Quick Facts about Cadillac

1. When you make a Bluetooth phone call, not only does your audio system mute, but your climate control fan speed will lower to make the cabin quieter during your call.  You always have the option of increasing the fan speed in case you need to.

2. Your SRX’s and CTS’ hard drive is equipped with Gracenotes.  This allows display of information about the song currently playing from your vehicle’s hard drive, like artist name, song title and album title.  Overtime your Gracenotes will become outdated as you add newer songs to your HDD. But you can update it via a new disc available from http://www.gmnavdisc.com.

3. The new SRX is smart enough to automatically turn on it’s rear wiper when in reverse and the front wipers are already on.

4. The SRX has a feature called Hill Start Assist. Never again fear rolling backward when on a hill at a stoplight.  HSA will automatically hold brake pressure during the time your foot moves from the brake to the accelerator pedal.

5. The SRX and CTS have an air quality sensor, which detects air pollution and will put your auto climate control in recirculation mode.  This significantly reduces the amount of outside air coming in so the cabin air stays fresher.

6. OnStar has a new feature called Remote Ignition Block.  If you report your vehicle is somehow stolen, this makes it impossible to restart the engine once it has been turned off.

7. Most Cadillacs have windshield wiper activated headlamps, which means when your wipers have been on for a few seconds, your headlamps will automatically come on for your safety.

8. Your Bose audio system can recognize when you have a window or sunroof open and adjust the music in response.

9. Your remote key fob can help you locate your Cadillac in a crowded parking lot.  All you need to do is press the RKE’s red horn button once and your car’s horn will sound three times and the turn signals will flash.

10.  Have you ever forgotten to reset your trip odometer after you have been driving for awhile?  No worries…all your need to do is press and hold the set/reset button on your DIC.  This will retroactively reset your trip odo since the last time your started your Cadillac.


Volt Consumer Advisory Board Report

Earlier this week I and 14 other members from around the country had to turn in our Chevy Volt consumer advisory board test cars, having completed our 90 – day assignments

I possessed and exclusively drove that car from November 11, 2010 until February 9, 2011.

In those 90 days I put on 5100 miles of primarily intensive high speed highway driving through some particularly harsh Northeast winter conditions including several snowstorms, icy roads and uniformly sub freezing temperatures.

As many new owners can attest, the car handled like a champ.  It was a rock-solid dependable vehicle that was a pleasure to drive.

For the 5100 miles I achieved a lifetime average of 110 miles per gallon.  This reflected driving 60 miles per day round trip with a typical EV range of between 25 and 30 miles.  I burned 46 gallons of gas.

My gas usage was higher and EV range lower than most drivers due to the nature of my long daily commute of 60 miles, high speed 90% highway driving, and robust use of the cabin temperature controls, keeping the car set to 74 degrees of comfort mode at all times.

I used the iPhone app only sparingly often not remembering to pre-heat the cabin, which if I had done so would have increased my EV range by about 5%.

I never experienced any mechanical or electrical problems with the car at all.  It behaved flawlessly.  I always found it comfortable an inviting.

Acceleration was sufficiently energetic and the car always outperformed the basic sedans of the road passing  and entering highways with ease.  I used sport mode about half of the time, and drove in the L position nearly all of the time.

The center stack remained a little bit tricky for me.  I enjoyed its high tech qualities and modern implications but always tended to hunt for my key of choice a bit much and didn’t always find hitting it that easy.  It did not work with a gloved hand.  I truly enjoyed the center stack touch screen, though wished the music wouldn’t come on every time the screen turned on.  A separate radio on/off switch is needed.  More scientific energy usage data, and a more refined eco-coach ball would also be helpful.

Plugging in and charging using the 240-v Voltec charger was simple and satisfying, and the iPhone app helped remind me to a couple of times when I forgot.  I opportunity-charged at my office during the day for a few hours here and there using the 120-v portable charger which also worked flawlessly.

Overall I spent roughly 70% of my time driving in EV mode.  During the 3 months I covered over 100 miles in  day (the max range of a pure EV) at least 6 to 8 times.

