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As you know it has been rather cold over the last few days and I wondered if anyone else had experienced this. OK When starting off the engine runs to warm things up quicker but I have also noticed that as I drive along, on two or three occasions the engine has started and runs for 0.5 to 1 mile and then turns off.

Not a problem but unexpected the first time it happened
 

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I haven't had that happen but it has only been down to -2 here so perhaps it needs to be colder for this to happen?

Isn't hrere an option to allow or disallow use of the generator to warm batteries? I haven't checked the manual on this recently but I seem to remember something along those lines - or I might be thinking of something else :)
 

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It happened to me for the first time yesterday on the way in to work: the engine didn't start when setting off from home but it did run a couple of times on the way in. The temperature display said -4C each time the engine started.
More about that here.

I don't think we have an option to customise the temperature: I didn't find it last time I looked and I couldn't look again yesterday when I got to work because it went into a mode where attempting to get to any setup screen just gave me the clock setting screen.
 

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Hello Ray,

I'm not sure if this is exactly the situation you are encountering but it is similar. Since the 2011 and 2012 USA Volts don't have the HOLD option I'm not sure if my statement is relevant.

Mornings here in Colorado have been getting down to -6 centigrade. I note the following:

A. With the Volt plugged in and fully charged it will precondition the car without the motor starting.
B. Once unplugged and driving it will run on just electric for less then 5 minutes before the engine cycles on for less then 2 minutes with dash statement of “ENGINE RUNNING DUE TO TEMPRATURE”. It will then go back to all electric. Depending on what my next move is the following can happen I'm dressed warmly including gloves, the seat warmers are on and it is a sunny low humidity winter day it will stay electric for 8-10 minutes on surface streets. Or I get on the motorway, or turn on the heater to COMFORT for a warm cabin, I am dressed lightly, I am carrying passengers the engine comes on about every 5 minutes or less until the battery is exhausted and the engine stays on for the duration with only one or two minutes cycles of battery only by the Volt.

This last part is typical of motorway driving in the warm months.

Ross
 

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Hi REB.
My Ampera has the hold function (UK spec) and still does exactly as you describe. We've had temperatures down to -3 on and off for the last couple of weeks and the driver display has come up with " engine running due to temperature" on a number of occasions. I run the car with the climate control set at 23 degs., seats on, and air con. set on econ.

CliveS
 

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I had 30 minutes sitting in the car waiting for the wife to return and reminded myself that you can "adjust" the degree to which the engine cuts in to assist with warming up the cabin and I guess the battery pack although not sure about the second point

Select "config" - "vehicle" - " Climate & air Quality". Scroll to "Engine assisted Heating and select. Then you can "adjust" to either "At cold Temperatures" or "At Very cold Temperatures"

I personally think the first option is the best but I guess it depends on type and length of journey to be undertaken.

Anyway, I'll go and get my life back now!!!

Big Paul
 

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Yes, thanks also from me too Big Paul, will explore this. The temperature here has hit -4 and I had wondered how extreme cold would affect mileage. I had a long run to Suffolk yesterday - totalled 220 miles of which the battery managed 34 (from a 32 starting point). With heating on etc I got a 57.8 mpg at the end which I was much better than I expected. I hadn't read RayG's opening text so was actually suprised when that morning I had remotely started the pre-heating in the garage, went in there 10 minutes later to find the engine running though it was plugged into the mains and charging.
MK AMP
 

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A minor point but I should add I have a 2012 Volt which doesn't have a second setting of "Very Cold" as the Amperas do. If the milder setting is the default perhaps that is why his engine was running while plugged in.

REB
 

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I set mine on "Very cold temperature" and then control the behaviour manually using hold mode. That means that if I'm doing a short journey and I can afford to waste electricity on heating, I do that and not use petrol. However if I am going further I get the ICE on early because otherwise it may take a mile to come one, by which time I've seen 600Wh wasted anyway.
 

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The temperature was 10C today and a large chunk of range came back. I was able to lead foot it home and still arrived with 2 miles left at my garage.

I'm now convinced there is a step function in energy use and range at 8C. I expect some kind of battery heater is programmed to come on at this point. It doesn't matter much what the cabin temperature is set to.
 

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The temperature was 10C today and a large chunk of range came back. I was able to lead foot it home and still arrived with 2 miles left at my garage.

I'm now convinced there is a step function in energy use and range at 8C. I expect some kind of battery heater is programmed to come on at this point. It doesn't matter much what the cabin temperature is set to.
Interesting. Big shock today. The wife only got 23 miles range on the volt before the ice kicked in! She is south African and anything below 10 degrees is deep winter to her. Just want to give the facts to see if this short range is normal.

