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Hi. I just registered on here to ask for some advice.

I have two cars currently, an E92 M3 and a E90 (2006) 330I (100K miles). Both naturally aspirated and in perfect condition.
Lately I've been thinking of selling my 330I, which is my daily driver and replacing it with a volt because I can go two days commuting off of the 60KM of electric range that this car is supposed to get.

Also, I park underground at home and at my work, so cold weather should be less of a problem.

If I sell the E90 I can get somewhere around 10-12,000 Canadian. For this money it seems that I can purchase a high mileage Volt in the USA for around $9,000 (2013MY) and with import fees (thanks NAFTA,) taxes etc... probably break even.

My expectation is that aside from Brakes, tires and the odd coolant/brakes/PS flush jobs... this car should be very reliably. The ICE will almost never be run except for the odd long distance trip.

With BMWs I'm owned various ones for almost 10 years and while parts are expensive, I believe the non-turbo cars to be very reliable. Assuming you take good care of them, don't drive like an idiot on bad roads, and have common sense.

My last BMW was a 2004 330Ci 6-speed and it went 307,000KM on the original clutch and had no major repairs. Just the regular, starter, two batteries, brakes, 2x thermostats, tires, one fuel pump and a couple of minor bushings.

In my book, very reliable.

Now I'm coming here and freaking out with how many of you guys are having CELs within a few thousand miles. The regen bearing issue scares me, the radiator leaks I see on consumer reports etc... All very low mileage stuff.

Not trying to start a flame war, just have a couple of questions:

1.) How reliable will a 100K Mile volt be?
---- 1.a) I assume all major issues like Regen Bearing would have been fixed by this point?

2.) How much battery degredation will have occurred at this mileage?

3.) Can I expect it to go another 60K Miles (100K km) without any major issues? Of course will change all fluids and thermostat upon purchase.

4.) Any general thoughts are welcome. My math suggests I can save $400 Canadian dollars in gas / month and volt consumables shouldn't be too expensive compared to BMW. All season tires should be okay all year round for this car, no?

I drove a 2012 last weekend, and enjoyed it a lot. The torque was good, handling decent, noise good, everything was excellent for a daily car. I'm pretty interested in this idea. Of course it would have to be black and tinted, but that's just my taste. :)

Thanks a lot!
 

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1) Find out what the lifetime MPG is for the Volt. If it's well over 100 MPG, that means the gas engine has been used very little, which means reliability should be excellent. If the lifetime MPG is under 100 MPG, reliability may become an issue.

2) For Gen 1 Volts (2011-2015 model years), all reports indicate battery degradation is not an issue. My 2013 Volt still gets the same electric range as new. It seems GM may have actually over-designed the battery margins and cooling to prevent any degradation.

3) See answer for 1).

4) The Volt is extremely fun to drive. After a few weeks in the Volt, driving a regular car seems really primitive.

As for tires, remember that they can decrease the electric range by up to 5 miles or so. We chose Eco replacement tires to keep the range higher. When it snows here, the Volt works pretty well. ABS and traction control seems to do the job. But if the snow on the roads starts to get deep, the Volt's low ground clearance becomes an issue, so we use our CUV in that case.
 

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I bought my '13 with almost 93K miles on it and have had no mechanical issues to date. I've only had it 1 year this past August, but so far everything seems good. Battery degradation seems to be minimal as I regularly get 40 or so miles/charge. With regards to your brakes on the Volt, mine are still the original and have LOTS of life still. In fact, the rotors still have the factory surfacing marks from when they were manufactured. I don't really believe anyone has had to replace pads except as part of work done related to the brakes due to their lack of use since most of the braking is done through the powertrain due to regeneration, so perhaps that might be an additional item (clean/lube brake sliders) to add to your list of things to have serviced when you buy. I currently am about to hit 111K miles, so definitely higher annual mileage than the average driver I'm sure.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend a thermostat replacement but I would recommend all fluids. That will run a few hundred dollars. I just had the 5 year coolant flush, as well as a brake flush (not due until 150K/10yr) and transmission fluid changed and was presented with a bill nearly $450US but that means I'm good for a while now.

