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What items should I be checking for when buying a used Volt 2014 from a dealer? I am in no rush and can be very choosy. I've watched a number of videos and read a bit on the forums here.

Side note: I ride an eBike to work when it's not too hot (5 miles, 20 minutes one-way), so I know a bit about battery-based propulsion. The Tesla 3 announcement got me looking the current state of EV/Hybrids. I arrived here after evaluating the Nissan Leaf and finding that battery-only electric is just not going to work for me as this will be using this for my "luxury" vehicle used by my wife and I for vacationing and I have too much battery range anxiety.

Here is my current inspection check-list:
  • Front air dam condition
  • Charging cord in trunk
  • Mileage and comparing gasoline vs. electric usage
  • Average MPG (were they a hard driver?)
  • Starting the car and opening the hood to listen to the gas motor
  • Cargo cover (would be nice, but I see I can buy them for like $50)
I've purchased a "Vgate ELM327 Bluetooth Scan Tool OBD2 OBDII" from eBay today and am awaiting delivery. I have Torque Pro and MyGreenVolt and plan to download what I can from the cars I evaluate (not exactly sure what to look for). I would like to know what to check to see if the battery is in good condition, however, I am less concerned as it will be covered by the 100K/8-year warranty.

Also, what about GM financing on these 3-year old Volts? GM has 2.9%APR for a bunch of used models, but not the Volt. All my other vehicles I have bought second or third hand for cash - I don't like payments, but I understand I may need 3 years of payments to afford an EV/Hybrid. I will not buy new or do a lease - too much equity loss driving off the lot. I hate financing a car and haven't done so in 17 years. I'm half tempted to just keep saving and buy a used 2016 Volt for cash in 2019. My wife and I each have identical credit scores of 822. Right now it is lower than normal (840-850 is normal for us) as we have two "dings" right now, one for having cards opened too recently and one for having balances on all of our cards. Last year (~Aug'16) CitiBank took over as the Costco credit card (ditching AMEX) and a BankAmerica card was opened (Feb'17) to take advantage of a 12-month 0% financing deal with $200 cash back if we spent $1K in 3 months (challenge accepted - we used it exclusively for purchases for a month), plus we just got done with booking a few flights and rental cars a few months ago, so all of our cards have balances. We are scheduled to pay off the BankAmerica card in October, 2 months before the 12-month 0% financing deal is up, and the CitiBank and another card is always paid off in full each month, but always having a balance hurts us a little FICO-wise. We have the cash to pay the 0% BofA card off early, but would be tapping into savings, and we'd rather have liquid cash on hand, and we can not use any other credit cards for a month after we zero them out to max out our FICO - we just like using credit cards to max out our rewards. Point is, we can wait a few months or even a year and we'll be up in the 830-840 range if that matters (I don't think it matters much once above 800, until you hit 850).

Clearly having a Volt sooner than later would be nice, especially with the big California gas tax-hike coming taking us from $0.18/gal to $0.30/gal in tax Nov, 2017, and then $0.473/gal in tax Jul, 2019.
 

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As far as I've been able to see, The one big thing for any car that should be first on that list is any service history, as complete or incomplete as possible. Unless you're looking at a CPO you should plan on having it inspected by a dealership different from the one your planning to buy from that is a Volt qualified dealer. I suggest that because generally speaking, although they shouldn't, the sales department might influence their own service department to give a clean bill of health and going to a different service department should keep the inspection unbiased.

When on your test drive, try to get the seller (dealership?) to charge the battery so you can operate in both EV and EREV with the hold mode engaged. This will allow you to hear any unusual sounds while in EV mode at higher speeds since you have sufficient charge as well as how the engine operates during similar conditions when forced to run with existing battery through the hold feature.

Make sure you push, pull, turn, etc every knob and button to make sure everything works as it should. Even with it being summer, verify heater operation. It should start to warm up within a couple minutes. This might be best done in the early morning or after having run the a/c for a while so you can verify its not outside air your feeling. Inspect the brake rotors. Most Volts rarely ever use the friction brakes since regen braking (automatically done) typically is more than sufficient. If you notice the rotors have indications of wear, it may indicate the previous owner(s) tend to brake late giving more insight into their driving pattern. Average mpg might not give the main story since many drivers tend to drive on electricity most of the time skewing the lifetime MPG higher. A lower lifetime MPG would indicate heavier gas usage either by not charging regular or due to long drives outside the EV range.

As for connecting mygreenvolt or other OBD reader app, the information you are given is pretty much only real time data. Unless a code is stored, which would be indicated by a check engine light, the data won't tell you much about the history of the car. Basically there isn't much different in looking at a used Volt from any other car except the heavier reliance on technology to make it all work. Keep in mind that both the battery gauge and fuel gauge estimated distances are exactly that, estimates and more heavily reflect the previous days and weeks driving history. Normal ranges should be roughly 250 to as high as 380 (personal experience) for gas range, and battery can wildly fluctuate from 0-60 but typically around 40 or higher. I only mention 0 because if one were to sit with the car powered on, running heat/AC without driving any miles from a full charge to depleted, it knows it went 0 miles and adjusts the next time it's fully charged, however that scenario is unlikely.
 

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As freshcut said, just make sure everything works....I just purchased a CPO 3 months ago and aggravated the dealer with my making sure everything worked. It's your $$$$ :)
 

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Get the VIN number of the vehicle and put it into research.comresearch.com before you negotiate to buy it. I did this and got a free 14 page report on my 2015 Volt before I bought it last month. The report provided assurance that the Volt had not been stolen, wrecked, or had the odometer hacked, and it had a lot of good info on recalls, maintenance, etc.
 

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Get the VIN number of the vehicle and put it into research.comresearch.com before you negotiate to buy it. I did this and got a free 14 page report on my 2015 Volt before I bought it last month. The report provided assurance that the Volt had not been stolen, wrecked, or had the odometer hacked, and it had a lot of good info on recalls, maintenance, etc.
Thanks jcramer. I have the CarFax for my Volt but research.com provided far more details and it was free!
 

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If you have not seen it already, watch the following video. It refers to a 2011 model, but the advice is still good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaIrZowOUNY

One of major weaknesses of the Volt is rear visibility; so, you definitely a version with the back-up camera.

Try to pair your phone with the car just to make sure it works. (Oh, and if you decide not to get the car, un-pair the phone and delete any messages. I got to read a few messages sent to my car's previous owner.)

As far as financing, I suspect you would do better with a credit union, so shop around. I bought my 2014 from Carvana 3 months ago for $15 K. Their prices on roughly equivalent cars are now around $16 K. I suspect that when the '18 model is released, the value of used Volts will drop back again.
 

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One of major weaknesses of the Volt is rear visibility; so, you definitely a version with the back-up camera.
Yes, you'll want to look for "safety package 1," as it will include the rear camera, auto dimming rear-view mirror, and rear parking sensors. Also, if you wanted heated seats, you have to splurge for the premium trim that comes with leather seats. I don't know if heated seats are a deal breaker for you, but I would strongly encourage finding one with the safety package 1.

Also, don't sweat reliability too much, meaning if you find the car with everything you want but it isn't CPO, I would still get it. Mine was not CPO, bought at 36,500 miles and now have 50,000 and haven't have a single issue save for a burned out turn signal bulb that cost $4.37. Gen 1 has proven very reliable.
 
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