GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. Found a 2012 Volt at a local dealer for $13900 CDN (So roughly 10K USD) that fits our requirements. Currently has about 130,000 Kilometers on it (82,000 miles). Loaded for the most part short of the backup camera and navigation, neither of which we particularly care about. Otherwise, leather, heated seats, and pretty much everything else.

Anyhow, despite my request, when we arrived at the dealership yesterday (which didn't honestly seem that well versed in the Volt, not surprisingly based on everything I've seen online) it was flat dead. Well, I guess we could at least get to hear the engine this way.

We negotiated a 2-3 hour test drive as a result of this and went our for about a 45 minute drive, then pulled into the local megamall and hit an EV charging station so we could actually test out some EV miles.

I was a little concerned that in the time we had we picked up 2.35KW according to the post-charge email confirmation from the charge station (so about 1/4 of charge if I'm not mistaken?) but that it only showed 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) on the EV range afterwards.

Yes, I know it's winter (we are in Ontario), and I am quite familiar with decreased EV range expectations in the winter, but it was about 4C yesterday (39F) and we were not using the HVAC at all after the charge (fan only mode, on low), just the heated seats on low really.

My question with regards to the battery on the Volt in particular is....does it assume a lot in it's range estimation based on past HVAC usage? IE, is there a very real possibility that given light/no HVAC load that we would have actually got more than 5.5 miles out of that charge? Or should I be concerned about the battery health? We unfortunately only drove a few kilometers from the mall back to the dealership at that point and although the engine never started afterwards, we did indeed consume those 3-4K off the range display.

I'm going back Monday evening to look at it again and they are going to have it fully charged and plugged in. Given the ambient temp is forecasted at 10C Monday (50F) what should I expect to see for the battery range?

I guess what I'm trying to get a feel for is....will a full charge in the winter (assuming zero HVAC load) always show less milage available than a full charge in ideal summer temperatures? Is this a result of anticipated HVAC usage (so the car will actually go farther than it's suggested range in reality if one uses the HVAC lightly, IE the weather dramatically warms up), or are these going to be real world expectations (so only 20 miles/40 kilometers in the winter) in the cold weather due to the battery pack being cold....and real-world HVAC usage will further lower that again?

Battery aside, anything else that's commonly an issue on 2012's that I should be looking for? The car only comes with a 3 month dealer warranty, although the Voltec battery warranty will still be in force for a period of time afterwards (a little under 2 years or ~30,000 Kilometers) should there actually be any battery issues. It's otherwise in quite remarkably good condition.

Any advice appreciated. We have a refundable deposit on it right now based on a few things, a full EV drive being one of them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
We call it the guess-O-meter for exactly that reason. It varies wildly because of driving style, speed, heater usage, uphill downhill, headwind tailwind, etc. Test it with a full charge find a nice flat suburban road where you can cruise at about 45 mph. Also important what tires it has on it. The OEM Goodyears are light and narrow tread. Many replacement tires can have much wider tread and effect range up to 10/15 %.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thinking through things some more...if I understand correctly, when plugged in the battery is electrically heated (correct?) to aid in chemistry/temperature related milage loss, but wouldn't the 45 minutes it was plugged into the level 2 charger at the mall have been enough time to warm the entire pack along with the charge it took?

Or would it, over the period of a full charge vs only 1/4, have warmed more resulting in a longer range indication immediately after the charge was complete?

I'm just trying to get a better grasp on anticipated ICE usage requirements given my wifes daily 70 Kilometer (43 mile) commute, each way. I know that except perhaps during "ideal" conditions in the summer conditions she won't quite make it without some ICE usage and I expect that, and in the Winter she won't even be close, although we will take full advantage of preheat. Currently no option for charging at work but we are 80% confident we will get that capability through an environmental initiatives program, even if it's only level 1.

