So how is the Chevy Volt after 10,000 miles? What is the car like for a person who really spends a lot of time in the car?
So far the car is pretty good, it is GM and Onstar service that need work. If you have been following the story of the Volt, you know that the dealer gave me the car back after a software update with the “check engine light” on. The call to Onstar for diagnostics gave me what appears to have been a completely incorrect answer.
Driving the car – Still pretty fun. I have stopped attempting to “hyper mile” it most of the time and have settled into driving it pretty much like a normal car. The one thing I do differently is use the “hold” mode when I am cruising on the freeway. Most days I know I can’t make the round trip from my home to Downtown and back on one charge, and available chargers are nearly extinct.
What I have found is that using the hold mode after the battery range is below 20 miles and above 10 while cruising on the freeway at 40 miles per hour or better will get me better gas mileage. Anywhere from the 38 published up to 50 on more than one occasion. As I approach the offramp and enter the city traffic or hit a stop and go section of the 405, I will return the drive mode to “normal”.
Since the GPS doesn’t talk to the range computer it can’t think ahead like that to decide the best time to use gas or electric. Speaking of the GPS, I find it odd that electric charging stations are not an option for viewing on the screen. I can see Carl’s Jr. Jack in the Box, and all of the Gas stations, but electric charging requires I use my smart phone app.
Speaking of Smart Phone apps, my OnStar app inexplicably stopped letting me send navigation instructions to the Volt. It worked for 8 months and quit in the middle of at trip. Since the car won’t let you enter an address while the car is moving over 3 miles per hour, I found I could speak it to Siri, and send it to the car. This method was working great.
When I called OnStar, I got four different customer service reps, four different answers, and all four said, “let me put you on hold while I check into this” and the call disconnected immediately. That is why I called back three more time. After the fourth I was on the highway and didn’t want to call again. I still haven’t called back for a fifth try.
You might have also read in an earlier article that my wife wanted a Volt as well. After sitting through the last four calls to OnStar, she dropped the idea. She wouldn’t have called three times, she would have just handed me the car to fix, and I don’t have time. I have my own Volt issues.
The photo is from a particularly long day were a charger was available but the range wasn’t enough to go either way. Overall about 150 MPG has been holding true, with about 80% of the miles on electric and 20% on gas for the 10,000 miles driven so far.
Anyone else out there with a Volt have a different experience?