GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 42 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
464 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm a new owner of a 2nd gen Volt and am very much enjoying the experience of driving this new tech (for me anyway). I liken the experience to moving from non high definition TV to high def, flat panel TVs or as my wife says, a flip cell phone to an iPhone.

One aspect of the Volt I find I use all the time is the regen paddle. I always use the regen paddle to slow down, or if I'm going slow enough to essentially stop. I obviously use the brakes as well when needed. It got me wondering what the brake life on these Volts are? How many ballpark miles, if you use regen paddle regularly, will the brakes last? It seems the regular maintenance on these vehicles is significantly less than ICE vehicles, and this regen paddle seems like it could exponentially increase brake life.

Any real world numbers to share? TIA
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,788 Posts
Mine is a gen1, so I don't even have the paddle regen, but I drive in Low all the time, and I have 60,000 miles now, and all four brake pads and rotors look like NEW!

I may NEVER have to get a brake job on this car!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,359 Posts
It's pretty well known at this point that the brakes on the Volts last a long LONG time.
In point of fact an issue has come up here and there from the non-use of the brakes, in other words they sometimes don't get -enough- use.

Do a search on brakes and you'll find the articles.

The solution is easy. Every now and then (I do it about once a month) when you are doing something like exiting the highway, shift to Neutral and then apply the brakes normally to stop. This turns off the regen and all the braking comes from the physical/hydraulic system, working the calipers and "scrubbing" the brake pads and rotors a bit.

Personally I also think that if you live someplace that "salts" the roads in the winter, it's extra important to keep the brakes/rotors rinsed off so that they don't corrode from the salt since normally the pads/rotors would be mostly self-cleaning, but if they aren't being used, they aren't self cleaning.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
@Dutch " pads/rotors would be mostly self-cleaning, but if they aren't being used, they aren't self cleaning."

Disc brake pads lightly clear dirt and water since the pads are always in contact. Unlike drum brakes.

Other than a few reports in more extreme conditions, owners are reporting very long brake life compared to a non-regen system. The brakes are also oversized since the car is heavy. Bigger=long life.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
568 Posts
Semi new volt owner here, I have about 6K miles on my Gen2 so far and the regen paddle was very nice starting out. The one thing you will eventually see though is that a smoother and (very slightly) more efficient method is just driving it like a normal car.

I was enamored with the regen paddle starting out, however the fact it's "all or nothing" makes it less useful than it otherwise could be. With the foot operated brake... it's essentially variable regen up until the point actual brakes kick in. And coasting to a stop is slightly more efficient as well.

Maintenance wise, I unless you are in a salty environemnt and something actually gets eaten up, an actual brake job wouldn't be needed for... well nobody really knows at this point because the real brake system is used much much less :)

Odds are if you do experience any "weirdness" down the line with brakes... simply going out and doing a moderate "bed in" type procedure would clear everything up instantly. (a few fast stops over and over and the rotor and pad surfaces will be shiny and new)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,431 Posts
The reduction of brake wear in EVs was well known from the drivers' experience with the leased GM EV1 many years ago. Modern hybrids and EVs has this benefit from the regenerative function that the electric motors have, so just enjoy your Volt and drive carefully. Every few months, visually inspect the rotors and if you see rust or slight scoring, do what othere here have posted and wear down the pads and rotors a few minutes per month to keep them clean.

GM brakes are easier to service than many other brands and really last long. My previous 1995 Buick Regal had three pad replacements (one by dealer and two by myself in my carport) in 21 years of service. My present 2009 Chevy Equinox still has the original factory set.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,661 Posts
Some folks actually experience brake issues because they are so seldom used. They can and do get corroded due lack of use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,439 Posts
Using the brake pedal instead of the regen paddle is no harder on the brakes. The brakes will last the life of the car, most likely.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
I'm thinking someone like myself, who is generally easy on the brakes in the first place, may never need a brake job. However, brakes are just one part of the car, and cars have many parts. Overall maintenance is likely less but repairs generally, while better than average, will still be there. Mas flow sensors will still go on the fritz, radiators will still be punctured, coolant will also leak.