I keep reminding myself that even "worse case scenario" she'll still be saving at least 50% over the Chrysler 300 she's operating now, so even if we never charge the battery anywhere other than home the Volt is still a win, but obviously we want to maximize the cheap battery range whenever possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
Ok for context I'll relate personal experience. My 2011 Volt has 91,500 miles on it. I am running Michelin Primacy MXV4's in 94V. These tires hit range and gas mileage about 7 to 8% vs. OEM Goodyears. So down here in Florida this month after full charge my guessometer says 36. That's using A/C on "eco" in the afternoon. On the freeways coming down running 76-79 mph she gets 33-37 mile per gallon. Highly influenced by either a tailwind, or a headwind. On gasoline at a more state highway type pace of 55-62 the mpg goes up to about 40. Your winter all battery range can dive much. If it's under 30 degrees I'm seeing 24-26 miles range. When the temp drops to 26 the engine fires due to ERDTT, which I like as engine heat helps cabin heat a bunch. If your subject car does have Goodyears on it make sure they have the TPC 1406 marking. Another same size Goodyear is almost 8" wide and you can't tell them apart without close inspection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
524 Posts
There are very few reports of any problems with the HV traction battery. Find the Mode switch above the Power button and push it until the display on the speedometer reads Mountain. This will use the generator to charge the HV battery up to about half. The Range estimate is always low when they are on dealer lots. Volts are jockeyed around the lot and run to warm up for potential sales. It takes about a week of driving to get the estimates accurate.
The 12 volt battery can be bad after 5 years. It is under the rear floor under the hatch. A new one might be a good idea. Also under the floor is the EVSE charge cord. Make sure it works. It has green lights when plugged in to the outlet. Plug into the car and the small domed light at the lower windshield should glow yellow and turn green after it starts to charge. You will get one honk of the horn. If not pull the plug from the car and quickly reinsert. The charge port door has been a problem. Check the operation of the switch on the inside of the door that opens it. Also check the charge port for excessive abuse and corrosion.
Turn on Climate to Comfort and about 26 c. Two minutes should give some heat.
With 86k miles look to see if it has original tires. Goodyear Assurance TPC1406. Should have a new set at that mileage. Look for unusual wear on the tires. Other brands can provide better performance but a loss of electric range.
Brake rotors should have a dull shine with just a little pitting. Heavily scored or very rusty rotors are a bad sign. Brakes should last a very long time in excess of your current mileage but brake calipers require cleaning and lubing if exposed to salty roads.
Look for a Carfax report. GM dealers can call up the service history.
Happy Motoring!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks all. Trying not to overthink things, but going in eyes wide open.

I've done some pretty exhaustive calculations based on what I've seen as "average" summer and winter EV mileage, and based on 6.5L/100K (38MPG) for the ICE.

72 Kilometre (44 miles) commute to work each way.
______________________________________________________________
SUMMER:



Worst case scenario - drive to work on EV until exhausted, drive home entirely on gas.
EV range = 56 Kilometers (34 miles)
Gas engine runs for 16 Kilometers of that trip after EV exhausted
Gas consumption based on 6.5L/100K = 1.5L (0.39 gallons) to make it the rest of the way.
Drive home entirely on gas based on 6.5L/100K=4.87L (1.28 gallons)
TOTAL DRIVE UP ELECTRIC DRIVE HOME ENGINE = 6.3L (1.66 gallons)

Better case scenario - drive to work on EV until exhausted, stage 1 charge to about 80SOC (best I think she'll get over an 8 hour work day assuming we can get a good 12A circuit, use ICE for the rest of the trip home.
Stage 1 charge at work 8 hours = 45 kilometers of range realistic
Gas engine runs for 22K on way home = 1.6L of fuel used.
Plus 1.5L for trip up as per calculations above
TOTAL IF ABLE TO STAGE 1 CHARGE AT WORK=3L for total trip. (0.79 gallons)

Best case scenario - access to a full level 2 charge at work, so full EV range for the trip home:
3.0L/day total consumption (0.79 gallons of gas each day)

______________________________________________________________

WINTER:

