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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm WalterC from a very cold windy place in Mass looking at switching from a Fit to a Volt. I've just become aware of Volts and my next car will likely be a volt instead of a Prius. I'll either buy ASAP or wait till spring or summer.

Is the included 120 VAC charger OK plugged into outdoor plug in heavy rain or snow? I don't have a garage, but have a 120VAC outdoor plug next to where I park. It can be very, very windy, especially in the winter. My concerns are all the connections getting wet in rain, or in winter having the port on the Volt getting stuffed with snow when charging in windblown snow. Eventually I would install a 240VAC plug.

I get a lot of snow and drifting. I've had some problems with ground clearance with my Honda Fit (most of the plastic panels under the car have been ripped off). I'll be putting a smoother driveway and I have someone plowing the driveway, but I'll sometimes be going through a few inches of snow. Can the air dam on the Volt be removed for winter? If I am backing up through a short distance 4-5" of snow will the air dam rip off?

How effective is the defroster? If the windshield gets covered in sleet/ice I often have to run my Honda for 15 min to melt the ice enough to be able to chip it off. Will the Volt defroster or rear window defroster do this well enough? Sometimes the ice is bad enough that it is almost impossible to chip through it.

I'm not too worried about traction in the snow. I usually buy good snow tires for winter.

Thanks, Walter
 

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I live in Ottawa Canada - very cold and lots of snow. I've never parked my car in garage even in worst of winter storms and dead of winter. A couple times the charge port iced up but a quick spray with deicer or hot water and problem solved

I regularly plow through snow. No need to remove the front spoiler but you can easily do this if you want. Volt is by far the best handling smaller vehicle I've owned due to heavier weight and front wheel drive.

As for the car heating up its no problem at all. You can preheat the vehicle before you get in and even in full electric mode has no problems keeping up to the winter weather.

The first generation volt was by far best car ever and based on my recent drive of gen 2 it's even that much better.
 

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One of the downsides to be honest is the small window in the hatch below the main window. On the first generation cars, it gets completely covered with snow (actually the whole rear end is completely coated in snow due to aerodynamics). No defrost function on this part of the glass and the first gen cars have no rear hatch wiper. The other odd thing is that the outside rear view mirrors do not seem to defrost all the time. My other cars had electric mirrors that were basically on all the time, not just during the defrost cycle. It really makes a difference in inclement weather. Just to contrast my 2012 to my other 2012 car, a FIAT 500, the Volt can get pretty caked up on the outside. The heater/defroster systems work pretty well like any GM car, but I wish the outside mirrors and windows had been given a little more thought with respect to snowy conditions.
You'll probably miss your cavernous rear seat area with the Volt. Maybe the 2016's have fixed all these problems. But I would check out if the outside mirrors are heated all the time. I don't expect a rear wiper, but can certainly see why it wouldn't hurt to have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Canadian members!
kickincanada, that's very reassuring.
Ianjay, I don't care much about the back seats (I'll never ride in them). But, what I'll really miss in my Honda Fit is the huge cargo space with the rear seats down. I wish Honda could add the Volt's EREV system to it. I use it as my little pick up truck and might just keep it for a while for trips to the dump and Home Depot. I'll also miss the excellent visibility in the Fit, but test driving a 2015 I could see OK. I've never had heated outside mirrors, but it's a nice feature; I'll check how the heated mirrors work.
 

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We have seen some instances where water got into the charger along a wire and the charger (in the car) had to be replaced. I'd assume high winds would make this more likely. I don't think we've seen this recently so GM may have redesigned things a bit. Not the end of the world and the fix is covered by the warranty.
 

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One of the downsides to be honest is the small window in the hatch below the main window. On the first generation cars, it gets completely covered with snow (actually the whole rear end is completely coated in snow due to aerodynamics). No defrost function on this part of the glass and the first gen cars have no rear hatch wiper.
You are referring to the small rear window below the spoiler? Both my main rear window and the one below the spoiler have defrosters.

Thanks, Canadian members!
kickincanada, that's very reassuring.
Ianjay, I don't care much about the back seats (I'll never ride in them). But, what I'll really miss in my Honda Fit is the huge cargo space with the rear seats down. I wish Honda could add the Volt's EREV system to it. I use it as my little pick up truck and might just keep it for a while for trips to the dump and Home Depot. I'll also miss the excellent visibility in the Fit, but test driving a 2015 I could see OK. I've never had heated outside mirrors, but it's a nice feature; I'll check how the heated mirrors work.
The upcoming Chevy Bolt will be a great alternative to a Fit. But we are likely 14 months or so away from initial deliveries.The Volt still provides a surprising amount of cargo room, thanks to the rear hatch.
 

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I live in Ottawa Canada - very cold and lots of snow. I've never parked my car in garage even in worst of winter storms and dead of winter. A couple times the charge port iced up but a quick spray with deicer or hot water and problem solved

I regularly plow through snow. No need to remove the front spoiler but you can easily do this if you want. Volt is by far the best handling smaller vehicle I've owned due to heavier weight and front wheel drive.

As for the car heating up its no problem at all. You can preheat the vehicle before you get in and even in full electric mode has no problems keeping up to the winter weather.

The first generation volt was by far best car ever and based on my recent drive of gen 2 it's even that much better.
I echo this ^^^. I've plowed 8" of snow on the stock OEM all season tires with no issues.

As for charging outside. No problem. I too have no garage and have had no weather related issues. If your using a 120V receptacle I would strongly recommend you re-wire it with a commercial grade receptacle with an in use weather proof cover like this one as an example:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Red-Dot-...le-Cover-with-Wasp-Guard-Clear-CKPM/203984705

 

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I drove a Fit before the Volt...

2009MY Fit -> 2013MY Volt.

You will miss the visibility. Maybe moving the occasional tall potted plant. You won't miss anything else. :)

There is something magical about combining the precision of an electrical drive train and a decent traction control system. The Volt is a super stable drive on ice and snow. No comparison between the safety and convenience and fun between the two cars. Go for it.
 
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