Is it safe to drive a chevy volt(2018) on L-gear all the time?

Discussion in 'Volt' started by Navin, May 30, 2018.

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  1. Navin

    Navin New Member

    I drive a 2018 chevy volt on L-gear since a few weeks. Wondering if it would cause any long time problem if I keep driving it in Low gear
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  3. griffindm54

    griffindm54 New Member

    Not a problem. I have been driving in L for over a year with no issue. It just changes the regenerative braking to be more aggressive, giving you something closer to one pedal driving. Do not confuse it with the L functionality of an ICE vehicle.
  4. Navin

    Navin New Member

    Thank you for the clarification.
  5. Francisco

    Francisco Member

    Greetings:. So is it the same for all Volt production? Namely my 2014. Why do we have both L & D then? Sorry, I know nothing.
  6. Timothy Fay

    Timothy Fay New Member

    General motors found it a bit costly to redesign a selected lever for their EV's so they stayed using the same one they use in ice cars. With more electrification of their fleet we may see a change in future models. This was GM's way of keeping cost down.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Inside EVs mobile app
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  8. Scramjett

    Scramjett Member

    I would say yes, it’s the same. We mostly use L mode in our 2017 Volt but I will sometimes use D mode on the freeway with light traffic since it gives you a little more of the coasting feel ICE cars give you. In addition to what Timothy said above, I would also add that GM wanted the Volt to be familiar to drivers who might be new to a plug-in. I remember some of the confusion around the joystick shifter in the Prius back in the mid 00’s when they redesigned it. Personally, I like the traditional shifter a little more but could go either way.
  9. Gabriel Teixeira

    Gabriel Teixeira New Member

    I drive my 2011 Volt on L all the time. While I haven't heard of or had any mechanical or electrical issue, the habit leads to expect strong engine braking on other cars or even in the Volt when I select it in D by accident. I tend to use less braking and when I drive without L the car fells runaway and brakeless when coasting. Tailgaters also get surprises since the L does not turn on the brake light when engine braking (the BMW i3, for example, does).
  10. Scramjett

    Scramjett Member

    GM changed that with the Gen 2. My 2017 Volt does activate the brake lights when in L gear and I take my foot off the “gas” pedal (and when I use the regen paddle). I have visually confirmed this myself.
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  11. Francisco

    Francisco Member

    I noticed that with cruise control on and in L, the car won't go beyond what it is set at going downhill. Does this use up or prevent it from better mileage. In L, is it using more energy starting from stop? Just wondering. Gracias,, Bueno Bye..
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  13. Gabriel Teixeira

    Gabriel Teixeira New Member

    There should be a some improvement since the car in L would try to recharge the battery while going downhill while if going on D it would not so the extra energy that could have been harvested would be lost to the drag while going in a higher speed downhill.

    Besides that, the Volt has almost no engine braking when driving on D, so the car would pickup a lot of speed when going downhill which could be dangerous, so driving in L should be safer when driving downhill. I've already been stopped by the police for speeding while going downhill without noticing the speed increasing (it was a Dodge Charger, though).
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
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  14. Timothy Fay

    Timothy Fay New Member

    It is perfectly safe to drive in L mode. I've driven in that mode since I've bought the car. I've had no issues with it. The cruise control works just fine in L mode. the only thing that does is increase the amount of regenerative braking

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Inside EVs mobile app
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  15. Roland

    Roland Member

    The "D" position might as well not even exist in my application. I've used "L" exclusively since about day 3 of owning my 2014 Volt. My brakes will probably never need to be replaced! I live in an area where straight roads don't exist more than about 300' in a stretch and regen does 95% of my braking. Every car or truck I've owned has been hard on brakes and brake jobs are expensive. I love regen braking!
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  16. Roland

    Roland Member

    The only thing "L" does is engage the electric drive motor as a generator whenever the accelerator is not employed, whether by removing your foot from the pedal or downhill speed exceeds cruise the cruise setting. It's a gain, not a loss. Using "L" from a stop doesn't affect the energy necessary to accelerate from a dead stop or any other speed for that matter. In "D" and with cruise control set while going downhill, the only "advantage" you will see, is you may get to the bottom of the hill faster than your control is set to...but your battery will not receive any of the charge it would have if you had been driving in "L" under the same condition.
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  17. Gary Bergman

    Gary Bergman New Member

    I assume, because the car is basically drive-by-wire where the computer controls everything, there should't be any difference going downhill whether driving in "L" or having your foot lightly on the brake. Although "L" guarantees not to use the physical brakes, I would hope the car is smart enough not to do that as well when braking lightly. I understand that braking "hard" will engage the brakes but, a light touch should be the same driving in "L". I'd like to hear some confirmation from GM that this is indeed the case.
  18. ModernMarvelFan

    ModernMarvelFan New Member

    No problem.

    I have been driving my 2012 Volt for nearly 100K miles in L basically from day 1.
  19. larrenz

    larrenz Member

    Driving in Low gear can maximize the regen.
  20. DW'sGen2

    DW'sGen2 New Member

    Keep this in mind. When driving in L mode, any time you release the throttle, the brake lights come on.

    For City driving this is fine, and I recommend to all my customers, L for all City driving, up to 50 mph.

    However, imagine heavy traffic, moving fast, and you in the Volt want only to coast a bit, but it triggers your brake lights. And you're the ONLY car who's brake lights keep coming on all down the freeway.

    You don't want to be that person.

    You all who have driven in L all the time, notice the people flipping you off as they pass.

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  21. DW'sGen2

    DW'sGen2 New Member

    Brake pedal is brakes, light or heavy foot. They are purely mechanical, not computer controlled.

    Coasting is regen. Full time or on demand (the paddle) and computer controlled

    There is no overlap
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  22. Dirt Doc

    Dirt Doc New Member

    Not exactly... See this link:
    Summarizing at speeds between 50ish and 70, in drive, the mode switches automatically to increase the efficiency by adding in power from a low torgue motor which is better at handling the higher speed, so you will get more miles per KW/Gal if you drive 50-60 and above in 'D'. Under 50-60, you will get better miles per KW/Gal using 'L' - for the details read all of the following post - I say read all, because you have to read down aways to get to the more detailed description. The early posts imply that it is a hard break at 70, when in fact it is a flexible break determined automatically by the vehicle based on certain factors
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  23. michel-slm

    michel-slm New Member

    That's certainly not the case. The brake pedal would start off doing Regen, and will only engage the mechanical brakes if the amount of braking requested can't be satisfied fully that way.

    The paddle, and L, would only do regen and not engage the actual brakes until you use the pedal.

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