Well, tomorrow marks the first full week of ownership and I have to admit, I really love the car! I do have some reservations though and sometimes I get a bit of buyers remorse but the car is growing on me. My plan is to document the good and bad that I noticed each week with my car, which I've nicknamed DevilDog. I'm hoping that some in the community may be able to point out what I'm doing wrong so I can make better use of the car. I'll only update this thread so as not to flood the forums with new ones each week.
So, let's begin with the bad:
Up here in Jersey, it's been cold the last couple of days. I know the battery does not do well in the cold but I didn't realize it was so bad. During the first few days of the 1st week, I was still on vacation so it didn't matter as much as I wasn't doing my daily commute. However, the last couple of days, it's been around 30F or below. Yesterday, for instance, I started my commute at about 6:30 and the temp outside was hovering around 28F. The ICE didn't come on which was good; however, I only got approx. 28miles into my commute before it switched to gas. Now, some of this is my fault and it would have been around 30 miles if I hadn't run it for 5 minutes before jumping into it. I'm starting to wish I had the 240V charger so it would just drain from the house. Right now on the 120V, it uses some house and some car so when I jump in, I only have about 95% battery if I precondition. Today, the temp was around 19F. This time around, the minute I woke up, I preconditioned DevilDog for about 10 minutes and the let the car recharge so it was full before I started my commute. The ICE turned on a couple of times during the commute using up about .3 gallons. This time around, I was able to get to work with 7 EV miles left (mainly cause the ICE turned on several times during the commute). So, for the total commute to work there and back, I got 30.3 miles EV and 32 miles gas using a total of 1.02 gallons of gas. I got out of the car at the end of the day slightly disappointed cause I was hoping I could get around 40mpg when using gas. Maybe I have high expectations but I was hoping to get a bit more efficiency out of the car. And I tried to be as conservative as possible with my driving. I took off slow, drove under 50 most of the way, tried to coast as much as possible, used L drive when I could and used the cruise control on the open road. I even kept the climate on ECO and at around 68F with low fans. I know the cold affects the car but I wish it didn't affect it so much. Any ideas on what I could do better? I'm thinking of just driving in D tomorrow and stop with all the switching back and forth between D and L. We'll see how that works out.
Another thing I noticed is that the screen in the center console that shows the efficiency might have a software glitch. When the ICE turned on during the commute home, I was watching my fuel consumption. At one point, it showed the gallons consumed at .93 gallons. About 10 seconds later, I looked over and it suddenly jumped up to .96. I didn't gun it nor d I do anything differently. I noticed it again several minutes later where the consumption shot up dramatically from .98 to 1.01. Can't figure out why it's happening either.
And finally, when the ICE turned on on the commute home, the noise difference is very noticeable. At approximately 45 MPH, it sounded as if the car was trying to shift between gears as in a regular gas car. Kinda like when you get to the high end of the RPM before you shift to the next gear. Not as loud but still up there. Eventually the noise went away but it was a little disconcerting. Once I threw it into cruise, the noise disappeared and for the rest of the commute home I didn't hear it again. Maybe I'm just freaking out cause I'm used to how quiet it is!
So that was the bad. Any suggestions or ideas to increase efficiency would help out tons! I've been digging through the forums for efficiency tips and I've been trying them all out. Still don't understand the MM trick very well but I need to reread some of the other threads to maybe understand a bit better.
Now for the good.
I love that the first half of the trip to work I don't use gas. This pretty much cuts in half my gas bill each month. I work on a military base and I was scouting the area yesterday searching for an outside outlet near my building. No such luck yet but I'm still on the lookout. My only concern is just plugging in and the MPs towing the vehicle since I don't have official permission. Today I called some people who manage the facilities on base to see if I could plug into some outlets that the RVs use on the campground close by and they told me a) this is the first time they ever encountered a case such as mine and b) no because the outlets are only zoned for RVs. So that kinda sucked cause I was hoping to get to and from work on all electric. I'm going to still try to work some angles. I'll let you know how that works out.
I definitely feel as if the car has made me a better and more responsible driver. I NEVER used to drive the speed limit to work. NEVER! The last couple of days I've been at the limit or slightly below. I coast as much as possible. I don't jump the gun from the line and I don't aggressively brake. The car is like one big game and I'm trying to win.
The quietness of the car is both good and bad. The other day I remote started the car, walked inside to grab my jacket and then walked back out. When I walked up to the car, I didn't know if it was even on. I had to put my hand on it just to see if I could feel a vibration.
Well that's about it for the first week. Again, feel free to suggest what I can do better.
P.S. As the forum doesn't have a general discussion section, I figured the best place to put it was newcomers because I am still a huge Volt n00b. Feel free to move it if need be. And if you guys don't want to hear my weekly update, just tell me to clam it and I'll happily oblige
UPDATE: See new entry below for more good and bad.