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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Winter driving tips web chat this Friday (January 25, 2013) at noon.

An excerpt from their link:

The Chevrolet Volt's electric range varies with the temperature and many owners have questions on what they can do to get the most range out of their Volt during the winter. That’s why we'd like to invite you to join us for a web chat this Friday at noon with Volt's Product Marketing Manager, Darin Gesse. Darin will be able to answer those cold weather questions you have and how they relate to the Volt. This chat is open to everyone. We hope you can join us!
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Someone should bring this up since their second bullet point on the link above is to use ECO (not sure I can make it). Of course COMFORT/lowfan is to reduce ERDTLT more so to minimize kWh usage.

How-to-Minimize-Engine-Running-in-Cold-Weather
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?23321-How-to-Minimize-Engine-Running-in-Cold-Weather

[update]
Looks like they read my_comment/question/forum_threads in the "Winter Driving Tips Web Chat" because they included it in an answer. I've never seen a GM person mention it ... ever.

12:49 Comment From Steve L.
On my 2013 Volt, our recent single-digit-temperature mornings have forced the ICE to run periodically (ERDTLT) during my 25 mile commute. Seems like 3 or 4 on/off cycles are typical, with each lasting only a couple of minutes. Would it be easier on the ICE (thinking of wear & tear since the engine doesn't thoroughly "warm up") to just select "Hold" mode for 10 minutes or so near the start of my commute to avoid the short ERDTLT "burns" ? Thanks!

12:49 Darin Gesse: Hi Steve - There should be no concern as the engine has been designed for running on these short bursts. However, if you want, you can run the HVAC in the Comfort setting to minimize the number of times the engine runs. You will use more EV range for heat, but will reduce gas consumption, assuming you can make it to your destination on a full charge. - Darin
 

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Winter Driving Tips Web Chat Today!
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:15
Grant Kenney, Chevrolet VoltAge Community Manager

The Chevrolet Volt's electric range varies with the temperature and many owners have questions on what they can do to get the most range out of their Volt during the winter. That’s why we'd like to invite you to join us for a web chat today at noon (EST) with Volt's Product Marketing Manager, Darin Gesse. Darin will be able to answer those cold weather questions you have and how they relate to the Volt. This chat is open to everyone. We hope you can join us!

Friday January 25, 2013

11:48 Hello everyone, we will be starting our Winter Driving Tips Web Chat in a little more than ten minutes. Thank you for joining us and for your patience. We look forward to taking your questions! -Grant

11:53 Just a reminder that your questions and comments are added in and do not necessarily appear in the chat as you send them in. Thanks everyone! -Grant

12:03 Thanks for joining us today for our Chevrolet Volt Winter Driving Tips web chat! We're joined today by Volt's Product Marketing Manager, Darin Gesse and Kevin Kelly and Michelle Malcho with Chevrolet Communications. We're happy to take your questions now. Thanks! -Grant

12:04 Comment From Scott
I have a 2013 Volt and it has a lower temperature setting for the engine to kick in. If I use this setting will my battery degrade faster or is there any concern of Hurting the battery? I want to get the most EV miles possible.

12:05 Hi Scott. Thanks for joining our chat. You should have no concerns. Your battery will not degrade faster using the lower setting.

12:06 Comment From Mike
My ev range has lowered since the software update was done in September. My driving style has not changed and I have even tried to drive with climate controls barely on. I have not been able to get more than 38 miles since the update, even in 60 degree weather.I was getting 42 to 50. Now it is down to 25 in cold weather.

12:08 Kevin Kelly: Mike: The software update reset your lifetime average. As a result, your Volt is sort of re-learing your driving style and as such it will update the range estimator. - Kevin

12:08 Comment From Guest
Why can i not turn off the ac when the heat is running and the outside temperature is very low? When i drove an i.c.e. vehicle i rarely ever turned on the ac in the winter time

12:09 Michelle Malcho: Guest - We need the AC for defogging and keeping humidity out of the air. Think of it more of a dehumidifier. Thanks, Michelle

12:09 Comment From Gareth
I would like to know if a software update will be made available to give early 2012 models the option to disable Engine Assisted Heating while plugged in, as described in our Owner's Manual. As others I have concerns about CO poisoning, not to mention idling your vehicle's engine for more than 30 seconds is illegal in my municipality.

