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Warren Brown and Lou Ann Hammond chat about cars on July 13, 2012

Warren, I had a question about gasoline getting stagnant in the volt engine if you run only on electricity. With gasoline 10% ethanol, it has caused a lot of problems in 2 strock engines that sit idle for a while. I always put fuel stabilizer in my gas and try and run the engines dry. Any problems with that in the Volt? Mark Peterson

“ July 08, 2012 7:07 AM
I remembered a mechanism inside the Volt that didn’t allow the gasoline to get old. I just emailed a friend at GM and he confirmed it. Thanks Rob

After approximately eight weeks of use without engaging the engine a Volt will request to go into maintenance mode. In this mode the range extender will operate for roughly three minutes simply to circulate fuel and liquids. (Note the driver can decline the first prompt by the vehicle, but it will automatically start tge engine the next time).

Other precautions have also been taken including a hermetically sealed tank to keep the gas fresher longer.

Engineering a solution for this issue was originally very counter-intuitive since most engineers have spent their careers developing technologies to use less fuel, not to use fuel in order to keep it fresh.

“ July 13, 2012 11:26 AM

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Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.