Archive for December, 2013

Seriously, wind thumping noise in the Volt needs a dealer fix?

A common complaint in many new cars is wind resonance at high speeds with a window all the way open.  This is due to better aerodynamics which we want.  This resonance often sounds like a flat tire or produces a pressure on your eardrums.  Sunroofs can also produce the throbbing sensation.  If you blow across an open bottle top you’ll get the idea.

Solution: open the thumping window more or less, open another window a crack to get some cross flow, or turn up the interior fan ventilation.  Any of these will stop the thumping.  The bigger issue for an economy car is that drag reduces fuel economy at speeds which can produce any thumping.  As a rule of thumb, it’s more efficient to use the climate control or adjust the fans to get a breeze at greater than 40-45 mph.

I guess this isn’t good enough for many people because the Chevy Volt now has a dealer kit to fix the thumping by disturbing the smooth aerodynamics.  It’s additional side mirror trim that sticks out and deflects the air into the cabin.  It requires at least a day for installation since it requires painting.  Just crack another window open!

From Autoblog

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Thinking about buying the VW all electric e-Golf

My driving style has changed in the last year and I no longer drive my VW Jetta TDI as much.  I usually put around 10,000 miles/year on it around town and in regular long trips.  Now I mostly drive it around town with only a few occasional longer trips.

I test drove the Chevy Volt and loved the fact that it was on battery most of the time – this meant no gas use at all except when I exceeded the 35 miles of battery range.  The new all electric e-Golf will be a similar setup, only using the battery until you run out of battery range (it never fully drains or recharges the battery to preserve battery lifespan).  I’d consider a used Chevy Volt but they’re holding their resale pretty well and I don’t like the idea that the previous owner keeps the huge tax credits – this hasn’t pressed down resale right now.  I have no idea how the e-Golf will handle but I’m sure it’ll be significantly heavier than the regular Golf which will hurt it as well.

The big factor will be price – how much will it cost after tax credits, if the tax credits are still available?  An average Golf TDI costs around $26-27,000 new which is expensive compared to cars in its class (although I believe it’s at the top of the class), and all the battery and motor equipment plus a generator motor could make its price well over $40,000.

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