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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I HATE taking a car in for any kind of service. About 25% of the time, the service guys do some sort of damage, cosmetic or otherwise.

Anyhow, I had to take my Volt to a tire place for a proper fix for a tire leak. It involved taking the tire off the rim and installing a one-piece patch/plug combination from the inside of the tire. The patch works great, but the rim got covered with all sorts of black gunk (removable), and the rim got a few minor dings (not removable).

So, I was not looking forward to the 7,500 mile Volt tire rotation, so much so that I still had not done the rotation by 9,000 miles - all those dings waiting to happen!

Solution: I did it myself!

Here's the rotation pattern from the owner's manual.



I went to Harbor Freight Tools and got two 1 1/2 ton scissor jacks (item 66907), mentioned in other posts.
See: http://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-2-half-ton-scissor-jack-66907.html


Here's one jack beside my Volt.



Here's the jack under the jack point on the Volt. The jack has not yet been extended quite enough to contact the car.



Here's the Volt jacked up on one side. I swapped the tires front to rear.



After I swapped tires front-to-rear on one side of the car, I jacked up the other side and swapped those tires front-to-rear also. Then, I jacked up the front of the car, and swapped the tires side-to-side. The end result is the tires have been rotated in the pattern shown in the first diagram in this post.

Next, I used a TPMS reset tool and followed instructions in the Volt owner's manual. I got an ATEQ VT5 tool, discussed in other posts. I got it from TireRack: http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?make=ATEQ+TPMS+SENSOR+TRIGGER&partnum=VT5&ID=2006

The TPMS tool worked perfectly the first try. Just hold the stubby "antenna" of the tool against the tire, about 1/2 inch from the rim, right by the valve stem.

You can see that I have put a number on the tire rim just behind the valve stem. That way I can easily keep track of the performance of the patched tire, and keep track of other things as well. (Probably also says something about my personality, but let's not go there.)

I also recommend using a quality torque wrench to tighten the lug nuts, and use a bit of anti-seize compound on the lug bolts.

So, everything is perfect until my wife drives up. I had taken the opportunity to thoroughly wash the tires and apply tire dressing, so the Volt tires looked great! My wife then asks me to wash and apply tire dressing to her tires as well!
 

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Very informative post erewhon. Nicely done! I do my own as well, but with a single jack and a snow tire in the mix.

My TPMS relearn tool is a Katech, but I see you bought one from TireRack that looks similar (sans the orange rubber case) and is less expensive.

$99 Katech KAT-ST-181: http://store.katechengines.com/katech-tpms-relearn-tool-p263.aspx

$80 ATEQ VT5 http://www.tirerack.com/accessories/detail.jsp?ID=2006&category=Tire+Pressure+Monitoring+Systems

$69 EL-50448 http://www.shopfreedomracing.com/Ti...or-TPMS-Activation-Tool-EL-50448-EL-50448.htm (or Google EL-50448)

Relearn By Dropping Tire PSI
Note that the 2011 Volts can be relearned by lowering the tire pressure in each tire. Later models must use the relearn tool. Why the change?

The TPMS operates at a radio frequency shared with other GM models (and likely other car brands as well). The reason GM changed the TPMS relearn procedure was that the manual method of lowering the air pressure one tire at a time would confuse the car if there was another vehicle nearby that used the same TPMS frequency.

Here's the GM announcement
Changes to the Service Procedure
GM Product Engineering has determined that in some instances the manual re-learn
procedure can cause the TPM system to pick up stray sensor signals from nearby vehicles
which can result in Diagnostic Trouble Codes being stored and parts being unnecessarily
replaced. To address this concern GM Product Engineering will be disabling the TPM
manual re-learn capability from the vehicle software starting January 2011.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very informative post erewhon. Nicely done! I do my own as well, but with a single jack and a snow tire in the mix.
Yes, I'm used to having five tires. It took a bit of pondering to figure out how to do it with four.
 

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One of the first things I did when I got mine was to purchase a full size replacement. Now I can do a conventional 5 tire rotation.
I have a spanner and bottle jack under the rear cover where the charge cord used to go, so, I don't have to wait for someone to
show up, or, fill my tire with slime if I have a problem. I also am wary about who works on or around my vehicles. I have developed
a relationship with a manager at Discount tire here in Vegas, so, I am in and out, often before the store is officially open.
He doesn't argue with me about the tire pressures I want, and, doesn't charge me for the service. I throw the person doing the
work a few dollars, and, everyone is happy. It takes up a little room, so, if I have cargo, I make adjustments. As far as the
proper readings for TPMS, My friend at Discount printed out the instructions for calibration, and, nothing was needed as far as
additional tools. Is there something that you tool from TireRack does that I am missing?
 

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This only issue with not relearning the TPMS is the warning will not give the the proper location of the tire pressures after rotation. The car still thinks the tires are in their original location. If you forget or someone else who is unaware the tires have been rotated depend on the TPMS they could be adding air to a tire that does not need it and not adding air to the one that does. In that situation the TPMS will still show the tire needing air after you have just added some ending up in a WTF situation.
 

