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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience with one or more these issues?

I ordered my 2013 Volt from factory and received it in December 2012. Very happy with it except the EV range. Was told the car was rated at 38 miles but got only 28 miles, temps were in high 20's in my area. Adjusted vehicle settings, googled for advice, no change.

As weather improved, so did the EV range, and in favorable weather I reached 42-45 miles per charge, dropping back to 38 and on down, and finally to 28 again in winter.

(A few 2012 Volt-owning friends stated their cars were rated for 35 miles, and they got that pretty much year round, maybe a 1 or 2 mile variation. One of the 2012 Volts has over 200,000 miles on it and is still driving like it was new.
Anyone know why my model would be so variable in mileage, by comparison?)

In 2014 an engine bearing self-destructed and took the transmission with it. GM flew a volt engineer to my dealership. They had the car two weeks.

When I got it back, all was good except the EV range had dropped. My top range in perfect weather was and is 35, with the car often getting 26-28 on average and down to 20 miles in winter.

The odd thing is the car always charges to 35 or 36 miles, occasionally to 32-34 miles, and never gets close.

I've had it back to the dealership multiple times over the last four years, always they discharge the battery and then say it "charged to 36 miles, drive it and let us know" and nothing is done.

I drive a round-trip commute of 42 miles, so the car is fully discharged every weekday and usually charged overnight on 240v GM Volt charger at home. Sometimes I charge the car on one of my employer's chargers.

I also watch the kWh use and it varies from 9.1 to 11.6, but this is not correlated with miles. E.g. I've had 9.1 kWh used and the car got 35 miles, as well as 11.6 and the car got 30 miles.

Anyone know what could have changed when the GM engineer worked on the car, that dropped the EV range?


Honorable mention.

The car also honks once or twice during charging periodically - during one charge every week or two. This has occurred on employer chargers as well as on my own. I've seen the charging light change to yellow to show charge interrupted, the car honks, then charging resumes and the light is green again.

A charging module has failed on the car twice in the last two years, both times the dealership replaced under warranty. The dealership has tested the battery voltage and said no problems with the battery.

I'd really like to get my EV range of 28 to 42-45 back, especially the top end of 42-45 in favorable weather.

Looking for ideas besides selling this Volt...

Thanks for reading
 

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It sounds like your experience is fairly normal - freezing temps have a big impact on range. Not sure how your friends claim not to be affected, unless they live in a San Diego style year round climate...

Short of moving somewhere warm, you can't change the negative effects of winter, but you can reduce the impact. Precondition the car while plugged in (especially if you have a 240V plug.) Put the HVAC into the eco mode, use the heated seats more and set the temperature as low as you can and still be comfortable.

Make sure your tires are fully inflated - the cold weather usually drops the pressure, which eats more energy.
 

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I also think your drop in winter sounds relatively normal and similar to my experience if you are using the heater liberally. However, if your Summer range fell from 42+ to 35 with no change in your driving habits, terrain, tire pressure, added roof cargo, etc. that seems strange. Is it possible the car is out of wheel alignment or has a stuck brake caliper or dragging parking brake?

Since you have several things going on with the car (range, odd charging behavior and the repeated charger failures), I wonder if you have tried taking it to a different dealership to see if they are better at solving puzzles. Maybe the current dealership is just missing something obvious or messed something up and doesn't want to admit it.
 

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Well, two things are going on; first thing, is your seasonal drop. That seems normal to lose 30% and even up to 40% off your Summer range. Second, and the more important thing, which you probably should have mentioned first is your post-transmission blowup loss of range. That doesn't seem normal.

If your best range in perfect weather is 35 miles, that's low. If the range varies on your normal commute from day-to-day with little environmental change, with big differences in battery capacity, that's not normal either. I wonder if one of the group of cells in your pack is outputting low voltage and out of spec. There are others here who know more about these HV battery pack problems than me, but the dealer can test your pack's voltage, which they did and didn't find a problem. Perhaps, try a different dealer? Also, check other recent threads where parts of a pack had to be replaced due to low voltage.
 

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Like others said, a lot of that is normal for driving in different seasons. If you feel you're still missing a few miles after the transmission replacement... it's possible they reprogrammed some modules or reset some things, so you may have power-sucking options like "auto-defrost" back on that you may have turned off before, and that can sometimes steal a few miles.

Did anything else change? New tires? Range depends mainly on technique, temperature, and terrain. If you moved and now have to climb some big hills that you didn't before, or take a route that is more high speed (or you started driving faster in general)... this will all lower range. Also, how many miles you have now? Some battery degredation is also possible, I would expect to lose a few miles by 100k.