12:09 Darin Gesse: Hi Gareth. At this time there are no plans to provide an update to provide that feature for 2012 models. - Darin

12:12 Comment From Guest
I keep my 2013 Volt in a garage, charging on a 110 volt charger. I have remote started the car several times and confirmed that the remote start command was successful but when I get in the car, the seats are not pre-heated and the cabin is not warm. I don't seem to be able to figure out the settings. Or do I need to preset the climate controls when I leave the car like I always have to change the charging from 8 amp to 12 amp.

12:13 Kevin Kelly: Guest: We'd like to investigate this more to get you the right answer. Could you please send your email address to Grant : [email protected] and we'll get you an answer. Thanks.

12:13 Comment From Guest
I have noticed this several times last winter and recently this winter as well. When i precondition my Volt the air is much warmer from the climate control when i get in the car before i start the vehicle (pressing the blue button while inside the vehicle), when i start the vehicle the climate control system is much colder even when i leave it plugged in while starting.

12:13 Darin Gesse: Hi Guest. This sounds interesting, and could be due to a variety of factors depending on whether or not your engine started during the pre-conditioning. - Darin

12:14 Comment From Dennis
We've been getting -25 C to -28 C (-13 F to -18 F) some mornings up here in Montreal. Have you tested the Volt's electric range at these friggin frigid temperatures ? What

12:14 Michelle Malcho: Hi Dennis - That is some seriously cold weather. Yes, the Volt has been tested in extreme weather including cold weather in Canada. This includes temperatures at a much lower temp at Kapus Kasing, ONT. Check out Voltage for a video recap of it. Thanks, Michelle

12:15 Comment From Eric Hallman
The Volt I am driving will not show more than 36KM available to go on the dash after a full charge. Is there a reason for that or is there something wrong?

12:16 Darin Gesse: Hi Eric. If you are stating kilometers, that must mean you are in Canada. In very cold temperatures some customers may see 25 miles or less EV range depending on your driving technique and terrain. Make sure your tires are properly inflated to help increase your range. We have a series of cold weather tips posted on our Facebook page for more info. - Darin

12:16 Comment From A2volt
Why has range fallen to 25 miles even when I prestart and warm the Volt on cold mornings?

12:17 Kevin Kelly: A2Volt: Your range will vary depending on outside temperature even after remote start due to the load needed from the battery system to keep the vehicle moving down the road while keeping the cabin comfy.

12:19 Comment From Lon
After the engine comes on (when the battery is depleted) should we then turn off eco mode and just switch to fan? I found my 2011 volt delivers heat from the engine when running in fan only with the engine on.

12:19 Darin Gesse: Hi Lon. It sounds like your fan is just blowing the residual heat from the heater core. If the fan continues to blow hot air after several minutes, you may want to have your dealer check your HVAC system. - Darin

12:19 Comment From Guest
Can I start my volt ..inside the garage it seems to start the engine since the tempratures here is under 15 F last few days

12:19 Michelle Malcho: Dear Guest - Yes, you can start in your garage, but make sure you treat it as you would any other vehicle. The engine will come on at a temperature less than 25 degrees to more efficiently heat the car. Thanks, Michelle

12:20 Comment From Guest
I've had a Volt for almost 2 years, being one of the first, and I've noticed the maximum charge waning a little from 38 max and 28max miles on full charge, summer and winter respectively, to a full charge now getting 34 and 24 now, again summer and winter. Is this a problem that can be addressed? I absolutely love my Volt, i get 600+ mpg having shortish commutes, but will the battery life continue to wane over the years?

12:21 Comment From Dan
Its been super cold here in the DC area this week and my Volt has been acting a little odd. It refuses to use the battery until I have driven for quite a bit and sometimes goes back to the engine in mid ride. Is this a direct result of the cold?

