Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

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Thread: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Well, it's now been more than 2 years and we're into winter #3 with the Volt and just passed 40,000km so I figured it's time for an update.

    I'm not going to go into as many details as in the past mostly because I'm stupid busy. But here's a quick summary:
    • We are now averaging 1.5l/100km fuel economy. That's 2 summers and 3 winters, and this winter has been brutal as anyone living in North America will attest.
    • We got 6l/100km (~40mpg US) on a recent trip to Montreal where the high was -17c and the low was -30c and we probably averaged -20c or so during our drive. Not bad considering how cold it was.
    • The weather's been so cold (-15c to -25c nearly every day since November) that we rarely get above 35km of range (22 miles). I think we've had a couple of days near 0c but it's just been a long, hard winter and even us hardy Canadians are getting tired of this Polar Vortex crap.



    Only one thing has irked us:
    • The hatch is too heavy for the struts. In the wickedly cold (-30c or worse) weather the struts don't always hold up the hatch and once that hatch starts down it gains an awful lot of momentum. With a hatch that big it should have a power up/down feature. Again, on a car this expensive it should have been a no brainer -- or the car should have been more sedan-like. Similarly, the weight of a motor to lift/lower the hatch wouldn't have hindered the mileage at all. It's a stupid oversight.


    I will be taking it into the dealership so they know that the hatch sometimes closes of its own accord due to the struts being insufficient to the task.

    We have also had our first problem with the car: the heater malfunctioned. We're not sure when this actually happened but it was quite noticeable when the temperature dropped. GM fixed up the problem and gave us a free loaner and cash for gas for our trouble. The part has actually been re-engineered, which caused the dealership some issues as the part they yanked didn't look like the one GM provided and after discussions with Volt engineers in Detroit it was determined that the part had been reengineered and, yes, it looks different. It seems to work perfectly fine since we again have heat .


    The car has performed admirably. We're still very pleased with it except for a couple of niggles mentioned above and the ones I've previously mentioned, such as lack of power seats/memory, lack of heated steering wheel, lack of a proper cargo cover -- not the crappy fabric thing GM put on what amounts to a $50k car! (unbelievable), etc. I continue to believe that GM made a few fundamental mistakes with Voltec:

    • The Volt should have been on Epsilon. This would have made the car larger, probably barely dented the overall efficiency of Voltec, allowed for more aggressive styling, provided more room, and more easily justified the price.
    • They should have released a CUV-like vehicle by now. The fact they've not done this is rather stupid and I hope they rectify this quickly.
    • They should have gotten the ELR out sooner, but then considering the financial morass they were in plus the "oversight" of the halfwits in Washington I'm sure they got it out as soon as they could.


    We intend to keep the car long term. We like it that much. The only thing that might get us out of it and into something else would be a CUV-based Voltec car. We are looking forward to seeing what Volt 2.0 looks like...
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Very cool!!!

    The struts are a very common issue during winter. The charged gas inside them doesnt have the same pressure when its cold. My GTO did it to me yesterday while I was filling up the washer fluid. I have a bump on my noggin to prove it. During the warmer times I have to hold it so it doesnt fly up so fast.

    Gotta agree on the CUV. One wonders if they are waiting for 2.0.

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Yeah, but the problem is that it's damn heavy and you're into the hatch way more than under the hood. It was stupid since it comes down pretty hard and did whack my wife on the head. To me it's a stupid design decision that should never have made it into production. It's these little things that irritate people when they buy a car because it looks like the cheaped out, like with the lack of memory/power seats. It's stupid. Or the lack of auto dimming exterior mirrors. Just dumb dumb dumb.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    I really hadn't read that much about the heating system's effectiveness in cold weather until your above review. Nice to hear it's adequate in this incredibly crazy winter we're experiencing.
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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by rand49er View Post
    I really hadn't read that much about the heating system's effectiveness in cold weather until your above review. Nice to hear it's adequate in this incredibly crazy winter we're experiencing.
    It's fine if you leave it in "Comfort Mode". I find Eco mode takes too long to heat the cabin. But comfort mode gets it warm fast enough. Plus, the software is smart and adjusts the seats so you feel warmer faster as it does get the cabin up to temperature. We keep the cabin at 22c or so.

    Having the generator provide heat below -4c is a smart move as I could see dealing with -30c sucking all the power right out of the battery. Not a problem if you have a battery as big as a Tesla's but for the Volt's it's definitely an issue.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by zete View Post
    Yeah, but the problem is that it's damn heavy and you're into the hatch way more than under the hood. It was stupid since it comes down pretty hard and did whack my wife on the head. To me it's a stupid design decision that should never have made it into production. It's these little things that irritate people when they buy a car because it looks like the cheaped out, like with the lack of memory/power seats. It's stupid. Or the lack of auto dimming exterior mirrors. Just dumb dumb dumb.
    Like the previous poster said its probably because of the weather but maybe GM should have spec'd a higher capacity strut. I had a similar but different problem to this on my CTS, when I added the factory Lip Spoiler to the car, I didn't think anything of it and when I went to open my trunk I noticed it didn't pop up like it used to and then when I opened it I found out that it wouldnt stay open even on a level surface and I found out the hard way with it falling back on my head. I later found out that the newer CTS's with the spoiler actually had a different strut on it because of the added couple of pounds from the spoiler. Literally that spoiler only weighed 2lbs at most give or take it was very light and with it on the struts couldn't hold keep it. So maybe you should see if there is a different spec strut for the car or maybe if GM is aware of this and has a fix and if there is GM should replace it for you for free as its not your fault that GM spec'd the bare minimum strut.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Thanks Zete! - A bit of translating for myself and the rest of your "Old World" friends to the south.

