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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone, great forum you have here. Been reading a lot of posts here lately and there seems to be a huge wealth of knowledge about the Ampera.

Never heard of one until a few weeks ago, saw it on a garage website listed as an Astra, but, never saw an Astra like it!! Then I saw it was an Ampera and it was a hybrid. Because it looked good for a hybrid I decided to look into a bit more and because of that I found my way to this website.

Over the weekend I managed to finally get to see one in real life and get test drive in one, and wow, what a beautiful car. So much nicer than the pictures suggest. But, what really caught me by surprise is how nice it was to drive. The driving seat is a lovely place to be!!

So, I have nearly made up my mind that I want it, despite been a little over my budget.

But, I have a few questions which might help me decide.

1. HV coolant flush, Don't know if it was done, neither does the garage. The car has 91,000 miles on the clock. If the coolant looks cloudy does that mean it should be done? How much would it cost a garage to do? Not how much would it cost for me to get a garage to do it, but, is it an expensive job for a garage? The garage in question deals with Electric Vehicles, so I am presuming that they would have all the equipment required and it all it would cost them is the coolant and the time?

2. Moisture in the rear lights: Were they supposed to be replaced under warranty? If I decide to buy the car, is this something I can get the garage to fix before I take it home?

3. By using the information found on this thread, I worked out it has done roughly 35,000 miles on petrol. That means 56,000 on electric. Does that sound ok?

4. The garage is going to put a new 12 volt battery in before sale. How long roughly does the battery last?

5. I am thinking of getting a tethered wall charger at home. Is there a recommended type 2 to type 1 adapter? Or is it better to get a Type 2 charger at home and buy a type 2 to type 1 cable, just in case I need to charge on the road? How much, roughly, does the cable and adapter cost?

6. I have tried to work it out as best I can the range I will get on the electric motor,so to have some idea of the fuel I will save. I don't have a heavy right foot and usually obey the speed limits. None of my journeys for work are on motorways. With that in mind I have estimated a range of 27 miles for winter and 42 miles for summer. Do those figures seem realistic?

7. Sort of related to the last question, I have one trip each week that's 65 miles each way and no chance to charge until I get home. 44 miles on normal roads, then 13 miles on a motorway and the last 8 miles in city traffic. Now, been reading this site, but, I just want to check the best way to make this kind of Journey. The way I planned was to use the electric motor from the start out of my own town, then when I get on the main roads and motorway use hold until I hit the city and then switch back to normal. When I get more used to the car I can fine tune it to have it on normal for as much of the trip I can.

8. Preheating the car: Let's say I am using the granny charger at 6 amps and decide to preheat the car twice. It takes 45 minutes for the car to charge back up again afterwards, right? Won't the car have cooled down by that stage? Especially if it's a really cold day.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I might have more questions, if that's ok?
 

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Where to start?
1, Not really needed, officially 5 year intervals to keep the warrenty in the uk, the volt (same car) is 10 years. Needs a vacuum gadget, if your doing this best to have someone like bellingers do it if your in the uk.

2, covered by the 3year warranty, but the still steams up when replaced. see various threads on drilling holes...

3, at least someone has been charging it, its fine.

4, Must be AGM or other cabin safe unit 3-4 years seems average.

5, Your next car will be a type 2 so get an untethered one saves the hassle of changing the tethered cable.
 

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6, Range
Depends on weather , a very cold beast from the east may see you below 25. Pre-heating will get this over 30 normally - here a wallbox is required to speed up the preheat, the granny lead will not cut it when its very cold.
I expect 45-50 in summer on normal roads. this winter as its been warm 33-38.

7 fine
8, the important part for the car is heating the battery pack, this seems to hold its temperature, well insulated? If the pack is not warmed the the car uses the traction battery to heat it loosing range. After this comes looking after the occupants :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Spiny for the detailed responses. I am in Ireland so can't bring it to Bellingers :)

I was also wondering about servicing. From what I read the electric side of things doesn't need any servicing. And it only needs to be looked at when/if there is a problem?

Also, I know none of you have seen the car and it's probably a silly question, but, what is the long term reliability like? I will be doing between 8,000 and 14,000 miles a year. If I buy the car, I will be keeping it for 4/5 years minimum. I don't mind spending a little money to keep a car but, I don't want to throwing money at it. I had an Alfa Romeo 159 for a while, it was a beautiful car and I really liked it but it cost me a fortune in wanting constant attention.

It's the only thing holding me back from buying it.
 

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There are many better qualified people on this forum than me to answer that question but I have 3 thoughts for you.

Unlike some battery-only cars, ( eg early Nissan Leafs), Amperas don't see battery degredation.
People seem to get rid of their Amperas either to get a battery-only car with 200+ mile range, or because they are fed up with Vauxhall's lack of support/local servicing.
Google "Ol Sparkie" for info on the longest running car.
 

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Pretty su
Where to start?
1, Not really needed, officially 5 year intervals to keep the warrenty in the uk, the volt (same car) is 10 years. Needs a vacuum gadget, if your doing this best to have someone like bellingers do it if your in the uk.

2, covered by the 3year warranty, but the still steams up when replaced. see various threads on drilling holes...

3, at least someone has been charging it, its fine.

4, Must be AGM or other cabin safe unit 3-4 years seems average.

5, Your next car will be a type 2 so get an untethered one saves the hassle of changing the tethered cable.
[/QUOTE
Pretty sure Volt is also 5yrs or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first.
 

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Think I got a bit confused there, The Ampera is 5 years - no mileage stated, the Volt is 5 years or 100,000 miles whichever is first.

Once over the warranty period then you could go in for the @donald Coolant change method.
Read this thread first though! bit by bit coolant change
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There are many better qualified people on this forum than me to answer that question but I have 3 thoughts for you.

