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Just back from a trip to Lincoln and after three days I have managed to accumulate 600 odd miles on my test drive.

Positive comments

Power delivery is smooth and quiet.
It accelerates quicker than my Lexus CT200 and is quieter when doing so
MPG on the trip to Lincoln and back (circa 200 miles and I was able to charge overnight in a public car park) was 82mpg

Negative comments

The main one is the wife found the passenger seat very uncomfortable. It was much harder than the drivers or rear seats. My wife is a light 9 stone. The car is a 2012 with 20k miles. Has anyone else had issues with the front passenger seat?

Sat nav sucks big time (I already knew this, but it was confirmed in the test drive)
Touch sensitive buttons take some getting used to. (I activated the HDD source on numerous occasions whilst using the rotary button to select things)
No rain sensitive wipers (I am correct in thinking this?)
The rear hatchback lights have condensation and 5mm of water flowing around the bottom of them - this doesn't bode well for long term quality
When parked and charging at the overnight car park, the drivers display said service steering column soon - although this had gone away in the morning.
At the same time, in the car with it charging and the car doors unlocked - I opened the drivers dorr to exit and the alarm / horns started going off!

Finally (not Ampera related) the chargemaster type 2 charge point (Lucy Tower st Car park) indicated that it had supplied me with 30.5kW on the overnight charge (?) Outside temperature probably didn't drop below 10C last night. Would the car pull this much energy to keep the battery pack warm at this time of year?
 

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agree with most of that really.

My wife hasn't complained about the seat although we do find them a bit sweaty! or at least they feel like it even with heat off - personally I prefer cars with half leather seats where the bit you actually sit against is cloth (in fact my last car had heated and cooled seats).

The sat nav is terrible in terms of user input (lack of full post codes etc) but it does actually work OK and of course you can store the exact location once you're there (!) and recall them with a voice tag.

Nope no rain sensitive wipers and I'm not convinced about some other things like "Lane departure warning" in the manual but I'm not sure (maybe haven't fallen asleep at the wheel enough yet).

Mine too has permanent moisture in the reflectors on the actual tailgate - will see what dealer has to say about that one.

Alarms, beeps and chirps - yes it just does what it wants here!

No way should it take 30Kwh. I'm not on the inside vauxhall engineering team so I dont actually know but the battery can only take 10.6Kw plus a bit for "losses" and random things it does. Raises an interesting question about how this is metered and how are they policed. I trust a petrol pump because I know that trading standards check them and the pumps themselves are subject to strict regulations. I do wonder about charge points - was it a free one? some charge based on time and not the electricity consumed rip off. At the moment I dont think I'd pay for charging in an Ampera - just charge at home or use petrol or free charge points.
 

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Thanks Derek - I think the 30kW charge was a fault on the Chargemaster metering as opposed to the car using all those joules!

Disappointed ref the rain sensitive wipers - my cars have that on them for the last 6+ years.
And it did rain alot this weekend!
 

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yes its funny how once you've had these things you miss them!

2 months ago I'd never heard of an Ampera - it turned up in one of my Auotrader searches when I was trying to find a car that had some of my can't-do-without-now features - Hatchback, keyless entry, auto lights, non diesel, heated seats etc. I then did some homework, had a funny five minutes and bought one!
 

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All the seats on mine are the same..very comfortable. No reason the passenger one on your test one should be too hard. Touch sensitive buttons you largely get used to, though ergonomically they're poor. You easily live with them though.
Rain sensitive wipers no, guess I'm out of date but I've never had them on any of my previous cars. Are they really so ubiquitous?
There's no way you should have water sloshing around in a lamp! That's a faulty seal and should have been replaced. You get a little bit of condensation sometimes inside but that's fairly common with cars, not just the Ampera. Mine aren't a problem.
So the car was on charge, and you unlocked it and got inside, shut the doors, then opened one again? You didn't by chance lock it when you were inside did you? There are reasons the alarm will go off while you're on charge if you remove the charging connector or cut power without unlocking the car - this can be changed through the settings. The only other thing I can think of is...assuming the car was locked, did you use the key to unlock the drivers door to get in? I believe that in this case, you have a certain period of time to press Start or remote unlock otherwise the alarm can go off. Again I think this can be modified in the settings.
And as stated, that 30.5kwh figure for a full charge is total BS - the charge post is faulty. If you read through other forums here you'll see that's not uncommon! :)
 

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Re the 30.5kWh figure from an overnight Chargemaster point I've had the opposite!

