Chevy Volt “Unable to Charge Message”: 6 Reasons and Fixes

Are you experiencing issues with charging your Chevy Volt? If so, you are not alone.

Many Chevy Volt owners have reported getting an “unable to charge” message when they try to plug in their vehicles.

There are several reasons why you may be seeing this message, and in this article, we will discuss the five most common problems and their solutions.

If you’re in a hurry, here’s a short summary of the article:

Most common reasons behind the “unable to charge” message in Chevy Volt include low battery coolant level, debris in the charging port, and faulty charging equipment.

1. Low Battery Coolant Level

One of the most common reasons for the “unable to charge” message is a low battery coolant level. This is usually caused by an air bubble in the system or a leak.

When the coolant level gets too low, the car detects the issue and triggers the error message.

To fix this problem, you need to check the coolant level and add more if needed.

The correct full level is to the top of the black label on the tank. If the coolant level is good, and you still get the error message, the low coolant sensor may be bad and will need to be replaced.

2. Debris or Ice/Snow in the Charging Port

Sometimes, debris or ice/snow can get stuck in the charging port, causing the message to appear.

To fix this problem, you need to inspect the charging port and remove any debris that may be present. If there is ice or snow in the port, you can use warm water to melt it before trying to charge the car again.

3. Faulty Charging Equipment

If the charging port is free of debris and the coolant level is good, you may have a problem with the charging equipment itself.

For example, the EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) may be faulty, causing the car to be unable to charge.

To check if this is the case, you can try charging your Chevy Volt using a different EVSE. If the car charges successfully with a different charger, you will need to replace the faulty equipment.

4. Control Module or Circuit Issue

Another potential cause of this message is a problem with the control module or circuit between the charging port and the battery.

To diagnose this issue, you will need to take your Chevy Volt to a dealership for inspection. A technician will be able to check the control module and circuit for any faults and fix them as needed

5. Battery Unit Leak

If the other solutions have not fixed the problem, there may be a leak in one of the battery units. The Chevy Volt has four battery units, and if one of them is leaking, it can cause the car to be unable to charge.

To diagnose this issue, you will need to take your car to a dealership. The technician will inspect all of the battery units and identify any leaks. If a leak is found, the faulty unit will need to be replaced.

Important: EV battery replacement can cost $1000s. To avoid high-voltage battery replacement, there are some things you can do. Read this article to find out the 10 best ways to maximize EV battery life and save tons of money!

6. Software Issues

The “unable to charge” message can sometimes be caused by software issues within the car’s onboard computer.

In these cases, the car may need to have its software updated or reprogrammed to fix the problem. You can take the car to a dealership or a trusted mechanic to have this done.

What to Do to Prevent This Message on Your Chevy Volt?

One of the most common causes of the “Unable to Charge” message is debris, ice, or snow in the charging port. To prevent this, inspect the port regularly and remove any debris that may be present.

If you live in an area where snow and ice are common, make sure to clear the port of any buildup before attempting to charge your car.

Low battery coolant levels can also trigger the message. To prevent this, make sure to check your battery coolant level regularly and top it up as needed.

Moreover, use quality charging equipment, and regularly maintain your vehicle.

By following these tips, you can help prevent this message from appearing on your Chevy Volt and ensure that your vehicle stays charged and ready to go whenever you need it.

Also read: Chevy Volt Battery: Warranty, Replacement Cost, Lifespan, etc.


If you experience any issues with your Chevy Volt, it’s best to take it to a certified Chevy dealership or an experienced mechanic who is knowledgeable about electric vehicles.

They will have the expertise and equipment needed to diagnose and fix any issues with your car.

It’s always a good idea to consult your car’s owner manual for specific instructions and guidance on how to troubleshoot and maintain your Chevy Volt.