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For my 2018 LT, the oil life percentage is still dropping despite not using the internal combustion engine. Is this normal? Are oil changes at 5k, 10k, or 15k miles still required if the ICE is never used?

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Definitely required since you can get water and other contamination over time if the ICE isn't used. The mileage will differ though, I would stick to what the oil life indicator says and at the minimum change it once a year.

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Not to worry, disregard that old 5000 mile thing. Your car will yell at you when it's time to change the oil. :cool:

If you don't use the engine as others have said the car will yell at you after 2 years as per the owners manual. You DID read the owners manual didn't you?
 
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Your 2018 owner manual says this: "It is possible that, if driving under the best conditions, the oil life system might indicate that an oil change is not necessary for up to two years. The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once every two years..."

If you rarely or never use the engine, the car will run it from time to time for maintenance. You may want to review the material in the Driving and Operating chapter of the owner manual on the maintenance modes, the Engine Maintenance Mode (EMM) and the Fuel Maintenance Mode (FMM). Even if you never drive beyond battery range, the engine oil will get a workout now and then, and the FMM will require you to run the engine to use up the gas that has been getting old by sitting in the tank.

The Engine Maintenance Mode provides a moderate level of maintenance - lubricates the engine and checks out the operating control systems - to a Volt engine that has not been run in 6 weeks. An EMM will run, at most, 8 times a year for those whose daily commuting needs rarely require driving beyond battery range. In my 2012 Volt, the Gas Used reaches either the first (0.03 gals) or the second increment (0.07 gals) during each EMM. I’ve experienced 5 in 2020 and 2918, 6 in 2019 and 2017 in the 2012 Volt I’ve been driving for over 8 years.

If you continue to drive on battery mostly, the gas in the tank will continue to age until the computer calculates its "average age" to be 12 months old. The computer will then initiate a Fuel Maintenance Mode. The Volt then runs on gas (even if the battery is fully charged) until you do something about that old gas... either by driving until you run out of gas and then adding fresh gas, or by adding a minimum amount (~1.5 gallons) of fresh gas to what’s already in the tank.

IOW, if you are able to drive around the whole year without using gas, the car is engineered to maintain the engine itself by running an EMM every six weeks, and then initiating an FMM to let you know the gas in the tank is old gas, so do something about it!
 

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Your 2018 owner manual says this: "It is possible that, if driving under the best conditions, the oil life system might indicate that an oil change is not necessary for up to two years. The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once every two years..."
No fair using the Owner's Manual that comes with the car to answer the question... :)
 

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No fair using the Owner's Manual that comes with the car to answer the question... :)
Hey, I drive a 2012, so that wasn’t the manual that came with MY car, just one of those for other model years I have on my electronic bookshelf from back in the day when you could get the manual each time a new model year came out, if only to check to see if the illustrations for the Normal, Sport, Hold, and Mountain Mode had yet been updated from the 2013 manual.

The picture of the DIC layout changed with the Gen 2 Volts, but the ev range for the 2018 Volt, as shown on the illustrations for the various Modes, remains at 32 ev miles for 8 bars remaining (i.e., only ~40 ev miles for a full charge), and there are still 4 greyed out bars in the illustration for Gen 2 Mountain Mode. Someone finally adjusted things for the 2019 manual and its new DIC layout, and that manual seems to be showing a full charge range of 57 ev miles (!), and only ~1.25 bars for Mountain Mode.
 

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No fair using the Owner's Manual that comes with the car to answer the question... :)
Yeah, don't you hate it when someone does that! :p

Don
 

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I wouldn't change the oil until the car asks you to. The ICE in these cars generally has a relatively easy life, so don't worry about being conservative.
 
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Are oil changes at 5k, 10k, or 15k miles still required if the ICE is never used?
Motor oil contains additives and detergents, which chemically degrade over time once put into an engine. Even if the base oils never get used and don't get contaminated, these additives will go bad and are necessary for modern engines and their longevity.

The oil life computer in the car keeps track of this along with other wear parameters of the oil and signals us to do an oil change when we hit a minimum threshold.
 
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