GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I’m in the market for a used first gen (probably a 2014) and I’ve been reading up on the forum to get more info about the car’s quirks, some of your suggestions, and general maintenance/care notes. Had a couple questions I’d like to run by the forum after taking one for a test drive this last weekend.

1. Is there a recommended lifetime MPG number I should shoot for in a used Volt? I think it’d be best to buy one with a high lifetime MPG so it has low miles on the ICE – is there any general rule of thumb for this?
2. Rear visibility – does everyone just get used to how terrible it is? Coming from my Saab 92x wagon which has a fairly straight beltline and a big rear window the Volt’s rear quarter blind spots and rear window visbility is pretty terrible. I’ll definitely be getting one w/ a back-up camera.
3. Maintenance items – any big ones I should be aware of for cars in the 30-60k mile range? Looks like the coolant flush isn’t until 5 years or 100k miles, so would the service items for these used 2014s basically be tires, filters, oil changes, and topping off coolant if necessary?
4. How are the intervals determined for the more involved maintenance items on the ICE like spark plugs, timing belt (or is it a chain?), etc. I would imagine two Volts with 100k miles could have wildly different miles put on the ICE based on their use which makes a 1 size fits all maintenance schedule for the ICE difficult.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
Hey all,

I’m in the market for a used first gen (probably a 2014) and I’ve been reading up on the forum to get more info about the car’s quirks, some of your suggestions, and general maintenance/care notes. Had a couple questions I’d like to run by the forum after taking one for a test drive this last weekend.

1. Is there a recommended lifetime MPG number I should shoot for in a used Volt? I think it’d be best to buy one with a high lifetime MPG so it has low miles on the ICE – is there any general rule of thumb for this?
2. Rear visibility – does everyone just get used to how terrible it is? Coming from my Saab 92x wagon which has a fairly straight beltline and a big rear window the Volt’s rear quarter blind spots and rear window visbility is pretty terrible. I’ll definitely be getting one w/ a back-up camera.
3. Maintenance items – any big ones I should be aware of for cars in the 30-60k mile range? Looks like the coolant flush isn’t until 5 years or 100k miles, so would the service items for these used 2014s basically be tires, filters, oil changes, and topping off coolant if necessary?
4. How are the intervals determined for the more involved maintenance items on the ICE like spark plugs, timing belt (or is it a chain?), etc. I would imagine two Volts with 100k miles could have wildly different miles put on the ICE based on their use which makes a 1 size fits all maintenance schedule for the ICE difficult.
1. You are correct, the higher the lifetime MPG the less ICE miles. 38 would be almost all ICE miles. 100 and above is a good number. I have around 150 MPG.

2. Yes. A backup camera is advised.

3. That mileage range would have at least 1 oil change.

4. See my signature for a link to online manuals for maintenance intervals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
1. You are correct, the higher the lifetime MPG the less ICE miles. 38 would be almost all ICE miles. 100 and above is a good number. I have around 150 MPG.

2. Yes. A backup camera is advised.

3. That mileage range would have at least 1 oil change.

4. See my signature for a link to online manuals for maintenance intervals.
Thanks for your feedback! Much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
1. You are correct, the higher the lifetime MPG the less ICE miles. 38 would be almost all ICE miles. 100 and above is a good number. I have around 150 MPG.

2. Yes. A backup camera is advised.

3. That mileage range would have at least 1 oil change.

4. See my signature for a link to online manuals for maintenance intervals.
EXACTLY RIGHT.

I would add:

Don't worry about miles. It's really splitting hairs. For the camera, buy the "premium safety package", which also includes heated seats and steering wheel.

You can add a camera to the stock radio, which I have done using:

http://www.whiteautoandmedia.com/in...n=com_virtuemart&Itemid=54&vmcchk=1&Itemid=54
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I added the small round stick on blind spot mirrors and they help quite a bit. My bigger worry is the front of the huge A-pillers, and how things (people) can end up in that blind spot. I did hit/run over one of those tall skinny cones when pulling out of a driveway into a construction zone once because I didn't see it in that front corner blind spot.

I love my 2014. As far as options... yes, get the back-up camera.

