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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Apologies if this has been answered, but I don't yet know what I don't know here.

Short story: brand new 2018 Volt (approx 65 miles as I type). While at dealers, energy usage/efficiency was showing 27 of 33 miles were electric for 82% efficiency. Since home, I charged it up fully and went for my first drive (small town back road driving) during which the Flow meter showed engine/gas usage virtually the entire drive. Efficiency has dropped from north of 82% to 43% (to 29 of 65 miles ... so 2 miles have been credited to electric since I left the dealer). It appears substantially all of the time the battery isn't being used at all. Other facts: Engine Maintenance isn't on; hood is closed; and Mode = Normal (though it was switched to Hold briefly by my sales guy at the dealership then back to Normal). I guess I was under the impression the first 45-53 miles of driving would be battery exclusively. Am I mistaken? Is there a setting I missed? Should I do a "reset to factory settings"? Sorry... looks like this was a long story. Any guidance is much appreciated!!

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Your understanding of what should be happening is correct - assuming the car is fully charged. What does the instrument panel show? Have you plugged the car in to charge at some point?

Keep in mind, the 53 miles is if you drive like the EPA test - depending on the temperatures and how aggressively and quickly you drive it can be 50% more or 40% less.

The car will always give you an estimate of how many electric miles you can drive in the instrument cluster, which will change based on how you've been driving.
 

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If you are in Normal mode, the gas engine should not come on at all until you deplete the battery (zero miles range).
Easy to verify this by looking at the display. On my Gen 1 the engine is grayed out and when it turns on it is in blue.

The only reason I can think of where running in battery mode would show up as gas miles is if the battery charge were generated in mountain mode by charging with the ICE instead of the EVSE. Is it possible the dealer charged the battery with mountain mode before you took delivery of the car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Saghost: yes, I fully charged the battery yesterday. When I start the cart, the panel initially showed EV Range highlighted with 47 miles remaining and Fuel Range grayed out at 357 range. I saw the same earlier (EV highlighted/Fuel grayed out), but within a couple hundred yards of driving, it flipped to EV grayed and Fuel highlighted. It remained that way for the rest of my short (2 mi) test run around the neighborhood. Understood re the EPA test calcs.
 

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Apologies if this has been answered, but I don't yet know what I don't know here.

Short story: brand new 2018 Volt (approx 65 miles as I type). While at dealers, energy usage/efficiency was showing 27 of 33 miles were electric for 82% efficiency. Since home, I charged it up fully and went for my first drive (small town back road driving) during which the Flow meter showed engine/gas usage virtually the entire drive. Efficiency has dropped from north of 82% to 43% (to 29 of 65 miles ... so 2 miles have been credited to electric since I left the dealer). It appears substantially all of the time the battery isn't being used at all. Other facts: Engine Maintenance isn't on; hood is closed; and Mode = Normal (though it was switched to Hold briefly by my sales guy at the dealership then back to Normal). I guess I was under the impression the first 45-53 miles of driving would be battery exclusively. Am I mistaken? Is there a setting I missed? Should I do a "reset to factory settings"? Sorry... looks like this was a long story. Any guidance is much appreciated!!

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Yeah, that ain't right. Show us a picture of your dash display.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Fred_B: I don't know what Mode the car was in when dealer had it. In Normal mode battery is showing 47 remaining EV range, with 357 remaining on the fuel side. I wonder if confirming Normal and topping off the battery would affect the settings?
 

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Are you certain the hood is fully close? Pull the hood release lever on the left side of the cabin next to the driver's door, then find the yellow hood release located in the grill just to the left of center. Raise the hood and make sure there are no tools or the hood hold up rod in the way. Lower the hood to ~10 inches and let go (that is how the manual says to close the hood.)

If the ICE is running and the Volt's battery has been charged even a fraction of the total battery capacity there is something that requires servicing. Press the blue OnStar button on the overhead console when your Volt is running with the gas engine powered on and you are in Normal mode. As the OnStar representative to read you any error codes (copy the codes for later for the service department.) If there are no codes ask the OnStar representative to initiate on-demand diagnostics (they can do this) and check for any codes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Are you certain the hood is fully close? Pull the hood release lever on the left side of the cabin next to the driver's door, then find the yellow hood release located in the grill just to the left of center. Raise the hood and make sure there are no tools or the hood hold up rod in the way. Lower the hood to ~10 inches and let go (that is how the manual says to close the hood.)

If the ICE is running and the Volt's battery has been charged even a fraction of the total battery capacity there is something that requires servicing. Press the blue OnStar button on the overhead console when your Volt is running with the gas engine powered on and you are in Normal mode. As the OnStar representative to read you any error codes (copy the codes for later for the service department.) If there are no codes ask the OnStar representative to initiate on-demand diagnostics (they can do this) and check for any codes.
Perhaps I need to clarify terminology. The ICE isn't running while I sit in my driveway with the car on. It appears to be drawing off the battery at that time and the EV Range side of the instrument panel is lit. When I put the car into motion, EV Range side remains lit for a very short time, then grays out and the Fuel Range side lights up. On the big screen in the center of the car, the Flow meter (not sure of its name) shows the engine lit up (blue graphics) and working most of the time. The electricity from the battery (green graphics) may come on briefly, but not as consistently as from the engine. I'm assuming that because (a) the Flow meter is showing energy coming from the engine, and (b) my gas is being consumed, that the engine is running... but to be honest with you, with my hearing, I can't swear I hear the engine running.

Yes, I double checked the hood and the instrument panel beeped when I re-opened it and dropped it firmly in place. I'll retry just to be sure.

