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Hello,

I have searched the threads and have not yet found for what I am looking. Feel free to link me to anything you believe may appropriate. Or even answer questions I have not thought to ask.

I have been looking at 2014 Volts. A couple of local ones for sale have 32000 miles/45000 miles and are averaging about $15000.

I test drove one and really liked it. I will have an ASE mechanic put it up on a rack and thoroughly inspect it prior to purchase.

I am fine with the price, but want to do my due diligence. For those of you who have owned a 2014ish Volt for four yearsish, I'd like to know how they have held up. And what you believe the lifespan will be. I'd like to hold on to it for 10 years.

I've read a couple of negative things, and one that comes to mind off the top of my head is I remember reading the gas engine can be annoyingly noisy. I'll have to run the battery down, I guess, to see what this sounds like.

My understanding is that it has a four cylinder gas engine, but that it only powers the onboard generator and does not drive the actual vehicle. Is that correct?

I have also read something about an addition power charger that owners seem to love? We have 240 in our garage, but I'd have to unplug the dryer (gas dryers suck, btw).

If the car is still available on Monday, it's going for the inspection then, so any info before we make an offer will be much appreciated.

Thanks, so much. :)
 

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I have a 2014. I have had it going on 5years now. To force the engine just put it on hold mode. The only things i notice is this about the engine. It seems to be loudest when first coming on during the cold but nor more so that other engines noting the car controls the rpm generally not your foot on the pedal directly. Also during the cold I notice mileage can be less per gallon than say a summer, spring or fall drive and especially if your driving in short spirts in cold weather. So in winter I might averge 30mpg where as I get up in the low 40s on the other seasons assuming you drive a full distance of a gallon of gas. I love the car generally and thinking of upgrading next year. To bad I was not selling mine this year with 48k miles and new tires on it. Pretty much maintenance free. Oh I did paint my calipers tweety bird yellow on the ashen greay color with the upgrade rims! Hope that helps.
 

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Boise: you will notice the lack of heat on cold winter days. I drove through the Sawtooths, Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Redwoods, Shasta, and Lassen last summer entirely on engine. Temperature was 105 across all of the desert regions at freeway speeds. Air-conditioning and high speed reduced fuel economy about 10 miles per gallon. I do not experience any trouble in winter with Michelin X-Ice on mountain roads. Low-clearance can be challenging on Forest Service roads. Maintenance is no problem. Sounds like you have your charging station all set. My 2013 Volt Premium has functioned well, but does run on gasoline generator around 18 degrees. I am tempted to upgrade to Generation 2 Volt, Prius Prime, or Chrysler Pacifica plug-in around 80,000 to 100,000 miles on the odometer. I have 5 years before I hit that range on the odometer.
 

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Make sure you and your family can fit in it. The back seats are tight for anyone but teenagers. Even front seats are tight for folks over 6ft. I'm 6ft,2in and I fit, but only just barely. It is a compact car so that is to be expected unfortunately.

Other than that, it's a fabulous piece of automotive engineering and has been extremely reliable for most folks. Only drawback is reduced electric range in the winter, but don't freak out, it will come back in the Spring. Some folks complain the heat doesn't get hot enough, but letting the engine run and using a little gas will improve the heater performance.

You'll enjoy driving electric! Hope to see photos of your new Volt soon!
 

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I haven't owned my car for any significant amount of time, but I can answer some of your questions :p

I've read a couple of negative things, and one that comes to mind off the top of my head is I remember reading the gas engine can be annoyingly noisy. I'll have to run the battery down, I guess, to see what this sounds like.
The engine can get loud at points (hard acceleration, for example) but generally speaking if you're using the engine under normal operation, it's rather faint (and turns off once you are stopped). It's even less noticeable if you have music playing or a window open. The exception to that rule is the "Mountain" mode, that revs the engine a lot more (regardless of if you are stopped or moving) but this is because the car is using the engine to supply power to the motor and possibly charge the battery at the same time.

My understanding is that it has a four cylinder gas engine, but that it only powers the onboard generator and does not drive the actual vehicle. Is that correct?
That is correct, This Video actually does a great job at explaining how the engine and electric motor function together

I have also read something about an addition power charger that owners seem to love? We have 240 in our garage, but I'd have to unplug the dryer (gas dryers suck, btw).
Yep, they're officially called EVSEs (the actual charger is built into the car). There's a "Level 1" which comes with the car that just plugs into your everyday outlet, which can take anywhere from 8-9 hours to 12-13 hours to completely charge a Volt, and the "Level 2" (the 240v) that takes like 3-4 hours iirc (Someone please fact check my times, I honestly can't remember for the life of me, I just plug it in, haha).
 

