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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm interested in buying a few-year-old used Volt. I talked to a friend who's leasing one, but he's had one problem after another. Most of the problems were with the charging system.

So I'm wondering, how common are problems with the car's charger? Are their signs I should watch for when looking at used Volts? What sort of things would you check on a Volt that you wouldn't think of on a conventional gas car?

Thanks
 

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Simple buy a first gen volt, it rates in the top 5% of cars.

To test drive take a long drive far enough to deplete the battery, test AC, heat and other goodies.
Drive on gas a ways too, drive the car hard and see.
 

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2 scenarios for Gen 1 Volts:

1. If there is no charge on the Volt, drive it as it is and the engine should run and you can see how it runs. Then put the car in Mountain Mode for 15 minutes or so. This will charge the battery. Then go back to Normal Mode. You may have to turn the car off and back on to be able to select Normal Mode.

2. If it has a charge, drive it in Normal Mode which will use the battery. After a while select Hold Mode which will run the engine. If it is prior to 2013 model year it will not have a Hold Mode so you will have to run it in MM in order to get the engine to run.
 

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When I bought ours I insisted that the battery be fully charged and then went for a mixed highway/city drive ensuring that the battery achieved *at least* the rated miles before depleting. I then drove it a bit on engine as well to make sure all was well there.

Test heat, AC, all the power stuff, etc.

Then I bought it. ;)
 

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Bring along a knowledgeable mechanic friend. Listen to him when he says "don't get it", and then be angry when you see HIM driving the Volt you wanted to buy.

(just kidding)

Seriously though, do all the things you would to evaluate any used car, plus running it through it's "electric" paces.

DEFINITELY download and read the owners manual beforehand
DEFINITELY check the coolant levels before you drive
Run the A/C on max, run the heat on Max
 

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DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT.

Seriously though, like others have said, make sure you use HOLD mode at some point in the drive so that you can test the gasoline engine's performance to make sure everything works in that regard. Plug it in somewhere to make sure there isn't anything wrong with the onboard charger. Get a GM service history report from the service department (so you can see the service history of the vehicle) and of course a CarFax or equivalent. This is more generic and applies to every used car purchase, but check the alignment on the expressway. If it pulls, even slightly, to the left or right, I would ask them to do an alignment before the sale. Alignments usually aren't part of their reconditioning process for getting used cars ready for resale, but it really should be in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
These are all excellent tips. Calvianist, that youtube video was fantastic. I think I'm feeling more prepared now.

Thanks everyone.
 

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How did I test drive my volt. Well - it's a computer with 4-cylinders and as such I based alot of my decision on two primary factors: How many lifetime miles were "electric miles" and how many were "gasoline miles". There are two schools of thought on that, but as for me, I prefered as few gasoline miles as possible since the Chevy Volts battery is an amazing piece of tech and there are a few out there with a quarter million miles plus with no battery servicing on them. Also, if you want to hear the engine run during your test drive - I believe lifting the hood while the Volt is powered on will cause the internal combustion engine to fire up. Another nice way to tell how the previous owner has been driving it: the lifetime MPG statistic. Mine was quite low compared to others are only 88.2 MPG. This possible means a lead foot or just higher than average gasoline usage. I had 50K on mine and I think almost 20K was gasoline! So it wasn't my first choice, but I rolled the dice and thus far, it seems I'm ok.
 
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