Car was preconditioned twice in a row just before sett off but plugged in. Temp was 7 degrees outside. Lights and wipers were on. Heated seat was on 2 bars, heating was constantly set to 25, and 15 miles of the 23 miles was at 80 mph. Oh and stereo would be blasting out.

Any surprise range gone after 23 miles? Last week without lights, wipers and lower heating 31 range was achieved @ 80 mph easily.

Help!
 

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@volt69
A lot to do with her leaden foot and need for heat. That range is pretty normal with so much speed and heating on.
With just 10kWh to play with, the range is very likely to fall dramatically during the winter months.
My home build cars have 16kWh and 32kWh respectively and so winter usage was much less noticeable.

Interestingly, a winter or two ago, my home town was gridlocked due to snow and I took 2 hours to cover a half hour drive but actually used less energy by the time I reached home.

Although the Ampera/Volt is energy limited with only 10kWh available, I do question these new PHEV hybrids coming on the market (Outlander being one) that have even less range.
At least the Ampera/Volt has a possible 50 mile range on a good day. Most of these new cars have far less.

A case of existing manufacturers clinging on to ICE's and servicing I feel.

They have the benefit of much newer technology but have lower EV performance.
 

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A lot to do with her leaden foot and need for heat. That range is pretty normal with so much speed and heating on.
+1. You have limited energy available from the battery and it's the driver choice on how it's used. Also, in lower temperatures the battery can't hold and deliver as much energy anyway.

Last winter, we bought electric heated seat covers which run off the lighter socket and used those instead of the EV's heater (which draws 3kW and saps range). We also wrapped up and used a lighter foot. We did use the heater on the coldest days but we were surprised that most of the time we could manage without.
 

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@Robwiz
I note that the Ampera/Volt actually switches the occupied seat heater on low when starting a journey in cold weather for that very reason.
Another reason why the car is just too clever by half.

Now I just need to figure out the button combination to pre-heat the car before getting in. :)
 

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@Robwiz
I note that the Ampera/Volt actually switches the occupied seat heater on low when starting a journey in cold weather for that very reason.
Another reason why the car is just too clever by half.

Now I just need to figure out the button combination to pre-heat the car before getting in. :)
Lock button once (even if locked) . The press and hold the precondition button a few seconds until the indicators flash and the side lights come on. Preconditioned is now active for ten minutes. M
 

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Thanks @volt69,
You have had yours for less time than me and seem to know it well.:p
It was the locking press I wasn't sure about even when it was locked.
Tried it for the first time last night and the car was cold but had dawdled a bit and was delayed far longer than 10 minutes. I hadn't realised that bit.

BTW, you might get more range if you hinted to your wife that 80mph is actually illegal in the UK. :rolleyes:
 

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A point about the preconditioning; You say you put it on twice in a row - preconditioning uses battery power which is concurrently topped up from the mains while plugged in. If you drive off before the green light on the dash has changed from solid back to occasional flash, then the battery hasn't finished topping up from the preconditioning and you'll start with less juice.
And yes, as others have said, lights, wipers, seats on 2, heating on 25C (on Max rather than Eco?) , and leaden right foot - not too surprised at 23 :rolleyes: Throw a hill or two and headwinds into the mix and even more certain. During winter months last two winters in mine, I generally started each day with the guessometer saying 29-30. But my general winter day involved lowish speeds, and heating on Eco / 22, and I generally got what it said give or take a mile or two.
 

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A point about the preconditioning; You say you put it on twice in a row - preconditioning uses battery power which is concurrently topped up from the mains while plugged in. If you drive off before the green light on the dash has changed from solid back to occasional flash, then the battery hasn't finished topping up from the preconditioning and you'll start with less juice.
And yes, as others have said, lights, wipers, seats on 2, heating on 25C (on Max rather than Eco?) , and leaden right foot - not too surprised at 23 :rolleyes: Throw a hill or two and headwinds into the mix and even more certain. During winter months last two winters in mine, I generally started each day with the guessometer saying 29-30. But my general winter day involved lowish speeds, and heating on Eco / 22, and I generally got what it said give or take a mile or two.
So I timed the EVSE 10amp plugged in preconditioning today. It takes 10 mins to recover the full charge back to flashing green after the 10 min precon run has ended. That's a single run. I assume 2 runs in a row will take 20 mins to recover.

M
 
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