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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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.

jack vines
 

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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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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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If you have not already found the, great teardown videos of the bolt are
Professor Kelly has done an amazing job educating us all on the inner workings of the Bolt. See his youtube channel for battery pack and others.

As others have said, the Bolt has proven to be an incredibly reliable vehicle, don't trust me, see also consumer reports.

Over 100k miles is still unproven for most of us, but not GM testing or the Bolts used for Maven no idea what they have racked up now, that was back in 2017, and soon @NewsCoulomb . Some Volts have very high mileage, which bodes well for us.

Having now had mine for 20+ months and also having maintained my own vehicles most of my life, I would not personally be intimidated by maintaining a Bolt myself. The Bolt is built in typical GM fashion, comprised of replaceable modules, with most parts that will need to be replaced between 100k and 200k miles not likely being the EV powertrain but more likely tires and suspension components.

I would anticipate the used market showing greatest Bolt availability starting mid to late 2020 when they start to roll off lease. My very unscientific guestimate of those that purchased a Bolt is that they intend to keep it and not trade anytime soon...

Here is the TSB and service manual link

And here is the publically accessible portion of GM Techlink

I had lots of fun working on ICE vehicles over the years but I have to say having a vehicle that requires little to no service is even better, I now spend my time watching professor Kelly tear them apart and on this forum ;-)
 

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Here is the TSB and service manual link

And here is the publically accessible portion of GM Techlink

I had lots of fun working on ICE vehicles over the years but I have to say having a vehicle that requires little to no service is even better...
Heck if the Service Manual is available then given the simplicity of Bolt's drivetrain, simple unfamiliarity shouldn't be a barrier to DIY maintenance in the future.

Not really comparable but I own a couple of orphan farm tractors. In near 20 years owning a 1980 Yanmar I've never had an instance of parts unavailable. Yanmar departed the US market after these were sold. The original US selling dealers, and also the 'new Yanmar' dealers franchised when Yanmar returned a couple of years ago, pretend they never heard of the 80's YM models. No problem, there are a couple of specialty places that support these by mailorder. One of these firms contracted with the original US manufacturer of rollbars and now offers them for all models, That firm and another contract to have NAPA-quality replacement parts manufactured, likely in China.
These tractors are as well supported as old VW's, Jeeps, 60's Mustang etc. I expect maintaining a Bolt far in the future - if the GM dealers abandon them - won't be much different than maintaining an old Jeep. The parts will be out there, and in user groups, you will find the shared expertise to coach you through an unfamiliar repair. But most of all Bolts are simple, there's just not much there to fix.
 

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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.
Thank you! That's the kind of reporting I'm looking for. My leaf battery needed replacement at 105k so to see a 100k+ Bolt out there, and still has full capacity, fills my heart with happiness.
 

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Took our Bolt in for inspection today, at our local small Chevy dealer. They have a 2017 LT with DCFC, Comfort & Convenience Package, Driver Confidence Package, and rubber mats, in addition to the carpet ones. Only 12K miles, for $26K. I checked it with my Torque Pro. Battery capacity shows 60.9 kWh. Somebody is going to be very happy.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks everyone. I'll check out the breakdown videos. I went and test drove a 2017 the other day. It was $10k over my budget limit but I finally got to see the car in person. Loved it and the drive. I can see what people are saying about the seats.

The hunt will continue.
 

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To be honest, I wouldn't be that happy with $26K even on a fully loaded (used) LT. I mean, I guess you have to be now that the federal rebate is halved.

I bought my loaded LT for $32,650 out the door...that comes to a $25K car after the full $7,500 rebate (which I qualify for). I unfortunately do not live in a state that gives further discount, but you can tack that on if you do. It's an odd market out there for EVs, so we'll see in the next few years.

-Alex
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes the used prices are not good in this area at all, likely because of such a low supply. I looked at a 2017 that they wanted $30k for. Yet down the street a dealer is selling brand new ones for $33k...that's the same price as the used one when factoring the tax incentive.

Naturally their Bolt still isn't sold.
 
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