Speed Limited Due to Low Transmission Fluid

A Speed Limited or Reduced Propulsion Power message may display on the Driver Information Center (DIC) along with reduced power on some 2016-2019 Volts. The message may display for a brief time only. When the message clears, full propulsion power is restored. No DTCs will be set.

If there is a brief reduced power condition with related DIC messages displayed, inspect the transmission for fluid leaks and verify the fluid level. The 5ET50 transmission has a fluid fill cap and a fluid drain plug. (Fig. 17) The vehicle may have reduced power if the transmission fluid is low.


Fig. 17


Due to the sensitive and complex nature of the Volt’s drive unit, if the transmission fluid level is low, it may result in reduced power. If the fluid level is low or a leak is found, follow the appropriate Service Information to complete the repair. Possible points of fluid leaks include the control valve body cover, transmission case, torque dampener and differential housing, and vent.

TIP: The transmission fluid level must be checked when the transmission fluid temperature is at 113–131°F (45–55°C). If the transmission fluid temperature is not in this range, operate the vehicle or allow the fluid to cool as required. Setting the transmission fluid level with fluid temperature outside this range will result in either an under- or over-filled transmission.

If a fluid leak is not found and the fluid level is full, review the Battery Pack Capacity and compare the vehicle Battery Pack Capacity to the published Hybrid/EV High Voltage Battery Reduced Range Analysis document in Service Information.

In addition, verify that the vehicle is getting occasional full charging, which is how the Hybrid/EV Powertrain Control Module 2 (HPCM2) evaluates the battery. An extended period of time of not receiving a full charge may lead to a less accurate battery capacity estimation, which could result in power being limited from the battery under certain conditions while the engine is running.


– Thanks to John Riker

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