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Discussion Starter #1
I came across this blog with an interesting point of view, if a car is expensive and hard to repair, it's trash after the warranty expires. The author claims the Tesla Model S falls in this category.

It's no secret the Volt is designed to require the dealer more than it should, so what do you think will happen now that we're reaching this point of Volts' warranties expiring in massive quantities?

https://syonyk.blogspot.se/2016/03/is-tesla-building-throwaway-cars.html
 

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Our Volts will probably be throw away at some point, a long way down the road. We plan to drive them a long time, probably never to the mileage Eric has with Sparky, but still a long way. Some of our warranties have already expired, but since nothing has failed so far I'm quite comfortable with them.
 

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Nearly all cars are consumable items, possibly excepting a few rare "garage queens" that might increase in value over time.
The idea that a Tesla or Volt would be anything but something to use and use up puzzles me.
 

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My 2013 threw a code in 2014, haven't had a problem since. I think she will be good for 120k to 150k miles. Maybe more.
Her LRR tires, on the other hand, didn't last more than a couple years...
 

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My Volt is over five years old. Still working just fine. I don't see the Volt being that expensive to repair. It's a Chevy, which means you are not in MB, BMW, or Tesla territory. If you're concerned about expensive repairs, get an extended service plan. They are reasonably priced. Less than the cost of one large repair for a seven year extension.

That said, while cars are lasting longer, they don't last forever. At some point all cars are disposable.
 

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Not only are most cars disposable (except for collectors cars) they depreciate like crazy. So financially, you are probably better off driving a purchased volt for 10+ years rather than trading 2 or 3 cars in during that same timeframe. I've driven several cars to 200k miles, no problem. Yes, the powertrain warranty expires at 100k miles, and you typically need suspension work at some point, but most expenses of maintaining a car are far less than buying or leasing a new one.
 

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The assumed predicate is that the Volt has a failure rate typical of an ICE vehicle. It does not. Even if an expensive-to-repair failure does occur post-warranty, the owner could apply some of the past and future operating and maintenance savings to getting it fixed.

KNS
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Guys, you're missing the point. I've had my Volt for less than a month and this car has awaken my enthusiasm for cars. Don't get me wrong, I really like my Volt and probably in my hands it will live a long time. I have 3 mercedes that I keep alive 1985 200, 1989 560SEL, 1993 500SEL, so I can relate to this article. For example, my 560SEL cost me $6600, but I invested in it about $9k. Is it worth $15 now? Maybe not, but in order for me to enjoy this car I had to do it. It doesn't make financial sense to most people, it does to me because I didn't buy the car as a business, I bought to keep. I put the money in it to enjoy it, not to resell it. The difference is, I can get parts and plenty of mechanics that can work on them. A lot I do it myself.

The point is....
If a car is hard and expensive to repair, the repair costs will be too much compared to the residual value of the car. So people decide NOT to repair and sell cheap. Some of these cars are then purchased my DIYs that keep them alive. But the Volt is not a DIY car, it's not even a car that can be fixed at any shop, well it can only be fixed at certain Chevy dealers !

My opinion.....

My enthusiasm for the Volt has me reading about it everyday (it's my hobby now). And I do think the point made in this article applies here. Just read the recent threads: all these problems need a specialized Volt dealer to fix. Even replacing the coolant is not a DIY job, but it isn't a regular LUBE job either (see: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?255754-Coolant-Change-DIY). For those that don't know, I imported mine to Honduras, where there's a GM dealer but NO support for the Volt. I still bought the car and I'm aware of the challenges I'll face.

Just read the threads on the infamous HV Battery coolant level sensor! Today the concern is loosing time at the dealer, tomorrow you'll have to pay for all this. Think about it.

So...
Can we be less fanatical about the car we love and try to be more objective here. If you claim this article is garbage and the Volts out there will last many miles/years after the warranty expires, please back your statement with some reasoning.

Peace and Love.... lets keep Volting :D
 

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I've kept my MY 2012 in good condition. There are no problems with it now, except for the fact that it is near the end of its warranty.
Wouldn't there be a market for a new power train for this shell? Bring it in, install a gen 2 powertrain and battery, and send us out with another 100k warranty on the new components? Wouldn't that be less expensive than throwing everything away and buying a new one? I know, probably not.
 

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I guess I may as well get rid of my Bugatti Veyron now, I hear it's expensive to repair.
 

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As one who always purchases used vehicles and never drives more than 10,000 miles in a year, my Volt will probably go ten years without significant mechanical problems. At that point, I will have saved more than the price of a new vehicle due to low lifetime cost. At ten years, the technology within the vehicle will be so outdated, I will be likely be ready to purchase a new vehicle before I reach 100,000 miles on the odometer. That will allow me to retain some value to trade toward a newer vehicle, while giving the burden of risk for major repairs to pass to someone with less financial capacity to purchase a newer vehicle.
 

