the door jamb and take it to the dealership if it is still covered under warranty. I have a rental provided by gm for
I called my local chevy and they said it expired in April. I'll double check the door jam. From what I've read from the forums "Infinion" referred to, all of those seem to be 12v failures. My 12v is a a battery shop being charged but my suspicion is that it's worse. It's a flooded battery so no luck on the AGM problems. I found a YouTube video where the guy recorded the exact same symptoms and gm replaced the cells and a computer. I'm leaning more to that being the issue. Here's the link around 4 minutes in.
 
At 8 minutes in the video he says gm replaced a computer and the cells. I dont think my cells are bad because around 2 weeks ago I took it about 45 miles away at highway speed. Certainly not like new but I don't believe the cells are bad enough to kill the car. Thoughts?
 
Every time my 2014 Spark died it was the 12V battery. I get about 30 months use from a battery before it goes titts up. I have a Harbour Freight battery tester ( the one that puts a resistive load on the battery ) and it verified it as weak. Voltage is not a good indicator of battery health as LA batteries can have a float charge that shows good, but under load it drops to bad.
 
It's 100% not the 12v battery. I bought a new one and Unfortunately nothing changed. I've been able to read some codes and P1E00 is the only code that stays.
 

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Is there an app that allows me to scan the car more indepth? With my 500e i was able to analyze everything. I want to scan the cell voltage for the batteries to rule out the batteries being the issue. If they arnt my main suspension is still the BPCM
 
i also have this code. According to the volt forums this means low battery voltage
 

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Ok I found my problem. Cells #49 and #81 seem to be too low
 

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I got the readings from TorquePro. I read on the bolt forums that they have PIDs that they download onto the app to read the cars computer. Those PIDs work with out sparks. As for the HV battery, no its not toast. The car has bricked itself because 2 cells are out of balance once those cells are back in balance than the car will run again First im going to try to force the car to charge and rebalance them. I've read on the volt forums and from the information from Infinion that the VX-NANO they use is able to clear the secured DTCs and they can force the car to charge once the codes are clear. So im going to do that first. If I clear the secured DTCs and the car still won't charge ill just charge the cells manually by dropping the pack. Once I put it back up and clear the DTCs the car will run again. After that I'll watch the voltage on the cells to see if they either fall out of spec again or if they rebalance and go back to normal. If they keep falling out of balance than its likely that those 2 cells are bad. So ill just replace those modules. I found modules for 800 a piece in Canada. So worse case scenario it's a 800 dollar fix. Not a 20k replacement battery pack. Not that difficult at the end of the day.
 
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Lost my original response to a browser crash so I'll try this again...

I have to say you've been doing some excellent troubleshooting, data collection and forum sleuthing. If you want more insight I would recommend Alldatadiy.com . This is what I use if I have problems and need guidance from a service manual, read instructions on replacing components, or inspecting connectors, electrical schematics, service bulletins, etc.

I wanted to say that of the 20/96 cells in your screenshots, three clear voltage groups are leading to a total cell variance (in this sample of 20 cells) of 650mV! #49 and #81 are the weakest in your sample of 20 cells, followed by the 3.2-3.3V group, followed by the majority in the 3.4-3.5V group.

As you were saying, the issue could be weak/inconsistent capacities in your pack, or it could be inconsistent self-discharge rates that have slowly widened the variance in voltages. What you are saying makes sense that a balance could fix the latter. The former would require replacements if you wanted to drive the car reliably below a certain SOC. However, besides a balance issue and a reset, stay open to the idea of a reprogramming of the HPCM2 and/or BMS and relearning of the cells and capacity.

The variance in an imbalanced pack might become a problem below 2 battery bars in the Spark, or 20-30% SOC, where the voltage in the discharge curve reaches its "knee" and rapidly collapses. I can back that up, here are two sources showing a chart of the no-load voltage of an NMC-type Li-ion battery with respect to its no-load state of charge. This knee is still present but far less exaggerated compared to typical Li-ion discharge curves under different rates. I chose these sources because you were sharing no-load voltage measurements.
Source 1: See page 4 fig. 5 of "Fitting the OCV-SOC relationship of a battery lithium-ion using genetic algorithm method"
Source 2: See Fig 6b of "Comparative Study of Equivalent Circuit Models Performance in Four Common Lithium-Ion Batteries: LFP, NMC, LMO, NCA"

From your cell data and this predictive data, we can see that cells in group 1 (#49,#81) are at 3-4% SOC, group 2 (#48,#80) physically next to them are at 11% and 16%, and the rest in group 3 are in the 24%-35% SOC range.


Regarding driving at low SOC, I wonder what the nature of P0AFA truly is. I don't know what SOC you encountered your issue at (well, we do) but the BMS allows individual cells to discharge down to a cut-off voltage of 2.5V. The driving behavior with the HPCM2 is to taper the max power down to 0kW to keep cells above this limit and still produce power for as long as possible so drivers aren't suddenly without power in a dangerous situation. My point is that my experience with very low cell voltages has never resulted in an "EV Not Ready" bricked state with error codes. I have driven to the cutoff and I was able to shut the car off, contemplate my next moves, turn it back on with "EV Ready" still green, and roll down the hill with regen and coast up to a level 2 public charger. I wonder if the BMS monitors anomalous cell balance and GM or the folks at the Volt forums chose to poorly word P0AFA "low batt voltage", or an out of balance or weak cell actually dropped far enough below the 2.5V low voltage cutoff and bricked your car until service could be done.



Please keep us updated! At your next convenience please capture the values of all 96 cells and the current car's SOC for a full picture, and periodically check if the voltages have self-discharged on their own over time.
 
On what you said about the shut off being around 2.5v I agree because I was talking to my friend with a 500e who said his battery went down to 2.6v and was just fine. That's why I'm thinking that 2.9v isn't the problem, but more the imbalance that shut the car off. We had multiple 500e's revived from the dead with voltages under 2.0v. So that's why I'm wondering if they are actually damaged or just unbalanced.

stay open to the idea of a reprogramming of the HPCM2 and/or BMS and relearning of the cells and capacity.
If you could explain to me how this works I'd appreciate it. Is this something that I can do with the VX-NANO? I'm still learning how chevy works compared to my 500e.

As for keeping the car above 30% SOC, that wouldn't be a problem short term, we mainly use the car for drives less than 5 minutes away. Long term once we get it moving though I'd probably replace the weak cells if that proves to be the issue.

As for the cell voltage and the current SOC. I got the cell voltages but annoyingly I had to take like 10 screenshots. As for the SOC the 12v died before I could find the display on torquepro. Here's the cell voltages
 

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Update. Didn't have to do the test. Just reprogrammed the HPCM2 and then plugged it in. The car is now charging. I'll check on it after work to see if the 2 weak cells balance or if they are damaged.
 
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