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Here in Las Vegas we are in the middle of a hot week. Yesterday, after driving for about 15 minutes, my car said 114 degrees. My air conditioner was struggling to get cold... Is this fairly normal? I was planning on taking it to the dealership this week to have them check to make sure it is performing adequately.

Also, because the AC was working so hard, my battery range was pretty diminished... Is that also normal?

I have a 2011 with 50K miles on it.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

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Here in Las Vegas we are in the middle of a hot week. Yesterday, after driving for about 15 minutes, my car said 114 degrees. My air conditioner was struggling to get cold... Is this fairly normal? I was planning on taking it to the dealership this week to have them check to make sure it is performing adequately.

Also, because the AC was working so hard, my battery range was pretty diminished... Is that also normal?

I have a 2011 with 50K miles on it.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!!
Make sure you are in comfort mode, use recirculate for first few minutes until air is comfortable in the cabin, and maybe even crack/roll down the windows initially to get out the super hot air. This will all help the AC work more effectively. AC increases consumption in gasoline or electric vehicles, probably more visible in the electric vehicle since the numbers are staring you in the face (a gas car you won't notice until you gas up).

In the Volt the AC draws up to around 1.5 to 2 kW, so how much range it takes depends on how long you use it. If you are driving 75 mph you drain your battery in less than 30 minutes, your AC is not a big percentage of that. Driving slowly around town for 1 or 2 hours and your AC usage is a huge percentage of the battery capacity.

I usually get 4 to 4.5 miles per kwh in the summer with no climate use. I was driving to some open houses this weekend and left the car "idling" with the AC on at the open houses for 20 minutes at a time or so. My economy for those times was around 3 miles per kwh, so about 20 to 30% worse, but it was 90 and humid, so well worth it for the kids when they got back in. I don't care personally, and never use my AC unless on the highway.

I don't know performance in extreme heat, as it rarely gets above 95 here, but the above tips should help. I can't answer how well it should work over 100 though.
 

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It doesn't seem a particularly powerful system. Sized to just over a minimum, I suspect, which makes the parts small, lighter and therefore more efficient. So, yeah, I suspect it is quite normal. The fact that the system can pull down the battery energy shows it is doing the work demanded of it. If you want more powerful AC of course there will be a corresponding impact on your range!
 

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I took my Volt to Florida last summer, and even sitting outside in 105 degree strong sun, it cooled off rather quickly inside. I did open all windows for a few minutes when I started driving, but then it got plenty cold enough inside.

115 in Las Vegas full sun is asking a lot of any A/C system. My understanding is that you should see about 40-50 degrees pulled off your supply temp (edit - note, this is a very general statement and not specific to the Volt) - in your case supply temp is at least 115, more if you have recirc turned on. What settings were you using? What was the _actual_ output from your vent? Do you have a cabin filter installed (reduces airflow)?
 

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Open the windows when you start moving. Let the heat out of your easy bake oven! The black roof isn't helping and the hot air in LV is so intense it is radiating up from every surface nearby. Use a sun shade to keep the dash as cool as possible when you're not in the car. It takes a while to get the dash temperature down and this has an effect on how cold things can get.
 

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I took my Volt to Florida last summer, and even sitting outside in 105 degree strong sun, it cooled off rather quickly inside. I did open all windows for a few minutes when I started driving, but then it got plenty cold enough inside.

115 in Las Vegas full sun is asking a lot of any A/C system. My understanding is that you should see about 40-50 degrees pulled off your supply temp (edit - note, this is a very general statement and not specific to the Volt) - in your case supply temp is at least 115, more if you have recirc turned on. What settings were you using? What was the _actual_ output from your vent? Do you have a cabin filter installed (reduces airflow)?

Yeah I understand that this heat is asking a lot, which is why I wanted to consult here before taking it to the dealership.

I need to get a new sun shade because my car came with the thick shade that says "VOLT" on it, which makes the window dirty and foggy when used.

I had the comfort level on LOW temperature, and Recirculation on AUTO, and the air coming out of the vent was probably somewhere around 75 degrees if I had to guess... It was definitely cooler than outside, but not COLD...

Thank you all for your input!
 

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Here in Las Vegas we are in the middle of a hot week. Yesterday, after driving for about 15 minutes, my car said 114 degrees. My air conditioner was struggling to get cold... Is this fairly normal? I was planning on taking it to the dealership this week to have them check to make sure it is performing adequately.

Also, because the AC was working so hard, my battery range was pretty diminished... Is that also normal?

I have a 2011 with 50K miles on it.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks!!
It is a combination of your AC usage and your battery's TMS spending more energy. More energy used = less battery for driving...

This will occur all summer long in Vegas and will result in lower range during the extreme hot weather.

This is very normal. The range will come back when the weather cools down.

I've been driving my Volt for 4 years in Phoenix, and have seen the range go down every summer and go back up every fall.

This range loss is not as bad a what norther Volt owners experience the winter though....
 

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In my 2013, it was cold even if over 100F. I always remote-condition if it's that hot. I don't use a windshield reflector thinger. This is DFW and normally isn't that humid. Humidity can make a huge difference in A/C efficiency.

The 2014 ELR is even better. Although it sucks a bunch of range to use a lot of A/C. This morning I used defogger as well, so, I only got 7mi AER to go home. I guess the genset runs. No matter. I'd rather be comfy.

I use(d) a cabin filter in both.
 

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I agree with the others, and want to add that you may see better performance with the temperature set at 62 than at low. (its a long story), and that Window tinting will help, and that I use heat shields all around even here in new England in the summer to keep the interior materials cooler when parked.
auto-recirculate helps, as does selecting the dash vents and turning off auto defog.

good luck!
 

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In the Volt the AC draws up to around 1.5 to 2 kW, so how much range it takes depends on how long you use it.
It can draw up to 2kW for air conditioning the passenger cabin and up to 5kW if it has to cool the battery at the same time. This has happened to me 2 years ago, when I was charging at 35°C outside in the summer and when the charge completed, the battery started to get cooled by the AC. Since I also wanted to cool the cabin, I started the pre-conditioning while the car was still plugged in at 16A 230V. Looking at the OBD2, the power draw to cool the battery and the cabin at the same time, was 5kW.
 

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Since the key fob has such great range even across a parking lot, I use the express window down (hold down unlock door button), by the time I get to my car and start driving most of the super hot air is gone. No wasted pre-conditioning electrons :)
 
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