GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Yesterday I traveled 3.5 hours to the nearest dealership with a new Volt in stock. They gave me half an hour with it and I spent most of that trying (and failing) to figure out how to get it to run on battery alone. My obviously mistaken understanding was that the car drove on battery alone for the first 85km and then the battery would kick in to maintain power. I could choose between normal, sport and mountain modes (hold was greyed out) and I kept it in normal. The infotainment display showed me the flow diagram. Rarely, it would be running on battery alone, but usually it was showing battery and motor, and often just motor. The only times it was battery alone was on very flat roads with zero to negative acceleration. I reset the trip before starting and at the end of my drive and, well, see attached photo.

Was something wrong? Was the battery very low? The guy said it had a full charge, but to be honest I didn't know what the display was telling me. Is the Volt only good on battery only for cruising on very flat roads? Was this normal for the motor to be running so much?

[Edit] ok, after reviewing my photo... that is out of battery, isn't it? The 5.1l/100km (46mpg) seems consistent with that, right?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,784 Posts
Congratulations. You have found a "not so rare" stupid salesman. From your picture and description of how the car was acting I can tell you that the battery was completely empty. The green bars will light bright when charged. When the battery has ANY amount of charge in it, the Volt is a 100% electric car. The gas engine will NOT start automatically until the battery is empty.
If you want to try to test drive it again, (and you should) call the dealership back and tell them that the Volt has a plug included with the car, find it and plug it in. Then when you arrive, if it is still not charged, switch it to Mountain Mode. This will make the engine charge the battery up to the 20% level in about 20 minutes of driving. Then you can switch back to Normal Mode and drive in all electric mode.
Or look for another dealer that knows what a Volt is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
To my untrained, rookie Volt eye, you have 0% battery, and very little gas.

I found this to be common at multiple dealers near me, as they just don't seem to understand that the Volt needs to be charged. I drove 4 Volts at 4 different dealers in 2 different states, and only 1 was fully charged. One had about 20% battery, and the other 2 were flat lined.

So, you were driving in Hold mode (forced). If you had switched it to "mountain" mode, you could have put a couple of bars back on the battery side to use, but like me when I was test driving, I didn't know how that worked. :)

FYI, I did buy a Volt, from the dealer that understood them (fully charged and the salesman could talk intelligently about it). I love this thing, it is a blast to drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
534 Posts
You can't switch to sport mode when the battery is depleted and you're running on gas engine alone. The sport mode selection will be grayed out and you can't select it. It's that simple.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
949 Posts
Sorry your salesman was absent-minded and didn't ensure it was charged (as you can see from the above comments this is common), or left it discharged purposefully in order to steer you toward a more profitable SUV sale (steering toward other vehicles also tends to happen based on other comments I've read, sure hope it wasn't purposeful).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,200 Posts
>> My obviously mistaken understanding was that the car drove on battery alone for the first 85km

You are not mistaken. The Volt is a pure EV, but only as long as the battery has sufficient charge. It looks like the Volt you got did not have sufficient battery charge. So, it was running in Extended Range mode, during which the gasoline engine runs to provide power, either in Series or Parallel Hybrid mode, as it sees best fit for the circumstance. If you really want to test EV only mode, switch to Mountain Mode for some time. THis will bring up the battery buffer to a level where you can drive in pure EV mode. To do this, you have to stop the car after MM has run for say 15 mins, and then start the car to see the EV miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
You can't switch to sport mode when the battery is depleted and you're running on gas engine alone. The sport mode selection will be grayed out and you can't select it. It's that simple.
did you mean Hold mode?
because when i have depleted the battery it still lets me select Sport and performs like it is in Sport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Don't feel alone. When I went for a test drive, like others reported, the battery was completely depleted. I eventually bought my Volt, and it's the best car I ever owned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,172 Posts
That Volt had no battery charge and about 2 and a half gallons of gas in the tank. You cannot switch to Hold mode when the battery is below the Mountain Mode level. What you did get with that test drive is a chance to feel the seamless transition between battery and gas. When the Volt has any charge it will use it before using gas.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thanks all for the replies. I'm glad I wasn't completely mistaken about how the car works. And yeah, the plus side is I got to see the car at its worst and that was still pretty good.

I did have more problems than just that, however. The forward visibility is oddly poor. I briefly list a full size pickup meeting on my right thanks to the position of the rear view mirror and I struggle more than usual to see the overhead traffic lights.