Worst one was a report that I was connected for 4,705 hours and 46 minutes and used 1.68kWh !!!

Really pleased it was before they started charging by the hour and frankly is why I won't bother enrolling with them.

Big Paul
 

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I had rain sensitive wipers on my Honda Insight and they were very poor, they sometimes worked, but often didn't. Typically they would start working ok then after a while they would speed up unnecessarily, then go into frantic faster and faster mode even when the screen was fairly dry! I tried new wiper blades thinking that would sort it but that made no difference. Since then I personally prefer intermittent, especially when there are various delay settings. One of the few things I didn't like on the Honda. I guess the sensor was u/s.
 

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We still don't have rain sensitive wipers working on the AP2 Model S/X! Obviously far harder to get working properly that Autopilot at 90MPH ;)
 
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Sounds like this car needs a new 12v battery. Alarms, steering column error?
Although using 20kw seems unlikely.

Never noticed a difference between front seats
Pretty much exact on otherwise.

They DID make rain sensitive wipers for norwigion market o believe.
 

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My last car had rain sensitive wipers and I found them a bit hit and miss. I initially felt disappointed the Ampera didn't have them before I bought the car, but now I prefer to hit the one wipe or intermittent myself.
Love the auto lights. My last car had them too but they work better in the Ampera.
I would second the 12 Volt battery suspicions. Have it replaced before you get the car, they are prone to failure around 3 years old.
I don't mind the sat nav. I use google maps to get a lat, long figure and put that in. Takes to to the exact spot.
I like the way it gives you the next turn and the following one so you have an idea if there is a fast lane change ahead, nice touch.

As said above, the car has alarms for everything. You may resolve your issue by changing a setting in the menu.
I have it set to alarm if the charge cable is removed (to scare the culprit into running away and not doing it again) but NOT set if there is a power cut. My neighbors are not that interested if my car is charged or not. :)
 

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The car actually consumes 12 kWh to give you the 10.4 kWh it's going to make available for driving. If you preheat the car in the morning I suppose this could add another kWh or two, but no way 30 kWh.

Check the 12V battery - if it's the original AC Delco, then you might need a new one pronto. They seem to fail abruptly at around 3 years old. Suggest you get a plugin voltmeter to monitor the battery condition maybe.
MUST have upgrades Ampera? Lights, etc
Failing 12V batteries seem to be one major cause of a whole load of spurious warnings & errors. And it can, on rare occasions, brick your car. Happened to me.
Ampera 12V Battery Replacement Process

The Service Steering Column warning - this can happen if you try to use one of the touch-sensitive door buttons which is broken - these seem to be flakey & break easily, and can throw up the warning. This warning message will disappear by itself after a few runs. Or it can be a warning that the pathetic scalextric motor system used to move the locking bolt is reacting too slowly & might fail. If it does fail, it's not unknown for the car to throw up a major, permanent error & when that happens you're bricked. Flatbed job to the dealer. I've had this warning on & off over the 2 years I've had mine, but I now avoid it this way: 1) never, ever use the touch-sensitive door buttons, just the key-fob. 2) always, always park with the front wheels 100% dead straight ahead, never at any sort of angle at all. That way, there's no sideways pressure on the drawbolt & no opportunity for that pesky motor to fail.
There's a newer steering column lock mechanism available - but costing a few £100s to get it fitted I believe. So I'm risking it for now!

Water in the rear lamps - known problem. One solution is to drill tiny holes to vent he moisture - not a 100% solution, but works reasonably imho.
rear reflectors have moisture in them permanently

You may find he headlights pathetic at night - Osram Nightbreakers work better than the standard originals, but I'm tryign LEDs at the mo.
Ok, found out why the headlights are pants...
https://speakev.com/posts/222757/
You may find it useful to get an Elm 327 OBDII dongle £5 eBay, and Torque Lite free app - this lets you read any warning numbers logged in the system. These cars love posting errors - and lighting up the amber engine warning light. On occasions we're able to diagnose the problems & suggest a fix without incurring a trip to the dealer !!! :)
 
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