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This only issue with not relearning the TPMS is the warning will not give the the proper location of the tire pressures after rotation. The car still thinks the tires are in their original location. If you forget or someone else who is unaware the tires have been rotated depend on the TPMS they could be adding air to a tire that does not need it and not adding air to the one that does. In that situation the TPMS will still show the tire needing air after you have just added some ending up in a WTF situation.
I did the re-learn through setup on the dash. I encountered the situation you mention when I first got my Volt. Whoever
rotated the tires last did not do this, and, when I added air, a different tire showed the increase. That is where my friend
from Discount came in. The learning can be done from the car settings, and only takes a few minutes. That is why I inquired
as to any difference between the stock learning, and, the tool.
 

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The lift points for the jacks, and the lifts are two different places. You jacked the car up in the wrong spot, (don't feel terrible, I started to and bent that metal slightly myself.) In the manual it shows you, under the springs in the back and on the front there are these oddly almost triangular shaped metal thing right behind the pivot point for the front suspension. (They call it a cradle mount in the front, spring seat in the back.)

Check the manual, it's in there! Otherwise spot on.

If anyone is looking for a somewhat affordable TPMS reset tool, SPX has one fairly cheap. That's what I used today. Very handy.

Also, I'd go with phnematic jacks, those scissor lifts are really hard to use. And if you go with a larger jack like a long 3 1/2 ton, it's so much easier for where you are supposed to lift the car from. I know it sounds like a large investment but in the end I think it's still better than paying extra and having them torque the wheels on way too tight. (I think it calls for 35lbs, and they torque them on so tight I can't get the wheels to break loose.)

Also I'm at 56k miles. Anyone interested in a tire switch can consider the Bridgestone Ecopia (what I got) and the Michelin Defender option. I switched early for winter, I don't like to do winter tires. So I have been running from 45k-55k miles on the Ecopias. So far, I like them better than the goodyear assurance. A friend is going to purchase the defenders so I can report back but it will be a long while, as his miles are much fewer and all EV.
 

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Thank you for posting this with photos and links. I'm also terrified of what they will do to the car if I bring it in for the rotation and might want to do it myself too. I'm just leasing my Volt, but I treat it as if it's mine.
 

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I know it sounds like a large investment but in the end I think it's still better than paying extra and having them torque the wheels on way too tight. (I think it calls for 35lbs, and they torque them on so tight I can't get the wheels to break loose.)
The torque spec is 100 ft-lbs (not 35) as indicated in the owners manual.
 

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Also I'm at 56k miles. Anyone interested in a tire switch can consider the Bridgestone Ecopia (what I got) and the Michelin Defender option. I switched early for winter, I don't like to do winter tires. So I have been running from 45k-55k miles on the Ecopias. So far, I like them better than the goodyear assurance. A friend is going to purchase the defenders so I can report back but it will be a long while, as his miles are much fewer and all EV.
They use the Bridgestone Ecopia on the LEAF and I used to own a LEAF for 1.5 years. I didn't have much luck with the Ecopia tires and I had to change them out at only 17.5K miles due to premature wear. I don't think I'm an aggressive driver either. There were a lot of similar complaints on the MyNissanLEAF forum about premature wear on the Ecopias, with replacement typically around 25K miles give or take 5K. Not a whole lot of LEAFs are at 40K or 50K mile mark yet, so the verdict is still out as to whether many people can have them last that long yet.

I replaced the Ecopias on my LEAF with Michelin MVX4.
 

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Also, I'd go with phnematic jacks, those scissor lifts are really hard to use. And if you go with a larger jack like a long 3 1/2 ton, it's so much easier for where you are supposed to lift the car from. I know it sounds like a large investment but in the end I think it's still better than paying extra
For some cars (but not the Volt), the jack lift points are usually where the Volt's hoist lift points are, so it's easier to use a manual scissor jack on those cars because your manual cranking area is not under the car but on the outside with a lot of clearance to work with. Unfortunately, for the Volt, the jack lift points is too far in under the car that using the manual scissor jack would be more difficult because the manual cranking area is under the car.

Another option instead of a pneumatic jack is to buy an electric manual scissor jack. That way, you can still have the compactness of a scissor jack (to bring along with your spare tire on long trip), yet be able to electrically jack the Volt up more easily from the outside.
 

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The lift points for the jacks, and the lifts are two different places. You jacked the car up in the wrong spot, (don't feel terrible, I started to and bent that metal slightly myself.)
I did jack the car up in the wrong spot a few times myself (just on the front driver side hoist spot), but I got lucky and the metal there didn't bend. But that's not to say that you should jack up there on a regular basis for tire rotation.
 

