GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,

I'm an EV enthusiast and wanted to briefly explain my needs and habits and want to see if the volt is a good fit for me?

My commute is 100km (62.5 miles) round trip and I'd like to use almost only the battery at some point.. or as much as possible. I have a lv2 charger at home and none at work currently. I plan to use gas on the way home for the first few months; I'll likely be able to charge using a lv1 at work shortly. Hopefully level 2 within the year.

That said, my reason for the volt is because the Nissan leaf just didn't instill in me enough confidence for being able to reliably get to work in the winter, worry-free. I was willing to sacrifice my time but in the end, the pros and cons didn't work out.

Within the next 5-10 years I'd like to sell the volt and buy a reliable full EV that has a good track record with batteries.. Chevy seems to be solid in this respect, only, I think the bolt is kind of ugly.

My main questions centre around the volt's reliability. I'm getting one just over 100,000kms.
-How often do things fail in general, compared to other ICEs? Do they fail more often as I use gas? Or consistently based on time/driving?
-What are parts and repair bills looking like?
-How does GMs discontinuation of the volt affect availability of parts and prices for those parts?
-What the charge time to full (from empty) for lv1 and lv2?
-What are some questions or things to look out for when I'm looking at used volts?

Thanks for reading!
Ryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,854 Posts
Hey there,

I'm an EV enthusiast and wanted to briefly explain my needs and habits and want to see if the volt is a good fit for me?

My commute is 100km (62.5 miles) round trip and I'd like to use almost only the battery at some point.. or as much as possible. I have a lv2 charger at home and none at work currently. I plan to use gas on the way home for the first few months; I'll likely be able to charge using a lv1 at work shortly. Hopefully level 2 within the year.

That said, my reason for the volt is because the Nissan leaf just didn't instill in me enough confidence for being able to reliably get to work in the winter, worry-free. I was willing to sacrifice my time but in the end, the pros and cons didn't work out.

Within the next 5-10 years I'd like to sell the volt and buy a reliable full EV that has a good track record with batteries.. Chevy seems to be solid in this respect, only, I think the bolt is kind of ugly.

My main questions centre around the volt's reliability. I'm getting one just over 100,000kms.
-How often do things fail in general, compared to other ICEs? Do they fail more often as I use gas? Or consistently based on time/driving?
-What are parts and repair bills looking like?
-How does GMs discontinuation of the volt affect availability of parts and prices for those parts?
-What the charge time to full (from empty) for lv1 and lv2?
-What are some questions or things to look out for when I'm looking at used volts?

Thanks for reading!
Ryan
The 2013 Volt has a specific issue; there is a motor/generator bearing race that is plastic and can fail. The sound that the failed bearing race makes is easily identifiable. In the US this is covered under the Voltec warranty (8 years / 100k miles.)

Parts should not be a problem for at least 10 years. If the battery fails, it may take some time for GM to assemble a replacement battery pack module.

The charge time is dependent on the usable battery capacity and charging rate. For the 2013 Volt this is 10.8kWh out of a total capacity of 16.5kWh. The 2013 Volt's on-board charger is limited to 3.3kW (Level 2 charging at 240V/15 amps)

Level 1 120V @ 8 amps (960W) ~ 12 hours +
Level 1 120V @ 12 amps (1440W) ~ 8 hours +
Level 2 240V @ 15 amps (commercial 230V power in the US is usually 3-phase, effectively providing 208V) (3300W) ~3.5 hours +
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,869 Posts
I bought a 2013 with 100K Km. No problems other than recent replacement of 12V battery (Canadian Tire $200 with $50 coupon so effectively $150 Cdn). Using Sparkie as the bench mark, it went 450,000 miles give or take, much on gas with replacement of wheel bearings periodically being the sole issue. Depends on how hard you drive it I expect, plus it being a regular compact car part on a heavy (for its size) vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
The Volt is a good choice

One thing to look at in a car is how it was used. How many gas or electric kms. Lifetime mpg is a good way to ballpark. Ideally the 100k kms is split between the two so that you have plenty of life in both systems left.

Overall the volt is generally overbuilt and has fewer problems compared to a regular car. At 100k km you might be coming due on the first set of brake rotors replacements. This is like a typical car but GM put fancy rotors coatings that do last longer. Plus with regen you use your traditional friction brakes less.

Part availability by GM is good. The Gen 1 shares few parts with Gen 2 so the discontinuation is quite moot. Manufacturers are required to stock parts for about 10 years and they make good money on parts.

I had minor damage to my front turn signal when someone hit it while parked. I was in Canada at the time, and in Ontario where there are fewer Volts than Quebec. I was shocked the technician had the part in stock at the dealer. Some parts are shared with the Cruze and other GM cars, but this was a unique Volt part that just happened to be in stock.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,521 Posts
Generally OK apart from aforementioned bearing issue.

Although the odds seem good on reliability, due to potential high repair costs for a failure outside of warranty, make sure you have a good bankroll.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Be aware, at 5 years the coolant needs to be changed. We bought a 2012 last July with about 62K miles on it for our daughter. The dealer told us all necessary maintenance had been performed when we bought it. I did show them the L1 charger plug was defective and they replace that no questions asked along with the wiper blades.

