Chevy Volt “Not Able to Charge” Message [Fixed] | Chevy Volt Not Charging? [Solved]

Are you getting “Not able to charge” message in your Chevy Volt and so your Chevy Volt is not charging?

Don’t panic! It happens to many Chevy Volt owners. And there is a solution to it.

I will guide you in this article about what to do if you face Chevy Volt charging issues.

There are some obvious reasons and checks for it and some are technical so be with me, let’s solve the charging issues of your Chevy Volt.

Chevy Volt Not Able to Charge – Spotting the Problem and Solution

Charging issues in Volt is mostly caused by either improper connection, power supply issues, EV charging station and charging equipment or Software issues in Volt.

So let’s look into these things one by one and see what’s causing the issue so can take steps to solve it.

Improper Connection

The Charging Plug is Not Properly Inserted

This is a very obvious thing that can cause the issue and you might have already tried it, but it is still important if you haven’t.

The first thing is, you just remove the charging plug from the Chevy Volt charge port and reinsert it properly.

If you have already done it then do one more thing as explained below.

Once you reinsert the charging plug, then tug it a little bit, just to see if it gets disconnected.

If charging plug is properly inserted then the latch will properly get engaged and the actuator won’t release the charge plug.

So if it is properly inserted then it won’t disconnect with a tug.

If this one you ensured and if this was the problem then now you will surely be able to charge your Chevy Volt.

But if still you face the same issue or message of “Not able to charge” then look for other checkpoints explained below.

Dust-Debris or Corrosion inside Charge Port or Charging Plug

Over time, dirt, dust, debris or corrosion can accumulate inside charge port or plug.

This can prevent proper contact between charge port and the plug. 

So, check with a flashlight inside the Chevy charge port and charging plug.

If you see dust debris or spots of corrosion inside then clean it with a smooth cloth.

You can also gently clean with the cotton over earbuds.

In case of corrosion, you can use a toothpick brush or sandpaper if a soft cloth or earbud isn’t able to remove it.

You can do a gentle air blow with a blower or with the mouth.

(Please note, all of the above means to remove corrosion inside the charge port and plug have to be done gently. Any forceful approach may lead to some other fault or distortions inside the charge port or charge plug. Don’t use any lubrication oil, or cleaning solutions unless it is professionally suggested.)

Now check whether your Chevy Volt starts charging.

If Chevy Volt still won’t charge then check for other probable issues causing it as explained below.

Snow/Ice formed inside Charge port or Plug (In cold weather)

In case of cold weather, the snow may form inside the charge port and plug and can cause connection issues resulting in Chevy Volt charging issues.

So you need to remove or melt the snow in order to solve charging issues.

To melt the snow you can follow any of the below steps.

  • Turn ON defrost mode or heat the car a bit pressing the defog or windshield button increasing the temperature.
  • You can place the car in a warm place and wait for the ice to melt.
  • Use a dryer to gently blow warm air inside the charge port and cable plug, this will warm up the temperature and can melt the ice.
  • In case ice is also formed in the charging plug then you can cover it with a woolen cloth to warm up for some time.

Once the ice is melted then check whether your Chevy Volt starts charging.

If not then the issue is now probably with the charger or a technical issue with Chevy itself.

If you are charging with a home charger then do one thing as explained below.

Circuit Breaker or Power Supply Issue

Another most obvious check is whether the circuit breaker got tripped or power supply issue.

If the circuit breaker is tripped then you got the issue. Then either it’s an overload in the circuit or some wiring issue causing it. So you need to fix it accordingly.

I strongly advise you to have a certified electrician to check things for you.

Also, if no circuit breaker issue then just check whether the power supply is ON. You can check with other appliances on the same circuit. Or you can check with the power supply tester.

Although this is a pretty obvious thing but important to confirm.

If Chevy Volt still won’t charge with everything in the proper place then it indicates some other issues with EVSE. You have to look at those now one by one as explained below.

Faulty Charging Equipment – Charging Cable, Plug or EV Charging unit

It is also possible that the charging equipment is faulty.

To check what is at fault, you need to try and test different combinations of things.

To start with test the charging cable and plug first.

Faulty Charging Cable and Plug

Now, the first thing to check is the charging cable.

See if any visible damage, wear, or tear is there over the cable, plug and inside the plug.

If you spot some damage then probably the damaged cable is causing the issue.

It is also possible that you may not see any visible signs of damage.

In that case, try that cable to charge another vehicle with the same EV charger.

(Note: Use the same charging unit with another vehicle so it becomes easy to spot the issue)

If the cable works with another vehicle then the issue is not with the cable. The issue is spotted in your Chevy Volt vehicle now.

In this case, you need to look at some other checks and solutions explained in the later section before you contact the Chevrolet service center.

If the cable won’t work even with another vehicle then either the cable is faulty or the EV charger itself is faulty.

Faulty EV Charger

It is also possible that EV charging unit is faulty. So what you can do is if you are charging at home then first reset the EV charger and see. It can solve any glitches in the charging unit.

Reset the EV charging station

Resetting the charging station can eliminate any communication glitch causing Chevy Volt charging issues.

