GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 39 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just hit 5 years and 47k miles on my 2014 Volt. I just brought it into the dealer for probably just my 3rd oil change. Outside of some issues with the charging port, brakes and creaking sounds from the axle I haven't spent much money on maintenance.

I brought it in for the oil change and the dealer wanted to do these services:

1) Brake fluid service: $169 - According to manual its 10 year/150k miles. The brakes are in great condition.
2) Cooling System Flush $569
3) Tires x3 (one of my tires are new due to flat) $600 - They are getting close to worn.
4) Alignment $189

These prices seemed high. I can get the tires elsewhere and the brake fluid service doesn't seem needed yet. I called another dealer about the coolant flush and they quoted me $200. Is that too low, seems like a big different in price and I confirmed it was for all 3 components.

Would you wait on the flush or stick to the manual that says 5 year/150k miles? Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
If you live in a humid climate do the brake system service. Otherwise wait.

Do the cooling system flush - Dexcool is only rated for five years.

Get four new tires, or depending on how much tread is left on the "new" tire, three new tires of the same brand and model.

Get an alignment done when you replace the tires.

For the tires and alignment, some dealerships are competitive in pricing - you need to check your local area for pricing.

Edit: Other members here have reported $500 to $600 for the Volt cooling service. There are three systems that need to be drained and refilled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Would you wait on the flush or stick to the manual that says 5 year/150k miles?
That's a no brainer; always stick to the service manual. These maintenance items were put in by the engineers for good reasons. Lots of people try to "second guess" thinking they know better (like the premium vs regular gas debates). I'd stick with the engineers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Does the $200 for the coolant flush sound low? I asked if it was for all three and they said yes. My tires seem to be worn evenly, but you recommend getting an alignment anyway? I'll have to check the thread of my newer tire with a gauge, but may just get a set of 4 and keep the other good one as a spare.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,003 Posts
$200 for a flush sounds high for a single cooling system. The Volt has three cooling systems so I think it's low for three systems. I think keeping the newer tire as a spare sounds like a good idea - getting four new tires and an alignment is what I'd do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I was told by the service advisory it was the price for all three systems. I'll have to verify again before I drop it off to make sure. Especially since the other dealer gave me a price closer to $600.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
By the time a car reaches the point of tire replacement, you'll never have perfect alignment, even if you don't see any symptoms. This is why it's generally advised to have an alignment done at the same time the tires are replaced, to maximize the new tire life.

Unless the 1 good tire has very little miles on it, all 4 should be replaced. Having a tire which is more worn on one side of the axle than the other will have a negative effect on the handling. Tirerack for one, has good articles on this subject. Keeping that one as a spare and mounting it on a rim sounds like a great idea. It would provide some peace of mind, and negate the potential need for a tow.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
I used to do alignments and have a shop I trust to do them. With that I would usually skip it. If your tires are wearing evenly, the car is driving straight with no pulls, steering wheel is centered and the tires are lasting a long time I would NOT let them touch the alignment at all. Chances are they could actually make it worse. Have them show you the pre-check alignment numbers that make them think you need one.

For why I might skip it...

Let's take the simplest spec that has a big effect on tire wear. Front toe. The car may spec anywhere from 0.00" to +0.16" of total front toe. Maybe your car has about 0.02" which is GREAT for tire wear. Near zero scrub. Maybe your car has -0.01" which is technically out of spec but still near zero wear. The dealer takes your car back and sets it to something closer to 0.12" of total toe. Now you are in spec but they just increased front scrub, tire wear and your steering is going to be less responsive.

That $189 and additional toe they dialed in may have just cost you 2000-5000 fewer miles on the next set of tires.

If you end up having them do the alignment, have them keep the toe as close to 0 as possible. If they don't understand why they probably shouldn't be doing them anyway. I don't even know if camber or caster is even adjustable on these things. I haven't looked yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
Edit: Other members here have reported $500 to $600 for the Volt cooling service. There are three systems that need to be drained and refilled.
The Factory procedure also calls for using a special vacuum to evacuate the battery and other components of coolant. The Volt isn't drained and flushed like a normal car. It's a real PITA. The Weber YouTube video on de-constructing the Volt battery shows this process and all the grief involved.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I did this work on my Son's 2013 last fall. It isn't hard and a vacuum evacuator/filler can be had for about $75 on Amazon. It did take me about 6 hours, but I'm old and don't rush things anymore. I wanted to make sure I got all the old coolant out, especially in the battery cooling plates, so I used repeated 5psi air flushes after removing the cooling lines from the battery. I got an additional 2 quarts or so, out that way.

$200 seems like a low estimate from someone who has never done it before or doesn't know the proper procedures. $500 seems about right for a professional who has proper knowledge and equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
I was told by the service advisory it was the price for all three systems. I'll have to verify again before I drop it off to make sure. Especially since the other dealer gave me a price closer to $600.
When I took mine in for a three system flush they said $186, yes it was for all three systems, if it's more they would cap it at the estimated price. Went to pick up the car they only did engine coolant. Tech wanted to talk to me said the battery/electronics was 5 hours in the book, no time to do it (it was in the afternoon). That was last year. This year I did the battery/coolant flush, billed for 4 hours with labour, fluid, taxes etc. came to $743. That's in Cdn. with taxes environmental fees etc. you may not have in the US. The girls/guys they have in the front end sitting behind the computers have no idea, just what the GM service computers bring up on the screens. They admitted they "don't do/see them often" as not a lot of Volts are sold on the Island with three dealers involved with EVs. Local GM dealer doesn't do EVs at all. Next time (it will be off warranty) I'll buy the vacuum equipment and likely do it myself.

