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Discussion Starter #1
Considering buying a used Volt(NOT another "should I buy" thread), buyers checklist?

I've been kicking around the idea of buying a Volt for about 6 months now...recently used one of the calculators here, and realized that given the number of miles I'll be racking up in commuting alone, the car will dang near pay for itself in gas savings alone (current daily is a Hemi Ram, and my round trip commute is 90-100 miles, 4 days a week).

I'm primarily looking at 2013-2015 cars, largely due to budget reasons, though I also like the "hold" mode these cars have too. I'm not spending 30K on a car, regardless, as this is mostly a financial decision for me, in that the Volt will save me on gas cost. Even when gas goes up to $4+/gallon again, it will still be cheaper for me to keep driving the paid off gas guzzling V8 truck than a new car payment/increased insurance cost/increase license plate costs, etc. For me, the magic number is right about $15,000 for the car, before factoring in trade in/down payment, which essentially rules out anything beyond a 2015 model.

I've seen some references here to checking EV vs ICE miles on cars, lifetime MPG (particularly revealing fleet type usage) and some other things. I've also read that all the cars come with 110VAC charging cords, which I assumed to just be an extension cord with the funky plug on one end. Then I noticed some car ads online included pictures of what I'm assuming to be charging units.

This got me thinking - I have no clue HOW I should be verifying this stuff when I'm looking at the cars. That said, is there any kind of "buyers checklist" that is Volt specific with some pointers on not only WHAT to look for (such as EV vs ICE mileage), but HOW to get there, such as which button sequences get to those menus? Also any necessary equipment that should be included with the car, such as the charging cords/charger units, adapters, etc? I already know from prior experience that I tend to let excitement take over at the dealer lot, and if I don't have a printed checklist with me, I'll tend to forget the "little" things....
 

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Buy a certified used, warranted car from a Chevy dealer and have a sales rep who knows/drives Volt to answer your questions.
 

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Not sure if there is a checklist but here are a few thoughts:
1) Charger cord (officially an Electric Vehicle Service Equipment)

2) two key fobs
3) tire repair kit (goo and pump)
 

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Request a GMVIS report from the dealer (assuming it's a GM dealer) that show's EVERYTHING ever done to the car since NEW, assuming it was done at a GM dealer. And strongly suggest buying one with some B2B warranty left. That will allow you to give is a "shake down cruise" and should you find anything amiss you can get it fixed under warranty. And it's cheaper to buy an extended warranty if the B2B is still in effect.

Good luck and good hunting.
 

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Buying a late build 2014 (mine was 05/14 - found low down on the B pillar between the front and rear doors on the driver's side) will get you the 2015 battery capacity of 17.1 kWh while having the market price of a 2014 vs a 2015. The result will be a few more miles in CD mode on average when compared to the 16.5 kWh powered earlier build 2014s. I'm not sure if there are other differences in the two model years.
 

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Consider moving much closer to work, then you can drive entirely on the battery pack. If you can find the features and price you desire, then purchase a Certified Used vehicle. Consider a Premium model for more durable seats, cruise control, and back-up camera. I bought my Premium 2013 Volt with 10,000 miles a year-and-a-half ago for $20,000 with a $7,000 trade-in. I pay down at least $400 per month, so only owe $3,000. The loan with be paid-off in half-time. I average 85 MPG, with a 4,000-mile all-gas trip last summer on 98 gallons of fuel. Autotrader and cars.com are two sources to search for used Volts.
 

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Add cargurus.com to your search too. There can be a lot of good deals found on most any car search site. Unless you're guying a CPO I would highly suggest a PPI with a certified Volt dealership. It's generally a couple hundred and takes a couple hours but it really can point out any potential issues before they become a problem. Don't be afraid of checking out the local car seller mags (if you have those) and even craigslist can offer some good deals as well.

Unfortunately I don't know of any way to check ICE mileage without access to the vehicles onstar account page, which has it listed there. To view the lifetime MPG, push the leaf button on the center console and in the energy usage screen at the lower right it shows lifetime mpg.

The EVSE that's pictured above should be included with the car (or one similar looking). It's good for 120V. As for testing, it's just a matter of finding a wall outlet, and plugging it into the wall and the car. There should also be a compressor in the trunk area under the floor with an included can of goo attached to the compressor. Hopefully the car will have an owners manual included, but if it doesn't you can download PDF versions from the chevrolet website. Floor mats are also generally included but might be thrown in as part of the deal if you buy from a dealership, otherwise they can be found on ebay, etc or even purchased from the parts department.

I can't really think of anything additional that's specific to the car. Really it's just like buying most any other car aside from the inclusion of the battery system and related EVSE which is why I suggest taking it to a Volt tech rather than a typical mechanic since the Voltec system is unique to the Volt.

Happy hunting a good luck with the search.
 

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You've gotten some good advice. Besides the "usual" used-car cautions for ANY vehicle (prior bodywork, quality of oil, tires, rattles, water damage, etc.) I would add a few more Volt-specific things:

-- Test the "charge" on a couple different public chargers (assuming they are conveniently located). Never buy a used Volt uncharged. Make sure it will accept a charge from different types of chargers. Test the included EVSE, too. While uncommon, you just don't want to bring the car back right away to get these things fixed (which they would be under the Voltec 8 year/100k warranty). I would only buy used from a GM dealer that has a Volt tech available to address any items that may crop up.

--See if the car is PZEZ, or certified as "partial zero emission," or ULEV for CARB states. This is a VIN-specific issue. Cars with these certifications have an extended warranty on the battery (10/year 150K), which would mean a lot for a used vehicle. This is a battery-only warranty *not Voltec component*. The warranties on the Volt can be a little confusing due the high number of them, and you should know before delivery.

