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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
I am a new Volt owner and have a question about regenerative braking. When regenerative braking is engaged with the steering wheel paddle, does this result in brake pad wear or is the braking accomplished through some other means?

Loving my Volt!
 

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I am a new Volt owner and have a question about regenerative braking. When regenerative braking is engaged with the steering wheel paddle, does this result in brake pad wear or is the braking accomplished through some other means?

Loving my Volt!
Congrats! Welcome.

Regenerative braking by the paddle or any other method will never produce brake pad wear, by definition - regenerative braking is when the drive motor(s) are used as generators, converting the car's motion into electricity.

(Do note that under some conditions the Volt blends regeneration and friction braking. I don't believe that pulling the paddle ever results in blended braking.)
 

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Using regen via the paddle does not use the friction brakes, but rather the motors as generators, sending power back to the battery. Be a little careful though, when you use the paddle only without “ covering” the brake paddle. If you hit a small bump the regen disengages for a few seconds, which can be scary if you were using it slowing down behind another car or approaching a stop sign.

The brake peddle also uses regen only until you push it far enough to engage the friction brakes
 

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Now you know the secret to the Volt's very long brake pad life. Many (most?) should last 90k-100k miles or more.

And the wheels stay very clean, no brake dust.
 

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I personally find the regen paddle a bit too aggressive. It really slows the car quickly when triggered. I wish GM made it pressure sensitive so you could dictate how much regen to use (e.g. press paddle harder for stronger regen).

I find feathering the paddle (e.g. quickly tapping it) works well when approaching red lights or stop signs.
 

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I personally find the regen paddle a bit too aggressive. It really slows the car quickly when triggered. I wish GM made it pressure sensitive so you could dictate how much regen to use (e.g. press paddle harder for stronger regen).

I find feathering the paddle (e.g. quickly tapping it) works well when approaching red lights or stop signs.
Agreed. I keep trying to use it instead of moving my foot but it is very hard to make a controlled stop (or an almost stop). I don't understand why they spend time/money on putting it.
 

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Congrats on the car and welcome to the forum. To follow up on Walter's comment, pressing the brake pedal also engages regen. Mechanical braking usually kicks in at lower speeds. FYI mechanical brakes can fully stop the car if regen were to fail for some reason. Also, since you've had a cold snap, when hitting ice or metal street plated, regen will cut out, making it feel as if the car is accelerating. It's not, but it will feel that way.

But regen is why the biggest issue with the Volt's brakes is not using them.
 

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And to amplify the points made, regen with the paddle (or L) does not engage ABS in any way. If you are in potentially slippery conditions that might require ABS you should use the pedal. You will get the same regen action and also get ABS action as necessary to keep you from skidding.
 

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I personally find the regen paddle a bit too aggressive. It really slows the car quickly when triggered. I wish GM made it pressure sensitive so you could dictate how much regen to use (e.g. press paddle harder for stronger regen).

I find feathering the paddle (e.g. quickly tapping it) works well when approaching red lights or stop signs.
I like that idea. Pressure sensitive paddle.

Agreed. I keep trying to use it instead of moving my foot but it is very hard to make a controlled stop (or an almost stop). I don't understand why they spend time/money on putting it.
The first few stops with that paddle I was stopping well short of my intended spot. After a couple uses I have it dialed in pretty good.

I did watch in my mirror to see if the brake lights engage and sure enough they do! They also engage in L if I lift totally off the throttle.
 

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I personally find the regen paddle a bit too aggressive. It really slows the car quickly when triggered. I wish GM made it pressure sensitive so you could dictate how much regen to use (e.g. press paddle harder for stronger regen).

I find feathering the paddle (e.g. quickly tapping it) works well when approaching red lights or stop signs.
Sometimes I use the regen paddle but more often I drop the car from "D" to "L". The brake pedal makes the most sense, in terms of mpge efficiency and smooth driving since the brake pedal will use as much regenerative braking as possible before seamlessly switching into blended braking mode.
 

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As this thread is about regen I thought I'd ask a question again that I asked last winter and didn't find anyone with the same issue. When the gas motor is running and I engage the regenerative breaking the whole car vibrates. When the gas motor is reving high the vibration is quite a lot. In warmer weather we have figured out a few 'work arounds' so that it doesn't happen much, but in cold weather like this, where the gas motor comes on when it wants, not when I want - it can be quite annoying. The GM dealer doesn't know what it is, and apparently GM doesn't either as they still don't have an answer for me. Has anyone else out there ever had, or heard of, this problem? Just to clarify - this only happens when the gas motor is running - never on battery power.
 

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So this morning, at -24C with the gas engine running "because of temperature" (so says the dashboard) and the battery fully charged, paddle initiated regenerative braking hardly works at all. From the flow indicator, I can see the energy going back to the battery, but the car sure isn't stopping the way it used to witht he paddle. Is this because of: (a) temperature, (b) battery full so energy has nowhere to go, (c) gas engine running, (d) something else?
2017 Volt, 1 year old.
 

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I just saw your query. I've noticed a very slight vibration (in other words a slight sound) under the conditions you describe, but nothing worth noting. Certainly not a strong vibration.
 

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As this thread is about regen I thought I'd ask a question again that I asked last winter and didn't find anyone with the same issue. When the gas motor is running and I engage the regenerative breaking the whole car vibrates. When the gas motor is reving high the vibration is quite a lot. In warmer weather we have figured out a few 'work arounds' so that it doesn't happen much, but in cold weather like this, where the gas motor comes on when it wants, not when I want - it can be quite annoying. The GM dealer doesn't know what it is, and apparently GM doesn't either as they still don't have an answer for me. Has anyone else out there ever had, or heard of, this problem? Just to clarify - this only happens when the gas motor is running - never on battery power.
I find that the Volt ICE is far from smooth (and there are plenty of threads on this). But during regen I've not experienced what you do.
 

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Some really good info.. I've had my 17 for a while and really never fully understood how this regen thing worked. Now I know the rest of the story. Later RJD
 

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So this morning, at -24C with the gas engine running "because of temperature" (so says the dashboard) and the battery fully charged, paddle initiated regenerative braking hardly works at all. From the flow indicator, I can see the energy going back to the battery, but the car sure isn't stopping the way it used to witht he paddle. Is this because of: (a) temperature, (b) battery full so energy has nowhere to go, (c) gas engine running, (d) something else?
2017 Volt, 1 year old.
The correct answer is "B".
 

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The method I'm using is touch the brake pedal, push it down just a tiny bit with the car in L then hit the paddle when I think it'll stop in time then ease into the brake pedal as I get to my final stopping point. Seems to work well. It'll become second nature after a while for me.
 

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I just got a new 2018 Premier. Nice car!
Can you use the breaks and the regen paddle at the same time w/o hurting either one?

Also, do the brake lights come on when using the regen paddle?
 

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I just got a new 2018 Premier. Nice car!
Can you use the breaks and the regen paddle at the same time w/o hurting either one?

Also, do the brake lights come on when using the regen paddle?
Yes, you can press the brake pedal while also using the regen paddle on the steering wheel. When you touch the accelerator pedal then the regen paddle function disengages. Yes, when you use the regen paddle for more than a 1 - 2 seconds the brake lights will come on.
 
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