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Discussion Starter #1
I am sure this has come up before but what in the world is the hidden, glow plugs idiot light on the Volt instrument cluster for???

Is this an oversight from the engineers having scrapped a diesel variant?

Or is it simply used as an indicator during service procedures or something?

Very interesting!
 

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What does a glow plugs idiot light look like?
 

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Maybe we are the idiots who don't know what he is talking about.
 

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Like this? Do we have that? If we do I've not seen it.

 

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I'm pretty sure the OP is referring to an icon silhouette that can be seen on the dash in the right light, but is never illuminated and not documented in the manual. I'm pretty sure I've seen it too. It's on the left or right side bar with 21-23 or 33-35 on the diagram above, I can't remember which.

To the OP, when the Voltec idea was touted, GM had said they could have diesel variants as well. Given the extra space, maybe they decided to just plop down a glow plug light for such a variant, in case they decided to make it.
 

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Honestly, I doubt a diesel Volt would need glow plugs, if such a beat existed. There's never been any indication GM considered the idea, and there are good reasons for them not to do it.

Having said that, glow plugs are needed to get the air temperature up to ignition levels when cranking a diesel at low rpms in cold weather. With the Volt's ability to spin the engine straight to operating rpm and keep it there until it runs, I doubt you'd need any help. (Most modern cars don't need the glow plugs until 30 degrees or so even now.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm pretty sure the OP is referring to an icon silhouette that can be seen on the dash in the right light, but is never illuminated and not documented in the manual. I'm pretty sure I've seen it too. It's on the left or right side bar with 21-23 or 33-35 on the diagram above, I can't remember which.

To the OP, when the Voltec idea was touted, GM had said they could have diesel variants as well. Given the extra space, maybe they decided to just plop down a glow plug light for such a variant, in case they decided to make it.

YES! That's exactly correct it is located in the lower right hand corner just underneath the check engine icon (#33). You can see it in the sunlight. Someone at General Motors was planning something that's for sure!

A diesel Volt would really be extraordinary, if they could fit a lightweight and cost-effective diesel engine under the hood, along with the necessary emissions gear, etc.

I wonder what changed their minds. (Or have they....)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Honestly, I doubt a diesel Volt would need glow plugs, if such a beat existed. There's never been any indication GM considered the idea, and there are good reasons for them not to do it.

Having said that, glow plugs are needed to get the air temperature up to ignition levels when cranking a diesel at low rpms in cold weather. With the Volt's ability to spin the engine straight to operating rpm and keep it there until it runs, I doubt you'd need any help. (Most modern cars don't need the glow plugs until 30 degrees or so even now.)
Well obviously someone considered it long and hard cause this 'aint no off-the-shelf GM instrument cluster. It was put there for a reason.
 

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Well obviously someone considered it long and hard cause this 'aint no off-the-shelf GM instrument cluster. It was put there for a reason.
The overall instrument cluster might not be off the shelf but many of the parts used in it are likely off the shelf. I'm going to put my money on that the lights on the left and right side of the display are shared with some other vehicle that has a diesel engine (like the Cruze).
 

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What changed their minds is that diesels don't like short little periods of operation. With the model of how the car would operate (lots of running on electricity due to the short trips most owners take), they probably decided it wouldn't make sense. They have lots of experience with diesels. Fortunately they chose a small gas range extender.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The overall instrument cluster might not be off the shelf but many of the parts used in it are likely off the shelf. I'm going to put my money on that the lights on the left and right side of the display are shared with some other vehicle that has a diesel engine (like the Cruze).

This is the instrument panel from the 2011 Cruze:

PAGE 5-8
http://www.chevrolet.com/content/dam/Chevrolet/northamerica/usa/nscwebsite/en/Home/Ownership/Manuals and Videos/02_pdf/2k11cruze.pdf

Pg 5-9 2014 Diesel Cruse Cluster
http://www.chevrolet.com/content/dam/Chevrolet/northamerica/usa/nscwebsite/en/Home/Ownership/Manuals and Videos/02_pdf/2k14cruze 2nd print.pdf

So likely not that one.

Possibly a diesel cluster used in a totally different GM vehicle from Europe or Asia or South America, etc., but I'd highly doubt it. Perhaps they planned the Opel Ampara version to go diesel because of European market.
 

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A diesel Volt would need two tanks, one for fuel, and one for Urea or AD-Blue, to be injected into
the exhaust system. It would also need a turbo charger to be efficient.

It would be somewhat cost prohibitive. Better would be a 1.0 liter 3 cylinder direct injection engine that
would be even more compact than the current 4 cylinder and be more fuel efficient as well. It would still
have equal or perhaps more horsepower than the current 4 cylinder engine...
 

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To put future upgrade capability in automotive electronics is not that unusual. Dating myself, my college car was 1986 Chrysler Laser, it had a digital instrument panel and had a voice warning feature. Any of you guys remember those? Anyway, it would say things like "your door is ajar". Being 18 I thought it was cool as hell at first, but over time it became annoying. The last draw was one day when I got in it and it told me the "driver side rear door was ajar" -- the car was a 2-door. Had "Betty" turned off for good shortly after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
To put future upgrade capability in automotive electronics is not that unusual. Dating myself, my college car was 1986 Chrysler Laser, it had a digital instrument panel and had a voice warning feature. Any of you guys remember those? Anyway, it would say things like "your door is ajar". Being 18 I thought it was cool as hell at first, but over time it became annoying. The last draw was one day when I got in it and it told me the "driver side rear door was ajar" -- the car was a 2-door. Had "Betty" turned off for good shortly after that.
"Your electrical system is malfunctioning, prompt service is required." "Your oil pressure is low, prompt service is required."....

That was an awesome car. Did your's have the bulb pump for the driver's lumbar support? My parents got the '83 Town & Country wagon with the voice system and plastic wood side moldings. If you pushed the black button in on the outer frame of the driver's door it ran through about 10 different warnings and notices. Chrysler's response to the talking Datsun Maxima LOL.

The thing with the wagon was that the instrument panel also had a blank idiot light for 'engine power' which I later learned was for only a fuel injected version and ours had the Mitsubishi carbureted version. So at least one version of the car had the FI powerplant even though ours didn't have the engine. Same with the Volt -- someone must have planned a diesel variant earlier or for a future fitting.
 

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To put future upgrade capability in automotive electronics is not that unusual. Dating myself, my college car was 1986 Chrysler Laser, it had a digital instrument panel and had a voice warning feature. Any of you guys remember those? Anyway, it would say things like "your door is ajar". Being 18 I thought it was cool as hell at first, but over time it became annoying. The last draw was one day when I got in it and it told me the "driver side rear door was ajar" -- the car was a 2-door. Had "Betty" turned off for good shortly after that.
And I would promptly reply "A door isn't a jar, a door's a door!!!"

My wife had a Dodge Daytona, very similar to your Laser in most respects.
 

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Well I'll be... there it is.

In fact, there's another symbol on the left side of the DIC that isn't used either.

DIC symbols.jpg
 
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