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I have had the oil on my 2013 dealer changed until my first oil change a couple weeks back.

I changed myself to 0w30 full synthetic since it gets quite cold -40F occasionally.

My fuel economy bumped up a couple MPG.

I have always had my oil changed at 50% or sooner but have always noticed the oil in my Volt was dirtier than my other cars.

The oil was basically black this change.

I am noticing my oil is already getting dirty and will likely change at what I approximate to be 3000 gas miles to see if it gets cleaned out a bit on the next change.

My Cobalt by comparison keeps clean looking oil right up to the change point.

I am curious in Europe they recommend the Volt get DEXOS diesel motor oil.
Has anyone here used the so called dexos 2 compliant oil?

Has anyone tried a different oil other than Mobil 1 like redline or Amsoil?

I find it concerning that the oil gets dirty about as fast as my oil diesel, I am almost tempted to send the oil off for analysis.

Anyone else notice this?
 

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My 2013 oil looks very good at 18 months, however, I am 90% or better electric. Are you putting a lot of gas miles on your 2013? It should not be any better or worse than any other engine and if anything, better due to its controlled operational ranges.
 

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My Volt oil has always been cleaner looking than my other cars. I usually put 2000 to 3000 miles on the gas engine per year. Mine were all dealer changes, so I assume they used the recommended Dexos 1.
 

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Maybe you should get your oil analyzed to see what's going on
 

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https://www.gmpartscenter.net/blog/oil-color-meaning
Dark brown or black motor oil = maybe good, maybe bad.

This could mean one of two things:
  • The oil is fine and you have nothing to worry about.
  • The oil is contaminated and needs to be changed.

So how do you differentiate between the two? Check the thickness of the oil.

If the oil’s still thin and runny, it’s likely fine. Some additives darken oil without affecting its quality. If you check the oil immediately after a long trip and it's brown or black, it’s possible that the oil is actually amber but was darkened by high heat.

If the oil is thicker than usual and clings to the dipstick, that usually means contamination. Either your car’s way overdue for an oil change or your car was recently exposed to a lot of dirt, dust, and grime. Whatever the cause, it’s time for an oil change.

The only way to truly know what is going on with your oil...
https://www.blackstone-labs.com

Their test kits are free...the oil analysis is $28 per sample...I use them on all my tractors and diesel trucks...:)
https://www.blackstone-labs.com/free-test-kits.php
 

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Recently did 10 000km on the engine (long road trip)
Oil started at a light colour - not as light as new, but still very light for 1.5 years old (I am mostly electric except the occasional trips to cottage @ 200km one way)

By the end of the trip, it's a coffee-like colour, but not black.
I would expect black after 10k in a regular car.

Am on dealer oil, and assuming they used the correct dexos spec.
OLM did not accelerate beyond the norm (time based = ~2% per week), which I would take to mean the oil was hardly "stressed" (and the lighter than expected colour suggests it as well) as I know the OLM accounts for both time and use in 2013+.

tldr; volts are generally gentler on oil (with the exception of ERDTT, which just tortures it :()
 

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My 2013 asks me for a change just shy of 2 year intervals. Oil is pretty dark when I change it, but nowhere even close to my Jeep.
 

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Use the oil percentage meter not visuals. Synthetic can hold way more contaminants than the ancient formulas. Always use the OEM spec oil or better.

If the meter is telling you to change oil faster than normal, there is an engine problem such as broken rings which would bypass combustion junk into the oil.
 

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Agree with Loboc. I use Amsoil 5w-30 Signature series. It darkens sooner than our Camry, much sooner. But Hal uses absolutely no oil. None. The dipstick will be on full after nearly 2 years (I usually change at 30% or so). I agree that the infrequent engine running, ERDTT, and other differences in how the Volt engine runs are related to the darkening. Oil darkens from use, and color is not an indication of suitability for service.
 

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Use the oil percentage meter not visuals. Synthetic can hold way more contaminants than the ancient formulas. Always use the OEM spec oil or better.

If the meter is telling you to change oil faster than normal, there is an engine problem such as broken rings which would bypass combustion junk into the oil.
The meter isn't a sensor... there's no detector that's directly measuring the health of the oil. It's a percentage based on calendar time and how the engine has been run:

The Chevrolet Oil Life Monitor (OLM) system is not a simple oil quality sensor, but a software-based, algorithm-driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine to determine when the oil needs changing. Certain driving habits can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and driving terrain. Lighter, more moderate driving conditions and temperature will require less frequent oil changes and maintenance, while more severe driving conditions will require more frequent oil changes and maintenance.

Source

The algorithm is for a healthy engine, it doesn't detect an engine defect... you could dump in some metal shavings and the meter wouldn't move, even as the engine destroyed itself.
 

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The meter isn't a sensor... there's no detector that's directly measuring the health of the oil. It's a percentage based on calendar time and how the engine has been run:

The Chevrolet Oil Life Monitor (OLM) system is not a simple oil quality sensor, but a software-based, algorithm-driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine to determine when the oil needs changing. Certain driving habits can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and driving terrain. Lighter, more moderate driving conditions and temperature will require less frequent oil changes and maintenance, while more severe driving conditions will require more frequent oil changes and maintenance.

Source

The algorithm is for a healthy engine, it doesn't detect an engine defect... you could dump in some metal shavings and the meter wouldn't move, even as the engine destroyed itself.
Not so sure how this algorithm works since the oil life meter on my Gen1 as far as I can tell will slowly drop down based on time towards 0% at the same rate whether I'm driving cross-country relying on only using the ICE or just locally on battery only!?:confused:

I have always changed the oil myself w/Mobile 1 before it drops all the way to 0% though!:cool:
 

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Just as an fyi, when my meter hits 50% this time I'm going to send a sample to Blackstone to see what is going on.
(and probably one for the Jeep too just for the heck of it)
 

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Not so sure how this algorithm works since the oil life meter on my Gen1 as far as I can tell will slowly drop down based on time towards 0% at the same rate whether I'm driving cross-country relying on only using the ICE or just locally on battery only!?:confused:

I have always changed the oil myself w/Mobile 1 before it drops all the way to 0% though!:cool:
Yeah, it's not just engine run time, but calendar time too (this might be a Volt-specific addition to the algorithm, and IIRC the first year or two of gen1 did not have it, not positive). Even if you run 100% electric, it will still ask for an oil change at two years. Think of it as the oil equivalent of EMM/FMM: oil has a finite life, and degrades by usage or time, so it tracks both.
 

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Yeah, it's not just engine run time, but calendar time too (this might be a Volt-specific addition to the algorithm, and IIRC the first year or two of gen1 did not have it, not positive). Even if you run 100% electric, it will still ask for an oil change at two years. Think of it as the oil equivalent of EMM/FMM: oil has a finite life, and degrades by usage or time, so it tracks both.
Correct, it tracks both in later years.
2011/12 did not - which may or may not have been a bug or a feature improvement for 2013.

And yes, I know it hasn't just switched from 100% engine (2011/12) to 100% time as a friend in a 2013 had a far heavier engine use schedule than I and was at about 1 year changes compared to the expected two based on time-only. It ticks down ~2% per week by default and will accelerate the drop based on engine use. Either way you can't go more than two years before it reads zero (unless 11/12), which is end of life for the oil per the manual.
 
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