Is the Volt a throwaway car? Owning past 5yr/100k miles...
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Thread: Is the Volt a throwaway car? Owning past 5yr/100k miles...

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Western NC


    I've kept my MY 2012 in good condition. There are no problems with it now, except for the fact that it is near the end of its warranty.
    Wouldn't there be a market for a new power train for this shell? Bring it in, install a gen 2 powertrain and battery, and send us out with another 100k warranty on the new components? Wouldn't that be less expensive than throwing everything away and buying a new one? I know, probably not.
    Support the UAW, not the UAE.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2013


    I guess I may as well get rid of my Bugatti Veyron now, I hear it's expensive to repair.
    2014 Volt, Brownstone Metallic, Loaded.
    Penguin-The other white meat.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    San Diego


    That is why I lease and let time sort it out.

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  6. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Frisco, Colorado


    As one who always purchases used vehicles and never drives more than 10,000 miles in a year, my Volt will probably go ten years without significant mechanical problems. At that point, I will have saved more than the price of a new vehicle due to low lifetime cost. At ten years, the technology within the vehicle will be so outdated, I will be likely be ready to purchase a new vehicle before I reach 100,000 miles on the odometer. That will allow me to retain some value to trade toward a newer vehicle, while giving the burden of risk for major repairs to pass to someone with less financial capacity to purchase a newer vehicle.

  7. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ontario, Canada


    It is still a fixable car after warranty. Get a set of repair manuals if you need them and if you have to fix anything high voltage, try to get some good advice first before you may want to tackle it. Google is your friend in that case too.

    Aside from the electric power train, it is a regular car. Even with that, the electronic power train is all modular and for the most part plug and play. If you ever have to drop the main battery, then that will be the time you may have validity if you have to do it yourself. There is a video though of a tear down of the battery and is actually quite easy to follow. There is enough current to kill you though.

    2013 Silver Ice Metallic, Jet Black Premium Trim, Bose Sound, Safety Pkg 1
    Sun Country Highway/Clipper Creek LCS-25 240v Charger
    Canadian Volt
    Best range so far - 73.2km
    Worst range so far - 29.3km

  8. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Whitby, ON


    From posts of problems people have had here
    (which are not often at all, if you consider how many users there are here, and that many people only came here when they had a problem and googled it - i.e. userbase is biased towards people with issues)
    issues aren't that complicated or expensive, they're just hard to diagnose without knowing the vehicle inside and out, or having the GM software tools.

    That being said, a lot of issues are identified and detailed here thanks to knowledgeable members (including certified volt techs), making it easier to pinpoint issues.
    It costs a lot less to fix that problem if you go into it having an idea of exactly where to look.
    example, the service high voltage system message - people have had thousands of dollars worth of things replaced and days in the shop. When apparently the only thing that throws that message is a coolant sensor, worth a few dollars.

    Other than things like that, it's quite straight forward to repair. The engine (mechanically) is the same as used in many GMs, the brakes, shocks, etc are all standard automotive parts.
    The only tricky things are software (requiring $pecial GM programs) and the HV components (which thankfully are warranted for 8-10 years)
    Hidden Content
    Year 1: 8101km | 97.5% EV | 6.0 L/100km CS-only
    35.1L burned | 1.5L EMM, 22.6L wasted (16.6 ERDTT, 6 dealer)
    Year 2: 9277 km | 92.5% EV | 5.0 L/100km CS-only
    29.6L burned | 0.5L EMM
    Combined EV%: 95%

    -Triple-honk when exiting the vehicle (purposefully left on) - possible workaround Hidden Content

    Extremely cold and can only use engine?
    Hidden Content

  9. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013


    Independent service shop certifications can be had for the Volt (the article indicates that this is not the case for Tesla). In some areas this may be worth the expense - others clearly not.

    Many people fear the dealer service department, and for good reason. I don't fear mine and there are several others in my area that garner similar praise to that which I give to mine. There is no longer any excuse for the "old school" way of finding up-charges for dealer repairs, unless your shop already has a notorious reputation (in which case they have to scrap for every dollar).

    This is why I bristle at the stereotypical dealership memes. They do no service to honest service professionals like the ones I employ when needed.

    Car repair is expensive. Get used to it. You want more of this and that in your car and there's a back end to all that technology. Imagine how much more complicated it will be with autonomous cars, yet we read often about how wonderful it will be. Maybe that's because no one has had a repair bill for one yet, ya think?

  10. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Milwaukee, WI


    A) The vast majority of the things that happen to a car due to age are typical car stuff. Worn tie rod ends. Tired suspensions. Aging 12v batteries. Mechanical linkages that get old and loose. Those things aren't special to Volts and there's zero reason to think they'll cost more to fix on the Volt than other similar cars.

    B) Other things that happen to cars that are expensive don't even apply to Volts. Transmission rebuilds? There's no separate transmission, just a weird but simple planetary gear array and an even simpler reducer. Engine rebuilds? We don't even have enough data on engine problems to know how to predict anything: The Volt runs the ICE like no other car on the planet, incorporating pretty much every bit of homespun advice that works about making engines last a long time engineered right into the thing.

    C) Cheap preventative maintenance is largely ... gone. Mostly because so much of it is around making gas engines tolerate short trips and not being able to meter things that the Volt can, and that the Volt so seldom uses the ICE. Oil changes are mostly bi-annual. Brake jobs are mostly gone. Annual coolant changes are gone in favor of pricey but very long-lasting coolant. Annual tuneups, even before the Volt, got computerized down to occasional "plugs and wires" replacements, and even those in a Volt are further between because hours on the engine are so few.

    D) The most dire predictions a half decade ago, about having to replace the battery pack at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars every 50k miles, turn out not to be true. There's individual flaws here and there, fixed under warranty, and resolved. By the time a Volt's got 50k miles on it, all the gremlins have starved to death in it and it'll probably survive until it dies a mangled death trying to protect its passengers from a crash.

    E) Residual value is a funny thing, because it's constantly at war with how much you like the car. If a car is worth far more than you like it, you're stupid not to sell it and get something else, and become happier thereby. If a car is worth much less than you love it, then you keep it, and be happier thereby.
    2012 Standard w/ Navigation

  11. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015


    I think 8 to 10 years from now we're going to see some really interesting DIY mods to keep Volts on the road.
    A study in opposites
    1997 Jeep Cherokee
    2013 Chevy Volt "OHM-RIDE"

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  13. #20
    Join Date
    May 2016


    You make very good points. Nevertheless, the Volt is destined to go to the Dealer. The used car market is very strange in some ways, most people that buy second hand avoid the dealer. People are also afraid of new technology.

    Resale value is definitely low, that is a fact (although it's doing pretty well compared to others like the Leaf). If this trend continues, then the car value vs repair cost dilema is inevitable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Dave View Post
    Independent service shop certifications can be had for the Volt (the article indicates that this is not the case for Tesla). In some areas this may be worth the expense - others clearly not.
    Can you share some additional information on this service shop certification out of the Authorized GM Dealer network? I like the Volt so much that I'm willing to invest in promoting, importing and selling them locally, but I need to figure out the support aspect first.
    2012 Volt Premium
    1993 Mercedes 500SEL
    1989 Mercedes 560SEL
    1985 Mercedes 200

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