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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
Just wondering what your experience is with driving your Volt in cold weather. Two days ago my wife and I went for a drive in Southcentral Alaska. We pulled out of our heated garage and within 10 minutes our Volt switched over to gas mode and we had 44 miles left on electric. Mind you the temperature was only 31 degrees and we just left our heated garage. During the course of a 50+ mile trip, the Volt switched back and forth about every 5-10 miles between EV and ICE. Is this normal? Is this what folks in cold climates should expect? Because that is exactly what the Dealership is trying to tell my wife and I.
I would expect something like this below 0 degrees F, but not 30 degrees. I read page 180 of the Owners manual but it is way too vague. Any help from your experiences would be appreciated! Stuart
 

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There is a way to program your Volt not to start the engine unless the temp. is below 15 Degrees F. I am not sure quite how to do it but I am sure others in this forum can easily tell you how.
 

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You had the Engine Assisted Heating set to the 35 degree temp. You can lower that to 15 degrees. These are the OAT set points that the ICE will cycle on/off to generate supplemental cabin heat.

But know and understand that below these temps ANY EV's range will plummet like a rock. It's just the way it is. You can minimize the hit, but is could involve some sacrifice. The biggest hit on your range comes from heating the cabin. With the heated seats and steering wheel you can keep a COOLER cabin, but at some point window defogging will take precedence. The other two items you have some control over is tire pressure (make sure they are set to about 2 PSI ABOVE recommended - 38 PSI and make sure you set them when COLD and always try to pre-condition the car/cabin before heading out.

One of the biggest range killers for ANY EV are those short trips where you spend all that energy heating the car/cabin/engine/coolant and then drive short distances and PARK. You loose all that heat and have to start over.

Good luck and welcome to winter ops in an EV.
 

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Yes this is the engine running due to temperature (ERDTT). Your currently set to the default high setting which will start the gas engine to help make heat at 35F. As alfon points out there is a setting that will "defer" the cars ERDTT to 15F.

This is under Settings - Vehicle - Climate and air quality - Engine assist heat. Then select "Differed" to set it to 15F.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank You for your help ALL. My wife is coming home with the car from the Dealership. They couldn't find anything wrong with it. We'll try the reprogramming to see if that helps! Stuart
 

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... is coming home with the car from the Dealership. They couldn't find anything wrong with it. ....
It sounds like both you and the dealership should RTFM.
You had ERDTT kick in as designed.
Change the config setting....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds like both you and the dealership should RTFM.
You had ERDTT kick in as designed. Change the config setting....
Norton, I don't appreciate your comment RTFM. I read the manual more than once. If you can't say something nice, keep it to yourself!
 

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Also, you should have gotten a message on the DIC that said "Engine Running Due To Temperature".
 

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On a similar note: I know there's a setting to automatically turn on the heated seats, but does anyone know why there isn't something similar for the steering wheel?

Or maybe there is and I just missed it
 

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Took a bit of searching, but found the entry on page 143 of the manual, about the engine assist heat:

Engine Assist Heat

If equipped, this feature selects the
outside temperature level at which
the engine may run to assist heating
in Electric Mode. A change in
selection will not take effect until
after the vehicle is first
powered down.

Select On for temperatures below
approximately 2 °C (35 °F), or select
Deferred for temperatures below
approximately −10 °C (15 °F).
 

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On a similar note: I know there's a setting to automatically turn on the heated seats, but does anyone know why there isn't something similar for the steering wheel?

Or maybe there is and I just missed it
There is a passage on page 37 that says: "If equipped the heated steering wheel may also come on." during a remote start, but I have never noticed this actually happening. This may be a feature that never made it into production. But, actually it doesn't take very long for the steering wheel to get warm, so it is probably not needed anyway.
 

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What does the 2017 use for heating in electric mode for defrosting the windows? Is it heat strips, or does the A/C switch to heat pump mode? I am feeling strong heat in defrost mode and the ICE is not running. Have not figured out any other way to get the heat working without using the defroster. Just setting the temp doesn't seem to work, still blows cold air. Of course we have not had any really cold temps here yet in southern NC.
 

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What does the 2017 use for heating in electric mode for defrosting the windows? Is it heat strips, or does the A/C switch to heat pump mode? I am feeling strong heat in defrost mode and the ICE is not running. Have not figured out any other way to get the heat working without using the defroster. Just setting the temp doesn't seem to work, still blows cold air. Of course we have not had any really cold temps here yet in southern NC.
The Volt does not have a heat pump.
 

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Here in Salt Lake City, where winter days often go below freezing, I'm seeing ERDTT in my 2016 Volt a lot. I almost always miss the message, but I know it's doing it. I saw a message once. The messaging system in my 2013 Volt was better. I often miss messages on my 2016. That isn't really here nor there. At the 15-degree setting the ICE rarely runs. At the 35-degree setting it runs a lot. You just have to choose if you want increased comfort or no ICE. The cabin does heat faster with the ICE.
 

