When Will The Gas Engine Run? Guide
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Thread: When Will The Gas Engine Run? Guide

  1. #1
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    Default When Will The Gas Engine Run? Guide

    Asking "when will the Volt's gasoline powered ICE (internal combustion engine ) run?" is a simple question, but the answer will vary based on a number of conditions. Some people are concerned about carbon monoxide fumes in a closed garage, while others are curious about winter conditions or vehicle emissions testing. Regardless of model year, the car's engine will NOT start while the car is off. The car must be turned on manually or remote started before there is even a chance the ICE will start.


    The Volt's Gasoline Engine will run under the following conditions:



    The ICE will start when the Volt IS NOT plugged in...
    1. And is powered on (manually or remote start), AND one of the following
    • The main battery is empty (0% State of Charge). You will normally experience this when driving beyond the car's battery range. If the battery is depleted, the ICE will come on whether the car is moving or parked as long as the car is powered on.

    • The main battery is not empty, and you select the Hold mode (MY 2013). Hold forces the car to stop using the battery (no matter its State of Charge) and use the ICE to generate the electricity that powers the drive motors instead.

    • The temperature outside the car is less than 26F / -4C (MY 2011, most of MY 2012). The ICE will run for about 10 minutes or less to warm the engine coolant. When the engine coolant temperature drops again, the process repeats. You can limit your "Engine Running Due to Low Temp" by using the Climate "Comfort" mode and low fan settings (1,2,3) but you will use more battery. See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....re-quot-ERDTLT

    • The temperature outside the car is less than 35F / 2C (MY 2013 and a few late MY 2012) . The temperature option can be set to 15F / -10C (Very Cold setting) instead. Consult the Owner's Manual for "Engine Assisted Heating". You can limit your "Engine Running Due to Low Temp" by using the Climate "Comfort" mode and low fan settings (1,2,3) but you will use more battery. See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....re-quot-ERDTLT

    • If you have roughly 1 mile to about 14 miles range and you switch into Mountain Mode. The ICE will run until the battery is recharged to about 14 miles of estimated range.

    • The front hood is released or opened. The ICE will run until the hood is closed. This is used for emission testing and diagnostic procedures.


    The ICE will start when the Volt IS plugged in...
    1. AND is charging (green dash status light), AND is powered on (manually or remote start),
    • AND the temperature outside the car is less than 26F / -4C (MY 2011, most of MY 2012). The ICE will run for about 10 minutes or less to warm the engine coolant.

    • AND the temperature outside the car is less than 35F / 2C (MY 2013 and a few late MY 2012). The ICE will run for about 10 minutes or less to warm the engine coolant. The temperature option can be set to 15F / -10C (Very Cold setting) instead. Note: 2013 Volts have an option to turn OFF "Engine assisted heating while plugged in". When you de-select this option the car will not start in cold weather while plugged in and turned on. Consult the Owner's Manual for "Engine Assisted Heating (Plugged-In)".

    • The main battery is low (about 1 mile State of Charge), and preconditioning is maxed out. Rare. It's possible you could experience this when preconditioning the car when the battery has only about 1 mile range. Although the car is plugged in and charging, preconditioning with the air temperature and fan speed set at their maximum could require more electricity than the 240v charge cord can supply. In this scenario, the balance will be drawn from the battery thereby depleting it. If the battery is depleted, the ICE will come on.


    2. But NOT charging (yellow dash status light), AND is powered on (manually),
    • AND the main battery is empty (0% State of Charge). The ICE will run continually until it runs out of gas. This scenario can occur when parking the car, and NOT turning it off. The car will continue to run, drawing down the battery until it is empty. Plugging in while the car is running will not charge the car (the status light stays yellow). A horn chirp signifying charging has started will NOT sound. See http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread....t-dead-battery

    3. And is powered on (manually or remote start),
    • AND the front hood is released or opened. The ICE will run until the hood is closed.
    4. (MY 2013) You have set Engine Assist for Heating while plugged in to ON. If equipped, this feature turns on or off the ability for the engine to run to help heat the vehicle when it is plugged in. A change in setting will not take affect until after the vehicle is first powered down. The Engine Assisted Heating (Plugged-In) options are: On or Off.
    To turn the Engine Assisted Heating (Plugged-In) on or off:

    1. Press the Vehicle Settings menu.
    2. Select Climate and Air Quality.
    3. Turn the engine assisted heating (Plugged-In) feature on or off.
    4. Press Back to return to the previous menu.
    --------------------------------------

    Again, regardless of model year the car's ICE will not start while the car is off. he car must be turned on manually or remote started before there is even a chance the ICE will start.

    A video version:



    Switching from Depleted Battery to ICE



    Front Hood ICE Startup (with very exaggerated noise levels):

    Last edited by Steverino; 01-22-2013 at 11:22 AM.
    2011 Cyber Gray, Std Wheels, Black Leather/White Console, Bose, Nav, Htd Seats, Park Assist. Picked up May 2011
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  2. #2
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    Great list. I boiled mine down for simplicity. Video to come eventually. Here are the 7 times the Volt ICE can come on when the Volt has enough battery charge and the Volt is on:

    1. Engine Maintenance Mode
    2. Fuel Maintenance Mode
    3. Opening the hood
    4. 25F or less outside temp (regardless of the temp of the battery)
    5. If you have roughly less than 14 miles range and you switch into Mountain Mode
    6. When there is a vehicle issue or the check engine light comes on.
    7. When pre-conditioning on high heat.

    MrEnergyCzar
    Last edited by MrEnergyCzar; 11-24-2012 at 08:50 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrEnergyCzar View Post
    I boiled mine down for simplicity.
    Oof! I forgot MM! Thanks, added. I tried to answer some newbie questions, so mines a *little* longer, haha. I like your boiled down version too. I look forward to the video! When it's out, let me know and I'll add it here as well.

