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Discussion Starter #1
Flying out Thursday night to drive back a 2013 Volt and since I've only had two short test drives, there's a few things I'd like to know. I don't want to hope the salesperson will be able to tell me so please help if you can. Thanks!

Is MyChevrolet the app I should download to my phone?

Is this the same one that will track it if stolen?

Anything else I should know?
 

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Q: Is MyChevrolet the app I should download to my phone?
A: Yes, but know it's one of two you can use, they are essentially identical.
I like and use the OnStar RemoteLink app. But I guess it's what your used to and like.

Q: Is this the same one that will track it if stolen?
A: Yes or if your kid's have the car you can check on where it is.

Q: Anything else I should know?
A: Check tire pressure and set to 38 PSI when COLD
Check all fluids
Check for all accessories that should come with a new Volt, things like two fob's, Owner's Manual and I'd go so far as to pull out the EVSE and plug it in to make sure everything works.

And don't forget on the Gen I use ONLY premium fuel and with that long of a drive I'd consider adding some fuel injection cleaner to the first FULL tank.

Good luck and here's to miles of EV smiles.
 

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The gas gauge is honest with no reserve. Don't expect to be able to drive it past empty like most cars can. On your last gallon, it will stop displaying miles to empty and just say "low." I would not drive any farther than that without filling. You can drive in mountain mode to keep some battery reserve available for these situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Awesome Accidental, thanks for the fast response. I'll try the OnStar app to see if I like it better. Does it require an OnStar subscription or do I get the remainder of the 5 years since it's a Certified 2013?
 

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Awesome Accidental, thanks for the fast response. I'll try the OnStar app to see if I like it better. Does it require an OnStar subscription or do I get the remainder of the 5 years since it's a Certified 2013?
As a used car buyer, I think you will get a 3 month free OnStar trial period. That's what I got when I bought my used 2013. You will have to register for it, which you can do by pressing the onstar button in the car and talking to a rep. There is a similar deal with XM radio.
 

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If you expect to any driving over mountain passes, you can put it in mountain mode (drive mode button) about 30 minutes before beginning the uphill climb. You could also just put it in mountain mode at the beginning of the trip and leave it there until you have climbed the last uphill grade.

This will ensure you have plenty of power for any long uphill climbs.

The car will pretty much take care of itself, not a lot of thinking required, but the mountain mode is good to know about.

Enjoy your trip! I made a Seattle to Houston trip after picking up our new 2013 Volt (in Seattle) and it was a very nice drive.
 

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Out of curiosity, where is the car? It is hard to get 1400 miles from Denver without getting pretty close to leaving the country.
 

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Make sure you learn how to open gas cap. Press release hidden above charge port release. Observe message on dash saying it is ready to fuel. Press in on fuel cover and it pops open. Then fuel as normal :)

Check all fluid levels before leaving, especially coolant levels.
 

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All this talk of Mountain Mode. You are getting a 2013, it has Hold Mode (hopefully the dealer will give you a full tank of gas and a full charge to leave on). Put it into Hold Mode at the start of the trip and leave it there. Hold Mode is the same as Mountain Mode except that you get to select how much battery to save. Save the battery for the last ~40 miles. Don't worry about trying to find a plug until you get home.
 

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I've taken my Gen 1 on 1,600 mile trips.
Some tips from my trips, a few of which were in really REALLY bad weather....

  • If you are going below about 45mph...run on battery, it's more efficient.
  • If you are going above about 45mph and steady, run the ICE/REX in HOLD mode, that's where the gas burner is most efficient.
  • If you get into a lot of damp/wet and the windows keep fogging try either seting the HVAC to recirculate, or else crack the rear windows just a hair (like 1/2 inch) and see which works best to help keep your windows clear.
  • If the Volt tells you it's low on fuel, IT IS NOT KIDDING. Don't push your luck, go refuel.
  • If you hit bad weather with high winds you'll notice other cars around you "acting weird". In fact what is happening is the excellent aerodynamics and super-low center of gravity of the Volt are assisting you. Be alert to the fact that conditions are worse than how it feels to you and OTHER drivers may be having a problem.
Other than that.. just drive it. :)
 

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I drove ~2,300 miles from Oregon to Michigan in September in my 2012 Volt, and then back to Oregon last week (I made the same trip in 2013). My fueling suggestions would be:

Start the trip with a full battery charge if possible, but don’t bother with recharging until you reach your destination. A 2013 Volt getting 37 MPGcs (gas mileage when using gas) will use ~38 gallons of gas to travel 1400 miles. A Volt gets about the same number of miles from a gallon of gas as from a full battery charge, so the savings don’t seem to justify the efforts needed to recharge while on a long drive. Recharging overnight will save ~1 gallon of gas, but the motels I use don’t have L2-level recharging, and any parking spots with access to a 120-volt electric outlet are often inconveniently located or occupied by other guests. L2 recharging while stopped for a meal will obtain only ~10 miles of recharge per hour. How much time do your meal stops usually take?

