Discover The Problematic Used Chevy Volt Years to Avoid and Best Volt Versions

Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

If you’re considering buying a used Chevy Volt, it’s essential to know which model years to avoid.

While the Volt has had many successful years, there have been some with issues that may be worth steering clear of.

In this article, we’ll discuss the Chevy Volt model years that are known to have problems, so you can make a more informed decision when purchasing.

However, based on industry reviews and consumer feedback, the worst years for the Volt are 2012, 2013, and 2017.

Keep these in mind as you explore your options, and you’ll be on your way to finding the perfect Chevy Volt.

Chevy Volt: Years to Avoid

When considering a used Chevy Volt, it’s important to be aware of the years that have had the most issues.

We’ve broken down the worst years for the Chevy Volt, so you can make an informed decision when purchasing a used model.

2011-2012 Volt

The 2011 and 2012 Volts were the first generation of this plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. While they introduced innovative technology and design, they didn’t come without their share of issues.

Among the things to look out for in these years are:

  • Battery problems: Early models were known for having higher than usual battery failure rates and needed frequent replacements.
  • Software glitches: Unresolved software issues could lead to stalling or other performance problems.

If you’re considering a 2011 or 2012 Volt, make sure you thoroughly inspect the battery and keep these potential issues in mind.

2013 Volt

The 2013 Volt is also on the list of years to avoid, mainly due to a couple of significant concerns:

  • Reduced electric range: Some owners reported a significant reduction in electric range over time, which can be particularly problematic for those who rely on the all-electric mode for daily commuting.
  • Heating system issues: Some owners experienced problems with the heating system, affecting cabin temperature and comfort during colder months.

Before purchasing a 2013 Chevy Volt, keep an eye out for any signs of these issues.

2015 Volt

While not a widely problematic model, it is worth mentioning that some 2015 Volts experienced the following issue:

  • Drive unit problems: A small number of owners reported issues with the drive unit, leading to reduced performance and even complete loss of power.

Be sure to check for any signs of drive unit issues when looking at a 2015 Chevy Volt. By being aware of these Chevy Volt years to avoid, you’ll have a better chance of finding a reliable used Volt that will serve you well for years to come.

Common Issues and Recalls

Battery Issues

Certain Chevy Volt models, specifically from the 2012, 2013, and 2017 years, have had some battery-related issues.

Some owners reported problems with their battery packs and electric drivetrains, making those years less reliable.

Ensure that you are aware of such potential issues if you’re considering purchasing a Volt from these years.

Instrument Cluster and Displays

In early Volt models, owners have reported instances of charging cables overheating and instrument clusters flickering or blacking out completely.

This can cause a loss of crucial information such as warning lights or necessary displays. It’s important to check the functionality of the instrument cluster and display screens when purchasing a used Chevy Volt.

Power Steering and Acceleration

Some Chevy Volt owners have reported issues with the power steering system, especially in later models.

This can make your driving experience less enjoyable and increase the risk of accidents.

Additionally, skidding brakes have also been reported in some cases, making it essential to pay attention to your vehicle’s acceleration and brake performance.

The NHTSA archives may offer more detailed information on reported power steering and acceleration issues.

Electrical Issues

Different electrical issues have been reported across various Chevy Volt model years, including problems with rear brake caliper pistons, loss of power in the hybrid propulsion system, and vehicle restarting issues in some models from 2010 to 2019.

Also, be aware of possible faulty fuses that could cause incorrect functioning of the backup camera and reverse lights.

In summary, when considering a used Chevy Volt, conduct thorough research and inspections to ensure you’re aware of any potential issues, especially with battery, instrument cluster, power steering, and electrical systems.

This knowledge will help you make an informed decision and avoid any unpleasant surprises down the road.

What year is best for Chevy Volt?

When looking for the best Chevy Volt model years, consider checking out the 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2011 models.

Each year has its strengths, so let’s briefly discuss them:

2019: Known for its extended all-electric range and improved safety features, the 2019 model is a good choice for those wanting a seamless hybrid experience.

2018: With a user-friendly infotainment system and solid driving performance, the 2018 Chevy Volt offers a comfortable and entertaining ride.

2016: If fuel economy is a top priority for you, the 2016 Volt has excellent fuel efficiency ratings that are hard to beat.

