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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

We are looking at maybe purchasing a 2012 Ampera and wondering if anyone can answer a few questions:

1, Is there much difference between the 2012 and 2013 models, theres quite a big difference in price and just wondering if its worth it.
2, The car we are looking at has done 103k miles - putting it outside the 100k/8 year warranty - anyone think this would be a problem - the owner says the batteries are in good still geting the 10.4kw.
3, Do you need to go to a specialist garage for servicing.

Thanks
 

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My thoughts would be that the 2013 model manages the 12v battery better than the 2012 model (and low 12v battery gives lots of random problems - mostly, it appears, to 2012 models). 2013 model also gives a nice power usage display, so you can see what's going on with HV battery and ICE when driving. Mileage shouldn't be an issue if the car is in good condition and had been regularly serviced. Very little to service, but you do need to use a specialist for some Ampera specific stuff, and other members of this group will give recommendations depending on your location I'm sure.
Great cars - wouldn't look back personally.
 

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Twin Amperas
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We have two 2012 model Amperas, no issues with either in terms of being 2012 model year, but have replaced 12v batteries on both due to age.

The condition/history/mileage would be of more importance to me to be honest...if you can get a better 2012 one for your money I would go with that rather than pay more/get a higher mileage one just to have a 2013 model year version.

That mileage shouldn't be a big issue - they are capable of a few times that if looked after...

Presume you are aware that registration year doesn't correlate with model year - ours are both 2013 registered but 2012 model year - easiest way to spot 2013 version has a rear armrest where 2012 ones have cup holders.

Still love them - so far ahead of their time just look at all the new phev models coming out now based on similar design approach...
 

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Twin Amperas
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Sorry meant to add for servicing there are still some Vauxhall dealers with Ampera specialists...Bellingers in Wantage have looked after ours very happy with them.

Alternatively if you search for HEVRA approved garages they will be able to help - some traditional garages can be nervous of electric vehicles...but it will be the new normal fairly soon...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the replies.

The owner has replied and said its had full vauxhall main ampera dealer service history and also gave details of where he takes it. The newer model (with arm rest in the back - good tip) seem to be about £1500-£2000 more than the one I'm looking at so its quite a big gap.
 

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Twin Amperas
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Wow I certainly would not pay 1500-2000 more for an armrest, improved 12v management and power meter...!!

Probably not even 500...!

I guess that would be 25% plus discount for foregoing those things...no brainer for me...!

Good luck hope you find the right car and if this is the one it turns out well.

If you can charge at home it may be worth switching to Octopus energy and going on their 'Go' EV tariff...we use it to charge overnight at about 5p/unit...

If you sign up via my share with friends link we split £100 bonus Octopus Energy

If you will be using on street chargers Polar Plus is worth a look too - my wife charges near work most days and it makes the monthly subscription (about 15 IIRC) well worth it...
 

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My recommendation for you is to pay a little extra and buy one with some of the original Vauxhall warranty left.
The HV parts are very expensive and difficult to source.
Some of the batteries are now nearing the end of their useful life. My HV battery failed at 82000 miles with an isolation error within the battery possibly due to internal corrosion. This happened despite regular servicing at the dealers. Replacing the battery outside the warranty does not make economic sense due to the costs ( Likely to be over £10K+). Mine is still awaiting replacement at the dealers. There has been many such failures in USA according to the Chevy Volt forum.
I owned it since new( 2014)and loved the car. It never let me down until this battery failure. The later models had some modifications done to the battery heater element to avoid this failure.

Having said that HV battery issues are likely to be a big issue in the future for most battery powered cars until such time the industry is ready to standardise and make them available at independant outlets. At the present time manufacturers use complicated heating and cooling systems for these batteries which makes it difficult and complicated to service. The Ampera for example has 4 radiators and 4 separate cooling systems for the engine,battery, HV electronics and AC sytem for the car and the battery.
 

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There are 2 models (ignoring v rare Earth), the Electron & the Positiv. Electron has (almost useless) satnav that's years out of date, but usefully there's a 30 Gb hard disk you can load CDs onto if so inclined, and the Bose audio is v nice with a decent subwoofer. That's about it for differences in the 2 models.

2012 looks after 12V ok, it just doesn't do a nightly check+topup, so helps to either use the car regularly, or connect up a trickle charger if leaving it for a long while. Good idea to get a £5 voltmeter to plug into the aux socket to monitor battery state, whatever model/year you get.

At 100k miles it's likely to be needing new CV joints. Replica parts are around ? £250 ? maybe, there's a thread in here. Genuine GM parts from dealer will be £700 or more, I Imported genuine & fitted myself, around £450 I think. See that thread lower down somewhere...

Keep a cash reserve of £1000 in case any items sudenly need repair, like charge-port, etc. Failures on these cars are rare, but not unknown. Repairs can be expensive if needed!
Don't worry if door buttons don't unlock, common problem, sell a cheap, quality diy repair for these. Broken boot clips holding the trampoline I also supply decent replacements.

