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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have had my 2013 Volt for a little over 2 months now and truly love it! Probably the most annoying thing I have found about it is the way it scrapes the front air dam on my driveway as I enter and leave. This is not just a "kiss", but a several foot drag. If anyone is out walking their dog and are in sight of me, they stop, turn around, and stare to figure what the noise was, even if they are half a block away. I have read a lot of posts here about replacing the front air dam and decided that it's a must for me.


This is what I am dealing with: The car driveway is quite steep and ends in a "Prescott curb"
(no cutouts for a driveway). The motorhome driveway is not as steep and doesn't drag at all.



I first contacted my local Chevy dealer and asked about the shorter air dam. He had no idea what I was talking about, but gave me a price when I gave him the part number. They wanted over $70 for the part (plus tax of course). I then went on Amazon and found a decent price, but with shipping (it didn't qualify for Prime) it was almost as much. Ebay to the rescue: I found a Chevy dealer in Illinois with a shipped price of $49.27 - no tax. I ordered it and received it in several days.

The front our our cars is pretty low and I'm pretty old! I decided to raise the front by driving up on a couple of leveling blocks I bought for my first motorhome. It worked like a charm, raising the front end over 5 inches.


My motorhome leveling blocks raised the front to a nice workable level.



In the short time I have had my car, I guess I never got down and inspected my air dam, it was in terrible shape! There were a couple of tears in the center piece along with a lot of abrasion, and one of my side pieces had a tear about 90% through it. I also saw what several members have been saying about the tabs. Both of mine were out. It only took about 5 minutes to remove the old dam using a 7 mm socket on an electric screwdriver.


This was my first closeup view of my air dam.




This is both the new and the old dams. You can see the tears in the old one.



It took about ten minutes to install the new ones - except for the last screw- the very end one on the driver's side: I thought I lined everything up correctly and put the screw in. I started all the screws using a 7 mm nutdriver, only using the electric driver after it started. This screw just didn't feel right, it was spongy and didn't tighten up. Using a small mirror and flashlight, I could see the screw came through alongside the tinnerman nut. Further examination showed that eveything lined up OK except the nut which was on a separate body piece. After much frustration and several failed tries, I discovered I could press the nut back into alignment by pressing on the bottom of the fender well, pressing it forward. On my next try, the screw entered the nut and tightened properly. I double checked the same screw on the passenger side, but it was properly engaged.

Now came the real test: I backed the car out into the street and it still hit. This time, however, it was just a very brief, momentary scuff, unlike the several second drag with the original one. I may even be able to eliminate that touch by turning before I completely leave the driveway. I am happy!


Here is the new dam fully installed and the car back on the ground.


Dick
 

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My 2013 came with the short dam, but my friend's has the long one (2013 also). If your old one hadn't been mangled, you could've just grabbed a pair of bull snips and trimmed it off above the tabs. I thought dealers were changing them out for free but I guess not. Good job on the changeout!
 

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Sorry, I missed the photos! The links don't work now since the thumbs were removed in editing..

My local dealer tried to charge 3-5 hours for replacing the droopy airdam, and that was after I bought the replacement part for ~$40. Insert anti-dealer rant here. :)

So when I went home to install it myself, I found it was just loose screws! No tears even! I made the same adjustments when re-inserting the screws and ouila... a like new airdam. The one I bought is in the garage on a shelf, just in case. And the dealer is not even my second choice when I think of service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sorry, I missed the photos! The links don't work now since the thumbs were removed in editing..

My local dealer tried to charge 3-5 hours for replacing the droopy airdam, and that was after I bought the replacement part for ~$40. Insert anti-dealer rant here. :)

So when I went home to install it myself, I found it was just loose screws! No tears even! I made the same adjustments when re-inserting the screws and ouila... a like new airdam. The one I bought is in the garage on a shelf, just in case. And the dealer is not even my second choice when I think of service.
So sorry about the photos. I wanted to clean up the appearance and removed the thumbnails. The full pictures still appeared in the body. After your post, I tried on another computer and they did not appear. I have replaced the thumbnails here, now need to on another couple of posts where I removed them.

Thanks for the heads up.

Dick
 

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Yes, now I can see your photos! Nice day there in Arizona, I'm envious. The short dam is much more curb friendly. I rarely scrape mine. And seriously, there can't be that much hit in range! I think GM went a little overboard on that one. I would however consider a Voltscreen for that lower grille......contact Scarlett here on the forum. One errant rock can result in an $1100 radiator replacement and a tow truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Yes, now I can see your photos! Nice day there in Arizona, I'm envious. The short dam is much more curb friendly. I rarely scrape mine. And seriously, there can't be that much hit in range! I think GM went a little overboard on that one. I would however consider a Voltscreen for that lower grille......contact Scarlett here on the forum. One errant rock can result in an $1100 radiator replacement and a tow truck.
As a matter of fact, I have been seriously considering the Voltscreen. Getting up close and personal with that part of the car I could really see the vulnerability.

Thanks,

Dick
 

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I removed mine completely on my 2013 and didn't notice any hit in my range, but I didn't take any extended freeway trips to see if it affected my full battery range.

Plus the car looks so much better with out it. That's probably a good place to start for those on the fence.

To the OP there is something wrong with your photo's, there's no GREEN or color in any of them, it's so BLAND.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I removed mine completely on my 2013 and didn't notice any hit in my range, but I didn't take any extended freeway trips to see if it affected my full battery range.

Plus the car looks so much better with out it. That's probably a good place to start for those on the fence.

To the OP there is something wrong with your photo's, there's no GREEN or color in any of them, it's so BLAND.
You just aren't looking! The letters on my front license are GREEN!!
 

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Been there done that replacement! But be aware that the two screws that are used at the joints in the longer airdam are infact longer then the rest of them. If you inadvertently put them in the wrong location (under the water bottle) they can puncture the bottom of the bottle in a major bump impact causing you a major headache.... Several have reported punctured water bottles without explanation.. and I believe this could be the problem.
 

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You just need to adjust your driving style. I could get in and out of that driveway in my old Supra without a problem and that had a splitter and was on the ground.

I left my air dam off with no noticeable difference in any way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You just need to adjust your driving style. I could get in and out of that driveway in my old Supra without a problem and that had a splitter and was on the ground.

I left my air dam off with no noticeable difference in any way.
I have discovered since my post that I can angle a bit before hitting the street and I don't contact the ground at all!
 
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