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I don’t need think my heat is broken but perhaps I don’t have the settings set correctly to get me heat? Whenever I turn on “max” I get heat. Then I switch to eco or just turn max off and now I get cold air. I could set the temp to Hi and this would still happen. Any ideas?
 

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It's just the way the algorithm works. Even though it feels cold, you are getting slightly hotter than ambient air out of the heater on eco and it will eventually get the cabin to the temperature you set (maybe an hour or so after setting it). What I generally do is a) use seat heaters whenever possible to avoid using the rather energy-thirsty resistive element heater, b) pre-condition while plugged in and then drive on eco when I remember, or c) do the first chunk of my drive on "max" to get the cabin up to temperature, and then switch to eco to maintain it. If I'm on a trip that I anticipate will exhaust the battery, I'll do the first 10-20 minutes in Hold mode to benefit from heat created by the internal combustion engine.
 

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Isn't it true that if you turn Max off, and Eco is also off, then you are just in "fan only" mode and the electric heater element will not switch on?* If so, you should not expect to get heat like that. So use Max or Eco or have the engine running to get heat.

In Eco, the heat will be slight. I personally do not bother with Eco unless I am really trying to stretch my range. It is not intended to keep you comfortable, but rather to save energy at the expense of comfort.

*Sorry, I may be wrong about that because I don't own a Gen 2, but that is how I remember it working.
 

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I don’t need think my heat is broken but perhaps I don’t have the settings set correctly to get me heat? Whenever I turn on “max” I get heat. Then I switch to eco or just turn max off and now I get cold air. I could set the temp to Hi and this would still happen. Any ideas?
The following assumes you have a Gen 2 Volt.

1) If possible, pre-condition the Volt's cabin for 10 or 20 minutes while the Volt is still plugged in before you leave the house in the A.M.

2) Set the temperature control to 73F or higher.

3) Set the HVAC to Auto, Max, Recirculate Cabin Air to On

4) Set Maximum Fan Speed for Auto HVAC to be HIGH

5) Set Heated Seats to Automatic, Set heated steering wheel to Automatic (2018 or 2019 Volt only, if equipped with the heated steering wheel)

6) Set Engine Assist Heat to On if you want the ICE to start when the temperature drops below 35F, else set Engine Assist Heat to Deferred (ICE won't start until the outside temperature drops to 14F, except for the 2019 Volt where the deferred temperature is -14F)

7) Set Engine Assist Heat Plugged In to be OFF if you park inside a garage, else you can set this to ON if you want the ICE to start while preconditioning to warm up the cabin faster.

8) Use the heated seats and steering wheel all the time to help stay warm.
 

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In 30F this morning I had the ECO set to 68 and I put the vents on passenger facing only mode so I could feel whether the air was at least warm. The air coming out was absolutely warmer than the 30F cabin. However, once it "warmed up" the air in ECO felt "cool" but that was just in comparison to a now warmer cabin. ECO is basically minimum heat but it will still eat away at your range.
 

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I only run the ECO at the temp setting of HI with a low FAN and it's enough to keep it cozy enough inside. The heated steering wheel is a godsend though to someone like me who gets cold hands and feet in the winter - love it!
 

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I only run the ECO at the temp setting of HI with a low FAN and it's enough to keep it cozy enough inside. The heated steering wheel is a godsend though to someone like me who gets cold hands and feet in the winter - love it!
I have a strong suspicion that this is the LEAST EFFICIENT POSSIBLE way to keep the cabin comfortable, but if you're happy with it...
 

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If your trip is short, the car is stone cold and you can gobble energy with reckless abandon, the fastest heat I have found (Gen 2) is defrost max; temp 85 or higher, (a/c should be off) and heated seats and wheel. Almost instant cozy.
 

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I have a strong suspicion that this is the LEAST EFFICIENT POSSIBLE way to keep the cabin comfortable, but if you're happy with it...
Really? Curious but how so as I've got the ECO/MAX on the lowest setting (ECO) and the fan similarly. The temp of HI maybe is what you're referring to? With the other settings it's just enough to be comfortable but if it's a warmish day I will lower it.

I'm getting about 76 km at 0 degrees Celsius using those settings btw. That's 47 miles and 32 F. Even saw 81km a couple of weeks back when it was a few degrees C warmer.
 

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The following assumes you have a Gen 2 Volt.

8) Use the heated seats and steering wheel all the time to help stay warm.
Wear lightweight gloves with capacitive touch fingertips as well. This way the backs of your hands don't get cold and you can still control the center console screen.
 

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If your trip is short, the car is stone cold and you can gobble energy with reckless abandon, the fastest heat I have found (Gen 2) is defrost max; temp 85 or higher, (a/c should be off) and heated seats and wheel. Almost instant cozy.
I use this technique as well. You don't necessarily need to turn up the temperature though.
 

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Really? Curious but how so as I've got the ECO/MAX on the lowest setting (ECO) and the fan similarly. The temp of HI maybe is what you're referring to? With the other settings it's just enough to be comfortable but if it's a warmish day I will lower it.