Don't worry if you hate the trampoline, there's a conventional parcel shelf replacement about to be announced & tested, uses Renault Megane 2nd hand item plus clips I'm now making.
 

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Electron Summit White NK13...107k 91.5 and rising
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My experience of nearly 12 months now is that the Ampera is a really outstanding vehicle in many ways and a very good introduction to electric vehicles. You will go on quite a learning curve and have some scary moments when it looks like it has gone wrong when it hasn't, it is just taking care of itself. If the battery still delivers over 10KwH between charges then it is virtually as good as new. Its a highly complex architecture - over 100 processors all working together and hums and wheezes to itself a bit like a steam engine - even when it is switched off. I spent 3 months searching for mine before going for a 2013 with 101k miles and a free charger. Because there are so few (about 1200 in total in UK) the prices are quite widely spread. If you can get one less than 8 years old with less than 100k miles you will benefit from the GM warranty on the electric powertrain (Voltec) components. But the dealer network support is patchy (and getting patchier) with only one or two being really useful - Bellingers in Wantage probably being the best regarded. And even with warranty, you can end up losing the car for a period while they wait for parts. So I came to the conclusion that the warranty was a bit of a red herring and that if I wanted the experience I had to be prepared to put the money at risk and rely on the independent network (HEVRA) of garages that can deal with EVs, and also this wonderful forum and its US counterpart (for the related Chevrolet Volt).

My conclusion after a year: it is the best car I have ever owned and it may well be the last one I ever buy.
 

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I think the only thing not mentioned here between the 2012 and 2013 is the battery pack size difference? 2012 have a 16kWh pack and 2013 have 16.5kWh, 10.4 is usable in a 2012 and 10.9 from a 2013 so you may be able to eeek out an extra few leccy miles
 

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I think the only thing not mentioned here between the 2012 and 2013 is the battery pack size difference? 2012 have a 16kWh pack and 2013 have 16.5kWh, 10.4 is usable in a 2012 and 10.9 from a 2013 so you may be able to eeek out an extra few leccy miles
I don't think it makes much difference - plenty of 2012 Amperas have achieved 40 miles on a charge and my 2013 version struggles to do the same - the ICE usually cuts in at 10.3 kWh and the only time I have seen more than this is when the last few miles are downhill or so slow that the ICE just cannot be bothered . . .

I think that any Ampera as worth buying provided one is prepared to iron out the likely faults.
The most annoying faults being:
  • Lazy charge port flap;
  • Door lock/unlock buttons not working;
  • Condensation in the rear reflectors.
All of the above can be fixed as DIY projects or you could just live with them.

If anything major goes wrong, there are still Vx dealers who can obtain parts and carry out repairs.
These can be expensive but the risks are probably no greater than on any other car that is more than eight years old!
 

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I don't think it makes much difference - plenty of 2012 Amperas have achieved 40 miles on a charge and my 2013 version struggles to do the same - the ICE usually cuts in at 10.3 kWh and the only time I have seen more than this is when the last few miles are downhill or so slow that the ICE just cannot be bothered . . .

I think that any Ampera as worth buying provided one is prepared to iron out the likely faults.
The most annoying faults being:
  • Lazy charge port flap;
  • Door lock/unlock buttons not working;
  • Condensation in the rear reflectors.
I pretty much always see between 10.7 - 11.2kWh when I use the whole charge without any use of ICE, but realistically I don't think it equates to enough extra miles that I'd pay extra for it.
Good point about the annoying faults, I'd forgotten about those having already gotten used to the whole charade of opening the charge port in wet weather and my door buttons working about 70% of the time!
 

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@neeiro There's a thread in here "Guide to buying 2nd hand Ampera", I assume you've seen that?
If you do get one, there's one simple thing that you 100% must do, for a few pennies you could avoid bill for £600 ish & car off the road for a fortnight. Check it has a mesh grill immediately under&behind the numberplate to protect the radiator fro stone. Thread here:
Free - Ampera Radiator Protective Grille Plans & Guide
 

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2015 Ampera Positiv MY12
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The one we were looking at got sold - but we are still looking.

Quick Question - is this a genuine 2015 as it has the detachable back arm rest? Vauxhall Ampera 2015
That's not a removable arm rest. Also, looks a bit uncared for, definitely not "immaculate" - is that a hole in the driver's side carpet? The dealer hasn't given it a very thorough valet, I could do a better cleanup than that. Mind you, could be mechanically sound, and it's pretty cheap. It's all very hard to judge without standing in front of it. With Amps, I think it's hard to read an advert and judge it, since the advert will be written by someone more accustomed to an ICE and thus won't mention any pertinent points of this quirky car. This is where buying privately from an enthusiast/forum member will be useful, unless they're trying to palm off a rotter.
 

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Its a my12 and a positiv from the rear view camera, the electron has lines overlaid on the screen
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've seen another one with 150k (13 reg) on the clock but looks very well looked after, we will probably only be doing about 5k a year - is there any way to see what condition the batteries are in on the display (its online so they will have to check). Its up for £6k.

Also I saw a youtube review that says the car is prone to grounding at the front on speed humps, anyone have any problems with this?
 
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