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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It was 21 degrees this morning in Acton (MA, not ME or CA). Beautiful, clear, with light frost on the paint, but not the windows (yea!). I have my system set to only use the ICE for supplemental heat below 15 because I have a 17-21 mile commute (depending on route) and can make the whole commute on battery. I pre heated 2x, but with my 110V plug in, I know that most of that comes from the battery. I have the climate set to comfort and 82 deg, floor vents only, and auto seat heaters, no ICE assist. So when I got out to the car I knew I was 20 minutes at 6kw into the battery already.

A few weeks ago I picked up a nail in a tire, so I have a slow leak and, some mornings, if the nail is at the flex point, I have to add air. (I know, I just need to take the time to jack the car up, pull the tire, pull the nail, and plug the hole, 15 minutes at most, but I have not done so...). This morning was one of those, I borrowed my son's air pump, started the car, plugged the pump in and filled the tire, which took about 10 minutes. By the time I backed down my curving 200 foot downhill driveway, pulled into the street and got the data screens back, between the heaters and the air pump, I had driven 0.1 miles and consumed 1.1 Kwh. The car interior was shirt sleeve perfect.

I drove the 18 miles to work, (mostly in "L", because even though I'm the one who waxes poetic about the good that comes from driving in "D", I don't always take my own advice, just like any non-recovery addict I guess, besides, traffic was stop and go the whole way and I was on the brake pedal even in L...)

I left my climate settings as described: comfort, 82, fan on 3, floor vents only, auto seat heaters). 45 minutes later I parked, having use 6.8 reported KWh and showing an estimated remaining range of 11 miles. I was comfortable the whole trip, had popped through several radio stations to get my fill of both music and the drone of news/sports/blather talk. (Boy is it ever a slow news month...)

So why bother to post this mundane story? (you didn't ask, but I'm writing this, so I'm allowed to imagine that you did, besides, you control whether you are still reading or have clicked away and moved on to a more intersting thread....)

the short answer is: to provide some alternate perspective on other recent threads. (ok, NOW you can click away....)

A- There have been a handful of threads in the 3 months I've been here where the OP opens up with a double barrel unload on the cabin heat. Occasionally they are using a flame thrower in their choice of writing style. In most cases, they seem to both not understand how to control the climate settings and not patient enough to allow the system a few minutes to do it's job. I know there are a couple of real known heat issues, one with a control module and one with software. But I have a car built in the middle of the peak time for the builds with those issues and it works fine, as do most people's from what I have read.

B- We regularly see questions from new owners about expected range and forecast range. Most are good expected newbie questions and they are pleased with the common answers, and report the joy of learning thier car, and understanding what the numbers mean. A few days later they post a note telling about how 3 days of driving has increased their expected/experience range to some astounding and pleasing number. However, one recent post was a blast that was like a trebuchet shot over the wall, full of rotting produce and more. The OP on that one had intrepreted some numbers on the screen from their first 2 days driving to tell a story that their car has poor range and intepolated their 3 data points into a condemnation of GM and the EPA and every responding poster in the thread who tried to explain the situation. That was a long winded way of introducing my story about projected range from this morning. Look back up at my second paragraph, Having driven a tenth of a mile and used 10% of my charge to heat the cabin and inflate a tire, I could project a total battery range of 1 mile. When I saw this, I had to laugh about how irate a posting I could make out of this,complete with pictures and statistics and calls for class action law suits and burnings at the stake... what are we teaching in our schools about communication, or is this the new normal in the 'eyes on my own screen, "all communication is asynchronous", age?

C- a lot of time in the forum is spent on the backup camera image quality. I have as challenging a backup drive as anyone in my own driveway, down hill, on curving driveway, with a treed hill on one side and rocky scrub on the other. I walk behind my car before I get in it and backup, not knowing what the wind has blown in or the delivery truck has left there, or the kids have forgotton. It doesn't take more than an extra 3 seconds. I put the car in reverse, and look at the screen, sure if I can see that I still have a driveway, and that there are no objects back there, which the light illuminates at night, and they I turn around and backup, I look where I'm driving. Now it's true, that if there was a baseball game being played back there, the image qualtiy would not be able to show the ball in flight, but is that the point of the backup camera? Its also true that the tail light installation limits my view more than I like, but should either of these concerns, which last for 8 seconds each morning, raise my blood pressure as the seem to for many owners? Does owning a Volt cause some to lose persective and develop high-def angst?

D- note that I included the word "mundane" in my writing above. No I'm not prepping to take the SAT again. I was taken to task in a recent thread by a poster who wants this forum to be filled with cutting edge stories about Volt use, where I had been cautious about one particular OPs methods. Sorry to those of you who crave prose about the limits of performance, have fun driving and write about it here please; but I desire for most of my driving time to be very mundane: get me where I'm going, get me home to my kids. When I want driving excitement, I will go to the track in one of my old cars. Maybe the 280z, maybe the passat, after I fix the front suspension. My volt is a great car, fully capable of being exciting, but it is my primary transportation first, it is comfortable, with great performance, watermellon seed spitting acceleration, and mind stretching efficiency. (I've used 13 gallons of gas to go 4500 miles, aT least I think I have, I've only bought 7...) and I'm going to be cautious about experimenting with it's systems at thier limits.

