Chevy Volt Problems: 3 Common Issues (Explained)

The Chevy Volt works as an independent battery electric vehicle and this happens until the capacity of the battery drops down to an undetermined power from the fully charged capacity.

When it reaches this point, its internally made combustion engine gives charge to the electric generator to prolong the vehicle’s range just as needed.

Despite the Chevy Volt winning awards for its powerful nature, just like any better electric-powered vehicle, it is not immune to some challenges. But this won’t affect its day-to-day operations.

The encounters are limited. You won’t even notice the everyday working processes of the car.

Before we start, make sure to check our article on how long the Chevy Volt typically lasts.

1) Electric System Problems

The Chevy Volt relies fully on the electric gadget which seems to overpower it.

In some cases, people complain about the battery producing a foul burning smell just after each drive. Electric flow to the headlights can be a problem causing them not to function properly.

Electric system problems make them so dangerous to humans’ safety. Thus, engineers should come up with better ways of preventing such issues.

After handling such problems, it is confirmed that the chances of them reoccurring are low, so this shouldn’t be a worry.

Users are advised to bring their vehicles for checkups as a maintenance requirement. This goes to eliminate such a problem and the possibility of encountering a problem in the future.

2) Failure in The Brakes System

Only very few models are said to have encountered the braking defect.

This should not be that alarming, because it affects partially the brake pistons.

The brake system is a vital part of any vehicle and it should be the last functional unit when all the vehicle units start to fall apart.

The vehicle users suffered fatal accidents when the brakes failed them either when climbing a hill or downhill after constant efforts to hold down the brakes.

On further investigation, it was found that this issue affected some 2018 and 2019 models in part.

A thorough investigation found that hydrogen gas was being released into the brake piston during the action, leading to its trapping.

This causes a spongy effect during braking, which only affects braking on the rear tires.

Braking continues to function on the front tires, only that not at its full capacity.

To find out if your car is affected, visit General Motors’ website and look for a section called recalls.

You will be asked to enter the vehicle’s VIN for servicing. Fixing the problem requires bleeding the rear brakes to remove traces of trapped gas.

3) Engine Related Problems

There are some reported cases of the 2014 Chevy Volt experiencing engine-related problems.

When driving in the extended range mode, a user reported seeing an error message broadcasting ‘service power steering-drive with caution.’

The message changes to ‘service parking assist.’ And then ‘service stabilitrak.’ This doesn’t affect drivability.

The vehicle keeps on driving well despite these warnings.

On the other hand, the 2012 Chevy Volt, when driven for about 40 miles, as the driving charger charging the battery ends, the car is supposed to switch to the internal combustion engine for propulsion to continue.

However, this may fail to happen in some 2012 models.

Several messages start popping up on the driver’s display, notifying the driver about the propulsion error occurring.

General Pros & Cons for Chevy Volt

Let’s start with the pros.

8 Pros

1) Smooth Driving Dynamics

Being in such a car is extremely pleasing and comfortable. As a luxury car, the Chevy Volt provides a very enticing and memorable experience.

It contains a well-insulated cabin that shields the driver from road and wind noises.

2) 4G WI-FI And Hotspot Enabled

This is such an exciting feature that keeps one connected, whether traveling across the mountains, a short visit to the markets, or just a trip for lunch.

Who wouldn’t want to stream cool live music or be entertained all the way?

3) An Outstanding Ownership Experience

Owning a Chevy Volt which is nothing compared to any other car. While other car drivers often stop over to refill their tanks, you just proceed with your journey.

The electric model is advantageous as one doesn’t suffer from annoying engine noises.

4) Unique Styling

The Chevy Volt vehicle is outstanding and noticeable in the crowd.

There is a wide range of unique colors for one to choose from and a designed exterior that leaves it eye-catching and neck-breaking.

It has a unique sporty look provided by the road-hugging backside and the standard LED headlights. While the premier trim comes with an appealing set of wheels, the base model is attractive.

5) Easily Modulated Brakes

It is such a great experience while using the Chevy Volt vehicle, since switching between the regenerative gears and regular brakes is simplified.

If the change is not noticeable and the Volt can make a quick halt over a short distance.

6) Plenty Of Drivers Aids

The Chevy Volt is loaded with several pieces of equipment that serve as the driver’s aid, which includes blind-spot- monitoring, forward-collision warnings, and an automatic parking system.

The updated technology system provides the driver with an automatic remote that is used for the unlocking and locking of the door as well as providing emergency services.

7) A Functioning Voice Control System

The Chevy Volt has a quick responding voice system that quickly acts according to the driver’s commands and requests.