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What does the 2017 use for heating in electric mode for defrosting the windows? Is it heat strips, or does the A/C switch to heat pump mode? I am feeling strong heat in defrost mode and the ICE is not running. Have not figured out any other way to get the heat working without using the defroster. Just setting the temp doesn't seem to work, still blows cold air. Of course we have not had any really cold temps here yet in southern NC.
A lot and lot of electricity! I kinda have the same issue, the cabin won't be COLD, but it'll be cooler then most people are used to, and heater air doesn't feel HOT, just not "outside cold". With the fan speed factored in the air does feel kinda cool. I've got around that by using the MAX setting, not the ECON and setting the temp to 80+ F. Usually then I can get some decently warm air out of the car, at the expense of like 6 to 8 extra kW of energy use.

Again, the car is usually comfortable and windows clear with it set on ECON, but you don't get that pleasant hot air blowing out at you feeling. It's something I'm really curious with about full electric cars. If you were driving long distance in the winter I wonder if you would take a significant range hit, like 10, 20, maybe even 30%. I'm not sure how Tesla handles this or if their battery is just so big that it isn't really much of an issue, but makes me happy I've got that gas engine for heat generation when it need to go more then a handful of miles in the 20F and lower temps we have right now...
 

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I'm not sure how Tesla handles this or if their battery is just so big that it isn't really much of an issue, but makes me happy I've got that gas engine for heat generation when it need to go more then a handful of miles in the 20F and lower temps we have right now...
The battery is just that big. And while the Tesla may be able to be on the road longer, it's also usually covering a lot more ground in the time, simply because when you're driving longer, you also tend to be on highways. Which means more miles go by proportionally, while heater consumption is pretty much "high until warmed up, lower and linear thereafter". So if you burn 2 kwh getting the cabin from "cold" to "warm", that's 10 miles and 20% of a Gen1 Volt's range, but 3% of a Model S 60, and 2% of a Model S 85.
 

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You certainly can change the ERDTT set point from 35 degrees to 15 degrees.

I've actually done that, but it's worth thinking about the pros and cons of doing so. The reason to run the ICE when temperatures fall is that the ICE produces waste heat whenever it runs, so the heat is essentially free. It definitely makes sense to do this if you expect to run out of EV range, since you'll certainly use less gasoline if you set the ERDTT to come on at 35 degrees if you're going to burn fuel anyway. Not only do you get the car heated "for free", but the battery will also be warmed before being tapped for EV power, so it will be operating in more favorable conditions, and you'll probably get a little more energy out of it and prolong its life a bit.

It's a tougher call if you won't be using all your EV power. It will reduce your EV range, but not so much that I am likely to switch to ICE. For me, the big thing is to reduce carbon emissions, and since I use 100% renewable electricity, I know that staying in EV mode as much as possible minimizes CO2. It's less obviously true for those that use power from coal-burning plants, for example.

I do take long trips sometimes in the winter, and in those cases the ideal thing is probably to switch to 35 degree ERDTT for the trip. Almost as good is to switch to HOLD mode until the car is thoroughly warmed, and then to NORMAL. That still wastes some electricity to heat the car, but much less.
 

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We have a 2016 Gen2 and live in Jackson Hole, WY. Its been a big winter out here, with over 300" of snow and temps as low as -40. We like the car, but I agree acarney that the cabin heat is weak on really cold days, especially compared to our VW TDI and our neighbors Tesla. In deep cold, we have to run the front defrost on max and high heat all the time just to keep it clear. The cabin doesn't really heat up fully. It drives well in snow with top shelf tires, but I have a few other winter nits that we didn't know about before owning the car. The heat pads in the seat dont go high enough up the back or far enough under the thighs. This leaves obvious and uncomfortable cold spots. The flat back and shape of the car collects lots of snow on the back and the notch for opening the hatch is often iced/snow packed. Digging it out is a PIA, but we had one time when we couldn't get the ice out and open the back. The backup camera has been unusable for most of the winter because of snow. No rear wiper (I know this has been hashed over - I'm strongly on the side of this is a major failure . . . .). Snow & ice builds up in the wheel wells and forces the light plastic liners out of alignment. Overall, we are very pleased with the car, but it does not seem as well designed as other cars we have owned for winter conditions.
 

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Hi all, We have the 2017 version of the Volt. Apparently with the 2019 you can set the Engine Assisted heat so that it doesn't kick in--so if you are on a short trip and its cold the gas engine doesn't have to start. Can the dealership reprogram our 2017 so we have this option, or is there a module that can be replaced?
 

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Apparently the 2019 Volt will let the driver stop the Engine Assisted heat from kicking in. Can the dealer reprogram my 2017 to do that, or can I upgrade a module to achieve this? For short trips, even in cold weather, I don't need the engine assisted heat to kick in. Thanks.
 
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