New Bolt EV Batteries and no BMS, one year observations.

Darren Orange

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Feb 25, 2021
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Your packs are from Volt, which never had a battery recall AFAIK. Even though Volt packs were also made by LG, it's a completely different module design, likely made on different production line, where drunk or blind QC team wasn't allowed in :rolleyes:
Many DIY batteries were made with Volt packs, quite successfully, so your aren't alone in the happy camp. Just treat it well and it'll serve you for many years. EV batteries are supposed to get a second life in solar storage, so you are doing the ring thing.
My batteries are Chevy BOLT, with a "B". I have 3, 6kwh modules.
 

Darren Orange

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I'm a true EV nut, would never settle for a gas loaner. Even though my Bolt has a risk of battery failure, probability is very low, plus I treated my battery well since day one ( being a battery engineer for a living helps ), so risk on my specific battery is even lower than average. I think I'll ride it out until replacement comes.
I'm actually more worried about replacement process. I read that batteries will not be replaced as a whole unit, but rather taken apart and cell modules replaced, to save costs on BMS/box/wiring replacements. This is great for bean counters, but I hope the work won't be done at a local dealer, as it requires special skills and QC to avoid new problems. Packs should be sent to GM factory where highly trained team would fix them, test them and return to dealer.
On a positive side, we'd be getting a new battery on a 3 year old car. I usually keep my cars for many years, so this works well for me.
All modules will be replaced based upon the paper work they sent(which I received), with the new chemistry giving 8% more capacity. As for gas or electric, I hate gas but "free" is "free" more importantly it is costing Chevy money. I'd much rather they had bought back my car, I'm still working on that.
 

electric

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Oct 8, 2019
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near Sacramento
My batteries are Chevy BOLT, with a "B". I have 3, 6kwh modules.
Sorry, I mixed you up with another poster above who has Volt packs.
This is first time I hear confirmed use of Bolt modules in DIY, but I suppose it's no different than any other EV pack taken apart to module level.
Mind posting some pics of your modules and how you set them up?
What's your charge termination look like? Do you hold CV until current drops or just stop when CV is reached?
With Bolt modules I'd be even more conservative on charge termination, maybe 3.95VPC, but really depends on charge rate and termination.
Also adding a smoke detector near the pack, to get an alarm if things go bad someday. I wonder if home smoke detectors get tripped by battery smoke's specific composition?
Which BMS did you pick? Can it be set on cell HVC around 4.1VPC if your pack target average is 3.95VPC for example? Would you be alarmed on HVC event or would it just quietly stop the charge until the next cycle? I'd want to be alarmed if this ever happens.
These are great batteries, but given what we know some extra caution is warranted.
 

electric

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near Sacramento
All modules will be replaced based upon the paper work they sent(which I received), with the new chemistry giving 8% more capacity.
Yes, but they don't tell you where and by whom the replacement will be done. I can't imagine GM would do this work at a dealer, but you never know with these people nowadays. Decisions are made by bean counters, not engineers.
All I received so far is a generic recall Email, nothing specific to my car yet. Is your note specific to your VIN or generic?
 

400bird

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May 23, 2020
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My letter is specific to my car, VIN and all.

I also have Bolt batteries in the backyard. They are inside a metal box with a BMS. I think I need to start looking for a smoke detector with remote alarm...

For the replacement, I know Chevy trains dealer level technicians to replace modules (there are 10 modules in the Bolt pack as far as Chevy is concerned). As such, I would expect the work inside the pack to be completed at the dealer level. I doubt GM will be shipping complete, assembled batteries around as general practice, maybe for special cases?
 

electric

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Messages
269
Location
near Sacramento
For the replacement, I know Chevy trains dealer level technicians to replace modules (there are 10 modules in the Bolt pack as far as Chevy is concerned). As such, I would expect the work inside the pack to be completed at the dealer level. I doubt GM will be shipping complete, assembled batteries around as general practice, maybe for special cases?
This scares me more than original issue. Dealer techs sticking their hands inside the battery, working on high voltage connections, handling heavy modules, so many things can go wrong. I wonder how many Bolts will fail after this rework.
 

400bird

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This scares me more than original issue. Dealer techs sticking their hands inside the battery, working on high voltage connections, handling heavy modules, so many things can go wrong. I wonder how many Bolts will fail after this rework.

Those failures are less likely to result in fire. Just fault codes and cars that need to be towed. Leave a bus bar bolt loose, connector not fully seated, coolant pipe not clamped, etc probably aren't going to cause fire. Many of those problems would mean the car doesn't even leave the dealership. Same tech gets to pull it again to fix their screw up.

Dealers are required to buy a specific lift platform to drop the pack and a hoist adapter cradle thing to pick up each module.

GM has pretty good training. But, also a lot go tech's that DGAF.

I'm sure stuff will go wrong at dealers with 100,000 packs to rebuild, it shouldn't take too long for the techs to get it together, just don't be the first or the last.
 

Darren Orange

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Feb 25, 2021
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After speaking with battery hookup the Bolt batteries will be going back to them. I have ordered replacement batteries from them going to build 4 100amp hour packs from their lifepo4 modules that are new in combo with a Daly 100amp BMS for each pack. I will be posting a build as well as a massive thanks to battery hookup, its super scary having these Bolt batteries in our basement and battery hookup have been awesome to work with.
 
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