I'm getting about 76 km at 0 degrees Celsius using those settings btw. That's 47 miles and 32 F. Even saw 81km a couple of weeks back when it was a few degrees C warmer.
You are heating the coolant, that is circulating in the engine bay, to a very high temperature and not getting all the heat from it by keeping the fan on low. So more heat goes into engine bay than into the cabin. ECO setting is more or less redundant as set temperature is very high. I agree that this is not an efficient way of heating the cabin. However your range is impressive. I guess you are not driving at 70+ mph most of the time as we do in SoCal.
 

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You are heating the coolant, that is circulating in the engine bay, to a very high temperature and not getting all the heat from it by keeping the fan on low. So more heat goes into engine bay than into the cabin. ECO setting is more or less redundant as set temperature is very high. I agree that this is not an efficient way of heating the cabin. However your range is impressive. I guess you are not driving at 70+ mph most of the time as we do in SoCal.
No, all city driving back and forth to work. I figured MAX is even less efficient than ECO so not sure that'll work.

Are you suggesting then that I lower the temp & fan but use MAX instead of ECO? I'll try that and look at the main display that shows the wattage used at the top of the screen and see if it makes a diff. Worth a try.
 

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The system is designed to keep you comfortable assuming you set Max, auto, and select a comfortable temperature. If you want to save energy compared to that, you will have to do something that makes the cabin cooler than that (in other words, something that prevents the cabin from heating that much). There are a number of different ways to do that such as lowering the fan, lowering the temperature set point, turning on heat intermittently or switching to Eco. Using Eco is probably the easiest and most direct since it seems to incorporate the first two, and is engineered specifically to save energy while maintaining marginal comfort. Raising the temperature set point and lowering the fan seem to be opposite controls for efficiency, but maybe the lower fan speed is the more important of the two in terms of the results you might get. Of course you could also cool the cabin by opening the windows or turning off recirculate, but that just dumps energy and will make efficiency worse, so obviously you would not want to do that. But any of the other ways would probably be about equally efficient assuming they result in an equal amount of discomfort. But there is no magic setting that both saves energy and makes you just as warm as the first condition mentioned above. If you want full comfort, you might as well use the basic settings first mentioned. You can't trick the system into full comfort with less energy.
Remember that using electric seat and steering wheel heat and dressing warmer will allow you to be comfortable in a cooler cabin, so that will be good for efficiency.
 

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Due to my drive distance, I have to do about 15 miles in hold mode. Use that in fan only to heat up and watch till my coolant temp is around 203°F. Then I can run most of the remaining trip in recirculation on, low fan only, and be comfortable. I'll hit the eco mode if it starts feeling a little cool. Plus seat and wheel heaters.
I find the air output really drops off if you split the air such as to defrost and floor.
 

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Are you suggesting then that I lower the temp & fan but use MAX instead of ECO? I'll try that and look at the main display that shows the wattage used at the top of the screen and see if it makes a diff. Worth a try.
So on the way home there was an accident and I had plenty of stopped time to compare the 2 settings and see what the kW showed. My usual setting is ECO with temp at HI and fan on lowest possible. The kW would typically bounce around between 2-4 and then settle at 0.5.

I then left the fan setting as is and set it to MAX but the temp to 23. The same thing pretty well happened where it settled eventually to 0.5 although it appeared to get there a little slower.

End result for me unless someone can prove a more efficient setting is I'll keep using ECO plus HI plus lowest fan.
 

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So on the way home there was an accident and I had plenty of stopped time to compare the 2 settings and see what the kW showed. My usual setting is ECO with temp at HI and fan on lowest possible. The kW would typically bounce around between 2-4 and then settle at 0.5.

I then left the fan setting as is and set it to MAX but the temp to 23. The same thing pretty well happened where it settled eventually to 0.5 although it appeared to get there a little slower.

End result for me unless someone can prove a more efficient setting is I'll keep using ECO plus HI plus lowest fan.
To be more efficient you probably need to blast fan to max and lower set temperature. That way your losses under the hood is minimum. ECO will be more efficient regardless, but less comfortable. ECO turns on heater at lower temperature than MAX, nothing magical. ECO at 75 vs MAX at 72 should be more or less similar. Frankly I just hit auto and MAX or ECO, there is not much I can do to save energy.
 

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The only time I can ever get any heat out of my 2017 including in Max mode is to set the temperature at or above about 82 at which point the heater draws 6 kW. Under 82, it does nothing. Fortunately, I live in a warm climate so I just use the seat heat now and it's usually enough.

Mike
 

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This thread points out a problem in the acceptance of EV's in general, not just the Volt. It takes lots of energy to keep you comfy while driving. AN ICE has an excess of waste energy to heat the interior, an EV doesn't. My wife is very reluctant to ride in my Volt in the winter because it is too cold inside. When I drive it alone, I can go 45 to 50 miles on a charge on a 30F day by minimizing the heat settings. If my wife is in the car, I throw minimization out the window and am lucky to go 35 miles on a charge, and it is still "cold" inside, according to my better half.
Some things I do to help with heating: If I am going over 50 miles, I always run it on "hold" first and get the engine temp up to 180. I also find a double "preheat" cycle works much better than a single "preheat" cycle.
 

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^That's an issue in my house also. Some people are just cold-natured. When we are in the ICE vehicle, my wife will turn the heat to max and it quickly gets unbearably hot for me. When she does that in the Volt, the range drops a lot. If we had a BEV, I could see that potentially being a range problem. One of the reasons I would never consider buying a sub 200 mile BEV.
 
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