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Hi All,


Long-time lurker, second-time contributor here. On 3/22/17 I bought a new 2017 Volt Premier with every option except some overpriced wheels and the lighted charge port. I even paid an extra $1K for the Iridescent Pearl Tricoat, a color I’ve always lusted after. (Now Tesla’s trying to turn my head by making their version standard ;-) My B2B warranty obviously expires in a few days, and I’m seeking the combined wisdom of the forum about what (if anything) I should do before that happens. I apologize if some of the questions I raise have been asked and answered; I’ve done quite a bit of forum-surfing, but probably have missed some answers.


For the record, I love the Volt; after the $7.5K tax credit it cost me less than $32K including tax & registration, it’s been almost trouble-free so far (minor exceptions noted below), and has needed no dealer visits other than the two free inspections/oil changes/tire rotations. Its performance is great, and its economy superb—aided by the fact that my electric co-op spotted me $500 for a Level 2 EVSE and provides off-peak (2300-0700) juice at 4.4¢/kWh. However, I’m mindful of Consumer Reports’ assessment that the ’17 has had more reliability problems than subsequent years, and most of the “problem” forum posts seem to be from 2016 & 2017. My good experience may be due partially to the fact that I have fewer than 15K miles on the car: I’m 75 years young, twice retired (20 years USAF and subsequent civilian endeavors) with no commute. However, I like to believe that it’s because it was built toward the end of the model year on a Wednesday (not on FIGMO-Friday or hung-over-Monday ;-)


This will be long (for which I also apologize), so I’m breaking it into two posts: pre-warranty-expiration issues/questions and general observations/questions. First and most urgent are the former; I’ll save the latter for a subsequent post. Here goes:


Fob Recognition Failure - We’ve had a few episodes of the car failing to recognize the presence of the fob, both when unlocking the doors and starting the car. I suspected fob battery decline, but it seemed to have plenty of range when locking/unlocking or pre-conditioning from a distance (much better than my previous Toyotas and Hondas). This has been sporadic and hasn’t happened in several months, but I gather it could be a symptom of a failing remote receiver; should I invoke the TSB (16-NA-396) about this that I’ve seen discussed? Are they likely to blow it off if it can’t be replicated in dealer hands? Even if so, I think there’s value in getting it on record.


Infotainment System Issues - Once only (maybe two years ago), the car started up with nothing but color bars on the center screen. A shutdown/restart cleared this up, and it hasn’t recurred. I tend to attribute this to a one-time glitch, but I’ve seen some discussion about infotainment system issues (and CR notes that as a trouble spot.) Recently, after upgrading my iPhone to the latest iOS, the car would call up Siri as usual with a long press of the steering-wheel button, but the resulting phone call wound up on the Bluetooth headset I generally wear rather than being picked up by the car as previously. In the latter case I suspected an iOS bug, but I know there are TSBs (e.g. PIC5461) on this system, and I’m inclined to mention these episodes, again if only to get them on the record. (I haven’t tried re-pairing my phone; I expect that’s the first thing to try. However, I tried it again today, and it seems to have fixed itself.) Any other pre-B2B-expiration infotainment suggestions?


Dealer Competence - I bought the car at Jeff Belzer Chevrolet in Lakeville, MN (Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area). This is my closest dealer, and since I haven’t had any serious issues I don’t have any insight into their (or anyone else’s) Volt expertise. There’s been quite a bit of discussion on the forum about good and bad dealers; do any Twin Cities members have dealer experiences to relate (good or bad)?


System Updates - I haven’t received any notices from the dealer or Chevrolet about available software/firmware or other available updates. (My only notices have been occasional postcards suggesting that I come in for fluid and tire-inflator sealant expiration checks—along with discount offers on various other services.) I’m a decent “shade-tree mechanic,” capable of doing everything offered so far without paying $125/hr for these, but I wonder if there are other more technical dealer-only TSBs or updates that aren’t volunteered unless asked about. Anything I should indeed ask about?


OTA Updates - I thought all system updates had to be of the “plug ’n play” variety, but I’ve seen mention on the forum of OTA updates to the Volt. I’m sure they’re nowhere near as frequent or comprehensive as Tesla’s; are they done automatically via OnStar, or do they require a dealer visit? If the former, shouldn’t there be some sort of notice on the display about their offer and/or accomplishment? (I’ve never seen such.) If the latter, is this something I should ask about?


“Shift-to-Park” Faults - I know these are no longer a B2B issue, as Chevy has acknowledged (or extended) their coverage under the Voltec warranty. I gather that the most common of these is an actual inability to shift into (or out of?) Park due to a failing parking solenoid microswitch—for which there are a couple of relatively simple DIY fixes, warranty coverage notwithstanding. I have yet to experience this phenomenon, but I’m pretty sure my Volt (built in 1/17) predates the upgraded shifter, so I suspect it will eventually crop up; has anybody succeeded in getting a warranty replacement for an asymptomatic shifter? I also understand that this message can accompany much scarier loss-of-power situations; I’m trying to get a handle on the variety, causes and prevalence of these, and what if any questions I should pose to the dealer about them.


Other Questions - I’m sure I haven’t identified everything I should bring up on this visit; other suggestions welcome.


That’s enough for Part 1; thanks in advance for any input provided.


~Ken
 

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System Updates - I haven’t received any notices from the dealer or Chevrolet about available software/firmware or other available updates. (My only notices have been occasional postcards suggesting that I come in for fluid and tire-inflator sealant expiration checks—along with discount offers on various other services.) I’m a decent “shade-tree mechanic,” capable of doing everything offered so far without paying $125/hr for these, but I wonder if there are other more technical dealer-only TSBs or updates that aren’t volunteered unless asked about. Anything I should indeed ask about?


OTA Updates - I thought all system updates had to be of the “plug ’n play” variety, but I’ve seen mention on the forum of OTA updates to the Volt. I’m sure they’re nowhere near as frequent or comprehensive as Tesla’s; are they done automatically via OnStar, or do they require a dealer visit? If the former, shouldn’t there be some sort of notice on the display about their offer and/or accomplishment? (I’ve never seen such.) If the latter, is this something I should ask about?

OTA updates are only for 2019s, IIRC.

Re other updates - ask your dealer. I had my dealer change the oil just before the warranty expired because I knew they would check if other updates were available. They get paid by GM to do these, so they are motivated to check. Anything that GM says should be done for that VIN number, they'll do.

There are other updates that might apply only when you're experiencing specific problems. They won't install those unless they diagnose those problems.
 

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Dealer Competence - I bought the car at Jeff Belzer Chevrolet in Lakeville, MN (Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area). This is my closest dealer, and since I haven’t had any serious issues I don’t have any insight into their (or anyone else’s) Volt expertise. There’s been quite a bit of discussion on the forum about good and bad dealers; do any Twin Cities members have dealer experiences to relate (good or bad)?
I can't speak to Jeff Belzer, but Suburban Chevrolet in Eden Prairie has been prompt and thorough, and gets it done in one trip for me, so far. Best story: When I brought it in for a bad BECM, they also fixed the Shift-to-Park issue (no charge to me), even though I had not yet experienced it. Worst story: I'm on their gosh-darned phone list now and can't get them to stop asking if I want to come in for more service. It's not like it's every day or even every week, but jeez, when I need service, I'll call you!
 

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kenhenningsen,

Did you bring your car in to Belzer's pre-experation? I have my evaporative emissions pipe rub recall still pending and would like to know your experience with Belzer's. Was this Lakeville or New Prague?

If not Belzer's did you go elsewhere? Experience?

Anyone else have notable service experience in the Twin Cities, good or bad?
 
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