Following our initial story about an issue many VE Commodore owners have experienced with regards to a lack of battery charge, we received many complaints from owners agreeing that the issue was getting long in the tooth, especially when vehicles would be dry of charge at inconvenient times.
This information was forwarded to Holden Australia with the ambition of resolving the matter and hopefully putting owner’s minds at ease.
Thankfully, Holden issued a response to our article with some information about the issue, along with the steps owners can take to resolve the matter.
We would like to thank all the owners who e-mailed in with their stories, along with Holden for a prompt and detailed response with regards to the problems plaguing some owners.
Holden’s Communications Manager – Kate Lonsdale – responded to our queries with the following information:
Mrs Lonsdale told CarAdvice that, “we [have] identified a battery related issue with some of our early production VE and WM models, whereby under certain driving conditions and customer usage patterns the battery state of charge may deteriorate and may not be fully recovered by the vehicle’s charging system.”
Further to that, Mrs Lonsdale went on to say, “A fix for this issue was identified and released to the Dealer Network in July. Subsequently, all vehicles brought in for a routine service and those where customers have specifically reported the issue have been fixed.
If any customer has experienced this matter and has not reported it we encourage them to contact their Holden Dealer or our Customer Assistance Centre to have their concern investigated and corrected.”
When asked about the proper procedure of jump starting vehicles affected by a loss of battery charge, Mrs Londsale said “the vehicle’s owners Handbook explains the correct procedure including the location of the jump start posts which are on the left hand side of the engine bay.”
For those interested in a technical explanation of the issue; a technical adviser for a Sydney Holden dealership explained the following to CarAdvice:
“The issue does vary alot with the different models.
Holden have release updated BCM (Body Control Module) software to correct SOME
of the charge problems, the new software changes the the rate of charge from the
altenator and sets the BCM’s “state of charge” to a different tolerance.
We have had some cases where the batteries in new VE’s have been faulty from
factory, with the batteries only receiving half charge.
When only given half charge from factory the ECU and BCM automatically see this
as “default charge” and will only ever charge to that level.
This level is enough to start the vehicle and operate all the systems, but the
drain becomes too much for a half charged batteries, so if the problem is
presented to the dealerships, the battery is usually replaced and the updated
BCM software is installed.
The drain issue changes from model to model, we have had a Calais V where we
replace 2 modules of the electronic system to correct the battery drain issue.
The issue can sometimes be the computer system (the high and low speed buses of
the ECU and other components), they have a shutdown timer as they stay active
after the vehicle has been shut off for other features of the vehicle, like
lighting features and security.
Sometimes they need resetting as they stay on for too long after the ignition
has been turned off and can drain the battery.”
With that, we urge VE Commodore customers that have been affected by the battery drain issue to contact their Holden dealership and arrange for the aforementioned works to be undertaken to ensure battery charge remains at an optimum level for the vehicle to operate.