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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question for the forum. I recently purchased a 2016 (drove a 2012 Volt for four years) and have been tinkering around to learn all the details of my Volt. I can't seem to figure out if there is a for sure way to tell if the heater is actually on. I am not talking about whether it is blowing hot air or not. The only way I can really determine whether it is on (without feeling hot air blowing out) is to watch the KW display for consumption while parked. In my 2012, there was a symbol that actually let you know the heater is actually turned on. Is there anything like this on Gen two. I have played around with the controls and displays and consulted the owners manual, but if it is there, I am missing it.
 

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You pretty much got it. One additional way I can determine if the heater is on is by the fan speed noise. If I have the fan at say, 50% and the HVAC in ECO mode, whenever the Volt turns off the heat because cabin temps have reached target levels, the fan gets noticeably louder. When cabin temp drops far enough (like ~10F) below target, or humidity builds up in the car, the fan will drop in noise level indicating the heater has come on. This is generally what I've observed.

However, I have noticed a few times where I'm only running the windshield defogger (no air directed at me or my feet) without ECO turned on and occasionally, the fan speed will increase in speed suddenly and eventually become warm. Sure enough, if I switch to the energy distribution screen, my "Climate" usage increases from 0% to 1%. Then I turn the cabin temp another 4F lower to stop the heat usage and the fan speeds reduces to whatever speed I had it before.

The Volt is a fickle thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I just felt like I was missing something. I would very much like to know if the heater is on so I am not accidentally using the battery sometimes. You would think there would be a light or a symbol or something.
 

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Tell me whether the cabin heat is better in Generation II than in Generation I. I wear my down jacket and do not seem to get any cabin heat during the winter. The defroster works fairly well. The service personnel tell me that the 2013 Volt does not need any software update for the heating system, but I have my doubts.
 

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Tell me whether the cabin heat is better in Generation II than in Generation I. I wear my down jacket and do not seem to get any cabin heat during the winter. The defroster works fairly well. The service personnel tell me that the 2013 Volt does not need any software update for the heating system, but I have my doubts.
My Gen one heat was very comparable to a regular car. It was pretty dang hot but only if you really cranked it up on comfort, say around 80 or above.
 

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Tell me whether the cabin heat is better in Generation II than in Generation I. I wear my down jacket and do not seem to get any cabin heat during the winter. The defroster works fairly well. The service personnel tell me that the 2013 Volt does not need any software update for the heating system, but I have my doubts.
I had a 2013 for 3 years, now I have a 2017. In my opinion, the Gen 2 heater is MUCH better than the Gen 1. In my 2013, I had to run it in Comfort all the time to stay comfortable. In my 2017, it stays on Eco, unless the cabin is cold soaked and I want a lot of heat quickly.
There was a software update performed on my 2013. If I remember correctly, I took it in because sometimes I would get no heat during a precondition cycle, the update seemed to fix that problem. Another time I got no cabin heat because the air deverters were stuck and not letting the air flow to the proper vents. Pulling and replacing the F5 HVAC fuse fixed that.
 

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I feel like the Gen I HVAC system and controls were more intuitive then Gen 2.

Just felt easier to get the right level of warmth / chill with the older version.
 

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This doesn't help. It could be running the heater or it could be running the AC. I would like to be able to tell the difference.
It just occurred to me, you can get use the "Energy Usage Distribution Screen" to see if you're using any heat. You just need to keep track mentally the percentage for when it increases. Typically, I just watch if it goes above 0% Climate. If it does, reduce the target temp by 4F as I mentioned before. Still can't differentiate between heater vs AC, but at least only one should be running given ambient temp and your target temp.
 

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IIRC, MyGreenVolt will show you in the app dashboard if the cabin heater is active (but I may be thinking battery heater, been a year since I used it); you will need to purchase an OBDII adapter though. If not MyGreenVolt, there should definitely be a PID to poll through Torque, OBDLink, etc.
 

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Seems odd that in "improving" the HVAC controls they would remove something so simple (and useful) as indicators of the HVAC status. Even 2 LEDs on the dash that light up (equivalent to the two icons on-screen for g1) would have been helpful.
 
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