It has been my dream for many years to be able to drive without gasoline and to see our country wean itself from oil addiction.  From 2009 to 2010 I drove a MINI E 100 mile electric car.  That vehicle allowed me to achieve about 90 percent of my daily driving but in cold weather came close to or at zero after covering 60 miles.  I did have range anxiety and required increased trip planning forethought.

The Volt allowed me to enjoy the pleasure of electric driving for the vast majority of the time and yet I never had to give a thought to range.

This was the goal of the concept from 2007 and GM has achieved it perfectly.

I have been driving my own purchased Volt for the past 2 days and I am struck by a much more refined level of driving and detail quality. Clearly there are subtle improvements over the capture test fleet car.

I fully expect in the years ahead the Volt to become a highly popular car and finally the roads of this country will growingly be populated with cars that can drive without gas.  The dream is now a reality.  We are starting to wean off of oil.

On of the benefits of driving the Volt is the free five year OnStar subscription.  For the Volt, OnStar is particularly feature-rich as it monitors the health and functioning of the car and its components, as well as keeping track of its ongoing energy consumption.

I started driving my consumer advisory board Volt on November 11, and had been waiting for my first full month report to post it here.  I received my first detailed  full month’s OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics report on January 10th reflecting the driving behavior of the preceding 30 days.  The information is displayed in the graphic above.

According to the report, for that period I drove the car 3443 miles. Of those, 2432 were on electricity and 1011 were on gas, indicating that 71% of my miles were electric.

Overall gas fuel economy for the month was 114 mpg, and it was estimated that by using electricity I saved 103 gallons of gas.

A particular interesting number the system determined was that my electrcity consumption was 19 kwh per 100 miles. The system also claimed by driving the Volt 2,014 pounds of CO2 production were avoided.

During the month of January, the weather was quite cold and I used comfort mode cabin setting with a temperature of 74 degrees plus one bar of heated seats. I also drove mostly at highway speeds and experienced typical EV driving ranges in the high 20s.

I charged to full every evening at 240-volts and opportunity charged during the day at 110-v anywhere from 6 to 8 hours. It is known the Volt will draw 12.9 kwh of grid energy to replete the 10.6 kwh of battery power used for the full EV driving range.

These data confirm the success of the Volt as a highly flexible vehicle without compromises that can displace substantial amounts of gasoline consumption, utilizing electricity efficiently and less expensively to do so.

Eight Year/100,000 mile battery warranty for the Chevy Volt


Volt’s long-life battery warranty most comprehensive of any electric vehicle. All 161 battery components validated to withstand extreme temperatures, terrain and
driving patterns GM’s Brownstown Township, Mich., battery plant will begin regular production in August

Brownstown Township, Mich. – The Chevrolet Volt electric vehicle with extended range will provide customers with an unprecedented, standard, eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on its advanced, lithiumion battery. It is the automotive industry’s longest, most comprehensive battery warranty for an electric
vehicle, and is transferable at no cost to other vehicle owners.

“The Chevrolet Volt’s batteries have exceeded our performance targets and are ready to hit the road,” said Micky Bly, GM executive director, global electrical systems. “Our customers are making a commitment to technology that will help reduce our dependence on petroleum. In turn, we are making a commitment to our customers to deliver the highest standards for value, safety, quality, performance and reliability for an unprecedented eight years/100,000 miles.”

The Volt’s comprehensive battery warranty covers all 161 battery components, 95 percent of which are designed and engineered by GM, in addition to the thermal management system, charging system and electric drive components.

The Volt is the only electric vehicle that can operate under a full range of climates and driving conditions without limitations or concern about being stranded by a depleted battery. It has a range of about 340 miles and is powered with electricity at all times. For up to the first 40 miles, the Volt is powered solely by electricity stored in its 16-kWh lithium-ion battery, using no fuel and producing no emissions. When the Volt’s lithium-ion battery runs low, an engine/generator seamlessly operates to extend the driving range another 300 miles on a full tank of fuel.Volt Freedom Drive

The Volt’s advanced, lithium-ion battery is designed to deliver the value, safety, quality, performance, durability and reliability Chevrolet customers expect. Key battery features include:

Thermal management for durability and reliability: The Volt is the only mass-market electric vehicle with a battery that can be warmed or cooled. The battery is designed to provide reliable operation, when plugged in, at temperatures as low as -13 degrees Fahrenheit (-25 C) and as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit (+50 C). In cold weather, the battery will be preheated during charging to provide full power capability. In hot weather – the most challenging environment for a battery – the Volt’s battery can be chilled during charging. The Volt’s liquid thermal management system can also be powered during driving by the battery or engine/generator.

