GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 20 of 63 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2017 Volt. Been very pleased with the car. Over the past two to three weeks I've noticed after a night's charge the millage from the batteries has decreased by 24 miles. At full charge I'm only getting 42 miles. That's roughly about a 30% reduction in capacity/mileage. Car isn't even two years old. Is this normal?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,840 Posts
I have a 2017 Volt. Been very pleased with the car. Over the past two to three weeks I've noticed after a night's charge the millage from the batteries has decreased by 24 miles. At full charge I'm only getting 42 miles. That's roughly about a 30% reduction in capacity/mileage. Car isn't even two years old. Is this normal?
Assuming you do not live in Florida or other warm climate this time of year a drop in estimated battery range can be expected. 25% is not unusual, even more if you make liberal use of the electric heat.

If you want to maximize your EV range try the following:

Always leave your Volt plugged in overnight so that the battery temperature is maintained in an acceptable range.

Precondition your Volt's cabin in the morning or anytime you leave your house for at least 10 minutes while the Volt is still plugged in. Unplug as soon as preconditioning period ends or wait 10 minutes to top off the battery again (applies to Level 2 charging only.) If you wait too long before driving after preconditioning the cabin will get cold again. A pre-warmed cabin will stay reasonably warm for 10 - 15 minutes. I will sacrifice a couple of estimated miles of EV range (based on a deficit of 0.6 - 0.8kWh less than a fully charged battery) rather than wait for the Volt to finish topping off the battery while the cabin cools off.

Depending on how far you are driving you can then pulse the electric heat on and off, or switch to Hold mode to conserve the battery and be warm while you drive using the waste heat from the gas engine.

Use the heated seats and heated steering wheel, if equipped. These use much less energy (insignificant really) compared to using the Volt's electric heat.

If you are driving any significant distance consider letting the Engine Assist Heat do its thing; the default setting will start the engine to warm the cabin when the temperature is below 35F, the deferred setting for a 2017 Volt is 15F. Engine Assist Heat uses very little gas and can help maximize battery driving range. However, for short trips the gas engine will not have a chance to heat up the engine coolant that would provide heat for the passenger cabin, so in this case the deferred setting is recommended.

Dress warmly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Not in Florida, but California. Temperatures have dropped into the low 60s. I'm talking about indicated or dashboard mileage after a full night's charge. If the decrease in mileage is due to low temperatures would driving with the engine on with the battery fully charged heat up the battery and increase indicated battery mileage? Ir is this an indication of premature battery failure? If it is premature battery failure is there a test I could do to see one way or another?

Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
I'd say you have a problem. Maybe it's something as innocuous as needing the guessometer recalibrated. Does the 42 miles, actually result in only 42 miles of range, or is just a bad guess?

Low 60s should have minimal effect upon your actual range and guessometer. For my range to drop 24 miles, the temps would have to be about 5 degrees, as I lose roughly 4 miles per every 10 degree drop in temp, below 65.

Since you didn't mention it being the guessometer, that would mean your actual range has dropped, and I think a visit to the dealer is in order. Call Onstar to see if there are any codes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,840 Posts
Not in Florida, but California. Temperatures have dropped into the low 60s. I'm talking about indicated or dashboard mileage after a full night's charge. If the decrease in mileage is due to low temperatures would driving with the engine on with the battery fully charged heat up the battery and increase indicated battery mileage? Ir is this an indication of premature battery failure? If it is premature battery failure is there a test I could do to see one way or another?

Thanks
Low 60s should not cause that much of a drop in estimated EV range. Are you using the HVAC? What temperature have you set for the climate control system?

Driving with the gas engine running does not heat the battery. The battery temperature is maintained by the temperature management system (TMS) that heats or cools the coolant liquid that circulates around the battery cells as required to maintain proper temperature. At 60F no heating or cooling is required although while driving the battery can heat up and then the TMS can circulate the battery coolant through the battery and the battery cooling core in the Volt's radiator, turn on the radiator fan or even run the AC if needed.

