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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking at an 2011 Volt, 2 owner, runs fine. Issue for me is it has 163K miles. Dealer says it's getting 22-25 miles per charge- reasonable for the age? Pulled the Carfax, lots of oil changes, coolant flush, plus 12v battery replacement a couple of years ago along with other require maintenance at required intervals.
Drove it for a bit, handles well, switched over to ICE as it should. No warning indicator lights. Body and interior in top shape, going for around $5K.

Looking to keep it a couple of years, really want to have an electric vehicle as most of my daily runs are 10-15 miles total or less. Once or twice a year might take a road trip of 700 miles or so but that may be rare.

Is it worth taking a chance? Any particular thing I should look for?
 

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I bought a used 2011 in 2014 when it had 70,000 miles on it. I drove it for 5 years, gave it to my son and bought a 2018. He is still driving the 2011 and it now has over 147,000 miles on it, zero issues....... If you can get it for a good price, it's well worth the chance, my opinion.
 

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That's about all the maintenance there is to do. That looks solid. We've got 180,000 on our 2014 with no issues and a strong battery.

I have no issues with the miles or the price. I'd personally look for a 2013 or newer since those have Hold mode. Backup camera is valuable. Heated seats help with range in colder places.
 

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I picked up a 2011 for my son, same price $5K, 122,xxx miles, coolant was just changed and new tires with replacement valve stems. So far great car for him and he'll be taking it to college this fall. Fortunately they have level 2 charging on campus (chargepoint) so he can charge up and move it to his designated parking spot. It appears to be getting very close to the original estimated range on the GOM. One concern is it can get brutally cold where we live in the winter and the manual recommends driving/charging in severe cold (I'll have to remind him) but he's a pretty reliable kid so shouldn't be an issue. I'm guessing you should be fine as GM built these original Volts with what seems to be a bit of over engineering, but good for them and us. One thing I didn't know is on the 2011s, when you boot it up, it shows the last 4 digits of the VIN on the center stack, guess it was a badge of honor :). I may be a bit optimistic as I knew the previous owner and knew it was taken well care of.

Seems like the one you are looking at was well taken care of and probably will give you years of electric driving especially if you don't drive a lot and occasionally take a road trip for which the Volt is great at.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, that is all reassuring. Reading through here I was getting nervous with all the battery stories of portions failing, but like some of the other forums I go to like AVS, people come there to report problems while 98% of folks have zero issues with a product. Plus, some come there looking for issues.

I'm going to head over to the dealer tomorrow and see if we can make a deal. in my book this car is a perfect fit for me. I was worried because I'm 6'4", 170 Lbs but I fit in fine but the rear seat behind me is unusable, but 99% of the time it's just me in the car. The 22-25 mile battery range is a non issue then?
 

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Thanks, that is all reassuring. Reading through here I was getting nervous with all the battery stories of portions failing, but like some of the other forums I go to like AVS, people come there to report problems while 98% of folks have zero issues with a product. Plus, some come there looking for issues.

I'm going to head over to the dealer tomorrow and see if we can make a deal. in my book this car is a perfect fit for me. I was worried because I'm 6'4", 170 Lbs but I fit in fine but the rear seat behind me is unusable, but 99% of the time it's just me in the car. The 22-25 mile battery range is a non issue then?
Good point. You mentioned AVS. Having worked in Engineering at a large manufacturer of consumer electronics, it’s not a deal breaker if you can’t get video to pass when XYZ component is hooked up to it and on ABC firmware.

What is an issue, however, is if the product has systemic issues that put the operator’s life in danger. I’m pretty optimistic about the Volt and don’t think it’s got systemic safety issues, but some of the things people report on forums are 100% real and can be difficult to deal with if you are an inexperienced driver.

Examples: GM ignition recall, Toyota stuck throttles, Ford Explorer rollovers, etc. And with regards to stability control faults, all it takes is for a sensor to malfunction without double redundant logic (aka a “sanity check”) in the control system to make your car a 2 ton missile that swerved off the road.
 

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My 2011 gets oil changed every 2 years. I just had the 100k AC refrigerant changed, the 5 years engine coolant flush, new spark plugs. So I'm up to $1100 or so in maintenance over 10 years. I'd like to get another 5 years out of it before looking at what should be a pretty competitive BEV market by 2026.

I think 2011 was the best year for the Volt for durability.
 
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I think 2011 was the best year for the Volt for durability.
The people that built the early Volts knew they were doing something special and took great care in their work. I concur with early builds of Volts, contrary to what most folks believe about first/early builds. 2013 onward was about shaving costs...(GM didn't profit from Volt...mostly due to battery building at the time)
 

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My 2011 #2760 has 168,500 on the odometer. Still today a 10 years old battery gets 30 on the guessometer in warm weather. The one thing I have going which many don’t is that it’s garaged in a temperature controlled environment whenever not on the road. Our garage is partially subterranean never gets above 68 in summer never gets below 45 in winter, as we have a little propane furnace in there. This may have little effect on battery life, or it may have a huge effect in a good way. I’m planning on keeping the car for another 10 years so the future “test” will be interesting.
 

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hehe got a 2011 here with about 20K miles on it, absolutely nothing major to report. The wife's car is used much less than my 2012 with about 70K miles on it. Hated to change the tires on the 2011 but they were check pretty good, AZ is hard on old tires. Both are garage parked to minimize sun attacking tires Both are going in this month for coolant flush. oil change ... maintenance stuff. Best damn cars I ever owned and 100% charged off grid tie solar install on house in 2010. They both still get 35 miles plus on the guess-o-meter with climate on comfort. While parked they are on level 2 chargers.
 

