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Discussion Starter #1
As instructed in my welcome email, I am making an introduction post.

I bought a well-equipped 2012 Chevy Volt from a dealer with 98k miles for $8800. It seemed to be in like-new condition and I could easily make the case that I can save in net energy costs that entire amount over the life of the car.

I'm an engineer and really love the technology. The dealership put brand new tires Run Flat tires on it. The combination of new tires and being non-LRR has my EV range lower than I would like in my first 1000 miles. I can get only about 34 miles range in near ideal temperature conditions. I downloaded mygreenvolt to help analyze things and I feel compelled to get as much understanding as I can before the 100k warranty runs out. I do know that the threshold for GM to consider the battery as degraded is 20% I think and thus my car is not likely to be considered as degraded. I also have learned in the forum that kwh used isn't a perfect measurement. In general, I am getting 9.6 which is a bit below what I saw as the normal range for a 1 year old 2012 which I think was 9.7 to 9.9.

I get about 38 or 39 MPG on ICE at 75 mph on long drives.

One area I could use some help on is finding a link to the user manual for the 2012 Navigation System. My car didn't come with any manuals so I bought one off Ebay. In the user manual it references a manual for the Navigation System. I can't find a link to it. Can anyone help me?

Also, if anyone can point me to how to use the time delay feature for radio. I didn't see it in the manual I have. It is self explanatory to use the "rec" button to rip CDs. Nice feature.

One strange thing that I have seen addressed here is that the radio always comes on when using anything that uses the screen. I guess I will default to Aux when I don't want to hear anything.

I appreciate that there is an active forum here and I have already bookmarked how to change the transmission fluid. I will also soon change the coolant from the various systems.
 

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Congratulations on your new Volt. I think 34 miles / 9.6 khw is close to normal for a 2012. My 2013 has a slightly larger battery so I can't directly compare, but I am getting about 43 miles per charge. One factor may be that the miles per charge is an estimate based on past driving style, if the car is new to you it might have had a leadfoot previous owner. Drive like your grandmother is in the back seat sipping a cup of tea for a few weeks and see what happens.

The radio coming on anytime the screen is used is normal. You can't turn the radio off if the screen is on. You can turn the volume all the way down though or switch to an unused source like CD with no disc in the slot.

See if you can locate the service record for the car (via a Chevrolet dealer?) and see if it had the coolants replaced at 5 years. If you can't find any evidence I would go ahead and have it done. It's not prohibitively expensive, then you're good for another 5 years. Also replace the engine air filter, cabin air filter (if there is one installed) and any other items in the maintenance schedule in the owner's manual. There won't be very many items. The Volt is inexpensive to maintain according to the schedule.

Most importantly, what color did you get??

ps I'm also an engineer (retired last year)
 

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Tires have a large effect on range. The OEM Goodyears are light and narrow having a tread width spec of 6.9". Most other tires in the 215/55/17 will be wider and have more rollling resistance. Tire Rack .com has the specs listed for most tires including advertised tread width. My Michelin Primacy MXV4's 215/55/17 in 93V show a 7.3" tread width. In summer my 2011 with 104,500 miles gets 36-41 EV range. Depending greatly on speed and how heavy your foot is.
 

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Try slowing down, then see what kind of EV mileage you get.
 

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Congratulations. We have had a 2012 since new. Just looking at the window sticker, I can't believe we paid $2295 for the Nav system! We had Directions and Connections for a while until it proved itself almost useless while on a trip to suburban Michigan of all places.
Still love the car - hope you enjoy ours.
The nav brochure helps a little, but unless you have had the updated nav DVD installed, it is probably a little outdated anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate all the replies. Some responses:

1) The car is white and looks great. My wife thinks it looks like a sports car and I think it makes her feel a little uncomfortable.
2) I am driving like a grandmother and with no AC/Heat and I am still only getting 35 EV miles at best. I will check for drag on brakes soon. I honestly think it is the new tires. The tires are Bridgestone Driveguard. I have read in the forum that new tires have 10 to 15% higher rolling resistance than when they break in. Low 30's should handle most of our daily commuting needs, however.
3) I agree that I likely won't be using the Nav system much. I just like to know how everything works in my car.
4) Thanks for the suggestion to ask the dealer about what work has been done on the car. Otherwise, I will change out the fluids myself. I really have a hard time letting others do what I know I can do myself. I have already changed the engine air filter and oil.

