Here’s What A Broken Chevy Volt Sounds Like: Video

JAN 8 2019 BY MARK KANE 20

Sound suggests badly broken drivetrain, but it’s not that bad at all.

The Chevrolet Volt is often considered as a very reliable car, especially taking into consideration how complex the plug-in hybrid drivetrain is. However, one of the common issues with the 2011-2015 model year versions is the failure of the stator/rotor bearing – this is what happened to WatchJRGo’s Volt at around 80,000 miles.

The car with the damaged bearing is still able to drive, but as you can hear on the video, the noise inside and outside is awful.

“The most reliable car in my fleet is down for the count. My Chevy Volt started sounding like Optimus Prime or a circular saw when it’s in regen. This seems to be a relatively common failure as the mileage creeps up on early Volts. It’s caused by the bearing cage failing on the stator/rotor bearing, rumor is the original bearing cage was nylon and the replacement is made of brass.”

From the video description:

“TSB: PIP5081H: (EREV) Whine, Scrape, Whistle Type Noise While Driving – (Jan 8, 2016)

Models: 2011-2015 Chevrolet Volt 2014-2015 Cadillac ELR 2012-2014 Opel Ampera

Condition/Concern Some customers may comment on a whistle, scrape or whine type noise while driving that may be more noticeable during regenerative braking. Technicians may find this noise emanating from the left side of the drive unit (transmission). The tech may also state that the vehicle has a current or history code P0A46.

Recommendation/Instructions This noise may be caused by a separated electric drive motor B rotor bearing cage. A revised bearing has been released for installation into the drive unit. It is not necessary to remove the drive unit or motor for this repair. Follow SI (Document ID 2838728) on vehicle service, drive motor rotor bearing replacement procedure. During repairs inspect the end cover for any abnormal bushing wear, if found the side cover will also require replacement, however if no abnormal wear is found the cover can be reinstalled.

Important: Please ensure that the Special Tools DT-47865 – Bearing Remover and J-45124 – Removal Bridge are used to remove bearing. If proper tools are not used the rotor may be damaged leading to a repeat repair. DO NOT TRY TO PRY OUT. Important: To install bearing use Special Tools DT-22928-B Seal Installer per SI, as damage may occur if the proper tools are not utilized. Proper bearing orientation is the writing up or visible to technician. Please also order and replace the rotor shaft seal this could be damage during bearing removal or installation The side cover must be inspected in the bearing seating area as well as the bushing and resolver area. THE SIDE COVER AND THE TRANSMISSION COOLER MUST BE FLUSHED TO PREVENT RECONTAMINATION OF THE NEW BEARING. If the side cover or bushing are found to be damaged replace side cover. If any debris is on the rotor or side of transmission this should be cleaned/flushed with transmission still in vehicle. The transmission cooler also must be flushed. To do this the cooler thermostatic bypass must be removed.”

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20 Comments on "Here’s What A Broken Chevy Volt Sounds Like: Video"

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And now, the most important question that nobody was able to answer me, as a potential second hand buyer: what are the cost of replacement? Because sooner or later you’ll be the choosen one…
If its in the vid, sorry don’t have time today for lengthy episodes

In the video he says it was covered under warranty, so no price. I would like to know too.

Covered under warranty. But from description, it sounds like work is similar to CV joint job.

It’s not in the video, if it really is $410 all in to get it fixed, that would be great. There was one on Craigslist near me for ~4k with a bad drive motor bearing, if I had known it would be such an easy fix would have hopped on it…

It should be covered under 100K miles powertrain warranty.

Not all cars have this problem.

It is a big job since they have to take the Voltec apart from the side. Doesn’t require an engine removal. Just requires opening the Voltec transmission from the front driver wheel. It can easily cost couple thousands based on the labor rate. Parts cost is cheap.

If it is under warranty, nothing.

If it is out of warranty, a skilled DIY’er who orders parts online instead of paying full dealership markup, the fix can be done for less than $100 bucks, including the beer if you catch the problem soon enough.

http://gearsmagazine.com/magazine/tackling-a-4et50-hybrid/

Also, you won’t necessarily be the “choosen one” with every single Volt. Only the Volts that originally came with the early bearing version (part number 24234800) that was superseded commonly have this problem. Especially 2016 and newer ones that came with a different tranny (4ET50 vs 5ET50)

Happen to me in August. Paid 410 at the dealer

Did that cover all of it? That seems pretty good for such a thing.

All of it

Thanks Will, that would mean some € 500,- to the similar Opel Ampera over here…

I had this in my Ampera and it was covered by 8 year drivetrain warranty. However, I had to wait for repair almost 2 months, and the noise was horrible. Every time I was driving I saw people turning their heads totally bafled by the strange noise.

Had this happen to my 2013 in 2016. Fixed under warranty in a day.

Zacks car makes more noise than the broken Volt!

How it’s cover when it’s more the wheel bearings unless the warranty he has is extended

It is covered under Power Train Warranty that is usually 100K miles.

I had mine replaced. It is a common problem in many of the early Volts. Most Chevy Volt dealers know about how to fix it and GM has an internal Technical Service Bulletin on it. It won’t strand you on the side of road, but it sounds like a metal teeth grinding.

The bearing sleeves basically slips out of the place causing the bearing to grind. The new bearing sleeves will fix the problem.

It is covered under warranty. It can take up to 1-2 days of fixing it depending on the parts availability or technician availability. I got a free rental during the repair.

It was the ONLY problem that I have had with my Volt.

That’s reassuring that it was your only problem. I have (or have had) 3 of these drivetrains (2011 and 2012 VOLTs, and then my current 2014 ELR) – and I’ve seen none of these bearing noise problems in any of the 3 cars – 2 of which I still have access to. Fortunately, the 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty coverage is also applicable to the NEXT owner.

He actually has a Dodge Rampage….not easy to find.

He transposed the last two numbers on one of the parts numbers. Here are the numbers. If you competitively price shop, these can be found at reputable online GM parts suppliers for very reasonable prices:

24259842 bearing (55 bucks)
24234780 seal (3 bucks)
24248399 gasket (11 bucks)

And if you let it go too long without fixing it, you may end up needing part number 24269591 motor end cover (185). Obviously fixing it sooner is better than later from the parts cost perspective.

Normally only older models than mid ’13. And it’s covered by the 100000/8 year Voltec warranty.