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I am happy and proud owner of a new 2017 Volt Premiere.... So many questions. I know some (maybe all) my questions have been asked and I know I should search (and I have done some)... but 1 topic I was interested in had like 43 pages! I know there are some stickied FAQs and I've been reading them, but I hope you old Volt pros will be kind and gentle and provide a few easy quick answers.

1 - Charging: I know it is not Chevy approved, but it seems like I can use an extension cord (12 gauge rated at 15amps). - YES or NO

2 - Chargepoint is the main/ best / most prevalent service to use when out in the field? YES / NO

3 - I am having a new dedicated 110v installed in my garage (old house w, old wires)... there seems to be some way if I get a 220 installed I can get some adapter (what / where) and just use the charge cable that came with the car? No other modifications?

4 - My garage gets VERY hot (So Cal and not insulated). will this affect long term battery life?

5 - auto windows down wth the fob pressing unlock for 3 seconds? Tried this and it did not work?

6 - is there not some way I can program my garage remote onto a button on the car?

7 - The fabric that covers the trunk space is not really good enough - people can still see in. I know there is a 3rd party hack that looks pretty good called volt shelf. Are there any others?

8 - What are the best things about onstar? I mean, if I have iphone and siri and connect to the car via bluetooth it sems like I can do most (all?) of what I need: make calls, play music, nav... I'm sure I just dont know enough to ask the right questions.

Thats should keep me busy. LOVING IT.
 

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I am happy and proud owner of a new 2017 Volt Premiere.... So many questions. I know some (maybe all) my questions have been asked and I know I should search (and I have done some)... but 1 topic I was interested in had like 43 pages! I know there are some stickied FAQs and I've been reading them, but I hope you old Volt pros will be kind and gentle and provide a few easy quick answers.

1 - Charging: I know it is not Chevy approved, but it seems like I can use an extension cord (12 gauge rated at 15amps). - YES or NO

2 - Chargepoint is the main/ best / most prevalent service to use when out in the field? YES / NO

3 - I am having a new dedicated 110v installed in my garage (old house w, old wires)... there seems to be some way if I get a 220 installed I can get some adapter (what / where) and just use the charge cable that came with the car? No other modifications?

4 - My garage gets VERY hot (So Cal and not insulated). will this affect long term battery life?

5 - auto windows down wth the fob pressing unlock for 3 seconds? Tried this and it did not work?

6 - is there not some way I can program my garage remote onto a button on the car?

7 - The fabric that covers the trunk space is not really good enough - people can still see in. I know there is a 3rd party hack that looks pretty good called volt shelf. Are there any others?

8 - What are the best things about onstar? I mean, if I have iphone and siri and connect to the car via bluetooth it sems like I can do most (all?) of what I need: make calls, play music, nav... I'm sure I just dont know enough to ask the right questions.

Thats should keep me busy. LOVING IT.
1. YES
2. The cars gasoline engine is the best thing to use when your battery gets low... no idea about "out and about" charging.
3. YES The EVSE supplied with the 2nd generation Volts is capable of charging at 240V 12 amps. This is a bit slower than a dedicated L2 charger but not much slower.
4. It won't affect battery life, but it could slow down charging as some energy will be dedicated to the charger cooling and battery cooling system while the car is charging. The hotter it is the more load there is on the cooling system.
5. Beats me
6. No, they got rid of homelink for the 2G cars.
7. Voltshelf is the only one I know of.
8. Onstar tracks your stats. If you like that kind of information this is the best feature. Also, your iphone will not call for emergency rescue if you get in a crash... Onstar will.

Keith
 

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1 - Charging: I know it is not Chevy approved, but it seems like I can use an extension cord (12 gauge rated at 15amps). - YES or NO
YES, I use one in the garage.

2 - Chargepoint is the main/ best / most prevalent service to use when out in the field?
It's the biggest one, don't know if it's best. Cost of charging and such are set by the operator, not Chargepoint. Get the Plugshare app and look around your area. Get a Chargepoint card (free) just so you have it. Watch charging costs. Unless it's free, it's probably cheaper to run on gas.

3 - I am having a new dedicated 110v installed in my garage (old house w, old wires)... there seems to be some way if I get a 220 installed I can get some adapter (what / where) and just use the charge cable that came with the car? No other modifications?
Yep. The 2017 charger is made by Clipper Creek and will handle 220. Adapter to take 220 to a 110 plug is all you need. Don't know where, as mine doesn't work that way.

4 - My garage gets VERY hot (So Cal and not insulated). will this affect long term battery life?
Nope.

5 - auto windows down wth the fob pressing unlock for 3 seconds? Tried this and it did not work?
Not sure about Gen2. Try tapping once to unlock, then press and hold.

7 - The fabric that covers the trunk space is not really good enough - people can still see in. I know there is a 3rd party hack that looks pretty good called volt shelf. Are there any others?
Not that I'm aware of. Voltshelf rocks.