The driver’s display has two trip meters: Trip A and Trip B. I reset Trip A meter each time I filled up with gas. Once I had filled the gas tank and reset trip A while operating in Range Extending mode (iow, all miles would be gas miles), this display shows on-the-fly gas mileage and the amount of gas consumed. The Gen 1 gas tank holds 9.3 gallons, but I tend to be cautious when driving on interstate highways with long distances between exits (and gas stations), and like to refill my gas tank after using 6-7 gallons. The on-the-fly gas mileage on the display helps me estimate where and when my next gas stop will be. I do not necessarily rely on the gas range estimate.

I also reset my Trip B meter when I started my trip back to Oregon. The center screen usage display has a maximum distance reading of 1272 miles. When the trip total reached 1272, that total miles display froze at that number. When Gas Miles reached 1272 miles, that number, too, stopped increasing, although the trip MPG, lifetime MPG, and Gas Used continue to display correct numbers. Since you’re planning a 1400 mile trip, if you’re fully charged when you start your trip (i.e., the usage screen has been reset to 0), by resetting Trip B at the start of the trip, you can confirm the usage screen Gas Used and Trip MPG numbers are correct (usage screen trip mpg includes the Electric Miles), and the Trip B meter Trip Total miles number will be an accurate total for the trip.

One final note. The Gen 1's ICE output will provide adequate power under most circumstances, but in certain high-demand conditions (such as passing while driving up steep hills at freeway speed limits), the ICE output alone may be insufficient and if the Volt cannot borrow some extra power from the battery, the car will go into Reduced Propulsion Mode until power demands lessen. GM recognized this and created a Mode to preserve a battery buffer above the normal minimum level. Such driving conditions are usually found when driving up mountain roads, so it’s called Mountain Mode. Shifting into MM reserves ~4 bars of Gen 1 power (~2 bars for the Gen 2 Volt, which has a more powerful ICE output), in effect, raising the minimum battery state of charge that far above the normal minimum soc. If you shift into MM with a relatively full charge, the car will continue to operate in Electric mode until the charge drops to that higher soc point, and then it will transition into Range Extending mode. If you shift into MM after the soc has dropped below the MM-maintained level or even after the battery is fully depleted, a feature built into MM will use the ICE and burn gas to recharge the battery back up to that MM-maintained soc point. It takes ~15 minutes to recharge a fully depleted Gen 1 battery to that MM-maintained level when driving under moderate conditions, and that’s why the manual recommends shifting into MM at least 20 minutes before driving into the hills (it sure beats stopping for hours to plug into the grid to recharge). Hold Mode (best to use it for this purpose by switching to it at or above the MM-maintained soc) will provide the same function of having extra battery power on hand in case it’s needed to maintain performance when driving in the mountains. My 2012 has no Hold Mode, so I chose to use MM as a way of holding on to a few miles of battery power in case I miscalculated when to get off the highway and refuel and actually ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere.

Since my trip involved driving over the Continental Divide, I chose to switch into MM as soon as I started my drive in Michigan. I drove far enough to deplete the battery to the MM-maintained soc, then continued in Range Extending mode for the rest of the trip. Of course, each time the car is turned off and back on again (at rest stops, or overnight stops), the switch into MM (or Hold) must be made again. By driving in MM, I had no problems at any time driving at freeway speed limits of 70-80+ mph and passing slower vehicles while driving up hills. I switched back to Normal ~15 miles from the end of my trip to use up any grid power remaining in the battery before I reached home.

By using Trip A meter as described, I observed the significant effect of weather conditions on gas mileage. I was amazed to be getting 47 mpg as I drove eastward in sunny weather through Illinois, Indiana, and into Michigan. I was dismayed to be getting 28 mpg as I drove westward through Wyoming as wind gusts up to 35+ and 50+ mpg were blowing as I crossed through the state.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, lots of good info from everyone! It's actually 1100 miles, Louisville Kentucky to Littleton, Colorado. I must have been looking at another car that was 1400 miles away. So it seems I should be traveling with Mountain Mode or Hold on. Probably a good thing I'm not going over the mountains until I learn the techniques. So it goes about 340 miles on just gas if I'm not mistaken, so plan on going about 300 max before refilling?
 

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I would just keep an eye on the range indicator and plan fuel stops with that. As with any vehicle, range will vary based on many variables, but I would imagine you could safely go about 300 miles on a tank. Mountain would probably be ideal as that will maintain about a 12-15 (or more) mile range should you require a small reserve until you feel confident with your range estimates and will maintain plenty of energy to climb any mountain you should encounter.
 

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With my 2013, I used hold mode on trips. With ELR, I just drive since there is slightly more power available with the battery discharged.

At no time tooling around in TX, OK, or MO did I have a 'propulsion reduced' message.
 

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Having owned 3 Volts now (2012, 2013 and 2017) I like to use HOLD with a FULL battery when traveling long distance and knowing I will encounter steep inclines.

I would suggest you view your trip at evtripplanner.com enter your starting and destination locations like any other mapping app and it will show you things like elevation changes and that will help you manage those areas with either MM or via HOLD mode.

Good luck, safe travels and enjoy the drive.
 

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I'd stop for fuel about every 4 hours. It's good for the heart to remove the pressure from the arteries in the back of the legs for a few minutes and you'll never run out. Then I'd flip a coin to see if I go to Mike Linnig's the first night back with the Volt and Mark's Feed Store the second or vice versa.
 
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