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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As I live in San Diego county, was wondering if anyone had experience:

a) Driving their Chevy Bolt to Ensenada MX as there are charging stations at the hotels in Ensenada (60 miles south of US/Mexican border)

b) Know if GM has a restriction on taking one's leased Chevy Bolt on a short vacation out of the US

I recognize that one must get supplemental Mexican Liability insurance. My insurance company told me that they fully cover me 75 miles south of the US border but said that if you don't get Mexican Liability insurance, the Mexican authorities can arrest you in an accident for a felony.

I searched the forums for about 10 minutes and thought it was easiest to post the questions. TIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Made that trip a number of times in my SoCal youth.

My fear taking a Bolt down there is, what happens if something mechanically fails? It is one thing to take an ICEV with common tech that locals know how to work on, but how many Bolts are in TJ and Ensenada, probably nada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry, no experience there.
Made that trip a number of times in my SoCal youth.

My fear taking a Bolt down there is, what happens if something mechanically fails? It is one thing to take an ICEV with common tech that locals know how to work on, but how many Bolts are in TJ and Ensenada, probably nada.
Thanks ARob. Since it's only 60 miles to the border from Ensenada, I figure if there is a breakdown I get towed to a Chevy Dealer in Tijuana or back across the border to San Diego. I am only thinking of going there for some 3 day vacations next year and wouldn't keep the car for months at a time in Mexico.
I too make the trip to Ensenada from LA 50 years ago with my dad to go fishing. The new toll road was open, and it wasn't too difficult to make the trip. These days, there are long back up lines at the border---but since I do have Global Entry there are expedited lanes for US Trusted Travelers.
Anyway, was just trying to see if anyone's made the cross border jaunt with their Bolt.
 

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Thanks ARob. Since it's only 60 miles to the border from Ensenada, I figure if there is a breakdown I get towed to a Chevy Dealer in Tijuana or back across the border to San Diego. I am only thinking of going there for some 3 day vacations next year and wouldn't keep the car for months at a time in Mexico.
I too make the trip to Ensenada from LA 50 years ago with my dad to go fishing. The new toll road was open, and it wasn't too difficult to make the trip. These days, there are long back up lines at the border---but since I do have Global Entry there are expedited lanes for US Trusted Travelers.
Anyway, was just trying to see if anyone's made the cross border jaunt with their Bolt.
Fond memories. We would often stop in a little town we called Puerto Nuevo for Lobster lunches. I don't even think it is a town, just a few cafes a bit past Rosarita. None of the cafes sold alcohol, so we would bring in our own Tequila, they were happy to supply salt and limes! Then, Ensenada, Long Bar, La Bufadora, and cap it off with some TJ nightlife. Great weekend fun for teenagers who couldn't get into bars in San Diego.

Good luck if you do it.
 

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Fond memories. We would often stop in a little town we called Puerto Nuevo for Lobster lunches. I don't even think it is a town, just a few cafes a bit past Rosarita. None of the cafes sold alcohol, so we would bring in our own Tequila, they were happy to supply salt and limes! Then, Ensenada, Long Bar, La Bufadora, and cap it off with some TJ nightlife. Great weekend fun for teenagers who couldn't get into bars in San Diego.

Good luck if you do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I just found the answer to the 2nd question I posed above in the fine print on the back of my lease agreement. The answer from GM is that I can only use the Bolt in the US or on a temporary trip of less than 30 days to Canada. So, I guess going to Mexico is out of the question in a leased Bolt.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
WELL, AN UPDATE---Long post and:

If you’re not in CA and not interesting in driving your Bolt to Mexico, then you can skip this post.

When I had my leased 2018 Bolt premier, I found out, through both postings here and through reading my lease paperwork carefully, that one would be restricted from taking a GM Financial Leased vehicle out of the US or Canada---so that ruled out Mexico.

I purchased a 2020 Bolt Premier in December of 2020, and I purchased because I might have a need in the future to be in Ensenada, Mexico two times per month in the future for about a year due to a vessel in a marina to be located there---but that’s another story.

