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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm purchasing a Volt from the US to bring to Canada. One of the requirements for importing is that the displays are in metric (i.e. speed, odometer). I talked to a local dealer here who said that I must bring it to them to reprogram - and at a cost of course (he said about $140 for the job). I know some cars have the ability for owners to switch between Imperial and metric on their own. Just wondering if anyone knows if this is something I can do on the Volt or do I really need to go to a dealer to do this.

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In my 2013, the one of the choices using the select knob on the DIC is to choose between US and metric units. I think it changes all the units. Does Canadian law require that the car can't display US units?
 

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I'm purchasing a Volt from the US to bring to Canada. One of the requirements for importing is that the displays are in metric (i.e. speed, odometer). I talked to a local dealer here who said that I must bring it to them to reprogram - and at a cost of course (he said about $140 for the job). I know some cars have the ability for owners to switch between Imperial and metric on their own. Just wondering if anyone knows if this is something I can do on the Volt or do I really need to go to a dealer to do this.

Thanks
My former Volt and my current ELR can be configured in metric and imperial from the dashboard selection menu. Both cars have been purchased in Canada but I suppose the US cars have the same functionality. You don't need a dealer for the switch.
 

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All of the units can be selected very easily in the car. A simple switch to metric changes the odo, speed, temperature, fuel efficiency, etc. I'm pretty sure I've read of others who have imported without any issue because of this configurability.

There might technically be a reprogram for daytime running lights but the Volt has them anyway. I think a reprogram prevents them from being turned off, but I've been told on here that they don't really look for that since DRL's are on by default anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In my 2013, the one of the choices using the select knob on the DIC is to choose between US and metric units. I think it changes all the units. Does Canadian law require that the car can't display US units?
The law requires that the car displays metric on the speedometer and odometer in order for it to be certified for use in Canada. I don't believe they care if it's switchable back and forth.

The car I'm getting is a 2012. I'm guessing that the ability to switch between the two would be there if it's in the 2013 and 2014 models. Can someone confirm this?
 

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You can switch from metric/imperial on the fly in a volt (I have a 2014, but presume any MY is do-able the same way). Not sure why the dealer told you it needed reprogramming for metric/imperial. You will have to make sure the volt gets inspected for other things to legally drive in canada...I've not done this personally, but my limited research before I bought mine regarding importing a car from the states taught me that the car MUST have daytime running lights on at all times (not required in the states)....at a minimum you have to pay to get the car inspected at the canadian border before being allowed to plate it here...
 

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BobbyP, yes, I can switch back and forth with my 2012 Volt. The 2012 Volt manual reads, "Units: Turn the SELECT knob to change the unit display to METRIC or US when the display is active. Press SELECT to confirm the setting. This will change the displays on the cluster and DIC to either metric or English (US) measurements."

I don’t know if any Volts offer a display option for Imperial measurements (i.e., Imperial gallons vs US gallons). That would certainly through a monkey wrench into conversations about MPG and MPGcs numbers!
 

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Our 2012 (Canadian) can switch the units. It is one of the switches to the left of the steering wheel. You rotate the switch and watch the display in front of you until it comes to the units - US or Metric. You tap the button to select one or the other. I doubt American cars are any different. The same process is used on my father's old Lucerne. The only difference I have had (a bad experience) is that my "Canadian" phone number is handicapped when travelling in the US when using Directions and Connections services because we (Canadians) have a different wireless service carrier than the American Volt that may be travelling beside us on the Interstate. Stupid - you bet! I don't know what your options will be with the onStar account, being an "American" car in Canada. I keep an American cell phone which works fine everywhere at a very reasonable cost because we travel back and forth several times a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to all who replied. Looks like my hunch was correct in thinking that switching measurement units should be easy in such a high tech car and that the dealer was just looking to make an easy buck (surprise...not!).
 

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Dealer integrity?

BobbyP, I would check the reputation of that dealer. If they are trying to scam you (or maybe are just ignorant) on this trivial item, what will they do on more important issues?
 

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Cool Trick

I found a cool trick, if your Volt reads "lifetime: 250+" mpg, you can switch it to metric to get actual fuel consumption. I don't have OnStar, so don't have access to that info online. I found my lifetime fuel consumption was 0.76 L / 100 km and doing a quick google conversion on that: https://www.google.com/search?q=0.76 l /100 km in mpg and I get 309.5 MPG.

So over 10,422 miles / 309.5 mpg = 33.7 gallons of gas, or about 1100 miles gas range assuming 35 mpg. In other words, about 3 tanks in 3 years.

So yes, can change to metric (completely) in like 5 seconds on my 2012 :)

Eric
 

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I found a cool trick, if your Volt reads "lifetime: 250+" mpg, you can switch it to metric to get actual fuel consumption. I don't have OnStar, so don't have access to that info online. I found my lifetime fuel consumption was 0.76 L / 100 km and doing a quick google conversion on that: https://www.google.com/search?q=0.76 l /100 km in mpg and I get 309.5 MPG.

So over 10,422 miles / 309.5 mpg = 33.7 gallons of gas, or about 1100 miles gas range assuming 35 mpg. In other words, about 3 tanks in 3 years.

So yes, can change to metric (completely) in like 5 seconds on my 2012 :)

Eric
Yep. I often see American owners complaining about the 250+
Then look at my 0.26l/100km and think, gee another reason metric is better ;)
 

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I don't think that there is anything that would prohibit you from "importing" a Volt from the US into Canada. Certainly the switch to Metric is just a choice on a selection knob. Where in Canada are you? I could recommend a dealer that is familiar importing if you are interested. (he did a number of Hummers a few years ago).
 

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Yep. I often see American owners complaining about the 250+
Then look at my 0.26l/100km and think, gee another reason metric is better ;)
0.26L/100km. That's good. :) Have you ever seen the lifetime L/100km below 0.25? The reason I'm asking is that the trip L/100km starts reading out at 0.25L/100km, so I'm wondering if it's the same for lifetime.

BTW for our US friends the conversion is simple. To get MPG just divide 235 by the fuel consumption in L/100km. For example, 235/0.76 = 309 mpg.
 

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0.26L/100km. That's good. :) Have you ever seen the lifetime L/100km below 0.25? The reason I'm asking is that the trip L/100km starts reading out at 0.25L/100km, so I'm wondering if it's the same for lifetime.

BTW for our US friends the conversion is simple. To get MPG just divide 235 by the fuel consumption in L/100km. For example, 235/0.76 = 309 mpg.
Missed this post first time around, but saw it when I googled to convert 0.25 to mpg :p

Yes, it appears to give up calculating below 0.25 or so, roughly 1000MPG
I'm currently reading 0.00
 

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Your dealer is a CROOK.

You can switch it from the config button located to the left of the steering wheel. Takes about 5 seconds.
 
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