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Discussion Starter #1
Having just returned from a trip to Waterloo and back (about 1200 km) in messy, cold, slushy conditions, I used the windshield washer quite a bit. Coming into Tweed on my way home this afternoon, I needed to clear the windshield for the several hundredth time, but the reservoir was dry. There was no warning on the previous wash, and not even a dribble on this one. I stopped in Tweed and put an entire jug of fluid in the reservoir, and carried on. When I got home I checked the online manual, and found no reference to a level warning indicator. Am I missing something, or is there no low-level warning for washer fluid?

I can't remember having a car since my 1976 Rabbit that didn't have a level warning. That includes an Audi, 2 VWs, 3 Subarus, and a Mazda. It seems incredible to me that the Volt would not have something so basic.

I may as well also mention that the drive outbound was into a hefty headwind at -20c. I got terrible fuel economy - about 6.7 l/100 km (about 35 mpg) instead of the usual 5.4 (43) that I got on the same route and speeds home at -3c.
 

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I thought there is a warning, but maybe not, I don't see a mention of one in your 2014 manual. Regardless, I check my fluid levels monthly (as suggested by the manual) and top off as needed.

Engine oil and windshield washer fluid levels should be checked at every fuel fill.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Steverino, one can easily go through an entire 4l jug on a trip such as I just did in these conditions. Although I didn't check before the trip, the car was just in for a tire rotation and the dealer tops up the fluids.

Miceg3, I doubt that was the problem. It was only -3 today (about 28F.) The online manual for both the 2014 and 2015 has no mention of a level warning light. It just says to top up monthly.
 

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I got a washer fluid low warning on my 2011 Volt. Did your sensor arm freeze up in -4F weather?
GM has apprently changed something for the worse. My 2011 (and the 2012's) does indeed have a low fluid warning message, but the 2014 apparently does not.

The 2011 Manual:
Adding Washer Fluid
The WASHER FLUID LOW ADD
FLUID message will appear on
the Driver Information Center
(DIC) when the fluid level is low
The same section in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Manual:
Adding Washer Fluid
Open the cap with the washer symbol on it. Add washer fluid until the tank is full.
 

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I believe the sensor was removed in 2013. I check my levels regularly, but this one is impossible to check. The reservoir is big, I think it will hold a gallon, but there is no way to check the level except to add fluid until you see it in the neck.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for confirming that I'm not just missing the obvious. Given the unusually large reservoir capacity I suppose it isn't that big a deal. I just have to remember to top up before driving long distances in these conditions. I may also get back into my old habit of carrying a spare jug.
 

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With a reservoir as large as it is (4+L), you'd have to try really hard to run dry. If you're going on a long drive or know a snowstorm is coming, top up and good to go.

My last car didn't have a sensor and also a similarly large tank, never ran dry in 9 years of ownership :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was trying really hard to see out of the car for 8 hours on Friday, 3 of which were while essentially stopped in Toronto rush-hour traffic with transports all around me. When one considers a low-level warning to be part of any modern car, running out of fluid isn't the first concern that comes to mind. Especially when a transport truck is losing parts that one has to avoid once traffic starts moving again.

At least I won't have to worry about my wife taking the car from me. In her books, this is at least the third strike against the Volt. She also complains about the rear seat headroom (she's been in the back seat twice) and the front seat legroom. I don't understand that one, she's about 5'-4". The sound of the engine when in CS mode bothers her (it's no worse than her MB 230, but what do I know, my ears are older than hers). She also misses the Jesus bar, and on that one I have to agree with her. It means I have to drive even more gently when she's in the car!
 

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I guess the importance of this also depends on the kind of person you are.
Some people must drink the stuff, use a jug a week.
I use less than a jug a year.
 

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I top off the tank if I don't see any when looking into the neck.
 

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Correct, no low fluid warning on my 2013, and not easy to check. My Leaf had a clever check system. There was a clear plastic hose connected to the washer reservoir lid with a little hole in the top of the lid. You put your finger over the hole before removing the cap, and the washer fluid level would be indicated by the level of washer fluid in the hose! I thought it was a clever (and cheap) way to provide a check system. Wonder if Leaf washer lids will fit a Volt?
 

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Jesus bar! I love it. Never heard it called that. Conversely, our Camry hybrid has one for the driver too! That one puzzles me.........
 

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Wasn't the washer fluid sensor wiring on the 2011 and 2012 models repurposed for the low battery coolant sensor as part of the battery safety enhancement? I have to check on my 2012 if it still works.

Also isn't that function mandatory in Canada? I remember my 2008 Honda CR-V didn't have it, but the Canadian models did and it pissed me off.
 

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I've had two vehicles that had it, and I'm glad the Volt doesn't. It's really annoying when the light flickers on and off as I corner, just because it's running low, but not low enough to warrant filling yet. And living on a mountain road means unless I keep it over 50% full, it'll constantly flicker. It's bad enough the TC kicks in simply due to one tire rotating faster than the other mid-corner, even when there's no loss of traction, lol. At least that can be turned off.

But, in the OP's situation, a sensor would've been quite helpful. It is rather annoying to have to constantly keep tabs on that stuff, especially when you can't even see the whole reservoir. Plus, who wants to be out in the freezing cold any longer than necessary, lol.
 

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See, when they cut costs of a vehicle to help it sell, they don't do so without cutting costs elsewhere. I imagine the fluid sensor was victim to the $5000 price cuts or however much they were. I was annoyed that mine froze up the other day, but mine is a car from Florida so guessing they didn't have cold enough rated washer fluid installed. I should top it off with some cold rated stuff so it doesn't freeze again.

I was afraid I was out of washer fluid in my 2012 the other day, and afraid it didn't have a sensor. That might annoy me if it didn't (for price class it should have one). However, I wouldn't really care one way or the other, just nice to have a reminder to fill it. Even my 1980s cars had these though, so it does seem odd that a 30 year newer car wouldn't. I figured they were standard now.
 
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