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Hi All,

I am planning a trip to Big Bear, CA (I currently live in LA, CA) in January, and i would like to know what are your thoughts or experiences driving up the mountain, in some cases snow-y conditions?

Is the car powerful enough to pull through? should i use my other car which is very well suited for this trip?

I just want to use the volt but i am kind of worried about it being under-powered, or not being able to pull through if it snows (light).

Any thoughts or experiences are much appreciated.

Thanks
 

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It's a 150 HP FWD PHEV, regardless of altitude, (unlike some limited PHEV's that rely on the gasser for power and lose it as you go up).

What more do you want?:confused:

Get a set of real Winter Tires if you want to feel invincible!
 

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There's a Youtube video of a guy going up "the smasher" on the Coquihalla featured in TV show on heavy rescue Highway Thru Hell. Some newspaper automotive writer said the Volt wouldn't be strong enough to go up it so he made this video of him going up in MM passing everything in sight up to 153 Kph then slowed down because he didn't want to get a speeding ticket. I myself have been surprised going up the Malahat passing cars and trucks that are struggling. This is all in summer. Winter won't be much different and even be better because of smooth power delivery, of course going up snowy mountain roads in winter you should have winter tires on (especially if they are mandated like they are on some roads).
 

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There's a Youtube video of a guy going up "the smasher" on the Coquihalla featured in TV show on heavy rescue Highway Thru Hell. Some newspaper automotive writer said the Volt wouldn't be strong enough to go up it so he made this video of him going up in MM passing everything in sight up to 153 Kph then slowed down because he didn't want to get a speeding ticket.
Dis guy... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTWea-C0IW8
 

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Yah, that's the one. I usually don't put in links as it behoves one to know how to do a search on YouTube if they are interested. :p
 

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Put it in Mountain mode and don't worry about it. Snow is no more of a problem than for any other FWD car with all-seasons. If you regularly drive in snow, get a set of winter tires. If not, just make sure you've got decent tread depth remaining. TBH, I'd take a FWD car with winter tires any day in the snow over an AWD vehicle with all-seasons.
 

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The Volt will climb easily (especially in mountain mode) and handle light snow as well or better than any regular FWD car, but if your other car happens to be AWD and/or has raised clearance, that would give you an advantage if you encounter more snow or ice than you expect.
 

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Put it in Mountain mode and don't worry about it. Snow is no more of a problem than for any other FWD car with all-seasons. If you regularly drive in snow, get a set of winter tires. If not, just make sure you've got decent tread depth remaining. TBH, I'd take a FWD car with winter tires any day in the snow over an AWD vehicle with all-seasons.
I wouldn't. There where times when I couldn't get up my driveway in a front wheel drive Colt with chains but never had any problem going up it in my 4WD Tercel Wagon with all season. For those that don't know the Tercel doesn't have fancy shmancy limited slip but all four wheels are locked (to be used on gravel and snow only).
 

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.... For those that don't know the Tercel doesn't have fancy shmancy limited slip but all four wheels are locked (to be used on gravel and snow only).
Just to nit-pik,, I don't think it locked the front and rear differentials left - right.
The most that extra lever did was lock the diffs front - rear, which would mean you'd have at least one front and one rear wheel spin.

I had an Audi Quattro 5000 which had 2 position knob and vacuum servos which locked the rear diff left - right and then locked the front - rear. So at the most you'd have 3 wheels locked together.
 

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Just to nit-pik,, I don't think it locked the front and rear differentials left - right.
The most that extra lever did was lock the diffs front - rear, which would mean you'd have at least one front and one rear wheel spin.

I had an Audi Quattro 5000 which had 2 position knob and vacuum servos which locked the rear diff left - right and then locked the front - rear. So at the most you'd have 3 wheels locked together.
No it locked the left & right ones as well, if you tried to turn on pavement you could feel the difficulty in turning through the steering wheel where one wheel had to skid because they were locked. Whether it locked the back ones left/right I'm not sure. Just know that when I went up the Malahat with a foot+ of snow there was no wheel spin. The only other vehicle I saw on the high traffic road that day was a high lift truck with huge off road tires.
 

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Been to Big Bear several times in our Gen 1 Volt. Put it in hold mode as soon as you’ve used 50% of the battery regardless of whether you are actually to the mountains yet. Then switch to MM when you get to the I-10 cut off. You will have plenty of power. Good tires would certainly be wise. The Volt is extremely well balanced, which is a huge improvement over most FWD cars. Enjoy Big Bear!

BTW, if you enjoy unique dining, try the Himilayan Restaurant. And, their zoo is loads of fun!
 

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I used to live in the San Bernardino mountains near Big Bear. As far as power , the first 15 miles of climbing are the toughest , but I've done it with a 60 hp Volkswagen , so the Volt will do just fine. Actually , your car will do better than most because of the tremendous amount of low rpm torque of the electric motor. If you use hold mode , you should have plenty of juice to get to the 8,000 ft. peak. Use normal mode on the way down and you will regenerate energy .

The light snow should not be a problem . There are many worse cars that do it every day. The worse part will be if there is ice on the road while desending the sharp curves on the return home. Make sure you keep it in low and brake well before the curves.
 

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You are absolutely incorrect. As an ASE master tech and having built my own lifted 84 Tercel 4wd wagon. It only locks the transfer case which makes front and rear drive shafts turn at same speed. This is termed part time 4WD with open differentials. You will experienced that binding you are talking about anytime you make a turnon pavement, especially a sharp turn in a traditional part time 4wd vehicle with open diffs. It's because the rear axle travels a shorter arc, circle then the front axle in a turn.
 
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