: Front skirt (plastic under bumper) too low..



ArieArie
08-03-2012, 12:35 PM
I got the Volt yesterday and I noticed that the front skit under the bumper is very low to the ground and it rub the surface when I get out of the driveway or even when I go over a rain gutter in the road. I own a BMW M5 and it is considered a low car but it goes over those areas without touching..


My driveway
http://www.litman.com/Temp/low%20front1.jpg



the entrance to our court..
http://www.litman.com/Temp/low%20front2.jpg

Fulgerite
08-03-2012, 12:46 PM
Yes. The Volt's front air dam scrapes on nearly every dip in the road. The Air Dam is designed to be flexible so it will not be damaged in these daily scrapes. This low air dam is designed to improve range.

There IS a shorter air dam available from GM for the Volt. The part costs about $50. Many Volt owners have installed this short air dam and reported that it does indeed stop the scraping. However... You will loose 2 miles of range.

If your Volt is still new... You can ask your dealer or Volt advisor about this shorter air dam. Some owners have reported that the dealer was able to replace the air dam for free. But... Be prepared to loose 2 miles of range.

Noel Park
08-03-2012, 12:47 PM
This issue has been discussed here many times over the years. You can probably find many threads about it in the archives. The closer the air dam is to the road the better for aero and engine cooling reasons. I have had my Volt for almost 1 1/2 years and 28K miles. It drags every time I go in or out of the garage, and also on rain gutters, speed bumps, you name it. It is designed to survive same. Aside from looking a bit shopworn along the lower edge, it is surviving just fine. It is a wear item and very inexpensive to replace should it ever become necessary.

We had a 95 Impala SS that did the same thing, and we never replaced the air dam in 15 years and 120K+ miles. My advice is to just smile and don't worry about it. The only thing that will really tear it up is if you run it over a parking lot bumper. It goes over OK, but it can really get damaged when you back out. So that's a good thing to avoid.

For those who just can't stand the sound, Chevy offers a replacement air dam that is shorter. I don't want one, so I'm not sure, but I seem to remember that some dealers have replaced the originals with same at no charge. Is that true fellow members?

Henry_FL
08-03-2012, 12:48 PM
Its to minimize drag on the car, its rubber is is made to "scrape" without damage. I took mine off as I got tried of worrying about every little dip making a sound and still get 44 miles range, take about 20 minutes to remove, just screws holding the three piece skirt on

Noel Park
08-03-2012, 12:49 PM
Fulgerite @ #2,

Well while I was slowly typing you were posting, LOL. It's the story of my life, "a day late and a dollar short".

Well said.

montgom626
08-03-2012, 12:51 PM
[QUOTE=ArieArie;174366]I got the Volt yesterday and I noticed that the front skit under the bumper is very low to the ground and it rub the surface when I get out of the driveway or even when I go over a rain gutter in the road. I own a BMW M5 and it is considered a low car but it goes over those areas without touching..


[QUOTE]

When I lived in California, all my cars scraped on everything.

BAZINGA
08-03-2012, 01:15 PM
Aside from the noise you are not hurting anything. It was designed to maximize aero and highway fuel mileage. Just watch a NASCAR race and see how low the noses of their cars are, almost scrapping the track.

But if it bothers you and don't take long highway trips where maximum mileage is critical, you can change it out as others have said. BTW all my Corvette do this and I just learned to live with for the enhanced AERO it provides. GM did a ton of wind tunnel testing and know what they are doing.

larry4pyro
08-03-2012, 01:18 PM
Yup, mine scrapes on just about anything. Don't mind the scraping, but I wish they could do something about the awful noise. I also like the looks of the Volt with the super low spoiler, very purposeful looking. Had my Volt since March 2011 and had no issues with the spoiler.

Gary Norton
08-03-2012, 01:19 PM
Actually, it is an excellent piece of engineering. It was added as a result of extensive windtunnel testing. However, knowing that it is low, it was made out of rubber, rather than plastic, and was made in three pieces, each one independently flexible. If you don't like it you can always take it off or install a shorter one.

