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I am new to the Volt and wondering what tips owners have for operating in high temperatures. Do you always want to run the a/c or is the automatic fan system enough for cooling the systems if temperatures get above 100 degrees F? I try not to run the a/c often I will put windows down and let the breeze cool me off since I do not live in a humid area it does not bother me the dry heat. On freeways I will use the ECO a/c option.

Thank you and sorry if this is a repeat. I've searched and found old discussions but not specific and in the faqs only about operating tips in cold weather.
 

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I am new to the Volt and wondering what tips owners have for operating in high temperatures. Do you always want to run the a/c or is the automatic fan system enough for cooling the systems if temperatures get above 100 degrees F? I try not to run the a/c often I will put windows down and let the breeze cool me off since I do not live in a humid area it does not bother me the dry heat. On freeways I will use the ECO a/c option.

Thank you and sorry if this is a repeat. I've searched and found old discussions but not specific and in the faqs only about operating tips in cold weather.
Easy to answer. I almost exclusively drive with the window down. First, the Volt takes care of itself. It has its own system to help cool the battery. You do not have to be running the AC to make it work or help keep the battery cool. Here is what WILL happen though. If it is hot enough outside (usually around 90 or above) the Volt will run the AC to cool the battery. When this happens, you will notice cold air coming from the vents even though you may have the AC off. When this happens, you might as well roll up the windows and enjoy the cool air regardless. Sometimes, I still leave the windows down and just let it blow the cold air. Anyway, that is it. Easy...
 

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Plus if you run with the windows open and have a gen1, you might want to see if the dealership will install the anti-buffetting kit so your eardrums don't get pounded by persistent hammering. My volt was horrible until they installed them. I got it for free, they only put in the deflectors on the driver door in front of the window, not the modified mirror caps, but it works. the only time this doesn't work is if there happens to be a 10-20 mph cross wind which causes the deflected air to get pushed back to the windows and cause buffeting. this rarely happens, but when it happens I just roll up the windows and turn on the air. I've stopped trying to hypermile and squeeze every mile of EV out of my car. After 2 years of driving like a grandpa, I throw caution to the wind and just drive. I wish I started earlier as it's much more relaxing not trying to play the mileage game.
 

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You have a '13, correct? I do also and when you say "tips" I assume you mean maximum efficiency. Here are a couple from my experience (keep in mind that I aim for max EV range most days since my commute is 56+ miles round trip, so I am always using hold, etc.):

--Make sure the fan settings under config is on "LOW" for auto setting and turn off "auto-defog."

--If driving mostly alone, aim the closest three dash vents (two on driver, one on passenger side) towards yourself so low fan speed is still cooling (also make sure only these vents are receiving air, I close the other passenger side vent next to the window--it ensures higher airflow at low fan speed)

--Keep an eye on the "climate" percentage on the screen--anything below around 25% has lower impact on range and there is no point in sweating unnecessarily

--Although you can manually adjust the fan speed to comfort, I generally will just leave the fan speed on "auto" and adjust temperature up or down to keep it in the 25% range.

--Finally, if you've been parked unplugged in the sun for a period of time, your car will run its cooling system for the battery on startup and there is nothing you can do about it. You know this is happening because you'll hear the whine of the A/C, your kWh usage will display 4 or more on the power meter, and you'll get cool air from the vents even if on "fan only." This can be an energy hog when this happens so you can either (1) run it on fan only until the cycle completes or (2) put it in hold mode during this time to wait for the battery to be cooled, usually about 15 minutes or so (if you are planning on using gas anyway for your trip). I don't use option 2 that much because I only will use an extra mile or two from the process, but it's still something to consider if trying to squeeze every bit of EV range. This cycle is very annoying when you've parked with 5 or so miles and only have a few miles left for a gas-free trip! If you don't park in the sun, this doesn't happen as often.

--One final thing, if you're not far from home or your next destination, you'll continue to get cool air from the vents for a bit if you've already been running the A/C so I usually go to "fan only" when 5 or 10 minutes from my destination.

Hope this helps!
 

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Well maybe at low speed I'd consider opening the windows. At highway speeds you're better off with the window up and the AC on. If you want to sweat and hyper-mile, drive with the windows up and the AC off...

Parked and sitting out in the heat, you could unlock and roll the windows down as you're going out to the car. If plugged in you can remote start and pre-cool the car...
 

