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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I see most of the posts on here are about the Ampera and how it was "back then" - I just wonder how these cars have stood the test of time?

The Tech still seems decently up to date, and the concept worked well - but has there been any recent signs the battery is starting to fail.

I may have to come out of my current EV in a year or so, and it's a car I'd seriously consider buying for myself if I do need to change.
 

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Twin Amperas
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Hi, we have two...both 2012 models...no battery degradation or range reduction so far...GM played it very safe with battery management on the Amp/Volt...never fully charged/discharged...no fast charging...should have many more years in them yet...
 

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Twin Amperas
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Yes absolutely...!

I bought mine after driving my wife's back from buying hers and was so impressed I just had to have one...haven't looked back they have both been brilliant...
 

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2014, Ampera, from new
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I.ve had my 64 Plate from new, 110,000 miles on it no problem
only changed rear disc's and pads, and tyres
Front pads like new
As good as new
Best car I have had
 

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Yes, I would buy again. It's been a very good car, with very low maintenance cost. 2x tyres, a wheel bearing, 2x 12v batteries (although only one was needed) and 2x charge port door solenoids. I admit I was nervous when I bought it somewhere around 89,000 miles, knowing it only had a limited time left on warranty, but at over 140,000 miles it's still going as strong as the day I got it.

It gives me the benefit of 30 to 40 miles of electric driving without any engine assistance, which more than covers my daily commute and shopping excursions. When I do have to travel further, which happens without notice, such is the life of tech response, I'm able to do so regardless of how full or empty the battery is. And when I need to take my daughter to Uni which is 200 miles each way, I can do so non-stop if I wish.

I hope to take the plunge and go fully electric soon, but in the meantime I'm in no immediate rush to part with the Ampera - there's plenty more years life left it yet
 

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I have only had my Ampera for 22 months but during the first year of ownership, I used it for my work as an area manager and covered more than 25,000 miles achieving 150 mpg overall by snatching some crafty charging at work locations.

Would I buy one again? At present prices, I would buy two . . .
 
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Had mine 6 years now, Set of tyres and 12v battery, that battery is a common replacement.
This has been the best car I've owned. Along with @Garry TheBiz I'm looking to go full BEV sometime. At the moment each test drive just cements how good this 10+ year old design is and I keep finding the current BEVs are still to catch up with it.

At the moment running on electric only in the lockdown, had several EMM and one FMM episode.
EMM - Engine maintenance mode. Stirs the oil up if you don't use the engine.
FMM - Fuel Maintence Mode. Burns fuel and requires you to put some fresh in the tank as its getting stale.
 
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Cracking car. I've recently had a £1300 bill for repairs to charger under the bonnet, as a short-circuitted granny EVSE blew it up! I plan to keep mine as my "classic hobby"/emergency-backup for the BEV. So if you do get one, just keep a cash stash ready on the just-in-case basis.
 

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Hi there,

I see most of the posts on here are about the Ampera and how it was "back then" - I just wonder how these cars have stood the test of time?

The Tech still seems decently up to date, and the concept worked well - but has there been any recent signs the battery is starting to fail.

I may have to come out of my current EV in a year or so, and it's a car I'd seriously consider buying for myself if I do need to change.
I have used my Ampera since 2014 from new. It is a very reliable car with very few niggles.

However you need to be prepared for some failures in the HV electronics as the time goes by. Repairs to HV components can be very expensive. The work can only be undertaken by high voltage trained technicians only, due to safety concerns. The HV circuits are rated at 400v. This is much higher than the domestic electrics at 240v.
HV batteries are reliable but some are now beginning to fail particularly in the USA.
There seem to be two common modes of battery failure.
1. Isolation errors within the battery. This is a very rare mode of failure apparently due to corrosion in the battery heater element. This is similar to a kettle heater element (Powered by 400v) but located within the HV battery. It is importanat to use the correct coolant in the battery cooling system to prvent any current leakage from 400v to the vehicle chasis.This problem causes the engine light to display but allows you to continue driving until repaired. It is necessary to remove the battery from the vehicle to repair this. UK dealers are not trained to undertake this repair.The usual remedy is a replacement battery.( In Europe at least) The battery heater element was redesigned for later cars.
2. Cell balancing errors. If the voltage in any of the 96 cells diviate more than the threshold specified in the software then the car will be disabled.This is to prevent overheating and damaging the rest of the battery. GM issued a software update in USA to increase this tolerance threshold so that the life of the battery can be extended. This update is not automatically installed in UK. The remedy is to replace the battery module containing the bad cell. Some say that GM issued the update to minimise warranty claims from faulty batteries. However I am not sure about this. Eventually all the batteries will fail due to this cell failure. There is a cell balancing routine at the end of each charging cycle but this cannot revive a depleted cell. This completely disables the car and you have to take it for repair on a trailer.Again Vauxhall dealers cannot undertake this work in the batteries and the complete battery has to be replaced.

It is difficult to guesstimate how long the battry will last. Some of these faults have occurred within the warranty period. Some have run for over 200k miles before any failures.
As far as I know Iin the UK there has been only around 2 or 3 battery failures so far. One of them is my car at 85000 miles due to the failure mode 1 described above.It is still awaiting a new or a reconditioned battery under the warranty.
I would definitely buy an Ampera again. It is such a pity that it was discontinued prematurely. None of the other EVs can match the Ampera for the technology utilised and the comfort, reliability and the economy of this wonderful car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I never understood why Vauxhall developed it, then went out of their way to make sure they didn’t sell any.

They never once advertised it in mainstream press, no dealers were supposed to run a demo, and you could only buy from a tiny number of outlets and so on. It is just like they always wanted it to fail!
 

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I only ended up with my by pure accident.

1 set off tyres, 1 bearing, 2 rear suspension boots?* 2 rear break pads and discs* and a charge flap.
Electronic repairs/
Coolant leak prob caused by a stone.
2x 12v batteries, 1 I prob didn need.

* this was caused by lack off use, pads went from 70% to 0 inside a week,, after 5 year oneside due to rust buld up catching on the break.
 
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