Used Bolt buyer guide? - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
vex
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Used Bolt buyer guide?

Is there a used Bolt's buyer guide? I've been browsing the various threads here. I'm prepping to purchase a new (read, used) car at the end of this year or early 2020. I'm hoping used Bolts will dip below $20k by then. I'm also looking at used Volts which are already well in that price range.

My biggest concerns are what to do when there's a problem. Some Googling around Houston Texas reveals very few Bolts for sale, which means I doubt many dealerships would be set up to actually repair one. Cars inevitably break down, so what do you usually do when service is virtually non-existent?

I'm also looking into purchasing out of state, because they simply don't sell these vehicles here.

The family is unwilling to move to CA. Although I'd certainly jump on that in a heartbeat.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:35 AM
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Most GM dealers can service the Chevy Bolt EV. Just call and ask each one. As for a "guide", the Bolt EV has little user maintenance. The only fluids to check are the brake, the windshield washer, and the coolant. The only user replaceable parts are the wiper blades. The rest is similar to any other GM vehicle as to check conditions and wear (tires, interior, exterior).

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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:41 AM
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I don't think there's a used Bolt buyers guide yet as many of us purchased new to take advantage of the recently expired $7500 federal rebate credit, state credits, and Chevy aggressively discounting new cars (often 9-10k off MSRP or more) and genera unavailability of used cars on the market as you're finding.

That being said, the Bolt is generally very reliable with fewer moving parts than a traditional ICE vehicle. Every dealership will have a service manual for the Bolt if you do bring it to a dealer and require maintenance, and even things like complete battery replacement would be detailed in the manual and be doable for the trained mechanics at your dealership. The rest of the maintenance items, like a brake job or suspension parts replacement would be no different from a Chevy Cruze or any other vehicle, so they would have plenty of experience with it.

Purchasing out of state is probably a good idea as there are a ton of Bolts in California and other states that push EV and PHEV vehicles with incentives. Shipping is probably your best bet if you are doing something like California to Houston, but you could maybe drive it too if you map out your route and have time for the car to recharge and the car you buy is equipped with DCFC.

Good luck on your Bolt buying experience and welcome!
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 10:05 AM
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I'm very interested to know how you make out on this. I can envision a world where a second one could invade my life at the right price.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 10:41 AM
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It's crucial that you have a good service option when you buy any car - ICE or Electric. Be sure that you have a dealer who is friendly to Bolts before pulling the trigger. If you get waffling or a no when you check the dealers, drop the idea of a Bolt. You know in your heart that there will be a service issue down the road where you need a reliable dealer to help you...
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:07 AM Thread Starter
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I'll see what kind of response I get from dealers. Are there any forum members here in Houston I wonder?

I've always bought vehicles around $10k and 100k+ miles, and kept them 10+ years while maintaining myself. I can strip down an ICE car pretty easily, but an EV would be completely new territory for me in regards to servicing the drivetrain.

The idea of taking a vehicle to a "mechanic" to do auto repairs for me is a little unsettling, let alone if the service departments are as clueless as I am.

The only dealer I visited in person sold no Bolts and pretended to not know what it was.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:20 AM
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I'll see what kind of response I get from dealers. Are there any forum members here in Houston I wonder?
I believe there's at least two forum members from the Houston area. @keeperchris is one.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 11:56 AM
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It's crucial that you have a good service option when you buy any car - ICE or Electric. Be sure that you have a dealer who is friendly to Bolts before pulling the trigger. If you get waffling or a no when you check the dealers, drop the idea of a Bolt. You know in your heart that there will be a service issue down the road where you need a reliable dealer to help you...
True. A like-new McLaren just went through the auction for $90,000. That's a bargain for world-class supercar, but there's not a service facility within 300 miles and the cost of said service is certain to boggle the mind. When used exotics go down in price, the cost of service goes up in frequency and stays at the original retail cost.

Having said that, the idea that a quick walk-through or conversation with a service manager of a Chevrolet dealership is going to have any real world guarantee of 'good service' later when one brings in a used car he bought somewhere else does not hold true in my sixty years of car ownership.

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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 02:09 PM
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I believe there's at least two forum members from the Houston area. @keeperchris is one.
I hope you are able to find your new, used Bolt.
I have a co-worker that had to buy his used Volt from Alabama (I think) last year.
As far as service, there really isn't anything to service, so there is very little experience working on them.
I would suggest that Classic in Sugar Land sells more than others, so they probably are more familiar.
It might be wise to look into a new, new one though, taking advantage of the remaining Federal tax credits.


As for the Bolt vs. Volt question - the better car is a matter of usage and comfort. I am so happy that my wife loves here Volt, because I wouldn't want to give up my Bolt.
For me, I love the higher ride in the Bolt, and find the Volt's bucket seats to be very uncomfortable for long distance.
She commutes about 40 miles round-trip, so is about 97% electric in the Volt (6 gallons pumped in 16 months). I drive more than 50/60 miles probably twice a week.
To the Volt's credit, even when operating as an ICE Hybrid, it gets about 38 mpg for us.
The one-pedal driving is much superior in the Bolt.

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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:05 PM
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I bought a used Bolt with 106,000 miles on it, because unlike most Bolt owners I don't have a tax liability of $7500. My wife rolled over 117,000 miles this past week, and we haven't had to do anything but plug it in. I would bet you'll be okay buying a car the same age with 18,000 miles.

With that said, when shopping for your Bolt the most important thing to look for is color, options, tire life, and cost.
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Last edited by wrillo; 04-18-2019 at 03:37 PM.
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