12:21 Michelle Malcho: Dan - This is a direct result of the cold weather. At a cold temperature....under 25 degrees the Volt will use the engine to efficeintly heat the vehicle and then switch back to battery use. Thanks, Michelle

12:22 Kevin Kelly: Guest: It's true that your battery range will vary over the life of your vehicle but if this concerns you I would recommend you visit your dealer to have your battery system inspected.

12:23 Comment From Alanna Mozel
I submitted this question about 5 minutes ago so I am not sure if it was received... I keep my 2013 Volt in a garage, charging on a 110 volt charger. I have remote started the car several times and confirmed the command was received by observing the car. But when I get in the car, the seats are not heated and the cabin is not warm. I must be missing something in how to set up the car or leave the climate controls when I exit the car at night.

12:23 Michelle Malcho: Alanna - Please send your email to [email protected]. We think that you need to do something in settings as we all have our seats turned on when we remote start. We need to do some digging. Thanks, Michelle

12:24 Comment From volt-tastic
How can I keep my charge door from freezing shut?

12:25 Chevrolet Volt: Volt-tastic, be sure to remove snow and/or ice from the door prior to requesting the charge port door to be opened with either the door trim pad or key fob. If conditions exist where this may be experienced and the charge port door does not open on first release command lightly push on outer door surface at the top and then bottom "rocking" the door a few times to break free any ice and try the release button again. If you are still experiencing issues contact your dealer. -Grant

12:25 Comment From Guest
What is the difference between the 2012 and the 2013 models that allows the 2013's to not have ERDTT until -10C

12:25 Darin Gesse: Hi Guest - For 2013MY, we added an option for owners to select whether their engine will come on due to low temps or very low temps (35 deg F and 15 deg F respectively). For 2011 and 2012MY, this option was not available. - Darin

12:25 Comment From Eric Hallman
I cannot get more than 36KM reading on the dash on a full electric charge. Is this normal for this time of the year or do I have something wrong with the vehicle?

12:25 Michelle Malcho: Eric - With KM, I am assuming that you are in Canada. In very cold temperatures you can get lower miles that are in that range. Make sure that you check your tires and look for the cold weather driving tips at. www.chevroletvoltage.com. Thanks, Michelle

12:25 Comment From Anand
2013 Volt : The tempratures here are in 10-15F range lately and I always plug in. Can I pre-heat the volt plugged in with the garage closed ? concerned since lately engine runs off and on due to low temprature

12:25 Amanda: Dear Anand - Yes, you can start in your garage, but make sure you treat it as you would any other vehicle. The engine will come on at a temperature less than 25 degrees to more efficiently heat the car. Amanda

12:27 Comment From Mike S
Will the battery discharge when parked?

12:27 Kevin Kelly: Mike S: Great question. Your battery will experience nominal discharge when it is parkd over an extended period time.

12:28 Comment From Eymard Ventura
I start charging at 8:30am and it sends me alert around 6:30am that it was fully charged. Will my battery degrade if I leave it on till I go to work around 9:00am?

12:28 Michelle Malcho: Eymard - You will not see any battery degradation by leaving your car plugged in longer than the charge time. Not a problem to leave it plugged in until you go to work. THanks, Michelle

12:31 Comment From Kent
I've read that letting the Volt sit unplugged in hot weather can degrade the battery over time. Does letting the Volt sit in extreme cold weather (below 0 F) while not being plugged in do the same?

12:31 Kevin Kelly: Kent: Your battery will not experience any unexpected levels of degredation while sitting in a hot climate. This is also the case when the vehicle is sitting in a cold climate. Our active liquid climate control system helps to reduce the amount of degredation in these situations.

12:32 Comment From Tonia
Why is the EV range down to 25 when last winter I was driving efficiently and my range was still in the 40’s. last winter temperature was lower. Why is it so different this time.

