Considering buying a used Volt - which year/s should I keep away from?

Discussion in 'Volt' started by Yanni, Sep 13, 2018.

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  1. Yanni

    Yanni Member

    Wondering how the different years (2013 - 2016) stack up re: battery keeping charge, maintenance issues, actual problems with the design/build year.

    I know that 2016 is a different model year/different battery but I am throwing it in there in case an inexpensive one pops up, but at this point they're so much more $$ it's not a serious contender.

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  3. Roland

    Roland Member

    I purchased a used 2014 a year ago and have put 5300 miles on it in that year. It's rated for 38 miles of battery and sometimes I get more than that and other times in cold weather it gets as low as 30 miles per charge. For the 5300 miles I've driven so far my mpg average is sitting at 113mpg and the total miles on the car 131mpg. Included in those 5300 miles are 5-250 mile round trips, which meant my engine would be running most of the time. I averaged 46.5 miles to the gallon on those 5 trips. My regular daily driving doesn't usually take me beyond battery range and when I return home, it has a good reserve left over.
    I've been an avid watcher of the Volt story since early and it looks to me like in the used market, the 3 year old models are the best value. They also qualify for that Certified GM stuff and better financing. That would put you in a 2015. I think they did a little battery upgrade in the '15 over the '14, so it might get you a couple of more miles in electric mode, in the bargain. I really really really would like to have a '19 Volt but if I could afford that, I'd probably go for a Bolt instead. ;)
    If you're looking for cheap cheap I see '11s and '12s for under $11k and would probably make great little daily drivers. Or maybe a good first car for a teenager...hmmm.
    Kevin C, Wizard of ahs and Yanni like this.
  4. Roland

    Roland Member

    Oh yeah, maintenance issues...haven't had a single issue in the year I've had my '14 and am just getting ready to take it in for it's warranty service (oil change etc...) The computer tells me my oil still has 47% life, but it has been a year and still under warranty. You do want to run your tires at or above the 38psi recommended for best performance. And be forewarned, that you can't just throw any tire on there when it comes time to change them. Keep them rotated and change them as a full set.
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  5. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Any of those years except for a 2016. 2016 was a short model year and the first year of the refreshed styling. 2016s have had far more frequent issues. Overall the Volt is a very reliable vehicle, but the 2016 is the least reliable of those years.

    We have a gen 1 Volt (pre-2016) and it's a great plug-in. No major issues in our 2013 yet!
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  6. Roland

    Roland Member

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  8. larrenz

    larrenz Member

    When you test drive the car, listen for unusual bearing noises.
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  9. WadeTyhon

    WadeTyhon Well-Known Member

    Lots of little things were wrong with the 2016. The most serious that I recall was loss of power steering being a (somewhat) common problem. Still rare, but more common than it should have been. In general, it's a good idea to avoid the first year of a new model generation.

    It's too bad that you had a bad experience! What state do you live in? If you're 300 miles from a Bolt dealer you've gotta either be in a mid-western or southern state I'm assuming?
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  10. Roland

    Roland Member

    It's true....I live in the Arkansas Ozarks. I did find a dealer in Little Rock. It's 135 miles away, so my 300 mile comment was exaggerated. It just feels like 300 miles...
    I do think I'm the only Volt owner in my county though. I see a few Prius around, but in the past year have not seen 1 other Volt. We are rare birds in these parts.
    I found this article on Volt steering problems, but the lawsuit was against the 2011-2014 Gen1 models. Mine is a '14 and I haven't experienced anything like this. Here's a link to Volt recalls, the 2014-2015 models appear to have a recall for steering issues. My 2014 doesn't have any outstanding recall issues, but it was a Dealer lease car...the wife of the general manager had it on a lease, so I assume it was done long before I purchased it from that dealer.
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  11. PrivatePilot

    PrivatePilot New Member

    Are you discounting the 2011 and 2012's simply because they're outside your desired age range?

    We own one of each. FWIW my 2011 has actually been more reliable than the 2012. The first gen cars, indeed even the first model year, were well designed and built. We did have the bearing cage failure on the 2012 out of warranty, but other than that...both cars have been excellent.

    So if you want to save some $$ and you can find one in the lower mileage range (if that's a concern for you), don't discount them. Heck, even the original 8 year Voltec warranty is still valid on many of the originals depending on mileage, my 2011 included. For a few more months, anyways. ;)
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  13. Roland

    Roland Member

    That's an excellent point! I've been saying for awhile now that a 2011 or '12 would make a great 2nd car or teenager's first car. I see them for sale all the time for under $10k and with less than 50k miles on the 2012s.

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