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It is still a fixable car after warranty. Get a set of repair manuals if you need them and if you have to fix anything high voltage, try to get some good advice first before you may want to tackle it. Google is your friend in that case too.

Aside from the electric power train, it is a regular car. Even with that, the electronic power train is all modular and for the most part plug and play. If you ever have to drop the main battery, then that will be the time you may have validity if you have to do it yourself. There is a video though of a tear down of the battery and is actually quite easy to follow. There is enough current to kill you though.
 

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From posts of problems people have had here
(which are not often at all, if you consider how many users there are here, and that many people only came here when they had a problem and googled it - i.e. userbase is biased towards people with issues)
issues aren't that complicated or expensive, they're just hard to diagnose without knowing the vehicle inside and out, or having the GM software tools.

That being said, a lot of issues are identified and detailed here thanks to knowledgeable members (including certified volt techs), making it easier to pinpoint issues.
It costs a lot less to fix that problem if you go into it having an idea of exactly where to look.
example, the service high voltage system message - people have had thousands of dollars worth of things replaced and days in the shop. When apparently the only thing that throws that message is a coolant sensor, worth a few dollars.

Other than things like that, it's quite straight forward to repair. The engine (mechanically) is the same as used in many GMs, the brakes, shocks, etc are all standard automotive parts.
The only tricky things are software (requiring $pecial GM programs) and the HV components (which thankfully are warranted for 8-10 years)
 

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Independent service shop certifications can be had for the Volt (the article indicates that this is not the case for Tesla). In some areas this may be worth the expense - others clearly not.

Many people fear the dealer service department, and for good reason. I don't fear mine and there are several others in my area that garner similar praise to that which I give to mine. There is no longer any excuse for the "old school" way of finding up-charges for dealer repairs, unless your shop already has a notorious reputation (in which case they have to scrap for every dollar).

This is why I bristle at the stereotypical dealership memes. They do no service to honest service professionals like the ones I employ when needed.

Car repair is expensive. Get used to it. You want more of this and that in your car and there's a back end to all that technology. Imagine how much more complicated it will be with autonomous cars, yet we read often about how wonderful it will be. Maybe that's because no one has had a repair bill for one yet, ya think?
 

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A) The vast majority of the things that happen to a car due to age are typical car stuff. Worn tie rod ends. Tired suspensions. Aging 12v batteries. Mechanical linkages that get old and loose. Those things aren't special to Volts and there's zero reason to think they'll cost more to fix on the Volt than other similar cars.

B) Other things that happen to cars that are expensive don't even apply to Volts. Transmission rebuilds? There's no separate transmission, just a weird but simple planetary gear array and an even simpler reducer. Engine rebuilds? We don't even have enough data on engine problems to know how to predict anything: The Volt runs the ICE like no other car on the planet, incorporating pretty much every bit of homespun advice that works about making engines last a long time engineered right into the thing.

C) Cheap preventative maintenance is largely ... gone. Mostly because so much of it is around making gas engines tolerate short trips and not being able to meter things that the Volt can, and that the Volt so seldom uses the ICE. Oil changes are mostly bi-annual. Brake jobs are mostly gone. Annual coolant changes are gone in favor of pricey but very long-lasting coolant. Annual tuneups, even before the Volt, got computerized down to occasional "plugs and wires" replacements, and even those in a Volt are further between because hours on the engine are so few.

D) The most dire predictions a half decade ago, about having to replace the battery pack at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars every 50k miles, turn out not to be true. There's individual flaws here and there, fixed under warranty, and resolved. By the time a Volt's got 50k miles on it, all the gremlins have starved to death in it and it'll probably survive until it dies a mangled death trying to protect its passengers from a crash.

E) Residual value is a funny thing, because it's constantly at war with how much you like the car. If a car is worth far more than you like it, you're stupid not to sell it and get something else, and become happier thereby. If a car is worth much less than you love it, then you keep it, and be happier thereby.
 

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I think 8 to 10 years from now we're going to see some really interesting DIY mods to keep Volts on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
@hellsop
You make very good points. Nevertheless, the Volt is destined to go to the Dealer. The used car market is very strange in some ways, most people that buy second hand avoid the dealer. People are also afraid of new technology.

Resale value is definitely low, that is a fact (although it's doing pretty well compared to others like the Leaf). If this trend continues, then the car value vs repair cost dilema is inevitable.

Independent service shop certifications can be had for the Volt (the article indicates that this is not the case for Tesla). In some areas this may be worth the expense - others clearly not.
Can you share some additional information on this service shop certification out of the Authorized GM Dealer network? I like the Volt so much that I'm willing to invest in promoting, importing and selling them locally, but I need to figure out the support aspect first.
 
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