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Under certain conditions the ICE does connect up to the wheels.
I can say I haven't had any problems with heat in the car.
 

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Make sure you and your family can fit in it. The back seats are tight for anyone but teenagers. Even front seats are tight for folks over 6ft. I'm 6ft,2in and I fit, but only just barely. It is a compact car so that is to be expected unfortunately.
Your first two sentences are accurate and valuable, but I have to disagree with the third. I'm 6', 2"+ and the driver seat is right where I'd want it with the seat all the way back. That's not the case with a lot of cars, I'd like one more inch adjustment back in my wife's BMW X5. I can even drive with the Volt's seat forward a couple of inches on the rare instances when I have a passenger behind me.

The passenger seat with no one behind me is more than spacious enough. Granted, I wouldn't want to ride more than 15 minutes or so in the backseat, but I have been able to do that on occasion.
 

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The passenger seat with no one behind me is more than spacious enough. Granted, I wouldn't want to ride more than 15 minutes or so in the backseat, but I have been able to do that on occasion.
It still beats walking. ;)
 

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I'd love to have the hold feature that a 2014 has. We bought a 2012 brand new and I still love driving this car. I've also driven current Lexus hybrids and I can tell you that my 2012 Volt blows them away in terms of power train smoothness. It is a very special car. Other than being a bit low, it is a superb highway cruiser. I bonk my noggin getting in, but the car makes up for it when underway - a small price to pay.
 

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I've had my 2014 Volt since May 2014 - its got 36K miles using a total of 116 gallons of gas; zero problems; the only maintenance has been tire rotations and oil changes. Its been hands down the best car I've owned.

I seldom use the gas engine but when its on there is very slightly more noise and vibration; barely noticeable.

I have a Schneider Electric 240v charger in my garage which has been great. Best feature is I can delay the charging start time by a few hours to get the best off peak rates.

I'm in So California where the temps seldom dip below 40. So YMMV.
 

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Love the Gen 1 Volt. '14 one of the most reliable years. In addition to the usual used car due diligence, I would also check the performance of the center stack (some have had issues and unsure if you would be able to get a free replacement outside of B2B) and you should also try charging the car on a couple of different public chargers to make sure it negotiates with some newer systems. My Gen 1 needed an update at one point because it couldn't communicate with certain public chargers.
 

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Title says it all. ^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Boise: you will notice the lack of heat on cold winter days. I drove through the Sawtooths, Mount Hood, Crater Lake, Redwoods, Shasta, and Lassen last summer entirely on engine. Temperature was 105 across all of the desert regions at freeway speeds. Air-conditioning and high speed reduced fuel economy about 10 miles per gallon. I do not experience any trouble in winter with Michelin X-Ice on mountain roads. Low-clearance can be challenging on Forest Service roads. Maintenance is no problem. Sounds like you have your charging station all set. My 2013 Volt Premium has functioned well, but does run on gasoline generator around 18 degrees. I am tempted to upgrade to Generation 2 Volt, Prius Prime, or Chrysler Pacifica plug-in around 80,000 to 100,000 miles on the odometer. I have 5 years before I hit that range on the odometer.
Don't worry about the heat.....my 2014 just had a week of -9 degree temps and the heater will drive you out in about 5 minutes :D
 

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Strongly recommended.

2013s had some issues.
2014 onward is when it was a pretty solid vehicle.
I have no concerns with mine well surpassing 10 years.

And the engine is not loud.
It is only loud because you get acclimated to the silence of EV, so it is especially noticeable when it fires up.
Get into a cheap econobox like an aveo and floor it to merge on the freeway. Then compare that to the volt. Not even close.

And does the engine only ever drive a generator?
The answer is a complicated "kind of". If you picture 3 items in a row, you have the main drive motor and gears to the wheels on the left.
to the right of that, you have the secondary motor (usually the generator, but is used in electric driving for more efficient operation - share the load). On the other side of that motor, you have the engine.
If the engine is spinning the generator and it is also clutched into the main drive (all 3 connected in a row), then the engine is technically providing some power through the spinning shaft of the generator. It does this in the same situation it would use two motor mode for EV driving - works exactly the same, just it happens to have the engine connected on the one side if it needs to be on. Or it doesn't if in EV.
But it does not have a direct physical link to the gearbox/wheels like it does in the gen2 volt, prius, ford energi, etc.

