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What to do with my Volt for 10 days when I'm gone?

5544 Views 28 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  JuneBug
I'll be leaving the country for 10 days in June and I'm wondering what I should do with the Volt while I'm gone. None of my family members drive it, so should I just let it sit in the driveway the whole time? Keep it plugged into the EVSE the whole time? I would hate to come back and find the 12V battery dead. I have no garage to keep it in. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Loan it out to me to drive....:)
I had to leave mine at the airport for a week last year. I used Mountain Mode on the way to the airport to ensure I had some charge in the car when I parked. Came back and had no issues. You want to leave some charge in the main battery so the car can use that power to maintain the battery temperatures but other than that there's no problems leaving it unplugged. It's better if you can keep it plugged in however.
I don't think the volt will use the battery to perform temp management without being plugged in. I might be wrong here, but I've never heard whirring when unplugged.
That raises a good question, exactly which Volt systems shut down after several days of the Volt not being driven?

4G LTE Onstar modem - I believe the answer is yes, the LTE modem stops pinging the cell network.

Remote entry and theft alarm - (I hope it stays active)

Thermal management system - Unknown
Fuel pressure system? I hear mine whirring from time to time.
Just leave it plugged in. If you are expecting major thunderstorms and you do not want to take the risk of the remote chance that something could get fried in case of a lightning hit, fully charge it and leave it unplugged.
I personally wouldn't mind my car getting fried in thunderstorm, as long as it really gets fried and totaled. I'd like an excuse to go car shopping again as I only get to buy stuff about once a decade or longer.
Thanks, everyone. I will leave it plugged in with instructions to my family to unplug it if any thunderstorms crop up. I appreciate the advice!
How many times has your house or nearby tree been struck by lightning in your lifetime? Sure, it’s possible, but unlikely. I wouldn’t worry too much about the thunderstorm thing. Otherwise, the truly paranoid would also drive their fleet of cars to a neighboring state during inclement weather and stay in a hotel on the off chance a tornado hits their town. You can’t spend your entire life worrying about what might happen. I venture to guess you are more likely to lose your volt in a fender bender driving it on a daily basis than having it fried by a lightning strike.
A direct strike may be rare but lightning does not have to hit your home directly to damage any electronic equipment that is plugged in at the time. 10 miles away is a safe distance, even 5 miles. Less than 3 miles and you are at some risk. 1 mile or less and you are definitely at risk because a lightning surge can travel through the electrical lines or even through the ground. A direct strike on your home can be catastrophic as it can easily start a fire.
Yet in my 52 year lifetime, I have yet to fry anything electronic due to lightning. I did ruin a laptop once plugging it into a friend's generator where it fried the laptop power supply (generator sputtered, then recovered, over-revving - I should have had the generator plugged into my UPS instead of into a cheap surge protected power strip that obviously didn't protect that surge). The storm caused a tornado which knocked out power for a week, causing me to buy myself a generator after the event.
Because of your experience with winter tires, you should know this better than anyone.
If you always unplug during a storm, you will never get a lightning strike. BUT, the first time you don't unplug, that is when you get the direct hit. Murphy's Law.
I've never unplugged my volt during a storm, but I'm pretty sure I'll never fry the car because I actually want the car to get totaled somehow, (lightning strike, getting t-boned, stolen, whatever) so I can go shopping for a new car without feeling like I'm throwing away a perfectly good vehicle. The fact that I want to replace my car means that it will last forever - that's Murphy's Law working overtime. I feel that far too many people give away their cars (get shafted at dealerships trading them in) far sooner than they need to. Just because the bumper to bumper warranty is gone is no reason to get rid of a car.

You also forgot about my generator story (repeated in at least 2 threads recently). After multiple multi-day power outages in the early 2000s, I purchased a generator that attaches to the 3 point hitch PTO of my compact tractor. Since that purchase, I have yet to experience another multi-day power outage. Second best $600 I ever spent (after my winter tires).
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