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Discussion Starter #1
Any of the very knowledgeable engineers \ Volt owners with drivetrain knowledge know if its OK to drive on Low + Sport when running on gas?

Low + Sport is awesome :D, it feels like a completely different car, my wife has a fancy (to me) 6 cylinder 280+ HP Lexus ES and the Volt feels just as powerful and much more fun even on highway, I'm more and more finding myself driving on sport + LOW mode, normal mode the car feels reluctant in comparison. I also find that my MPG \ Range is not affected as much, trade off is definitely worth it.

Reason i bring up this question is because when driving on gas there is that point where you feel the electric motor hand over traction power to the gas engine via some sort of clutch, I'm wondering if the combination adds additional stress to the drivetrain \ transaxle components
 

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Any of the very knowledgeable engineers \ Volt owners with drivetrain knowledge know if its OK to drive on Low + Sport when running on gas?
Yes it is perfectly acceptable to drive this way. FYI, "Low" is NOT a gear in a Volt. It only effects braking, it ramps up the regen when you lift off the accelerator. Also, Sport Mode only remaps the accelerator so that it reacts quicker. You can get the same effect by pushing the go pedal farther in Normal Mode.
 

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Perfectly fine to run it this way on gas. The planetary gears on the transition are quite a feat of engineering and the software is even more sophisticated.

Generally, the ICE only couples directly to the drive wheels at speeds greater then ~50 MPH. Otherwise, the ICE is just turning the genset as needed -- if needed. However, you can decouple the ICE if you "punch it" while operation at high speeds. You can feel a slight lag while the ICE planetary gear decouples just before the the computer allows the electric motor to accelerate.

Instant torque is addictive! Especially at lower speeds... the car just goes. No drama, no hesitation. I'l never go back, that's for sure.

While Low+Sport is fun, don't trick yourself into believing that it's more efficient. All regen incurs conversion losses. But it sounds like you are driving for fun, not efficiency -- so have at it. Just be safe and leave a little of the planet for our children to enjoy.
 

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As others have stated, you can indeed drive like Jeff Gordon all you want. Some g1 owners have reported bearing wear possibly from spirited driving, but I don't think there is a 100% correlation between the two. With any car, drive it like a grandpa, it should last longer, drive it like you stole it, parts will wear faster.

Just remember, max regen doesn't necesarily buy you more range. If you are trying to achieve range, driving in Normal D, coasting like crazy, and avoiding regen will usually get you more ev range. Plus sport low doesn't really cause the car to go any faster. You can achieve the same dynamics by mashing the accelerator to the floor in D and pushing hard on the brakes when you let go of the accelerator. The friction brakes will not engage except for panic stops or at the very end of your regen. Sport L is fun for the driver, but your passengers may get car sick from the herky-jerky driving. But, it's a lot of fun. I love the feeling of flooring it and feeling the car go, and go, and go without any transmission shifts along the way.
 

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<snip>
Generally, the ICE only couples directly to the drive wheels at speeds greater then ~50 MPH. Otherwise, the ICE is just turning the genset as needed -- if needed. <snip>
When on my road trips, I have sensed the clutching of the ICE occurring at speed as low as 35 mph. It all depends on energy demands over time. Light torque demands for 5 or 10 seconds and, BINGO, clutching occurs.
 

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IMHO driving this way is mostly harmless. Probably tends to be less efficient. If you're driving in sport mode, I'd guess you aren't particularly light footed.
 

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Yeah, you can feel a slight judder, similar to an automatic transmission shifting up.
 

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I drive in L and Sport Mode all the time - it makes for a much more enjoyable drive for me. When the battery depletes and it the ICE kicks in - you will still get the "quicker" acceleration of Sport Mode and the brake regen of L mode. There are times, during spirited driving, where it may feel weird as the ICE/CVT combo revs up to meet the demand. Since Sport Mode provides for quicker acceleration it will consume more fuel, thought it may not be noticeable depending on how you drive. Definitely OK to drive in Sport Mode and L with or without ICE.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the replies all, good to know I'm not shortening or stressing the tranny.

Over the past few weeks I've been logging my miles per charge and I averaged
on Normal+D 36-39
on Normal+L 35-40
on Sport+L 32-35

(almost same weather, commute route, no HVAC use)
 
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