I think the bigger savings will be in the fuel. Even saving $1000/year still means that, at the end of ten years, you're $10,000 ahead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
I always use the regen paddle to slow down, or if I'm going slow enough to essentially stop. I obviously use the brakes as well when needed. It got me wondering what the brake life on these Volts are?
The G2 volts have a regen paddle and G1 volts dont. However both volts have same type of braking system. When you first apply the brake pedal, you are using mostly regen braking system (you can see it in your driver display generating kW). As you push the braking paddle down harder you get more regen until at some point when your foot presses down very hard then brake pads will actually be used.

So in casual everyday driving with very little hard braking, you will actually be mostly using the regen braking not the brake pads, so they could last many, many years (maybe tye life of the car) if you do very little hard braking.

As for the regen paddle, i use it when i first owned my G2 volt but found it a bit too agressive and realized that I'd rather just use the brake pedal to have a silky smooth drive. Also, my passengers like it better that way also. Passengers never know the regen paddle is about to be used so I would get some strange looks like, what are you doing braking so hard? Also changing into other cars, that dont have a paddle can be troublesome if you get too used to the paddle.:)

Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
2017 Volt Premiere
Joined
·
383 Posts
My 2000 Insight had its original brakes when I traded it in for the Volt a couple of months ago. I changed the brake fluid once, but everything else was original equipment. And the regenerative braking on the old Insight was much less robust than on the Volt (less stopping power and more prone to cutting out on rough roads from the anti-lock braking system). I would be shocked if the brakes on the Volt wear out from normal use.

ETA ... on the regen paddle, I have previously posted that it is a gimmick that I rarely use, but I have recently found a use ... if you use the OnStar Smart Diver feature to lower your insurance rates, the paddle will give you an aggressive stop without triggering a "Hard Braking" log.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
The wheels are super easy to clean on my Volt compared to every other car I own. There's hardly any dusting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
100 Posts
The wheels are super easy to clean on my Volt compared to every other car I own. There's hardly any dusting.
Hm... I don't drive or brake like a maniac (I'm around 66EV range), yet I feel the wheels get pretty dirty with dust when I wash my car every 3 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
322 Posts
Don't like the paddle. To herky jerky. Makes the car and contents lurch forward. Even L is a bit lurchy. I prefer using the foot brake and progressive pressure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
520 Posts
I don't have enough miles yet to determine the ultimate (very) long term effects of regular regen paddle braking yet, but I expect that while it invariably will wear the pads and rotor at a substantially reduced pace, it will not (and should not) necessarily be maintenance free with regards to the brakes. The brake fluid will still need to the replaced periodically, and re-lubrication of the caliper slide pins (and possibly pads) would quite likely be beneficial. Those things are routinely addressed on other vehicles at more regular intervals because they are typically included in a full brake job, which on the Volt, may only occur rarely, if ever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
354 Posts
Hm... I don't drive or brake like a maniac (I'm around 66EV range), yet I feel the wheels get pretty dirty with dust when I wash my car every 3 months.
I'm a regen paddle whore. I never touch the regular brake pedal unless I need to or for low speed parking maneuvers, of course. All my other cars have aggressive semi-metallic pads, so compared to those... also I waxed the entire wheel inside and out with a sealant that makes them easier to clean off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,359 Posts
I'm a regen paddle whore. I never touch the regular brake pedal unless I need to or for low speed parking maneuvers, of course. All my other cars have aggressive semi-metallic pads, so compared to those... also I waxed the entire wheel inside and out with a sealant that makes them easier to clean off.
what sealant? link if you can provide it please.

Compared to my Jeep the volt wheels stay pretty darned clean, but I also try to keep the Volt a lot "prettier" than the jeep so every bit helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,013 Posts
+1, geohec. Let us hope that Gen 3 upgrades the paddle to a modulated design so that smooth, controlled braking is possible. it must
cost more since this upgrade desirability is so obvious. I would pay a little more for the feature.
I use the paddle (in L) all the time in solo driving, especially on short offramps. It is a challenge to apply the paddle at the exact
time required to make a near-stop without lifting off the paddle or applying the "gas".
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
207 Posts
Don't like the paddle. To herky jerky. Makes the car and contents lurch forward. Even L is a bit lurchy. I prefer using the foot brake and progressive pressure.
Takes some learning, but I got it smooth. It helps to use both brakes - if you paddle-brake too late, supplement it with gentle foot braking. I noticed the regen numbers reported are about double for paddle versus foot brake for the same pace of braking, so definitely feel it's worthwhile. Just have to time it right, which takes practice.
 
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
Top