    Preconditioning on high heat makes the engine run? I've not experienced that one. What's your def of "high heat" and I'll give it a twirl.
    2011 Cyber Gray, Std Wheels, Black Leather/White Console, Bose, Nav, Htd Seats, Park Assist. Picked up May 2011
    B3320
    Best All Electric Miles: 54.2
    Lifetime: 85,558 miles, 125 MPG, Remaining Oil Life 38%
    Typical Commute: 60 miles
    30 day Stats: 966 miles, 108
    MPG, 62% Electric, 38% gas, Saved 33 gal., 31 kW-hr/100 miles
    Hidden Content Free Volt Manual here: Hidden Content

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steverino View Post
    Oof! I forgot MM! Thanks, added. I tried to answer some newbie questions, so mines a *little* longer, haha. I like your boiled down version too. I look forward to the video! When it's out, let me know and I'll add it here as well.

    Preconditioning on high heat makes the engine run? I've not experienced that one. What's your def of "high heat" and I'll give it a twirl.
    2 pre-conditioning scenarios for the engine to come on while plugged in.....

    1. Plugged in and put it in comfort 80F with a mile of EV range left and the Volt will use more than the outlet can provide, faster draw down if charging with only 120v. If it's cold with a larger battery range, it will eventually draw down and come on....

    2. Plugged in and just on but the garage temp is very cold, I believe 25F again, not sure of exact trigger temp when plugged in. I assume its the same temp as not being plugged in. It will come on however when plugged in and very cold...

    There is a rare, too hard to understand for me, 8th time it can come on. This has to do with driving at a certain speed and scenario and the engine will briefly click on despite their being a battery charge left. It has something to do with switching over of something to do with the transmission or related stuff..... I know there is no gears but something to do with the motors or something.... we're talking for like one second.

    MrEnergyCzar
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    And Hold Mode on the 2013
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  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCMAT View Post
    And Hold Mode on the 2013
    Thanks, NCMAT! Updated the list with that one too.
    2011 Cyber Gray, Std Wheels, Black Leather/White Console, Bose, Nav, Htd Seats, Park Assist. Picked up May 2011
    B3320
    Best All Electric Miles: 54.2
    Lifetime: 85,558 miles, 125 MPG, Remaining Oil Life 38%
    Typical Commute: 60 miles
    30 day Stats: 966 miles, 108
    MPG, 62% Electric, 38% gas, Saved 33 gal., 31 kW-hr/100 miles
    Hidden Content Free Volt Manual here: Hidden Content

  9. #7
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    Steve, some excellent threads. Hopefully with a future wiki these will fit right in. Nice job!

  10. #8
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    I'm close to the 26 degree thing, it was 26 degrees outside yesterday based on my outdoor weather station, but when I pulled out of my 55 degree garage I watched to see if/when the ICE would start. But as I drove my actual OAT kept dropping and stopped at 27 degrees, so no ICE.

    But my question is this, does the car use the same temperature sensor as the HVAC display or another sensor, as if that's the sensor/reading that triggers the ICE to start, does the ICE start exactly at 26 DEGREES or is there some wiggle room?

    And so far I'm 100% battery a/o 25 Nov and looking at the forecast it looks like I'll get through Nov on just battery power which was a goal of mine. Now I wonder on what day in Dec I'll be forced to use Dino fuel?
    Tom aka Accidental Electronaut
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  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAZINGA View Post
    I'm close to the 26 degree thing, it was 26 degrees outside yesterday based on my outdoor weather station, but when I pulled out of my 55 degree garage I watched to see if/when the ICE would start. But as I drove my actual OAT kept dropping and stopped at 27 degrees, so no ICE.

    But my question is this, does the car use the same temperature sensor as the HVAC display or another sensor, as if that's the sensor/reading that triggers the ICE to start, does the ICE start exactly at 26 DEGREES or is there some wiggle room?

    And so far I'm 100% battery a/o 25 Nov and looking at the forecast it looks like I'll get through Nov on just battery power which was a goal of mine. Now I wonder on what day in Dec I'll be forced to use Dino fuel?
    My 2012 starts when the center stack display temp shows 25f or less.... it runs for about 90 seconds, you'll use less gas if you just pull over to let it do it's thing then move on after...

    MrEnergyCzar
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  13. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAZINGA View Post
    I'm close to the 26 degree thing, it was 26 degrees outside yesterday based on my outdoor weather station, but when I pulled out of my 55 degree garage I watched to see if/when the ICE would start. But as I drove my actual OAT kept dropping and stopped at 27 degrees, so no ICE.

    But my question is this, does the car use the same temperature sensor as the HVAC display or another sensor, as if that's the sensor/reading that triggers the ICE to start, does the ICE start exactly at 26 DEGREES or is there some wiggle room?
    See the link used in "The temperature outside the car is less than 26F" bullet point above Bazinga. ScottF200 answers part of your question in that thread. It *seems* like the engine coolant temperature has the final say, regardless of what your dash temperature reads for the outside.
    Last edited by Steverino; 11-25-2012 at 12:45 PM.
    2011 Cyber Gray, Std Wheels, Black Leather/White Console, Bose, Nav, Htd Seats, Park Assist. Picked up May 2011
    B3320
    Best All Electric Miles: 54.2
    Lifetime: 85,558 miles, 125 MPG, Remaining Oil Life 38%
    Typical Commute: 60 miles
    30 day Stats: 966 miles, 108
    MPG, 62% Electric, 38% gas, Saved 33 gal., 31 kW-hr/100 miles
    Hidden Content Free Volt Manual here: Hidden Content

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