The rear seats are even worse than I expected, and I didn't expect much. I thought it had to at least be better than my Honda Fit, and by specifications... it is. But in reality, it is far, far worse. Leg room is about the same, so that's fine. But the way the headliner curves in... I think I got a concussion getting in and once in, I had to sit with my head severely tilted to the center of the car. Can anything but a small cat sit back there? Although, in all practical reality... we so rarely have anyone other than it 5yr old back there so it should be sufficient for a few years.

I'll take one out again next opportunity I get. The one I drove yesterday was their only one and it's already gone ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
When I was shopping for a Volt, I had a promise of a reasonable price on a vehicle. When I arrived at the dealership the next day, the sales manager informed me that the vehicle was unavailable, but tried to bait and switch me to a more costly model. At a subsequent used-car lot, I was offered a lower-priced vehicle that had never received an electric charge with 10,000 miles on the odometer. The salesman informed me that no charging cable came with the vehicle. However, he mysteriously possessed a charging cable and pretended to have charged the battery pack. The vehicle ran on engine generator during the test drive, indicating that the vehicle had not been charged. I have not met any honest sales people dealing in Volts. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,489 Posts
The rear seats are even worse than I expected, and I didn't expect much. I thought it had to at least be better than my Honda Fit, and by specifications... it is. But in reality, it is far, far worse. Leg room is about the same, so that's fine. But the way the headline curves in... I think I got a concussion getting in and one in, I had to sit with my head severely tilted to the center of the car. Can anything but a small cat sit back there?
Yeah, I was sold on the Volt until I tried the back seat. I might have convinced myself to live with the horrendous rear visibility, but that beam running from one side to the other positioned exactly where I wanted to have my head was the death knell. My tall friends who would be riding back there would never forgive me.

So now I'm waiting for a Bolt to be available in Canada. There's an 8 month waiting list right now. If you haven't tried a Bolt and if you can live with a 200 to 250 mile all-electric range, you might want to check one out. The passenger accommodations are, IMHO, much better than the Volt despite its smaller overall dimensions. The biggest thing to watch out for is the driver's seat comfort, which has been a deal breaker for some people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
As far as I'm concerned, I have only two EV options at the moment: the Volt or wait for the Model 3. 90% of my driving needs are covered by most current EVs, so the range of the Bolt is an unnecessary luxury/expense. But for the other 10%, the range of the Bolt is woefully inadequate, given current infrastructure in my area. The Supercharger network that Tesla provides satisfies 9 of the 10 %, and I can live with that. The Volt covers 100%, of course.

If it isn't going to work for me, then I guess sticking with our Fit for now is what we'll do... although I'm not comfortable with the safety, particularly in the winter. This is the worst car I've ever used in the snow, and that's with premium winter tires.

I'll have to find another Volt to try, this time with my family. I'm still hopeful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,533 Posts
Be glad it had gas in it for the test drive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
Why not wait for the next EV and PHEV models? What about the Honda Clarity EV? There will probably be more like the Accord too.

From your many posts and almost complete lack of enthusiasm (which is fine), the VOLT is very likely is not the best car for you. It's almost like you want to be talked into it.

If you are really that serious about a second test drive, consider scanning some parts of the manual pdf? That way you would at least know some of the very basics.

Also, call ahead and tell the dealer to have it charged at least half way, if not fully charged. You rightfully expected more from dealer salesperson; that probably isn't going to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
The VOLT is not the best car for everyone

It is perfectly okay if you decide the VOLT is not the best car for your family now. It is a relatively large investment for many, and most here will tell you the way to get the best payback is to keep a new car as long as you can (e.g. 10 years).

I came from several Accords, a prelude, and Outbacks. There are features from those I miss that were better, such as the much better visibility of the Outbacks. You mentioned safety concerns of the FIT in winter. Have you considered an ICE Outback? You can get a lot of Outback for the cost of a VOLT (or, a basic Outback for a lot less).

As a single EE, I really wanted to experience both gen 1 and gen 2, it was important to me. As a family car (although it seems to work very well for some here), you might want to consider other options, including ICE only or other hybrids if you need to buy now. Otherwise, it seems many new models are in the pipeline for the next 2-5 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I was very lucky when I went for my test drive. The sales guy I used actually knew a lot about the car. So much so I asked if the blue Volt in the lot was his and it was! I have it a month and love it. I did have an initial issue with the evap system but after two trips to the dealer, they got it fixed. 1000 miles down and still have 2/3 tank of gas. I will be taking it on a longer trip in the next few weeks and can't wait!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Yesterday I traveled 3.5 hours to the nearest dealership with a new Volt in stock.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but, why would you spend 7.0 hours driving to and from the dealer to check out the Volt without having read the online Owner Manual to get an idea what you'd be looking at?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Why not wait for the next EV and PHEV models? What about the Honda Clarity EV? There will probably be more like the Accord too.
One can wait indefinately. I *am* waiting... on my Tesla Model 3. But I want to replace the Fit sooner than that. Clarity will be here well after the 3 is available.