    40,000 KM = 24,855 miles.

    1.5l/100km = 156.8 MPG

    24,855 Miles / 156.8 MPG = 158.5 gallons consumed.




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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by majicbz07 View Post
    Like the previous poster said its probably because of the weather but maybe GM should have spec'd a higher capacity strut. I had a similar but different problem to this on my CTS, when I added the factory Lip Spoiler to the car, I didn't think anything of it and when I went to open my trunk I noticed it didn't pop up like it used to and then when I opened it I found out that it wouldnt stay open even on a level surface and I found out the hard way with it falling back on my head. I later found out that the newer CTS's with the spoiler actually had a different strut on it because of the added couple of pounds from the spoiler. Literally that spoiler only weighed 2lbs at most give or take it was very light and with it on the struts couldn't hold keep it. So maybe you should see if there is a different spec strut for the car or maybe if GM is aware of this and has a fix and if there is GM should replace it for you for free as its not your fault that GM spec'd the bare minimum strut.
    Oh, don't you worry, as a Canadian I fully know it's the freakin' cold that's dropping that hatch. But GM should have still taken it into account. Especially in northern climates where ice also builds up on the hatch. That means it can fall closed even in milder weather. It's a stupid decision and I intend to let GM know it's stupid.

    I am hoping, as you point out, that they have a higher capacity strut. But really, did they not try to open the hatch while winter testing in northern Canada? It seems absurd that they didn't but then I've seen so many absurdities in my life that nothing surprises me much anymore.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753 View Post
    Thanks Zete! - A bit of translating for myself and the rest of your "Old World" friends to the south.

    40,000 KM = 24,855 miles.

    1.5l/100km = 156.8 MPG

    24,855 Miles / 156.8 MPG = 158.5 gallons consumed.
    Thanks. I forgot to do the conversions.

    What is the average price of gas up there these days?
    It's running about $1.22/l for regular, about $1.40 for super. We put super in.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Cool update. Thanks.

    Checkl out autoline after hours this week to hear Bob Lutz discuss why he thinks the volt should have been a CUV

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    I know this is a strange question but have you lubricated the strut arms? I use a product called Fluid Film that really helps. Might want to give it a try to see if itll help.

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    I know this is a strange question but have you lubricated the strut arms? I use a product called Fluid Film that really helps. Might want to give it a try to see if itll help.
    Why would that keep it up? Wouldn't less friction make it more likely to come down?

    I fully extend it in the extremely cold weather and it falls back down. Or am I missing something?
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    I know it doesnt sound right but it does help to keep it up as well. I dont know why but it does. Only thing I can think of is it allows the strut to seal better on the arm so that it doesnt let the pressure leak out.

    The GTO would open the hood with ease but it would slowly fall back down. Lubricated the arms and it holds it up pretty dang well unless its stupidly cold.

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    GMI Contributor Premium Member zete's Avatar
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    I know it doesnt sound right but it does help to keep it up as well. I dont know why but it does. Only thing I can think of is it allows the strut to seal better on the arm so that it doesnt let the pressure leak out.

    The GTO would open the hood with ease but it would slowly fall back down. Lubricated the arms and it holds it up pretty dang well unless its stupidly cold.
    I'll definitely have to try that -- or get the dealer to do it :-).

    Thanks!
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    My HHR hatch drops when the weather is cold and the struts are affected by the temp. It is interesting to know that the Volt does not have a power operated hatch. I had not looked into that feature but I had just assumed that it would have a power hatch. Our hatch on the Flex has never had any issues with sagging or dropping in cold weather but it is power operated. I never thought a power operated hatch was such a big deal but it is a huge convenience feature and after living with it on our Flex I don't think I would purchase a vehicle without a power operated hatch in the future.
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    Re: Zete's Volt: 40,000km update

    You get some folks with the attitude a power hatch is just one more thing that can break. My attitude is, if you're selling a premium small car with a massive hatch, include the power hatch for free. It only makes sense. Trying to save a kilo here or there and thereby compromise usefulness is stupid. I think for the cost of maybe 10 - 50kg GM stupidly didn't include power seats, memory seats, heated steering wheel, a proper hard-vinyl cargo cover, and power hatch. All of which should have been included in the Volt.

    When the next Volt arrives, and its siblings, I hope GM doesn't cheap out. I hope that the ELR just shows that GM is and can be serious about putting together a top notch product when they desire to charge a top notch price.
    "Christians should not hold dumb opinions about the natural world based solely on misreadings of the Bible, especially opinions that can be demonstrably falsified by Reason, lest the Faith be subject to ridicule and mockery." -- St. Augustine of Hippo.

    "Stop being dicks to the poor." Pope Francis, paraphrased.

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