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Discussion Starter #1
The 2017 Bolt is my third car with "automatic climate control." By this I mean a car where you set the desired cabin temperature and the climate control system attempts to meet that temperature.

The short version is that for my other cars the comfortable temperature setting was between 68 and 71. But for the Bolt (in these winter months when the outside temperature is around 45 or 50) I have to keep it at 61 and sometimes that is too warm. I think the next lowest setting is "Low" which is way too cold.

Note that I have double checked the temperature unit setting, and even switched it temporarily, to ensure it is on Fahrenheit.

Also, the outside temperature display routinely displays 12 degrees lower than the actual outside temperature. Perhaps this messes up the cabin climate control system??

And there is a Tech Service Bulletin, 17-NA-049, about a pinched wire running to the heating duct temperature sensor. It seems like this might be the cause but the thread about this TSB was focussed on the interior temperature exceeding 80 degrees or more in the summer, I believe because the heat was running. I bought my car in December, 6 months after the TSB, so would they not have corrected the problem by then??

One other observation. I _think_ this car is more susceptible to solar heating. I can feel the sun on my skin but don't remember the same feeling in my other (non-GM) cars. Does GM skimp on UV coating on their window glass? I have the LT trim package so maybe there is no coating??
 

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I would suggest putting a thermometer in the passenger seat, out of direct sunlight, and riding around with the temp set to 61F, to see what the actual cabin temp is. Then go to the dealer armed with actual numbers.
 

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Sounds like a manufacturing defect.

I’ve found that my Bolt errors a bit on the “cold” side, so I typically set it to 70-72, in other cars I usually set to 68. A few degree discrepancy is to be expected, but if it’s off by over 10 degrees something is wrong. I would take it to the dealer and have them check it out.

Also, 45-50 in winter? I wish!
 

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I have the same issue with 61 being warm and Lo being cold. On my recent road trip I cycled between these two settings manually every 5 minutes or so.

So much of 'auto'.

For this, it was well below freezing outside, I had the flow set to defrost, and the fan set to 1.

I **think** but have not tried yet, that it works better with more normal cabin venting and fan settings above 1. This is too bad, b/c as an EV veteran I am used to minimizing cabin usage by setting as above.
 

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This is another reason we just stopped using the cabin heater in winter altogether save for defrosting the 'shield, beside the efficiency hit. Setting it to 61F/defrost was just way too hot with normal winter jackets/clothes on, and on LO it might as well be off anyways, so that's what we did. Electric blanket for the Mrs. and all are comfortable and winter efficiency stays above 3+mi/kWh down to about 0F outside temps 90% of the time.

The Bolt windshield is supposed to be some kind of special heat-blocking glass, I read that in a PR release somewhere... I'm not sure about the rest of the glass in the car. There is a chance you might still be covered by that TSB, do you know your build date from the driver's side B pillar?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The build month is Oct 2017. I see: at least two other Bolt owners are experiencing the same effect, i.e. the climate control system runs uncomfortably hot.

This is a _modern_ car, people. Just because it's an EV doesn't mean you have to wear your winter jackets or don a blanket to keep warm! Yes, you get better efficiency, but most of us have short enough drives that efficiency is not an issue with a Bolt.

I'll put a thermometer in the car and collect some data. I have an indoor/outdoor so I can test two spots in the car at once ... and I think it has a resettable min and max.
 

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This is a _modern_ car, people. Just because it's an EV doesn't mean you have to wear your winter jackets or don a blanket to keep warm! Yes, you get better efficiency, but most of us have short enough drives that efficiency is not an issue with a Bolt.
The Mrs. is extremely sensitive to cold and cabin heaters are completely ineffective for her with Reynaud's syndrome. For "normal" fairly insensitive folks, I agree using the wasteful cabin heat is an option as long as you don't mind the ~30% energy loss. The heated gear in combination with the heated wheel and seats is both more comfortable and more efficient, there is literally no downside, and huge upsides, at least for us here. YMMV, literally - haha! ;)
 

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Do many of you guys and gals wear winter coats or are you wearing dress slacks, thin clothes, etc? I'm wondering if the heater discomfort is related to how people dress (or not) for the season. I personally can't stand heated spaces if I have any jackets, hats, boots, etc, I'd much rather have it cool or cold in the cabin. If I was wearing suit pants, dress shirt and shoes it would be a different story... The advantage of owning the business is I can dress like a lumberjack (as per usual) for the staff meetings and no one can say bupkiss.
 

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Late production bolt. I keep the setting at 68 and the auto heated seats enabled. The temperature feels right for the setting so mine works.
Outside temperature is supposed to respond slowly with a delay, unless the vehicle has been off for 8 hours. If you want the particulars ask the service department.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Outside temperature is supposed to respond slowly with a delay, unless the vehicle has been off for 8 hours.
If slowly is 2 months then maybe it's ok and I'm still waiting for it to catch up. I've been on 1 hour trips where it maintains the 12 degree difference. And it does show higher temperatures when the outside temperature is higher but still 12 degrees lower than the actual outside temperature.
 

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Do many of you guys and gals wear winter coats or are you wearing dress slacks, thin clothes, etc? I'm wondering if the heater discomfort is related to how people dress (or not) for the season.
I doubt you're going to find any magic relationship - the temperature that people are comfortable at is as individual as the butts that are complaining about the seats in the Bolt. I think just about every married couple on earth must have experienced "thermostat wars".

