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Does your Bolt shift from forward to reverse without pressing the safety button?


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If your Bolt doesn't make you press the side button to shift into R, it's faulty and needs to be taken in for repair.
I suppose it would be possible for the side button to short out so that the car thinks it's always pressed. That could account for the behaviour, assuming that this isn't a genuine model year change.

You could test for this by trying to shift out of park without pressing the side button. If that works, then it points to a problem with the button.
 

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On my 2019 Premier I tested this in a parking lot last night. I was moving forward at 8-10 MPH, then moved the shift lever without pressing the side button. It shifted to reverse, slowed down, and started moving in reverse.
 

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I just tried this again; it looks like my Bolt will go into reverse at speeds of up to 10 MPH and over 10 MPH will shift into N instead of R. I specifically did not touch the shift button (which I do need to use to energize the motor normally) when shifting. I'll be reaching out to a local dealer about this behavior.
 

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I just tried this again; it looks like my Bolt will go into reverse at speeds of up to 10 MPH and over 10 MPH will shift into N instead of R. I specifically did not touch the shift button (which I do need to use to energize the motor normally) when shifting. I'll be reaching out to a local dealer about this behavior.
If I'm understanding your post, you were going forward, about 10MPH and you put the car into R. What did it do and sound like? Did it go into R, and make nasty clunking noises or did it slow down it's forward movement and start going backwards? The manual said it won't go into R if the speed is too high, so I guess 10+ is the definition of too high. I know the functionality of rocking a car out of a snow bank/ditch is why you could be putting it in R while forward movement is present, I was just curious what the experience was during your test.
 

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The car went into reverse with no fuss or mechanical noises; once I put it in reverse it slowed down to zero (AKA, accelerated in reverse), then kept moving backwards. The car didn't give any audible cue that what I was doing wasn't normal. If I pressed the accelerator harder then it slowed down faster and accelerated faster once moving in reverse.

I think this is normal - an EV doesn't need a reverse gear but instead just needs to spin the motor the other direction.
 

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Tested my 2019 Premier this morning. I can go from L to R or D to R without pressing the button. Looks like it was changed (or it's a bug) in 2019. I tried shoving it diagonally up and to the left to see if one bump could get it into R but it didn't seem to want to go that way: you have to press it straight forward first and then hold and press left.

Mike
Tested mine today at the parking lot. Ditto. After stopping, R to L without pressing button and also L to R without pressing button.
 

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Mine built April 2019 goes from D/L to R and vice versa sans button.

It will also go N to R or D without depressing either the brake or button. This could be a bit dangerous if using neutral to keep the car on (as emergency power for example), so always set that parking brake! ?
 

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I think this is normal - an EV doesn't need a reverse gear but instead just needs to spin the motor the other direction.
Agreed, makes sense. When reading the manual for my 2019, it talks about rocking the car between R & D to get the vehicle unstuck and it talks about the 'gears' on Page 201.
"wait until the wheels stop spinning before shifting gears." P201
It made me chuckle a bit. I know there are gears, I watched parts of the disassembly video on YouTube and there are some mighty big gears but this is a function of the motor more or less.
 

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I don't see this as something to get worked up over. It still takes two actions to get it into reverse: you have to move the lever forward, hold, then to the left. I tried pushing mine forward and to the left at the same time (at about a 45 degree angle) and it wouldn't move... as if there's a detent on the left side that makes you move it straight forward before you can move it to the left to engage reverse. If you think about T-handle automatic shifters, it is pretty easy to get them to bump into reverse by accident. If part of your body pressed against the left edge of the T-handle where the button was and pushed it forward 1 click, you were in reverse.

Mike
 

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Tried to shift from D to R without pressing the side (Shift) button on my 2017 Bolt while going about 3mph this morning... tried it 3x just to be sure.
All three times I got "Press Shift button to shift gears" on the DIC and the Bolt went in to N.
 

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Tried to shift from D to R without pressing the side (Shift) button on my 2017 Bolt while going about 3mph this morning... tried it 3x just to be sure.
All three times I got "Press Shift button to shift gears" on the DIC and the Bolt went in to N.
Thanks. I have wondered myself, but wasn't going to try it.
 

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Tried to shift from D to R without pressing the side (Shift) button on my 2017 Bolt while going about 3mph this morning... tried it 3x just to be sure.
All three times I got "Press Shift button to shift gears" on the DIC and the Bolt went in to N.
I get the same error on my 2017 if I try to shift into R without pressing the button. (Moving or not moving.)
 

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Pretty much all cars can shift between reverse and forward at low speed (i.e., 1–2 mph, without coming to a stop first). For a car with gears, it is much less stress on the transmission than a regular gear change under strong acceleration.

For a Bolt, it's no trouble at all to switch between reverse and forward at any speed, it'll apply regen (and, if needed, opposite direction power) to slow the car down to a stop and then power to speed it up in the other direction.
 

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If the side button is shorted/stuck internally, the may be no error code for it. It could just be defective.

i can squeeze my side button all day long without pulling and it does nothing otherwise.

So, I decided to check my 2017 to see what happens if if pushed it up and to the right without pushing the button and it immediately went into Neutral with no delay AND gave the HOLD SIDE BUTTON TO SHIFT message on the display.

I repeated this numerous times to confirm. So now I know a quick way to get into neutral without delay: forward and left with no button for immediate neutral.

If more 2019 owners can confirm pushing forward and left without holding the button always engages reverse, I would accept that it’s possible that GM ignores the side button and allows Shifting IF ALREADY IN GEAR. Logical. They already allowed it for drive, neutral, and low. Then the side button is only needed for the “first shift”.
 

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I just confirmed that in my 2019 Bolt Premier, you can easily shift from drive to reverse by moving the shift lever forward and to the left. There's no need to press the release button. So it's certainly possible (though not all that likely) to unintentionally change the vehicle's mode from drive to reverse -- at least while stopped.

I'm not sure what would happen if you were to shift from drive to reverse while the Bolt is in drive and actively moving forward. Hopefully it's smart enough to prevent that from occurring. (For obvious reasons, I didn't test it.)
 

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Have had my 2019 Bolt for a year - have been shifting into reverse without the button push from day one. The sales person was surprised to see it work without the button push. It would seem that 2019 Bolt has a new feature regarding shifting into reverse.
 

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Well, I’m convinced. GM changed the behavior of the side button.

So no one is ”accidentally“ shifting into reverse. They are actually unintentionally shifting into reverse. The shifter is working exactly as GM intends it to.
 

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2019 Bolt LT. Confirmed that you CAN INDEED switch into reverse without pressing button. Quite concerning......
 

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2019 LT:
CAN shift directly from D or L into Reverse without pressing the button. Did it from a stop and at 10mph without any warnings or need to press said button.

Now, the reverse camera came on so that was a nice visual clue i had put it into reverse. So i guess the 2019's behavior is different. Interesting.
 
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