Alternatively, the driver can use a smartphone’s voice by activating Google’s voice or by long-pressing the voice up or down button.

With the upcoming technology and simplicity that comes with it, I bet everybody would die to own such a car.

8) A Noiseless Cabin

In the past years, the automakers have struggled with dealing with the clunking voice produced by the engine while running on gasoline.

However, intense measures have been taken to curb this problem.

The existing cabin maintains quiet surroundings regardless of whether the Volt is in gasoline or electric mode and the only noises that might be heard are those of wind or road noise which is close to zero.

4 Cons of Chevy Volt

1) Minimal Luggage Storage Space

If cargo space was to be put into consideration, one would opt out of buying the Chevy Volt vehicle, since it cannot accommodate a huge amount of goods or rather a week’s vegetables or clothes.

The rear seats are used to carry the cargo instead of placing them in the inconvenient cargo area.

The Volt may not be your preference if space is the matter at hand.

2) A Small Front Seat

One of the major drawbacks of owning the Volt is that the rear seat is excessively small. This is one feature that does not favor the Volt as compared to its competitors.

It can accommodate two adults and makes it uncomfortable for tall people because they will feel cramped. Other hybrid wagons provide a whole full house in the car and customers who value space may give the Volt a pass.

Thankfully, the driver and co-driver can enjoy plenty of room up front by not putting their seats way too back.

3) Sub-standard Interior Material

The cabin of the Chevy Volt is not eye-appealing as some of the equipment can be old-fashioned.

Being inside of the Volt is less luxurious as most of the materials are made from hard plastic, including the chrome trim.

Overall, the cabin appears to be less than average when rated and not eye-pleasing. Many other hybrid options have better features, and much prettier cabins, making this a downfall for the Volt.

4) Expensive To Purchase

In comparison to other compact hybrids, the Volt seems to have a higher price range and falls within the same range as large hybrid wagons.

Even though the Volt is worth every little coin, value-minded customers may neglect it and go for other better fits.

What Do the Reviews Say?

“The Chevy Volt is not a hybrid but an “extended-range electric vehicle”


General motors concluded that the Volt can manage a long distance on just one single charge.

The most important point is that the Chevy Volt is just like any other hybrid. There’s no noise formed when you power up the start button.

To boost the performance of the Volt, there is a button that accelerates the flow of current.

The Volt’s cabin is a four-seater as the battery interferes with the shape at the center, but the interior is not heavy and fairly airy.

The Chevy Volt is the best plug-in hybrid


The Volt is constantly updated and recently received a build-in charger compared to other hybrid vehicles.

The braking system is refined to enable the driver to use the brake pedal less often while in low mode or rather use the paddle behind the steering wheel.

Other advanced features include enhanced driver assistance, which is a functioning voice system, and more interior options.

What Is the Resell Value on The Chevy Volt?

In 2011, the Chevy Volt was one of the first plug-in hybrid vehicles. In its eight-year journey, it became the best-selling electric car in the United States. In 2019, a fully electric compact Chevy Bolt was launched.

Here are the Chevy Volt years with the best resale value.

A used Volt, on sale, ranges from $16,000 to $21,000. This roughly represents half the price of a brand-new Cherry Volt. The vehicles have proven to be long lasting, running up to more than 400,000 miles, and still be usable.

Compared to its competitors, the resell value is significantly higher. Its lithium battery contributes to the higher price tag, as it has proven to be more reliable as the car ages.

Final Thoughts

It is evident from the information above that the Chevy Volt portrays both positive and some common issues that have been highlighted.

However, it is evident that the common issues discussed are only found in some models, not all Chevy Volts. Furthermore, driving a Chevy model today, it is highly likely you won’t encounter issues since they’ve already been fixed.

The Volt is worth it if your commute matches the battery’s full charge.

For shorter journeys, one would use the Volt and if luxury is the choice at hand, then the Chevy Volt is the right direction to take.

It also houses an internal combustion engine. So, it still requires regular maintenance like any other car on the road.

The servicing would include tire rotations, oil changes, brake checks, etc.

After every mileage of 50,000, 100,000, and 150,000 miles, the car requires its spark plugs, engine coolant, and air filters to be replaced.

It is best to take the Chevy to the dealer, as only they are well capable of handling its technology.

The latest models beginning from 2016 to 2019 are much improved—they are quicker and quieter, easier to use controls and, more comfortable to drive.

Among the major ideals that the vehicle pleases us is that it is an extended-range electric car. This means, that besides its battery power, it is added a gas engine to power the car beyond its electric power reach.

Once the power from the battery is over, the gas engine switches on and you continue driving.

Go back to see problems for all Chevrolet models.


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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.