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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a dealer is running a special on a new, 30 miles on the odometer, 2014 Volt. It appears to have been sitting on the lot for about 3 years. Provided there is not hail or other paint damage, what else should I be worried about with a car that has been sitting that long?

Tires?
12v Battery?
Does oil go stale? Gas?
 

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Oil should be changed for sure, and yes, the gas is likely stale...but fuel maintenance mode and engine maintenance mode (assuming the car was moved around at least a little during it's 3 year tenure there) should have kept things moving and perhaps burned out some of the old gas.

My primary concern would be the battery health - if it was not plugged in regularly and it wasn't powered down into transit mode there's a good chance the battery was left in a reduced state of charge for long periods, and more concerning (again, if it wasn't left plugged in) would be that the battery cooling system would have been effectively disabled as it relies on the HV battery to operate, but of course once the HV battery gets to a certain SOC, well....it can't do it's thing anymore. Seeing as how you're in Texas that's a concern.

But, I wouldn't discount it, but I would insist on getting it fully charged and taking it for several test drives from 100% to 0% SOC to confirm that the battery is getting expected range. It's unclear to me if the dealer can really do a whole lot from a diagnostic side of things to confirm battery health, that aside.

I'd also want to drive it for a reasonable period (30 miles or so) on the engine to confirm that the long period of dormancy hasn't caused issues there either.

Tires, well....arguably 3 year old tires are not perfect, but unless they're really cracked or anything from sitting in the sun they're probably OK.

12V battery, well, again, could have suffered given as how it relies on the HV battery for charging, and that whole "left unplugged" thing. Any issues there should present fairly quickly though.

Is the price right? IMHO you're in the drivers seat from that perspective - they're likely just glad to see anyone looking at it, but I can't believe it's been there that long.
 

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Oil and gas should definitely be changed if the Dealer hasn't been taking care of it. Check the warranty on it too. If you're lucky, it starts on purchase date. My 2014's BtB warranty will expire this August. The Voltec is still good for a while and will cover certain battery wear.

Definitely take it out for a drive. If the gas and oil hasn't been changed, ask the dealer to do that for you so you can test the car in ICE mode. I test drove mine for 2 days but forgot to test the ICE!

As long as the tires aren't cracking, they should be fine. I still have the original tires on mine (16,500 miles) and they're still in great condition. Though I use tire shine very often and store it in a garage overnight.

The 12V will probably be fine as long as the dealer put the car into transport mode, which disables all but essential electronics to prevent battery loss. If it actually is bad, you can negotiate with the dealer to get it replaced before buying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the advice, I'm still waiting to hear back from the sales guy (were closed yesterday) about it's general condition and I'll be sure to ask some of these questions before I make the long trek to the other side of the city to test drive it.

I would assume the 12v battery would be covered under the bumper-to-bumper warranty but I'll ask on that too. (I just had to have my Fusion's battery replaced a couple months ago and Ford covered it 100%)

Knowing most dealerships around here, I'd be surprised if they even knew what "transport mode" is.

If the gas is that old, when I test drive it will it force itself into gas maintenance mode? Will I even be able to drive it in EV only mode until the tank is emptied?
 

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Put it in HOLD mode during the test drive to force the ICE on. That will allow you to burn off that stale gas. Engine may or may not run a little rough because of the stale gas, maybe pump a few gallons of premium in it and go for an extended drive. If the ICE seems smooth, then I'd say you have a winner. There is a battery health check that they can run to verify the health of the traction battery. Ask for the multipoint inspection too as that will give you a health report on the 12V battery. Remember, since it is new, you'll qualify for the federal tax credit and it will have all of the factory warranties intact. I bought my 2013 used at 36k miles and it now has 50k, i've had no problems whatsoever. The gen 1's are rock solid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This would be my 2nd Volt too and had no real problems with my prior MY 2013 so I can agree with your comments about it being a "rock solid" car.

I'll definitely ask them about the traction battery health check - do you know if there is a technical name for that or will they know it by that name?
 

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I would check the tires, too because they may deform (flatten) a bit if the Volt was not moved for a long period. Drive slowly and try to feel for some uneven rolling. If the tires are good, a few days running will heat them up and make them flexible, removing the deformation.

When I had three cars (we have just two drivers), the oldest one was left out in the street. I started that car every Sunday, let it warm up for three minutes, then ran it around the home area a few minutes. I drove it to my local highway (#22 here in Puerto Rico), ran the car up to the speed limit (55 MPH), left at the next exit, turn it around, and drove back at the same speed limit. All together I drove it at least 20 minutes every Sunday until I used it again in the week or sold it. That kept the engine oil and transmission fluid in good conditions, and the tires round.
 

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My 2013 was 14 months on the lot, no issues, sure is nice getting a new volt for 20K net at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The deal, if legit, is for $25,995 - I would qualify for the full $7,500 IRS credit next year so that's a net $18,495. I've not heard back from the salesperson yet so am dubious/skeptical right now. My worry, beyond the above mentioned physical attributes, is that he's playing the "price after IRS rebate" game.

I'm also looking at a low mile CPO too: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?286961-2014-CPO-with-26k-miles-opinions
 

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Are they offering a new car warranty?
Anecdote: When I was test driving a new Volt, the salesman told me some incompetent staff at the dealership had been using a Volt in the lot just to charge their cell phones while never charging the Volt. They ruined the Volt's battery as a result.
 

