GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I received the manual tonight after ordering it at Helm Inc on June 20th (six days through UPS?). The cover has a monochrome picture of a city at night (no Spark), and the chapters inside follow GM classical layout known to other GM owners who do read their manuals. Chapter 1 "In Brief" gives a short overview of the Spark such as instruments, charging, controls, interior, performance and maintenance. The next three were skimmed in general, since they apply to the Spark doors, windows, seats, and storage.

I read in detail chapter 5 "Instruments and Controls". The cluster display looks identical to the Chevy Volt, even with the same floating green ball (I have that manual, too). But the battery gauge example shows "MAX 86" , so the Spark battery can have a maximum range of 86 miles? The center stack display is also similar to the Chevy Volt, especially the "Power Flow" screen, and has several examples. It also has examples of "Fast Charging" although I read that the 2014 model doesn't have the DC circuits for fast charging installed. The charge rate and departure time screens are similar with different formats.

The DIC controls are located as a rotary knob and two buttons to the left of the steering wheel. The list of different vehicle messages are identical to those for the Volt and other GM vehicles (without the gas engine messages). The menu can be personalized with many options.

Chapter 6 is "Lighting" and easy to understand. Chapter 7, "Infotainment System" is very detailed, and has too much to explain here. Chapter 8 "Climate Controls" is simple and easy to understand for previous GM vehicle owners, and shows how to replace the passenger compartment air filter by removing the glove box (seems easy to do) from inside.

Chapter 9 "Driving and Operating" begins with basic warnings, information, and procedures to start the system (shift to "P" or "N", step on the brake, and press Power). The cluster and center stack power on and a "ready" indicator (a miniature Spark!) illuminates next to the shift indicator on the lower right corner of the cluster. As with the Volt, pressing the Power button again will turn off the vehicle.

The drive can select operating modes: Normal and Sport (same as with the Volt) with a selector button at the base of the shift level. The chapter explains in detail how the electrical drive unit works, with the difference of "D" and "L" only in the level of regeneration (Volt owners know this). The electric parking brake is another button at the base of the shift level. The third button at this same location is the "Track Control System" which can be switch on or off. There is a option of a "Rear View Camera" and the camera is above the left side of the rear license plate.

On page 9-33 begins the section on "Charging", explaining how to plug in the AC Charge Cord handle, and the AC/DC Charge Cord handle (it looks BIG!). The charging feedback is by the indicator at the center of the panel near the windshield (same as with the Volt): solid green = charging, fast flashing green = charged, and so on.

Chapter 10 "Vehicle Care" is the longest at 70 pages, and covers the underhood compartment, checking three coolants (battery, electronic modules, and cabin heating), and two fluids (brake and washer). Lamp bulb replacements are also covered as expected, along with fuse and breakers identifications. Wheels and tires are covered, including the TPMS, tire care, using the compressor kit for flats, jump starting the 12 volt battery, and towing. The last part covers appearance care such as exterior washing and interior cleaning.

Chapter 11 is "Service and Maintenance" which should be simple because there is no oily gas engine. It covers checking tire pressures, wiper blade wear, and fluid levels. The only periodic services are tire rotations, chassis lubrication, underbody flushing, and changing passenger cabin air filter, coolants, brake fluid, and only one "electric drive unit fluid" (probably oil) change at 97,500 miles. This last service must be done by the dealer. All of this proves that this Spark will be the easiest and least costing vehicle in maintenance.

I skipped the last three chapters altogether.

This Owners Manual gave me a great preview of how to manage the care of the Spark EV, and see how our lives will be simplified as our vehicle become electric with no gasoline, engine oil, transmission fluid, or power steering fluid, and no hot components to watch out while working on the vehicle.

Excellent work, GM! Now I have to wait until the Chevrolet Spark EV gets the national distribution next year, and I can buy a real EV!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,654 Posts
Thanks, Raymond. Still no Owners Manual PDF on Chevy.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,694 Posts
I'm betting the "MAX 86" is probably for illustration. The maximum miles will probably be like the Volt - dependent on recent driving history.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top