The safety package II has some pluses and minuses.
- I find the front parking sensors handy, especially when parking in my garage, but you must typically turn them on manually unless you've shifted into reverse first. The operation is a bit weird too, because they beep even when you are backing up (the front sensors beep out of the front speakers and the back sensors beep out of the back speakers with a slightly different tone).
- I have found the Forward Collision Alert to be handy if I set it to the shortest distance. Also, it's handy for cruise control, because if you drive on the freeway with cruise and in "L", if someone brakes suddenly, the forward collision alert will disengage and the "L" transmission setting will use a high level of regen to slow the car so it gets your attention quickly.
- The lane departure warning is just annoying and beeps at you all the time.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the nav system, but I have it. It works fine, but the maps are pretty old already and I just use my phone for nav. I will pop it up occasionally if I don't know the speed limit of the road, as it does have the speed limits in the Nav program. You loose the radio favorites "FAV" hard button in favor of the "NAV" button, so I think it actually makes the use of the radio require a few more button pushes (although I use the steering wheel buttons now to change stations).

I think the Bose is worth it if you can find one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
188 Posts
Look for Premium versus Base in the listings. The Premium will have leather and heated seats. Get at least the Safety Pack 1- this has rear sensors + BU camera and also self dimming rear view mirror. Bose is better but only comes with Nav. There are only 2 interior colors. Black and Beige- the Beige leather seats have fake suede inserts (Alcantara). From what I have read they seem to wear ok. The Black leather does not have the fake suede inserts.

I would try and find a 2015- it could still be under the B to B warranty. If not buy from a dealer the will GM certify the car. The Voltec warranty is 10 years/150,000 miles in CA- this will cover the major drive-train items- Battery + . The 2015 has a slightly larger battery that is good for another 3 miles of range.

Gen 1 Volts do not have heated steering wheels. The Gen 1 Volt is well documented as being over designed and being very reliable. You should be able to get a very loaded car for $18,000 in CA. I would say the polished wheels and Safety Pack 2 are not "must haves". You should download the 2014 and 2015 guides for reference- colors options etc. My advise is to really do your research about the car because even GM dealers have been known to know nothing about the Volt. It's a great car and has never gotten it's due on how it opened the door for EV's as far as battery design and maintenance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,007 Posts
1. Is there a recommended lifetime MPG number I should shoot for in a used Volt? I think it’d be best to buy one with a high lifetime MPG so it has low miles on the ICE – is there any general rule of thumb for this?
low miles on ICE means more miles on battery, so it's kind of a tradeoff. Low miles in general is better. But that's because both the engine AND the battery are likely to outlast the rest of the car. The balance between the two mean neither have to work much outside the parameters of "this is good conditions" -- the battery never gets charged "full" or allowed to reach "empty", and the engine never has to turn outside of an easy 1200-4000 RPM range.

2. Rear visibility – does everyone just get used to how terrible it is? Coming from my Saab 92x wagon which has a fairly straight beltline and a big rear window the Volt’s rear quarter blind spots and rear window visbility is pretty terrible. I’ll definitely be getting one w/ a back-up camera.
Camera is a good idea.

3. Maintenance items – any big ones I should be aware of for cars in the 30-60k mile range? Looks like the coolant flush isn’t until 5 years or 100k miles, so would the service items for these used 2014s basically be tires, filters, oil changes, and topping off coolant if necessary?
If the gods smile, it'll be just tires and car washes, and an oil change every two years, plus the coolant change. Expected maintenance of these things is very rare. I literally spend more money moving tires between winter and summer than I spend on all the rest of the maintenance, and more money on car washes than gasoline.

4. How are the intervals determined for the more involved maintenance items on the ICE like spark plugs, timing belt (or is it a chain?), etc. I would imagine two Volts with 100k miles could have wildly different miles put on the ICE based on their use which makes a 1 size fits all maintenance schedule for the ICE difficult.
Timing chain, if I understand correctly. Plug interval seems to be based on "running ICE about half the mile", a nice pessimistic assumption, but plug aren't terribly expensive as such things go. Plugs getting bad also tend to set misfire codes, so it's not like you won't get a warning when it's about to get IMPORTANT.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all for the responses and insight for my search! Much appreciated!!

I’ll definitely look into the 2014/2015 brochures in order to fully understand the differences between the different packages that were available to make sure I know exactly what configuration to look for in the used listings. Sounds like the main things I would like to look for is Premium model with Safety package 1 based on the replies.

When I test drove last weekend I actually didn’t think the A-pillars were as bad as I had read on here from people but the rear visibility was what I thought was lacking. Just means I’ll be using the door mirrors more I suppose. I was also pleasantly surprised at the amount of space. I was half expecting it to be smaller inside than my Saab 92x, which I have to scoot my chair forward to even barely fit an adult passenger in the back, but sitting in the back after adjusting for my height I thought the rear leg room was sufficient.