2015: This model year is a popular choice due to its reliable performance and balance of features at an affordable price.

2014: With great battery life and all-electric range, the 2014 Volt is a smart choice for those focused on minimizing their carbon footprint.

2011: As the first year of production, the 2011 Chevy Volt has a special place in the hearts of many early adopters. It’s a decent option if you’re looking for a piece of automotive history.

Remember to research and test drive these models to ensure they align with your specific needs and preferences. Good luck on your search for the perfect Chevy Volt!

Comparing First and Second Generation Chevy Volts

First Generation (2011-2015)

The first-generation Chevy Volt (2011-2015) offers a 35-40 mile range on its lithium-ion battery, after which it utilizes its gasoline reserve for up to 400 extra miles.

With higher reliability issues, it may be a better idea to avoid these years when considering a purchase.

Some of the drawbacks you might face with the Gen 1 include water infiltration in taillights and rusty screws in the hatch.

Second Generation (2016-2019)

On the other hand, second-generation Chevy Volts (2016-2019) provide improved performance, better fuel efficiency, and a longer range.

These models are generally considered more reliable than their predecessors, making them a safer bet for your investment.

However, some users have reported experiencing more problems with the Gen 2 compared to the Gen 1, such as issues with infotainment systems.

In conclusion, when exploring various Chevy Volt models to buy, pay close attention to the reliability and performance of the specific years you are considering.

Maintaining and Caring for a Chevy Volt

Oil Changes and Tire Rotations

Regular maintenance is essential for your Chevy Volt’s performance. Oil changes and tire rotations should be done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

To keep your Volt running smoothly, consider getting an oil change every 7,500 miles, and rotating your tires every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

This way, your tires will wear evenly, and your vehicle’s handling will be optimal.

Battery Lifespan and Capacity

One of the key aspects of a Volt’s longevity is its battery pack. The Volt’s battery has a lifespan of about 200,000 to 300,000 miles when maintained properly.

To ensure optimal battery capacity, charge the battery as needed and avoid leaving it fully charged or discharged for extended periods.

A well-maintained battery can last between 10 to 15 years, providing you with reliable service.

Managing Extreme Weather Conditions

Your Volt’s performance may be affected by extreme weather conditions. Keep in mind that prolonged exposure to temperatures below -10°C (14°F) or above 30°C (86°F) may cause damage to the high voltage battery.

To protect your Volt, store the vehicle in a temperature-controlled environment and manage battery charge levels accordingly.

When driving in challenging weather, make sure to check your tires and all vehicle components for any signs of wear or damage.

Chevy Volt Alternatives to Consider

If you’re hesitant about purchasing a Chevy Volt due to certain model years to avoid, there are other options available in the market.

Let’s explore some popular alternatives in the world of hybrids and electric vehicles.

Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius is a well-known hybrid car that offers impressive fuel efficiency, a smooth ride, and a spacious interior. It is one of the pioneers in the hybrid market and often considered a benchmark.

With the Prius reliable lithium-ion battery and Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, the Prius provides a great balance between electric and gasoline power.

Plus, the Prius Prime goes a step further by offering a plug-in feature, extending your electric range. Don’t forget, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now available with newer models.

However some Prius years must be avoid, including 2008 Toyota Prius model experienced issues with headlights malfunctioning or blowing out.

Nissan Leaf

Another option you can consider is the Nissan Leaf, an all-electric car that offers zero-emission driving. With its efficient electric motor, the Leaf provides a quiet and smooth driving experience.

Although its range may not be as high as some other electric cars, it still offers a respectable 149 to 226 miles, depending on the trim.

For those looking for an affordable and efficient electric vehicle, the Nissan Leaf is worth considering. But avoid the 2011 and 2012 Nissan Leaf models due to battery capacity and degradation issues.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Lastly, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is an attractive option for those seeking a sleek sedan with excellent fuel efficiency.

Equipped with a 2.0L GDI Atkinson-cycle engine and an electric motor, the Sonata Hybrid offers a combined fuel economy of up to 52 MPG.

With standard features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, along with advanced safety features, you’ll enjoy a comfortable ride while staying connected and protected.

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a great choice for eco-conscious buyers who prefer a more classic sedan style. Unfortunately, the standard Sonata standard 2013 and 2017 models have engine issues.


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