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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
Just bought my 2018 volt this last June and have under 4000 miles. In the past I have always done my own
maintenance, service and repairs. Typically I have never gone back for service except for things that I can't do.
What chance do I have for continuing this with my volt? Does anyone else try to do their own work? Will I have
to buy special service tools and will their cost price me out? Thanks.
 

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I am like you and have always serviced my own cars. I have never been fond of auto dealer service shops. I have never taken a car back to the original dealer for servicing or repair. They are generally too expensive and I have seen too many that lack integrity. If I need something done that I can't or don't want to do, like a front end alignment, transmission or body work, I will go to a private shop.

The Volt will be the same. There is no reason I can't change oil, the various filters, replace brakes, etc. No special tools are needed for routine repairs and it is pretty straight forward to do. However, I the Volt will likely require far less servicing than most modern cars. The engine doesn't run that much, and things like brakes will likely go 200K miles without need of replacement.

If the Volt drive system has problems, I would not be able to work on that. But seriously, I doubt it will ever have any problems.
 

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You can absolutely do your own maintenance. It's still just a car!

That being said... the next thing you have to do is change your oil in 21,000-ish miles, so it might be a while before you need to turn a wrench on it. (Maybe you might want to rotate the tires before then - but that's pretty simple.)

At the point that you need special tools, the car should have paid for itself several times over. Probably the first uncommon things we'll need to do will be to vacuum out used coolant from the battery. If you check out the Weber.edu video of the Volt battery removal on youtube, you can see what's involved. GM pushes a special vacuum for this, but I expect any wet/dry vac will do the job. (We'll have to double check the suction first.)

You should definitely get the Factory Service Manual from Helm, Inc. They have a USB drive version or a print version. If you've never used the FSM, it has complete instructions and schematics for the car and will instruct through any repairs special or particular to the car.

Jacking the Volt is also a bit of a PITA. We need a special jack! ... but the car doesn't come with one. ... and if you get the missing jack, it's still just a scissor unit and not something you'd want to use for regular maintenance work. The big issue is the the Volt only has lifting points at the side pinch welds, which are also shrouded by aero covers. You can use a regular floor jack or lift with the car, but you'll need jack pads/pucks to grab the pinch welds, contact the surfaces around them, and also fit through the shrouds. I'm using these right now and they seem to work well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07426TX4T/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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We have a 2016 Volt and have been changing my own oil since the late 1960's. I plan on changing it in our Volt as well and replacing the air filter when needed. Also when it comes to replacing the spark plugs, a long way out from now, I'll do it my self as well.

I believe ramps will make it easy to change the oil, and it seems like a piece of cake as the oil filter and drain plug are in plain view.

Other than that I don't think there is much more except for topping off fluids when needed...
 

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We have a 2016 Volt and have been changing my own oil since the late 1960's. I plan on changing it in our Volt as well and replacing the air filter when needed. Also when it comes to replacing the spark plugs, a long way out from now, I'll do it my self as well.

I believe ramps will make it easy to change the oil, and it seems like a piece of cake as the oil filter and drain plug are in plain view.

Other than that I don't think there is much more except for topping off fluids when needed...
Has anyone gotten a Gen 2 up on ramps yet? I assume that the front air dam is too low to use ramps.
 

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Has anyone gotten a Gen 2 up on ramps yet? I assume that the front air dam is too low to use ramps.
It will go up my Rhino ramps if I first drive onto a 1×8 that's maybe 18" long. I have to do the same thing with my Cruze Eco which also sits low and has a similar air dam.

As for jacking, at least on the 2018 I have, there are small pads designed to be used with a floor jack. They are just inboard of the pinch weld lift points. It's recessed relative to the pinch weld so I use a small block of wood between it and the pad on the jack. It's worked fine for putting on and removing our snow tires.

The jacking issue has been discussed before, and someone even posted a diagram of the pads I am referring to. You may be able to find that with a search.

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+ There is nothing different mechanically (ICE + chassis) between the Volt and other vehicle apart from the addition of the electrical bits. You'd have to be careful about handling High Voltage components, please follow proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and know the proper service procedure, don't rely on YouTubers or amateurs when it comes to this section of the vehicle. As mentioned, WeberAuto does a pretty good job describing the components and advice on the service procedures.
 

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I also have always done my own service work. Not only because of saving lots of money but because I hate wasting time at dealers and I enjoy working on them (I'm a collector car guy that restores and does all his own work, not the type that buys and polishes). Ultimately I will have to get some specialized equipment and learn the ins and outs of the OBDII stuff (I liken it to learning about computers from scratch all over again). A factory manual will be in the cards at some point, the after market stuff has just enough info to get you into trouble but not enough to get you out. Welcome to the new world order.
 

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While it's under a warranty (at a minimum) I'd have a dealer perform the service. The reasoning is there will be software updates and technical service bulletins that will be performed, which you will have no idea about if you don't bring it in.

Frankly the maintenance required on the Volt is so minimal, and most dealership service depts are more price competitive now, that I rarely bother doing the work myself. After the warranty period is expired, I would just perform the tire rotations and air filter changes. It's not a bad idea to have it on the lift once and a while for a thorough inspection.
 

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Been there , done it...tires, oil change, filters are just like any other modern car,
BUT I do have a 2 post lift in my garage and if you don't it might be time to look in another direction .
I bought the lift in 2001 when I got a new Z28 Camaro.....ramps and jacks are barely adequate for modern cars.
 

