One downfall of the 1.4-liter four-cylinder found in the first-generation Chevrolet Volt was its premium fuel requirement, but one gentleman has discovered it’s actually quite easy to ditch the high-octane petrol, and begin burning corn.
According to InsideEVs, General Motors left all the necessary software for flex-fuel capability inside the Chevrolet Volt, but simply never finished tuning the engine to be capable for it. The news stems form one automotive engineering, John Brackett, who says the 1.4-liter engine, which was shared with the Chevrolet Cruze, was completely designed to run E85, and a simple re-flash can make it possible.
“It took me about 2 minutes to change the software program and about 3 minutes to write to the vehicle using a device called the HP Tuners. And those are very affordable. Basically, if you knew somebody with one, it’d be $100 to re-flash your vehicle.”
“They just did not turn it on; they didn’t activate it. To make things even worse — easier for me, worse for GM — they have all the ethanol tables already pre-filled, and they actually looked like pretty good tunes for just the ethanol side of things. So they put effort into making this into a flex-fuel car.”
As the original report cautions, GM Authority also does not condone performing the re-flash, but simply has provided the news on how it is possible. Tuning and re-flashing your Chevrolet Volt will no doubt void any factory warranty.