--If it's a '13, make sure the charge door opens with the pushbutton. Try it a few times. Known issue.

Always add $7,500 to the asking price to see how good of a deal it really is. If it gets close to the MSRP minus discounts of a NEW '17, it's not a good deal. There are a glut of used Volts right now, so don't overpay.

If you find some Volts you're considering, post them here and we can check them out and offer an opinion.
 

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You can get some clues to the ice vs. ev mileage from the following

1. On the lower left side of the dash is a knob, car is on spin it to fins the A and B trip odometers. If the previous owner never reset the, them it might tell you now many miles were driven on ev vs. fuel. The interesting thing is unlike most cars that roll over when you exceed 1000 miles, this one keeps going. I've never touched my A, but periodically use my B for small trips where I'm tracking my efficiency.

2. Look at the lifetime MPG. If the lifetime MPG on the dash shows 25-28 MPG, then you've got a car where someone used the internal combustion engine exclusively and never charged the battery (many of these are fleet cars where GE was trying to make a statement, but they didn't reimburse their employees for electricity, only gas, so cheapskate employees refused to spend their own money on electricity. Stupid ancient co,pansy policy got in the way of their greenness. If the lifetime MPG says 250+ then the previous owner was well within their EV range and the Internal combustion engine was rarely used. My car shows 70 MPg, which is years of a round trip 50-65 mile commute with no charging in between.

i would highly recommend getting a level 2 EVSE that charges at 220V, 16A minimum so you can recharge in about 4 hours instead of the 8-10 hours on the 110V level 1. Despite having your ice as a backup, in the first few months of ownership, you will self strand yourself agonizing to wait for the battery to charge enough so you can go somewhere on nights and weekends, with a level 2, you get home, plug, in, after dinner you usually have half capacity to do something. On weekends it's very easy to take many shopping trips and never run out while charging in between.

I highly recommend not looking at the dashboard and center console while moving the first few months of ownership. I recall having quite a few close calls where I was so entranced with hypermiling and looking at all the gadgetry that I almost wrecked the thing. Conversely, during the first few months it was as if nobody could see me and I was driving an invisible car. Multiple times people drove through a red light and would have t-boned me had I not been driving defensively. I suspect it is because I had a white diamond tricoat which seems to disappear in certain lighting.

Just drive. The car is much more fun if you drive it like Jeff Gordon and less like a grandpa. It's really fun to take on any and all pony cars and ricer boys with fart cans as the volt is a sleeper. Nobody expects you to smoke them at stoplights.

When you get the volt, seriously consider getting a voltshelf and voltscreen. search for a forum member named Scarlett and he can set you up. The voltshelf is an awesome replacement for that rear cargo area loin cloth GM provides (scarlett calls it a POS - piece of spandex) and the voltscreen goes over your lower air intakes to prevent an errant flying rock from ruining your radiator resulting in a huge repair.

Definitely get a model with safety 1 (rear camera and sensors) because rear visibility really sucks. Even the A and B pillar visibility sucks. I've gotten into the habit of checking 3 or 4 times to make sure there isn't something hiding in those pillars. Plus in shopping parking lots, I've just gotten into the habit of pulling through so I can depart by driving forward instead of having to back up. When I used to work in a building where you couldn't pull forward, I backed into my spot.

Finally, realize that this is the best kept automotive secret in America. Few people really realize how awesome this car is. My only regret is that GM doesn't make an impala or Malibu sized volt (and don't bring up Malibu hybrid, it doesn't have a plug) or better yet, a Silverado or suburban with a Voltec drivetrain (and don't bring up Via Motors, I tried, they won't sell me one unless I'm a fleet owner), or even better yet a Trax or Equinox sized Voltec with AWD.

The volt will be the forgotten stepchild as the bolt and tesla model 3 arrives with 200+ miles of range, and other EVs will undoubtedly be coming. The volt is perfect for me today as a small commuter car that saves fuel like the dickens without stranding me with range anxiety. No Prius or other hybrid can touch it. Go get one and enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, despite telling myself over and over and over again that I absolutely, positively, will NOT impulse buy another vehicle....I went and impulse bought a 2013 base model today, lol. I didn't get the navigation or rear view camera model, but I was reading somewhere else on this forum that it's pretty easy to add the camera later. I'm used to driving big trucks with blind spots the size of Texas, so I'm not all that concerned about it, but that horizontal bar right smack in the middle of the rear view mirror view is annoying as all get out...I used to think that the barn doors of my Suburban was as bad as it got...I was wrong.

I also live out in the middle of nowhere, and work long hours, so I learned long ago to combine trips. The only place I'm going most nights is home, and I tend to stay around the house on the weekends too, unless I'm taking one of the 4x4s out, so until someone comes up with a 1 ton dually version of the Volt, it likely will be parked on the weekends more often than not. The 110v charger should be OK for the time being, though I was already thinking about installing a L2 charger just so I don't have to remember to switch the car to 12 amp charging every time (seriously, who's the bone head that decided that not being able to choose 12 amp as a default was a good idea???)
 

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Thanks for thinking of me, llninja! POS, indeed..... Just to clarify, I am actually Scarlett1 now. My account got screwed up in the great password change over last year and I was never able to get it straightened out. So I evolved my existence to a higher plane and became Scarlett1

And congratulations, Detroit80! I hope you love your Volt as much as the rest of us here do. I'm here to help if you I can.

Steve
 
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