To reset the EV charger you can simply unplug it from the power source or turn off the circuit breaker, wait for a few minutes, plug it back, and turn on the circuit breaker.

Check if Chevy Volt charging works now.

If still it doesn’t charge then just drive to a nearby EV charging station either public or neighbour’s home charging station and check.

Check at nearby charging station

Now, if Chevy Volt starts charging there then the EV charger you were using is at fault.

In this case, if the EV charger you own is at fault, then check with the respective troubleshooting steps or if you can’t do that then it is best to contact their respective customer support.

If your Chevy Volt won’t charge even at that another EV charger then the issue is with your Volt now.

If you find the issue with your Volt then either it’s just a technical glitch in your Volt or something technical in the vehicle.

So instead of worrying just check with Chevy Volt’s software now. That’s the thing which can cause the glitch and can solve it also. I am going to discuss it now.

Software Issues in Chevy Volt

Chevy Volt software has an important role in managing charging processes and communications.

Any glitch in the software or software crash can cause Charging interruption.

Software glitches can be caused by mainly two things.

  1. Using outdated or older version of software
  2. Some other unknown issue is causing the software crash

You need to update the software if an update is available, if not then you need to do certain things as I will explain later.

Let’s first look at how to update software if available.

Updating Software

You can check whether you are using outdated software in the two ways mentioned below.

  • Go to the in-car dashboard touchscreen depending on your vehicle.
  • Go to Settings > System tab > Vehicle Software section > Update


  • Go to Settings > Software Information > System Update

If the software update is available and Chevy Volt is connected to Wi-Fi internet then it automatically downloads the software in the background.

Then it only requires the installation part.

If it is not downloaded, then you can download the updated software and then install it.

Software download only requires an active internet connection with a turned-on vehicle engine and no other conditions.

Also, software downloads can be paused if required, but this is not the case during installation. (More details below)

The time to fully download software depends on software update size, internet data speed and connection strength.

Here are some important notes before you install software updates.

Important Note before installing software update in Chevy Volt:

  • During software update, you can’t drive Chevy Volt.
  • The software installation process can’t be stopped or paused in between once started.

Precautions before installing software update in Chevy Volt:

  • Ensure you are in a safe place and park the vehicle safely
  • Chevy Volt has an active internet connection.
  • Ignition needs to be turned off.
  • Software installation can take a short time (of a few minutes) or a long (around an hour) time depending on software size and update of features.

So make sure you have access to free time and a safe parking place before installing software.

Once the software is updated you can try to charge your Chevy Volt as usual and see whether it works.

If a software update was available then probably that was causing the issue and now Chevy Volt should charge.

But if still you see that Chevy Volt won’t charge then probably there is some other issue.

There are still a couple of checks for you to do now.

If the software update is not available (i.e. your Chevy Volt already has the latest software) then also the same things you need to do.

Already have the latest updated software? – Unknown issues causing the software to crash

Now, in case there are no software updates available then probably some hidden issues could be causing the software glitch.

To eliminate the possibility of those glitches, you need to reset the vehicle software.

Here are steps to Reset Chevy Volt Software,

  • Turn off the car – wait for 2 minutes – Turn the car on again


  • Disconnect and reconnect 12V battery

Doing this can solve any glitch in the Chevy Volt software, if there were some.

Now try to charge Chevy Volt and see if it works now.

If any software issues causing it, then it will now be resolved.

But if it is still not charging then some other issues causing it, so head on to the next option.

12V battery is Dead or Nearly Discharged

If the 12V battery is discharged then it can cause issues in charging Chevy Volt.

However, a dead 12V battery can cause all other issues including you can’t start the car engine.

In such a case, you need to jump-start the car.

If this is the case then you need to replace the 12V battery or you can recharge it. It will solve charging issues.

If the 12V battery is not at fault then there is one and last thing now remaining for you to check.

Check For Other Error Codes

If you have an active ‘On Star’ subscription or any other active service, as a safety and security addon in Chevy Volt, then you can perform a diagnosis or you can check if there are any other errors.

If there is any other error, you can get more clarity about the issue. So accordingly you can take steps to solve it.

But if no other signs of issues or you don’t have a safety and security addon, then you need to contact the service center.

Now probably the issue is with the onboard charger or with something else in the vehicle charging system, such problems can’t be solved at home just by yourself. So you need to contact the Chevrolet service center.

Contact Service Centre

So if nothing works from anything discussed above or you can’t figure out the thing then it is time to schedule an appointment with Chevy service centre.


So I have explained all the simple and also technical ways to fix your Chevy Volt charging issues.

I hope you have found this article helpful.

Feel free to comment below if I have missed something here or tell me how it went tackling charging issues with your Chevy Volt.

See you in the next article!


An engineer turned entrepreneur, being a Tech-enthusiast I am passionate about helping people understand and embrace the potential of technology in an insightful manner. At EV Chargers Guide, I help EV owners to navigate the Electric Revolution by providing in-depth guides to overcome their EV charging challenges and helping to make the Best choice selecting Charging Equipment for their EVs.

1 Comment
  1. There was no issue then I checked for software update. One was there waiting to be installed. I just did that and solved my issue.

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