Misuse Of Mountain Mode Causes Chevy Volt To Struggle Up Mountain Road – Video


Volt Struggling To Maintain Speed

Volt Struggling To Maintain Speed Due to Improper Use Of Mountain Mode

Most Chevy Volt owners understand how mountain mode functions, but in this video you’ll see what happens when the operation of mountain mode is misunderstood.

Mountain mode should be activated well prior to the climb, but if you wait until the climb is upon you, then propulsion power is reduced is what you’re likely to encounter if the battery pack is at or near depletion.

As the video uploader states:

“All the technology in the world is useless if this car can’t climb up a hill.”

With proper use of mountain mode, this car can climb a hill.  RTFM, right?

Categories: Chevrolet, Videos


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25 Comments on "Misuse Of Mountain Mode Causes Chevy Volt To Struggle Up Mountain Road – Video"

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I have a similar problem with top speed in my car.
It isn’t very fast, and I am darned if I see why I should have to change up from 1st gear to make it faster.

Says “This Video Is Private” when I tried to watch it.

Same here.

Eric, can you give some more details so I can find this by searching YouTube directly? The video is private.


As it turns out, he pulled the video due to the negative comments. This is all I can find now from my cache. I do think his video title may have led to some of the negative commentary.


That’s the video link, but it now says private for me too.

I didn’t see the video but the Volt actually replenishes really fast in Mountain Mode. Like anything you can make a scenario to fail but as soon as you enter Moutain Mode in a Volt the generators revs at a faster speed to build the needed capacity. If a person was on a trip and was unaware that they were going to encounter continuous climb, they could pull over for a very short time and the Volt would build up the extra energy. This is probably why the video was pulled by the overload of Volt drivers posting the answer. So even the misuse can be quickly corrected.

Thx Mark H.

That’s exactly right.

Yeah, RTFM. Though this is an example why Chevy is probably increasing the engine size instead of making it smaller: People are generally stupid.

Or, put nicer, the masses don’t want to deal with having to remember to engage mountain mode ahead of time on those larger than life hills.

I’m guessing he would have been much more angry if he was driving a BMW i3 in Rex mode

Yeah, like that guy who suddenly experienced reduce propulsion in his i3 while trying to pass a car with oncoming traffic? That was a far worse scenario than slowing down a little while climbing a hill!

It sounds like he used Mountain Mode in the worst way possible. Let’s make the engine work to charge up the battery just when we need it for extra power to climb a hill.

RTFM indeed. But who reads anymore?

He’s trying to make a video saying the Volt has the same problems the i3 has. Except that the Volt, when used properly, doesn’t have these problems.

Not only that, there are many hills where the Volt won’t have this problem. I go through the mountains of Vermont on US-4, NOT USING mountain mode, and never have this issue, and they’re fairly long and steep.

In most cases, you don’t need mountain mode. In the small percentage of cases that you do, RTFM and engage it before the mountain. 😉

The Volt in the video had both the check engine light and the tire pressure warning light on. Even though the author was talking about a new Volt it clearly indicated over 38,500 miles on the odometer.

A normal person would slow down or pull over and give their car a breather, yet that guy kept driving in the left center lane still passing trucks on the right and still doing 50 mph.

After he was called in the comments to explain the discrepancies and the circumstances a bit more he pulled the video.


This was over two weeks ago, why is InsideEVs posting this now?

Disappointing George and many others who want the smallest engine possible, the larger engine in next generation fixes the issue by supplying more power. However, human nature being what it is, someone who thinks they should be able to cut meat with a spoon will no doubt think it unreasonable that they can’t first deplete the battery and then climb some super steep hill at 100 MPH.

Why does the phrase “you can’t fix stupid” keep popping up in my head?

Wrong DonC. I wanted the Turbo 3 which had MORE power and I’ve come out in favor of a modest increase in ICE HP in many previous posts.

Imagine if he drove the i3 Rex…..


Can’t you basically just stop and leave the car booted for a while while the genset buffers energy in the battery??

Yes. That’s what Mark H. posted above.

In my first year of ownership (2011) I talked to a “tech” at an early invite only opening of the Chicago autoshow about this. Ideally if you have the NAV destination setup and you had the topographical data then you could automatically do, or at least suggest, setting Mountain Mode. I was told that regulations did not let them do that. Seemed odd but I see Ford, Tesla, and others doing similar things now.

“Regulators” allegedly didn’t let them have a charge Hold mode on the 2011 and 2012 US models either (the European ones had it). Lo and behold the Hold mode appeared on the 2013+ models.

The gas car industry loves to blame regulators for everything, including their granny’s gout. If they don’t have a good answer, the second best answer is always “Because Regulators”

It is a shame that people told him how to use the Mountain Mode properly. Folks like him are probably safer at 50 MPH in the mountains anyways. It would have avoided the inevitable follow-up video:

“Chevy Volt Can’t Corner in Mountains”

Where he posts a video of himself running off the road in a corner, because he was told he could do 80+ MPH uphill if he put it in Mountain Mode sooner. Then missed a turn because he thought he could do 80 no matter what.

I don’t understand the purpose of this article. I wouldn’t want to own a vehcile where everything is so homogenized that nothing could ever go wrong.

And 50 mph under duress doesn’t sound so bad to me anyways.

This is just as saying a vw beetle can’t accelerate from a dead stop in 4th gear. So what?