Loss of range could indicate a problem or just the need for the Volt to re-calibrate. Before you get the dealer involved try fully charging the battery, running the battery down to zero bars (there is still perhaps 15% SOC remaining even when the Volt shows zero bars of charge remaining.) Then fully charge the Volt. After several cycles the Volt should display a more accurate estimate of your EV range.

One other thing this could be is the 12V AGM battery could be failing now (this typically does not happen until the 12V battery is 4-5 years old.) A wonky 12V battery can cause all sorts or symptoms in your Volt. You should test the battery voltage when the Volt is not running (when the Volt is running the 12V system is powered not by the 12V battery but by the Volt's accessory power module.) After you shut off the Volt but before you open the driver's door, the interior and exterior lights and the infotainment system will operate for up to 10 minutes on just the 12V battery. You can purchase an inexpensive USB adapter online (suggest searching for this on Amazon) that will plug into the Volt's accessory port (this port used to be for the cigarette lighter.) Some of these USB adapters include a handy DC voltmeter so you can see at a glance the voltage of the 12V system or battery. If you test the 12V battery and it shows 12.6V then all is well with the battery. 12.3V is about a 50% state of charge, below 12.0V and there is a problem with the 12V battery and it should be tested, probably replaced as soon as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Where in CA? Is low 60s the high or nightly low temp?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
610 Posts
Is this normal?
Yes, this might be normal. Keep in mind that your range isn't all about battery temperature, but about how you use the car. The cold weather will reduce battery efficiency, reduce range, and use of the cabin heater, defrosters, etc. will also use power faster.

On great spring days, I can get almost 60 miles out of the battery. On colder days, I'm in the 40's. Overall, I think the onboard systems do a pretty good job anticipating how things are going to go based on the temperature and my recent usage.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,583 Posts
I have a 2017 Volt. Been very pleased with the car. Over the past two to three weeks I've noticed after a night's charge the millage from the batteries has decreased by 24 miles. At full charge I'm only getting 42 miles. That's roughly about a 30% reduction in capacity/mileage. Car isn't even two years old. Is this normal?
The range displayed after a full charge is an ESTIMATE, not a meter reading.

The estimate is based on previous driving history. Depending on how you drive a car, any car, the range you get from a given unit of fuel will depend on factors like outside temperature, road surface, rain/snow, heater use, jack rabbet starts/stops, etc. In the colder winter months it's not unusual to lose 30-50% range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
Well, the OP has to come back and answer whether he's driving any differently the last few weeks, and whether his guesstimated range is the same or different than his actual range. However, it still strikes me as an extremely unusual change given his ambient temps are in the 60s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
622 Posts
I live in CA and daytime highs have been in the low 60s but are now dropping to mid 50s. Nighttime/morning temperatures are in the 40s and sometimes mid 30s.

I loose about 30% range during the cold months and I use the heater. I pre heat which helps a lot in the mornings but the car isn't plugged in for the evening commute which is cold after the sun goes down. During a cold snap I might just press HOLD and use the ICE for about 5 miles to get things warmed up fast.

Your range will be back in March.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,280 Posts
We need more data. If only taking short drives with the Volt and gunning it the whole time, the estimate will absolutely decrease. Definitely check your MPGe number as that can give you a read of how efficient you're driving. When I "don't care" about efficiency, I can dip into the mid 50s MPGe in cold temps with the heat blasting on max and driving like I stole it. I would definitely only get like 40 EV miles on a full charge if I drove like that all the time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,672 Posts
If the OP is doing more freeway driving that could explain it. On the surface something has changed in his driving routine. Until we know his BEFORE and AFTER info there is no way for any of us to help him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. No snow or freezing temperatures.
Car is garaged and garage is not heated. I'm guessing it might get in the high 40s or low 50s at night. But then I don't take the car out until 10 or 11 when air temp has increased.
Driving habits have not changed at all.
EV Batteries are typically fully charged every night.
When I first got the car battery indicated range was 67 miles.
I've owned the car for just under 2 years.
Yes I know actual battery range can be lower, as in 40 or so miles driving on California freeways. Or more if driving downhill.
Driving habits have not changed at all.
No indication of 12v battery having issue. I do have a volt meter, but the headlights are strong when the engine is not running a radio/dash can stay on for 15 - 20 minutes after I get out of the car. I've been on phone calls which is how I know.

