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My First "Propulsion Power is Reduced" Experience

14551 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  DMC5180
Living in Phoenix, I have had no need to use Mountain Mode until today when I had to drive to Show Low. I hadn't realized just how critical it is to use Mountain Mode when driving in the mountains. I assumed the engine generator would take care of my needs on this trip. I was wrong.

Driving across the Valley, I used up all the traction battery power, and as I started up the mountain with the engine running things were fine for a bit, then the "Propulsion Power is Reduced" message came up and the car slowed, then slowed some more, then I had to pull over and stop. Having read related posts on this forum I knew what was happening, so didn't panic. Put it in Mountain Mode, waited just a couple of minutes for some battery charge, then all was well. Carried on the trip with no further concerns.

Once again, the Chevy engineers knew what they were doing in the design of the car to include Mountain Mode. Once again, however, it goes to show that driving a Volt requires some understanding of how it works.

I understand the Gen II cars have more power available from the engine generator such that Mountain Mode isn't really necessary. Yet another reason to lust after a Gen II Volt.
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I didn't know how MM worked.

Have to try it, so it keeps bigger electric buffer?
My manual says:

Use Mountain Mode prior to
climbing long, steep grades in
mountainous areas. Be sure to
engage Mountain Mode before
starting to climb. Mountain Mode
reduces electric range and power
but may be needed to maintain
speeds above 96 km/h (60 mph)
when climbing grades of 5% or

I didn't know it would run the engine while sitting still and build up a charge.

If you were out of battery anyway you'd need to pull over and let it charge before going up a grade?

They say put it in MM before needing it, but if you were on the freeway, might take a while to build up while driving...

Curious to see what it does when using MM on battery.
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Found another part of the manual with more info on the modes.

Tried Mountain Mode today on a long steep grade. I had been on hold mode saving my battery and I went to MM and it just went up the hill on the battery, never started the ICE.

It doesn't have any problem on battery, I like to use hold but it feels under powered sometimes.
So normal is the best mountain mode if you have the juice?

I like to cruse with the ICE on freeway @ 60mph, don't like to hear it revving up pushing it.

I have 2-4 trips every week which I can do on battery. Have 2-3 trips a month that's 60-70 miles.

I save the battery for in town, uphill, and 5 miles on the clock for the dirt road going home.

I keep pretty busy trying to get all I can out of the battery and where to use it. Keeps me busy and I like doing it.

I was thinking Volt ownership isn't for everyone but you can just get in it and drive it like a regular car, if you are of such a mind.
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