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So with 3 years and 39,700 miles on my 2012 Volt it was time to pay service a visit. Besides the safety and emissions inspections the car was due for new tires, the obligatory alignment to keep them healthy, and the N14274 lift gate strut rods replacement.

Decided to go with the factory Goodyear Assurance Fuel(?) Max tires. Yes, they are loud and handle lousily, but they are the lightest on the market and were specifically designed for the Volt. I also like to keep my cars (mostly) stock.

Called the nearby Ted Britt Chevrolet of Sterling to order the factory tires, but they had them in stock. Yeah, the same dealership that couldn't figure out how to replace the wiper blades last year. Figured I should give them another chance as they were always courteous. Made the appointment and dropped my Volt off this morning. The service manager Brent took great care of me, told me it will take 3 hours so he will put me in a loaner and handed me the key of a 2014 black Volt.

Yes, you read right, a 2014 Volt service loaner! It was a base trim with Safety 1 (rear sensors and camera), made in April of 2014 and it had 3,300 miles on the odometer. The car was pristine and even charged 3/4 of the way with 26 miles of range left. Probably sat on the lot for a while until the dealership decided to put it to good use. So as a kid who unexpectedly got his mitts on a new shiny toy I was eager to take off and see how it is different. Most of you already know these things. My impressions:

-- The sound of the inverter was different, somewhat more noticeable, but still much quieter than the majority of EVs out there.
-- The car felt noticeably lighter and faster since it is lacking the leather heated seats, aero side plates underneath, a trunk full of doodads, extra 2 years and 36k miles of dirt and dust and driving, as well as having a larger capacity (16.5 kWh) and newer battery.
-- The brake pedal was stiffer, had to press it hard to even turn the car on. No pedal pulsing while pressed. Braking was about the same.
-- Hold mode. (&%$^$#^$#!%[email protected][email protected]$%!#$^!!!)
-- The power flow (hockey puck) screen was actually more responsive and easier to read than I thought.
-- A very different infomatics system that is apparently made by Panasonic. It features a user software update capability with a software versions screen of about two dozen or so systems identified only by their part number. The image art for XM radio and a working audio Bluetooth were a nice touch. The standard speakers sounded maybe ever slightly worse than the Bose in my Volt -- about the same frankly. Of course it had no HDD with recording and time-shifting, no DVD player, and no onboard navigation, though it will happily find and guide you to the nearest gas stations.
-- The drastic reduction of capacitive touch buttons was actually a bit disorienting for me. I like buttons as they make me feel important and in control :p
-- The backup camera had a better picture, but no guidelines.
-- The car makes different, more melodic startup/shutdown cue sounds.
-- The cruise control on/off is now a push button, not a rocker switch, still looks the same.
-- The manual charge port lid felt like a let-down.
-- The cord alarm did not disappoint, it is as obnoxious, ridiculous, and pointless as ever :)

I charged the loaner Volt at a SemaConnect L2 and drove it back to the dealership, leaving it with about the same charge level and also the same level of reverence I still have for my Volt.

So what about my Volt?!

Tires were replaced, inflated to 35 PSI, balanced, and mounted: $141.26/tire
Alignment was performed, with no major deviations found: $149.95
Strut rods were replaced, the new ones look beefier with a wider cylinder and a thicker piston rod: $0.00
Passed the state safety and emissions inspections (alright!): $16 + $28
(in certain VA counties all street-legal vehicles that have an ICE are subject to a biennial emission inspection)

After all fees, taxes, supplies, and discounts the total was: $808.64

It handles (almost) like new, much quieter, and in a straight line. Not sure why they only inflated to 35 PSI, will have to bring them up to 40. I am happy with the service at Ted Britt Chevy this time, Brent the service adviser and Kenneth(?), the tech did rather well. A new Volt loaner was the icing on the cake.
 

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Nicely written. Thanks for taking the time to review.
 

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-- The drastic reduction of capacitive touch buttons was actually a bit disorienting for me. I like buttons as they make me feel important and in control :p
I wasn't aware of any changes to the buttons from 2012 to 2014... could you elaborate on what you mean?

My dealer tried to deliver my (brand new) 2013 with 32psi in the tires. I pointed out the door sill sticker saying 38psi and made them go fill them up. They also filled it with 87 octane, grrr, but there wasn't much I could do about that but tell the sales guy to read the manual next time.
 

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I wasn't aware of any changes to the buttons from 2012 to 2014... could you elaborate on what you mean?

My dealer tried to deliver my (brand new) 2013 with 32psi in the tires. I pointed out the door sill sticker saying 38psi and made them go fill them up. They also filled it with 87 octane, grrr, but there wasn't much I could do about that but tell the sales guy to read the manual next time.
With the new infomatics system the bottom row of buttons used for recoding to the hard drive, the autoseek button for radio stations (AS1-2), and the RPT button were removed. Also because the loaner Volt did not have heated seats the two heated seat buttons with the 3 LEDs indicating the power level were also gone. This resulted in a simpler plain looking dash from what I am used to.

Yeah, 35 PSI is the recommended tire pressure for the 2011 models, mine however is a 2012 with 38 PSI recommended. I should have asked them to correct it on the spot as the service dept. have an air hose right in the receiving bay.
 

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To their defense:
Warm wheels, warm tires, warm air and set the pressure correctly.
Car sits out over night getting cold soaked and now the tire pressure is 35 instead of 38.

This is a possibility...

oops, above post appeared as I was typing....
 

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Thanks for the comments! I think they must fill everything to 35 PSI regardless of what it is. That is what I always get when I go to a tire shop for anything :)

I just bought a set of tires and wheels, they verified 38 PSI for Volt on the phone, but when they came they were all 35 PSI. Shop techs probably always do 35.
 

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Thanks for the comments! I think they must fill everything to 35 PSI regardless of what it is. That is what I always get when I go to a tire shop for anything :)

I just bought a set of tires and wheels, they verified 38 PSI for Volt on the phone, but when they came they were all 35 PSI. Shop techs probably always do 35.
Just something I noticed on my 2012 I think my sensors are actually inaccurate. I thought the same thing when I got my car hmm why did they only fill the tires to 35 when it clearly states 38 on the screen and door. I have a nice digital tire pressure gauge and sure enough cold psi on my gauge is 38psi when the car only reads 35/36. Maybe they are filling them correctly it's the car that's off?
 

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FYI: Terry Cullen Chevrolet in Morrow, GA pricing for similar services:
- $70 labor/fees for tire installation (same as tire shops except I wasn't charger enviro fees or anything so less, I guess)
- $99 for the 4-wheel alignment (cheaper than... tire shops around me)

Little lower pricing (at the time I had it done) but... more or less within range.
 

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I used to tire of the Ford stealership letting air out of the tires of my Escape Hybrid. I'd go in with 50 psi and leave with 40 and have to air them back up again. I had the Michelin low rolling resistance tires that came with the vehicle.
 
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