8 - What are the best things about onstar? I mean, if I have iphone and siri and connect to the car via bluetooth it sems like I can do most (all?) of what I need: make calls, play music, nav... I'm sure I just dont know enough to ask the right questions.
Crash notification. Blue button for roadside assistance, help finding a place, making dinner reservations, whatever. I'm in it for the crash notification and roadside assistance.
Welcome to the VoltWorld!
 

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In the Gen 2, if you can't get the All Windows Down feature to work, take a look in the settings menu. Somewhere in the personalization section you can turn on or off the feature. Maybe someone turned it off.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks All.

#2 - Looks like Plugshare is awesome... bunch of people in my neighborhood actually let random people plug in at their home! Love the EV spirit of that.

#3 So I guess I'll read more about adapting the cord to 220 and maybe installing 220 plug in garage instead of 110.
Any tips links still appreciated.

#5 will try that in the AM.

#7 Seems like Volt Shelf is in my future. What about Volt Screen? Seems like cheap insurance. Anyone use it? I noticed the car has very low clearance... if I scape will screen be damaged?

#8 - please keep adding thoughts. I cant seem to get the onstar website to work... it is basically the same as the Chevy Owner Center?
 

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If you plan to charge with an extension cord , I would buy the heaviest available . I believe 14 gauge is 15 amps and 12 gauge is 20 amps. The 110 draws a constant 12 amps and will have less heat loss . I believe a dedicated 20 amp breaker should be matched with a good 20 amp rated cord .

#5 - I used mine twice today on my 2014 . Hold for 3 seconds and all 4 windows roll down .
 

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Have a 220 Volt charger installed, don't waste your money on a 120. The Level 2 will charge the car in 4.5 hours. I also have an old house, built in 1820. I had a ClipperCreek HCS40 installed. The electrician will run a new line for it, it doesn't matter if the rest of your wiring is old.
 

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1 - no, you are risking shocking yourself when plugging into an extension cord.
2 - every time I've tried to use a charge point charger it was broken. I have a card, have yet to get one to work
3 - camping store might have the adapter you need, but then again it's like an extension cord. It still isn't as good as a full level 2 at 16 amps
4 - I worry more about humans than the battery. I end up plugging in my car outside when coming home, then move it in after the sun sets and I can open up the garage doors and windows to cool it down, otherwise if I plug in indoors, I end up not doing anything in the garage because of the heat generated by the car.
6 - some adventurous types added an aftermarket homelink either to the top console or their mirror - I'd just live with the sun visor garage door opener if I had a g2
7 - seek out Scarlett in this forum and he can make you a voltshelf in whatever colors you want
8 - yes, the iPhone does a better job of nav and maps over the Onstar stuff. I don't plan on paying for Onstar service once the free trial is up. GM should really just give this for free and build an ecosystem and an app for apps, but alas their bean counters decided a hefty monthly fee was in order, thus low adoption rates. The only thing I use today is the text notification of when my car has completed charging and a reminder to plug in if it senses it's not plugged in at 10pm. I could setup my iPhone to just remind me daily if I didn't have Onstar.
 

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1 - Charging: I know it is not Chevy approved, but it seems like I can use an extension cord (12 gauge rated at 15amps). - YES or NO
I would add to Sinhombre’s remarks to use the shortest one that will work to limit voltage drop in the cord. However, the best way to go is to install 240 volts and use the supplied EVSE (see 3).

2 - Chargepoint is the main/ best / most prevalent service to use when out in the field? YES / NO
IMO, you do not need to charge when out in the field, or in town for that matter – haha. You have an on-board charging system to take care of you when you run out of battery. It’s much simpler to rely on that than to hunt around for a commercial charging station that may, or may not, be working – not to mention the expense.

3 - I am having a new dedicated 110v installed in my garage (old house w, old wires)... there seems to be some way if I get a 220 installed I can get some adapter (what / where) and just use the charge cable that came with the car? No other modifications?
Chris TX has been generous with his time and knowledge. Follow the caveats regarding the EVSE model number in his post. Charging time will be around 5.5 hours due to the EVSE limit of 12 amps, rather than for a third party EVSE that will recharge in 4.5 hours and cost you an additional ~$400. My son uses the supplied EVSE on 240 volts and is satisfied with the results. Here is the link:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?218442-Gen2-Volt-EVSE-conversion-to-L2-L1-combo-DONE!&highlight=chris

4 - My garage gets VERY hot (So Cal and not insulated). will this affect long term battery life?
No. The owner’s manual recommends leaving the car connected to the EVSE so that power for the battery environmental system can draw power from the house.

5 - auto windows down wth the fob pressing unlock for 3 seconds? Tried this and it did not work?
I don’t use this feature so I can only recommend that you RTFM.;);)

6 - is there not some way I can program my garage remote onto a button on the car?
You are SOL with programming a button. There are some clever ways to mount a third party opener in the car. Search with google and add GM-Volt at the end to find the postings here.

7 - The fabric that covers the trunk space is not really good enough - people can still see in. I know there is a 3rd party hack that looks pretty good called volt shelf. Are there any others?
I know of only http://voltshelf.weebly.com/
I have one and also the VoltScreen – a very useful piece of insurance against having the radiators behind the grill damaged ($$$) by a stone.


