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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

Just picked it up as a certified pre-owned last night, and am seriously contemplating taking it to an independant hybrid repair shop for them to do a $130 full pre/post - buy inspection. The dealer did their inspections of course, but I have always been wary of dealer service centers. I do 95% of my own maintenance on my previous cars as I have my own shop/lift, but this is the first hybrid/EV I have owned and have never worked on them. The ICE I have covered, but the rest of the drivetrain is not quite in my current skillset. How many people here do their own maintenance, and what kind of repairs are us owners capable of without needing diagnostic & repair tools that cost 5 figures? Don't worry, I do not plan on touching anything to do with the HV battery! Except maybe the coolant..

Was wondering if there were any things you all would recommend making sure is in good order, or if you think the inspection by someone who only works on hybrids/EVs is a better idea?

How easy is it to change/flush the battery coolant on your own? I would like to do it more often than the Chevy recommended service intervals, but not a huge fan of paying for labor. Usually ends up being 70% of the bill!

Thanks in advance!
 

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The coolant changes involve a vacuum fill process, and also requires the GDSII computer which is expensive. The process in the link below shows this with the Bolt, however the process is the same. Jump to ~30 minutes in for the process.

If you haven't already done so, download the owners manual from the Chevy website. The scheduled maintenance is minimal.

The Service Manual is available here when needed:

I'd recommend going to a Volt certified dealer periodically during the warranty period, so you'll get the software updates and TSBs applied at no cost. My tire rotations are no-cost with the tire warranty, and they apply these items at the same time. The maintenance is mostly tire rotations, air filter, and cabin filter changes (easy). Oil changes if not using the gas engine a lot is every 2 years per the oil life monitor.
 

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How easy is it to change/flush the battery coolant on your own? I would like to do it more often than the Chevy recommended service intervals, but not a huge fan of paying for labor. Usually ends up being 70% of the bill!

Thanks in advance!
Take a look, listen for the details about needed equipment and note what's being done. Not hard, but there's implications of needing Tech 2 for program command to run the flush cycle and a vacuum filler to deal with the actual coolant.
 

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At 21.6K miles, there isn't much that needs to be done. Rotate the tires....

The Volt has been the most reliable vehicle I've owned. It just works with little fuss.
  • Oil changes are determined by the computer and are typically done every 2-years due to age rather than ICE miles. Your's should show what percentage is left. Stick with synthetic as recommended.
  • Air filter as scheduled.
  • Cabin filter as scheduled.
  • Spark plugs are at 100K and simple to do.
  • Coolant is at 100K and requires a vacuums pump to remove any potential air bubbles. Most take to it to the dealer to make sure it's done correctly and with the correct tools. There are three coolant loops in the Volt (Ice, Battery, Electronics). It's significantly more complicated that a regular ICE. Absolutely make sure to use recommended coolant and deionized water. Super critical.
  • A fresh 12V battery is important to keep the electronics working correctly. Most wonky issues can be fixed with a fresh 12V battery. With that said, many last well past 6 years.
  • There is only one belt to change and that's never been an issue for anyone, but I did mine at 150K just to be safe.
  • The High Voltage Stuff is under warranty for 8 years or 100,000 miles, so you will not need to worry about that for a while.
  • The Gen 2 has a rocker switch in the shifter that tends to go bad. Read up on that...
  • Whenever you can, keep the Volt plugged in so it can keep the battery at optimal temps to prolong life.
Here's a good write up by Steverino on everything service related: Care, Maintenance & Service FAQ's
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies! Seems like I may be bringing my ICE maintenance mindset to this unnecessarily..

The only issue I've been having so far is a knock that sounds just like a bad CV on the front driver side, but only when I am first starting up the car and begin moving. Noise happens even if I am not turning the wheel, and subsequent low speed, full lock turning has not reproduced the noise. Does anyone else hear/feel a clunk when they first start moving?
 

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Thanks everyone for the replies! Seems like I may be bringing my ICE maintenance mindset to this unnecessarily..

The only issue I've been having so far is a knock that sounds just like a bad CV on the front driver side, but only when I am first starting up the car and begin moving. Noise happens even if I am not turning the wheel, and subsequent low speed, full lock turning has not reproduced the noise. Does anyone else hear/feel a clunk when they first start moving?
I have the same sound. I'm figuring that it is one of the transmission/motor mounts. I need to get off my ass and swap it out. There was also a thing with the axle nuts where this issue presented and new nuts where specified and installed.
 

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Thock or cracking sounds at the start of acceleration or braking are USUALLY axle hubs creaking because the nuts aren't torqued right anymore. It's a common issue, that may be resolved as simply as loosening and retightening to spec. Sometimes there's enough wear that fastening hardware or even the half-axle needs replacement.
 

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Thock or cracking sounds at the start of acceleration or braking are USUALLY axle hubs creaking because the nuts aren't torqued right anymore. It's a common issue, that may be resolved as simply as loosening and retightening to spec. Sometimes there's enough wear that fastening hardware or even the half-axle needs replacement.
Replacing the washer also helps. It's not a crush washer per se, but it will deform slightly under torque. A new one will help keep the nut under pressure.

