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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
Is it correct that the heating system does not work while running on Battery? If I set off on "hold" and run on gen power it heats up within mins but will not heat up when running on battery. If I switch to battery after the cars warmed up it blows warm for a while and then starts to cool off. Is this the norm or have I missed a setting in the climate menu somewhere? I understand why it would work like this so as not to drain battery but seems like a bit of a design floor to me. How does it work with full EV vehicles?
Not really a complaint as I can work around it, just for my own knowledge really.
Thanks.
 

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Heating works fine on battery but at the expense of range.
See the climate page on the middle screen. Set the heating to eco or full and fan as needed.
The heating icon in the bottom right should go on and off as power is applied to the heating circuit.

If you get no heating this way you may have a failed electrical heater. The power consumed should show up in the power meter on the my13 cars, going up and down with the climate display.

The Ampera heats water for cabin heating, on hold the hot water from the engine is switched into the cabin circuit, this increases the efficiency of the engine giving both heat and power.
 

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I think it's a simple answer, in that when heating using the cars engine, you are using a water-filled heater matrix (air blown through it) and when you switch to electric drive the car then uses what is in effect a fan heater - and it takes a while for this 'fan heater' to warm up - hence the initial cold air.
I've no mechanical evidence for this, just my own observations ...and I do find the whole heating system over complicated.
 

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The heater matrix is used both for electrical and engine heating, on electric the water circuit is short (heater, matrix and round again, there is a pump in there too)
The engine circuit includes the engine and if hot enough the radiator as well, lots of valves☺

heating circuits
 

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Hi all,
Is it correct that the heating system does not work while running on Battery? If I set off on "hold" and run on gen power it heats up within mins but will not heat up when running on battery. If I switch to battery after the cars warmed up it blows warm for a while and then starts to cool off. Is this the norm or have I missed a setting in the climate menu somewhere? I understand why it would work like this so as not to drain battery but seems like a bit of a design floor to me. How does it work with full EV vehicles?
Not really a complaint as I can work around it, just for my own knowledge really.
Thanks.
Not remotely. Electric heating is part of its 'thing'.

But you need to check your settings. There are three settings, dependent on year. The lowest setting is no electric heating. This is really useful in combination with engine heating because you can deliberately set it so it uses no electric heating.

Maybe this is what has happened.

Select 'max' heating and you should get heat. If you don't, it's bust.
 

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Spiny - thanks for the info. That's another thing for me to check as I too have cool air on the switch over from ICE heating to electric heating. It does however get warm relatively quickly and my switch in drive mode is mainly the other way around, from electricity to petrol and I can't say I've noticed any change then...
 

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The heater matrix is used both for electrical and engine heating, on electric the water circuit is short (heater, matrix and round again, there is a pump in there too)
The engine circuit includes the engine and if hot enough the radiator as well, lots of valves☺

heating circuits
This is really useful info - my daily drive always starts with a climb out of the valley and I have found that using the ICE on Hold for about five miles is a good way to start the day during colder weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the input guys. I suspect my electric heater may be faulty as I found the remote heater function didn't work either but I'll have another play this week. Not really an issue for short journeys and if I'm going on a longer trip where I know I'm going to depleat the batteries, I usually start on hold to warm the car up first.
If it is the electric heater part, anyone replaced one? Price?
Thanks.
 

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It's a very involved job and an expensive part. Id want a proper diagnosis first, it might be control or wiring but definitely not working if preheat defective.
 

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My electric heating occasionally does not work. It's completely random when this happens, sometimes after I've been on hold using engine heating, sometimes after a successful pre-heat, I've not managed to pin it down as it's quite rare and random, only a few times a year, so far this winter it's only happened once that I've noticed. Pre-heat always works though so I suspect a controller, valve or code fault of some sort, which I've read about on the gm-volt forum. Also, on that forum, I did read that you can reset the controller and restore electric heating by turning the car off and getting the key fob out of range for 15 mins or more. As I put my fob in a Faraday cage type pouch overnight it gets reset every night anyway.

If the remote heat does not work then there's definitely a fault beyond the problem I occasionally have, as Donald says it will need a proper diagnosis.
 
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