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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
After having our 2017 Volt for a year now (and a 2013 before that), I'm considering taking off the flexible front air dam. If you have done this, have you seen a drop in your elec. range or highway MPGs? (And yes, I've searched for a thread on this and seen nothing.)

Thanks in advance for your reply.
 

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If the results are anything like the Gen 1, it's minimal. My understanding is that those who removed the dam on the Gen 1 saw little or no difference.
 

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I removed the original dam and put the reduced profile dam in its place. Absolutely no change in AER or mpg. But I seldom drive faster than 70 mph.
 

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It's very hard for most to notice a 1 or maybe 2 mile range drop unless you are in a controlled test environment given all the other variables that affect range. So will you notice? Likely not. Is there a decrease in miles, yes.
 

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I understand why folks removed the dam on Gen 1 Volts because I've seen a few mangled/hanging lower frontends on those cars, but the Gen 2 seems to have a design that can take punishment without obvious damage. I deal with wavy brick streets with speed humps in an older downtown area on a daily basis. My front air dam probably scrapes something several times each week and unless I get under the car and look at the abrasions, it looks fine.

Just curious why one would want to remove it.
 

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My gen 1 dam scrapes all the time and after 4.5 years of doing that, there is minimal wear. I have had to reconnect the tabs a few times but that is pretty much it. The wear is remarkably slight compared to what I hear when it happens. I spray some tire cleaner on it when I wash the car and it always cleans up pretty well. It does not detract from the car at all in my opinion.

I do get a lot of people looking at me though when I back out of my driveway as it hits just the right way to make a pretty decent scraping sound and those around me think I have killed the car!

It is a bit of a nice warning sound though when pulling up to a parking lot curb or going over a speed bump.
 

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I don't know how many times I have to yell at the wife to not put the front wheels against the concrete stop or a sidewalk edge, but that's what she learned when growing up. I park the volt at least 2-3 feet from those items to avoid scraping, but my wife can't kick the habit despite the volt being such a short car compared to the suburban. CTS, and Deville (the previous vehicles she drove).

I'd leave it on and not worry about the scraping noise.
 

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If it made no difference in AER/MPG, GM wouldn't have put it on. The difference with/without may be small. But added up over the life of the car, it may be significant. We'd need to be privy to the wind tunnel tests to know for sure. And even then, it might depend on city vs highway driving percentages, etc.
 

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I don't know how many times I have to yell at the wife to not put the front wheels against the concrete stop or a sidewalk edge, but that's what she learned when growing up. I park the volt at least 2-3 feet from those items to avoid scraping, but my wife can't kick the habit despite the volt being such a short car compared to the suburban. CTS, and Deville (the previous vehicles she drove).

I'd leave it on and not worry about the scraping noise.
I leave space too, but I am heading into Senior Status - which means curbs and parking lot blocks are fair game! I gave up long ago on telling the wife. :)
 

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I sure would like to have a front-looking camera available for parking use, If I get the chance, I'll pull through a perpendicular parking space into the next one (so that the Volt rear end is at the back of the parking space pocket), and love being able to pop the tranny to "R" so I can see the back of the space, and tuck in there nicely. Parking forward without a camera--especially with a concrete bumper at the front of the space--can't be so precise, and requires a sloppy foot or two distance to avoid hitting the air dam. And in a recent experience with a diagonal parking spot with a fairly deep rain gutter, I "kissed" the bodywork above the dam. Thankfully, no visible damage!
 

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I sure would like to have a front-looking camera available for parking use, If I get the chance, I'll pull through a perpendicular parking space into the next one (so that the Volt rear end is at the back of the parking space pocket), and love being able to pop the tranny to "R" so I can see the back of the space, and tuck in there nicely. Parking forward without a camera--especially with a concrete bumper at the front of the space--can't be so precise, and requires a sloppy foot or two distance to avoid hitting the air dam. And in a recent experience with a diagonal parking spot with a fairly deep rain gutter, I "kissed" the bodywork above the dam. Thankfully, no visible damage!
Agree 100%
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hi all,
Thanks for your replies. I guess none of you have made measurements on a Gen2 pre vs post removal of the air dam.