Unlike some battery-only cars, ( eg early Nissan Leafs), Amperas don't see battery degredation.
People seem to get rid of their Amperas either to get a battery-only car with 200+ mile range, or because they are fed up with Vauxhall's lack of support/local servicing.
Every opinion is welcome :)

This is what's worrying me, everything that I have read suggests that the EV side of things is bullet proof. But, people who say they love the car are selling them because of servicing/support issues.

Yes, the Ol Sparkie videos gives me a bit of peace of mind about keeping the car long term. Because if I do buy, I reckon I will be keeping it until it falls apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Think I got a bit confused there, The Ampera is 5 years - no mileage stated, the Volt is 5 years or 100,000 miles whichever is first.

Once over the warranty period then you could go in for the @donald Coolant change method.
Read this thread first though! bit by bit coolant change
I think I didn't make myself clear in my first post. The Garage I am buying the car off deals with Electric vehicles. So I asked them would they do the coolant flush, if it needed to be done. They said they would but it would depend on the cost. And that was my question, is it an expensive job for a garage to do? Like would the main cost for the garage be the price of the coolant?

Does it need to be done every 5 years/100k miles?

And, if I check the coolant and it's not cloudy, does that mean it's ok? If it's cloudy does that mean it should definitely be done?
 

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The stuff is pre-mix dexcool, not that expensive, Amazon etc have it see the previous linked thread for the amount. Its more down to the garage charges for filling. As I understand it, it goes off if air gets in it hence the service life, however it is supposed to have an 8 year shelf life before use and the battery circuit never boils the stuff (at least I hope not!) so it has a really easy life compared to use for cooling an ICE engine.

Otherwise the car is prone to wheel bearings (astra) due to its weight. Mine is still on the original ones. Brakes but that is normal ICE stuff. The car is heavy, around 1.8 tons so you might expect running gear to wear. These are all normal ICE items. Mine is on the original bearings and brakes but its only done 48,000 since registration in sept 2014 and will if I keep it go out of warranty on time not mileage.

I will probably change it as I'm going to need a 5 seater in the future which is a shame as its the best car I've owned going back over the decades to the Morris 1000. Potential replacement, like some others I'm eyeing a model Y possibly and have started putting money into the piggy bank.

minty
 

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Thanks Spiny for the detailed responses. I am in Ireland so can't bring it to Bellingers :)

I was also wondering about servicing. From what I read the electric side of things doesn't need any servicing. And it only needs to be looked at when/if there is a problem?

Also, I know none of you have seen the car and it's probably a silly question, but, what is the long term reliability like? I will be doing between 8,000 and 14,000 miles a year. If I buy the car, I will be keeping it for 4/5 years minimum. I don't mind spending a little money to keep a car but, I don't want to throwing money at it. I had an Alfa Romeo 159 for a while, it was a beautiful car and I really liked it but it cost me a fortune in wanting constant attention.

It's the only thing holding me back from buying it.
Not sure what part of Ireland you are in but James Golden in Cork services mine. He did a good part of his EV training in the UK working with an Ampera so he's very familiar with them.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The stuff is pre-mix dexcool, not that expensive, Amazon etc have it see the previous linked thread for the amount. Its more down to the garage charges for filling. As I understand it, it goes off if air gets in it hence the service life, however it is supposed to have an 8 year shelf life before use and the battery circuit never boils the stuff (at least I hope not!) so it has a really easy life compared to use for cooling an ICE engine.

Otherwise the car is prone to wheel bearings (astra) due to its weight. Mine is still on the original ones. Brakes but that is normal ICE stuff. The car is heavy, around 1.8 tons so you might expect running gear to wear. These are all normal ICE items. Mine is on the original bearings and brakes but its only done 48,000 since registration in sept 2014 and will if I keep it go out of warranty on time not mileage.

I will probably change it as I'm going to need a 5 seater in the future which is a shame as its the best car I've owned going back over the decades to the Morris 1000. Potential replacement, like some others I'm eyeing a model Y possibly and have started putting money into the piggy bank.

minty
Thanks Spiny. Great reply and It's really helped me to make a choice between buy or not buy.

And the decision is..... to buy :) Well, that's if I can agree a price with the Garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not sure what part of Ireland you are in but James Golden in Cork services mine. He did a good part of his EV training in the UK working with an Ampera so he's very familiar with them.
I am in the Midlands. So it's going to be a drive no matter where I go. I hope the garage can do most of the stuff I need to get done before I buy the car. That should last until the Warranty runs out. Then I can get serviced anywhere.
 

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I am in the Midlands. So it's going to be a drive no matter where I go. I hope the garage can do most of the stuff I need to get done before I buy the car. That should last until the Warranty runs out. Then I can get serviced anywhere.
Hi Melmac

I have a mint Ampera up for sale at present & I'm in N.Ireland. 2014 MY13 Ampera Positiv. Just over 56000 miles. Full service history from Vauxhall, with 2.5 years warranty remaining on the battery & HV components. Looking £12995 ono.
Cheers
128497
 

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Hi Melmac

I have a mint Ampera up for sale at present & I'm in N.Ireland. 2014 MY13 Ampera Positiv. Just over 56000 miles. Full service history from Vauxhall, with 2.5 years warranty remaining on the battery & HV components. Looking £12995 ono.
Cheers
View attachment 128497
Beautiful looking car Hogzylla!! Love the alloys. Unfortunately, it's over my budget.
 

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Beautiful looking car Hogzylla!! Love the alloys. Unfortunately, it's over my budget.
A good Ampera is always well worth the money - bank loans are useful for bridging a budget deficit!
 
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