Thanks again for all the responses.
 

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Congratulations on the new purchase! I’ve been driving my 2012 Volt with great pleasure for the past 5+ years.

Lots of manuals and videos and other information items are available for lots of Chevrolet models, including the Volt, on the my.chevrolet.com website (just enter your year, brand, model). Not sure if they have a 2012 Volt Navigation System manual there, but it’s a dealer source for the electronic version of the owner’s manual (much easier to search electronically than by leafing through the paper copy).

You could also just do an internet search for the 2012 Volt Navigation manual... sometimes it is referred to as the Infotainment Manual (for later models the Infotainment Manual is not specific to the Volt, and covers the infotainment center operations for several different Chevy car models). I just did a quick search that bought up some suggestions, including:

"www.manualslib.com"
"We have 5 Chevrolet VOLT 2012 manuals available for free PDF download: Owner's Manual, Infotainment System, Information. Chevrolet VOLT 2012 Owner's Manual ..."

That site allows you to read the manual on-screen, too (I didn’t attempt to download it), which provided an answer to your question on time delay (which I suspect is because your Volt has a hard drive; mine does not, so I think my pause/play button only works for non-radio music):


"Timeshift

"The timeshift feature automatically begins recording the audio when listening to the radio. The recording allows playback of content that was missed. Timeshift stores up to 20 minutes of content. After 20 minutes, it removes the oldest content and continues recording new content. While listening to the radio, press the Play/Pause button to stop hearing the information through the speaker. During this paused time, timeshift keeps recording. A status bar displays the length of the recording."

"To resume listening to the broadcast at the point left off, press Play/Pause again. Timeshift stops recording and erases the buffer when the vehicle is turned off or the station or source is changed. Before turning the vehicle off, press Play/Pause so that timeshift keeps recording for 20 minutes. If the vehicle is still off after 20 minutes, the system stops recording and all information is lost. If a low 12-volt battery condition occurs, timeshift stops recording and all information is erased."


The window sticker for the 2012 Volt rates it at 35 ev miles, 37 mpg. Note the distinction between MPG (total electric + gas miles driven/total gas used) and MPGcs (total gas miles/total gas used). The window sticker 37 is the MPGcs. I view gas mileage estimates based on the consumption of a fraction of a gallon of gas as "iffy," not unlike estimating ev miles/kWh based on how far you just drove on the first 1-2 kWh of power you used. My "lifetime" MPGcs is ~37 mpg, but gas mileage is clearly based on driving conditions. Last year on a long vacation trip, my 2012 Volt gobbled up only 12.2 gallons of gas as I drove 569 miles eastward in sunny weather through Nebraska, Illinois, and on into Indiana (46.6 MPGcs!), and then the same car’s performance deflated my enthusiasm by using 13.8 gallons to drive only 398 miles as I drove westward and crossed through Wyoming as wind gusts up to 35+ and 50+ mpg were blowing (28.8 MPGcs!).

Your 9.6 kWh Used is easily in the ballpark for a 2012. I seem to be getting 9.6-9.8 now, although over the years it’s been as high as 10.4-10.6 and as low as 9.3 (twice, in January). The MyGreenVolt app tells me my fully charged to fully depleted window is ~87%-25%, but those are not hard and fast numbers. The methodology by which the computer determines when to stop charging because the battery is fully charged and when to switch from battery to ICE is complex and may result in a slightly less than 65% usable window on any given drive.