As an aside, gen2's range would suit your commute better (get one before they're gone!).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your responses. Everything mentioned has already been covered (or I already do), except for taking it to another dealer. Unfortunately there is not another dealer within easy reach, but I'll check into the closest ones.

Would love a gen 2 but can't afford it, right now... sad that maybe there will not be any more Volts, my plan was to replace this Volt with another when it reached 10 years old.

Thanks again for ideas.
 

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there are service actions that can reset the displayed range to its default of about 34-36 -- I forgot which.

many web places limit some posting actions to people with 10 + posts

We joking have said here you need 10 posts to use the word RANGE in a post :)

BUT you have a 2013 Volt that did have a software recall update the dealer should be able to help.
 

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Would love a gen 2 but can't afford it, right now... sad that maybe there will not be any more Volts, my plan was to replace this Volt with another when it reached 10 years old.

Thanks again for ideas.
The problem is that if you don't have a reliable dealer to service your gen 1 Volt you will run into the same service issues with a gen 2. I have a similar situation in that I planned on trading in my gen 1 for a Bolt but am concerned about the lack of quality service at my local dealer. I don't understand how GM can be serious about moving forward with electric vehicles when their dealer service/support is sub-par.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
@Cord, Thank you for info about range. oops, there, I said it :)

The car originally delivered with display of 38 miles (the rated range on a 2013). After the engine bearing and transmission were replaced it displayed 32 miles after charging (and I only got 26-28).

The first time I took it back for the low mileage problem, the dealer must have found your setting, as it came back showing 35-36 after charging. I still only got 26-28 actual miles, falling to 20 in winter instead of the previous 28 in winter. The car has never again achieved the rated 38 miles after the engine bearing and transmission replacement. Somehow 6-10 miles of range was cut...

The software recall: You're referring to the one that affects voltage across battery cells? I had that one installed several weeks ago. Still no change in mileage. Weather right now is averaging high 50's and down to 48 (in the garage), and currenly I'm getting 26 miles per charge (it still displays 36 after charging).

My driving efficiency isn't stellar, but it doesn't seem too bad? The display shows between 89-94% driving efficiency, and climate around 75-80% all year long. My area's weather will fall to 32F in winter, with occasional brief dips to 28F, and then will climb to 106-108F in peak of summer.

My dealer says I should get the rated 38 miles the majority of days in the year, but doesn't know why that is not happening after the bearing and transmission were replaced. They also say the Volt engineer that came out to examine the car said it was back to spec after the replacement work was done.

@btown - I'm not sure my dealer is so bad, though I do relate to what you're saying from experience with a different vehicle at another dealer. Compared to that other dealer (a GM dealer!), my Chevy dealer is outstanding :)

That said. The engine bearing assembly the dealer installed is from a later Volt year (2014, I think they said), GM recommended this different assembly to avoid the bearing going out again. The dealer didn't say anything about the replacement transmission other than it was new, so I assume it is for a 2013 but I don't actually know.
 

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I wonder if the new transmission was filled with the wrong transmission fluid. Something that is making it less efficient. Maybe a higher viscosity.
 

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My old '13 had some strange behavior after getting the HPCM #2 reprogrammed from the dealership. Often that happens as the car "relearns" the SOC at the high and low end. This can explain variable range and (displayed) kWh used.

Your extreme range in kWh used is a symptom of something else going on. All things being equal, it should remain in a fairly narrow window (9.9-10.5 on a '13). Keep in mind that it's not an actual meter, but the algorithm it uses is fairly good at exposing a real problem if the numbers are extreme. I would call a 9.1 to 11.6 VERY extreme for a 2013 (assuming you are doing NO opportunity charging).

If the reprogramming was faulty and you got the bug that inflicted my '13 and some others around here, you would notice a 5-7 mile drop in EV range when parked, unplugged, for over 30 minutes. There are other symptoms as well, but that's the big one. A TSB was issued to fix this and it's possible you may have picked up that bug at some point.

Another thing to try--although this is admittedly variable in its effect--is doing some full drives, all EV no stops, to "empty" and then having the car sit, unplugged, for a couple hours so it can calculate the correct bottom and top end SOC. You'll need to do this a few times. We've had mixed experience with this actually solving any issues, but it's worth a try to see if you are getting consistent EV range under similar driving/temp circumstances.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@barry - That is a very good question. I'll ask the dealer to check. Thank you!

@VoltenRock
The car does lose range while sitting. Not as much as you mention, around 3-5 miles after being parked for over an hour. I had always assumed that was due to the 'pumps and fans' that run periodically to keep the battery temp within range?

The dealership has said my car is up to date with all recalls and all service bulletins. Perhaps they missed something. Is there a way I can word this issue to the dealership so they can check on it?

Your suggestion is definitely worth a try. Do I do this a few times back-to-back (charge, drive, charge, drive, charge, drive)?
 