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I'm going to head over to the dealer tomorrow and see if we can make a deal. in my book this car is a perfect fit for me. I was worried because I'm 6'4", 170 Lbs but I fit in fine but the rear seat behind me is unusable, but 99% of the time it's just me in the car. The 22-25 mile battery range is a non issue then?
I'm 6'4" and fit in the front seats fine. There is enough adjustability that I can stay comfortable for day-long trips. The back seat is a tight fit. My head hits the rear glass and the leg room is minimal.
 

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The 22-25 mile battery range is a non issue then?
To me, it's a serious issue. It's not that 22-25 is an insufficient number of miles, but I've never seen the range drop that low and stay or even decline slowly. I've always heard that range was followed by a failed battery . . . and you can't drive on the engine if the car deems the battery unusable. For not much more than that, you can get a 2013+ with fewer miles.

I admit that you aren't risking much money to give it a try; I just think there are better options. If you can get a state of charge on all the cells, both fully charged and fully depleted, it will give you a much better picture. I'm betting there is at least one cell that is failing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Called the dealer this AM and asked that they fully charge the vehicle, it was running on ICE Thursday after I drove it. They asked me to come in Monday as they would not be there late enough for it to get a full charge. I'll check out the "Guess o-Meter" then. Seriously considering taking it to my GM dealer and having them do a full diagnostic, if it's at a reasonable cost. The 22-25 mile on battery is just hearsay form the salesman, Want some definite info. They have only had it on the lot for a few days so I don't think they know the actual battery range.

On a related issue, is there any real advantage other then time for getting a level 2 charger? My utility will give me a $500 rebate on a CPH25-L18-P Charge Point Wi-fi level 2 unit, The recommend unit has a 5 week waiting period and shows the price as $619 so not too bad after rebate. I'm on a TOD rate plan, and could easily put the 110 charger on a smart plug, or let my utility control it with the level 2. My rate goes up 50% between 2-7 PM in the summer.
 

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IMO, 22-25 miles in summer weather is an issue. My battery was weak like that for about 3 months before it failed. Total cost to replace: $9,500. And I only had the [used] car less than a year.
 

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Called the dealer this AM and asked that they fully charge the vehicle, it was running on ICE Thursday after I drove it. They asked me to come in Monday as they would not be there late enough for it to get a full charge. I'll check out the "Guess o-Meter" then. Seriously considering taking it to my GM dealer and having them do a full diagnostic, if it's at a reasonable cost. The 22-25 mile on battery is just hearsay form the salesman, Want some definite info. They have only had it on the lot for a few days so I don't think they know the actual battery range.

On a related issue, is there any real advantage other then time for getting a level 2 charger? My utility will give me a $500 rebate on a CPH25-L18-P Charge Point Wi-fi level 2 unit, The recommend unit has a 5 week waiting period and shows the price as $619 so not too bad after rebate. I'm on a TOD rate plan, and could easily put the 110 charger on a smart plug, or let my utility control it with the level 2. My rate goes up 50% between 2-7 PM in the summer.
You may be able to get by with charging on 110, the original Volt only required a bit over 10 kW to charge (+ losses, not much), so overnight charging may do it. Check to see if the original 110 charger works, some had problems, in fact the Volt I bought had a failed EVSE but the previous owner fixed it, my kid will probably never use it as he has access to level 2 charging. That said, check Amazon for dual 110/220 chargers, you'll find many that are much less than the unit you have listed (although, that rebate makes it kind of a no-brainer if you can wait).

22-25 miles on the GOM may be nothing to worry about because it is a Guess-O-Meter and the previous owner may have driven it "like they stole it" resulting in the low estimate.
 

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I'd be concerned about that 22-25 miles, if it were real. But I doubt it is real, the dealer doesn't know. My recently-purchased 2013 GOM said about that the first day. It then said 29 miles for the next couple of charges, and I now get consistent 38 miles on my commute, at mostly between 55 and 65 mph.

The GOM on Monday will likely still be off. I'd ask if you could drive the full electric range, and see what you get.

In your scenario, I would do it, if it gets 30+ miles on that drive. YMMV.
 

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That 22-25 miles on the guessometer may be low inflation on the tires, non low rolling resistance tires, and stomping on the gas pedal. The only way to make a correct determination would be a multi day test drive. Full charge, drive smooth and 40ish until fully discharged, charge again and see what she says. And also do the cell analysis.
 

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When I bought my 2013 in spring of 2018 it showed about 45 Km (27 miles) which turned out to be winter range. After a few longer drives where it switched over to gas and warmer weather it showed 60 Km (36 miles) were it's been every since (every summer). Range means little to nothing as it has so many variables. You need to go from a full charge to switch over to gas and note how much Kwh that took. Mine was 10.3 and has stayed there ever since I bought it. Of course better (but more involved) is reading the state of each cell from full to empty and noting if any cell is outside of range but that takes some know how and equipment. I've never personally done that yet as everything seems to be fine up to now.

According to a university on testing a Volt, 110V charging had 16% overhead lost to heat, while 240V only had a 11% loss. My used car came with a new 240V charger (still in shipping box) so all I had to do was match the outlet ($30) as I used my air compressor circuit I had installed a few years earlier so I have never known the pleasures of overnight charging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Went back to the dealer today, drove the car a bit. The GoM was off slightly but still worries me. Talked to my local GM dealer about doing a diagnostic, $240. Dealer said if I want it done I pay, but did come down a bit on the price. I left a deposit, and he said make an appointment and come get the car and keep it as needed. Fair. All in all it's great looking car, but I don't need a great looking paperweight. I'd rather be out a couple of hundred $$$ than $5K.
 
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