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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd love to get some advice on the best way run my Volt when I travel through the mountains and cold weather to get the most out of it. Should I just keep it in Mountain mode? Hold all the battery power for the up hills and drop it in L on the down hills?

Any ideas out there?
 

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Mountain or Hold, to be sure of having a big enough battery reserve.

Hold early in cold weather avoids spending battery power on heating (heat comes free as a result of the engine running, like a normal gas car.) If I had Hold mode (not present on my 2012) and was driving long distances in the winter, I'd probably engage it as soon as I hit the freeway...

L isn't a bad idea, but isn't necessary (light application of the brake pedal achieves the same result) - I'm a fan of L personally, but whatever you feel is most comfortable/natural.

You always want to be sure to burn the whole battery before you get somewhere you can recharge, though - otherwise you're wasting gas. :)
 

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I've heard that 'L' can be a problem with maintaining traction on winter roads. I can see this being a problem on cold mountain roads, especially in curvy sections with partial sun where road slickness can change suddenly. I rarely drive in those conditions myself so this is just a generalized concern not based on my own personal experience.
 

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MM and D. That should be good for battery and not risk regen causing the traction control to activate.
 

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Define "Mountains" For most grades across the country, you don't even need Mountain mode. There are some exceptions, mostly in the Rocky Mountains, but otherwise just leaving your Volt in Normal mode is usually fine.

Starting in Hold mode for 10 minutes to heat your fluids for you and then returning to Normal can eek out a bit more EV range, but it's not a huge difference.
 

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I drive through the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70 a couple times a month. For best results, do not let the engine charge the battery. At a minimum keep it in MM. If you know that you are going over several big grades you should put it in to HOLD (if your SOC is above the MM threshold) and then when you reach the top of the mountain switch to NORMAL and then back to HOLD. If you do not reset the HOLD point the engine will run to get the charge back that you lost climbing the hill.

This morning I woke up to 2" of snow on the roads. I normally drive in L but I was happy that I remembered to switch to D. I agree with everyone that says that L should not be used on snowy or icy roads.
 
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I'd love to get some advice on the best way run my Volt when I travel through the mountains and cold weather to get the most out of it. Should I just keep it in Mountain mode? Hold all the battery power for the up hills and drop it in L on the down hills?

Any ideas out there?
Evening Jayhawk,

It would be best to use Mountain mode for the Rockies. Remember to select Mountain mode every time you power on the car, we have to default to Normal mode for emissions compliance. Selecting Mountain mode when you unplug your car is recommended.

Using Hold mode is not recommended for the mountains because there is less headroom in the battery pack for regen operation downhill. As far as Drive vs Low, it is a personal preference. Using the brake pedal or Low will both do the same thing. You'll find Low very addictive and very responsive to your right foot in the mountains. You can modulate the rate of your descent with a single pedal, so if you're careful with the accelerator pedal, Low is your best option.

Happy travels!

-Ian Chevrolet EV Customer Service
 

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Evening Jayhawk,
Using Hold mode is not recommended for the mountains because there is less headroom in the battery pack for regen operation downhill.....

-Ian Chevrolet EV Customer Service
That's potentially misleading or confusing advice. I understand the desire to tell a simple story to folks but it risks confusing people into thinking there is something wrong with Hold Mode in the mountains. There is nothing wrong with using Hold Mode but you should hold the battery at a level which leaves ample room for regeneration. For example, setting Hold Mode at around half-full on the battery indicator would be similar to Mountain Mode and would be just fine.
 

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Evening Jayhawk,

It would be best to use Mountain mode for the Rockies. Remember to select Mountain mode every time you power on the car, we have to default to Normal mode for emissions compliance. Selecting Mountain mode when you unplug your car is recommended.

Using Hold mode is not recommended for the mountains because there is less headroom in the battery pack for regen operation downhill. As far as Drive vs Low, it is a personal preference. Using the brake pedal or Low will both do the same thing. You'll find Low very addictive and very responsive to your right foot in the mountains. You can modulate the rate of your descent with a single pedal, so if you're careful with the accelerator pedal, Low is your best option.

Happy travels!

-Ian Chevrolet EV Customer Service
I think it's fantastic when Ian jumps in with pointers like this about the Volt. I recently finished a road-trip with some mountain driving and found that activating MM at the start of each drive worked out perfectly for maintaining adequate buffer for both the up and down side of the mountain range.

The only thing I would add, is that "L" shouldn't be used if the road is wet, or if ice or snow is present.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the advice and quick response. I'm traveling over a few mountain passes and I expect the weather to be in the low 30's to 20's for most of the trip. I'm not sure I'll find some place to charge over night so the input with regards to Hold and MM will help me manage my trip.
I'm loving my Volt and laugh when I can drop it into Sport mode and take a BMW on my drive home. They always seemed to be shocked as they see me pass them at 80 MPH in a 1/4 mile stretch.
 
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