Fast forward 6 months, I discovered the coolant, all 3 systems, hadn't been serviced so I went back to the dealer and while discussing a 4 yr 60K mile service contract, mentioned it to them. They agreed to do the coolant servicing at no charge, about $600usd and we got her the service contract. It took over 5 hrs to do the coolant last Thursday but they didn't even try to sell her anything else that "needed" to be done. There are some honest dealers, we were lucky I guess.

BTW we have a 2015 VW eGolf SEL for local driving and it is great. It has a heat-pump so we can get about 60-70 miles/charge in the winter with studded snowtires here in the White Mts of NH. They only thing it's needed so far has been brake rotors as they tend to rust due to the regenerative braking doing most of the work. Our daughter loves her Volt and charges it here on our L2 Clipper Creek when she comes to visit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,439 Posts
I would estimate the overall reliability is about average compared to other vehicles. Realistically, it is worth noting that the car is complex and unique. If something goes wrong with one of the high-tech components, you just about have to take it to a Chevy dealer, and one with a certified Volt technician, and even then, they seem to have trouble diagnosing problems sometimes. It can be slow and expensive to get things fixed. This is not like getting a Honda Civic repaired, which can be done anywhere. Also, how the cars will age is not well known because the model hasn't been around that long. Not to try to scare you away, but it is good to know the full picture.

As far as driving 31 miles each way to work, that will be ideal if you can charge at work. Even at 120V, assuming it is a good quality, dedicated socket not shared by any other loads, you can charge at the faster rate and could reliably get a full charge if left on all day. If you can't charge at work, you will burn about 3/4 G of premium gas per day on average (more in the winter), which is quite a bit better than you could do with any ICE car or regular hybrid.
 

·
Registered
2018 Volt
Joined
·
28 Posts
Hi Ryan. We currently have 2012 and 2015 Volts, we've owned since new. Because of the road salt here in WI, we don't use them in the winter. My wife is thinking about purchasing a new 2018, we don't need three Volts. I would be willing to part with the 2012. It is white with black leather and fully optioned. I would say it is in excellent condition. It has 49K and has had the motor/generator bearing replaced. This is the only issue we've had with either one of our Volts. PM me if interested. Thanks, Ron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
I bought a 2012 Volt a little over 6 mos. ago. It had 69K miles (about 111,000 km's) when I got it and I have added another 8K miles. The car has been better than I expected and not just in terms of fuel/energy cost, it's just a very good small car. My daily commute is just over 40 miles total. I have a Clipper Creek level 2 240V charger at work and the 120V charger at home. 75% of my commute is Interstate, which eats up range quick some days, but always having a full charge when leaving home or work has enabled me to use just 8.3 gals. of gas over 8000 miles. Problems? The day after I got the car, the OnStar/Nav/XM stopped working. Dealer took the car back and had the OnStar module replaced, which "fixed" all of the problems. Since then all is working well. Some 2012's and 2013's have a different MyLink system anyway. Tires are important on these cars. To maximize AER, you need to keep tires well inflated. I am running 40psi, others even a bit higher? Also, LRR or low rolling resistance tires help with range.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
I bought my '13 a little over a year ago and have put 30,000 miles on it with no problems. It had a clicking in the left front that turned out to be a CV joint that my local dealer gladly replaced.

See if they will let you plug in at work. My job was very excited to have someone that drives an EV and I have Carte Blanche over the level 2 chargers and outlets around the premises. Some of the light poles have electrical outlets on them in the employee parking so I have staked out these spots and charge on level 1, 12A with my Dousida charger. My commute is about the same as yours at 65 miles. Expect to burn a little gas in the winters, even if you can charge at work.

Oh, yeah. At 30,000, I would have done 10 oil changes on a normal car at $25 each. I've done one on the Volt. Bugger will eat some tires, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
My main questions centre around the volt's reliability. I'm getting one just over 100,000kms.
-How often do things fail in general, compared to other ICEs? Do they fail more often as I use gas? Or consistently based on time/driving?
-What are parts and repair bills looking like?
-How does GMs discontinuation of the volt affect availability of parts and prices for those parts?
-What the charge time to full (from empty) for lv1 and lv2?
-What are some questions or things to look out for when I'm looking at used volts?
Most of those questions are difficult to answer for the car you have. As they can be driven mostly on gas, or mostly on electric and any blend of each. And then there is city mileage and highway mileage. Rough roads, Smooth roads, cold climate, warm climate. The amount of wear on each component will be different. The condition of the car you buy will have more impact I think that what mine or several other forum members have.

In general I like the volt. I bought a high mileage one and did some repairs to it and I think it is great :)

Thaniel
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. I read them all in guest mode since I couldn't figure out how to reset my password. I ended up picking up the volt from Montreal (I live in the GTA, Canada) and am loving it so far. I neglected to get brake servicing despite knowing from a mechanic that "the breaks are looking a bit dirty" and ended up needing to shell out 600$ for front servicing, rear pad and rotor replacement (most of this was labour). I would have DIY but I didn't have the time (or courage) to drive my car home with metal on metal braking (no material left).

I ended up DIY installing my own Lvl2 flo G5 charger (pricy! but Canadian company!) to a 40A wiring run and have pretty much settled into my routine. I don't have workplace charging, but I'm working that out in the next 6 months hopefully..

My only gripe is the axel nut clicking, and despite asking for it 3 times, my dealer can't figure out what I'm talking about.

Thanks for all the anecotes and suggestions! Cheers!
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top