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I'm down to my last gallon after our gen2 holiday road trip; when will I fill her up?

We came home from our last road trip from South Padre Island late in the afternoon of Dec 31st. A combination of a light rain, gusty 15-25mph head wind and 75mph interstates and temperatures falling to around freezing reduced our gas mileage on the trip home to 34mpg as opposed to 42mpg for the earlier drive from Austin to South Padre. The Volt has a small 9 gallon gas tank, and I filled her up with 260 miles to go. I mentally calculated that would be enough to get us home. The estimated gas range slowly dropped and I wondered when the low fuel warning would come on. But we were already in south Austin close to home and the range was still above 50 miles so I continued onward into the late afternoon knowing there were gas stations available at every exit. Just as we exited the highway towards our house, the car signaled its discontent, with the yellow fuel warning light coming on with under 40 miles of range to go. But we were home.

So now the question is, when will I fill her up again? The New Year began with a rare Austin cold snap that stayed below freezing for nearly 3 days. But it was above ERDTT, so there was no need to fill her up in those conditions. Whenever we do go out, the car happily starts with a full 14kwh's of battery charge.

In between the road trips, I drive the gen2 Volt as a pure EV, with a total of ~84% EV and another 1800 ICE miles over the past year or so. Often I go the full six weeks before EMM kicks in and forces my car to fire up its engine for a few minutes. On the road trips, our gen2 Volt shows its other personality seamlessly switching to ICE mode on trips varying from 50 miles to 400 miles, and then back. Sometimes we'll charge up at our destination before returning home, and sometimes not. The EV infrastructure here in Texas is still pretty inconsistent outside of the big cities.

Its a new Year and life is back to normal. The Volt's gas tank shows 11% or 1.05 gallons on Voltstats and a gas range of 31 miles. Every time I start the car, I get a little warning which I ignore about low fuel. I could easily go another month without filling up. One gets a a little bit of range anxiety somewhat like driving a 24kwh Leaf with 84 miles of EV range. If I ever feel like I might use the entire battery range, I would fill her up first. But there's an L2 the garage, and life is always busy, and it never seems like the right time.

I will fill her up before the next EMM. The only question is when? Until then, I'm down to my last gallon...
 

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I'm down to my last gallon after our gen2 holiday road trip; when will I fill her up?

We came home from our last road trip from South Padre Island late in the afternoon of Dec 31st. A combination of a light rain, gusty 15mph head wind and 75mph interstates and temperatures falling to around freezing reduced our gas mileage on the trip home to 34mpg as opposed to 42mpg for the earlier drive from Austin to South Padre. The Volt has a small 9 gallon gas tank, and I filled her up with 260 miles to go. I mentally calculated that would be enough to get us home. The estimated gas range slowly dropped and I wondered when the low fuel warning would come on. But we were already in south Austin close to home and the range was still above 50 miles so I continued onward into the late afternoon knowing there were gas stations available at every exit. Just as we exited the highway towards our house, the car signaled its discontent, with the yellow fuel warning light coming on with under 40 miles of range to go. But we were home.

So now the question is, when will I fill her up again? The New Year began with a rare Austin cold snap that stayed below freezing for nearly 3 days. But it was above ERDTT, so there was no need to fill her up in those conditions. Whenever we do go out, the car happily starts with a full 14kwh's of battery charge.

In between the road trips, I drive the gen2 Volt as a pure EV, with a total of ~84% EV and another 1800 ICE miles over the past year or so. Often I go the full six weeks before EMM kicks in and forces my car to fire up its engine for a few minutes. On the road trips, our gen2 Volt shows its other personality seamlessly switching to ICE mode on trips varying from 50 miles to 400 miles, and then back. Sometimes we'll charge up at our destination before returning home, and sometimes not. The EV infrastructure here in Texas is still pretty inconsistent outside of the big cities.

Its a new Year and life is back to normal. The Volt's gas tank shows 11% or 1.05 gallons on Voltstats and a gas range of 31 miles. Every time I start the car, I get a little warning which I ignore about low fuel. I could easily go another month without filling up. One gets a a little bit of range anxiety somewhat like driving a 24kwh Leaf with 84 miles of EV range. If I ever feel like I might use the entire battery range, I would fill her up first. But there's an L2 the garage, and life is always busy, and it never seems like the right time.

I will fill her up before the next EMM. The only question is when? Until then, I'm down to my last gallon...
If the Volt is low on fuel then preconditioning may not work. Not sure why, maybe in case it is cold enough for the ICE to run. The Owner's Manual recommends keeping the fuel tank 1/3rd full, ~ 3 gallons of fuel, if you don't regularly use gas. Besides, projections are that fuel prices will rise almost $0.20 per gallon in 2018 so you might as well buy your gas now while it is still cheap. Source: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1114604_gas-prices-primed-to-rise-in-2018-highest-in-four-years-report
 

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I would put in 1 or 2 gallons now just to keep the 'Low Fuel' warning turned off. Low fuel will also prevent preconditioning. Then fill it up just before your next road trip. I havn't been back to the gas station since last August.
 

