Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

21 - 40 of 50 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
Electron - Bose stereo (supposed to be good, no idea I have a Positiv and Radio 4 is fine ;)
Satnav, long out of date satnav with no possibility of update.
Reversing camera has twee lines in it. (no guide line in the Positiv)
I would think MY13 would be more desirable than a MY12 any flavor. If you can find a MY14 then great it may even be possible to update the SatNav. These are very rare but one did turn up earlier this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #22
Thanks, was hoping for a MY13+ having already read up on the differences. I've been looking at a few 64 plate models which I'm aware doesn't guarantee they're MY13 but until I check the VIN its a better indication.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
Use the info in the buying guide for a quick ID -
My14 (extremely rare) no coloured inserts in the seats.
My13 cup holders across the car in the rear + armrest
My12 cup holders in line in the rear no armrest.

Don't forget the few Volts same car different nose, slightly cheaper usually.

Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #24
Well I'm going to look at an Ampera this Sunday, the dealership have assured me they will charge it up prior to my visit so hopefully they stick to that. Am I right in thinking if for whatever reason they haven't done, starting the car and putting it in mountain mode will force the ICE to charge the battery?

I have been doing some more reading so I know what to look for and I've read quite a lot about a steering lock fault, seems like a real put off for me! The threads I've seen are several years old and I'm wondering if a be all and end all fix had been found for it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Well I'm going to look at an Ampera this Sunday, the dealership have assured me they will charge it up prior to my visit so hopefully they stick to that. Am I right in thinking if for whatever reason they haven't done, starting the car and putting it in mountain mode will force the ICE to charge the battery?
Firstly, if the dealer charges the car before you view, there must be a good chance that you have found one of those rare dealers who has some understanding of what they are selling!

Second, driving in 'Mountain' mode will charge the battery but only when the battery level is below 50% - however, when you use this charge, it will still be recorded as engine mileage because you used the engine to charge the battery.

Amperas are wonderfully quirky and always fun to drive and for the prices currently being sought, it isn't worth sweating about possible future faults.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DomJ

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
I have been doing some more reading so I know what to look for and I've read quite a lot about a steering lock fault, seems like a real put off for me! The threads I've seen are several years old and I'm wondering if a be all and end all fix had been found for it?
Replacing the steering lock with a newer one seems to fix it.Saying that I do wonder how many really failed out of the 1200 in the UK, Mine, touch wood , has been fine BUT I do change the 12v battery every 3 or so years as an insurance policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #27
Replacing the steering lock with a newer one seems to fix it.Saying that I do wonder how many really failed out of the 1200 in the UK, Mine, touch wood , has been fine BUT I do change the 12v battery every 3 or so years as an insurance policy.
My mother has a Prius and am aware of the importance of changing the 12v battery in a hybrid! Fortunately I replaced the battery in my current car 2 months ago, nothing wrong with the old one it had just stopped meeting the requirements for stop/start to trigger. If I pick up an Ampera I shall probably swap my new battery and put the old one back in my Punto! It’s a decent AGM unit and as far as I can tell it’s the same size as the Ampera’s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
... Am I right in thinking... starting the car and putting it in mountain mode will force the ICE to charge the battery? ...
(edit 20/9: I find MM goes to petrol after 6.8 kWh used, so 10.4 - 6.8 remains)

Yes. If the battery is really low, with 5 miles or less range, you may find that putting it in MM does the usual charge to 1/3 full (not 1/2 as stated above), so you'll have close to 3.6 kWh, but a bug in the software means you may not be able to select "Hold" mode, as the cpu knows it's been at a v low state of charge, and so rather takes over control from you & restricts the options! So it's best to try never to get to < 5 miles electric range, apart from the final 5 of your trip. In this "buggy" state, it may well continue show the petrol gauge even though a lot of the driving will be electric, and even if you've tried to select "Normal". It thinks it's stuck in petrol-mode. Fix for this is pull over, stop the car, restart it, it then sees it's actually got around 15 miles range (or >5 hopefully!), and happily starts up again in Normal mode & you can select all the other modes as usual!

What you don't want to do is use MM to get you 15 to 18 miles range, only to realise it's only 5 more to get home, and you arrive with 10 electric miles range which have cost you petrol. It's not easy to see just what the range is while using MM, unless you switch over to Normal from time to time to check. Note that when in Normal with plenty of miles (>18 appx) range, switching to MM looks confusing, as immediately about 18 miles range suddenly disappear from view, the car continues on electric & nothing seems to have changed! You haven't really lost those 18 miles, it's just the car's way of saying that it will start burning petrol in just a few more miles time, when the true electric range has dropped to 18 (ish).

