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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My first post here for many years!

I have a rare Ampera Earth which I have had since new, late 2013. Owing to health issues I had to leave it standing for 3 1/2 years. Was plugged in, outside but under cover, but I literally did not touch it for all that time.

Recently I got it out, gave it a wash, topped up the air in the tyres and drove it to a local MOT station 2 miles away.

After new wiper blades, it passed! One advisory: surface rust on brake disks.

The car kept nagging me for fresh petrol and an oil change of course, which it has now had, but it drove ok in the meantime.

What a car!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I meant to add... the estimated battery range was 30 miles when I first turned it on. But that has since crept up with use and is now usually 40-odd, and I can actually get in the low 40s (I live in a hilly area which doesn't help range). On a few longer battery-exhausting journeys I've been using around 10.2 kWh.

I think this slightly less than I used to get 3 1/2 years ago, but only slightly. Much better than I feared!
 

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welcome back and I hope you are now recovered.
Just fresh petrol after 3 years wow. Leaving it plugged in has preserved the traction battery though I suspect the 12V could do with replacing as a preventative measure, Amps of any flavour are never great at looking after the 12v battery. I guess this Earth is a MY13 as the MY12's do not top up the 12v when left plugged in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I guess this Earth is a MY13 as the MY12's do not top up the 12v when left plugged in.
Thanks; I did not know that. Good advice; the 12v battery is the original so is now 8 years old, so likely to need replacing soon anyway. Will do so before winter.

Do I need to take any particular Ampera precautions or is it ok to just disconnect and swap with new like on a traditional ice car?
 

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Just swap it out like you would an Ice car, you will need a 10mm long socket (I think its 10) to remove the bolts holding down the floor under the boot floor itself. Make sure its the right one - folks on here have discussed which one, it must be suitable for use in a passenger compartment which normally means an AGM battery but there is Bosch which is suitable I believe.
I'll see if I can find a topic.

Edit here is a thread on battery replacement
 

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Probably could do with new brake fluid in case moisture has found its way in. Check it's got the grille protecting the low-down radiator behind the numberplate from flying stones. Tyres may be cracking at he sidewalls if they're the original Michelins, & great lumps of tread etc started coming off some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes brake fluid changed as part of service thanks. The tyres actually appeared to be ok but tread getting thin so changed anyway.

The protective grill I'm not so sure of... I don't think it was "a thing" when I was last driving it. Will investigate!

One thing I'm not sure of is: all the while it was standing unused did the engine come on? It wanted to do the maintenance on-for-10-minutes thing when I first turned the car on so maybe not, but I thought the car was capable of doing that if it needed to. :unsure:
 

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It won't turn on the engine itself unattended, that would be illegal, the only time the ICE comes on stationary is when the bonnet is open, still needs the car turning on as well, this is a service thing.
 

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It won't turn on the engine itself unattended, that would be illegal, the only time the ICE comes on stationary is when the bonnet is open, still needs the car turning on as well, this is a service thing.
In colder climates the engine would switch on to protect the HV battery even when unattended.
 

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Not that I know of, with the car off the ICE will not start. Its always recommended to keep it plugged in in freezing conditions to help keep the battery warm on mains power. The car will not start without plugging in below -32 deg C, I imagine so the battery is heated before its used.

The engine itself is controlled in cold condition with a setting. In MY13's this is 2 or -10 deg c, at the set temp the engine comes on once its started, I keep mine on -10, the temperature is fixed on MY12 versions. This idles the engine to provide heating to warm the battery. Rarely seen in the south :) Last time mine started the engine this way was during the "beast from the east". You have to turn the ignition on (press start) and the engine will automatically start up. First time it happens its a bit of a whats happening moment.
If it has started the engine automatically when switched on then it will keep running - You can leave it running (with the key in it) to warm up.
 

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I've an idea the very original Volts did have the ability to run the engine suddenly & without warning if the car wanted, perhaps to stop the battery getting too cold, but this got changed with an update as it was deemed potentially dangerous for some reason. ? Possible asphyxiation of someone in the gge? Whatever. Something like that anyway. I think.
 

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Be sure that you do have 2013+ model year before thinking it's ok to leave the car plugged in but unused for an extended period. My 2013 plate Volt is actually 2012 MY. Due to lockdowns & other issues it stood unused for 3+ months a couple of times since the start of 2020 and I have had to replace my 12v battery twice.....
 
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