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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Basic question --
I'm working from home and barely driving during these days of Covid. And I haven't bought gas in about 11 mos. A few weeks ago, I started seeing "fuel system maintenance" warnings, every time I start the car. I assume this means that the Volt is trying to burn off the old fuel, and going into regular hybrid mode to do it. The problem is that I'm mostly taking short trips of a few miles or less, and very little gas is being used. I'm down to about 2.5 gallons and was hoping to get it down to about 1 or 1.5 before refilling, on the theory that it'll probably be a while before the new gas gets used. But at this rate, it might take another month to do it.

Do I understand all this correctly? And more to the point, should I put fresh gas in there right away or am I okay to wait a while longer?

Thanks, y'all -- much appreciated.

Steve
 

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Charge the car fully. Find a restaurant you and your wife have been burning to try that's about 50-60 miles from you and go have dinner. This will empty your tank, putting the car in reduced propulsion mode (50% power) and you can start with fresh gas. 2.5 gallons will be about 100 miles of gas usage.
 

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With the Covid situation most of my driving has been local, probably less than 350 miles on gas in the last 18-20 months. I don't see any reason to carry around a full tank - I hold maybe 2 -3 gallons max, and just add a couple gallons when the low fuel warning comes on. This gives me an adequate gas reserve if I do expend all the battery and only have to add a small amount if the fuel ages to the point of a fuel management event. (For simplicity, I unusually just buy $5.00 of gas - reminds me of when I was a kid and couldn't scrape up enough money for a full tank!) If I decide to make a trip somewhere I can just fill the tank at that point.
 

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The 'Fuel Maintenance Mode' is my very least favorite part of owning a Volt. I was caught with a full tank when it hit me after having driven the car very little due to Covid. I wish they had put a petcock on the fuel tank where you could just drain the old stuff out and dispose of it . . . . by putting into an ICE and using it

My advice, and what I'm doing now, is once you get the old gas out, don't put much back in. I only put in $2.00 worth and that way if it goes into FMM again, I won't have much to burn off . . . . or, I can just add another $2.00 worth and I think the car will accept that as my refreshing the old fuel. Only fill it up if you're taking a long trip and you'll be using it soon

Don
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Understood -- and thanks.

A couple of thoughts
-- First, with ICE cars, I was always under the impression that if you only use the car for short trips, where the engine never fully warms up, you're hurting the car. Needless to say, at this rate, with the car sipping fuel trying to burn it off, I am constantly in the 'not warmed up' state. So that's a concern. But maybe in a hybrid this isn't as much of a concern?
-- Second, I would assume that even though the car can handle running the tank completely dry, and letting you run on battery, it can't be good for the fuel system. But I'm just speculating and maybe wrong about that.
-- Third, will you burn fuel faster in Hold mode? Seems like in FMM the ICE turns on and off, more like a Prius.

One way or the other, I will have to take a trip long enough to burn most of that fuel, and then fill up -- just enough to have a reserve.

Thanks folks,
Steve
 

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Understood -- and thanks.

A couple of thoughts
-- First, with ICE cars, I was always under the impression that if you only use the car for short trips, where the engine never fully warms up, you're hurting the car. Needless to say, at this rate, with the car sipping fuel trying to burn it off, I am constantly in the 'not warmed up' state. So that's a concern. But maybe in a hybrid this isn't as much of a concern?
-- Second, I would assume that even though the car can handle running the tank completely dry, and letting you run on battery, it can't be good for the fuel system. But I'm just speculating and maybe wrong about that.
-- Third, will you burn fuel faster in Hold mode? Seems like in FMM the ICE turns on and off, more like a Prius.

One way or the other, I will have to take a trip long enough to burn most of that fuel, and then fill up -- just enough to have a reserve.

Thanks folks,
Steve
Yeah, I wouldn't run it right empty (some disagree). The car takes what fuel is left, and how much you add, and gives an average age. Run it down low and add a couple bucks worth.
 

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Understood -- and thanks.

A couple of thoughts
-- First, with ICE cars, I was always under the impression that if you only use the car for short trips, where the engine never fully warms up, you're hurting the car. Needless to say, at this rate, with the car sipping fuel trying to burn it off, I am constantly in the 'not warmed up' state. So that's a concern. But maybe in a hybrid this isn't as much of a concern?
The Volt does more to "warm up the engine" than cars of yore, and can get the bits that need to be warmed warmed pretty quick. For example, it doesn't HAVE an idle RPM operationally; the fuel flow gets balanced by power taken off as a generator to control RPM, which the throttle wide open. That means every burn stroke puts out a fair amount of heat, instead of puffing just enough to keep the engine turning. There's even headroom to draw off that generator charge into the battery for a SHORT while, even when "fully charged". As a driver, the only thing you should think about to "help" is to be ready to go when you turn the car on under FMM.

-- Second, I would assume that even though the car can handle running the tank completely dry, and letting you run on battery, it can't be good for the fuel system. But I'm just speculating and maybe wrong about that.
The car knows when the fuel is gone and turns off the fuel system before it's completely dry. It's enough to keep the pump wet, though not a lot more. And you can add more fuel any time that there's room in the tank; adding as little as about six quarts will trigger an average fuel age calculation and reset FMM. So if you know you've got long errand to do in a couple of weeks and room to add that gallon and a half, you can reset it, burn the fuel later, add more fresh to reset the age yet again, and be good for a longer time then.

-- Third, will you burn fuel faster in Hold mode? Seems like in FMM the ICE turns on and off, more like a Prius.
Nope, Hold Mode won't help. FMM is (for most purposes) basically a forced Hold Mode, maybe with a little less concern about where the charge-to point actually is. Just let it do its thing.

One way or the other, I will have to take a trip long enough to burn most of that fuel, and then fill up -- just enough to have a reserve.
Three gallons is what the manual recommends for that. Plenty of room in the tank to do the "add 1.5 gallons" trick a couple of times to push the date then.
 

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I tried the rubber hose in 2013 ( who put the wire mesh thing in the tank ) haha.
another person here disconnected the fuel line and over a long time did get the gas out

Remember in those days it was all about VOLTSTATS

I try to time this event to happen in Cold winter months
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Peter, thanks for that long reply. Super helpful & specific. This site is a source of terrific information and, dare I say it, substantial wisdom. Thank you all.
 
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