The seems to be rather sudden. Two months ago it was 67 same as when I purchased the car. Just looked this AM and it is 42.
sudden drop in indicated battery range. Air temperature is 52.

Hope this helps. Normal winter decrease in battery range? Or something unusual? Is there a test or something I can do to "see" the condition of the EV batteries? Or is this a dealer only test?

Thanks everyone for the replies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Run the HV battery down all the way and see what the energy usage is. Should be 14.0-14.1 kWh. If not, then you've got a problem.

It could be something as simple as your tire pressure being low and you using the heat a tad more or even preconditioning off the battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
...EV Batteries are typically fully charged every night.
When I first got the car battery indicated range was 67 miles.
I've owned the car for just under 2 years.
Yes I know actual battery range can be lower, as in 40 or so miles driving on California freeways. Or more if driving downhill.
Driving habits have not changed at all.
No indication of 12v battery having issue. I do have a volt meter, but the headlights are strong when the engine is not running a radio/dash can stay on for 15 - 20 minutes after I get out of the car. I've been on phone calls which is how I know.

The seems to be rather sudden. Two months ago it was 67 same as when I purchased the car. Just looked this AM and it is 42.
sudden drop in indicated battery range. Air temperature is 52...
How far do you drive during your normal daily commute? If you normally get great fuel mileage because you drive only 10-15 miles per day, then any drop in daily average mileage because winter is here will seem magnified when that drop in mileage is applied to the quantity of usable power in a full charge to create the full charge ev range estimate.

The Gen 2 Volt window sticker rating is 53 miles per charge. If the full charge estimated battery range was 67 miles when you got this 2017 Volt in the spring of 2017 (i.e., you’ve owned the car for just under 2 years), that suggests a previous owner had been driving the car efficiently, or perhaps the car hadn’t been driven much during the winter of 2016-17. It would have taken time after you started driving the car for the computer to gather data on your driving habits, and by then the summer of 2017 was here.

What about one year ago, during the period around Nov 2017- Feb 2018? Didn’t you go through a similar drop in full charge estimated ev range as that winter season arrived?

Normally, the full charge estimated ev range drops as the winter approaches. More of the charge is used for cabin heat, less is available for the motor, i.e., estimated range goes down. Cold air is denser than warm air, tire pressure might change from the colder air and not be noticed, winter roads are often wet, etc., i.e., takes more fuel to drive the same distance, estimated range goes down.

Normally, the full charge estimated ev range drops gradually. A sudden drop from 67 to 42 within a few days could mean something is wrong. A gradual drop from 67 to 42 over a longer period of time might only mean winter is here. Didn’t you notice as the estimated range in the morning dropped from the mid 60s to the mid 50s to the mid 40s?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,181 Posts
If you look at the coolant temp, when you get in, you'll see what temp the car is seeing, even if the ambient temp is rising fast.

Given that Doug is not a newbie, and hasn't changed his habits, it seems to me to be a real issue that the dealer needs to test the HV batteries for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone. I have the App on my phone so I know tires are inflated to proper tire pressure. (If not the dealer who services the car sucks.)

Wife provided additional data points. For the first year plus indicated battery range was 63 to 76 miles. Now changes in driving habits since we purchased the car and the roads/physical terrain has changed dramatically since the last ice age created hills in and around San Francisco.

Indicated battery millage after a full night's charge has been pretty consistent at 47 miles or less. Correct me if I am wrong. but if mileage decrease was there were temperate related wouldn't we expect the drop in mileage to drop slowly as the temperate changes. And not a sudden drop of 30%?