I think you'll like the lack of maintenance items the Volt offers. I changed my plugs and oil last november and the oil monitor seems to indicate it likely won't be due another change until late next year as I'm still at about 60% life remaining. One thing to add might be to have the 12V battery checked. After about 4-5 years they seem to fail without much warning other than random glitches. Mine was done in '15 according to paperwork the PO provided. If the car you buy ends up having the original battery, perhaps plan for that. I currently drive about 1100 miles/month and my gas usage is minimal as long as I don't take too many trips out of battery range. A tank tends to last me anywhere between a month to 2 months. The Gen 1 however does require premium, but I'm sure that's what your running in the BMW, so it shouldn't be too different except finding out the Volt only takes about 8-9 gallons to fill when ran low.

The famous buzzsaw bearing seems to be mostly early Gen 1 '11-'12 and some early '13. If by 90k it hasn't failed, it's probably the newer design. Radiator leaks tend to be due to the lack of protection and sucking up rocks through the air intake. There is a device called the VoltScreen that helps, and the factory did later include a plastic shield that covers the radiator core lines to help protect from damage.

I hope some of that helps with your search.
 

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I'd shop around for a NEW Volt with its full warranty...there are still deals to be found...in fact, you might find a NEW OLD Volt sitting on a dealer's lot...:)

The big downside with the used 90K Volt is you would soon be driving a Volt WITHOUT a Voltec warranty, which could be an expensive experiment...:rolleyes:

Personally, the only used vehicles I'd consider are "beaters" for winter commuting...that cost relatively nothing and can be repaired or scrapped depending on cost of unexpected repairs...I reside in a salt slurry application state...:)
 

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I have just over 80K on my 2012. The EVSE has been replaced twice and the tire pressure monitors have been a little wonky. One two after the car was left running and it finally ran out of gas (don't blame the tool, blame the fool...). Just did the coolant change at Williamson in Uxbridge (about $450). I wouldn't bother with a high mileage US car. If I were going to find another used, I would look for a '13 and get the slightly bigger battery and the HOLD function. I bought mine new and have no intention of changing the car. It is still just about perfect
 

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I bought my first BMW in Oct. '07 and over the past 10 years we've had 7 of them in the family (two e36s, two e39s, three e46s). I turn my own wrenches and I'm happy to say that NONE OF THEM ever went to the dealer or a speciality shop. Clutch job/brakes/cooling system/AC system/etc where all repaired by me in my garage. If you don't mind being creative (non-OEM repairs), religiously follow the forums, and DIY repair then BMWs (at least the older ones) are fantastic cars!

We are down to one BMW now and I've not driven it since getting the Volt. My son wants to buy it when he gets a decent job (recent grad) and that's the only reason I still have it.

BMWs are fun to drive fast and aggressively. I don't think all BMW drivers are jerks, most are just enjoying themselves. But as I've gotten older I just don't have the need to speed all the time. The Volt is plenty fast and can't fault the economy.

Despite getting a Volt for myself, I don't think the Volt has enough fleet experience to guarantee any kind of long term reliability, certainly not like the Prius my wife is now driving.

I'd say get at least a 2013 to get the "Hold" mode, and newer if possible. Drive as many as you can test drive, as you know high mileage cars with abuse will have tell-tale signs.

Pay your money, take your chances.
 

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Because no one, ever, has owned a BMW with reliability problems. :rolleyes:
Reliability expectations/repairs are somewhat known with his current BMW, not true with the Volt, and there appear to be some very expensive potential issues with long-term Volt ownership....just my opinion based on my experience, others may differ.
 

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Because no one, ever, has owned a BMW with reliability problems. :rolleyes:
I think a lot of that depends on the car. I only say that because my stepdad had an '86 325e with an odometer that broke when it read about 230K when he bought it and drove it daily to the oil fields for work. He did that for about 4 years and it never gave any problems. We did the regular maintenance work and I did at one point have to replace one of the lower control arms due to severely deteriorated bushings. All in all that was what we referred to as "the timex". When we got rid of it we actually donated it to Goodwill. I remember the call because they lady asked where to send the tow truck. When I told her we just didn't need the car and wanted to donate it for someone who needed reliable transportation and we'd drive it over because my step-dad had drove it to work you could hear the shock in her voice.

I think like any car, you just sometimes get a lemon. My mom had a '96 Honda Accord that spent 7 months in the shop during her first year of ownership! Unfortunately we weren't able to use a lemon law buyback because we purchased it used in '97. Fortunately the repairs were all covered under existing warranty but you can bet we traded it in the day after it's last shop visit!
 

