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Hi All.
Peter from Sudbury, Ontario. We will have a 24 hour window to assess our used 2017 Bolt
purchase. I would love to know what you all think I should be on the lookout for? I will drive it along our most familiar routes to put it through it's paces. Are there any key things to check in on so as to avoid a potential lemon? We are purchasing through a GM dealer. The vehicle has undergone a "150pt inspection." The previous owners bought a new 2020 Bolt. Is purchase of an extended warranty recommended?
 

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Peter from Sudbury, Ontario.
Welcome to the forum Peter. Drive slowly over some speed bumps to listen for squeaks. There's a few Bolt's with front sway bar linkages and rear beam twist axles that make noise. Also listen for a clunk sound when accelerating as some Bolts have a sway bar that hits part of the body. If you have access to a OBD II reader you can also check on the battery cells to see if their voltages look pretty even across the board.
 

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Can't help you with problem areas because there aren't any. Congrats on getting the most reliable car we've ever owned. Our 2017 Bolt has had zero problems and zero service visits in three years.

jack vines
 

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Plug your phone into the USB port and connect Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. I believe a few users here have reported breaking the USB port. Make sure each door can be locked/unlocked using the button on the door handle.
 

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Test your phone with CarPlay or google
whatever the **** its called.

Test the ac and heat on full in all positions.

Test the backup camera numerous times and verify the parking brake holds on a hill.

Do an underbody inspection for rust and lift damage caused by dumb owners and mechanics.

Test all of the outside door handle lock buttons with each fob.

Drive to 30-50 MPH in drive, put the car in neutral while coasting and press on the brakes. Listen for grinding and feel for tracking and pulsing. Braking will feel hard, but it’s augmented by regen 90% of the time.

Listen for dash rattles and inspect the trunk below the trays for water.
 

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Ask the dealer to provide you the service history. Also ask that all "calibrations" (Firmware) be brought up to date. The Bolt recently had a optional update for the DCFC profile that improved the 2017, but you had to ask for it.

as @Packard V8 said, I had a 2017 and now a 2020 and absolutely no issues with either one. I don't recommend the extended warranty in NY as the factory warranty on all the important stuff, battery, etc, ls so good, not sure what the Factory coverage is in Canada however.

Welcome to the Bolt family, and be very careful who you let drive it, the Bolt is addictive and now the preferred vehicle by all in the house ;-)
 

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There is a service bulletin (TSB) for the outside rear view mirrors on 2017 Bolts.
The early Bolts had a problem where the reflective material behind the mirror glass started peeling off on many cars. I had both sides replaced just before the 36K mile warranty expired. So, have a look at the mirrors. Also, if its a Premier- check that the inside electronic rear view mirror actually works.


29233
 

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Very important to look at the tires for abnormal tread wear and wear in general. If you need to buy tires soon, the OEM are very expensive, between $140 and $200 a tire so make sure there is some life left in them or try to get a credit. Also ask for a print out of all the previous service history. GM has every car's history on computer if they did the work. Make sure the car has a DCFC port if you plan any longer trips than downtown you will need the ability to DC fast charge on the way. Some cars did not have this option. That would be a deal breaker for me.
I just love my Bolt, enjoy, but do know that winter range is 30% less and cold weather charging tends to be slower than other makes. I know this sounds obvious but make sure the home charger cord (EVSE) is in the back. These are wired for 120 volts but a simple plug adapter can be made or bought that allows them to run on 220 for twice the home charge speed. Most of us have done this. If it doesn't have the rear false floor over the back "tire well", maybe they can throw that in. Very nice addition for loading boxes etc.
 

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I would just relax and try to get a true sense for how you like it. If you try to cram too much analysis into your 24 hours with it, you may lose sight of the big picture. The inspection has been done already so you may not even need to rehash all of that stuff either.

Is it the right car for you? Do you like it?
 

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To second @hatchy 's comment above. Just make sure it's the right car for you. Have you driven other EV's? You sometimes learn things about yourself by driving other offerings.
 

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I know it's getting late on your 24-hour "clock" here, but ...

I’m not an owner (yet), and apparently these vehicles are pretty reliable, but I have read complaints here about the seats on that model year being so bad (for some people) that they actually tore off the seat skins to add their own padding inside! So, depending on your body type, I'd be rotating side to side in that seat to see if I could feel anything that might be uncomfortable (like the inner frame poking at me)!

Also - apparently these batteries don't perform as well in the colder months as they do in the warmer months. Being in Canada, you're gonna see more colder months, so I'd want to have a good idea of what kind of charge/range I could expect during those colder months ... and is that good enough for your purposes?

As far as Extended Warranties ... 30+ years now ... I've never purchased one (and I've never needed one). Certainly with the Internet the last 25 years you can get a good feeling at least about a new vehicle purchase. Used cars are a little different - you never know how they're treated. But with so little that can go wrong with these EVs, and the existing coverage on the battery, if I was buying a 2017 Bolt today ... I still wouldn't buy the Extended Warranty.
 

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I lose about 40% range in my Wisconsin winter on the really cold days. Now, I do run the heat as I always would and like being comfortable. I only commute, so the range hit is not an issue with me right now but it sure might be for others.
I bought the extended warranty, spent 2 grand for it to take the whole care to 7 years 100K miles. But I'm that guy. I seem to break even with the warranty so for me historically it works out. I do love the peace of mind. I pay for it. When I unload my Bolt in 1 to 2 years (I bought a boat with my Tesla Model Y money) I hope it helps me sell it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Not yet. All systems are still go. We technically have to buy the car first and then we have a 24 hour return policy, as test driving cars is not allowed at this time. Because of this we are still working out the numbers and the paperwork on the dealership side of things. I had been waiting to do the buy/drive before replying to all of these amazing replies. But I got to say 'thanks!' to everyone here at this point. We feel well armed heading into this now.
:)
 

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The only think I had to deal with is adding padding to the seats. It cost $200-300 US for both front seats and solved the problem I had with the seat hitting my shoulder blade just right to be uncomfortable for me. Well worth it in my case. It is easy to add padding to the lower seat cushion, but the back needs to be glued in (under the seat heaters) and I recommend an auto upholstery shop do this unless your good with that sort of thing.... The 2nd thing is the lower temp heated seats which is easily fixed with 4x 2200ohm resistors. Best mod I have done because I live in the snow so now the seats are HOT like they should be in the winter. I love the car, it is the best car I have ever owned. I bought an extended warranty because I wanted "peace of mind" but most have no problems with the car. There is a forum on adding a diesel hot water heater to the Bolt for cabin heating and may be worth while for your cold climate. 150 miles in the winter is usually no problem, but it depends on how cold it is and if you pre-heat while plugged into the charger, use heated seats etc. One pedal driving is the best and all I use so no brakes or service, just add windshield washer fluid every few months and rotate the tires. Have fun.
 

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BTW: what trim level and price range are you looking at? And have you run the numbers on kbb.com to get an idea whether the asking price is reasonable? With some diligent searching, you may be able to score a brand new 2020 LT (with DCFC, Driver Confidence 1, Comfort/Convenience), for as little as $24,500!
 
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