... a steering lock fault... I'm wondering if a be all and end all fix had been found for it?
No. I've changed to a newer module, and I still get it very occasionally - maybe 2 or 3x a year. What triggers the fault I don't know; there are no sensors inside the module, no limit switches, so the only test I can imagine they use is to monitor the current drawn by the tiny motor used; if this stays high for too long, maybe they detect this as "something got stuck". I stripped my original unit, and found signs of massive overheating of the armature inside it, so I really think GM are abusing the motor. So I now park with the steering wheel exactly straight ahead, and this seems to help reduce the message happening. I don't see it as a show stopper, it's never actually stopped me, I just ignore the message & it goes away. Don't let it put you off!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
385 Posts
Yes. If the battery is really low, with 5 miles or less range, you may find that putting it in MM does the usual charge to 1/3 full (not 1/2 as stated above), so you'll have close to 3.6 kWh, but a bug in the software means you may not be able to select "Hold" mode, as the cpu knows it's been at a v low state of charge, and so rather takes over control from you & restricts the options!
I think some of these features must vary slightly according to model year. When I bought mine the dealer had only put enough juice in the battery to get me off his drive but he did throw in a couple of gallons of petrol. I therefore tried to increase the battery level by using Mountain Mode (MM) and as Andy points out I found that whatever I did Hold Mode (HM) was greyed out and not available. The situation stayed with me even after I had stopped at a service station for an hour to read the manual. The following day, after using the granny charger to charge up overnight, I was dissapointed to find that I had much less than 40 miles of battery range but HM was now available and following advice from this forum I started using HM on start-up to warm the car up and get up the hill out of the village. After a few weeks and lots of questions on these pages the car seemed to be back to normal with a typical range of 42 miles displayed - although in reality, my actual battery range is usually between 35 and 40. And, if I put in into MM when the battery is fully charged, the ICE will start up when the range is down to around 18 to 20 miles which is why I reckon about half way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #31
Well I went and test drove the car today, the dealer had given it a full charge, 37miles it showed on the battery range. Drove faultlessly, even all the door buttons worked surprisingly. I’ve put a deposit down and I pick it up on Wednesday, very happy! Thanks for all the help and advice, I’m sure I will be asking more questions in the near future.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #32
One more quick question on the end of this ever growing thread... The car in question was registered October 2014 (although I'm under the assumption its a MY2013), it has Vauxhall FSH and currently sits at 57,000mi. To preserve the 8 year(?) 100,000mi warranty does it need to be serviced by Vauxhall?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
Yes, that will be a 64 plate like mine. It must be serviced by one of the few Ampera dealers to preserve the Voltec warranty. After that its upto you, mine will probably head to a local Hevra garage in a couple of years.

Depends where you are which is the local dealer. - Do check the battery coolant change was done at the 5th year service. Some garages consider it optional, its not for the warranty. My usual one thought it was the engine coolant at £30 duh! So I took it to Bellingers for a proper service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #34
Ok thanks, I'm located in north Kent, can't seem to find much on Vaxuhalls website regarding the Ampera or specific services centres for it... Usually do all my own servicing so this will be a bit of a shock to the system but I would appreciate keeping the warranty for all the expensive bits!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,883 Posts
Check here Service centres

Underwoods - Colchester maybe?

Hopefully with your area on here someone will be along who knows the local service agents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
@DomJ please make sure you have a radiator grille fitted! V expensive repair if a stone punctures it, not at all uncommon to these cars. There are 2 rads at the front, the one most at risk is behind the numberplate. I've posted details of my diy one here: Ampera Radiator Grille plans
If you don't fancy doing it yourself, pop over to Winchester some day & I'll make one & fit it for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #38
@DomJ please make sure you have a radiator grille fitted! V expensive repair if a stone punctures it, not at all uncommon to these cars. There are 2 rads at the front, the one most at risk is behind the numberplate. I've posted details of my diy one here: Ampera Radiator Grille plans
If you don't fancy doing it yourself, pop over to Winchester some day & I'll make one & fit it for you.
Looks like a very comprehensive guide, I will give it a go myself but if it all goes terribly wrong I may take you up on your offer, I travel to Portsmouth frequently so Winchester isn't much of a stretch.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #39
Well now I think I have comfortably sorted out my at home charging solution I'm looking more into destination charging. More questions I'm sorry! I work in multiple locations throughout the week, 2 of these days are a 52mile round trip as mentioned in this thread.
There are 2 charge points near work, both on-street parking and untethered type 2 connectors. What would I need to use these with the Ampera? Is it even worth the faff or should I just lump it with part of the return journey being petrol?

Another location is a 80 mile round trip, of course I am not expecting the battery to get me all the way there but there is a hotel with a tethered type 2 charger, again what would I need to use this? The parking is £20 a day but the carpark I currently use is £24 for 8 hours, not that this matters to me as the company pay for it in expenses but if anything I will be saving them £4 a week, the electric is free.
Another location is a 30mile round trip so in at least warmer weather I'm assuming this can be done entirely on electric.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,483 Posts
All these type 2 chargeposts use the same standard Type 2 socket. You'll need a Type 2 -> Type 1 cable, rated 16A. No point in getting one rated 32A, as your next EV will certainly need a type 2 -> type 2 cable. My Ampy draws a max of 14A as far as I can measure. I got my cable 4 years ago from evconnectors.com, and it's been faultless. I went for a 10m long one as I don't know where on the driveway my car will be. Also, this helps charging at some supermarkets if the parking bay is Iced - you may be able to reach to a free space. My home EVSE is untethered, so this cable is used at home, and goes with me on my travels along with 13A granny EVSE.

Only you can work out if it's financially worthwhile; these cables aren't cheap, so it may come down to whether you're prepared to subside the health of the locals a bit by using what may be rather expensive electricity. Look carefully into what these chargers cost - last time I looked at Source London it worked out at a ridiculously high price per kWh, so I avoid them.

Your 30 mile trip is a cinch in summer, and perfectly doable in winter so long as you drive gently. Aircon & cabin heating will eat into the range, as will wet/damp roads, so you may need to drive at 60 or less in winter. Some of us reckon turning heating off, but wearing gloves & using the heated seat is a good economical compromise. On long winter trips I alternate between using petrol & heating the cabin really warm, then switching to electric & turning heating & fan right off, allowing the cabin to cool as slowly as poss and not using any electricity at all to provide heat. Wives tend not to like this thermal cycling though! :)
 
21 - 40 of 50 Posts
Top