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The manual states "You can use L (Low) on very steep hills, in deep snow, or in mud.", those seem like slippery conditions
My problem with 'L' is that it causes extra drag on the front wheels, which leads to understeer and only gets worse as you lift off the 'gas'. Yes, there are all kind of electronics that might or might not mitigate this, but to my way of thinking once these kick in you've already lost it and turned your fate over to the silicon god.


I'm not so sure about the quote Joe supplies above, my memory says the manual told me not to use 'l' in slippery conditions, but I stand to be corrected (since I'm not sue where my manual is) I'm talking ice or slush as opposed to mud. Deep snow is another thing.
 

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I don't know how to drive in 'D'. For nearly four years with both Volt and ELR it's been 'L' 100%.

Once, I got a new phone and stored it in the usual place behind the shifter (gen 1 Volt). It stopped the shifter from going into 'L' and I almost wrecked!
 

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My problem with 'L' is that it causes extra drag on the front wheels, which leads to understeer and only gets worse as you lift off the 'gas'. Yes, there are all kind of electronics that might or might not mitigate this, but to my way of thinking once these kick in you've already lost it and turned your fate over to the silicon god.


I'm not so sure about the quote Joe supplies above, my memory says the manual told me not to use 'l' in slippery conditions, but I stand to be corrected (since I'm not sue where my manual is) I'm talking ice or slush as opposed to mud. Deep snow is another thing.
Extra drag? Understeer? Not on my 2012

2012 Premium - Red
 

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What about slush going downhill in stop-and-go traffic?
Sounds like rush hour in Halifax when I was younger, with the harbour at the bottom of the hill. Twenty years before even anti-lock brakes, never mind traction control, ESP, and all that good stuff. Much less regen. And yet I'm still here.
 

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Almost all my driving is in L. I tend to lightly touch the brakes if there is a car behind me to avoid accidents and I kinda avoid one pedal driving in heavy traffic as it tends to annoy other drivers
 

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Sounds like rush hour in Halifax when I was younger, with the harbour at the bottom of the hill. Twenty years before even anti-lock brakes, never mind traction control, ESP, and all that good stuff. Much less regen. And yet I'm still here.
Some people don't need all this newfangled gizmo stuff. Good old-fashioned skill does the job. I'll take the anti-lock brakes though. I can't match that sort of precision.
 

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Some people don't need all this newfangled gizmo stuff. Good old-fashioned skill does the job. I'll take the anti-lock brakes though. I can't match that sort of precision.
I wouldn't give up any of that stuff, especially the ABS, but it's still better not to put yourself into a situation where your life depends upon it.
 

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I wouldn't give up any of that stuff, especially the ABS, but it's still better not to put yourself into a situation where your life depends upon it.
Kinda where I went with that. Skill means things like not over-driving the tires. Know your car and what it can and can't do.

Just the other day we were on the tollway in some heavy rain. I'm usaully a left lane driver, but not that day. The tires aren't good enough for 70 MPH in heavy rain.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
So I now understand many more uses for L and have been experimenting with my 2013. Is there a technical explanation on the forums of the software that makes L work? Maybe a tech presentation by the GM engineers to help me really get it?
 

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Thanks for the links Ilninja.

BlueStar - I think part of the confusion is that GM calls it "L". Typically, "L" stands for Low gear and that may be why you thought you couldn't go over 40. A more accurate letter would be "B" (as used in other EVs/Hybrids) to indicate Brake Regeneration. All it really does is it keeps the motor connected to the battery - so, instead of coasting (where the motor and battery "disengage") they stay connected and the kinetic energy of the rolling wheels is used to charge the battery. I find that when driving in L - there is a halfway point between coasting and regen - you can slightly release the gas pedal to this point to coast - if you release more, it will charge the battery and decelerate quicker (like it would on a manual where you "engine brake").

I hope that makes sense. I'm one of those guys that drives in Sport and "L" all the time - I just find it more enjoyable - and, if i'm exiting a ramp going down hill - I get to charge my battery a little bit.

Enjoy the volt!
 
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