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While it's under a warranty (at a minimum) I'd have a dealer perform the service. The reasoning is there will be software updates and technical service bulletins that will be performed, which you will have no idea about if you don't bring it in.
No need to go to a dealer for this. We can get all this information ourselves here: https://www.acdelco.com/for-professionals/gm-service-information.html

I regularly sign up for the $20, 3 day subscription to check in on things, download the bulletins and see what's going on.

IMO - This is actually better than going to a dealer as we get to see all the silent recalls and other things that they don't bring up unless we complain of the problem first.
 

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Been there , done it...tires, oil change, filters are just like any other modern car,
BUT I do have a 2 post lift in my garage and if you don't it might be time to look in another direction .
I bought the lift in 2001 when I got a new Z28 Camaro.....ramps and jacks are barely adequate for modern cars.
That would be very handy but I don't have the height in the garage for it so it's hydraulic jack and jack stands for me, not very efficient relatively speaking but can be done. I do have a set of jack stands with integrated hydraulic lift that can give me up to 21" of lift that I got from Costco for cheap before they discontinued them (Costco) that I used to lower the transmission on my TR7 for a clutch change.
 

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Jacking the Volt is also a bit of a PITA. We need a special jack! ... but the car doesn't come with one. ... and if you get the missing jack, it's still just a scissor unit and not something you'd want to use for regular maintenance work. The big issue is the the Volt only has lifting points at the side pinch welds, which are also shrouded by aero covers. You can use a regular floor jack or lift with the car, but you'll need jack pads/pucks to grab the pinch welds, contact the surfaces around them, and also fit through the shrouds. I'm using these right now and they seem to work well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07426TX4T/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
What? Special jack? Seriously? There are plenty of jacking points under a volt. You don’t need to use the pinch weld. *
 

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What? Special jack? Seriously? There are plenty of jacking points under a volt. You don’t need to use the pinch weld. *
Actually there are 8. The four pinch welds, the two Mickey Mouse ears at the front and the two spring bases at the rear as per the users manual. Anywhere else and you risk/will bend something you don't want bent.
 

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Is this one of the mickey mouse ears you mentioned:

 

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No they are inboard and forward of the front pinch weld. Heavy duty pressed plate, not sure off hand what they hold up (front spring?) They are black and look like Mikey Mouse's head (black round head with two ears).
 

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Actually there are 8. The four pinch welds, the two Mickey Mouse ears at the front and the two spring bases at the rear as per the users manual. Anywhere else and you risk/will bend something you don't want bent.
I assume when you mention the pinch welds, you are also including the small lifting pads just inboard of the welds.

Using a spacer under the pad, I use both the pad and pinch weld together for lifting with a floor jack.

Page 229, 2016 Volt owners manual. This diagram is not in my 2018 owners manual. The lifting pads are still there on the 2018 though.


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I just cut a cross grained slot in a short piece of 2x4 to place on my floor jack. I don't think jacking up a Volt is any worse than any modern car.
 

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What? Special jack? Seriously? There are plenty of jacking points under a volt. You don’t need to use the pinch weld. *
Yea. There are two full pages on lifting the vehicle in the Factory Service Manual and many warnings that lifting in any areas (other than the 4 pinch welds) will do damage to the car.

(The special jack contacts two flat pads inboard of the pinch welds, but the Owners Manual warns to only use this device for tire changing.)

The stampings you see under the car are not jack points. They are some of the contact points where the car was supported by the factory equipment as it was being assembled. That doesn't mean that they are safe to jack the car on fully-assembled.

I'm sure there are other ways to lift the frame with all the aero shields off, (the car would have been supported fully assembled this way in the factory) but... one would need to lift the car first to get them all off.


I just cut a cross grained slot in a short piece of 2x4 to place on my floor jack. I don't think jacking up a Volt is any worse than any modern car.
Indeed. Using the pinch welds for unit body cars seems to be a common thing. The catch on the Volt is that they are shrouded by plastic trim and not as accessible.
 

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Yea. There are two full pages on lifting the vehicle in the Factory Service Manual and many warnings that lifting in any areas (other than the 4 pinch welds) will do damage to the car.

(The special jack contacts two flat pads inboard of the pinch welds, but the Owners Manual warns to only use this device for tire changing.)

The stampings you see under the car are not jack points. They are some of the contact points where the car was supported by the factory equipment as it was being assembled. That doesn't mean that they are safe to jack the car on fully-assembled.

I'm sure there are other ways to lift the frame with all the aero shields off, (the car would have been supported fully assembled this way in the factory) but... one would need to lift the car first to get them all off.




Indeed. Using the pinch welds for unit body cars seems to be a common thing. The catch on the Volt is that they are shrouded by plastic trim and not as accessible.
Yea, the book written by lawyers. There are many other places that will safely lift the car without issue. Nothing special needed. It’s real world, jack up the car. If the only places you were “allowed” to jack the car by where the pinch welds, how would you use jack stands. *It’s a volt, not a expensive or heavy or specialized vehicle. You don’t need to take anything off to jack the car up or support it. And I have never used the pinchwelds on any vehicle and never plan to without a 2 post or scissor lift. With a floor jack the pinchweld isn’t the best idea at all.
 
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