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I've had tire punctures twice already, around 15,000 km and 29,000 km. Because I'm a regular, the repairs were free at my tire shop, though I was charged for the rotation of the other 3 tires (seriously, they charge $8 /tire so I only paid $24 each time)

I finally curbed my front right rim a few weeks back: I'm now condsidering whether I should swap it out next time

Oh, and if you do rotate your tires away from the dealership, you can still put it on the service history at the MyVolt website:

Screenshot from 2013-04-14 13:57:10.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The lift points for the jacks, and the lifts are two different places. You jacked the car up in the wrong spot, (don't feel terrible, I started to and bent that metal slightly myself.) In the manual it shows you, under the springs in the back and on the front there are these oddly almost triangular shaped metal thing right behind the pivot point for the front suspension. (They call it a cradle mount in the front, spring seat in the back.)

Check the manual, it's in there! Otherwise spot on.
Yeah, I was concerned about the proper lift point for a scissor jack. I looked closely at the 2011 and 2012 Chevy Cruze manuals, and I lifted the Volt in the same spot shown in the Cruze manuals. (The Volt and Cruze share the same platform.)

Here is one snip from the Cruze manual.


Here is another snip from the Cruze manual.


Here's how I positioned the scissor jack on my Volt - just as shown in the Cruze manual.


I'll admit that lifting on a piece of metal edge-on seems sort of odd, but it works in exactly the same way on my wife's Toyota Corolla and my Honda CR-V.

The Volt owner's manual shows two sets of points for lifting. Here's a snip showing the points I used for the scissor jack.


Here are the points that I think you were referring to.

These points are more towards the center-line of the car, and I assume they are more suitable for bottle jacks or floor jacks (and would be very difficult with a scissor jack).

bottle jack



floor jack


So, are scissor jacks simply not to be used on a Volt? If one carries a spare tire in their Volt, how are they supposed to jack it up to replace a flat?
 

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You did it right. That is where a scissor jack would go if they gave you one. My Malibu has the same type of welded body flange and that is where the jack goes.

Jack Flange.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You did it right. That is where a scissor jack would go if they gave you one. My Malibu has the same type of welded body flange and that is where the jack goes.

View attachment 19201
Thanks, TSquare! I imagine that any other lift device at the flange would be just as likely as the scissor jack to bend the flange. So, nothing especially evil about the scissor jack.
 

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Scissors jacks work great on the lifting points. But as far as I know, there are no bottle jacks low enough to fit under the Volts jack points. Maybe if you drove up on 4 ramps, but then it might be hard to access the jacks.
 

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I was in Harbor Freight this afternoon and saw the floor jack shown below (click on it for details). Between that ($25.99) and a pair of jack stands ($24.99), I figured I could have what is needed to rotate my own tires. There's just something about working on a car supported only by a jack(s)--I don't trust them.

Simce I haven't actually been under my car, I have a question... what would I put the jack stands under? Is there enough of an axle that I can rest the car on?

 

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While it is ok for other cars to be jacked up there, the question is whether they make the metal flange on the Volt strong enough to be jacked up there or not.

In my case, it seems strong enough at the front driver location for my model year 2013. I tried it 3 times and the flange was not bent one bit. But bjhorton2500 said he bent his a little bit. Dont know which location he tried though.

There must be a reason the Volt manual tells you not to jack up there. I bought an electric scissor jack so I'm going to try to use it at the right place as specified by the Volt manual. To rotate my own tires, I already have a floor jack to use in conjunction with my electric scissor jack.

I think for an emergency spare change of just 1 wheel I wouldn't mind jacking it at the non-approved spot with a manual scissor jack if that is all I have. But for tire rotation where 2 places have to be jacked up, I would try to jack it up at the correct places just to be safe.
 

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I was in Harbor Freight this afternoon and saw the floor jack shown below (click on it for details). Between that ($25.99) and a pair of jack stands ($24.99), I figured I could have what is needed to rotate my own tires. There's just something about working on a car supported only by a jack(s)--I don't trust them.

Since I haven't actually been under my car, I have a question... what would I put the jack stands under? Is there enough of an axle that I can rest the car on?
I have a aluminum hydraulic floor jack but I can't slide it under the side of the Volt all the way through so that the lift platform of the floor jack can reach the lift points under the Volt. I bet you that this floor jack from Harbor Freight would give you the same problem, as you can tell that the pivot point in the middle of that jack is way to high to go under the side of the Volt. With mine, I can reach the rear jack points from BEHIND the Volt OK, but not from the sides.

Meanwhile, my 12V electric scissor jack can fit under and be position at the jack points to lift it up OK.

If you want to use a floor jack, the way to do it would be to lift the rear (coming from behind) first. Then place a jack stand somewhere nearby (you'd have to use your own judgement since the manual doesn't say you can place it anywhere else except for those 4 points. Then hopefully the side will be raised enough at that point to allow you to slide the floor jack into the front jack lift point so you can raise the front.

Instead of buying a jack stand, which will require you to crawl under the car to position the jack stand, I'd just buy 2 floor jacks. Then lift up from behind for the rear first, and hopefully have enough clearance on the side to lift up the front next. Since you're never under the car during the tire rotation, there's no need for the safety of the jack stand.
 
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