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I live in Texas. There is no point in getting heat stroke to save a few cents. My HVAC is set to 74F year round. I liberally use cabin precondition as well. And yet my lifetime mpg is ~3x fleet average.

I think there is a mythbuster episode showing windows up as being more efficient. I don't like the noise and dust, so, window down for needs only.
 

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I live in Texas. There is no point in getting heat stroke to save a few cents. My HVAC is set to 74F year round. I liberally use cabin precondition as well. And yet my lifetime mpg is ~3x fleet average.

I think there is a mythbuster episode showing windows up as being more efficient. I don't like the noise and dust, so, window down for needs only.
The Volt does so much better efficiency-wise than the compact car I replaced, it seems rather silly to put up with discomfort just to squeeze a tiny bit more.

Yes, Mythbusters demonstrated that AC on and window up was more efficient at highway speeds.
 

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I run the A/C on my Gen 2 anytime it's over 90 degrees. I have it set on 72 degrees and run it on Eco. I usually have it in the garage and will start it before I leave to cool the cabin. It was 94 out today and I was still on pace to get 65 miles on the charge (after a 56 mile round trip) running the A/C the whole time.

I have my windshield tinted 70% with 3M Crystalline. It makes a big difference. I can instantly tell the difference when I get in our Acadia. Highly recommend it after a couple weeks of 90+ temps.
 

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Many great tips, but I have to stress venting the cabin before I turn on the AC. ECO set to 72 to 74 does a good job except when temps approach the high nineties. Like it has been here in St Louis lately. Cross triple digits and just suck it up and take the range hit and go MAX COMFORT mode.

But window tint and venting the cabin are the two best things you can do.
 

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I am new to the Volt and wondering what tips owners have for operating in high temperatures. Do you always want to run the a/c or is the automatic fan system enough for cooling the systems if temperatures get above 100 degrees F? I try not to run the a/c often I will put windows down and let the breeze cool me off since I do not live in a humid area it does not bother me the dry heat. On freeways I will use the ECO a/c option.
It's a car!

Drive it as you would every other car you've owned.

As to your health; your signature says that you're in NV. Heed this warning from your neighbors to the east: http://www.wpsdlocal6.com/story/32257197/at-117-phoenix-heat-breaks-record-for-june-19

Don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. [Said with kindness and without snark]
 

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I'm not sure if anyone actually gave the window dropping instructions yet, but pressing and holding the unlock button on the key fob will drop all your windows. Then pressing lock then pressing and holding remote start will start the car and start the AC so by the time you get to the car, it isn't blowing hot air at you. I can live with Eco, but my kids insist on comfort.
 

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How about getting one of those folding windshield sun-shades, instead of tinting? That won't help while driving, of course, but should make the car cooler when it's been sitting in an exposed parking lot.
 

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Around town I prefer windows down and AC off, even if 95 and humid. I only turn on AC on Highway or if other people in the car. I prefer this as it makes a warmer set point in my house feel more comfortable.

As for the Volt, it could care less and condition the battery as appropriate.
 

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A lot of the same rules in gas cars apply to the Volt. It is more economical to roll down the windows while in town and to roll them up and use AC when on the highway.

If your commute is well within the EV range, I'd honestly say just use the AC all you want. Your Volt will borrow the AC compressor to cool off its battery anyways, so you might as well make full use of it.
 

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I have a 24 mile commute and can charge at home and at work. My car is set to be as comfy as possible. I try to precondition if I remember.
 

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Tinted windows definitely help and usually the first thing I do to any car I have purchased. Luckily mine is usually parked in a garage at work or home so that helps as well but I do need to pick up one of those front windshield reflector deals. Now that its 90+ outside I need to remember it has remote start and as someone mentioned you can roll down the windows before you get in (which was new news to me so thanks). I am one of those that doesn't worry about range to much so mine is on comfort and 70 temps settings so I get nice and cool. My other car is a newer 7 passenger SUV and the AC in the Volt seems to work very well and get the car cold in a hurry which is nice (probably due to its smaller size) compared to the SUV so no complaints there
 

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How long is that tint supposed to last before it starts flaking/peeling off?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you everyone for the helpful suggestions and tips. I do only keep the windows down when driving in town. On highway speeds the windows are up. I plan on getting window tint soon, and use a visor for the windshield when parked.

I was not sure if using the ac was important but the Volt takes care of itself which is nice to know.

One more question, my garage is very hot at night when the car is charging, can this be a problem? Or does it not matter and the car will still take care of itself even when shut off and charging?
 
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