8 - What are the best things about onstar? I mean, if I have iphone and siri and connect to the car via bluetooth it sems like I can do most (all?) of what I need: make calls, play music, nav... I'm sure I just dont know enough to ask the right questions.
I have only used OnStar when I had a problem with the leased 2012. They were good about getting a flatbed to me and for telling me the tripped codes. However, AAA would suffice for the flatbed and the dealer for the codes – you’re going to get the car repaired, whether or not you have the codes before hand. The dealer will list the codes on the receipt – or ask him for them when you pick up the car.


Thats should keep me busy. LOVING IT.

FYI, I have a 2014 and my son has the 2016 – both are very nice cars!
 

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If you plan to charge with an extension cord , I would buy the heaviest available . I believe 14 gauge is 15 amps and 12 gauge is 20 amps. The 110 draws a constant 12 amps and will have less heat loss . I believe a dedicated 20 amp breaker should be matched with a good 20 amp rated cord .
Can do better. Look for "10/3" marked cords. May make a difference between aborted charge or not.
 

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Congratz on a New Volt!

Since I have a Gen 1 I will speak for just a couple of topics living in LA.

#2 In LA, Chargepoint is the best IMO for the following:
App (Showing availability of chargers, pricing and activation of stations)
Generally cheaper rates than most (Compared to Blink/eVgo who do time based charging)
Number of stations is pretty good in LA but you may be charged parking fees

I will say, depending on where you live, Plugshare is the best to find "free" stations near you. (Ex: Del Amo Fashion Center, Torrance - 20 "Free" L2 stations, 2 Super Quick chargers / they are non-networked and do not show availability online)

#4 I park my car outside under a carport. It does get direct sunlight at some points during the day and I have not noticed any battery degradation on my Gen 1. The car was bought used and probably from the same area I live in now. You may hear noises (not sure about Gen 2) when it gets too hot with the A/C Cycling or the coolant, but I think they designed the Volt well to handle this.

#8 The best thing about OnStar for me (I have the premium trial for 5 months / basic for 3 years) is being able to use the App to perform some functions. Other than that, I have not tested it out like other members on this forum.

Have fun driving in LA! or sitting......the 405 parking lot is always the favorite.
 

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#7 Seems like Volt Shelf is in my future. What about Volt Screen? Seems like cheap insurance. Anyone use it? I noticed the car has very low clearance... if I scape will screen be damaged?
The VoltScreen is definitely a MUST HAVE item. The radiators are exposed to stone damage and the VoltScreen will protect them from most of the ones that can cause damage. It also keeps out most of the bugs that get caught in the radiator fins.

The VoltScreen is installed well above the part that scrapes (the rubber air dam). Also the dam has been re-positioned for Gen 2 Volts so it is less likely to scrape.

Once it is installed, it is almost invisible, unless you know what to look for.
 

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Ok - purchased the Volt Screen.

Maybe some local LA person who has Volt Shelf is willing to meet (Sherman Oaks or Hollywood area) and show it to me?

Found the FOB window down settings in the setting menu... work now. THANKS.

re: Chargepoint / Plugshare... yes looking at the map it is amazing how many of them are broken... guess I'll just end up on gas and wait to get home.
 

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8 - What are the best things about onstar? I mean, if I have iphone and siri and connect to the car via bluetooth it sems like I can do most (all?) of what I need: make calls, play music, nav... I'm sure I just dont know enough to ask the right questions.
I have only used OnStar when I had a problem with the leased 2012. They were good about getting a flatbed to me and for telling me the tripped codes. However, AAA would suffice for the flatbed and the dealer for the codes – you’re going to get the car repaired, whether or not you have the codes before hand. The dealer will list the codes on the receipt – or ask him for them when you pick up the car.
Just to clarify, GM offers free roadside assistance for 5 years, whether or not you have onstar. You just call the 1-888 number. CAA membership is not necessary unless you are out of warranty, or wish to cover another vehicle.
 

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Just to clarify, GM offers free roadside assistance for 5 years, whether or not you have onstar. You just call the 1-888 number. CAA membership is not necessary unless you are out of warranty, or wish to cover another vehicle.
Good point re roadside assistance for 5 years. Thanks.
 

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The VoltScreen is definitely a MUST HAVE item. The radiators are exposed to stone damage and the VoltScreen will protect them from most of the ones that can cause damage. It also keeps out most of the bugs that get caught in the radiator fins.

The VoltScreen is installed well above the part that scrapes (the rubber air dam). Also the dam has been re-positioned for Gen 2 Volts so it is less likely to scrape.

Once it is installed, it is almost invisible, unless you know what to look for.

Thanks, TSquare and everyone else. I'm late to the party again, and you all covered for me. Work has been really busy this summer and the Voltshop is doubling me up pretty hard. I couldn't have answered the question better myself.

icharry, I just dropped your VoltScreen off at the post office a few minutes ago, it is on the way. And I think we've got something figured out for a viewing in LA. I sent you an email on this if you haven't already seen t.

Steve
 
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