So, I made a boomerang trip yesterday to Ensenada from where I live in San Diego County. One way from my house to the destination marina, the trip is 110 miles. With the Bolt, I calculated that I could make the boomerang trip without recharging. I checked ABRP-- it said that once I re-enter the US, I should charge for 8 minutes at a charger at a Walmart near the border.

I also had called to the hotel/marina (Hotel Coral y Marina) where I was going in Ensenada if they had charging stations. They said, “Of course we have charging for Tesla.” I said, “No, the other ones---for a Chevy Bolt.” “You mean a Volt?” “No, a Bolt.” So I figured I would check at the hotel and that I was safe enough with range to cross back into the US to then recharge if really needed.

Remember that if you take your owned vehicle into Mexico that you need to purchase MX Liability Insurance at a minimum. I did that on line and had my paperwork printed in the car. BTW, the one I purchased had a roadside assistance plan since if I was going to be 60 miles south of the border I know Chevy’s roadside assistance plan would only work in the US and not in Mexico.

We carried our passports and our global entry cards, and the passage into MX was uneventful. Google maps on my Android Auto immediately switched over to Kilometers after crossing so I was annoyed looking at my DIC showing in Miles and Android Auto showing everything in KM. I changed that over on the fly on the vehicle setting to Km so everything matched up. Google routed me such that I missed the entrance to the toll road at Tijuana so we went through some traffic until we caught the toll road entrance around Rosarito. Once on the toll road, it was a breeze. Little traffic, they allow you to pay the tolls in dollars (the 400 pesos was calculated as US $2.05) and going to the hotel only had 2 tolls to pay. There are some scenic views to see while driving down but there really aren’t (or I didn’t see any) good places to turn out to take a few photos.

We got to the hotel / marina and this was the typical good type of security at a resort in Mexico where they only let people in who have a reason to go in. We told the gate guard of our appointment at the marina with the marina manager who then said, “Okay, go down there and park to the left.” I asked about charging and once again they said, “Tesla?” I said no, “Bolt.” And then I said in my broken Spanish, “the other one.” They directed me to the front of the hotel and the clipper charging stations were all occupied by ICE cars, and the sign had a Tesla Symbol with the words “charging station.” They went inside and moved whichever manager’s ICE car that was parked there, and then I looked and found a standard J1772 clipper creek charging cable. I plugged in my Bolt. I checked and I had gone 110 miles and my State of Charge was 65%. I still charged because a) I wanted to test their system and b) it was free.
Took the tour of the marina and talked with the Marina manager. Went to the hotel and had a nice lunch.

One annoying thing is that the myChevrolet app could not find my vehicle or give me a state of charge. I wanted to see what the range was while I was having lunch. I tried in numerous places on the hotel grounds and even though I had good cell phone service with 4G all over the property, the myChevrolet app couldn’t synch up.

On the drive back in the afternoon, we stayed on the toll road all the way along the coast and went through all three toll booths. The toll road comes up the border, then you run parallel to the border back to the east to the San Ysidro crossing. Google Maps tried to get us to the normal crossing lanes but we followed the signs for the SENTRI crossing for Global Entry. The crossing was no more than 10 to 15 minutes in line for us due to Global Entry. NOTE: If you don’t have Global Entry or SENTRI, don’t mess with the CBP and try to go through those lanes. It’s a $5000 fine to go through those lanes if you’re not authorized---and I don’t feel like messing with the CBP.

I didn’t see any other electric cars during the entire trip until was back on the US side. I hope this help anyone who is thinking about a Mexico trip. PM me with questions.
 

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WELL, AN UPDATE---Long post and:

If you’re not in CA and not interesting in driving your Bolt to Mexico, then you can skip this post.

When I had my leased 2018 Bolt premier, I found out, through both postings here and through reading my lease paperwork carefully, that one would be restricted from taking a GM Financial Leased vehicle out of the US or Canada---so that ruled out Mexico.

I purchased a 2020 Bolt Premier in December of 2020, and I purchased because I might have a need in the future to be in Ensenada, Mexico two times per month in the future for about a year due to a vessel in a marina to be located there---but that’s another story.