What continues to delight me is that I drive silently around town daily, running my errands, then come home and plug in... and as I sleep, the "fuel elves" come silently in the night and refill my fuel tank so I’m ready for the next day’s travels...
 

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Drive the speed limit and raise your tires psi to around 42 and see if that changes things at all.
 

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I have been driving my (new to me) 2011 for the last 3 weeks, and am in the Austin area as well. I have been averaging between 29 miles of EV range to a high of 38 miles, with lots of hypermiling. But mostly it's been about 34 miles. So it sounds like you are right on. I know also that my PSI is low on my tires now since it's been so cold this weekend. And only 2 out of the 4 tires are LRR. I think the dealer I bought the car from only replaced 2, but I intend to replace all 4 soon anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks so much everyone for the responses/suggestions (time shift, Austin experiences, speed limit, tire psi, etc.)

This morning I took an early morning drive to the dentist and my efficiency was excellent (slow driving, good psi in my tires and car in the garage overnight). On the way back after the car was sitting outside at the dentist and the temperature was in the low 40s my efficiency was much lower as it seemed from the mygreenvolt dashboard that the HVAC and "other" were using a fair amount of energy. I didn't have the cabin heat on at all, so it must have been battery heat. the Mygreenvolt pid file doesn't show heat though. I don't know if this column works or not.

In any case, I am feeling better about the battery health as I am about 100 miles from the 100k warranty end. Thanks again for the comments, everyone. I will relax and enjoy the car and the savings and the lowering of my carbon footprint....
 

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When my 2012 Volt was new, I got as much as 10.2 to 10.4 KWh on ideal drives, 9.4 to 9.6 in the winter. Last year I still hit 10.0 at least once, but since moving down to Houston last December, the best I have hit is 9.7 KWh on a 45 mile electric drive this past weekend, which was much cooler. I have 57,000 miles on it and have OEM tires running at 38-40 PSI, two of them are original. In the heat of the summer here, I usually got about 35 electric miles, compared to about 45 electric miles in Seattle's cooler climate (51 miles was my best).
 

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Welcome to Volt! Have had a 2014 the last 3.5 yrs in Austin area (work near Parmer/I35). My Guess-o-meter reaches a high of 45 in spring and fall, and I nearly never deplete the battery with local driving. 2012 EPA EV mileage was 35. I'll get as low as 29 miles in winter using heat. The run-flats will definitely degrade range, I still have the original Goodyears, running at 44psi.

Check out the Austin Energy EV charge plan, $25 every 6 months and you get unlimited charging at ChargePoint stations around Austin.

And get a VoltScreen if you don't have one already.
https://voltshelf.weebly.com/voltscreen.html
(cheap insurance for your radiator)
I also have the VoltShelf.

Austin has an AustinEV group, not terribly active but:
https://www.facebook.com/austinev/
 

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I have done plenty of car repairs but I would not do a coolant flush and refill on my Volts. There are 3 systems and each is subject to trapped air bubbles that can lead to expensive DTCs and mechanical failures. Get the Chevy dealership to do it. Any problems and you will have some recourse.
 

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Welcome! Yet another Volt driver in Texas.. woohoo!

The heater will absolutely cut down on available range, but I too suspect those tires are the culprit. Any hope you can get the dealer to change them out? LRR tires will help a lot. I can speak from personal experience that Pirelli Cinturato P7 All Season Plus or Continental True Contact w/Eco Plus are very good tires, quiet, and have no noticeable reduction in range when running at 42PSI.

Battery degeneration is virtually unheard of on the Volt. I'd not be worried about it at all. Also agree that while I'm the DIY type, I'd also let the dealer do the coolant flush.

The Volt has almost zero maintenance issues, even with some units over 300K in miles. Do look into getting a VoltScreen to protect against infrequent but costly radiator punctures. Also look at the WOT Sensor fix for the one known issue that can cause a trip back to the dealer for an computer reset. Finally, a keep an ear out for a slight clicking sound on acceleration or deceleration needs to have the front axel nuts torqued. Beyond that, it's mostly washing and waxing.... and the occasional yearly trip to the gas station for dead dinosaur juice ;-).
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks again for all the info: Austin specific, the Volt add on items, tire info and the WOT sensor Fix.