12:32 Amanda: Dear Tonia - The Volt's range will be lower in the colder winter temperatures, but there are other factors that will effect your range including the terrain (such as change of route or road construction) and your driving technique (for example your climate control or increased percentage of highway driving). -Amanda

12:33 Comment From matt p
Michelle Malcho, as you know when the ac is run in any vehicle while the heat is on it would dehumidify. Then why do i.c.e. vehicles i have driven for more than twenty years not need the ac in the winter and the Volt does?

12:33 Michelle Malcho: Matt - Understand your question about dehumidifier. The Volt was designed to use the AC as a way to keep the windows unfogged. In a normal vehicle your AC compressor is dehumidifying the vehicle whenever you are using a defrost setting. The Volt does the same but shows the icon for AC. Thanks, Michelle

12:34 Comment From Hector
Can I get snow tires for my Volt? It can get pretty dicey in Michigan

12:34 Amanda: Dear Hector - Yes you can get snow tires for your Volt, but they need to be the same size tire. -Amanda

12:34 Comment From Mike S
Will the car pull off the grid when preheating the cabin outside the utility schedule etered into the car's charge info?

12:34 Kevin Kelly: Mike S: The remote start function activates the vehicle at that moment so, yes, it will operate outside of the charging preferences set in the system.

12:35 Comment From Gareth
Darin - can you give a reason for this decision (not providing Engine Assisted Heating option)? It is only a software change is it not?

12:35 Darin Gesse: Gareth - It is a software change, but involves many different systems as there were multiple changes to the 2013MY including some hardware. We do not have a software pack with this feature and the 2012MY hardware at this time. - Darin

12:36 Comment From Jan
Is there a way to get the 8 volt or 12 volt charging option on a 2012?

12:36 Michelle Malcho: Hi Jan - If you want to go to 8 amps please use the travel charge cord that comes with the car. Push the button on the front. Thanks, Michelle

12:37 Comment From Guest
is there a reason you can only pre-condition the volt 2 times before starting the car?

12:37 Amanda: Dear Guest - This is a General Motors standard. It is for safety reasons (for example, the car is in the garage) and the vehicle should be warm after two times. -Amanda

12:38 Darin Gesse: Hi Matt - Glad you are enjoying your vehicle. Safety should be the number one priority. If your windows fog, please use the defrost setting if the Auto/Eco is not sufficient to defog your windshield. You can try Auto/Comfort to see if that helps. - Darin

12:38 Comment From Matt
I have a 2012 Volt... love the car. I've noticed when the Climate Control is on Auto/Eco, it's better to use the defrost to warm the cabin as well as defrost the windshield. With Auto/Eco running the cabin will warm but the windshield fogs up regularly. Any thoughts?

12:40 Chevrolet Volt: Hi everyone, just a reminder that not every question appears in the web chat as it comes in, but the moderators can see them. We will try to get to everyone's questions, but ask that you remain patient. Thanks so much!

12:40 Comment From Guest
I know that what fan only is and I know comfort will draw the most power. What does Eco do and how is it different then comfort?

12:40 Amanda: Dear Guest - The Eco setting uses half of the available electric heating capability than the comfort mode, which preserves more energy for your driving. -Amanda

12:40 Comment From Mike S
Does the engine mechanically heat the cabin?

12:40 Michelle Malcho: Mike - The engine will mechanically heat the cabin if you are running the engine. The HVAC system is electric, but when the engine is running the Volt will pull the heat from the engine. Thanks, Michelle

12:41 Comment From Scott
Does it matter if I set my car to 8amps or 12 amps when using a 240 Volt charger or will the vehicle charge even higher than 12 on the 240V charger?

12:41 Amanda: Dear Scott - No it does not matter. The 240V charger will charge at it's own rate. The 8 and 12 amps setting only applies to 120V charger. -Amanda

12:41 Comment From Matt
So if I take a vacation for a week, it's ok to leave my Volt plugged in for the week? Won't hurt the battery/car?

12:41 Kevin Kelly: Matt: Yes, it is perfectly fine to leave your Volt plugged in at the airport while you are traveling for the week. The battery management system will only activate charging when needed so to properly manage the battery system.

12:42 Comment From A2volt
Were the differences in 2013 v 2012 just programming or were they physical...if the former any chance 2012 owners could get a software upgrade?