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If you were buying my 2011 with almost 95k miles, I'd say go for it. Other than some free customer service campaigns, I have spent $36 each on two oil changes, $200 on a faulty passenger seat heater replacement, and $500 on the 5 year fluid flush. Best car I have ever owned. Of course, once you get over 100k miles car things can start to happen. Water pumps, fuel pumps, 12V battery, brake replacement, struts, things that wear out on any car with higher mileage. The Volt is still a car.

I'd recommend a 2011 to anyone. They were built like a tank. Hold mode you wont get, but you can use Mountain Mode in a similar way.
 

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Of course, once you get over 100k miles car things can start to happen. Water pumps, fuel pumps, 12V battery, brake replacement, struts, things that wear out on any car with higher mileage. The Volt is still a car.
For a Volt owner with a typical driving pattern, the water pump, fuel pump, spark plugs, etc should last for the lifetime of the car.

That's because the gas engine typically only runs around 25% of the time. Think about it. If the car has 100,000 miles on it, the gas engine only has around 25K miles on it. How much maintenance does a gas engine need at 25K miles?

As for brakes, remember that regenerative brakes often last 2-3 times longer than regular brakes, because most of the braking energy is recovered into the battery, and not disciaped as heat in the brake pads.

For fluids, yes, many of these degrade over time, regardless of use, so flusing and replacing fuilds every 5 years or so is a good idea.

And the Volt's 12V battery is a lead-acid type. It's a sealed AGM type of lead-acid, so it may last a bit longer than regular lead-acid batteries. But still, I'd change that every 5 years or so.
 

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The ICE will almost never be run except for the odd long distance trip.
The ICE will also run in your Toronto winters whenever it gets below about -5C to provide heat, etc. Propulsion will still be by the Voltec system.
 

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For a Volt owner with a typical driving pattern, the water pump, fuel pump, spark plugs, etc should last for the lifetime of the car.
All valid points of course.

I'm simply saying, expect some parts repair and replacement expenses for cars over 100k miles. My rotors, brake pads, battery, etc. are still original and in good shape. I'll be shopping for tires come spring. My originals had a defect and were replace (free) by my dealer at 30k miles. I measure tread depth and am still good (amazing!) with 60k on the replacement set. Come December or Jan I'll bolt on the winter wheels for three months while I consider replacements for the all season wheels. If it's like last winter, we'll have 3 snow days in Chicago. On snow days my wife can take the Volt snow tank and I'll drive the Bolt on my much shorter commute.
 

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BMWs are fun to drive fast and aggressively. I don't think all BMW drivers are jerks, most are just enjoying themselves. But as I've gotten older I just don't have the need to speed all the time.
On a public roadway, the rest contradicts the first part of the second sentence. I have a good friend who bought an Audi over a BMW because he didn't want to be labeled a BMW jerk, and he still drives like a BMW driver.:rolleyes:

100,000 on a Volt isn't much provided that its been driven primarily on the battery. The battery and electric motor should last the life of the car. If the vehicle has a large number of gas miles then I would pass on this one. I personally would buy a new 2017 and drive it a long, long time, however everyone's situation is different. Other than the miles on the gas generator, my concerns would be same as with any used car. Has it been in accidents, did the previous owner care for it properly and can provide maintenance records, did they use the proper fuel, the condition of the body, etc.

Also make sure that you can charge overnight daily at home. Public charging isn't the way to go with an EV, and dealing with apartments or condos can be challenging. Make sure you have this part settled prior to making a purchase.
 

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OP, if you're really serious, I can make you a deal on my 2013 Volt with 52k miles for a good price: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?298258-FS-2013-Chevy-Volt-52k-Miles-HOV-Stickers-CLEAN-title

For the record, I used to have an FBO 2011 E90 335i, and have recently upgraded to a 2017 M3 ZCP. From my experience, as well as what I've been hearing from colleagues is that the 2013+ Volt is a very reliable car. It's quite similar to the NA E90 in terms of reliability, but perhaps multiply the reliability factor by at least two.

Although, I disagree about Volts with minimal ICE (internal combustion) usage being more reliable than those that see more fuel utilization. Using ICE helps ensure proper engine oil cycle along with coolant, fuel lines/injectors, and so on. It's good to have a good balance of both ICE and EV, as I believe the Engineers at Chevy designed the Volt this way for optimal performance, especially when you need ICE most. After all, the Volt does fall under the PHEV category, and not under full EV.
 
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