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I have a new 18 Volt (600 miles now). I have used it almost exclusively in electric mode only, but today I had to take it on a trip that exceeded the electric range. Outside temp: 80 deg (my guess), all flat terrain but at elevation (Colorado, no mountain driving). I set the car to "hold" with about 20 miles left on battery.
After about 20 minutes on the highway (max speed 80 mph, mostly around 65), the car beeped at me and told me that the engine was overheating and that I should reduce speed. The AC had also turned off. Since I was already going slower at that time, I kept driving at around 50 and the warning went away after a few minutes. While the warning was on, the engine showed light to medium load on the engine (as judged by the display, yellow bars).

Is this normal? Can you not run the Volt at speeds over 75 for longer times without the engine overheating? And it was not even hot outside. Or is there something wrong with my car?
 

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No, that's not normal. We've seen some cases of failed coolant temperature sensors, but since your indication went away that seems less likely.
 

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I've seen cooling issues in a number of cars/trucks in the summer at high density altitude. The air mass is not sufficient to cool the radiator stack. Going DOWNHILL from Vail, Colorado, I had a 2004 GMC Duramax w/Allison show TRANS OVERTEMP when I was engine braking (done with the Allison Tow/Haul + VNT method). It went away at lower altitude.

In the case of a Volt or other vehicle with movable slats in front of the radiator, I'd look at that, or some debris blocking the radiator.

But certainly get it to a dealer ASAP. GMs normally have a 'limp mode' when the temperature gets to a certain threshold. This derates the motor to keep the temp under control. Good luck.

PS - I'd guess the slat mechanism is not working, these are in that slot under the front license plate. A plastic bag could also block them.
 

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Not normal.

I have put many 80 MPH miles on my Volt's ICE in the hot Fla summer and never seen a temperature warning.
 

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Did you check the coolant level? That would be my first thing to do.
 

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If your press the Up or Down arrow buttons on the right side of the steering wheel and scroll through the displayed information you will come to the engine coolant temperature. Once the Volt's engine has warmed up, after about 8 - 10 miles of highway driving, the coolant temperature reading should be between ~185F and ~205F, at least that is what I have experienced.

twenty-reasons-engine-overheating

Of the 20 reasons these make the most sense on a new Volt
1) Stuck thermostat
3) Blocked radiator airflow
4) Electric cooling fan not working or blown fuse
5) Failed water pump
11) Low engine coolant
18) Air pocket trapped inside the engine coolant loop
 

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I had a long roadtrip past weekend, 5+ hrs each way. Traveling at mostly 70, sometimes 80. I checked my coolant temp in the center display, and it said 185F. The outside temp was around 80F. I didn't see any warning and the engine was operating normally.
PS: we also had AC on most of the trip.
 

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Yeah, there is definitely an issue, either low coolant or something more severe. Stuck active grille shutters should throw a code, so it might be something other than that. I've driven at 85 mph for a couple hundred miles in 80+ degree weather with absolutely no problems.
 

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Normally low coolant doesn't go away, it strands it you. If the coolant is low enough to cause overheating, the coolant is disappearing into the engine, onto the ground, or out the exhaust.
 

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Not electric fan issue. They are for stop and go traffic. Not needed at highway speeds.
 

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I drove my 2017 Volt last year from Las Vegas to LA during a bad heat wave. Outside temp readings were 117, going 80MPH with AC running and full load and elevation changes. I had my eyes on radiator temp and there were no overheating or issues. The car is designed to handle that so yours needs to be looked at.
 

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Agree with everyone here. Take the car to the dealer as there is definitely an issue. Volt engine should not overheat under normal circumstances. I've done several long (read: 400+ mile) trips in higher elevations without issue.
 

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Just took a 60 mile trip in 86 degree weather. The trip was mostly interstate that then turned into a two lane highway with stoplights for lots of 0-60 then back to 0 again. I was using mountain mode so that I could keep 10 or so miles when I got closer to home. I was watching the engine coolant temp in the driver info center was anywhere from 175 to a brief spike of 212 before coming back down. Mostly, it seemed to hover between 185-205. Hopefully that's normal operating temps because I can't seem to find the acceptable range for coolant in the manual.
 

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Just took a 60 mile trip in 86 degree weather. The trip was mostly interstate that then turned into a two lane highway with stoplights for lots of 0-60 then back to 0 again. I was using mountain mode so that I could keep 10 or so miles when I got closer to home. I was watching the engine coolant temp in the driver info center was anywhere from 175 to a brief spike of 212 before coming back down. Mostly, it seemed to hover between 185-205. Hopefully that's normal operating temps because I can't seem to find the acceptable range for coolant in the manual.
212°F is not hot for modern cars. The coolant is under pressure, and also has a higher boiling point. High temps make for low emissions.
 

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Thanks, I appreciate the response! I figured that the coolant bumps the boiling point well past 212 so I was fairly sure I was OK. I was driving home and was thinking about the Coolant Temperature reading in the DIC and I'm like "Wait, is that the coolant for the engine or the batteries?" A quick check of the manual when I got home confirmed that's for the engine. This car is a whole new world for me!
 

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Definitely not normal. I've been driving back and forth between Denver and Colorado Springs a lot recently and have no problems. Even a faulty shutter in the front grill won't cause this issue as there's more than enough air being forced in at high speed - plus you'd get a CEL for the shutters.

Best bet would be to take your car into your dealership and have them figure it out.
 

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What are you guys seeing for your max coolant temps when using the ICE? I'm seeing around 210-220 in highway cruising at around 70-80mph when air temps are in the low 90s. When traffic slows down I've seen spikes to 225-228 which seems a bit hot to me.
 

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At 65 - 70 MPH highway speed my 2017 displays 185 - 205F after a warm up period of perhaps 10 minutes and 10 miles. If the coolant levels are all showing full when the vehicle is cold after sitting for a good long while or overnight I would not be concerned if your temperature indicator is showing 210-220.
 
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