And I'll also contact OnStar... I need to do my initial Welcome Call anyway.
 

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Turn the vehicle off, then on again. What does the "Mode" say in the bottom of the DIC? Start driving again until the fuel thing lights upo. What does the "Mode" say now? Are you leaning or have anything resting on the "Mode" switch below the gearshift??
 

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There is definitely something wrong if the EV range shows 47 miles and the ICE is firing up (assuming you're not in hold mode). Also 47 miles EV range seems too low for a fully charged, brand new car. Schedule an appointment with the dealer and have them investigate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Took it for a drive again. Hood appears solidly closed with no obstructions and no warning light it's opened. OnStar ran full diagnostics and found no errors and no codes thrown. I travelled approximately 1/3 mile on EV side, then it jumped to Fuel Range side on panel. Flow showed engine, then EV, and at times it was yellow and showing both were working. Images below are of Flow, Range and Mode while in motion. I'm significantly annoyed, but I appreciate all of your input.

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There is definitely a problem with the vehicle. The Volt will always default to running on the battery when you start the car, provided there is sufficient battery charge, unless:

The Volt senses that the hood is open, then the gas engine will run. This happens so that the Volt technician can run additional engine diagnostics.

The temperature management system senses that the outside temperature is below 35F or 15F (if engine assist heating set to deferred.) The gas engine will start, Engine Running Due to Temperature message will briefly be displayed on the driver information console. The gas engine will run until the engine coolant reaches 160F, then cycle on and off to provide cabin heat.

You set the mode selector to Hold mode. (Selecting Mountain Mode will not cause the gas engine to start until the battery state of charge is less than 15% (approx. 2 bars)

Depending on your State, you may have the right to return the car to the dealer. If it is not too late, that is what I would want to do. Return the vehicle for another Volt or get your money back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I read that "Reset - Hold Select" to mean resetting the trip meter, but you might be onto something. I'll confirm with the owner's manual.

And I'll be calling the dealer in the AM and will post an update in case anyone else runs into this issue.

Thanks guys
 

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I would actually start with the hood latch and open sensor switch. If the hood shifts up at all while driving the engine will turn on. Since the car is in EV mode until you start moving and then switches to gas mode once it's moving, I would suspect air flow forcing the hood up.

Get it back to your dealership and have them ride along. Use the power management display on the center stack to show the switch from EV to Gas.
 

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Saghost: yes, I fully charged the battery yesterday. When I start the cart, the panel initially showed EV Range highlighted with 47 miles remaining and Fuel Range grayed out at 357 range. I saw the same earlier (EV highlighted/Fuel grayed out), but within a couple hundred yards of driving, it flipped to EV grayed and Fuel highlighted. It remained that way for the rest of my short (2 mi) test run around the neighborhood. Understood re the EPA test calcs.
Huh. That's not normal. You aren't getting any messages on the instrument cluster when the engine turns on?

Usually, there are four reasons besides hold mode for the engine to come on - Hood Latch, ERDTT, EMM, and FMM.

62F is way too warm for ERDTT (the car starts the engine to warm the coolant for cabin heating at temperatures below freezing.)

Engine Maintenance Mode triggers every 6 weeks if the engine hasn't been run in the interim, running the engine until it gets fully warmed up (<5 minutes) to drive moisture out of the oil and relubricate everything. Your screen shot shows more ICE time than I would have thought EMM required, but you're apparently still getting it.

Fuel Maintenance Mode triggers when the average age of fuel in the tank reaches one year, and runs until after the car is refueled. I guess that could fit for a very early build 2018 that was topped off when it hit the dealer - but there should be an instrument panel message connected to it (I'm not as familiar with Gen 2 car displays; on first generation, all the messages were at the bottom center and it would pop up "Fuel Maintenance Mode" in the message screen when the engine came on.)

And as several folks have mentioned here, if the car thinks the hood is open, it turns the engine on for diagnostic purposes, though on first generation cars it'll actually turn it off once you get up to speed, which doesn't seem to match your experience.
 

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As just about everyone here has noted, that's not right. Also - when in hold mode, the DIC display changes so not only is the EV range greyed out but the green bars are greyed out as well.

Take it back to the dealer and show them the behavior.

I believe any of the maintenance modes (e.g. Engine Maintenance Mode, Fuel Maintenance Mode, and ERDTT) all show messages on the dash display indicating that they are running.
 

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I see lots of mention of the hood switch perhaps being the culprit, and I agree something is definitely not right, but would the dash also indicate the hood isn't completely closed? I know my Gen 1 does but I wasn't sure if there is a position in that switch that would indicate to the computer that the hood isn't latched, but not indicate so on the dash?
 

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Fred_B: I don't know what Mode the car was in when dealer had it. In Normal mode battery is showing 47 remaining EV range, with 357 remaining on the fuel side. I wonder if confirming Normal and topping off the battery would affect the settings?
No, I don't think confirming Normal mode and topping off the battery would change the fact that some of those battery miles might have been ICE-generated.

But reading the additional posts this morning, it sounds like you should take it to the dealer. Your ICE was definitely running when it shouldn't have been. The consensus seems to be that it is some issue with the hood latch switch thinking the hood is open, and starting the ICE.

At any rate whatever the issue turns out to be, it will be fixed under warranty. This should be a relatively easy problem for the dealer to diagnose. I can understand that as a new owner you felt 'overwhelmed' by the complexity of the car, but in a little while you will feel more at ease. The car is a bit complex but not overly so. Once you understand the driving modes and what the car does in each mode (and what it should not be doing) you are most of the way there.

N
 
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