12:42 Michelle Malcho: Dear A2Volt - There were both hardware and software programming changes when EV hold mode was added. Unfortunately, we will not be providing software updates or this change as it simply not all that is needed for the fix. Thanks, Michelle

12:42 Comment From Scott
When plugged in, I will precondition the cabin by remote starting the car. If it's especially cold outside I will do it twice. However when I remote start the car twice it ALWAYS registers a "charging interruption" error. Why?

12:42 Darin Gesse: Hi Scott. Volt is drawing energy from your electrical circuit to pre-condition the vehicle. If you are using a 120V charge cord, this may be drawing more current that your electrical system can handle. I would check to see what other electrical appliances and systems are on this circuit. You may have something else on the circuit drawing energy and causing a voltage drop on your circuit, causing the vehicle to register a disruption. - Darin

12:44 Comment From volt-tastic
The Answer to the Guest's question about preconditioning. They need to set what climate settings they want to turn on during precondtioning before the Volt is powered down. Also for heated seats thet setting can be set to turn on with remote start under the settings option in the owners manual

12:44 Michelle Malcho: Volt =-tastic -Thanks for the answer for Alanna's question.We were stumped. Michelle

12:45 Comment From Chris
When remote starting on 240v Level 2 will it preheat faster than 120v Level 1?

12:45 Kevin Kelly: Chris: Good question. Using remote start while plugged into a 240V charge station will not heat the cabin faster than using a 110V.

12:46 Comment From matt p
Darin, i precondition 99% of the time in the garage and this is a consistent issue. Is this related to the ac coming on with the climate controls when the car is running? Does the ac come on for preconditioning as well?

12:46 Darin Gesse: Matt P - The ac compressor is coming on because the vehicle does not know that the vehicle is in an enclosed space. It is ensuring that your windshield is clear of snow and ice. It also is ensuring there is no fog inside to keep your windows clean. You can turn off your HVAC prior to pre-conditioning, but then you will not be warming the cabin. - Darin

12:47 Comment From Tonia-Mo
I am leaving the Volt for about 45days in the cold temperature of Chicago. How should I protect the battery? Can I leave the plugged in for whole time to help the EV range, and should I remote start the Volt from MyVolt.com to test the battery?

12:47 Amanda: Dear Tonia-Mo - We suggest you leave your Volt plugged in to maintain the temperature of the battery while you are away. You do not need to remote start the vehicle to test the battery. -Amanda

12:49 Comment From Steve L.
On my 2013 Volt, our recent single-digit-temperature mornings have forced the ICE to run periodically (ERDTLT) during my 25 mile commute. Seems like 3 or 4 on/off cycles are typical, with each lasting only a couple of minutes. Would it be easier on the ICE (thinking of wear & tear since the engine doesn't thoroughly "warm up") to just select "Hold" mode for 10 minutes or so near the start of my commute to avoid the short ERDTLT "burns" ? Thanks!

12:49 Darin Gesse: Hi Steve - There should be no concern as the engine has been designed for running on these short bursts. However, if you want, you can run the HVAC in the Comfort setting to minimize the number of times the engine runs. You will use more EV range for heat, but will reduce gas consumption, assuming you can make it to your destination on a full charge. - Darin

12:51 Comment From Mark W
How much of the remote start energy (percentage) is provided by the grid and does it matter if you are using 12 amps vs 8 amps?

12:51 Kevin Kelly: Mark W: This is a great question. If you have your Volt plugged into the grid and activate the remote start function 100% of the power used to precondition the cabin comes from the grid and no energy is used from the battery.

12:52 Comment From Lon
Michelle - so will the Volt turn off the electric heater when the engine is running?

12:52 Michelle Malcho: Lori - The mechanical system will override the electric heating system if the heat is available. It will pull from whatever is most efficient. Thanks, Michelle

12:52 Comment From Chris
Is the electric heating resistive or does it use a heat pump?

