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Gen1 shocks & struts

5291 Views 23 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  HiFlite
Has anyone changed out their shocks & struts for their gen1s and if so, at what mileage did you do it? I’m at 85k miles at the moment, but the car feels like new when going over bumps (though maybe it just seems that way since wear is gradual over time).
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My 2013 Owner's Manual does NOT list any fluid change at 45k miles (just engine air filter... which is dumb, it should be based on engine miles, but of course they don't tell you those either). It does show ATF at 97.5k miles. Sounds like this was a change from earlier Volts?
The 2014 Owner's Manual requires that with severe service the ATF should be changed at 45k miles.

I got to thinking that perhaps driving across country with 6-7 days of 500+ miles a day at 65 mph might be considered severe, so I had mine done by the dealer this week at 54k miles. It cost me $250 with tax. I'm considering that cost an insurance premium against a failure of the transmission. Tomorrow I begin another x-country road trip, which will make the third time crossing the country in the car. I've got 1k miles on the new Continental Purecontacts, so they are well-seated (so-to-speak). They have pretty much held the 45 psi for the month they have been on the car so I'm satisfied they are good-to-go.

LLninja - welcome back my friend 8^) You probably know how to test the shocks for wear: push hard on a fender four or five times getting a good rhythm, then stop and count the number of oscillations before the car comes to rest. IIRC, there should be only one complete oscillation for a good shock. To verify, I just did it on my car and there was one oscillation.
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Well, the owners manual says SEVERE includes towing trailers, use as a cop car or taxi, racing, or lots of mountain ranges. Obviously this was a cut and paste from other owners manuals as in another spot it definitely says no towing is allowed (though many Volt forum members still break that rule).

Alas I went from driving like a grandpa to driving like Jeff Gordon at the 2 year mark, so maybe I should lube my tranny sooner (Elemental bait).
Insurance payments are necessary evils <grins> What's the cost of a new tranny? $6k?
Any new DIY mechanic that changes fluid on a typical car automatic trans always freaks out over how dark the fluid is. That color change is due to normal clutch wear. Yes, there are clutch disks within the automatic.

There are a few clutch packs in the Gen 1 transmission but for the majority of drivers they should experience virtually NO wear, thus no darkening or discoloring of the fluid. But just because it looks good doesn't mean it's not worn out.

(I'll admit I'm talking out of my area of expertise here so feel free to flame me)

I suspect the only way to know if the pretty fluid is still OK at high mileage is to have an oil analysis.
for those interested in how the drive system works, here is an excellent video of the breakdown of the system:
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