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Hi guys,

From Canada here (so will work with KM), I have had my Volt 2017 for 3 months now, registered 10,000km on it already, running at 2L/100km.

I was below 1L/100km until I went down to Boston and then road tripped threw East Canada for a total of 3500km in 12 days.

I must say like a lot of owners, I love it and everything has been going smoothly for the most part. Until the last road trip.

Running 1L/100km for my first 7500km approx didn't make me use the generator all that much, mostly to end some travels, rarely for long travels at the same time. Until just this week.

I kind of screwed up and got afraid. I didn't really get to use all the modes yet and didn't really research them. I had fun running on 'sport' and most of the time I run on 'normal'. I used 'hold' a bit, but not really that much.. and never used 'mountain'.

So this is where I stressed out a bit/screwed up and I am wondering if I might have damaged the generator, or not.

I arrive at a mountain, it is about 5km to climb it, pretty steep. I have 0 battery. I am there, sitting with the girlfriend and say, hmm. Mountain mode, mountain in front of me.. let's try this. So I put it in mountain mode, with 0% battery. First 3.5km, the generator seems to be running hard, I do not have that much power but hey, it's a steep hill. Then comes the smell. Not smoke, not heat... a complete fire smell, right in the nose, as if we could swear, something was literally burning.

We were the only ones on the road, I instantly stop the car, put the hand break, exit the car, both of us. We could have bet something was on fire.

Wait about 1 minute, everything seems fine.. pop the hood, everything seems fine. The smell is also gone, there is no smoke, no sign of heating, everything seems normal when the hood is open... no steam, no nothing.

We wait for about 15 minutes, we were pretty stressed.

We restart the car, I go on normal and I climb the last 1km being very careful and everything is fine.

I then read up about mountain, and understand why this happened, I know understand the use of mountain, my mistake.

That was day 2 of the 7 day road trip where the generator was going to be used a lot.

After that day, everytime I used the generator, I felt it was a lot noisier than it was before, maybe paranoia but I really felt it was working too hard, every time it had to work, felt something was off, in my first 7500km, each time it kicked in, I could barely hear it, now even on flat land, it seemed loud. Not 'loud' but noisy. I tracked the cooling liquid temperature we have in the dashboard options.. historically, I recall it being about 89-90 celcius (195 Fahrenheit or something)... now it was always going to 105 celcius (221 Fahrenheit), staying there for about 1 minute, and cooling off to 90 celcius (195 F)... then going back up to 105, staying there 1 minute, then going back down... all day around.. I never noticed that before.

I was confused and concerned, about the temperature swings which I felt odd and never noticed before and also by the noise, as if it couldn't shift, as if the RPM was running too high, even on 'easy land'... could I have damaged it?

Just to repeat myself, it isn't that noisy, it's just far more noisier than it previously was... my girlfriend was saying... the noise reminds me of an ICE vehicule, maybe a bit quieter but still, it's being noisy, is it supposed to be like that, she was asking?

So anyhow, I love the car and hope I didn't damage it by having it run way too hard on mountain mode while going up a mountain. The 'fire' smell was really something, we could have bet or sweared there was a fire, the smell was that accurate, the precise. And then, the rest of the trip, the generator seemed off, odd.

Is there anything I can do to test if everything is fine?
Do you think everything is fine or it should be checked out?
False alarm or real concern?
Is the temperature fluctuation of the cooling system simply standard? And I have never noticed before? Or is something going on?


Thanks guys
 

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It's fine. The smell was from various surfaces on the outside of the engine, transmission and exhaust system just getting hot for the first time. It happens more gradually in a conventional car but in the Volt it tends to happen in a more concentrated way when the engine is running harder and hotter because the engine doesn't get a chance to heat up those areas tootling around in city driving. Every Volt smells that way the first few times the engine runs harder. The engine will only run within the rpm and stress levels that it is designed to handle. Now that you were traumatized a bit you are understandably paranoid about things but it's very likely that it's running normally and you are just being extra attuned to engine noises that you used to ignore.
 

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Has the coolant level been checked? Temp fluctuations could indicate bubbles in the coolant or low level.

And yes, my 2013 had that hot engine smell the first couple times it ran. ELR had 200+ miles on it so I didn't experience that with her.

Both engines were noticeably quieter after the first oil change. I am an advocate of doing the first oil change earlier than recommended. Both were done at ~3000mi on gas.
 

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You totally misunderstand how Mountain Mode is supposed to work. I suggest reading the manual before your next trip.

From the online manual (bolding mine):

Mountain Mode should be selected at the beginning of a trip before climbing steep, uphill grades and when expecting to drive in very hilly or mountainous terrain. This mode maintains a reserve electrical charge of the high voltage battery to provide better grade climbing performance. While driving in Mountain Mode, the vehicle will have less responsive acceleration.

If steep hill driving is expected, it is recommended to select Mountain Mode at least 20 minutes before driving on steep grades. This will allow the vehicle time to build a sufficient battery charge reserve.

If Mountain Mode is not selected for these conditions, propulsion power may be reduced and the engine speed may increase.
 

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My suggestion would be that, if you are going on a road trip, put it in Hold Mode at the start of the trip. This gives you the entire battery to use as a buffer for climbing & accelerating and when you arrive at your destination you can switch back to Normal Mode and drive silently on the city streets.
 

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Since it's under warranty, I'd take it to the dealer and demonstrate what you're experiencing. They may have to go along for a ride with you.

Be aware that some dealers are challenged by servicing the Volt. They may have only one or two trained Volt technicians with limited experience. Keep the number for the Canadian Volt Advisor handy. They can be helpful at facilitating service for you.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?249778-How-to-contact-Volt-advisor
 

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I did the same (dumb) thing with my Gen 1, including reduced power as I crested the long, long hill out of Bishop, CA. No ill effects at all.
You really can't hurt Volt running gear as long as you have no warning indicators trying to get your attention.
 

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All normal. The coolant temps are fine, and the observed fluctuation is the thermostat opening and closing, combined with closed loop fan controls.
This is exactly why a vague gauge is preferential to a digital readout, people don't need know what is really happening.

My advice?

"Just Drive and Smile"
WOT
 
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