Personally, I dress pretty warmly with long underwear, gloves and a fur hat and I still crank the heater up until the cabin warms up, then I turn it down to around 22 or 23C. That's at outside air temperatures of around 0 to 5C.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The thermometer showed the cabin temperature (on the center console) is actually 50 degrees. This thoroughly confused me at first because I felt much warmer. It turns out I didn't understand there are two independent indicators for "auto" mode on the climate controls. There is "auto" for fan speed and "auto" for everything else (indicated by an LED on the temperature knob). Since I saw the more obvious Auto indicator for the fan, the one on the main screen, I thought the entire system was in auto mode. But, actually, someone had directed all the air to the windshield, so heated air was hitting me in the face while the rest of the car was around 50 degrees! If the cabin sensor is low in the cabin I can see how 70 degree air would just keep coming out of the inside windshield vent.

Now that I know how to put the system into auto mode I'll see what a comfortable setting is. (I guess it's normal to have a 15 degree temperature gradient from one end of the cabin to the other.)

And it seems like the error on the outside temperature sensor is unrelated to cabin temperature control.
 

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Was a facility manager in a former life where building occupants would fight over the thermostats so we had to put them under lock and key. People would still find ways of messing with the thermostats. One occasion we had to install a circular strip chart to log temperatures to show the occupants what the inside temperature was doing. Finally had to direct one individual to wear a coat and stop bothering everyone else.
 

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The thermometer showed the cabin temperature (on the center console) is actually 50 degrees. This thoroughly confused me at first because I felt much warmer. It turns out I didn't understand there are two independent indicators for "auto" mode on the climate controls. There is "auto" for fan speed and "auto" for everything else (indicated by an LED on the temperature knob). Since I saw the more obvious Auto indicator for the fan, the one on the main screen, I thought the entire system was in auto mode. But, actually, someone had directed all the air to the windshield, so heated air was hitting me in the face while the rest of the car was around 50 degrees! If the cabin sensor is low in the cabin I can see how 70 degree air would just keep coming out of the inside windshield vent.

Now that I know how to put the system into auto mode I'll see what a comfortable setting is. (I guess it's normal to have a 15 degree temperature gradient from one end of the cabin to the other.)

And it seems like the error on the outside temperature sensor is unrelated to cabin temperature control.
I assumed that this was what was going on with my discomfort....it was a function of sending all (the small volume) of the heated air to the windshield, while the cabin was cold (my kid in the back was not too hot).

If you find a a better 'auto' mode that runs the defrost, please post.

I think I will go to having a split between windshield and front vents (or feet).
 

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And it seems like the error on the outside temperature sensor is unrelated to cabin temperature control.
I wouldn't dismiss the outside temp error that quickly, I think it is used in some way to assist regulation of cabin temps. A 10 degree error sounds like the sensor is either covered up or malfunctioning. You can examine it yourself, it's a little knob-shaped-thing in the bottom center of the front grill. If it looks ok, then I'd go have it checked at a dealership. Mine is generally within 2-3 degrees of what the local weather stations indicate.

However, back to the larger topic, always remember that heat rises. So if you want to keep a car uniformly warm in winter months, you generally need most of the warm air flowing out of the floor vents. I split the air between floor and window for defogging reasons, but I'm aware that I'm doing so. Technically, if we wanted to do it right, we'd have a return air duct drawing air for the ceiling of the cabin.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You can examine [the ambient temperature sensor] yourself, it's a little knob-shaped-thing in the bottom center of the front grill. If it looks ok, then I'd go have it checked at a dealership. Mine is generally within 2-3 degrees of what the local weather stations indicate.
Thanks. A previous Google result had sent me to a forum post where the author said the sensor was inside the engine compartment in line with one of the tires. I never found one there. Google keeps returning Volt results when I type 'Bolt.' I just repeated that search and sure enough, the post was on the gm-volt forum (and my computer 'corrected' the word, bolt, to 'bold' for some reason).

It's oriented forward-facing so that sand particles could jam in around the rod and eventually 'gum it up.' But maybe GM does this in a broad range of vehicles? I see nothing special about an EV in this respect. I don't, however, get why GM would be mounting outside sensors inside the engine compartment for some cars and on the grill for other cars. Could the Bolt's engine compartment run significantly hotter than that of a hybrid or ICE vehicle? Or maybe when there combustion in the engine they need to measure intake air closer to the intake manifold for engine performance considerations. Regardless this sensor will get gummed up with ice in certain weather conditions although when it's covered I guess it can still measure ambient temperature.

Anyway, the sensor is clean, not covered, and not damaged.

I really appreciate other people willing to read my posts and provide a sanity check. It really helps to know your facts before you approach a corporate auto service department. The Bolt is new enough and my town is small enough that I suspect the mechanic will have to look up all the info needed to service the car anyway. I doubt my town's dealership has sold more than 20 Bolts: probably more like 10. And only in the last few months.

Incidentally the sensor sells for $4.00 and appears to be easily replacable.
 

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I doubt my town's dealership has sold more than 20 Bolts: probably more like 10. And only in the last few months.
I would be surprised if the three dealers in Richmond, Virginia have sold 20 between them! My nearest GM dealer has sold one that I know of.
 

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Wow, that's amazing. Great example of how something so trivial can take so long to troubleshoot.

Thank you for sharing your fix with us. Hopefully it helps someone from 4 trips to fix the same problem in the future.
 
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