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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Background - I have a 2013 Volt that I bought in March this year, so this will be my first winter in this car. Also, this car has the shorter air dam.

I recently acquired winter tires which I will install before deep snow. I live on a fairly well maintained road, but the snow can pile up a bit before plowing. It definitely will pile up deeper than the air dam. If it is much deeper, I won't be going out (very far) with the Volt.

My question is - is there any harm in removing the air dam during the deep snow months? I can assume an efficiency hit, and am not worried about that, but is the cooling something I need to be concerned with in winter? Any other concerns?

Thanks in advance!
 

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My 2012 had such a badly mangled air dam when I bought it that I have to replace the lower bumper, so I’m just running without the air dam until I can get that part replaced.

So far…no real issues, a minor hit to efficiency, and zero cooling issues. I think the cooling system in these cars is oversized for a big hill at GVWR (fully loaded), so you should be fine.
 

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I live in snow country. The original (long) air dam has been on for over 10 years. You know they flex, right?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I live in snow country. The original (long) air dam has been on for over 10 years. You know they flex, right?
Yes, I do. It seems that the flex would help with not breaking the thing off, but it would still be pushing snow, wouldn't it?

Thanks for the input!
 

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I'd leave the air dam on. It will pushes snow out of the way vs. letting it get under the car where it can high center the car.
 
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For the most part, people with torn up air dams have been scrapping a LOT of pavement at the end of a steep driveway, road exits, concrete parking stops and the like. With a short air dam, that's even less likely of course. As I said. I have the original long dam and it's in "newish" condition after over 10 years.
 
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The previous owner of mine must have hit some concrete parking blocks or curbs to split the plastic piece the air dam screws into. I got a replacement air dam and it’s shorter, but the plastic lower bumper is expensive, so I haven’t gotten around to replacing that yet. Do I need an air dam for winter?
 

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I'm in Canada and the original air dam on the front of my 2014 has held up just fine through LOTS of snow. No need to remove it.
 

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I drove in midwest winters for 7 years and never had a problem with the long style dam.

A tale not relevant here, but somehow humorous at the time. Once I saw a woman back her mid-90's Mustang off a parking lot stop, on which it was firmly embedded. There were horrific breaking plastic sounds as car started off the stop, and when she really hit the gas the bumper cover was forcefully removed. The car drove off with the bumper cover dragging on the ground at a 30 degree angle, both down and outward.

She blissfully drove away, none the wiser.
 
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Here in Saskatchewan we got a pretty gnarly blizzard last year. Roads weren't passable by cars, but I didn't know that when I set off. Made it 4 houses down the street before giving up.

The air dam held up fine through a snowy winter but driving through deep stuff like that forced snow on top of the belly pan and eventually formed a block of ice that damaged the AC low pressure switch.
Automotive tire Tread Freezing Geological phenomenon Wood
 

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I figure I’ll be driving my sweetheart’s Jeep when the snow’s deep enough for the Volt to drag bottom. Or, because I can, just stay the hell home.

Y’know… Back when I was a younger fellow, I got stuck in a Pennsylvania snow-belt storm driving a 1969 Chevy Impala. Pitch black out, the car stalled for reasons unknown about a mile from home. I had to hike my butt the remainder through near knee-deep snow. The next morning, I hiked back to the car, toolbox in hand. When I popped the hood, I found the entire engine bay stuffed with snow. All I could see of the 350 was the top of the air cleaner! Not only that, the engine heat had partially melted the snow and it had refrozen into a near-solid block of ice. I hiked back home, called a farmer friend with a big tractor, hiked back to the car and oversaw it hauled to his farm where he stowed it in a heated barn (like, heated as in just above freezing). Took 3 days to get enough of the snow/ice out of the bay to get it started.
 
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