So, I made a boomerang trip yesterday to Ensenada from where I live in San Diego County. One way from my house to the destination marina, the trip is 110 miles. With the Bolt, I calculated that I could make the boomerang trip without recharging. I checked ABRP-- it said that once I re-enter the US, I should charge for 8 minutes at a charger at a Walmart near the border.

I also had called to the hotel/marina (Hotel Coral y Marina) where I was going in Ensenada if they had charging stations. They said, “Of course we have charging for Tesla.” I said, “No, the other ones---for a Chevy Bolt.” “You mean a Volt?” “No, a Bolt.” So I figured I would check at the hotel and that I was safe enough with range to cross back into the US to then recharge if really needed.

Remember that if you take your owned vehicle into Mexico that you need to purchase MX Liability Insurance at a minimum. I did that on line and had my paperwork printed in the car. BTW, the one I purchased had a roadside assistance plan since if I was going to be 60 miles south of the border I know Chevy’s roadside assistance plan would only work in the US and not in Mexico.

We carried our passports and our global entry cards, and the passage into MX was uneventful. Google maps on my Android Auto immediately switched over to Kilometers after crossing so I was annoyed looking at my DIC showing in Miles and Android Auto showing everything in KM. I changed that over on the fly on the vehicle setting to Km so everything matched up. Google routed me such that I missed the entrance to the toll road at Tijuana so we went through some traffic until we caught the toll road entrance around Rosarito. Once on the toll road, it was a breeze. Little traffic, they allow you to pay the tolls in dollars (the 400 pesos was calculated as US $2.05) and going to the hotel only had 2 tolls to pay. There are some scenic views to see while driving down but there really aren’t (or I didn’t see any) good places to turn out to take a few photos.

We got to the hotel / marina and this was the typical good type of security at a resort in Mexico where they only let people in who have a reason to go in. We told the gate guard of our appointment at the marina with the marina manager who then said, “Okay, go down there and park to the left.” I asked about charging and once again they said, “Tesla?” I said no, “Bolt.” And then I said in my broken Spanish, “the other one.” They directed me to the front of the hotel and the clipper charging stations were all occupied by ICE cars, and the sign had a Tesla Symbol with the words “charging station.” They went inside and moved whichever manager’s ICE car that was parked there, and then I looked and found a standard J1772 clipper creek charging cable. I plugged in my Bolt. I checked and I had gone 110 miles and my State of Charge was 65%. I still charged because a) I wanted to test their system and b) it was free.
Took the tour of the marina and talked with the Marina manager. Went to the hotel and had a nice lunch.

One annoying thing is that the myChevrolet app could not find my vehicle or give me a state of charge. I wanted to see what the range was while I was having lunch. I tried in numerous places on the hotel grounds and even though I had good cell phone service with 4G all over the property, the myChevrolet app couldn’t synch up.

On the drive back in the afternoon, we stayed on the toll road all the way along the coast and went through all three toll booths. The toll road comes up the border, then you run parallel to the border back to the east to the San Ysidro crossing. Google Maps tried to get us to the normal crossing lanes but we followed the signs for the SENTRI crossing for Global Entry. The crossing was no more than 10 to 15 minutes in line for us due to Global Entry. NOTE: If you don’t have Global Entry or SENTRI, don’t mess with the CBP and try to go through those lanes. It’s a $5000 fine to go through those lanes if you’re not authorized---and I don’t feel like messing with the CBP.

I didn’t see any other electric cars during the entire trip until was back on the US side. I hope this help anyone who is thinking about a Mexico trip. PM me with questions.
Thanks for the details. I have forwarded the thread to a friend, who plans to do the same.

I wouldn't be too surprised mychevrolet stops working down there. It requires the OnStar network to talk to the car.

