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I'm a new Gen2 Volt owner. So far the weather has been hot and the AC has worked great. The defroster also seems to do the job well. But on a couple of chilly mornings I set the temperature to 70 and hit Econ, but I never did feel any warm air.

What should I be expecting in the way of heat on a Volt? Do I need to force the ICE to run?

Thanks!
 

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I'm a new Gen2 Volt owner. So far the weather has been hot and the AC has worked great. The defroster also seems to do the job well. But on a couple of chilly mornings I set the temperature to 70 and hit Econ, but I never did feel any warm air.

What should I be expecting in the way of heat on a Volt? Do I need to force the ICE to run?

Thanks!
The Volt's electric heat requires some patience and familiarity with the climate control system. In winter I generally set the temperature to be 74 or 75, 73 for AC in warmer months. The Max climate control setting (when heating ) will quickly warm the cabin but will use a good deal of battery power to do so. For short trips this is not an inconvenience but you can easily lose 20% of your EV range to the electric heat. In winter you want to use the remote start feature and heat the cabin while the Volt is still plugged in (especially if you have Level II EVSE at home.)
 

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I'm a new Gen2 Volt owner. So far the weather has been hot and the AC has worked great. The defroster also seems to do the job well. But on a couple of chilly mornings I set the temperature to 70 and hit Econ, but I never did feel any warm air.

What should I be expecting in the way of heat on a Volt? Do I need to force the ICE to run?

Thanks!
With the Volt, things are different, but you have a lot of choices.

1) You really can't use low temperatures if you want HOT heat...you must dial it up to 78 or above, the higher the hotter and the faster it will get there.

2) Doing Number 1 will eat a lot of range. If this doesn't matter, crank it up and enjoy

3) If you want HOT heat but have a long drive ahead of you and don't want to eat up any range, then simply put the car in HOLD mode and this will force the engine to run and of course you will get the heat from the engine instead of eating up the battery. This will use a tiny amount of gas, but you can save your battery range. Once the cabin in warm, then switch back to all electric depending on your needs and wants.

4) You can also compromise between any of these by using the heated seats and steering wheel if equipped because compared to heating the whole car, heating your seat and wheel are tiny amount of energy.
 

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The Volt heater is up to about 7 or 8 kW, so a lot more heat output than your home oven. However, it has to heat coolant with that, which takes some time and a lot of power. Heating the air would be quicker, but probably less safe and element might not last that long.

As others mention, settings are important. Make sure temp setting is notably higher than ambient temperature and use max if you want it to get hot. Sure, the gas engine makes more heat available, but Volt's heater should be fine down to 0F or colder.

For my Gen 1 Volt, fan speed of 3 or less (more lowers the temperature too much), and manually set vents to face (unless windows fogging). The auto climate mode in the Volt is terrible, in the winter it only blows out foot/defrost leaving me cold so I have to override the zone and fan speed. I set to "Comfort" (similar to your MAX I believe) and make sure the climate power shows 100% and it gets hot in a couple minutes (similar time as gas engine takes).

As a warning though, in bitter cold winter with max heat and ERDTT disabled my EV range might be 15 miles instead of the summer range of around 40 miles in my gen 1 (EPA is 35).
 

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I assumed heating with electricity may be 'weak', but with my gen1, it is strange that after the engine has long reached operating temperature, heating is STILL VERY WEAK! This makes no sense at all! I usually have to set temperature to like 78, where as doing so on an ICE car would be way too hot.

Is the gen2 better in this regard? Does turning on the engine help heating and make it behave like a regular ICE car?

I suppose with global warming this will be less and less of an issue. ;)
 

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The heat is poor at best. I have not achieved a setting that is actually warm at highway speeds when it really cold. Running the ice helps but does not fix the issue. Really wish they had put a simple hot/cold knob instead of the auto temperature.
 

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The heat is poor at best. I have not achieved a setting that is actually warm at highway speeds when it really cold. Running the ice helps but does not fix the issue. Really wish they had put a simple hot/cold knob instead of the auto temperature.
My Gen 2 heat is better than any other car that I have owned. The electric only heat gets hot quicker than any ICE car.
Turn the Temperature knob all the way clockwise for Hot. All the way counterclockwise for Cold.
 

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My Gen 2 heat is better than any other car that I have owned. The electric only heat gets hot quicker than any ICE car.
Turn the Temperature knob all the way clockwise for Hot. All the way counterclockwise for Cold.
I completely agree. The heat works GREAT, but you really have to crank the knob to get it going.
 

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My Gen 2 heat is better than any other car that I have owned. The electric only heat gets hot quicker than any ICE car.
Turn the Temperature knob all the way clockwise for Hot. All the way counterclockwise for Cold.
Same here, no problem in western Canadian winter. Kept the setting at 23 all winter but switched from Eco -> Max when under -15.

That's around the city, I only do short daily highway stretches. For longer highway drives I had the ICE on so can't comment .
 

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I have had several days with 0-5 deg F and it feels pretty much like no heat even with the temp turned all the way up. All I could get out of the vents is luke warm air. I would expect that with the temp set to full I would get hot air and more than minimal fan.
I had electric heat on my tdi's and it worked better than the volt. Just took it in today and they say it's working fine. Really my only complaint with the car other than battery range. Cooling works great.
 

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There are so many threads on this that assuming you don't have an issue with the coolant loop valves or something similar, I think some of it comes down to expectations.
Next winter I plan on borrowing a digital thermometer and posting the temps out the vents at the 23c setting I find comfortable.
Maybe you just weren't raised ice fishing most winter weekends

BTW, I tried to check your location but "Cos" means nothing to me. Where are you at Cossovo, Costa Rica, ...?
 

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I am comfortable in the Volt at 0 F with electric only heat and no jacket. Make sure fan is at medium speed, give it time to warm up if cold soaked, and make sure on max heat/comfort setting.

Some Volts have had issues with venting in cold air I believe, don't know details.

I am not saying the electric heater is great at those temps, just that it works acceptably at city speeds. This winter I can check vent temps.
 

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In Gen 1, some of us had sticky 3-way valves, in the heating loop, so that the electric heat would be trying to heat the engine and the interior's cooling/heating loop. When this happens, you go through a lot of battery, but don't get much cabin heat.

It's supposed to throw a code, but mine only did so on a summer day, after running the range extender on a long trip. Valve was replaced under warranty, and since then I've had good heat during winter.


I expect Gen 2s to not have this sort of teething problem.

- Lumos
2014 gen 1
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the responses!

Thanks for all the informative responses! They are all very helpful.

I dreaded asking the dealer, they tell me they only sell a couple of Volts a year! How much experience can their service people possibly have!?
 

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At least yours indicated that they did sell them. When I asked my regular dealer about a Volt (or a Bolt, which is apparently so far down on their list that they don't even think they'll get an allocation for one), I was "politely" directed to dealers in larger metropolitan areas. Have to appreciate the lack of love for EVs in the deep south, where trucks are far more common, and EVs are merely targets for "coal rollers".
 
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