(He with the most toys wins).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Also, at this stage after 5 years should I also replace the 12V Battery? I haven't had an issues that I can tell with it. Not sure if its just a sudden thing and it stops working or not. Is it just getting a 12 volt digital meter and monitoring it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
Monitoring it is more than meets the eye. It is being charged by the main battery when the car is on (14V or so). Best to measure it at the battery terminals after it has been off for a while with tailgate up for a bit, operate the door locks a few times. With no load it can read up (over 12V) but with some load it can drop if a cell is dodgy. With my 2013, I lost my compass, then door handle actuated locks. I monitored it a few times over 6 months and it went from 12.3 to 12.2 then 11.9 volts. It always started up fine but at that point I replaced the battery as there was a sale and I got back the compass and the door locks. Some batteries will last longer than 5 years some less (manufacturing variances, environment). If it drops too low it can prevent the computers from powering up and leave you stranded unless you have a lithium booster handy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,551 Posts
Your 12 volt battery might last 10 years
I changed my still working battery at 7 years

------------
Battery coolant flushing.

In the last 8 years - NO one has posted any data on long term battery coolant fluid conductive changes over time.

NOW some ( most ?) coolant can become highly corrosive over time and we have had a few pictures of that in the electronic cooling loop posted here.

SO it is possible the Three loops should have different flush times based on RUN times and total time.

---

We need a nation stick you MHO meter in the battery cooling tank day :)


--------------
--siemens is the derived unit of electric conductance - for any pedantic members --
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I checked my good tire and it has 8/32 on it so its still pretty good, but the other 3 are around 4/32 so they are worn. They all seem to be about the same level. I guess it still makes sense replacing all 4. The car seems to ride straight, so some folks say do the alignment others say no.

I haven't noticed any issues with the battery and I do have one of those Noco battery jump starters in the car just in case. I hate changing something that is still functional, but it would a preventive thing.

The coolant flush actually worries me more, especially if they don't do it right. I just changed the engine filter for the first time and it didn't look dirty and added the cabin one which was never there. I didn't ask the dealer what they would have charged for that, but I probably saved myself $100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I just called another dealer and asked them about the flush. They said they haven't had a customer ask for one on their own. Although they have had to do them because of a repair. The service adviser said they can use a 'refractometer' to see if it needs to be changed!? Is this true you can use a device or do you just go by the 5 year mark and change it anyway?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,429 Posts
I just called another dealer and asked them about the flush. They said they haven't had a customer ask for one on their own. Although they have had to do them because of a repair. The service adviser said they can use a 'refractometer' to see if it needs to be changed!? Is this true you can use a device or do you just go by the 5 year mark and change it anyway?
The Volt has an 8 year/100K mile battery warranty so even though the rest of the car is out of warranty you still have 3 years on the battery. I'd follow the manual which says 5 years or 150K miles for a battery coolant flush so that I didn't void the warranty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
554 Posts
The Volt has an 8 year/100K mile battery warranty so even though the rest of the car is out of warranty you still have 3 years on the battery. I'd follow the manual which says 5 years or 150K miles for a battery coolant flush so that I didn't void the warranty.
+1. I also find it amusing when technicians think it appropriate to outsmart GM's professional engineers. It's no different than one coming up for a different timeline for a recommended colonoscopy and outsmarting doctors. (except the consequences may be greater, depending on the car part) The professionals have the skills and know something...


I just called another dealer and asked them about the flush. They said they haven't had a customer ask for one on their own. Although they have had to do them because of a repair. The service adviser said they can use a 'refractometer' to see if it needs to be changed!? Is this true you can use a device or do you just go by the 5 year mark and change it anyway?
A refractometer will give an indication to contamination of the coolant prior to the 5 year mark. The 5 year full change (not a flush - we need to get it all out!) is important because this coolant oxidizes and can gel/gum up. This is bad in a normal car. I have to think the consequences are worse in the small passages of our batteries: http://ricksfreeautorepairadvice.com/causes-dex-cool-sludge/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I'm going to get the flush done. I called back again to another dealer that quoted me $199 just to confirm and now the price is $289. They said they originally quoted me the lower price but that was for an ICE vehicle.

They said the whole flush would only take and hour and half for all 3. Is that right? I pressed them that its for all 3 not just one and they said yes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Maybe, They have organized stalls, lifts, proper tools at their finger tips, and (presumably) experience in prior learnings from doing it repeatedly). I'll be faster next time. My extended time is from using a flat stall with 2 floor jacks, jack stands, reading manual as I proceeded, learning brand new vacuum evacuator, etc. Plus, I'm not worried about stall efficiency....flat rate....getting paid, etc.
 
1 - 20 of 39 Posts
Top