The difference is that motor is the middle-man in the operation - you get the smoothest operation possible. No noticeable jerking or variability in movement. The wheels are always driven by electric motors that are precisely controlled and smooth.
Some people have mentioned that upgrading to a gen2, they notice it's not as smooth because it does have a direct link without the buffer in the middle.
 

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Strongly recommended.
And does the engine only ever drive a generator?
The answer is a complicated "kind of". If you picture 3 items in a row, you have the main drive motor and gears to the wheels on the left.
to the right of that, you have the secondary motor (usually the generator, but is used in electric driving for more efficient operation - share the load). On the other side of that motor, you have the engine.
If the engine is spinning the generator and it is also clutched into the main drive (all 3 connected in a row), then the engine is technically providing some power through the spinning shaft of the generator. It does this in the same situation it would use two motor mode for EV driving - works exactly the same, just it happens to have the engine connected on the one side if it needs to be on. Or it doesn't if in EV.
But it does not have a direct physical link to the gearbox/wheels like it does in the gen2 volt, prius, ford energi, etc.
The youtube video I linked earlier (see below) also does a good job of explaining this while also utilizing visual aids - I do highly recommend viewing it for those interested in actually seeing how the Volt drives. :D

That is correct, This Video actually does a great job at explaining how the engine and electric motor function together
 

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Your first two sentences are accurate and valuable, but I have to disagree with the third. I'm 6', 2"+ and the driver seat is right where I'd want it with the seat all the way back. That's not the case with a lot of cars, I'd like one more inch adjustment back in my wife's BMW X5. I can even drive with the Volt's seat forward a couple of inches on the rare instances when I have a passenger behind me.
Heh. I'm 6'3" and my height is mostly in my torso. I'm several stops in front of "all the way back" on the seat, and even though my head brushes the roofliner, I still fit. I wouldn't want SMALLER, mind you, and I'd love to have a coupe with the B-pillar about four inches further back, but it'll do.
 

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Nice discussion; there is little I can add except to have a dealer ensure all possible software updates are applied. Gremlins can creep in otherwise.

As others mentioned, our '14 is the most reliable car we have owned. Literally nothing (other than gremlins and recalls) has gone wrong with it. We're at 65,000 miles currently and we expect at least a total of 10 years from it.

Oh, one more thing. You really should install the WOT Coolant Level Sensor (or the Brock equivalent of it). Search for the main thread. That gadget is the only thing that most Gen 1 owners must do to avoid a recurring design issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
There are very few volts in my area. I have test driven two. One of them is still in the running. It is a lease return and there is some minor, superficial issues, I have had a mechanic thoroughly check it over. The two prices I have received are $14,272 (cash) or $13,727 if I finance for 180 days. I have not yet read over the finance contract, so I do not know the details. The vehicle has 32,000 miles. Based on my research, this is a just an okay price even from the dealership. I cannot find one private party.

Thoughts?
 

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There are very few volts in my area. I have test driven two. One of them is still in the running. It is a lease return and there is some minor, superficial issues, I have had a mechanic thoroughly check it over. The two prices I have received are $14,272 (cash) or $13,727 if I finance for 180 days. I have not yet read over the finance contract, so I do not know the details. The vehicle has 32,000 miles. Based on my research, this is a just an okay price even from the dealership. I cannot find one private party.

Thoughts?
At this point, it's more down to the options about how good the price is. For a loaded premier that's an early build 2015, it's attractive okay price. Maybe even a good price. For a 2014 base that came off lease up to a year ago without even a reversing camera, expand your search. You may find just as good $2-3k cheaper at some distance that involves a weekend drive to get home. But it's a lovely long-distance driver.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
For a 2014 base that came off lease up to a year ago without even a reversing camera, expand your search. You may find just as good $2-3k cheaper at some distance that involves a weekend drive to get home. But it's a lovely long-distance driver.
We did consider this and it is good advice, but we decided to go with the one close by and I brought it home last night. I had noticed that in some large metropolitan areas, there is a large pool of Volts at a cheaper price. We thoiught about travelling, but in Boise we are far enough away from these areas to make it a hassle. Boise is a somewhat isolated small city. Great place to live, though.

Thanks everyone who took the time to read through this thread and give thoughtful advice.
 
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