I will be hard pressed to keep myself from wanting to do the fluid changes, but I will take the warnings under consideration. (I can pull a vacuum on the chambers with a device I have used for getting air bubbles out of power steering systems).

BTW, I got 42 miles of range the other day by keeping off the highways and keeping my lead foot wife away from the car. I'm feeling better and now have crossed over 100k miles.

I'm not likely to change out the tires and I'm sure that the dealer won't do it as well. I'm hoping the resistance will gradually decline. I would suspect that much of the extra energy required to get the heavier tires spinning would be recovered in the regenerative braking process. Of course, it is always more efficient to not have to get the extra weight moving in the first place as the regeneration isn't completely efficient. I will just get better tires when these wear out and be pleased with any range boost at that time. I haven't found these run flat tires to be uncomfortable and the tread width is smaller than most.

Thanks again! I wish this forum had a "like" button to thank everyone for the replies in that manner. I'm glad to join the community.
 

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FYI in case you do attempt to flush the systems on your own, and would like a hand let me know. I have always done the work on my own vehicles, and would be more than willing to assist in yours, to better understand how to do it in mine when the time comes. Feel free to shoot me a PM if/when you attempt it.
 

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I'm not likely to change out the tires and I'm sure that the dealer won't do it as well. I'm hoping the resistance will gradually decline. I would suspect that much of the extra energy required to get the heavier tires spinning would be recovered in the regenerative braking process. Of course, it is always more efficient to not have to get the extra weight moving in the first place as the regeneration isn't completely efficient. I will just get better tires when these wear out and be pleased with any range boost at that time. I haven't found these run flat tires to be uncomfortable and the tread width is smaller than most.
While it may be true that it requires more power to accelerate a Volt with heavier tires, there’s also the double whammy: it also takes more power to maintain the "heavier" car’s speed, and it takes more power to maintain the speed of a car equipped with tires with increased rolling resistance. More importantly, you use far more power to maintain speed than to accelerate.

Level terrain regen captures a portion of the energy used to accelerate the Volt. It doesn’t capture any of the power used to maintain speed (amount of regen depends on the speed, not on the length of time you’ve been driving at that speed).

To illustrate the point, think of it this way: you start driving with a fully charged battery (imagine you’re doing this on a track). Let’s say you drive at 40 miles/hour. You deplete your battery at about the one hour mark. You’ve traveled 40 Electric Miles. You haven’t done any braking, so you’ve obtained no regen at all.

The extra power used to accelerate the car because of the tires has had a minor impact on the achieved range. The greater effect of these tires is on the power consumed to maintain the speed.

Think of level terrain regen as the way you stop your Volt, not the way you recharge your battery.
 

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and it takes more power to maintain the speed of a car equipped with tires with increased rolling resistance. More importantly, you use far more power to maintain speed than to accelerate.
I agree about the increased rolling resistance. I don't dispute that.

On level terrain at a constant speed, the forces in the horizontal direction on the car are the wind resistance (which is proportional to velocity squared) and the road/wheel friction. These two will be offset by the force of propulsion. Now the road wheel friction is proportional to the weight of the car and the extra weight of the tires factors in here, but is very small addition compared to the overall weight of the car.

So, my point wasn't that the tires don't matter. They do, but primarily due to the increased friction compared to LRR tires. The extra weight of the tires might limit the acceleration due to the extra rotational inertia, but I don't think it takes any or certainly not much extra energy to keep spinning heavier tires at a constant speed than it does lighter tires. It just takes more energy to accelerate them which is eventually mostly recaptured with the extra bit of regenerative braking required for these heavier tires.

Thanks for the contribution and for keeping me sharp. Again, I agree with you regarding the extra rolling resistance.
 
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