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Thanks to the loads of help from folks on this forum, I am now the proud owner of a bright blue 2013.

Very happy!

Looking forward to figuring out the best efficiency (L gear??) and what exactly Mountain Mode does. Also learning the meaning of all the stats. I'll be checking out those who have turned theirs into a "Voltabago" or who have trailered things, as I'm an outdoor nut.

Oh, and will almost certainly have a sunroof installed. Once you go sunroof, you never go back.

Yee haw! Thank you for the guidance in the purchase process.
 

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Got any steep mountains in MA? :)

MM is engaged about 20 minutes or so to build up the battery before hitting a steep mountain road. Avoids the car going into turtle creep "Propulsion Power Reduced" mode.
 

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Thanks to the loads of help from folks on this forum, I am now the proud owner of a bright blue 2013.

Very happy!

Looking forward to figuring out the best efficiency (L gear??) and what exactly Mountain Mode does. Also learning the meaning of all the stats. I'll be checking out those who have turned theirs into a "Voltabago" or who have trailered things, as I'm an outdoor nut.

Oh, and will almost certainly have a sunroof installed. Once you go sunroof, you never go back.

Yee haw! Thank you for the guidance in the purchase process.
When you drive in L, slowly lift off the throttle to control deceleration or your passengers may hate you.
 

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Looking forward to figuring out the best efficiency (L gear??)
It's very efficient just driving in D. When you step on the brake pedal it is using regen like it would in L when you take your foot off the accelerator. Only below 4 MPH does it engage the actual brake pads. Start to brake earlier, hold it in that regen zone instead of zooming up to the light and slamming on the brakes. And start off a little gently if there's no one behind you to honk to go faster. When you want it to, it will really accelerate away from a light that just turned green, but make sure to look both ways before going (especially if you are in Texas, home to many red light runners).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for this, Fred_B. The L mode feels so heavy and it feels like I have to press more on the accelerator to get it to move, which is annoying for the right foot and feels counter productive. So knowing that in D the brakes aren't engaging until low speed helps a lot. I was also told that it was the L mode that preserves the brake pads so well, but what you're saying is that even regular braking doesn't use pads until low speed, so that's great for maintenance costs!

turboguy327, I hated it too! A real lurch. But I'm adjusting to the new driving style. The whole game is different: I've always been a zoomer, and now I just mosey along.

So what would L be for then? I've always driven standaråd transmissions, so the different auto transmission modes are weird to me. The previous owner said that winter traction in L is horrible, but I wonder if that's the gear I would use to get out of stuck snow. Guess I'll try it if it ever snows in Massachusetts again. I guess on a steep enough hill, L allows regen just with going downhill.

Steverino, thanks for the explanation. Is "Propulsion Power Reduced" mode because the engine can't regenerate the battery fast enough to allow for a big hill's demand? I'll have to try it on the one or two steepies that we have here. Compared to the west they're short but they can be rugged. They are WAY bigger than Illinois' only hill in that lakeside park in Chicago. You know, the one they installed to make the roller skaters happy. :) :)

Fun Fact: the Appalachians are the oldest mountains in the whole world.
 

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Driving the Volt in L is similar to driving a manual in 2nd gear when letting off of the accelerator pedal. Otherwise, driving in D and L are the same. Only when you are slowing the vehicle will you notice the additional regeneration provided by L.

Regarding descending a hill, that is what L is best for except in winter on snow and ice covered roads. The reason is that the Volt's traction control will abruptly disengage all regenerative braking if the Volt detects any wheel slip on the front wheels (not sure about the rear wheels.) You can instantly go from a controlled hill descent to feeling like you have no braking until the conventional friction brakes take effect. For this reason driving in L is not recommended for winter road conditions.
 

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Looking forward to figuring out the best efficiency (L gear??)
Best efficiency is coast a lot and don't change speed much, just like any other car. L is useful for that if you're dealing with a lot of hills that push you well over the speed limit with the cruise control on otherwise. But the wide pedal that slows you down does exactly the same thing if you're gentle with it, until about 5 MPH. So you basically drive it like any other car. There's no "one cool trick" to maximize Volt efficiency. The engineers did 95% of that right on the drawing board, and the remaining bits are tiny increments. Use the seat heaters instead of cabin heat if you can. Remote start the car while it's still plugged in if the temperature is far from comfortable and you remember it. Drive slower and smoother. Keep your tires well-inflated and use low rolling resistance tires. Use Hold Mode to save a little charge for city streets after a long highway trip (but any miles you pull into your garage with are wasted gas). It's all small stuff, that helps a little bit.

and what exactly Mountain Mode does.
When the Volt is out of charge, it runs the gas engine. It supplements that by using the battery as a power boost, so it can shut off the engine at stop lights and in heavy traffic, and you can start going without waiting for the engine to start again, or give a little extra shove up really steep hills. There's a little buffer of power to manage that. (I'm not kidding about "really steep hills" either. Interstates aren't generally built with enough slope that the engine needs that kind of help. Think "going up Pike's Peak" steep.)

Hold Mode and Mountain Mode adjust that buffer to make it bigger. Hold Mode sets the buffer to be whatever charge hasn't been used yet, and will fill the battery back up to that level using the engine. Mountain Mode has a preset point of charge, but you don't have to remember to do it while you still have charge. It'll work the engine extra-hard to bring you UP to the preset point. That takes about 15-20 minutes if you were running on gas already, so you do have to plan a little bit. But you can do that without plugging in. In case you forgot you were going up Pike's Peak today or something.
 
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