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2011 Premium, Purchased Jan. 2022 w/ 60,000 miles
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I am the brand new owner of a used 2011 Volt. I have only been able to charge it to 23 miles. I took it to the dealer to have them check it out. They say there is nothing wrong with it, it is just getting old. I would like more range of course, but don't want the battery to die on me. How much longer can I expect it to last? It only has 60,000 miles on it, so I thought it would run well for quite a while but maybe I was mistaken!
 

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There is some loss with age but the guess-o-meter depends on how the car was driven on prior charges, among other things. Cold-cold weather and use of the heater drops it, too. In the summer my 2015 says 48 miles per charge. Winter, with highs in the low 20s, it says 23 miles per charge because I heat the interior to 80 degrees.

Don't give up on it, drive it some all electric miles and you'll likely see the number increase. Unless it's cold-cold.
 

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I also have a 2011 with about 60k miles. The range estimate on the dash is just that - an estimate. Make sure your tires air aired up 38-40psi, and drive conservatively. Your estimate may go up. How far can you go before the ICE starts? As previously stated cold weather reduces the range. My 2011 will go almost 50 miles before the ICE starts in the summer. In the winter, 30miles is the norm.
 

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2012 Volt | Blue Topaz Metallic
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Since you just got it I'd just assume that on top of temperature it's probably also the previous owner's driving habits, back when I bought my car last December it was getting 18 miles on the guess-o-meter in the cold winter temps, once summer hit I started getting 40 miles (and could usually exceed the guess-o-meter), now this winter I get 22 miles on the guess-o-meter. I'm sure once the weather gets warmer you'll see an improvement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
All, thanks, this is encouraging. I'm in Texas, so the lowest temps we've had have been in the 30's, not very cold. But hopefully it will go up when it's warmer. I can tell that the previous owner was recently using it a lot without charging it. The trip odometer for the last ~3K miles had an average of 35 mpg. The dealer wasn't very positive and they said they wouldn't even worry about changing the fluids that were due to be changed since it seemed the battery was getting old. Not sure if changing the battery coolant at 60K will help at all with battery performance? I will stick with it and see how it goes.
 

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Might also be a good idea to check tire pressure & see what kind of tires are on the car. Not an expert so don't know how changing the coolant would affect "battery performance" but it's probably a good idea for longevity especially since the battery is older.
 

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The standard advice for improving range that we give to all Volt rookies applies:
  • air up tires to 42psi
  • use the lowest setting on the HVAC
  • drive slower
  • accelerate very gently
  • brake very gently (this uses regen instead of friction brakes)
 

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I have a 2012 with 60,000 miles and experience similar ranges. As others said, it will improve in the summer. I wouldn’t be too concerned about it yet. See what the actual obtained range is and how it varies over a full 12 months, and don’t worry too much about the current range estimate.
 

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Hi everyone, I am the brand new owner of a used 2011 Volt. I have only been able to charge it to 23 miles. I took it to the dealer to have them check it out. They say there is nothing wrong with it, it is just getting old. I would like more range of course, but don't want the battery to die on me. How much longer can I expect it to last? It only has 60,000 miles on it, so I thought it would run well for quite a while but maybe I was mistaken!
I have a 2019 and in summer the range estimator is upwards of 100kms now it's close to 50. As is mentioned in other posts the range estimate is based on recent driving so I suggest, just ignore it and it'll probably be fine and you'll see it "soar" in the warmer weather with no excess loads running.
 

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VoltRR - Actually, it's upwards of 120km based on trips where I'd recently got that kind of range - in summer.
 

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The range display depends on how the previous owner / driver was driving. I would follow the recommendations for best mileage (tires properly inflated, gentle acceleration and braking, etc) for a few weeks and see if the mileage improves. It is just an estimate based on driving style and conditions. If you drive all downhill it will go way up. If you drive all uphill it will go way down. Same for tailwind vs headwind and driving at low speed vs high speed. Something else to check is how many kw-hrs you get out of a charge. This can be found on the screen with the pie chart that shows gas/electric usage. Wait until the battery is fully discharged (switches to gas) and see how many kw-hrs you got from the last charge. In my 2013 I get between 9.7 and 10.2. Last drive where I fully depleted the battery I got 10.2. This is a better indication of the battery health. If it can hold close to 10 or even more than 10 kw-hr I think it's in decent shape.

I am also in Texas and currently getting around 34-35 miles of indicated range.
 

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I know new Volt owners don't have the concept of the Guess o meter, but it's hard to keep seeing posts about my car only charged up to XX miles. Your car doesn't charge up to a certain number of miles. Yes if the GOM shows 50 normally then all of the sudden it's 30, there might be a problem, but it's not charging to 30 miles. You charge until the battery is full and how many miles you get out of it depends on many factors. When you put gas in an ICE vehicle you don't say I put in 400 miles of gas...….
 

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The range display depends on how the previous owner / driver was driving. I would follow the recommendations for best mileage (tires properly inflated, gentle acceleration and braking, etc) for a few weeks and see if the mileage improves. It is just an estimate based on driving style and conditions. If you drive all downhill it will go way up. If you drive all uphill it will go way down. Same for tailwind vs headwind and driving at low speed vs high speed. Something else to check is how many kw-hrs you get out of a charge. This can be found on the screen with the pie chart that shows gas/electric usage. Wait until the battery is fully discharged (switches to gas) and see how many kw-hrs you got from the last charge. In my 2013 I get between 9.7 and 10.2. Last drive where I fully depleted the battery I got 10.2. This is a better indication of the battery health. If it can hold close to 10 or even more than 10 kw-hr I think it's in decent shape.

I am also in Texas and currently getting around 34-35 miles of indicated range.
I agree with your advice to the OP, but just a side note here... the OP’s 2011 Volt has no kWh Used display on the energy usage screen on the center console. That was introduced in the 2012 Volt. Owners of 2011 Volts can’t check out the kWh Used per full charge on that screen, so they evaluate the performance by ev range per full charge, which tends to cycle throughout the year as the seasons cycle... and one other note, the 2011/2012 Volts had no Hold Mode (introduced with the 2013 Volt), just Normal, Sport, and Mountain Mode... and one more note, the default 120 volt charging rate was 12 amps for the 2011/2012 Volts (and you could lower it to 8 amps by pressing buttons on the EVSE handle); the default L1 charging rate was reduced to 8 amps starting with the 2013 Volts, and the charging rate option setting was moved to the center display touch screen... 2011/2012 owners can use newer EVSEs (that have no buttons) for L1 charging, but at 12 amps only since those model years are not programmed to use the touch screen to select the 8 or 12 amp setting.
 

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Thanks for that correction, I had forgotten that 2011's don't have a way to look at kW-h used.
 

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Hi everyone, I am the brand new owner of a used 2011 Volt. I have only been able to charge it to 23 miles. I took it to the dealer to have them check it out. They say there is nothing wrong with it, it is just getting old. I would like more range of course, but don't want the battery to die on me. How much longer can I expect it to last? It only has 60,000 miles on it, so I thought it would run well for quite a while but maybe I was mistaken!
I have a 2011 with 200K+ miles. It seems to run forever. I did change the battery about 4 years ago...installed a junkyard battery from a wreck. Cost me $1000. Cold weather drops range.
 
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