The reason I'm thinking of taking it off entirely is that last weekend my wife went into a driveway and in backing out tore off the right front mudflap (aka spat) which in turn broke a small piece of the plastic bumper. That small piece (that I have and may or may not be able to glue back in) included part of the hole that the air dam used as the far right attachment point. I've zip tied it back on but it may not hold. Hence my consideration of taking the whole thing off and being done with it.
 

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If it is just the last hole that is questionable, it may be possible to trim that end of the air dam short so it ends at the next hole. Or you could trim both ends if it looks uneven.

My gen 1 air dam is starting to look bad and I would like to remove it completely. The only thing holding me back is the lack of work space under there. I will need some jack stands, I think. It will be nice to not hear scraping any more. I'm not worried about a slight loss of efficiency since there are benefits to losing the air dam.
 

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Hi all,
After having our 2017 Volt for a year now (and a 2013 before that), I'm considering taking off the flexible front air dam. If you have done this, have you seen a drop in your elec. range or highway MPGs? (And yes, I've searched for a thread on this and seen nothing.)

Thanks in advance for your reply.
The air dam looks like such an afterthought. I saw an Gen 1 Volt today and noticed how ridiculously out of place the air dam looks....it looks like a kit car. The new one is a bit more subtle but man...come on...integrate the damned thing into the design.
 

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Our driveway is really steep and we had to take the air dam off of our 2014. It didn't just scrape, it folded 90% of the plastic. When I bought my 2017 my dealer said he would remove the air dam for me. No problem, he said, bring it in tomorrow. When I brought it in, the service manager said no way, it's part of the cooling system and removing it will void your warranty. I thought he was full of crap, but I then read an article by a GM engineer who also said it was part of the cooling system. We never had any overheating problems with our 2014, but I'm wary of taking it off of the new car. I may cut it down some, as all but the upper 1/2 inch folds under when we drive in the garage.
 

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If it is just the last hole that is questionable, it may be possible to trim that end of the air dam short so it ends at the next hole. Or you could trim both ends if it looks uneven.

My gen 1 air dam is starting to look bad and I would like to remove it completely. The only thing holding me back is the lack of work space under there. I will need some jack stands, I think. It will be nice to not hear scraping any more. I'm not worried about a slight loss of efficiency since there are benefits to losing the air dam.
Berry,
New member here in my 60's with a used/new to me 2014 Volt I bought week and a ha!f ago. Previous owner beat up the lower air dam. It was pretty unsightly and ragged. I don't know if you're still contemplating removing the lower air dam.
Two nights ago I put a large harbor freight movers pad on the floor and got down on the floor and slowly removed the air dam. It wasn't hard at all. Getting up from the floor was another matter lol. You don't need to jack up or raise the car at all in order to remove the air dam.
I'm still undecided, if I'll replace it with the shorter version.

Take care
 

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I have no evidence to support this, but it is possible that air dam is there to do more than just help aerodynamics. It might also divert rain and road water spray down and away from important components under the car: battery and battery connections being a couple possibilities.

Mike
 

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Berry,
New member here in my 60's with a used/new to me 2014 Volt I bought week and a ha!f ago. Previous owner beat up the lower air dam. It was pretty unsightly and ragged. I don't know if you're still contemplating removing the lower air dam.
Two nights ago I put a large harbor freight movers pad on the floor and got down on the floor and slowly removed the air dam. It wasn't hard at all. Getting up from the floor was another matter lol. You don't need to jack up or raise the car at all in order to remove the air dam.
I'm still undecided, if I'll replace it with the shorter version.

Take care
Thanks for the tips. I did remove the dam. I left it off for about a year and eventually installed the shorter dam. I like the short dam since it drags a lot less and looks a lot better than the original. I created a lot of work space by taking advantage of a hump in my driveway and also pulling the front wheels onto a low stack of boards for an extra 3 inches of lift.

I did not notice any change in efficiency for any of those 3 configurations. However the differences are probably smaller than 5% which is hard to measure among the other noise, but still may be worthwhile.

Another consideration is that the dam influences how air moves through the cooling system. I would not want to negatively affect that. The engineers may have that optimized and I would not want to find out on a really hot day that I have inadequate cooling.
 

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I have a steep drive way but never had a problem with air dam although it doesn't go from steep tp flat but steep to sloped which must make the difference. I have driven "low" cars for years now and making sure you don't get to close the parking bumpers is a way of life. If you are transitioning from SUV or trucks you probably have a "learning curve" to adjust to.
 
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