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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I've been wanting an EV since I was a kid and the only options were DIY lead acid powered slugs. My wife and I have had 3 hybrids ('06 Escape, '00 Insight, and '05 Prius) that all treated us well, but I still wanted more. I've been interested in the Volt for a few years, as the ~40 miles of EV range for regular driving and the ICE for trips would work well for us.

We finally pulled the trigger on a pearl white 2013 Volt with 97k miles last week. It's amazing how much nicer it is to drive than the Prius, so smooth and quiet, and so much quicker. It was a fleet car, so only about 14k of those miles are EV and the lifetime average was 40.9MPG. It came with fairly new Goodyear Assurance all seasons (non-LRR) that I've pumped up to the high 40s (depending on temperature). The guess-o-meter usually shows 42 miles and the gas-only mileage has been 40-41MPG on a couple highway trips.

Anything I should look out for before the 100k mile warranty is up? I'm not sure if I'm just being paranoid, but it sounds like the motor bearing might be making noise. Is there any way I could be mistaking the inverter/motor whine? It seems a lot quieter than the video in the bearing failure FAQs and I only really hear it below 10-15MPH, but it sounds like a table saw.
 

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From what I've garnered the failed motor bearing is pretty loud. My '13 (same color as yours BTW) makes the same inverter whine below about 10-15 mph, louder when braking or in L (more regen being produced). I also hear a slight whine when starting out. Typical of AC drive systems. Be sure the electric heat works! Mine's always been fine, but others have had issues. You can visit any GM dealer and have them run a VIN check to see if all recalls and TSB's have been done. There's only a few. I've refused to have the "unintentional engine running" one done, as, IMHO, it's more of a nuisance than a fix, and I like to be able to lock my car with it on when I run into the store for a minute, or get out to check the mail. Welcome to the forum! Volts are great cars.
 

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My passenger side wheel bearing went out last month. It made a growling noise and changed to a whine at high speeds. It cost about $450 to have the dealer replace it.
 

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You can visit any GM dealer and have them run a VIN check to see if all recalls and TSB's have been done. There's only a few.
Great advice. Also, FYI, according to the owner's manual, at 90,000 miles, the transmission fluid was due to be changed. Did you get documentation/receipts showing that was done? At 97,500 you're supposed to change spark plugs and at 5 years (which you are quickly approaching) you'll need to replace all of the coolant (engine, battery, and electronic.) Being a former fleet vehicle, I wouldn't count on anything above and beyond oil changes being done on it and you can't count on the dealer doing any of that before resell.
 

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My passenger side wheel bearing went out last month. It made a growling noise and changed to a whine at high speeds. It cost about $450 to have the dealer replace it.
Is that a normal price to replace wheel bearings these days, or does the Volt have special needs such as disassembling the whole car to get at the bearing? <grins>
 

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Main advice is not to let dealers try to force unneeded expensive fixes on you. Try multiple dealers and be prepared to drive extra distance.
The regular stuff can be done anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks everyone! Definitely going to take it to a dealer this week to check on recalls and see what they think about the bearing (I'm thinking it is just the inverter whine). No maintenance records, I guess it's pretty hit-and-miss when it comes to fleet cars. I need to remove the engine cover and see if I can tell if the spark plugs have been replaced, but I was planning on getting to them soon. I forgot about the transmission fluid, I'll have to get on that, too.

I did almost all of what little maintenance my Prius has needed over the 50k miles I've had it. I plan on doing what I can on the Volt, but unfortunately it looks like a lot of the electronics stuff pretty much requires a dealer. Hopefully it all decides to last a long time.
 

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I did almost all of what little maintenance my Prius has needed over the 50k miles I've had it. I plan on doing what I can on the Volt, but unfortunately it looks like a lot of the electronics stuff pretty much requires a dealer. Hopefully it all decides to last a long time.
It's likely to.

It's a combination of "requires a dealer" for module flashing, how fiddly some of the things are to deal with (like bleeding coolant requires signalling pumps to initiate a special pumping sequence to get all the bubbles out), and "Well, it's just TIME if you go to a dealer, not cost" because so much is warranteed. Most Volts, even early ones, are nowhere near out of their warranty on the Voltec bits, and that's mostly what people ask about.
 
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