Recommend a 5w-30 for my Chevy Volt

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200
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Chandler, AZ
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Howdy folks. My family recently purchased a Volt that has relatively high ICE/gas miles (probably close to 100K) compared to most. I have all the receipts for it from day one, and it looks like it generally got partial syn Dexos 1 at various GM dealerships. The OLM is currently at 48%, but I would like to get full syn in there and it might be a long time until it says to change it. I would like to run whatever has the best cleaning ability, seems to me like PUP used to be considered best for that but I'm not sure that is still true. I have a 5qt jug of M1 AFE that I won't use in any of my other cars, so if that is as good as anything I will happily use it. Only semi-related, is it safe to use full syn, Dexos 1 5w-20 in the Volt? The manual is very specific about the Dexos rating, less clear on whether some other viscosity that is Dexos rated is okay. Again, if I can use this without harm in the Volt at some point, I will. I was planning on running it it my now-totaled '06 Prius, which called for 5w-30 but not sure about the Volt... Thanks, Doug
 

CT8

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Idaho
What does the owners manual recommend for viscosity and why would some one buy a vehicle where the engine would need a cleaning? I am trying to learn.
 
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Daytona Beach
How are you going to use the vehicle? And how do you know how many ICE miles are on it? If the previous owner charged at home and drove under 50 miles back and forth to work (which this car was designed for) then you will have ZERO miles on the engine. Anyway, it probably says Mobil1 on the oil filler cap. Not direct injected engine, so any Dexos1 oil should be fine. For engine cleanliness at this point, I like the Pennzoil Platinum GTL technology, but that's just me.
 
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200
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Chandler, AZ
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So, here is what I know or at least suspect. My Trip B shows 99999.9 miles, which I'm pretty sure means it has never been reset and that it maxes out at 100K miles. It shows 2171.5 gallons used and 61.1mpg, which is weird because multiplied out that gets 132, 678 miles which is really close to the odometer reading of 132,672. So it seems like the gallons and mpg average are current even though the mileage stopped? Anyway, pretty certain it has a lot of highway miles and relatively few EV miles compared to most Volts. The owners manual says "Use only engine oil licensed to the dexos1 specification, or equivalent, of the proper SAE viscosity grade. ACDelco dexos1 Synthetic Blend is recommended." and "SAE 5W-30 is the best viscosity grade for the vehicle. Do not use other viscosity grade oils such as SAE 10W-30, 10W-40, or 20W-50. Cold Temperature Operation: In an area of extreme cold, where the temperature falls below−29°C(−20°F), an SAE 0W-30 oil may be used." So it is very clear about the Dexos requirement, not so much about viscosity IMHO, excluding heavier grades. The car was very well cared for, better than if I had owned it the whole time. I have no reason to think the engine "needs" cleaning, just that is has done more ICE driving than most Volts and probably with semi-syn only. If there is something I can throw in there that is better than average for clealiness, seems like a good idea wink In the near future, most of the mileage will be EV but it will probably be our road trip car since nobody wants to drive my Outback XT with stick shift and it gets pretty bad fuel economy. Thanks again, Doug
 
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Originally Posted by dvancleve
The owners manual says "Use only engine oil licensed to the dexos1 specification, or equivalent, of the proper SAE viscosity grade. ACDelco dexos1 Synthetic Blend is recommended." and "SAE 5W-30 is the best viscosity grade for the vehicle.
Looks like 5W30 it is.
 
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Location
Daytona Beach
At least you have an answer to your oil question. This really brings up a lot of questions for me though. I think your assumptions are correct on the mileage estimates, at least they appear to be. It also seems like the previous owner went by the OLM for oil changes, which is also a good thing. If he went by time, the manual says to change it every TWO years. But this car was never rated at 61.1 MPG! Every review and everything put out by the EPA stated somewhere near 36 to 40 mpg tops! Now we find that all that was wrong, and in fact it gets better fuel economy (Not being used properly) than a PRIUS! This just can't be possible. How can so many people be wrong? Now, speaking from my own time as a Volt owner, in 4 years I averaged about 195 MPG, which is as far as the computer would calculate it. But I plugged mine in at night, used regen braking as much as possible, and drove short trips. Hardly ever used to gas engine. In fact, I'd put about 9 gallons of gas in a year. Sometimes the fuel quality minder would run the engine just so the gas would not go bad in the tank! Looking at it another way though, you should have an almost brand new propulsion battery. As for the starting battery, that might be a whole other matter! Enjoy your new car, you're going to love it!
 
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Virginia
Mobil 1 AFE in 0W-30 is Dexos 1 rated. If you look in the "Product Rebates, Sales, And Promotions" at the bottom of the forum list, Pennzoil has a $22 rebate until February 23...
 
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200
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Chandler, AZ
Thread starter
Originally Posted by JohnG
But this car was never rated at 61.1 MPG! Every review and everything put out by the EPA stated somewhere near 36 to 40 mpg tops! Now we find that all that was wrong, and in fact it gets better fuel economy (Not being used properly) than a PRIUS! This just can't be possible. How can so many people be wrong? Now, speaking from my own time as a Volt owner, in 4 years I averaged about 195 MPG, which is as far as the computer would calculate it. But I plugged mine in at night, used regen braking as much as possible, and drove short trips. Hardly ever used to gas engine. In fact, I'd put about 9 gallons of gas in a year. Sometimes the fuel quality minder would run the engine just so the gas would not go bad in the tank!
Thanks JohnG! I assume the 61.1 is my total mpg, gas and electric combined since the car was new. I don't know what straight up highway ICE/gas mpg is on this or any Volt, I've been told 40 is a reasonable guess. The other thing that puzzles me about mine is the center display shows 57.2 lifetime mpg whereas Trip B shows 61.1mpg. We charge it when we can, but we also have a Fiat 500e and only 120v charging. They can't charge at the same time, and obviously the Fiat gets priority since no charge equals no drive on that one. One thing I did that I wish I had not done is fill the tank before I even got it home from buying it. Oh well, eventually it will go on a road trip and burn that up... Doug
 
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200
Location
Chandler, AZ
Thread starter
Originally Posted by mattwithcats
Mobil 1 AFE in 0W-30 is Dexos 1 rated. If you look in the "Product Rebates, Sales, And Promotions" at the bottom of the forum list, Pennzoil has a $22 rebate until February 23...
Thanks, I'm a bit torn. The Mobil 1 AFE is not suitable for my wife's VW turbo or my Subaru turbo, so the Volt is the only place it can go and it's good stuff… OTOH, I'd probably prefer to put PUP 5w-30 in it since it might be in there for two years. What to do, what to do…
 
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112
Location
Mount Vernon, WA, US
I think you might be misinterpreting your numbers, and this Volt doesn't have an unusual number of ICE miles at all. The lifetime MPG number includes electric miles driven, and should probably have the word "equivalent" appended to it. Using the gas engine alone and assuming this is a Gen 1 Volt, 38-39 MPG is a pretty realistic range. Calculate your ICE miles using this figure and your total gallons used- so 82,500 - 84,600 gas miles and about 48,000 electric miles. Because of the way the Volt employs it's engine, the little 1.4 lives a pretty easy life. Your electric-to-gas ratio suggests no significant short-trip or partial warmup history, and I'd bet there's no cleaning necessary at all. How many oil changes did you find documented? The IOLM will allow over 10k and up to 2 years in my experience.
 
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