Thanks everyone for the replies! Seems like I may be bringing my ICE maintenance mindset to this unnecessarily..
Don't completely ditch that mindset, just know that with the Volt, engineering has replaced the need use as much of it (for now at least). Many of wear items, like brake pads, just don't wear as fast due to regen. Common fail items like the alternator, for example, was replaced with the solid state Accessory Power Module (a 2kW DC-DC converter). AC compressor is electric rather than belt driven. The computer babies the ICE with proper warm-up cycles and keeps its running at consistent RPM's to minimize wear. No car is perfect but the Volt does exceptionally well in maximizing reliability with minimal effort.
 

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Replacing the washer also helps. It's not a crush washer per se, but it will deform slightly under torque. A new one will help keep the nut under pressure.
I knew something was niggling about that washer but I couldn't remember what its deal was. Thanks.
 

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Thanks everyone for the replies! Seems like I may be bringing my ICE maintenance mindset to this unnecessarily..

The only issue I've been having so far is a knock that sounds just like a bad CV on the front driver side, but only when I am first starting up the car and begin moving. Noise happens even if I am not turning the wheel, and subsequent low speed, full lock turning has not reproduced the noise. Does anyone else hear/feel a clunk when they first start moving?
I have a Gen1, but it certainly sounds like you have the loose axle nut issue. I have only had my Volt for a few months, but noticed the clunk starting out as well as a clicking sound when braking and turning at low speeds. Based on forum research, I believe it to be the loose axle nut (clunk) and likely a broken washer (between 1/2 shaft and hub) (clicking) . I tried retorquing the nut, and the sound went away for a short while, but it came back within a week or so. I've ordered new (redesigned/larger) nuts and washers as well as the hub attaching bolts (and brake caliper bolts) which I think are required to fully disassemble the hub from the axle to get the new washer in place. I have not looked at it, but I am hoping I can get the axle out of the hub without removing the hub mounting bolts and caliper mounting bolts. I would post the part numbers, but I don't think they are the same for your Gen2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Just an update if anyone comes across this thread later with the same issue, I took it into the dealer since I have the B2B warranty, and they confirmed it was the axle nut issue. They said they wanted to replace both axles, even though I was only hearing the clunking from the driver side wheel. But hey I'm not complaining about free new parts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So another update. Just went to the dealer to pick up my volt after they finally replaced both axles. Drove out of the parking lot and instantly heard the clunk. Took it back and drove around with a technician who heard the noises but had no idea what it was. He said it could be a motor or something in the electrical drive system engaging or some other normal noise, but I highly doubt that's it. I have a neighbor who has 2 volts because he likes them so much, and after taking him for a ride he said it definitely was not a normal noise.

It's a solid clunk/thunk noise, that reverberates though the car so you can physically feel the clunk when it happens. Seems like it's coming from the front left wheel, but when the tech was driving around with me, he said it almost sounded like it came from the rear left wheel to him. Will usually clunk once, primarily when turning the wheel, but won't do it again until coming to a stop. Especially after hard stops. Then once I start moving and turning the wheel, it happens again.

At this point though not sure that guy knew what he was talking about. Starting to get pretty frustrated with this. Any thoughts what it may be? If the dealership ever finds out what it is I will update this thread.
 

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Be prepared for the EGR valve to go bad which will cause all kinds of codes to pop up. It's covered under warranty but you can clean it yourself and replace the blown F3 fuse. Recently had my EGR valve and F3 fuse replaced at 31200 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Be prepared for the EGR valve to go bad which will cause all kinds of codes to pop up. It's covered under warranty but you can clean it yourself and replace the blown F3 fuse. Recently had my EGR valve and F3 fuse replaced at 31200 miles.
Thanks for the heads up, I'll keep an eye on it. Only 22,500 miles on it right now. Other than the mysterious clunking noise I've been liking it so far! Hope this isn't indicative of how much maintenance I'll need to do over the course of the life of the car..
 

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Could be motor mounts/bad strut mounts. Over time, the torque of the motor(s) could cause it to loosen or go bad but it seems too early for that to happen. I'd have it checked anyway.
 

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I've had the very intermittent clunk from the rear which I would describe as happening on rare occasions switching from electric to gas. It almost reminds me of some kind of clutch noise or something. I am not certain what moving parts are involved in doing the handoff from batt to ice, but I swear it's something in there.

Mine is 4 years old with 27k. Are axles covered under the 8/80 drivetrain warranty? What about things like mounts?

Service manager at my dealership says he only lets 2 guys do the battery coolant changes. I wouldn't even dare attempt this myself. What are you looking to save vs what might you end up costing yourself? For what end purpose?

Same service manager surprisingly said I should do the trans/driveline fluid due to potential for moisture intrusion. This is ahead of the severe service interval, and surprised me. I smelled it, and it smells like plain old clean hydraulic fluid. He also did not say anything about brake fluid - speaking of moisture - til year 5?

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