Hello everyone. It was a hectic day for me. My wife and I went to the dealer at 10 to sign the papers and pick up our Diamond White Volt.
(Note: I had this ready to post around midnight, but Verizon lost my internet right as I was posting so sorry for a late post).
Things went smoothly. I had bought the cabin air filter from Allen English, brought it with me and had my dealer install it. MSRP was $44,330 and we got $1000 off. We went ahead and did the 72 months 0 interest (no brainer). We passed on the $3300 GMPP plan and went with the $10 for 300 OnStar minutes (thank you DonC).
While we were at the dealer, our son had a medical situation (poison ivy reaction) and we had to scramble to get him out of school, to the doctor, and the local CVS (too bad we don't have a local Walgreen's with EV charging).
After the orientation and dealing with my son, I came home and registered for OnStar, MyVolt, MyChevrolet, MyLink and Voltstats. Plugged into the Blink level 2 charger in the garage with no problems.
The first hurdle was trying to get the garage door opener programmed in the Volt. It seems the Volt requires you to have one of the portable openers in order to program the Volt since it learns its commands from the remote and not the actual door opener. The bad news is that I only have one of the original openers and it has crappy contacts. I could not get it to work, so I went back to the CVS to get a new battery for the garage opener (too bad my son's prescription was not ready) to see if this would solve the problem. Unfortunately, it didn't and I ended up having to go to Sears and get a new portable garage opener remote. I came back home and this required a new reprogramming of the entire unit. Once this was completed, I was able to use the new portable opener to program the Volt. This is a crummy way for GM to implement this capability. My wife's Prius can be programmed by talking directly to the garage motor and does not require a portable remote. This cost me a couple of hours this afternoon, but I digress.
First thing- the Volt is AWESOME and Sport + Low totally rocks. As many of you have reported, the rear camera is really crappy.
Now for a preliminary MyLink report. I paired my Android phone with no problem. Started Pandora on the phone, clicked the phone icon on the steering wheel and said "Tune Pandora". Within a couple of seconds, Van Morrison's Moondance was piping through the speakers and the album art appeared on the center display. I then pressed the phone icon again and said "Thumbs Up" which was acknowledged by the Volt and Pandora.
I then put in my iPod Touch with 2143 songs. The first song in the library started playing with the message "indexing..." displayed on the console. After about two minutes, the indexing was completed and I was able to then issue iPod MyLink commands. My first command was "Play artist" and the Volt then asked me for the artist's name. I said "The Beatles" and the "Let it Be" album starting playing, with album art appearing. Again, as many of you have reported, the album started playing alphabetically instead of track order. I must admit this is pretty lame and will hopefully be fixed by a software/firmware upgrade in the future.
I then went through the gambit and asked MyLink to "Play Genre", "Play Album", and "Play Song". In the case of Play Album, I said "Let it Be" and MyLink presented me with two choices from my iPod: "Let it Be" and "Let it Be Naked...". I was pretty impressed.
I then pushed the phone button and said "Tune FM 100.3". The source switched and FM and Big100.3 classic rock started playing (no album art, but artist and song title).
I then pushed the button again and said "Tune XM 20" and the source switched to XM and the E Street station started playing.
I made a couple of bluetooth calls and had somebody call me back, all working properly as you would expect.
I did not try a USB disk with music, but plan to try it tomorrow. I don't expect any issues, but you never know until you test it.
I did find that once you ask MyLink to play something specific, the Shuffle option would then only shuffle through whatever you had on the iPod that you last told it to play. So if you asked it to play artist, "The Beatles", you could then only shuffle through all songs done by The Beatles. I didn't see anyway to then cancel the custom selection, resume, and then have it shuffle through your entire library. I will do some more experimenting, but normally I leave the whole iPod on shuffle and let it play whatever, so this may not be a big deal for me.
Then after dinner and having to deal with my son leaving the lights on our Taurus and having to jump it, I then went into the garage and turned on the Volt for some more orientation.
I hooked up an old iPod Classic with 3800 songs to see how it compared with the iPod Touch I used earlier. After 10 minutes of processing, the" indexing..." message went away. I then tried to issue some MyLink commands and was told the system was still indexing and to wait. I hit Menu and observed that 3780 of the songs were in the index but MyLink apparently choked although it presented itself as completing the indexing. However, none of the MyLink commands would work. I could play songs and select songs from the menu, but the voice commands would not work apparently because it thought it was still indexing the iPod. I am not sure if this is related to the fact it is an old iPod, or is 160gb with some videos also on it, or if it exceeded some magic number of songs. I was planning on using my newer iPod touch with the Volt anyway and leave the old iPod classic on my old 380SL. This will require some more work on my part to see if there is some limit on the iPod Touch that chokes MyLinks's ability. More to follow on this.
While in the garage, I thought about streaming Pandora through my Android and then trying to place a call. At this point, I was having data connection issues with my Verizon Wireless and couldn't get a good 4GLTE connection on my phone. After a phone reboot, I was able to connect to Pandora at a lower speed. When I tried to make a call, it didn't work very well. I called my home number and heard my voice over the answering machine play over the song playing on Pandora. This could be a serious problem. I don't know enough about the Bluetooth technical protocols to discern if this is a problem or a limitation since I was asking my Android to do two simultaneous Bluetooth tasks. However, I would think that streaming Pandora via Bluetooth and receiving a call via Bluetooth would be something that people would expect to work.
I think that's about it for MyLink for now. I do have a couple observations/general Volt questions for the group.
When coming in my driveway, I am slightly dragging the front air dam. I don't think this is a big deal since it seems to have been designed to deal with this.
Secondly, when parking the Volt, I generally have the iPod or XM radio on. Once I hit the power button to turn off the Volt, the radio continues to play until I open the door. Once the door is opened, the center console goes blank and the Volt appears to be turned off as I would expect. With all the posts about the 12v battery going dead, I want to make sure I am shutting down the Volt properly to avoid a dead 12v in the morning.
This evening, I had the Volt charging with my level 2 Blink and had to make a couple quick runs. I unplugged the charger and went about my business and came back home. I did receive text messages from the Blink saying the charging was interrupted. I got no such message from OnStar. Once I was through for the evening, I had the Volt back on the charger and after a couple hours, the charging was complete and I received texts from both the Blink and Onstar indicating the charging was complete. I am wondering why I didn't get a "charge interrupted" text from OnStar. The Alerts for both charge interrupt and complete are set similarly.
Another question I have relates to delayed charging. I can set delayed charging using either the Blink or the Volt. For those of you who do delayed charging, which method do you use? I would think it could be an issue of you had them both set.
Anyway, I knew there was a lot to learn about the Volt, but I think I have only scratched the surface. I am hoping my wife is content for the moment with her 2008 Prius, otherwise we may soon be a two Volt family.
As soon as I can figure out how to include pictures, I will post a few.