Steve's Ramblings


Voltland USA – Week 1

Filed under: Chevy Volt — sriggins @ 7:57 pm

UPDATE: Service Parking Brake issue resolved.  Dealer upgraded the software on the parking brake module and calibrated the brake.  There is a service bulletin for this, and it is an easy, quick (<1h) fix.

It has been one week since I purchased my 2013 Chevy Volt!  How have things been going?

Pretty damned well, I must say.  There are glitches, but nothing to be worried about.  The parking brake is reporting an error, but I have since met three other 2013 users with this issue and the fix seems to be to replace the parking brake module.  The brake works, it just reports an incorrect code sometimes.  I will know more next week when I take the car in to get checked out overnight.  A bit of a pain for a new car, but I am giving GM a lot of leeway given how new and complex this technology is.

I learned that the Volt’s run-flat compressor is also a normal air compressor!  This is spiffy and works well.  I also learned how to jump the car, or jump another car, should I ever need to.  This is interesting because the Volt has two sets of terminals, one under the hood and one in the trunk.  That’s because the battery is in the trunk!  They suggest jumping other cars with the rear terminals as that avoids the fuses and other electronics in the vehicle.

I’m averaging over 300 miles per gallon.  I still have not used a drop of gas.  I may burn half a tank at some point soon because we have switched from summer gas to winter gas.  If I were to go an entire year without using gas, the Volt would force me to use the gas until most of it was gone, just to get rid of the old gas and lubricate the engine.

I spent some time on a drive the other day testing the acceleration, which is really fun.  This is no sports car, but the pickup is instant and fun to experience.  It throws you back in the seat for a good while.  I tried this at street speeds going up a hill, and at 60mph to pass a tanker truck.  Both times the Volt responded instantly, drawing between 70 and 90 kW.  This is quite substantial compared to the normal 15-25 I use normally, but it is great that the speed is there if you need it.

I used the cruise control for the first time today.  I skipped reading the manual and the system was very easy to figure out.  I really like that I get a message stating the speed the car is set to, and it is very easy to notch the speed up or down by 1 mile per hour at a time.

I have become a fan of driving in low.  For city driving or stop n go/slow traffic, I rarely use the brake when in low gear.  I regenerate enough electricity to not even come close to using half of the battery’s capacity to drive 17+ miles.

I had a nice call with Chris from 3D Electric.  He will be installing my 240v charger.  Sounds like it will be an easy install and we will be able to put it where I want to.  Sweet!

That’s it for now.  The car is fun to drive, super quiet, very efficient, and I am still learning new things about it.  So far, super happy!



  1. I am also enjoying my 2013 Volt. I have also just learned how to jump the car, as my wife managed to leave the radio running while at work (can’t figure out how she managed this, the radio turns off every time I open the door) and ran down the 12v battery. Jumping was tricky, required multiple attempts before the software came back on line. I have heard a rumor that there may be a way to autojump the car from it’s storage battery. Has anyone else heard this? Any truth in it?

    Comment by Evan — 2012-11-01 @ 7:50 am

    • I *think* if you are the one being jumped, you should do it from the trunk, which bypasses all of the software. Is that where you got the jump from?

      I have not heard of being able to jump from the main battery.

      Comment by steveriggins — 2012-11-01 @ 7:57 am

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