Sounds like maintenance-wise I shouldn’t overthink what’s involved as it’s pretty low-maintenance overall to keep this car up. The low maintenance is one of the main driving reasons for my interest in the Volt to begin with. That and I’ve been wanting to get in to an EV for my next car and I think the Volt is the perfect compromise of what I’m looking for, for the price, given the current market. It will be exciting to see what will be available for me to choose from in the EV market in the next 5 years or so but for now I think the Volt is the best solution.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
A Gen 1 Volt is the best used car option around. Super reliable. Good advice above. For me:

Must haves:
Safety 1 (backup camera)
Heated seats (was available to order on both cloth or leather) in cold climates

Worth having:
Premium package (leather seats)
Heated seats in warm climates

Not worth paying extra for:
Bose
Navigation
Safety 2 (front bumper sensors)
Polished wheels

I like a balance oft EV vs ICE miles, but that's just me.

I will say that you should negotiate hard. With gas prices low and everyone buying big SUV's, the Volt will likely sit on the lot a while. You have the advantage here. A 2011-2012 depending on miles, would sell at auction in the $8K-10K range. 2013-2014 in the $10-12K range. A 2015 under B2B might be $14K. After tax credits, incentives, and negotiating, my 2014 was $18,500 brand new. Don't overpay just because the MSRP looks high. Nobody paid that price or even close to it - especially after tax credits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
A Gen 1 Volt is the best used car option around. Super reliable. Good advice above. For me:

Must haves:
Safety 1 (backup camera)
Heated seats (was available to order on both cloth or leather) in cold climates

Worth having:
Premium package (leather seats)
Heated seats in warm climates

Not worth paying extra for:
Bose
Navigation
Safety 2 (front bumper sensors)
Polished wheels

I like a balance oft EV vs ICE miles, but that's just me.

I will say that you should negotiate hard. With gas prices low and everyone buying big SUV's, the Volt will likely sit on the lot a while. You have the advantage here. A 2011-2012 depending on miles, would sell at auction in the $8K-10K range. 2013-2014 in the $10-12K range. A 2015 under B2B might be $14K. After tax credits, incentives, and negotiating, my 2014 was $18,500 brand new. Don't overpay just because the MSRP looks high. Nobody paid that price or even close to it - especially after tax credits.
Thanks for the response! Great advice there and I agree with the must haves/worth having items. I've mainly limited my search to Premium Volts w/ the backup camera and heated seats as my main must-haves.

Prices for 2014 (which are currently the most common year available) seem to vary between $13-17k based on miles. What do you think would be reasonable for one given the auction price? I have seen some that have been listed for like 90 days so they're not moving like hot cakes which should give me some room to negotiate the price. I was expecting to spend $15k but if I can get one for less even better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,389 Posts
NADA, BlueBook, Edmunds, etc all use a rather generic depreciation algorithm based off the original MSRP. There's not a lot of actual sales data informing those numbers you see. In the case of the Volt and other vehicles that received large tax credits or incentives, those numbers have been notoriously high because the algorithms don't account for the lowered "actual" price. The used car dealers themselves will also look at MSRP in setting the asking price and most have no clue about the after incentive price the car was actually sold at. That leads to vehicles like the Volt being priced higher than the actual market price.

In my case in 2014, I was originally looking for a used Volt. However, when I added in the $5,000 price drop in 2014, the tax credits, multiple incentives, and a little negotiating, I could buy brand new for about $10,000 LESS than the similarly equipped used one I was attempting to buy at another dealership. So I purchased new.

My strategy for used cars, for better or worse, is:
  • Research the going rate fo the vehicle at Auction. I once paid an friend at an independent dealer $50 to scope that out for me. In some cases, your insider can give you the price paid to the penny.
  • Using that data, I make a reasonable estimate on the fair market value. I allow 10% above auction price as reasonable profit for the dealer and to cover any recondition labor needed to clean it up. If the car is CPO, the dealership paid $500 to $750 to purchase the warranty/certificate and that needs to be considered.
  • Visit the dealership early in the morning, on a weekday if possible and ask to speak with the sales manager (by name if you can find it).
  • Introduce yourself, state your interest in one specific vehicle, and provide a signed offer for the vehicle that includes your contact information. Thank them for their time and exit.
  • Check in the next day then once a week or so.
  • More than likely some sales guy/gal will be calling nonstop wanting to haggle, or trying to get you to come work something out. I just ask them to email over a signed sales order with the price you offered, but it rarely gets that far until a week later.
If that car has been there 90-days, it's not going anywhere tomorrow. Everyday cost them interest and lot space on a vehicle that they could be selling. It's in their interest to move it. With that said, no sales manager is authorized to sell below cost, so there is a actual hard limit they can't go below.

Bad advice all around I'm sure, but hope it helps.

Stick with it. The Volt is worth it!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top