Chevy Volt Propulsion Power Is Reduced (5 Reasons)

The propulsion power of your Chevrolet Volt can go down occasionally. It is one of the common issues that owners face with this particular car.

There are complaints about the battery of the car draining a lot faster than usual as well.

So, you may wonder why your Chevy Volt propulsion power is reduced?

There can be multiple reasons. The most common one is decreased performance of the battery pack. It can overheat and induce such problems. Damaged AC/DC converters, cells with high voltage, and faulty alternators can be the other reasons that cause a reduction of propulsion power in your Chevy Volt.

It’s just a quick overview and looks into what may induce such problems.

The solution to that is still unknown to you. That’s why we have prepared a dedicated segment for you on this issue. If you are interested to learn more about this issue, you may read along.

So without any further ado, let’s start.

Chevy Volt Propulsion Power Is Reduced – The Problems

chevy volt propulsion power is reduced

A plug-in hybrid car like Chevrolet Volt uses both electricity and gasoline to run the car.

So, it can be deemed as an extended-range electric car. As it depends on its battery pack quite a bit, most issues occur in the battery section.

It’s impossible to list all the possible problems that may cause the propulsion power of your Chevy Volt to be reduced. So, we have focused on the most common problems that you might be facing. Let’s start –

1. Decreased Battery Pack Performance

If the high voltage cells in your car battery fail or get severely damaged while driving, it may lower the propulsion power. Due to the shorted batteries, the system power of your car can get significantly lower than normal.

Thus, the battery fails to provide the full amount of torque to the car’s wheel. That induced the car to perform worse.

So, if the propulsion power of your Chevy Volt has gone down, check if the battery pack has enough voltage and charge or not.

2. Damaged AC/DC Converter

Your Chevy Volt’s propulsion power can be affected by a faulty AC/DC converter.

The converter controls your car’s propulsion output by converting Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC) with the help of the alternators.

A damaged AC/DC converter will fail to provide the correct voltage in certain situations. For instance, it will supply current with higher voltage when the engine is running at lower RPM which isn’t necessary at all.

On the other hand, it will offer lower voltage to the engine when you are revving up. So, there will be issues when you try to accelerate your car as the power will be reduced.

3. Overheating Battery Packs

If you are familiar with how engines and electronics work, you may already know that overheating reduces performance.

If a vital component of a working system overheats, it induces thermal throttling which reduces performance significantly.

So, if the battery pack of your Chevy Volt is overheating due to any reason, it will fail to provide the required power to your car. Thus, the propulsion power will be reduced.

4. Clogged and Shorted Battery Cells

Due to any malfunction in your car’s low-pressure fuel pump, the high voltage battery cells of your Chevy Volt can get clogged.

In such cases, the reservoir tank may not get the required amount of gasoline which affects the car’s power.

So, you need to check the fuel pump. If the fuel pump is alright, then it must be a battery-only issue. If there are issues with the battery, the engine of the car may stop functioning properly and result in lower propulsion power.

Though it’s comparatively rare, the propulsion power of your Chevy Volt can be reduced because of shorted battery cells. When the cells with high voltage get shorted, it lowers the propulsion power of the car.

There can be issues with the high-pressure fuel pump as well. So, if you suspect something as such, get your car checked properly.

5. Faulty Alternators

Alternators provide a stable flow of AC current to the battery to restock its charge.

A faulty alternator fails to provide the current and may damage the high voltage cells. As mentioned earlier, that’s a major reason behind reduced propulsion power.

If the alternator is manufactured by a third-party provider, it can have wrong wiring.

Such wiring can prove to be lethal for the battery cells of your Chevy Volt. So, it is always recommended to buy spare parts from trusted manufacturers.

Solution to Reduced Propulsion Power

When facing problems with the propulsion power, the first thing you should do is to charge the battery pack. Charging the battery may resolve issues with high-voltage cells and ultimately solve the problem.

If the issue continues even after charging the battery, you may consider replacing the battery pack. If you are looking to replace it, check out our recommended battery packs for your Chevy Volt from the list below –

To prevent battery overheating, you may consider replacing the current cooling fan with a high-quality one. If the overheating is caused by the high voltage cells in the battery, replacing those will work too.

If the accelerator power is reduced due to a damaged AC/DC converter, you may replace that too. Otherwise, it will be a recurring thing. You can try rewiring or replacing the alternators as well if your car doesn’t run smoothly.

You need to check the low and high-pressure fuel pumps in case of clogged and shorted battery cells. Sometimes they are the culprit behind this issue. In that case, you either have to fix the pumps or replace them altogether.

You should check the oil life of your vehicle too. Sometimes when your car has 0% oil life, you may run but show signs of slowing down a bit. So, the acceleration or engine health of your car may be affected.

Having problems with your Chevy Volt’s propulsion power is a common problem and sometimes proves to be costly to fix. So, if you want to avoid it, run a routine maintenance check and service your car at a regular interval.


What is Chevrolet Volt’s mountain mode?

Mountain mode on Chevy Volt is designed to ride on steep roads. It helps to run the car at a steady acceleration speed and saves around 40% battery.

Can I get a ‘reduced propulsion power’ message if the car is left fully discharged?

Yes, you can. When you leave your car fully discharged, then some of the ‘engine buffer’ is compromised and you may get such messages.

Can a software update fix the ‘propulsion power is reduced’ message?

Yes, sometimes it can if your car is on outdated software. To fix it, run updates and charge your battery fully, that may solve your issue.

Wrap Up!

So, that was it. Hope now you know more about why your Chevy Volt propulsion power is reduced. It should give you a clear idea about what may be causing the issue and what’s the probable fix.

If you still have problems, take your car to your dealer and let the professionals take care of it. Best of luck.

Jerry Ellis

5 thoughts on “Chevy Volt Propulsion Power Is Reduced (5 Reasons)”

  1. Our 2011 Volt enters the propulsion power reduced “status” from time to time (very annoying) but only when it is running on gasoline. None of the solutions stated above would seem to address this problem. It occurs infrequently and randomly. The vehicle shifts back to full power after a few minutes time.

    1. Exact same think happens sim our 2015 Vomt. I do notice that it seems to happen on really hot days. But it is as you say random and only on gas

  2. Good post. I thought I’d add to it for the readers. I too own a 2015 Chevy Volt. It suddenly gave the PPR error when switching from battery to gas, but then go away after pulling over. Long story short, it was a dirty air cleaner for the engine. The gas engine didn’t start right away giving the PPR code. Once it started and charged the battery for a few seconds, no code.

  3. I didn’t see a mention of the propulsion control module. The low power light would come on when started and go out when it warmed up. I took it to an auto parts store and they ran a check and it was the propulsion control module. After it was checked the light doesn’t come on anymore but the engine seems to labor. I haven’t taken it to a dealer for service yet. We had a family emergency in Oklahoma and that was a long drive so we left the car here. The module lists at 200.00 + install. Hope this helps someone.

  4. Gary my 2012 is doing same thing. Car performance is normal. I will have the DC battery changed and have the AC charged both are original OME products from time of purchase back in 2012.

    Any updates on your?

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