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I would put in 1 or 2 gallons now just to keep the 'Low Fuel' warning turned off. Low fuel will also prevent preconditioning. Then fill it up just before your next road trip. I havn't been back to the gas station since last August.
^^^^This^^^^
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would put in 1 or 2 gallons now just to keep the 'Low Fuel' warning turned off. Low fuel will also prevent preconditioning. Then fill it up just before your next road trip. I havn't been back to the gas station since last August.
Thanks. Some day I'll fill my volt up when I'm not behind schedule ...

I've never used preconditioning. My garage is somewhat insulated. I do use the seat warmers; usually 74 and "max" heat on the coldest days is sufficient and I have no complaints. The gen2 Volt heats up comparably fast to gas engines with those settings, maybe faster. Jan 2nd after work during that 3 day below freezing cold snap in Austin Texas when it was sleeting out, I was quite comfortable during my commute which stretched into a 40 minute crawl. Of course, my EV range dropped way down but with L2 charging that's no big deal.
 

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Up here in northwest Oregon I keep our 2016 Volt always filled with a full tank of gas. You never know when there will be a winter storm punching through from the Pacific Ocean knocking out power for day's. I don't mind the extra few pounds of gas weight as to me its insurance. We also use gas as we take a shopping trip to Portland Oregon at least once a month which is usually a 200 mile round trip so we never have to worry about stale gas in the tank.
 

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I've never used preconditioning. My garage is somewhat insulated. I do use the seat warmers; usually 74 and "max" heat on the coldest days is sufficient and I have no complaints. The gen2 Volt heats up comparably fast to gas engines with those settings, maybe faster. Jan 2nd after work during that 3 day below freezing cold snap in Austin Texas when it was sleeting out, I was quite comfortable during my commute which stretched into a 40 minute crawl. Of course, my EV range dropped way down but with L2 charging that's no big deal.
If you've never used the Volt's preconditioning feature you are missing out. In summer preconditioning for 8-10 minutes means you never have to enter a sweltering hot vehicle. In winter preconditioning 1X (for 10 minutes) or extended a second time for a total of 20 minutes means the Volt's interior will be warm when you get into the cabin even on the coldest days. Since you charge at home using level 2 charging know that a 10 minute preconditioning cycle will end with perhaps a 0.2 - 0.4 kW deficit on the Volt's battery. You can replace this amount of energy in under 10 minutes of additional recharging or you can drive off knowing that you have, at most, lost 2 miles of EV range. If you try preconditioning this winter you'll probably like it.
 

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Concur to just add a gallon or so to extinguish the LOW indication, and allow pre-conditioning on cold mornings. Maybe you've got some lawn mower gas in the garage that needs to be used up?
 

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Concur to just add a gallon or so to extinguish the LOW indication, and allow pre-conditioning on cold mornings. Maybe you've got some lawn mower gas in the garage that needs to be used up?
Just don't use old lawn mower gas from a dirty/rusty can.
 

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I would suggest non-ethonal fuel if you have it locally. It lasts better. (I use it in all my trials and dirt motorcycles).
I also use enzyme fuel stabilizer if it will be not used for awhile, sounds like your situation.
 

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I would fill it, or at least keep a few gallons in it in the winter. Maybe it doesn't get very cold in Austin, but you never know when you might get stuck/stranded/broken down, and in many places, keeping the heat on overnight (or longer) could be a life saver, or at least a huge comfort.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wednesday I added exactly 2 gallons, which added about 80 miles to the gasoline range. I am a little curious as to how much gas was really left. Volt Stat's said 1.0 gallons, but the car only thought there was 31 miles left.

I don't know if I'll ever use preconditioning since our garage is reasonably insulated in the winter. It is supposed to be near freezing tonight and we're going out to a show. One could imagine turning on the car early with the remote, but it mostly seems not helpful to me personally. Maybe in the hot summer for AC though at work I do park in a shaded garage, and I do crack the windows.
 

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Wednesday I added exactly 2 gallons, which added about 80 miles to the gasoline range. I am a little curious as to how much gas was really left. Volt Stat's said 1.0 gallons, but the car only thought there was 31 miles left.

I don't know if I'll ever use preconditioning since our garage is reasonably insulated in the winter. It is supposed to be near freezing tonight and we're going out to a show. One could imagine turning on the car early with the remote, but it mostly seems not helpful to me personally. Maybe in the hot summer for AC though at work I do park in a shaded garage, and I do crack the windows.
You might try the preconditioning feature, see if your passengers appreciate the difference. Recommended setting for moderate cold temperatures: Auto, Recirculate, Max, Cabin Temperature 76F. If you are plugged in, Level 2, expect to finish the 10 minute preconditioning period with a battery charge deficit of 0.2 - 0.4 kWh. Barely enough decrease in EV range (1-2 miles) to be noticeable. If you wait an 8-10 additional minutes, while competing charging,this should completely recharge the battery.
 
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