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Discussion Starter #1
I am grateful for the support I received in this forum. It helped me to decide to buy a 2014 Silver colored Volt with approx 45000 miles. It is in great condition and I am a very happy new Volt owner. I was pleasantly surprised by the smooth acceleration and I am enjoying the quiet EV mode.

I have a few observations and questions:
1) The tires are Uniroyal Tiger Paw 215/55 R17. At higher speeds they make a "rapid womping" sound and in general are very loud in comparison to other tires I had. They have good tread life but I intend to replace them with less noisy tires soon. Which tires are quiet, reasonably priced and will not negatively impact the EV mode range?

2) I am charging the car outside with the Level 1 cord and I am using a thin plastic bag to cover the charging connector plugged into the Volt when it rains. Can I run the charging cord on the ground when it rains?

3) The air dam underneath the front bumper does not give a lot of clearance. I heard there is a replacement air dam that provides more clearance. I am looking for a part number or website in order to know what to ask for when calling the Dealer?

4) When linking my Android to the sound system via Bluetooth in the beginning the sound is sometimes choppy. This usually resolves itself within about a minute. Is this a known issue? If yes, can this be resolved via a software update?

5) I checked the tire pressure with a manual air pressure gauge and noticed that the reading on one of the tires was 2 psi lower than the reading on the dash board. I trust the manual gauge which means the sensor reading was wrong. Is there a way to resolve incorrect tire pressure sensor readings?

6) The center rear view mirror does not have a manual switch to dim bright lights behind you. Is this automatically done by the onboard computer?

Thank you!
 

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I have a '14 with 105,000 miles. On 1), I replaced the OEMs with OEMs, or the equivalent available today, and I'm very pleased. The forum has numerous posts about tire noise, range effects and so on, with various replacement tires. You'll find no shortage of posts insisting a tire model is the perfect replacement and just as many posts saying it isn't. I had no problem with the OEMs so I used them again. YMMV. On 6), the mirror autodims.

I'll leave the rest to others.
 

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When they designed the air dam, they expected it to scrape occasionally. It's pretty flexible, I wouldn't worry about it.

As for the EVSE, I believe the entire unit; J1772 plug, cord, and the part housing the electronics are all weather proof.
 

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Re #2: the handle of the charging cable (the EVSE = Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) contains circuits that prevent current from flowing until the connection between the wall plug and the vehicle is complete. That’s what makes it safe to recharge in the rain and snow - charging doesn’t start until after the wall to car connection is secure. That’s also why the order of plugging and unplugging is very important. Plug the EVSE into the wall plug first, and into the car’s charging plug last...AND THE OTHER WAY AROUND when charging is complete... first unplug from the car, and then unplug from the wall (or just leave it plugged into the wall plug).

Re #3: the air dam is intended to increase the aerodynamics of the car, to reduce "air drag" when moving down the road. The more time you spend driving at higher speeds, the more important this is to the fuel mileage. If you don’t really spend much time driving fast on local and interstate highways, the less impact changing the tall air dam for a shorter air dam, or removing it altogether should have on your fuel mileage. What some of us do to minimize scraping is to drive over speed bumps or start up sloped driveways at an angle (i.e., one wheel at a time moves over the bump or starts first up the ramp, not both together, lifting the dam rather than letting it just scrape).

Re #6: see the In Brief section of your 2014 owner manual, which says:

Manual Rearview Mirror
For vehicles with a manual rearview mirror, push the tab forward for daytime use and pull it for nighttime use to avoid glare from the headlamps from behind. See Manual Rearview Mirror on page 2-17 (where it says, if your vehicle is equipped for automatic dimming, the automatic dimming feature comes on when the vehicle is started).
 

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Re #5, I have noticed that over time, the tire pressures shown on the display vary from reality from the tire pressure gauge. At my last tire rotation, the left side tires had even reversed themselves. I think you should hold this issue until after your first tire rotation or replacement to see what's up after all the tpms sensors are reset. I expect they will come back to being accurate. I moved from the OEM Goodyears because the exact match was no longer available. I went to Michelin Energy Saver A/S because it is OEM on some new EVs. They are more expensive than some tires, but I like the ride and quiet. Good luck and I know you will enjoy your 2014 Volt? What is the lifetime mileage?
 

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I would advise against using the plastic bag on the charger. My experience is stuff like that usually ends up trapping water and causing more problems than it helps. It is designed to be waterproof and charge in the rain. Some of that design involves draining water which will be restricted by plastic.
 

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1) The tires are Uniroyal Tiger Paw 215/55 R17. At higher speeds they make a "rapid womping" sound and in general are very loud in comparison to other tires I had. They have good tread life but I intend to replace them with less noisy tires soon. Which tires are quiet, reasonably priced and will not negatively impact the EV mode range?
Got a favorite brand? There's lots of "better" out there. I like Bridgestone, so I've got Ecopia 422 Plus on. They're very nice at high speed, a little buzzy at low speeds but not bad, and have excellent wet traction which was what I was looking for coming from the OEM Goodyears that had the wet traction of a hockey rink.

2) I am charging the car outside with the Level 1 cord and I am using a thin plastic bag to cover the charging connector plugged into the Volt when it rains. Can I run the charging cord on the ground when it rains?
Absolutely. Car end is even rain and snow-proof by default. The only thing you need to worry getting wet is the wall-plug end.