-TL

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
 

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I wouldn't be too surprised mychevrolet stops working down there. It requires the OnStar network to talk to the car.
...which essentially means that GM doesn't have a roaming agreement in place for the cellular providers in Mexico the way they do for Canada and the US. I've had no problems driving my Canadian Bolt in the US, and I haven't heard of any from US folk driving in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
...which essentially means that GM doesn't have a roaming agreement in place for the cellular providers in Mexico the way they do for Canada and the US. I've had no problems driving my Canadian Bolt in the US, and I haven't heard of any from US folk driving in Canada.
TL: Interesting. You may be exactly right about not having a roaming agreement in place. So never to let a good intellectual issue go to waste, I just went into my vehicle in my garage home here in San Diego county and pressed the On Star button to ask them why it didn't work on Friday etc. They put me in contact with the On Star connections team, and he looked up my account for the time in question and said, "Yeah, I can see some errors at the time in question like you accessed the myChevrolet app a lot. He said, "Next time you go to Mexico when you get to the hotel [or even crossing the border] hit the blue On Star button, let it ring and connect and then hang up. It tells OnStar where the car is. Then try the app." Basically he said that the car is acting like a big router but it needs to know where it is. If I have problems, call him on the phone. So, we'll see. I have to think that the car is going to find any cell phone network and connect to OnStar (you think???). My phone uses whatever cellphone network (it's actually an extension of Verizon's network) to connect up. So, the problem maybe is the car didn't register to a network. Anyway, I will update the post when I try it next (might be a few months as this past Friday was a dry run to scope out the marina/hotel in Ensenada). If anyone else with OnStar goes into Mexico by a few miles so that you're on a non US network, please try your myChevrolet app. If it doesn't work, try the OnStar to see if you can 'force' the OnStar network to figure out where your vehicle is and then try your myChevrolet app. My experience was 60 miles south of the US Border in Ensenada MX on good cell phone service.
Alec
 

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...He said, "Next time you go to Mexico when you get to the hotel [or even crossing the border] hit the blue On Star button, let it ring and connect and then hang up. It tells OnStar where the car is. Then try the app." Basically he said that the car is acting like a big router but it needs to know where it is. If I have problems, call him on the phone. So, we'll see. I have to think that the car is going to find any cell phone network and connect to OnStar (you think???)...
If it's true that they don't have a roaming agreement in Mexico, then that's not going to do anything. If they do have an agreement, then the car should have been able to connect to the network unless it was out of range of their closest cell sites.

Note that different carriers have different cellular coverage areas, and the carrier you use for your phone is not necessarily the same as the one that the car uses. Also note that your car may use a different carrier when roaming in a different country, that's certainly true of Bolts that come up into Canada, where our networks (Rogers, Bell, Telus) are totally different than those in the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sean: Interesting and some new data that I discovered. I haven't been the biggest fan of the myChevrolet app because when I wanted data from it, I couldn't always get it, and above is an example. Today (5/28), I started to page through what's in the app. I can see there is a section called Chevrolet Smart Driver in the "More" tab of the app. It stores data from previous trips which I didn't know. I could see yesterday's trip to LA from San Diego, which details such items as hard braking, hard acceleration, distance driven, etc. Thus, I went back to 5/7 when I made this Mexico trip and could see the details such as a list of specific trips that day, a Map of when I went, the exact times, and times of events of the parameters they collect. What I wonder is: Does the Bolt, or On Star, store that data resident on the vehicle and at times sends that "flight recorder data" to the big Chevy server in the sky, or is the data being reported more real time to the big Chevy server somewhere? It showed exactly when I left my house in the morning and my late morning arrival at the address in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico with time etc. It also showed the trip back with the one (1) hard acceleration I performed at 15:51in Mexico. Therefore, I have to think that if there is some more real time reporting of data that On Star is communicating through some tower. I haven't been to Mexico since the trip so I haven't tried the cell phone discussion above.
Incidentally, for those nefarious types out there----don't be sneaking around to a secret admirer's house or committing a felony with your Bolt---since there is plenty of data to tie you to the scene of the crime!
 

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...What I wonder is: Does the Bolt, or On Star, store that data resident on the vehicle and at times sends that "flight recorder data" to the big Chevy server in the sky, or is the data being reported more real time to the big Chevy server somewhere?
Good question.

Here in British Columbia I've sometimes driven through areas where there simply isn't any cell service, so it should be possible to tell if the vehicle reported those or not. But I can't find the "smart driver" section in the app....?
 
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