Worse case winter scenario - drive up on full EV charge, no access to charge at work, drive home entirely on gas
EV Range = 38 Kilometers, assuming a good preheat at home and what I've gathered will be typical winter range.
Gas engine runs for 35 kilometers (~21.5 miles) on the trip up after battery is exhausted.
Gas consumption based on 6.5L/100k=2.27L (0.59 gallons)
Drive home entirely on gas based on 6.5L/100K=4.5L (1.18 gallons)
TOTAL DRIVE UP ELECTRIC, DRIVE HOME ENGINE=7.75L (2.04 gallons)

Better case winter scenario - stage 1 charge at work
Stage 1 charge at work 8 hours = 80% charge = ~30 kilometer range
Gas engine runs for 40 kilometers on way home
Gas consumption based on 6.5L/100k = 2.6L
 (0.68 gallons)
Plus the 2.27L (0.59 gallons) burned for the drive up
TOTAL ROUND TRIP IF ABLE TO STAGE 1 CHARGE AT WORK = = 6.77L (1.78 gallons)

Best case winter scenario: Stage 2 charge at work, so able to obtain a 100SOC = 2.27L (0.59G) each way, or basically 4.5L or 1.18 gallons per day.

Again, I'm reminding myself through all my fuel economy calculations that even worst case scenario (in the winter, only charging at home and driving home on gas) she'll be using 9L (2.37 gallons) less gas every day. Best case scenario, summer time and stage 2 charge on both ends we're down to 3.0L/day total consumption, or 13 liters (3.43 gallons) less gas per day.

I know those numbers can and probably will vary depending on temperature and HVAC use, but I think that's a comfortable average. For example based on some ideal numbers I'm venturing to guess that there will be days she can make the entire drive to work (70 kilometers, 43 miles) entirely on electric without the ICE ever starting, but the flipside will occur in the winter I know, so again...averages.

This is if all my numbers check out based on a daily 140 kilometers (87 mile) return commute. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
I am an Ontario owner of a 2012. In this weather, I regularly get 60 kms range after charging on a simple 110V outlet. After you have had the car a while and assuming that you do not drive like a maniac, I would be surprised if you can't get this kind of number. Use of wipers in rain seems to have more effect on range.
In the summer, the range climbs into the high 70's and I frequently start a trip from Toronto to Port Perry with an estimated range of 80 km. Our farm is 76 kms away and we often make the trip entirely on battery - traffic and terrain can make or break my numbers. Our lifetime average is still around 250 km per litre. We do take long trips to Florida every year, sometimes several times a year. Because this is always on gas only, it really ruins our lifetime average. The Volt has been a great car and I would buy another one. We haven't been in the habit of keeping a car this long, but apart from a cranky rear wheel tps, nothing is wrong with it. It looks virtually new, inside and out. The drive is as dreamy as the first time I rolled it out of the dealer's lot. I wish you good luck with your purchase.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Lanjay - the fact you are local means a lot to me as it's always hard to compare one person's Volt numbers to another persons because of the difference in terrains, typical temperatures (etc etc) from one geographic area to another. To hear those numbers from someone in basically the same area as myself are great and much appreciated.

My wife isn't a super efficient driver as it stands now, but when we test drove the Volt we are looking at yesterday she quickly grasped the efficiency "ball", and even the regenerative braking. I think that she will alter her driving style towards more efficient once we get the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Pilot I am also from Ontario and in the market for a PHEV. First choice was Volt Gen I but don't like that it runs on super and the car is not very efficient in ICE mode and also the fact your getting no warranty on a car that my cost thousands to fix has made me think a new gen 2 would be the wiser choice or the Prius Prime. I do prefer the look of the Gen 1 over the Gen 2 but i don't make sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
488 Posts
All repair issues my 2011 have encountered have been covered on the 8/100K Voltec equipment warranty. I have spent money on 3 oil changes and some tires. Not a dime for anything else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Pilot I am also from Ontario and in the market for a PHEV. First choice was Volt Gen I but don't like that it runs on super and the car is not very efficient in ICE mode and also the fact your getting no warranty on a car that my cost thousands to fix has made me think a new gen 2 would be the wiser choice or the Prius Prime. I do prefer the look of the Gen 1 over the Gen 2 but i don't make sense.
On a 35 litre tank the difference is only around $4 per fill up for the super, and from everything I've read the efficiency difference more than makes up for it vs those running 87 and having the ECM retard the timing.