Diagnostics for safety and performance: The Volt’s battery management system continuously monitors the battery real-time for optimum operations.  More than 500 diagnostics run at 10 times per second, keeping track of the Volt’s battery pack; 85 percent of the diagnostics ensure the battery pack is operating safely, while the remaining 15 percent keep track of battery performance and life.

Cell design and chemistry for performance and efficiency: GM’s selection of a prismatic cell design and LG Chem’s manganese spinel lithium-ion chemistry is designed to provide long life and high power output, with a properly maintained temperature. This enables better vehicle acceleration and increased regenerative braking capability for improved vehicle efficiency.

Energy management for durability: Fully charging or fully depleting a battery shortens its life.  The Volt’s energy management system never fully charges or depletes the battery. The Volt’s battery has top and bottom “buffer zones” to help ensure long life.

Testing for durability, reliability, safety and performance GM engineers have completed more than one million miles and four million hours of validation testing of
Volt battery packs since 2007, as well as each pack’s nine modules and 288 cells. The development, validation and test teams have met thousands of specifications and validated each of the Volt battery’s 161 components, 95 percent of which GM designed and engineered.

Tests include short circuit, corrosion, dust, impact, water submersion, crush and penetration, and extreme temperature swings combined with aggressive drive cycles, aka “Shake, Bake and Roll.”

Ready for production
GM’s Brownstown Township plant, which began building prototype batteries in January, soon will begin regular battery production. GM First Battery Build

“We’re moving fast to deliver for the customer and ensure the Volt launch stays on track,” said Nancy Laubenthal, plant manager of the Brownstown Battery Plant. “Last August we announced the investment in the Brownstown facility and in January built our first completed battery pack. Now we are finishing pre-production batteries and soon we will begin building production batteries for Chevrolet Volts that will be delivered to dealers before the end of the year.”

Last year, the U.S. Department of Energy selected 45 companies, universities and organizations in 28 states – including GM’s Brownstown plant – to share more than $2 billion in awards for electric drive and battery manufacturing, and transportation electrification. Nearly half of the awards are designated for cell,
battery and materials manufacturing facilities in Michigan.

About Chevrolet: Chevrolet is a global automotive brand, with annual sales of about 3.5 million vehicles in more than 130 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. In the U.S., the Chevrolet portfolio includes: iconic performance cars, such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long lasting pickups and SUVs, such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers, such as Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including the Cruze Eco and Volt, both arriving in late 2010. Cruze Eco will offer up to 40 mpg highway while the Chevrolet Volt will offer up to 40 miles of electric, gas-free driving and an additional 300 miles of extended range (based on GM testing; official EPA estimates not yet available).  Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security, and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models, fuel solutions, and OnStar availability can be found at http://www.chevrolet.com or join the conversation at

About General Motors: General Motors, one of the world’s largest automakers, traces its roots back to 1908.  With its global headquarters in Detroit, GM employs 205,000 people in every major region of the world and does business in some 157 countries. GM and its strategic partners produce cars and trucks in 31 countries, and sell and service these vehicles through the following brands: Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, FAW, GMC, Daewoo, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling. GM’s largest national market is the United States, followed by China, Brazil, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and Italy. GM’s OnStar subsidiary is the industry leader in vehicle safety, security and information services. General Motors acquired operations from General Motors Corporation on July 10, 2009, and references to prior periods in this and other press materials refer to operations of the old General Motors Corporation. More information on the new General Motors can be found at http://www.gm.com.