12:52 Michelle Malcho: Chris - It is resistive. Thanks, Michelle

12:53 Comment From Mike S
Will we see engine assisted cooling in the summer as we do engine assisted heat in the winter?

12:53 Darin Gesse: Mike - Only in extreme heat will the engine run to help compensate for reduced eletric efficiency of the battery to meet demands of the customer's throttle and HVAC inputs. - Darin

12:53 Comment From Mark W
My 2013 Volt always defaults to charging at 8 amps. If I remember I manually change the setting to 12 amps. I charge my car at the same location (my garage) and the GPS position of my car shows up in OnStar. I get notifications from OnStar that I have successfully charged my Volt. I think with that information there should be sufficient data that at the GPS position I have 120V service sufficient for 12 Amps! Is there a way for someone at Volt to follow that logic?

12:54 Michelle Malcho: Mark - I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, we do not have a way except for manually for you to switch from 8 to 12 amps at this time. Thanks, Michelle

12:54 Comment From Mark W
In my 2013 Volt the charging is always pre-selected for 8 amps. In order for me to get 12 amps I have to manually select it. Why is there no option from the OnStar Remote Link to change the level from 8 amps to 12 amps or vice versa?

12:54 Amanda: Mark W- This is set up so that the Volt driver thinks about whether an outlet is certified in good working condition and is on a dedicated 15 amp circuit and makes the decision as they plug in the vehicle. If it was available remotely, someone could increase the charging rate without the knowledge of the specific outlet. -Amanda

12:56 Comment From matt p
i had a second level Blink charger professionally installed. During our spring months we get several thunderstorms and power outages. Is it safe to leave the Volt plugged in during these occurences?

12:57 Kevin Kelly: Matt P: Being a fellow Volt owner I have experienced this same situation in my neighborhood a few times this summer. Happy to report -- you will not cause any damage to your battery system leaving it plugged in if there is an unexpected power outage. The battery management system constantly monitors power flow in these situations.

12:57 Comment From Lon
One unresolved annoyance from my 2011 : When running the window defroster, the fan speed does not return to the speed it was at before I activated it. Any way to fix this?

12:57 Darin Gesse: Hi Lon - If you are running in Auto/defrost, the fan speed will adjust based on your temp settings and the cabin temp. If you are running with manual fan speed, the defrost setting is assuming you need to defrost the windshield for safety, and will stay at that setting when you switch back to something else. You will have to manually lower the fan speed. If it is not acting accordingly, then you may have an issue to be addressed by your dealer - Darin

12:58 Comment From Derek M.
Hi everyone, will charging during snow & ice melt present any risks. For example, is there anything I should do if condensation begins to build in the charging port as snow/ice begins to melt.

12:58 Michelle Malcho: Derek - The plug shouldn't charge as it will default the system. I would avoid wet or snow packed chargers. Thanks, Michelle

12:59 Michelle Malcho: Derek - No there isn't a risk to charge during snow or ice melt. If there is an issue, the system will not charge. Thanks,, MIchelle

12:59 Comment From Derek M.
One other question, how should I approach a public charging outlet this is wet or has ice or snow on the contacts.

1:00 Comment From ShannonVolt
An excellent piece of info I learned from the fine folks at www.gm-volt.com is to select comfort mode when you encounter colder winter temps to allow battery to be used more and prevent as many ICE burns especially during short commutes.

1:01 Darin Gesse: Hi ShannonVolt. Yes, this is correct. However, in doing so, you are electing to use more battery charge to do the heating. All depends on how much range you need to get to your destination. - Darin

1:02 Chevrolet Volt: Thanks everyone for joining us today. We appreciate your questions and apologize if we did not get to yours! Please visit the Chevrolet Volt Facebook page for a great photo with several cold weather driving tips. Have a great weekend, be safe on the roads and stay warm! -Grant
 

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Thanks for posting Scott!

So, how many flat-out falsehoods did everyone else count? I got two: 12:19 (no engine heat for the cabin in Fan Only mode) and 12:51 (no precondition power drawn from the battery when plugged in regardless of how much power is available from the grid).

Hardly confidence inspiring. :-/
 
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