JBell
08-03-2012, 01:21 PM
I had the drag problem and fixed it most of the time with the shorter airdam. The part number for the shorter version is: 20993998 and it's covered under service bulletin: P10432. My dealer did it for free, but that was late last year. I seem to remember something about it being not a good idea to remove it completely because it's used to channel cooling air to something or other. Hope this helps....

Jim Bell

SharkVolt
08-03-2012, 02:15 PM
You can minimize scraping on most dips/driveways if you approach them at an angle.

Steverino
08-03-2012, 02:53 PM
I go over speed bumps and up and down driveways. Rarely will the front dam scrape, but I also approach slower and at an angle. If you hit them with almost any amount of speed, you will scrape. However if you go slow, you mostly will not.

As every one else has pointed out, this does not damage the car.

tknarr3
08-03-2012, 02:59 PM
The Scrapping noise doesn't bother me at all! :)

WVhybrid
08-03-2012, 03:49 PM
Think of the scrape as a cash register ring. Every time you scrape you are hearing a Cha-Chinnnggg as money stays in your wallet.

mtndrew1
08-03-2012, 04:36 PM
I have the shorter air dam on my Volt and if there's a difference in range I can't tell. The constant scraping was really grating on my nerves and I think this is an unacceptable design compromise.

-Drew

jeffhre
08-03-2012, 07:22 PM
I have the shorter air dam on my Volt and if there's a difference in range I can't tell. The constant scraping was really grating on my nerves and I think this is an unacceptable design compromise.

-Drew

Wow, there's one in every crowd. Glad you like the alternative, dam.

mtndrew1
08-03-2012, 07:34 PM
Wow, there's one in every crowd. Glad you like the alternative, dam.

Pardon me?

cab
08-04-2012, 11:35 AM
The frequent scraping is really cheesy and generally not something the average small or mid-size sedan owners are used to tolerating - in general it was a cheap way for GM to get more range. Sports car owners have often (depending on the model) lived with this for years, but sports cars are all about compromise so this isn't as much of a big deal in that world (although it would still be annoying to a lot of owners). I would not remove it because virtually all cars with an under car spoiler in this style use it to direct air from underneath the car up and into the radiator...especially common on cars w/o a traditional grill to let air into the radiator (and we do have one of course with our ICE). I owned an 82 Firebird at one point and I updated the front bumper to the style introduced in '86. I left the '82 style under car spoiler in place and the car had overheating issues (here in Texas). I finally figured out I needed to update to the larger and better positioned 86 style which solved my issues. As others have noted, the shorter spoiler is the answer, but at the POTENTIAL expense for loss of range. I say "potential" because the aerodynamic advantage goes up as speed increases. If your driving is primarily city, then you are unlikely to see any difference. If you are cruising along in the fast lane at 65, 70, 80 mph then it is going to be more significant.

jbfalaska
08-04-2012, 01:00 PM
Yep, that's why they made it into soft, pliable rubber instead of hard plastic. Enjoy the energy savings. It's not a problem.

ArieArie
08-05-2012, 01:41 PM
I got the Volt yesterday and I noticed that the front skit under the bumper is very low to the ground and it rub the surface when I get out of the driveway or even when I go over a rain gutter in the road. I own a BMW M5 and it is considered a low car but it goes over those areas without touching..




RTFM.... :)
I should have read to manual..


Low Ground Clearance
The low ground clearance of the Volt aids in the
aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle. As a
result, the flexible air deflector under the front
fascia (bumper) may contact a parking block or
curb if the vehicle is parked too closely. Use
care when parking to avoid damage.

Slapshot28
08-05-2012, 08:42 PM
The frequent scraping is really cheesy <snip> sports cars are all about compromise

The low front end of the Volt is extremely appealing to me, and folks that I know agree that the Volt nose has a bit of a NASCAR look. I do not think of sports cars as compromising at all. In contrast, I think of "the average small or mid-size sedan" as compromizing.