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What's plays the biggest factor on the longevity of a used Volt?

  • The year/age

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  • The miles

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Which is better: Buying Gen 1 Volt with low miles OR Gen 2 Volt with high miles?

887 Views 11 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  jdrag
I want to buy a volt in the next month or so,

so which is Better: to buy a gen 1 Volt(2012) with low miles(80,000) for $13K...OR...a newer gen (2018) with same miles (80,000) at $18k?

and more broadly, What plays a bigger factor on the longevity of a vehicle like this? the miles? or the battery age? What should I be looking at in terms or getting a good deal and keeping the car for the longest period of time?

Thanks,
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If BECM, EGR, and Shift switch have been done, the 2018 would be the right choice now, IMO. It may also have a bit of warranty remaining. If you could bargain down the 2012 to under $10G, it may be more tempting then, especially if you can measure good battery health.
 

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I don't know what your finances are like (if the 30% difference stretches you badly), but the 2018 seems like a winner and I think others will pitch in on that. The 2018 should have some warranty left which for many folks is a big deal.

There are also folks here who swear by the theory that these batteries degrade with age more than mileage. My general experience with batteries (broader than this) is that the conditions they are maintained under matters most, but that can be hard to evaluate. GM designed these battery systems very well so they are not easy to overcharge or overdraw or overheat which is a big deal. The number of charge/discharge cycles matters somewhat also, though as long as the charge rates are low (esp. as constrained by level I charging!) that shouldn't matter too much.

There are a few anecdotal stories of very high mileage (>300k) on an original battery without more than gentle degradation.

Since I don't own a GenII I can't speak to the issues I hear of various chronic/frequent problems (EGR, BESM) but a continued warranty might make up for that well.

I also think that the 2012 price you are looking at might be high.... I think I've seen similar offered for closer to 10-11K? I'm not as up on GenII prices.
 

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SeamusW8,

I would go for the Gen2 for sure between the two. Mileage is not a major concern, what all Volt owners do worry about is when the battery takes a dump and battery age is the main determining factor of that, not really mileage if the car was well maintained. Besides the first gen Volt has a higher "geekiness" to it and is more polarizing IMO. That was addressed in the Gen 2 design. I have never owned the gen 1 Volt because I wanted a more conservative, functioning (knob controls), main stream looking car, but that is just a personal preference. If you plan to keep the Volt for 20 years or longer, I would not recommend any Volt because there are no cheap battery replacements available and current sources of new and refurbished packs/cells will probably be exhausted in 10 years but that can always change (a prayer for me and others) On the other side of the coin is GM support and the availability of parts and qualified EV technicians for the Volt with equipment and access to GM proprietary software that keeps our Volts running. I'm loving the tech of my Volt at least until it leaves me stranded, had a major failure at 40k miles on my 2017 that was covered by the Voltec warranty see:


That said the warranty won't last forever and people have been waiting for covered warranty repairs for months in some cases due to parts shortage/availability issues. If you are up for a challenge a second gen Volt would be my choice, but I'm single with another vehicle to get me to work, not everybody is in my situation and some folks are families with one car. Good luck with your decision!

Stephen




I want to buy a volt in the next month or so,

so which is Better: to buy a gen 1 Volt(2012) with low miles(80,000) for $13K...OR...a newer gen (2018) with same miles (80,000) at $18k?

and more broadly, What plays a bigger factor on the longevity of a vehicle like this? the miles? or the battery age? What should I be looking at in terms or getting a good deal and keeping the car for the longest period of time?

Thanks,
 

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Between the two, the Gen2. The miles are pretty much irrelevant for this car. I would want the least calendar aging, and the Gen2 is supposed to have a better battery chemistry.
 

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what's better is posting this in the "? Buying, Selling" forum. Moved.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If BECM, EGR, and Shift switch have been done, the 2018 would be the right choice now, IMO. It may also have a bit of warranty remaining. If you could bargain down the 2012 to under $10G, it may be more tempting then, especially if you can measure good battery health.
Is there any way to see/know if the BECM, EGR, and Shift switch have been done on a used volt?
 

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Ask a nice gm service rep to run the vin through their records, no personal information of course, just repair history. Maybe they'll win future business (wink).
or ask the current owner to request the same for you (and other prospective buyers). I have never bought a car where the previous owner avoided letting me see any records from their mechanic... those who did their own maintenance of course, I had to get a personal reading on, but warranty work should be something easy to find from the dealer.

When my current Volt battery went south soon after I bought it, one dealer had no problem pulling and giving me it's service history (without the car in hand even) and another acted like I was trying to get away with something, I'm not sure why... all I really learned was that the HV latched codes had been cleared for the original owner once before it got traded in and then twice by the woman the trade-in dealer stuck with it (and I bought it from). That was all I needed to know to realize the battery really was gone south... that was before I learned about MGVs batcell feature (maybe before it existed) or I would have used that to evaluate/determine.

I do recommend running MGV against either/both with a full battery and a low battery... looking for acutely bad cells on the low end and large max/min differences. A good test drive for a genI volt would always include running down to 40% with mtn mode on and then after verifying a smooth switchover to ICE, turning it off and letting it run down to "empty" and look for another smooth switchover, a total-kWh used, range, etc evaluated and MGV battcell review. Others here can probably give better numbers on what is healthy (since mine has been limping for a while)...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ask a nice gm service rep to run the vin through their records, no personal information of course, just repair history. Maybe they'll win future business (wink).
I got the Carfax for the 2018 volt, contacted all the dealerships that made any repairs/maintenance on the car to find out if any of them fixed/replaced EGR, BECM, or shift switch issue. none of them did. no issues.

However, looking into these issues further, they don't seem to be too expensive to fix if it did happen, other than the issue of waiting for the part. plus there's still over 10k miles on the voltec warranty.

Considering that plus the $9k in rebates/credit for the car, which brings the 2018 chevy volt with 80k miles down to $9,000 out of pocket. still worth it?
 

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With the Volt, you have to think differently about lifetime value estimates. Like @stevon said, you effectively get ten years (± 2 years) and unlimited miles. It's not the odometer but the calendar that determines vehicle value.

We have over 221,000 event-free miles on our 2014 Gen 1, but the battery is nearing end of life and becoming problematic. There are no new battery packs and the Volt must have a working battery to function. I have zero doubts I can cross 300,000 miles without major mechanical issues, but I'm not sure I can make it to 12 years on the battery.

Gen 2 has a few known issues (EGR, BECM, or shift switch) but appears to also be just as reliable otherwise. Given the choice you presented, I'd absolutely go with Gen 2.
 

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I want to buy a volt in the next month or so,

so which is Better: to buy a gen 1 Volt(2012) with low miles(80,000) for $13K...OR...a newer gen (2018) with same miles (80,000) at $18k?

and more broadly, What plays a bigger factor on the longevity of a vehicle like this? the miles? or the battery age? What should I be looking at in terms or getting a good deal and keeping the car for the longest period of time?

Thanks,
I have a 2015 Volt for sale on GM-volt.com with 65,870 miles like new. Original owner, look it up and contact me.
 
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