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If that is the price before your tax rebate, I would be very interested in that car.

I don't think you have much to worry about with the traction battery. Sitting unused and at what was most likely a low state of charge is not particularly hard on them. They store pretty well like that. It should certainly be in better health that a battery that has been in active use that whole time.

The tires have aged some. Good tires under good storage conditions should be good for maybe 10 years. Those tires have been in the sun and I am not too confident about how good they were to begin with, so you should keep an eye on them for cracking, etc. You might eventually want to replace them early.

The 12V battery has aged some. In most cars they start to go after roughly 5 years, so you are well along the way to that interval.

As for "everything else" like the interior, plastics, weather stripping, paint, every little moving component, etc., those wear out over time, but for a car that is regularly driven, you usually wear the car out with miles before it wears out due to time. So depending on how long you intend to own the car, these areas might be of little concern.

One area where you will take a major hit is resale. If you turned around and sold the car (or totaled it) a month after buying it, you would be selling a used car that is 3 years old. Resale will be nowhere near the value of a nearly-new car regardless of miles.
Check the blue book value of a 2014 with low miles on the used market.

If you build in some cushion for handling those things, you still may have a very good deal there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah - the KBB private party used for it is $17,123, Edmunds TMV $17,765 - I wouldn't be looking to flip it for at least a couple years though. (Unless or until a great deal turned up on Gen 2 Volt or Honda's new Clarity PHEV)
 

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If you care about resale, simply do not buy a Volt...Even in just a couple of years it may be difficult to get five digits for it as to compound the problem, there just isn't demand so it would be difficult to even find a private party buyer meaning the only way to get rid of the car is through wholesale dealer trade ins...

All you need is a MSO (manufactured statement of origin) to file a tax credit so ask the dealer about that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, am not really worried about the resale too much.
 

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The deal, if legit, is for $25,995 - I would qualify for the full $7,500 IRS credit next year so that's a net $18,495. I've not heard back from the salesperson yet so am dubious/skeptical right now. My worry, beyond the above mentioned physical attributes, is that he's playing the "price after IRS rebate" game.

I'm also looking at a low mile CPO too: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?286961-2014-CPO-with-26k-miles-opinions
I'm sorry, I will be the contrarian here. For 26k, you should be able to find a 2016 for that price. I paid that for my 2016 Premier (Not counting the tax credit). You just have to look far and wide and be paitent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I'm sorry, I will be the contrarian here. For 26k, you should be able to find a 2016 for that price. I paid that for my 2016 Premier (Not counting the tax credit). You just have to look far and wide and be paitent.
Nothing to be sorry about there - I'd love to find a deal like that but I'm not seeing anything like that in current searching. (There are a couple $10k off MSRP deals but the fine print indicates they are using lease rebate promotions and I'm not looking for a lease this time around) ie: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/700401722/overview/

Honestly, my BS sensors are on high alert with this dealer so I'm leaning toward the CPO I mentioned earlier.
 

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Nothing to be sorry about there - I'd love to find a deal like that but I'm not seeing anything like that in current searching. (There are a couple $10k off MSRP deals but the fine print indicates they are using lease rebate promotions and I'm not looking for a lease this time around) ie: https://www.cars.com/vehicledetail/detail/700401722/overview/

Honestly, my BS sensors are on high alert with this dealer so I'm leaning toward the CPO I mentioned earlier.
You don't find it. You make it. For example, my car was priced for 31.5k That was simply too much money. I told the dealer what I would pay and that I would buy it for that price. I only negotiate with myself. Once I decide what I will pay, then it is simply a matter of finding a dealer that will meet it. I had tried to buy two volts before I bought this one. Third time was a charm. Think of it this way. Volts ARE NOT flying off the lots. Why do you think you found a 2014 that has never been purchased? Look for left over 2016s and you should get a screaming deal, but you won't get that deal by asking what they will sell it to you for. You get the deal by stating, "I will buy the car for X amount of dollars" make it happen. It is amazing what those words will do to motivate a dealer. On this car you are looking at, if you really want it, offer them a lot less, but state you will buy it for that price. Send me a thank you in the form of a PayPal payment ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My experience over the last 5 years in the north-Texas area is that dealers are jerks about negotiating on Volts. In August of 2012, when I got my 2013 Volt, I ended up buying from a dealer in MO because nobody around here would budge.

When that lease was up, 2 years later, I again encountered no competitive deals for a MY 2015's and ended up going with the Fusion Energi because the Ford dealers were more willing to deal (and because I wanted the legroom).

I don't see any Premiers out there for less than the high 30's so the best deal I would think they would give would be the mid-to-low 30's - in which case, the a CPO near 15k is looking much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This is looking shadier and shadier... the deal was posted by a guy with an email address at the dealer for $25,995 on the FaceBook marketplace with a screenshot of his dealer's web page.

Going to that web page showed a price of $31k (http://www.friendlychevytexas.com/VehicleDetails/new-2014-Chevrolet-Volt-5dr_HB-Dallas-TX/2491422543)

CarFax seems to indicate it's still available: https://www.carfax.com/VehicleHistory/p/Report.cfx?vin=1G1RD6E41EU174131

Now the salesman is texting me back and saying the car is already sold. Asked him why it's still up there on the website but no answer back yet (20 minutes ago).
 

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The CPO will give you peace of mind and you won't take that deep a depreciation hit !
 
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