From your many posts and almost complete lack of enthusiasm (which is fine), the VOLT is very likely is not the best car for you. It's almost like you want to be talked into it.
Interesting take and viewpoint. First off, I don't have "many" posts... I think I have 3 threads? And up until that lackluster testdrive... I thought I was really quite enthusiastic about things! I mean... who drives that far for something they don't want? If your idea of "enthusiasm" means saying something is perfect even if it is not, well then guilty.



Have you considered an ICE (anything)
Nope. I decided a long time ago that my next car would be an EV. The only reason I still have this Fit as our primary car is that the right option hasn't come along. Admittedly, I overlooked the Volt because I didn't want a hybrid and it took me longer than it should have to recognize the unique value the Volt supplies. Also, prior to this year, the Volt didn't have the range to have met my criteria. 2016 wasn't *really* available, so (partly due to luck) Im' not really that far behind the ball.
consider scanning some parts of the manual pdf? That way you would at least know some of the very basics.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but, why would you spend 7.0 hours driving to and from the dealer to check out the Volt without having read the online Owner Manual to get an idea what you'd be looking at?
Ouch guys... you're not giving me much credit. First off, I'd say less than 2% of the population ever read a manual prior to buying a car (probably not more than that ever read the manual after either!). Second, I did. OK, I didn't study it and I didn't memorize the cluster diagrams. I think it is reasonable because the left side was completely empty - COMBINED WITH THE FACT I WAS TOLD IT WAS FULL - that I could mistake empty for full. Afterall, how was I to know that bars were supposed to be there? If it had one or more bars then sure, it would have been obvious... but I thought that arcing line WAS the bar, and it looked full. As well, above that was "battery 84km". To me, that was how much range there was remaining on battery. Are you really telling me that prior to owning one and knowing it intimately that you wouldn't have made that same assumption? The range *is* rated at 85km, afterall. All told, I think I was rightly confused and not the simpleton you guys are making me out to be.

And not that I have to justify these things... but I was making that 7 hour drive anyway to take my son to his first airshow, visit family I have in that town, and do some IT work for an old client. It also happened to be the closest dealer with a Volt in stock, so I took advantage. All-in-all... very productive trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
154 Posts
Sorry about all the dogs pile on the rabbit. There are lots of opinions here for sure. However, I received a ton of help in making my decision. I rely on this forum and can take what I like and leave the rest.

I took a year to decide on everything and mainly because of wanting to have plenty saved before I bought a Volt. I came close to buying a used Gen1 and glad I saved and bought a 2017 premium with ACC. I am now nearly a year in with my 2017 Volt and 13.5K miles on it. I get happy every day I leave the house and the only sound is the tires on the drive. My neighbors keep tripping out of how sneaky I am.

I was able to get a good tax credit that allowed me to replace my old 2wd truck with a 4wd. I do metal art and need a truck and it is a high riding 4 wheel drive which can be needed with our rare heavy snows but mostly for the ruddy roads in the woods that are a blast. Different stroke for different folks. But get what you want and be happy for it.

The Volt is an amazing car. I rarely use gas and in NC at this point have only seen about $50 to $60 increase in my electric bill per month (which is another factor to consider). I have a commute that is ideal at 45 miles round trip. However I rarely if ever need the back seat. Your commute is a big consideration as well. If it is super long it may not be the best choice.

It is definitely worth getting an EV drive for your next test drive. It is good to mention the tech is also a plus. I use CarPlay often and it continues to get better over time. The next update for iOS should improve Maps finally. If your an android fella most say that Android Autos is even better than CarPlay and you will enjoy it. I would carve out time to play with the tech. My dealer let me have about two hours with the Volt and most of that was spent in the parking lot testing the quality of the sound system and all of the hands free features.

At my dealership there is only one sales person (a really sharp woman) who knew the Volt. I would suggest a call to find out who knows the Volt or EVs best on the lot. Not sure if the 30 minutes with the Volt was your time restraints or the dealership not welcoming you. But next time maybe you'll be fortunate enough to have someone who is smart enough to lower the pressure and let you take your time. I was completely assured of my decision when it was time to buy due to test driving many other vehicles and several Gen1 Volts.

No regrets at all at this point.
Best Wishes :D
Jon
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top