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Discussion Starter #1
Our 2013 Volt, 55K miles, is showing a predicted all electric range of 33 miles after a full charge
when it used to be 38 miles.
Also the gasoline-only, 'hold' mode range has dropped from 37 to 33 mpg.
This drop in mpg started in the last few months, up until then this car always exceeded the
mileage expectations.
We notice that the rear wheels get very hot while the front wheels remain cool to the touch.
We suspect the rear wheel brakes may be stuck or the ball bearings are failing, we took the
car to an official Chevy dealer but they state they can't find anything wrong with it.
Did anybody else observe this problem ? how can we fix it if the dealer refuses to acknowledge it ?

thanks.
 

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Welcome. This time of year, we all see falling estimates and mpg due to the cooling weather.

However, we also have had a few cars report stuck/dragging rear brakes, with the only symptoms being the hot wheel/brake and decreased mileage. It's certainly quite possible that you have that problem. If you have an infrared thermometer or thermal camera, that's make it easy to check/document. Or you could take off the wheels and check the brakes themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the thoughts. For now, I will try another dealer. If they also say
there is nothing wrong, I will ask for the rear brakes to be re-done. That is the plan anyway.
I wanted to take the off the wheels and check but I don't think I know enough to
figure it out myself.
 

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Range goes down in cooler weather. Hot rear brakes sounds like sticking calipers. Wheel bearing usually make noise, vibrations.
 

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X2 the above on reduced EV range and increased gas use on REX mode in the winter.

As for the dealership not finding a problem, if your'e finding the rear wheels hot to the touch after driving, something is wrong - find a better dealer who isn't so clueless, or drive it until the wheels are hot and then show up at their service department door and have the service manager come out and feel them - that should make them realize they need to look harder.
 

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Sounds like it could be the electric parking brake. Find a slight hill, with the car powered up shift to neutral and apply the parking brake and release it several times. That should tell if the parking brakes are the issue.
 

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My 2011 with 107,000 miles on the odometer shows 29-34 miles range in cold weather. As opposed to 36-40 in mid summer. Fuel mileage on our last road trip 36 mpg. Both range and mpg are reduced from the “as new” numbers, and I attribute that mainly to no longer running the OEM style Goodyear tires. As others have said however dragging brakes will surely cause issues. Another test would be to make a couple very hard stops, like stand on the brake pedal at 60 mph to be sure all 4 wheels are engaged then after a bit see if your rears are very hot as you describe.
 

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Don't know where in New York you are, but my 2014 went from 44 to 32 predicted electric range when the temps dropped. Normally a gradual drop with the seasons but here in WNY near Rochester we were spoiled with very mild temps until recently. The sudden return to normal or even colder temps made the abrupt drop seem more onerous but it is perfectly normal. (Unless of course you really do have some other issue.)
 

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The drop sounds like it could well be normal due to weather, but the hot wheels is definitely not normal. I suggest you take it to a trusted independent mechanic or brake shop instead of the dealership. This is not warranty work at your mileage anyway (unless this is a certified used car or something). You will probably get better service and also pay less. You don't need a Volt technician to work on the mechanical brakes.
 

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My 2013 range is in the low 20’s already after a summer of low 40’s. mainly due to temps hovering just above ERDTT range and short trips, headlights on, comfort mode, snow tires, auto-defog and 74 degree cabin temps and no preheat. At least I think that a what is doing it :)

I am going to test brake temps though just in case but I think my brakes are ok. I use my emergency brake daily so I know it is not seizing.
 

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When the ICE is running transmits heat "metal to metal " to the electric motor and the axle itself ,so when you touch the front tires are always warmer then the rear ones, specially after a long trip with lots of ICE work. If you go pure electric the ICE is cold , the tyranny no warmer then 90-100F, and the wheel center is cold.
 

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When the ICE is running transmits heat "metal to metal " to the electric motor and the axle itself ,so when you touch the front tires are always warmer then the rear ones, specially after a long trip with lots of ICE work. If you go pure electric the ICE is cold , the tyranny no warmer then 90-100F, and the wheel center is cold.
I can see your reasoning behind this but it's the REAR wheels that are seeing an increase in temp rather than the fronts. This definitely points to an issue on the rear rather than a simple transfer of heat. I would definitely be taking it to someone else to have the brakes checked. To be honest, removing a wheel is a very simple process, especially if you have ever changed a tire. To make it even easier, checking for a sticking caliper on the rear just involves jacking the car up until the tire is off the ground. Give it a spin (doesn't have to be a hard spin) and see if it keeps rotating. If it stops or slows noticeably within a couple seconds you almost certainly have a brake pad grabbing or wheel bearing issue at play. You may even hear a little scratchy sound if the pad is grabbing tightly enough. If this is the case almost any brake shop can easily do a brake service and disassemble the brakes, clean and lube all of the sliding surfaces and reassemble. Likely much less expensive than a brake service at a dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Hi and thanks for all the replies.
I would like to update this thread with the results of the visit to a second Chevy dealer about this issue.
The second Chevy dealer could not find any problem either, they said they drove the car about 20 miles
and they could still touch the rear brakes so they did not notice any sign of overheating.
Interestingly, just yesterday, I drove about 10 miles and decided to touch them, I was not careful and burned
my fingers! The front brakes were ice cold as usual.
So still not sure what is going on, but I will assume the following:
- the dealers are correct, the brake rotors are supposed to get hot, the front rotors do not get hot because they
brake using regeneration
- the loss in mpg is due mostly to the cold weather.
 

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Hi and thanks for all the replies.
I would like to update this thread with the results of the visit to a second Chevy dealer about this issue.
The second Chevy dealer could not find any problem either, they said they drove the car about 20 miles
and they could still touch the rear brakes so they did not notice any sign of overheating.
Interestingly, just yesterday, I drove about 10 miles and decided to touch them, I was not careful and burned
my fingers! The front brakes were ice cold as usual.
So still not sure what is going on, but I will assume the following:
- the dealers are correct, the brake rotors are supposed to get hot, the front rotors do not get hot because they
brake using regeneration
- the loss in mpg is due mostly to the cold weather.
They're not supposed to get hot. Fortunately, the parts that are actually wrong are pretty normal brake pads and calipers and anyplace that says "No problem, we'll get you fixed right up" when you say "Hey, my rear brakes are dragging. Can you check the calipers and clearance?" is probably fine.
 
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