3) The air dam underneath the front bumper does not give a lot of clearance. I heard there is a replacement air dam that provides more clearance. I am looking for a part number or website in order to know what to ask for when calling the Dealer?
20993998

4) When linking my Android to the sound system via Bluetooth in the beginning the sound is sometimes choppy. This usually resolves itself within about a minute. Is this a known issue? If yes, can this be resolved via a software update?
It's a common thing in Bluetooth when there's multiple things going on. I've not heard of a firmware fix

5) I checked the tire pressure with a manual air pressure gauge and noticed that the reading on one of the tires was 2 psi lower than the reading on the dash board. I trust the manual gauge which means the sensor reading was wrong. Is there a way to resolve incorrect tire pressure sensor readings?
These things are known for their precision, not their accuracy. That is, so long as the numbers stay in the same relationship to each other, they're (and you're) fine. The only way to make them all match is to carefully test sensors to get matched sets that all read the same, and that's usually more work that any supplier is going to bother with. Even if you buy a new sensor, it's probably not going to match the other three anyway.

6) The center rear view mirror does not have a manual switch to dim bright lights behind you. Is this automatically done by the onboard computer?
Yup. There's a light sensor at the top of the mirror face, and another on the dashboard. When the mirror sensor sees "brighter" than the dash sensor, it dims the mirror. (Dash sensor also manages the automatic lights switching, and provides input to the climate control so it knows how much sun warming it's going to need to keep up with.)
 

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No one has mentioned the possibility that the button battery that is part of the TPMS sender in the wheel maybe reaching its end of life. I have a 2014 with the original sender units and I am experiencing pressure anomalies. Physically measuring the pressures shows them to be equal but the system is showing them to be different among themselves. I ignore the error and am waiting for the battery to die before replacing the units. I've got over 124k miles on the odometer.
 
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Yup. There's a light sensor at the top of the mirror face, and another on the dashboard. When the mirror sensor sees "brighter" than the dash sensor, it dims the mirror. (Dash sensor also manages the automatic lights switching, and provides input to the climate control so it knows how much sun warming it's going to need to keep up with.)
Peter, I don't think the sensor on the dash has anything to do with the mirror. The auto-dimming mirror has a sensor at the top of the mirror face, and a second sensor on the driver's side facing the windshield. This second sensor measures the ambient light and if it's dark enough, it activates the auto-dimming. Some people incorrectly drive with their mirror upside down so the sensor is at the bottom. This means the forward looking sensor is blocked by the black box and prevents the auto-dimming from working properly.
 
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There are other strings on this topic. Searching found this one, Auto dimming rear view mirror
Circlotron mentions a forward facing sensor on the back of the mirror that causes the mirror to dim when "seeing" low ambient light. He doesn't explain how the mirror seen in the glass functions at that point.
 

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Peter, I don't think the sensor on the dash has anything to do with the mirror. The auto-dimming mirror has a sensor at the top of the mirror face, and a second sensor on the driver's side facing the windshield. This second sensor measures the ambient light and if it's dark enough, it activates the auto-dimming. Some people incorrectly drive with their mirror upside down so the sensor is at the bottom. This means the forward looking sensor is blocked by the black box and prevents the auto-dimming from working properly.
That's odd. I drive with my mirror "incorrectly" upside down (because the mirror's shape matches the shape of the rear view) and auto-dimming works correctly on mine.
 

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That's odd. I drive with my mirror "incorrectly" upside down (because the mirror's shape matches the shape of the rear view) and auto-dimming works correctly on mine.
If you look at the front of the mirror opposite from the sensor, you will see part numbers and such. If they are upside down, the mirror is upside down.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have a '14 with 105,000 miles. On 1), I replaced the OEMs with OEMs, or the equivalent available today, and I'm very pleased. The forum has numerous posts about tire noise, range effects and so on, with various replacement tires. You'll find no shortage of posts insisting a tire model is the perfect replacement and just as many posts saying it isn't. I had no problem with the OEMs so I used them again. YMMV. On 6), the mirror autodims.

I'll leave the rest to others.
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When they designed the air dam, they expected it to scrape occasionally. It's pretty flexible, I wouldn't worry about it.

As for the EVSE, I believe the entire unit; J1772 plug, cord, and the part housing the electronics are all weather proof.
Good to know, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Re #2: the handle of the charging cable (the EVSE = Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) contains circuits that prevent current from flowing until the connection between the wall plug and the vehicle is complete. That’s what makes it safe to recharge in the rain and snow - charging doesn’t start until after the wall to car connection is secure. That’s also why the order of plugging and unplugging is very important. Plug the EVSE into the wall plug first, and into the car’s charging plug last...AND THE OTHER WAY AROUND when charging is complete... first unplug from the car, and then unplug from the wall (or just leave it plugged into the wall plug).

Re #3: the air dam is intended to increase the aerodynamics of the car, to reduce "air drag" when moving down the road. The more time you spend driving at higher speeds, the more important this is to the fuel mileage. If you don’t really spend much time driving fast on local and interstate highways, the less impact changing the tall air dam for a shorter air dam, or removing it altogether should have on your fuel mileage. What some of us do to minimize scraping is to drive over speed bumps or start up sloped driveways at an angle (i.e., one wheel at a time moves over the bump or starts first up the ramp, not both together, lifting the dam rather than letting it just scrape).

Re #6: see the In Brief section of your 2014 owner manual, which says:

Manual Rearview Mirror
For vehicles with a manual rearview mirror, push the tab forward for daytime use and pull it for nighttime use to avoid glare from the headlamps from behind. See Manual Rearview Mirror on page 2-17 (where it says, if your vehicle is equipped for automatic dimming, the automatic dimming feature comes on when the vehicle is started).
I will keep the angled approach in mind for those bumps and slopes.

The mirror in my Volt has a small little dot on the bottom that looks like a sensor or a webcam on a laptop. It seems I have a Mirror with the automatic dimming feature.

Thank you!
 
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