2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test - Maintenance

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV Long-Term Road Test

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Double Stranding Leads to Replacement Battery, Software Change

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Note: As of April 5, 2018, GM will begin contacting owners of 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EVs and asking them to bring in their cars for a software update. We don't know if this grew out of the account detailed below, but you'll want to read the whole thing if you're a Bolt EV owner.

It happened the first time on January 11 while editor Brent Romans was driving our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV to his home base some 235 miles away on the far side of Fresno, California. At the approximate halfway point in Bakersfield, he'd stopped briefly for a quick shot of extra juice at a DC fast charger. He'd unplugged with an indicated 174 miles of range in hand with just 113 miles left to cover. Piece of cake.

Traffic was lighter than it had been in L.A., and the pace of traffic was brisk. But the miles were coming off the range meter faster than Brent was driving them, so he reeled in his pace a bit. With 10 miles left to cover and 30 miles of indicated range remaining, the Bolt suddenly went into reduced power mode.

He tried to limp it home, but 45 mph was all the Bolt would give. A quarter-mile later, it wouldn't even do that, and Brent coasted the Bolt to a halt at the edge of the dark freeway. A passing highway patrol officer came upon the scene and used his cruiser to shield the Bolt from oncoming traffic as they waited for the tow truck.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for February 2018

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Where Did We Drive It?
Our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV accumulated only 774 fresh miles this month, which brings it up to 14,563 miles in all. Sure, February is a short month, but more nefarious forces were at work. Our trusty Bolt let us down and spent a full week at a local dealer going nowhere while it awaited a brand-new replacement battery pack.

Full details will come in a stand-alone writeup that will appear soon, including how we learned this was a known issue supposedly confined to early Bolts that had long since been discovered and resolved in production.

But this knowledge did not impress Kurt, the person who was driving when the Bolt abruptly toggled from 60 miles remaining to reduced power mode while in the leftmost HOV lane on a crowded freeway. As power ebbed away, he somehow steered it across lanes and onto the shoulder of a long exit ramp. Still, something like this leaves a bad taste in your mouth as you sit waiting for a tow truck for 90 minutes for no understandable reason.

Unlike January, there were no long trips out of town. Kurt's pre-problem drive was typical of this month's miles. It was all local go-to-work driving.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for August 2017

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
August was another low-mileage month for our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt, but it was not without some drama. We spent the past four weeks using the Chevy to get to and from the office and as a city runabout. Never far from a charging station, the range envelope was not really pushed. Despite the lack of miles, there was still some excitement.

The Bolt spent a portion of the month out of commission with a flat tire. More precisely, flat tires. It went to three different tire shops and rode on the back of a flatbed tow truck. And it sent us on a seemingly wild goose chase in search of a replacement tire. In the end, the experience served as a frustrating reminder of what it's like to own a car without a spare tire.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Headline Self-Sealing Tire Saga

by Mike Schmidt, Senior Manager, Vehicle Testing Operations

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

It started with a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning Saturday night.

The left rear tire on our 2017 Chevrolet Bolt was down to 23 psi from 38. A quick inspection showed no obvious visual, or audible, cues of puncture. So we aired it up to 45 psi and parked the Bolt for the night. By morning it was back down to 41. While there was some relief that it was a slow leak, we still had a problem. Our adventure began the next morning at the tire shop.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt: Monthly Update for March 2017

by Travis Langness, Automotive Editor

2017 Chevrolet Bolt

Where Did We Drive It?
After just a few weeks in the fleet, our long-term 2017 Chevrolet Bolt has become a staff favorite. It's an excellent city car with above-average range (as far as compact electric cars go) and the carpool stickers make it extremely useful in traffic-plagued Southern California.

Here's what our editors had to say while driving it during the month of March.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV: Introduction

by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on February 6, 2017

2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Last year at CES, General Motors debuted the production version of its Chevrolet Bolt EV with a large sign that read "200-Mile Range, Around $30,000." Two bold claims at a time when the only way to get an electric vehicle with that much range was to spend more than double that on a Tesla. GM said the Bolt would deliver on a promise of "a long-range electric vehicle attainable by the masses."

Here we are a year later and the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt is now a reality. Critically for GM, the Bolt arrived about a calendar year before we expect to see the Tesla Model 3, which also promises to be an affordable long-range EV.

Not only did the Bolt arrive on time, it came with an EPA-verified range of 238 miles. That's more than double what most of the EVs on the market currently offer, which makes it far more attractive to average car buyers.

With that in mind, we added our name to a few of the waiting lists at nearby dealers. As soon as one became available, we took the plunge and scored one of the most talked-about EVs of the year for our long-term fleet.

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Past Long-Term Road Tests