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I’ve had my 2012 Chevy volt for two weeks now. I’ve had ranges after a charge vary from 36 miles to 29 miles. The temps are getting colder (averaging around 32 degrees)(I do charge my car in a well insulated garage) I’m wondering what others of you have experienced with your winter range after a charge? Does it drop? How much? What do you average in the summer? Should I be concerned? Thanks for the help.
 

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A range drop into the low 30's in winter in normal,

The air is denser, there is traction loss on the road, lubricants are stiffer, you are burning electrons for heat and defrosting. Also make sure your tire pressure is not low due to the temperature drops. Keep them at least at 38PSI year round. I keep mine at 41.

Your driving style will also affect range. Fast starts, fast stops are inefficient. The green ball on the drivers dash will help you with this.

Your range will increase when spring and summer arrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. The tire tip is helpful. I’m referring to the mile range when you first get into the car after a complete charge. Does this drop for you in the winter? If so how much? Thanks
 

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Yes, as Steverino said, using HVAC, driving habits, tire PSI, all will deplete the battery more quickly and the battery is just not as efficient in colder temps.

Now, throw on a set of winter tires, and you'll really nose dive. I primarily drive my car on a long (77 mile) commute every work day. When it was warmer, I was getting 50-51 MPG on gas and at least 45-48 miles on the battery. Now, I'm averaging 33 mpg on gas and 33-35 miles on a full battery. I don't do a ton of city driving and on my weekend I can usually make it on a single charge since I don't drive the Volt much.
 

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Range drop depends on where you live. Summer driving 24C -28C (75F - 80F) with fan and some A/C most often on Eco Mode the GOM on full charge was 70 Km. (43.5 miles)

Winter driving (now) 6C (43F) with heat to make cabin temp not cold but not warm with a few shots of window defrost (especially when the sun's not shining dropped to 57K (35.5 Miles) or a little lower.

On M&S tires all the time, don't need winter tires (no snow except for a couple days whereby I don't drive) as these are legal in the only highway stretch needing winter tires (Malahat).

So a 35F degree drop in temp using a little heat with other factors being the same can drop GOM 25%. Going well into the minuses could well drop 40% but I never get to those conditions so I have no data on that.
 

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In the summer my battery meter reads 50 miles. In these colder temps, it reads 32-35 miles.
Glad to hear this is normal. I got my first 32 mile range day recently, with heavy heater use and slow speed driving. I was at a traffic light and saw the range drop 2 miles over the course of maybe 3-5 minutes (it was a long light).

Does anybody know if there are any "tricks" besides driving in "L" to increase winter range? I'd like to try preconditioning but am not sure if this will help, hurt, or completely destroy my winter range...

Thanks!
 

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Driving style, tires, HVAC and temperature will drive the equation for the most part.

Recognizing that I am very new to the VOLT world, I do have a bit of disagreement with the whole "drive in L" for better range topic. The same amount of regen can be had from using the footbrake if it is applied gently and far enough in advance to avoid using the friction brakes. I also believe that driving in L leads people to drive more aggressively and maintain higher speeds rather than simply letting off the "gas" and coasting to a stop. If driving in hilly terrain, L will actually give you less range since it is constantly (inefficiently) regenerating rather than just allowing your speed to build going downhill and keeping your already paid for momentum to be used to get you up the next hill. Clearly this has to be done within reason and you can't get going too fast downhill for the sake of momentum, but using L is just turning your potential energy (elevation) into battery power at a fraction of what it took to build that potential energy. The less conversions and interchanges of energy (battery vs: potential energy [elevation] vs: kinetic energy [speed]) the better since no conversion is ever 100% efficient, and the more times you move the electrons around, the more you lose.

That all being said, I do put my car into L (when safe to do so) to do more braking when it is clear I am going to need to come to a quicker stop or when needing to slow downhill. I do this to ensure I am getting more regen and avoiding friction braking, but I don't drive in L at all times (which I think is less efficient all around...).

The can of worms is open...
 

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I would like to note that having owned several manual transmission cars, driving in "L" on the volt is like dropping 2 gears in a manual car. I wish there were a way to have "L" but not as aggressive regen, so you could keep momentum going up the next hill (instead of converting to battery energy like Mike is saying).

The other thing is, I'm not sure if my Volt is broken, but driving in "D" and using any amount of brake pressure "seems" to wear the brakes. The reason I am saying this is, I may park outside and have a rust spot on all 4 rotors after a rainstorm. The only way to keep the rotors that way is to use "L," any amount of braking in "D" (even with the ball in the middle of the accel/brake range) seems to remove this rust.

Do I potentially have regenerative braking disabled in "D"? And if so, is there a way to re-enable it without a trip to the dealer?
 

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Use the MGV app (or similar) and watch the kW reading when driving down a steep hill in D. You should see it go negative, in which case you are regenerating.

There are way more knowledgeable people here than me, but I would suspect there is no way to disable regen (other an putting car in neutral). Also, I would speculate that if it were simply not working, you would get an error code? In any case, give it a test down a hill and you will likely see it is working. Have you lubed the pad ears and guide pins to be sure the brakes move freely?
 

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The other thing is, I'm not sure if my Volt is broken, but driving in "D" and using any amount of brake pressure "seems" to wear the brakes. The reason I am saying this is, I may park outside and have a rust spot on all 4 rotors after a rainstorm. The only way to keep the rotors that way is to use "L," any amount of braking in "D" (even with the ball in the middle of the accel/brake range) seems to remove this rust.
As with any disc braking system, the pads don't actually lose contact with the rotor. This is by design, the slight heat generated keeps the rotors and pads dry and at operating temp if you need them RIGHT NOW.
 

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As with any disc braking system, the pads don't actually lose contact with the rotor. This is by design, the slight heat generated keeps the rotors and pads dry and at operating temp if you need them RIGHT NOW.
Thanks! Looks like I need to check my brake hardware then. Because even after a few sudden stops (thanks to drivers that pull out without looking or turning at the last minute) I still don’t have all the rust removed…
 

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Thanks! Looks like I need to check my brake hardware then. Because even after a few sudden stops (thanks to drivers that pull out without looking or turning at the last minute) I still don’t have all the rust removed…
You could have the caliper not centering on the sliding pins (needs the pins to be removed, cleaned and greased) so it might be rubbing on one side of the rotor but not on the other (outside visible side).

Re L an D driving, while momentum is better than regeneration, only up to a point. As you gain momentum going down hill, you are increasing speed hence resistance but not at a straight relation ship as resistance is increasing at the square of the speed so I put it too you that you will soon lose what ever reg/momentum advantage to the sharply increasing wind resistance. Where that cross over point is I don't know but it's there.
 
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