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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I'm a new owner of a 2017 Volt, and it comes with a gas tank. When I drive it, it seems that it still burns gas for acceleration. Is it possible to force it to use only battery? I see there was some old discussion about driving with an empty tank is ok for Volt. But would it hurt the engine power train with a constantly empty tank? Can I force the battery-only mode with gas in the tank?
Thank you all in advance!
 

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Have you been charging the Volt? If the high voltage battery has been charged the Volt will run on the battery until the battery charge is depleted. You need to keep some gas in the tank, 1/3 tank (approx. 3 gallons) is recommended if you do not use gas regularly. The Volt will start and run the gas engine for a short period every 6 weeks to circulate the engine fluids. If you don't use the gas in the tank, after 12 months the Volt will start to use the gas.

There is no way to force the Volt to use the battery, Normal is the default mode and it will use the battery to power the Volt's wheels until the battery is depleted and needs to be recharged. You can save the remaining battery charge any time you choose by selecting Hold mode. Hold mode will use the gas engine until you return to Normal mode or turn off the Volt.

Please read the Owner's Manual. It will answer all of your questions.
 

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If the car has been on the dealer lot for a while, it will try to do Fuel Maintenance / Engine Maintenance. This takes 10 minutes, and if not completed, will happen over and over again until it completes. It sounds like this is what's happening to you, assuming you're just driving short distances around town. When I first took delivery of my Volt, it did a FMM on the drive home. That was over an hour though, so it was well complete by the time I got home. Check the Infotainment screen to see if that's what it's doing.

As for running without gas, I've run my 2016 out twice now. Once it misfires twice, the engine shuts down and propulsion power is reduced, even with a full battery. This will continue until it detects that you've put some gas in. I suggest a minimum gas range of 50 miles on the guess-o-meter; that's a little over a gallon in the tank.

The Volt never uses gas unless the battery is dead, or for the aforementioned FM or EM Modes, or if you manually select HOLD mode, or if it's really cold out.

You may also want to use the CLASSIC-Enhanced screen on the DIC. It is very obvious on that whether the gas engine is running, as it will show 2 bars on the right if so, and only 1 large one if on electric only.
 

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When I drive it, it seems that it still burns gas for acceleration.
If you have ANY charge the ICE WILL NOT start to propel the vehicle. If there is NO charge then YES the ICE has to operate.

Something isn't right if the ICE starts when you have SOME charge left in the battery.
 

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I suspect what you're seeing is what TJN mentioned above - fuel maintenance mode.

Read what the car is trying to tell you on the relevant data screens - if it is indeed FMM then drive it until it completes successfully, and then so long as you're charged up, as others have mentioned, the engine will NOT start. Well, until the really cold winter months (depending on where you are) and we get into ERDTT, but that's a different story. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your reply.

When I drove my Volt, the battery was fully charged, but I still see energy flows between/from generator/engine/battery. Does it mean it is burning gas to drive the car? It is from dealer just yesterday, so maybe the car is in FM/EM as tjncooke mentioned. If the car is NOT in FM/EM and is fully-charged, then the fuel range on the dash board should not reduce assuming the fuel to start the engine is negligible, is this correct?

Thanks!
 

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Ummm...IS the engine actually running? Can you hear it? Is the dash registering miles driven as gas, and showing a related consumption?

Is it possible you've been switching to Hold mode, alternately? In this mode the car will default to the engine whilst preserving whatever capacity the battery is at when it was selected - the idea is on a long trip you may want to save battery miles for the end, instead of the beginning of a drive.
 

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Correct. The Engine Management Mode only runs the gas engine for 10 minutes once every 6 weeks. If you are in Normal mode (the default) mode and the battery has some charge the Volt runs on the battery and the gas engine is not used.

The Driver Information Center display can be set for Classic or Modern, normal or enhanced. I recommend you start with Classic Enhanced as you can see at a glance that the Volt is either running on battery (left side of the Classic display is illuminated and the right side is dimmed) or running on gas (left side is dimmed out and the right side is illuminated.)

The battery state of charge is displayed on the left in 10 green segments. Each segment represents approximately 5 miles of EV range. The available gas in the fuel tank is displayed on the right in 9 segments, approximately 1 gallon per segment.

The estimated remaining miles of EV range are displayed on the left, remaining miles on gas are displayed on the right.

Once you are certain that the Volt is running on the battery you can use the mode selector button located below and to the left of the shift lever to switch to Hold mode. This will start the gas engine within 3 seconds of selecting Hold. To change back to battery just select Normal (the default). Sport mode only adjusts the throttle pedal response. Mountain mode is only for building up a 20% charge in the battery, when the battery is depleted, at least 20 minutes before you are about to start up a long ascent such as a mountain. If is generally not needed on the Gen II Volt unless you live in a mountainous region.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Let me take some notes/photos before and after the next trip today. I will keep you all updated.
Thank you very much for your reply. I'm glad I joined an active community.
 

