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Last night I started a thread about my scary experience when I accidentally shutdown the Volt on a dark road. A couple of things I said in that thread were either vague or (unintentionally) inaccurate as shown in the test I just completed. Here is what happened when I "accidentally" shutdown the Volt:

1. The headlamps went off, as did the driver information center, except for a warning to push the power button.
2. The radio stayed on and was illuminated.
3. I immediately pushed the power button which restored the driver information center and the speed readout.
4. I shifted into neutral.
5. I pushed the power button again and the car was restored to full power.
6. I shifted into drive and did not need to stop.

Not all of this is apparent on the video since I was concentrating and not able to provide exact narration. It used to be we were encouraged to practice correcting for skids in icy parking lots. Since this appears not to harm the Volt, you might want to practice it yourself. At least it might take away the surprise factor a bit if this ever happens to you. I apologize for stating in my first thread that the headlamps stayed on. They did not. All I can figure is that I hit the power button again so quickly that it didn't register with me that anything but the motor had gone off at all. The Volt continued to handle normally throughout this -- braking and steering seemed unchanged, although I was driving in a straight line, so this may need further verification.

(If this video disappears from YouTube it may be because a copyrighted song is playing on the radio. I left the radio on so I could test what happened, not thinking about the copyright issue. The song is "Stubborn Love" by the Lumineers if anyone cares.)

 

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Nicely done!

A little more frantic at 45mph in heavy traffic but this may prove helpful to ppl. Isn't much different than a typical automatic vehicle for restarting though stalling the Volt in unsuspecting situations can cause momentary panic for sure. Just remember N and hit the blue button. I guess the part that was unfamiliar for me was that there is no sound of stalling. Everything just goes dead. Remember the blue button will not be lit when the car shuts off; something I think GM might consider.
 

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What will happen on a regular car if you remove the keys while driving -I always wonder if the steering wheel locks at an angle like it does when you are parked ?

Thanks for the video. All dealers need to mention to new volt owner how to handle a shutdown while driving and to only change drive mode when not moving as they learn to use the controls.
 

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What will happen on a regular car if you remove the keys while driving -I always wonder if the steering wheel locks at an angle like it does when you are parked ?
A "regular" car will not let you remove the key and lock the steering wheel unless the vehicle is in Park. Vehicles have been recalled because the linkage or mechanism was out of adjustment and the key could be removed / steering wheel locked without being in Park. It also causes roll-away issues when the key is removed in "D". On the Volt, I know an owner who turned off the Volt and left it in "L". (It ran down the 12V battery). The chimes will go off when the door is opened, but there is the potential roll-away issue. I've been in a habit (over the past 40 years, including when I had a manual transmission) of always using the park brake. There has been at least one incident, not in the Volt, when I started to get out of the car leaving it in D (auto door locks help now) with the engine running, and the park brake saved me.
 

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A "regular" car will not let you remove the key and lock the steering wheel unless the vehicle is in Park. Vehicles have been recalled because the linkage or mechanism was out of adjustment and the key could be removed / steering wheel locked without being in Park. It also causes roll-away issues when the key is removed in "D". On the Volt, I know an owner who turned off the Volt and left it in "L". (It ran down the 12V battery). The chimes will go off when the door is opened, but there is the potential roll-away issue. I've been in a habit (over the past 40 years, including when I had a manual transmission) of always using the park brake. There has been at least one incident, not in the Volt, when I started to get out of the car leaving it in D (auto door locks help now) with the engine running, and the park brake saved me.
I've driven many ICE cars that allows you to remove the key after you start the engine and the car is in motion. There is actually no need for the key after you start the car and the motor is running unless you want to turn off the car and in that case, simply put the key back in and turn the car off. Very helpful especially if you kept your glove box closed and your passenger, usually your spouse, is looking for documents, money for toll fee, sunglasses or other "misplaced" items. You dont need to stop and turn off the car to use the key to open the "locked" glove compartment.
 

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Here is what happened when I "accidentally" shutdown the Volt:

1. The headlamps went off, as did the driver information center, except for a warning to push the power button.
This seems like it could make a potentially dangerous situation worse. I assume it's a "feature" for the lights to turn off when you turn off the car?
 

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I've driven many ICE cars that allows you to remove the key after you start the engine and the car is in motion. There is actually no need for the key after you start the car and the motor is running unless you want to turn off the car and in that case, simply put the key back in and turn the car off. Very helpful especially if you kept your glove box closed and your passenger, usually your spouse, is looking for documents, money for toll fee, sunglasses or other "misplaced" items. You dont need to stop and turn off the car to use the key to open the "locked" glove compartment.
Oh, is this a car built in the last 50 years? Not too many have locking glove boxes anymore, and who locks them anyhow? And it's probably not a Toyota, given the publicity of unwanted accelerations where the owner couldn't figure how to turn the vehicle off. Yeah right, if one needs to turn the vehicle off in an emergency, they simply look for the key and turn it off. I would bet none of those cars is a GM car. OK, I remember when they had the lever on the steering column that needed to be actuated to allow the driver to remove the key (to avoid the expensive linkage to the transmission), someone could do a stupid and remove the key and lock the steering wheel while they were driving, but it would take effort (like double punching the drive mode button?)
 

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Just to clarify, once the Volt is shut down, is it necessary to follow the exact procedure that you did to turn it back on? i.e.:

1. Press power button once
2. Shift to Neutral
3. Press power button a 2nd time
(?)

Or can it be a different sequence? e.g., Shift to Neutral first, then press the power button once or twice?

Thanks.
 

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Or can it be a different sequence? e.g., Shift to Neutral first, then press the power button once or twice?
From the MY2012 owner's manual, page 9-21:

"If the vehicle must be restarted while it is still moving, move the shift lever to N (Neutral) and press the power button twice without pressing the brake pedal."
 

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Just to clarify, once the Volt is shut down, is it necessary to follow the exact procedure that you did to turn it back on? i.e.:

1. Press power button once
2. Shift to Neutral
3. Press power button a 2nd time
(?)

Or can it be a different sequence? e.g., Shift to Neutral first, then press the power button once or twice?

Thanks.
Found in the manual. How would have thought.

Restarting Procedure

If the vehicle must be restarted while it is still moving, move the shift lever to N (Neutral) and press the POWER button twice without pressing the brake pedal. The propulsion system will not restart in any other position.
 

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From the MY2012 owner's manual, page 9-21:

"If the vehicle must be restarted while it is still moving, move the shift lever to N (Neutral) and press the power button twice without pressing the brake pedal."
I was beginning to think that I was the only one to get a manual with my Volt. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
@Eric, TSquare, JSMay311

I would suggest following what the manual says, of course. In my experiment I was able to restore the lights and the DIC by pushing the power button again (a third time, I guess) BEFORE shifting into neutral. However, I could not restart the car without putting it in neutral. As you will note in the video, this all happened rather quickly and the car was very smoothly put back in its full power state.

Of course this is very different from having a shutdown in heavy traffic at 65 mph or on a dark, winding road. How many people are going to remember the procedure outlined in the manual? I had actually read the manual, but the only thing I remembered exactly was to put the Volt into neutral. That's why I think it might be a good idea to practice this procedure if you can do so safely.
 
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