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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I recently bought a used 2014 Volt for my wife. About two weeks ago, the weather here in LA got a little cold, so she turned on the heater, only to get cold air. No matter how far up you jack the thermostat, the AC icon on the climate display shows the AC turning on and off, followed by the heat icon switching off ... and icy air blowing out of the vents.

I read a few older posts about heater issues with 2013/14 Volts, so felt pretty informed when I took the car back to the dealer to have the problem fixed. They said it was a bad heat pump, and replaced it on the same day, as they stocked up on the part (because I was apparently the fourth Volt in two weeks to have the same issue).

I just picked up the car, and the heater is still not working. Same exact problem as last time. Aside from being pissed off at the dealer (don't they test their work before handing back the car?), I wanted to ask if anyone has been through the same process -- or has any advice to share. Really don't want to end up taking the car back for service multiple times, nor do I want to get snowed by the dealer. Many thx.
 

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Hi,

I recently bought a used 2014 Volt for my wife. About two weeks ago, the weather here in LA got a little cold, so she turned on the heater, only to get cold air. No matter how far up you jack the thermostat, the AC icon on the climate display shows the AC turning on and off, followed by the heat icon switching off ... and icy air blowing out of the vents.

I read a few older posts about heater issues with 2013/14 Volts, so felt pretty informed when I took the car back to the dealer to have the problem fixed. They said it was a bad heat pump, and replaced it on the same day, as they stocked up on the part (because I was apparently the fourth Volt in two weeks to have the same issue).

I just picked up the car, and the heater is still not working. Same exact problem as last time. Aside from being pissed off at the dealer (don't they test their work before handing back the car?), I wanted to ask if anyone has been through the same process -- or has any advice to share. Really don't want to end up taking the car back for service multiple times, nor do I want to get snowed by the dealer. Many thx.


The Volt contains no heat pump but it does have a Coolant Heater Control Module.


Does the kWh reflect when you have the heat turned on? If you show no additional KWh usage in the driver info center when you have the heat commanded on under battery power, it could be as simple as a blown fuse.
 

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You might want to check all of your fuses. I don't know how many times I've taken a car in thinking something very bad has happened when all I did was blow a fuse. I had a car towed once, it wouldn't start, I walked to an advanced autoparts for a new battery, changed it, still no go, spent $80 for the tow another $60 for the service, for a $1.29 fuse. The fact I've done this more than once for different ailments really bothers me after the fact (multiple dope slaps to the head).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick reply. When I turn on the heat (i.e. set temperature in high 70s, low 80s or high), the KWh usage jumps way up. But I'm more concerned about your statement that the Gen I Volt has no heat pump, because that's what the dealer told me they replaced.

I just pulled out the receipt, and it says "Referred to PIC5943 heater module manufactured 13119, heater core temp does not increase, replaced heater coolant and filled cooling system". Parts replaced are a seal and simply a "heater".

That doesn't specify a heat pump replacement, so what did they do? I'll be asking them tomorrow morning, but any further info in advance would be appreciated. Thx again.
 

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Try turning off all air conditioning, Auto, defrosting, etc. Turn the heat all the way to HI, and set it to fan only, Comfort mode, turn the fan up fairly high, and wait about one or two minutes, there should be fairly warm or hot air coming out by then. If not, then yeah, start checking fuses or see if the electric heating coil is burned out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thx. Did all of that, and waited 10 minutes for the heater to respond. Nothing but cold air, I'm afraid.
 

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This problem likely involves the "3-way valve". The heater core gets warm water from either the engine cooling circuit or from a separate circuit heater by electricity. The valve controls which and the default seems to be "engine". Either the valve is bad, the HVAC control module is bad, or the programming needs to be updated. I had the same issue with my 2013, until the dealer updated the programming and it's been fine since. One would perhaps wish that GM would issue a recall to update the programming on all 2013/14 models, but they haven't. After the update, with the selector on upper vents only and the A/C not running for defog purposes, it should be blowing noticeably warm air in 2 minutes flat.
 

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What temperature is 'a little cold'?
I've found above 10C, it limits heater output, even on comfort.
It should still be hot by 10mins, though.
When you go the dealer, quote PI1390. WOT mentioned it on here as a heater-not-working-correctly bulletin for 2014s, and the reprogram might help you
 

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My heater acts the same way...if you just set the desired temperature (say 75F) and select Comfort, it will do nothing but blow cold air at you all the way home. To get any heat at all, I have to punch AUTO (which automatically selects Comfort) and crank the temperature up until it reads "HI." After 5 minutes or so, it begins to produce heat...gradually at first, but eventually ramping up. Another 5 minutes or so and I can bump it down to 75F and ECO, which keeps the interior reasonably warm the rest of the way home.