# # #

Brian Corbett
GM Technology Communications

Rob Peterson
Chevrolet Communications

Five Common Towing Mistakes to Avoid

As the weather changes, Spring hunters and fishermen begin preparing their campers, four-wheelers and boats.  Before hooking up your trailers, all drivers are invited to read the tips below to learn how to avoid the five most common towing mistakes, and increase their confidence behind the wheel.

According to Robert Krouse, Chevrolet’s lead trailering engineer and overall expert in all things-towing, “There are several common mistakes that people often make when towing and these mistakes can not only damage their trailer, but also their tow vehicle.”

“The new Silverado heavy-duty pickup is designed for towing, and provides drivers with the ability to tow 21,700 pounds and carry 6,635 pounds”, Mark Kostboth, Sale Manager

Mistake 1: Not knowing the actual weight of the trailer

“I often see that customers have incorrect trailer weights and they will then underestimate the weight of the items they are putting on the trailer,” said Krouse. For example, many people will misjudge the weight of the gear or supplies, such as building materials that are actually much heavier than people may think.

Mistake 2:  Not knowing the actual capacity of the tow vehicle as equipped

Far too often, an individual will mismatch the vehicle to the trailer load, which must always be properly matched for optimal efficiency. Many websites provide only maximum trailer weight ratings (TWR), which means consumers would need additional equipment to achieve the greatest performance for a vehicle that is not equipped with the maximum TWR.

Mistake 3:  Overloading the trailer or tow vehicle

Consumers often make the mistake of overloading and exceeding the TWR and GCWR as discussed in mistakes one and two, but it is also vital not to overload the trailer tongue weight, tow vehicle and trailer gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWRs), individual tow vehicle and trailer gross axle weight ratings (GAWRs) and individual tire ratings. “By putting too much weight on a trailer it can not only damage the trailer, but also the tow vehicle. Results can range from broken axles to bearing damage and excessive tire wear,” Krouse said.

Mistake 4:  Improper combination setup – including weight distribution hitch

After you have confirmed TWR and GCWR, it is important to make sure that the hitch ball, brake controller, sway controls and weight-distributing spring bars (if used) are properly installed and adjusted. “Too often I see that the hitch ball is too high or too low, the sway controls or weight-distributing spring bars are improperly adjusted and the brake controller may not be properly set up,” said Krouse. “It is common to see trailers with spring bars that are visibly curved upward and applying large amounts of torque to the hitch. “

Mistake 5:  General driving practices

One of the easiest ways to avoid mistakes while towing is to always practice safe driving techniques. The tow vehicle and trailer combination is often considerably heavier, longer and higher than the vehicle that is doing the towing. This combination makes it more difficult to maneuver, drive and stop the vehicle doing the towing.

Finally, Krouse notes that consumers need to pay close attention to vehicle and trailer maintenance. When trailering, it is important to remember that the tow vehicle is working harder than it does alone, generally operating under higher loads and higher temperatures that require additional attention. Also, trailers often sit for long periods of time and require maintenance due to long periods of inactivity. “Either way, stay on top of maintenance, particularly paying attention to fluids, tires and brakes in the tow vehicle and brakes, bearings, tires and electrical systems in the trailer,” said Krouse.

2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD Towing Features:

The Silverado HD was engineered from the ground up to offer drivers more capability, including:

  • The maximum conventional (ball hitch) towing rating is now a segment-best 17,000 pounds (7,727 kg)
  • The maximum fifth-wheel hitch rating is now 21,700 pounds (9,843 kg) for the Silverado 3500HD crew cab/long box
  • The maximum payload for the Silverado 3500HD is 6,635 pounds (3,009 kg)

In addition, the new Silverado HD is available with confidence- and control-related features specifically for towing, including:

  • Electronic trailer sway control senses conditions of trailer sway and automatically intervenes with braking and or reduced engine power to bring the trailer under control
  • Hill start assist helps prevent rollbacks on steep grades by holding the brakes for about 1.5 seconds, giving the driver time to switch from the brake pedal to the gas pedal without rolling
  • Automatic grade braking and intelligent brake assist uses the compression of the engine to slow the vehicle without applying the brakes, prolonging brake life and helping maintain control over long, downhill grades
  • The rear backup camera helps make connecting the Silverado HD to a trailer quicker and easier