Chevy Volt Battery Upgrade / Enhancement Job

Posted by at 27 May, at 07 : 00 AM Print

If you’re a Chevy Volt owner who’s been waiting on getting your battery upgrade / enhancement job done because you weren’t sure what was going to happen – read on!

Chevrolet is offering a free battery enhancement job for Chevy Volt owners who do not already have the battery tunnel upgrade in place on their vehicle.  For those of you who have not heard, this was in response to a potential battery fire issue that occurred in lab testing late last year, where during a side impact test, the battery pack was damaged and when coolant was mixed with the battery cells, caused a fire after several weeks of sitting.

I finally took my Volt in for this upgrade this month.  The upgrade itself is about a full day-long job, but you will get a free loaner while your Volt is in the shop.  The job itself involves two things,

1.)  Installing a piece of reinforcing steel that will help the vehicle resist damaging the cell during side impact.  (It weights about 2 pounds installed)

2.)  Adding some battery coolant sensors and additional logic to make the vehicle safer.  (It will detect whether the coolant levels in the battery are at acceptable levels)

Save yourself some time though and make sure the dealer performing the job already has the parts they need and the battery removal tool before you bring the car in (Sometimes dealers will share the tool that helps remove the Volt battery) – just ask the Service Manager to confirm they are ready to have your Volt in for service.

Wyman, the Service Manager at Concord Chevrolet was nice enough to help document the entire battery tunnel upgrade job, and I have some detailed photos of what’s involved and what exactly is being done to your car.  See the entire job below.

You will notice that removing the battery, also means that they need to remove the cooling lines to the battery.  The battery is removed with the help of a hydraulic lift with a special platform with locating pins that help support the battery as it is dropped from the chassis.

Once removed, the reinforcement bracket is riveted into place at the center of the battery tunnel.  The steel bracket provides extra strength to make sure the car’s steel does not bend into the battery pack as easily at the vulnerable point.

That finished, the battery is lifted back up, coolant lines reconnected, coolant refilled, and air bled from the coolant system.  In addition, several control modules are reprogrammed to take input from the new battery coolant level sensor.

I also got a free charge and a full tank of gas to boot!  (Probably not too much to ask given the Volt’s 9 gallon tank…)

Note: If you bought a more recent Chevrolet Volt (after March of this year), it probably already has had this work done before the car left the Factory, but you can easily check by contacting your dealer or Volt Advisor.


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