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Keep in mind the fuel tank holds units of fuel, not units of distance. Range estimates are estimates. How far you can go on each 1 kWh of grid power depends on your driving habits. As with all window sticker ratings, your mileage may vary.

Perhaps it’s time to be a bit obsessive for a week or so with tracking where during your commute the full charge ev range estimate starts to go wrong.

My energy usage screen appears on the center display each time I turn off my 2012 Volt, and I’ve adopted the habit of looking at the remaining estimated ev range on the DIC before I turn off the car. I then add Estimated Range to Electric Miles achieved. The total should be close to the full charge, start of day ev range estimate.

Sometimes the total is less, allowing me to reflect on recent driving to see if I can account for the drop (e.g., had been driving uphill, or had been using defrost to clear a fogged window) or the excess (e.g., drove down a long hill, or it had been pouring down, but then it stopped raining and the sun came out and dried the roads). Usually the sum of those two (estimated remaining range + achieved electric) remain close to the start of day estimate.

Try reviewing the total as you drive to work (e.g., at any red light, press the leaf button to bring up the energy usage screen, then add remaining range and already driven) or any stops along the way. Any significant drops along any particular segments of the drive?

If the estimated ev range drops 3-5 miles while your car sits parked at work, that sounds a bit much to me. Is that drop in range reflected in an increase in the kWh Used (i.e., check the kWh Used when you park the car, and then when you return to it at the end of the day)?

Any portion of the homeward drive that produces an increased drop in the range + achieved totals, or does the sum remain about the same throughout the homeward drive (i.e., did the drop occur because of energy loss while parked)?

How obsessively are you currently looking at the remaining ev range estimate? When the estimate has dropped to 5 miles, is the sum of the estimate and the achieved close to the start of day ev range estimate, or has it already lost a noticeable number of miles? Do you see the estimated range drop from 1 mile to 0 and then switch to gas? Or does the switch to gas take place before the range estimate has dropped to 0?
 

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Losing 3-5 miles IS a bit much. One "easy" way to test for the bug is to drive "full" to "empty" on EV only and see if you get the expected EV range. Then do the same exact drive with same techniques in similar temps, but in this case be sure to stop several times, turn off the car, and wait to see if you drop range.

Unfortunately this "easy" test could take hours of your time. I figured it out based on my typical usage on my daily commute.

The dealer would NOT see this from a typical update. Reprogramming HPCM #2 is not a routine procedure, so you may need to push a bit more for them to do this correctly.

Here is the TSB: #PIC6138A - EV Range Estimation Changes More Than 5 Miles After The Vehicle Sits For More Than 2 Hours Under Nominal Driving Conditions - (Oct 21, 2015)

If you want to compare notes with what I experienced and what you're experience, you can go through this thread, which talks about the symptoms and has more info on the fix:

https://gm-volt.com/forum/showthrea...-on-my-Volt-s-strange-issues&highlight=dealer
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@wordptom and @VoltenRock

Thank you both for your posts.

The drive home from work tonight was as usual. I parked out front and went inside my home for a few minutes, then came back out to go to dinner. Started the car and the ICE came on, but both the engine and the ICE were extremely loud and 'rough sounding'. The DIC showed "Propulsion power is reduced". I got out of the car to record the sounds and I started to smell a strong burning rubber kind of smell.

The car will be towed to the dealer in the morning.

I'll come back to this thread and your suggestions once I get the car back and have had a chance to re-check the mileage issues.
 

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I can't recall if the PPR messages were a symptom of the bad reprogram or from when my battery temp sensor started to fail. I think it was the latter. Either way, hopefully the dealer will get to the bottom of it. Ask them about the TSB--it's an easy check as it was due to bad software that was released by GM and it only affected 2013s reprogrammed while that software was still out there (might have been out there for a year before GM figured it out). The GM VIS should reveal the answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@VoltenRock, I will call the dealer today and ask them to look at the TSB you gave: TSB: #PIC6138A - EV Range Estimation Changes More Than 5 Miles After The Vehicle Sits For More Than 2 Hours Under Nominal Driving Conditions - (Oct 21, 2015). They received the car Friday morning, they may not have had time to look at it until today.

Will report back when I know more... thank you again for help.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Got the car back yesterday, they had it a week.

Dealer states GM engineering review was conducted, and GM instructed them to replace the hybrid battery. Dealer confirms HPCM2 has latest calibration.

Will report back after I have driven it for couple of weeks.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
@srmarti

That's what I was told by the dealer, the engine bearing broke apart and sent metal pieces into the transmission.

When I drove it to the dealer, not only did the engine sound like it had glass in it, the transmission was very loose and I heard a 'crunching' sound when shifting.
 
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