The dealer insists that this is normal behavior, but it's hard to believe. In every climate controlled car I've ever owned or rented, I can just select my temperature and the HVAC system takes it from there...I don't have to trick it into working. I live in SoCal where it's only cold for a few months, I don't know how Volt owners in cold climates tolerate such a crappy heater. I've learned to keep a fleece in the car...and to love my heated seats.
 

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My 2013 heater is the same. I have to bump the temp setting up to get the heat to kick on. Sometime just 5 degrees or so. The AC also seems to run more than expected which seems counterproductive when you want heat. I am willing to live with it, but it seems odd
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thx to everyone for their posts. The car goes back to the dealer on Monday, so I'll let you know the outcome. In any case, I'm bringing the information shared here with me -- at least for my own reference. If they replaced the control module (which I'm assuming is what they meant by "pump", though I'll query that, too), then the 3-way valve and/or software update are the likely culprits. Agree that slow or no heat is not an intended or inevitable feature of the car -- it is designed and built to provide heat like any other car, whether in Eco or Comfort mode. Not accepting anything less than that. Again, will let you know. Thank you again.
 

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Interesting comment about the heater not getting full power above 10C, even on Comfort. I've also gone to the dealer to complain, they check everything, also declared "working as designed". I can accept that on battery, there is no waste heat available as an ICE car would have, and that I can turn on the Volt ICE and get heat fine. Here in TX, I don't get a lot of <40F temps, and seat heaters are great for >50F, but fighting with the climate control UI is real problem.

I DO get heat eventually on battery, but still a PITA going into my second winter now.

So, to Quiller, they fixed that on 2016, right?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My 2016 delivers perfect heat simply by setting the desired temp on the climate control, in electric and ICE mode.
 

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At least you get heat from the ICE. My 2012 doesn't have that feature and last night it got down to 9F in ND.
 

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At least you get heat from the ICE. My 2012 doesn't have that feature and last night it got down to 9F in ND.
You could always hit mountain mode to get heat from the ice. Why didn't erdtt kick in?
 

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The Volt contains no heat pump but it does have a Coolant Heater Control Module.


Does the kWh reflect when you have the heat turned on? If you show no additional KWh usage in the driver info center when you have the heat commanded on under battery power, it could be as simple as a blown fuse.
What they're referring to is the pump that circulates the coolant through the electric heater. It sits in the RH wheelwell, behind the splash shield. If it goes belly up, the system shuts off.
 

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Interesting comment about the heater not getting full power above 10C, even on Comfort. I've also gone to the dealer to complain, they check everything, also declared "working as designed". I can accept that on battery, there is no waste heat available as an ICE car would have, and that I can turn on the Volt ICE and get heat fine. Here in TX, I don't get a lot of <40F temps, and seat heaters are great for >50F, but fighting with the climate control UI is real problem.

I DO get heat eventually on battery, but still a PITA going into my second winter now.

So, to Quiller, they fixed that on 2016, right?!
I think it's an efficiency variable programmed into auto, if the delta between outside temp and your setpoint isn't high enough.
Cranking up my auto setpoint resulted in full heater output.
It was outputting pretty much nothing when it was "13" outside and an auto setpoint of 21. Changing to 25 and it fired right up.

I can confirm this more as we get colder. It's at the freezing point overnights now, but my car still thinks its ~10, so makes things interesting :)
 

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I would like to let you know what's happening with the heater in my 2013 Volt. I live in north Texas so we have really only had cold morning so far this season. My heater seems to be doing exactly what yours is doing, it blows warm air then after few mins it turns cold, after it turns cold I can not force my heater to blow warm air until I turn the car off and take my FOB away from my car for 15 mins. My heaters draws in comfort mode 4-6kw but once the car stops blowing warm air its power consumption is 0.5kw. When I change the temp in the climate settings I can watch it go from drawing power to idle consumption. I have tried putting in hold mode to force heat and it just doesn't work for me. My car has been in and out of the shop for about a month now, and I have been working closely with my volt technician at my local dealer to come up with a solution. So they have reprogrammed all component of the HVAC system, they have replaced the acuator that controls the flow of air (thinking possibly it was getting stuck and not allowing air to be heated, therefore not coming out of the ducts warm, and they have replaced the Heater control module. It seems that I can effectively get warm air to blow every time I get in the car (as opposed to maybe it would maybe it wouldn't blow warm air before all the service work). Now my issue is once the warm air starts blowing if I adjust the temp up or down it will kill all heat and start blowing cold air, and no matter what I do I can't make it blow warm again. My dealer has escalated the issue up the chain of command with Chevy and I just received an update from my volt tech saying they are going to try a brand new fix that Chevy has not officially released, sounded like an updated heater control module. They are overnighting the part and it will hopefully be fixed by tomorrow. I don't know any details on what the bulletin information is but once I have the service paperwork from dealer tomorrow I can post an update. I was told this is a brand new bulletin so we shall see if this breathes life back into my auto climate system
 
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