How does one see the coolant temperature? Is that in one of the menus of the LCD display?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,840 Posts
Thanks everyone. I have the App on my phone so I know tires are inflated to proper tire pressure. (If not the dealer who services the car sucks.)

Wife provided additional data points. For the first year plus indicated battery range was 63 to 76 miles. Now changes in driving habits since we purchased the car and the roads/physical terrain has changed dramatically since the last ice age created hills in and around San Francisco.

Indicated battery millage after a full night's charge has been pretty consistent at 47 miles or less. Correct me if I am wrong. but if mileage decrease was there were temperate related wouldn't we expect the drop in mileage to drop slowly as the temperate changes. And not a sudden drop of 30%?

How does one see the coolant temperature? Is that in one of the menus of the LCD display?
What are the tire pressure readings? 36 PSI is recommended by GM, many prefer to set the cold tire pressure to ~40 PSI.

So yes, hilly terrain will negatively affect your EV range unless you always are driving down hill (most unlikely.)

47 miles of EV range is reasonable given the ambient temperature and terrain. You have not said how much you use the electric heat of the HVAC system. That will have a large impact on EV range.

The coolant temperature display can be accessed from the up/down arrows on the right side of the steering wheel. This is the gas engine coolant temperature, not the battery coolant temperature which the Volt's TMS will manage independently.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,790 Posts
...Wife provided additional data points. For the first year plus indicated battery range was 63 to 76 miles. Now changes in driving habits since we purchased the car and the roads/physical terrain has changed dramatically since the last ice age created hills in and around San Francisco.

Indicated battery millage after a full night's charge has been pretty consistent at 47 miles or less. Correct me if I am wrong. but if mileage decrease was there were temperate related wouldn't we expect the drop in mileage to drop slowly as the temperate changes. And not a sudden drop of 30%?...
The additional info helps, but, again, how far do you normally drive daily? Many Gen 2 drivers who see full charge ev range estimates in the 70s rarely drive far enough to fully deplete the battery, making the seasonal range drop appear larger when seasonal reduced mileage is used to calculate the full charge range estimate.

A full charge, start of day ev range estimate of 67 miles indicates the driver is averaging ~4.7 miles/grid kWh during the entire trip. The shorter the daily trip, the easier it is to maintain a high mileage. If your daily drive is only ~15 miles or less, and if seasonal weather changes and increased use of cabin heating have increased the power use during the commute enough to drop the mileage to ~3 miles/grid kWh, the full charge range estimate is going to drop to ~43 miles.

Did you not experience a seasonal range drop last winter?

Do you and your wife both drive the Volt at times? The computer is then calculating range based on data from the driving habits of both of you. Has one of you started to crank up the heat while driving more than the other? That could explain why the current daily full charge varies between 47 and 42, depending on who last drove the car.

Yes, normally one might expect to see the estimated range drop over time as winter approaches, i.e., from the 60s to the 50s to the 40s. Two months ago the range estimate was 67 miles. Today it was 42. What was it last week, or last month? If the current drop happened over a couple of days, something has gone wrong. Perhaps the brakes have begun to stick.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
What are the tire pressure readings? 36 PSI is recommended by GM, many prefer to set the cold tire pressure to ~40 PSI.

So yes, hilly terrain will negatively affect your EV range unless you always are driving down hill (most unlikely.)

47 miles of EV range is reasonable given the ambient temperature and terrain. You have not said how much you use the electric heat of the HVAC system. That will have a large impact on EV range.

The coolant temperature display can be accessed from the up/down arrows on the right side of the steering wheel. This is the gas engine coolant temperature, not the battery coolant temperature which the Volt's TMS will manage independently.
Tire pressure for all four tires is 36 as measured with a tire pressure gauge. The App confirms and monthly email confirm 36 PSI for all four tires.

The last new hill/mountain created here was several million years ago. So terrain, driving habits and routes driven are all the same. I live in California, no need for heat or AC except on rare instances. Thanks to man caused climate change we are using the heater much less.
 
1 - 20 of 63 Posts
Top