That's also part of the "big question" when it comes to peoples listed ICE MPG - are they running premium as required, or are they running 87, not realizing that the knock sensor is retarding the timing to avoid detonation, and then as a direct result hurting their MPG.

Obviously favoring the battery is the way to go with a Volt, and the ICE isn't exactly dismal MPG when it is running, so I won't discount the Volt because the ICE "only" gets 38MPG. I do recognize that for people driving more ICE miles than battery miles something like a Prius would make more sense in the long run from a L/100K standpoint, however our goal is to favor battery whenever possible, so it's a big win vs a Prius then.

The reason we are considering a Gen1 is simply because of the price. Yes, a gen2 has benefits over the gen1's, but they also can't be had for <$30,000 CDN at this point used, so the reality is it doesn't make sense from a money-saving aspect...which is primarily what we are looking at the Volt for. We are paying less than half that for the gen1. That opens up another unfortunate part of that discussion - depreciation. As much as I like the Volt, it's not doing really good in that regard. We were talking to the dealer yesterday about the Bolt and I told him that if I can buy a 5 year old Bolt for the same price as a 5 year old Volt today...well, I'll see you in 5 years and my wife can upgrade to a Bolt instead and I'll take the Volt. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
412 Posts
We paid full list for our 2012. Sure, we'd take a bath if we were going to sell it. Five years in, I still don't care. Buying any car is not an exercise in saving money. I don't care that car A or B would have saved money. The payback for me is the way it drives. It makes me happy, and is something I'm proud to own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
We paid full list for our 2012. Sure, we'd take a bath if we were going to sell it. Five years in, I still don't care. Buying any car is not an exercise in saving money. I don't care that car A or B would have saved money. The payback for me is the way it drives. It makes me happy, and is something I'm proud to own.
I've never bought a new car, and never will - the "taking a bath" on the depreciation aspect is why. I'm happy to let someone else do that, and then the numbers look much better in my head.

And the Volt, for us, is all about the money saving aspect. Yes, the EV part is awesome and I love the geek aspect myself as well, but in the end, a huge part of the decision is about the potential $250+/month in gas savings for our situation. If it wasn't for that ability, I'm not kidding ourselves in keeping the fact that there are other vehicles out there that are comparable to a Volt for less money for a newer/less mileage car in the end, but I always look long term, and the Volt wins hands down in that regards from an economics standpoint.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Your points are valid. I wish you good luck with the used Gen 1. I got burned buying a used low Kilometer mini clubman. The car is great to drive and I get phenomenal milage but its always in the shop. So my next purchase will be either the new volt or prime on a 3 year lease plus government rebate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
623 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
After some challenges...I finally went for the second test drive tonight on a full battery.

When I arrived at the dealership it showed only 38 Kilometers (23.6 miles) of range. Not great, but I figured that was a total guess, and I was right.

I drove 42.8KM (26.59 miles), about 80% highway, 20% city, and arrived back at the dealer with 10KM (6.2 miles) still showing as available.

Admittedly I did only have the HVAC on fan only, and didn't use the seat heater for 99% of the drive. I did turn on the HVAC (on eco/heat with medium fan) for 4-5 minutes on just to test things for the last few Kilometers and pickup a bit of heat in the cabin.

The display showed 7.6KWH of the battery consumed when I parked, so almost exactly 3/4 of the 10.3KWH capacity. Extrapolating the distance driven by the KWH used, I believe I would expect about 57K (35.41 miles) out of the battery - pretty much exactly the stated 2012 range, but nowhere near the 70K you mention ianjay on your 2012 - is this another "the car goes farther than the meter suggests" situation in the end basically?

I unfortunately didn't have time to completely exhaust the battery to see exactly at what distance the ICE came on.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top