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If you bought your car from Chevrolet, you are owed a full briefing from your sales rep on how the car works. In the meantime, have the service manager or sales rep drive the car and explain how it works, if it is found to be running correctly. If you have a friend or neighbor who drives a Volt, have them help you out.
 

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Here are the situations when your Volt will run the gas engine

Battery is low: Car will use gas engine, switching between series and parallel hybrid modes

Engine Maintenance Mode (EMM): If Engine is not run for 6 weeks, this mode will cause the engine to run for about 10 minutes using a specific program designed to test all the components and re-distribute oil. About 0.03 gallons of gas is consumed

Fuel Maintenance Mode (FMM): If fuel in the tank is more than 1 year old, this mode will run the gas engine until the gas is consumed, or fresh gas is added to bring the average age of gas to less than one year

Engine Running Due To Temperature: ERDTT: If external temperature is very low, engine will run to produce heat. The setting can be configured to low (35F) or very low (15F). Refer to your manual

Hood is open: Engine will run if car is "ON" and hood is open (or detected as open)

Hold Mode: Option that lets user preserve remaining EV range. Car will run gas engine and run as if the battery was drained, when this driving mode is selected by user. Once out of this mode, whatever battery range was available when this mode was selected will be available again (give or take a few)

Mountain Mode: Option that lets user increase the low battery buffer from ~20% to ~45% (cant remember the exact values). If the battery is over 45%, engine will not run. This mode is useful when you know you are going to encounter significant and prolonged inclines. The larger battery buffer allows the car to operate without any reduction in power

Outside of these situations, if you have sufficient battery:
-> Engine will not run if you step on it
-> Engine will not run if you go top speed
-> Engine will not run if you turn on AC or Heat
-> Engine will not run if you overload
 

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Re: Mountain Mode: For Gen I - a maximum of 40% charge is put into the battery, for Gen II - 20% charge.
 

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There’s a big difference between an Engine Maintenance Mode (EMM) and a Fuel Maintenance Mode (FMM). The EMM runs but a short time and uses but a small amount of gas. The FMM continues using the ICE to run the car (you can’t switch to battery power) until the "year old gas" in the tank is diluted with fresh gas, or used up and replaced.

If your "new" 2017 Volt was actually built and had gas put into the tank around a year ago, then the car may indeed be performing an FMM. The "average age" of the gas in the tank might be at that "year old" point where you are experiencing an FMM, and that’s why your engine is running. If so, your drivers manual can tell you more about the FMM, and how to bring it to an end.
 

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If you posted your location a fellow Volt owner might be willing to meet up with you and compare notes. I live near St Louis and would be ready/willing and able to meet you say within 50 miles for a coffee and vehicle orientation. Do you live near St Louis?
 

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If you bought your car from Chevrolet, you are owed a full briefing from your sales rep on how the car works. In the meantime, have the service manager or sales rep drive the car and explain how it works, if it is found to be running correctly. If you have a friend or neighbor who drives a Volt, have them help you out.
Good luck with that, many sales reps at Chevy are clueless. This is a better place to ask.
 

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Thank you all for your reply.

When I drove my Volt, the battery was fully charged, but I still see energy flows between/from generator/engine/battery. Does it mean it is burning gas to drive the car? It is from dealer just yesterday, so maybe the car is in FM/EM as tjncooke mentioned. If the car is NOT in FM/EM and is fully-charged, then the fuel range on the dash board should not reduce assuming the fuel to start the engine is negligible, is this correct?

Thanks!
Not sure about the 2017 energy flow screen, but on the 2011 the flow can just indicate from front wheels to battery and from battery to front wheels. The engine isn't involved. It easy to think the flow from the wheel to the battery is from the engine to the battery.

So the question is, is the engine really running? if it is really running, did you check that the hood is fully closed? The engine will always run if the hood is not fully closed; this is done to support emissions testing.
 

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There’s a big difference between an Engine Maintenance Mode (EMM) and a Fuel Maintenance Mode (FMM). The EMM runs but a short time and uses but a small amount of gas. The FMM continues using the ICE to run the car (you can’t switch to battery power) until the "year old gas" in the tank is diluted with fresh gas, or used up and replaced.

If your "new" 2017 Volt was actually built and had gas put into the tank around a year ago, then the car may indeed be performing an FMM. The "average age" of the gas in the tank might be at that "year old" point where you are experiencing an FMM, and that’s why your engine is running. If so, your drivers manual can tell you more about the FMM, and how to bring it to an end.
So if the OPs car is indeed burning fuel because of FMM, the solution is to add fresh fuel to the tank to lower the average age of the fuel. Alternatively you could burn it all off while moving or parked. Sadly, with my 50 mile per day commute on a g1, I've never witnessed FMM or EMM.
 

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Good luck with that, many sales reps at Chevy are clueless. This is a better place to ask.
Agreed. My sales rep was clueless - he took me into the service department and "introduced" me there and the senior service advisor said "If I have a question about his car I ask him as he probably knows more about it than I do." That's thanks to well moderated forums like this where members actually help each other.
 
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