E-Finally, Sound quality- I get to hear the truck exhaust next to me, the down shifts of the dumptrucks on our 2 lane downhill, the tire sound from the raised suspension pickup in the other lane, the cabin fan turning, and more. Sure, maybe the volt's base speakers aren't living room quality, and yes If I wanted them to be, I would go buy some expensive ones at the local custom sound shop, but is this worth the angst that many seem to express. Or am I overimagining that?
I know, its an internet forum, many people use this type of outlet and it's anomininity to clear thier frustrations and get back to life. I'm happy to have a great Volt, that causes me no frustrations.

There, I just did it too....
thanks- have a great EREV day!
Paul
 

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Indeed.

The Volt is basically a $25k car plus a $15k drivetrain. Why, in many cases, is there the expectation for it to be a $40k car with the drivetrain thrown in for free? Personally, I'd rather the climate control be replaced completely with manual knobs and levers. However, considering the screams of anguish resulting from the horrible/woeful/awful lack of power seats, I suspect that will never happen.
 

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Thanks. This was needed.

I drive my Volt on "auto comfort" with auto defog year around with the same temperatures I have in my house - 72 in summer and 68 in winter. On a few occasions I have had to put on defrost or get more air in my face, but usually it is on full auto. My electric range has ranged between 4 and 4.6 miles/KwH. Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall it has stayed within this range. That includes driving when it is 10 degrees and 90 degrees.

I wish all would remember - It's a car. Drive it like any other car. And by and large the Volt engineers really got things right.
 

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Regarding "C" - In my case it's not so much the image quality but the range of what you can see when backing up especially in the dark. I've been in unfamiliar surroundings (dropping my kid off at a friend's house in the woods) having to back up in pitch blackness. Now that I had my camera replaced (free warranty repair) I can see if I'm going to hit a rock wall (a wall that's not too visible out the back window). In fact, the new camera is "less focused" than the previous one but immensely more useful.

Regarding "E" - That's why I paid for the Bose.
 

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Great post, Paulacton84. Of course, your thoughts are similar to mine on these subjects, lol.

No car is perfect. No car will please everyone. No car will have every feature any given person will want. That said, the compromises GM made in designing the Volt are on balance very good. Compromises by their very nature mean that you gain some things at the expense of others.

What I find interesting are the posts that seem to say that the lack of something (a glove box light is the complaint of the day) somehow renders the car unusable, or is totally unacceptable, or means that the next car purchased will not be from GM, etc. When I read these I am reminded of a saying about molehills and mountains.

I think it's great to let GM know that the addition or the option of having some features would be very welcome. But when the complaint goes into foot-stomping mode I think the poster needs to step back and regain perspective of the overall car.
 

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Paul,
Great cold weather story! Give me a shout if you'd like to fix that nail in your tire. I have my own tire machines in my home garage and can mount/dismount, patch and balance your wheels. I just mounted up my snow tires for the season and took the opportunity to deep clean all my wheels. I'm also thinking about selling my OEM tires if you want some spares. My brother and I mount and balance tires for just about everyone we know so you don't get hosed by the tire shops for unnecessary work!
-Derek
(Reading, MA)
 

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Glad we're getting back to reality somewhat. It's just a car. It's not a time machine or a spacecraft or an amphibian.
 

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Great post, Paulacton84. Of course, your thoughts are similar to mine on these subjects, lol.

No car is perfect. No car will please everyone. No car will have every feature any given person will want. That said, the compromises GM made in designing the Volt are on balance very good. Compromises by their very nature mean that you gain some things at the expense of others.

What I find interesting are the posts that seem to say that the lack of something (a glove box light is the complaint of the day) somehow renders the car unusable, or is totally unacceptable, or means that the next car purchased will not be from GM, etc. When I read these I am reminded of a saying about molehills and mountains.

I think it's great to let GM know that the addition or the option of having some features would be very welcome. But when the complaint goes into foot-stomping mode I think the poster needs to step back and regain perspective of the overall car.
Bingo. Reminds me of my Corvette days when I bought my 2007 Z06 and had to listen to the chorus of screams from folks that complained the Z06 didn't have the same interior quailty of a Porsche. I didn't buy my Z06 for the Corthiean Leather or a host of other luxury car accessories but to feel that 427 SM V8 scream to it's 7100 RPM redline bolted to a 3100 pound aluminum framed monster.
 

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Wonderful series of posts. To them I add a request to new Volt owners: Puhleese drive your car for at least a couple of charge cycles/tanksfull before reading GM or forum readers the riot act--and remember, the Volt is a Volt, not a Prius, not a Leaf, not a Tesla, blah,blah. Don't expect it to have everything your old car had and more. Well, OK, the Volt has everything my old Pontiac had and more..... Do use all available resources to have a problem rectified, including a careful forum search.
Some dealers are lots better than others. I have a great dealer with a knowledgeable staff of Volt enthusiasts, though I have not had even one problem in 10K mi. to test their performance. If your dealer drives you nuts, find another. They all make money on warranty work.
I suspect and hope that most Volts are essentially trouble-free. Remarkable, really, for an all-new everything design. (hey, I would like to see a statistic for number of service calls required per car by Tesla owners and by Volt owners. I suspect Volt would win handily.)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Paul,
...Give me a shout if you'd like to fix that nail in your tire. .... so you don't get hosed by the tire shops for unnecessary work!
-Derek
(Reading, MA)
Thanks for your very kind offer Derek- I will send a PM,
Paul
 
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