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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Finally got my report in from Blackstone Labs.
"This is the first fluid sample we've seen from the Volt's 4ET50 transaxle system, so don't put too
much stock in comparing this with universal average levels yet. We started with average numbers from a
similar type of transmission, but we'll have to watch trends develop before we know for sure what normal
levels are in this type of system. We can say that this sample looks really good for 79,500 miles on the
factory fill -- wear metals are fairly low, and there are no signs of moisture, dirt, or insolubles in this fluid. We
don't see any problems to report here."

See the attached PDF for details.
 

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That's good to hear! I would think that if ten of us Volt owners could send in Samples this month they could begin to develop a baseline. Our Volt on has 9000 miles and wouldn't be the best bet. But I know there's Volt owners out there with almost 140,000 on their car. Is the Ohio guy Eric Belmer on here or just the Volt owners FB page??
 

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Thanks for posting the results! I've only got 27K on my MY2013, probably not that helpful but I could submit one if it would make a difference somewhere.

Love me some real data..
 
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Finally got my report in from Blackstone Labs.
"This is the first fluid sample we've seen from the Volt's 4ET50 transaxle system, so don't put too
much stock in comparing this with universal average levels yet. We started with average numbers from a
similar type of transmission, but we'll have to watch trends develop before we know for sure what normal
levels are in this type of system. We can say that this sample looks really good for 79,500 miles on the
factory fill -- wear metals are fairly low, and there are no signs of moisture, dirt, or insolubles in this fluid. We
don't see any problems to report here."
Afternoon Pgwipeout,

The Volt employs synchronous shifting, so there is no expected wear from the clutch material. I'm glad your preliminary results confirm what we already know!

-Ian Chevrolet EV Customer Service!
 

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Thanks Ian

I tried to explain that the three clutches in the 4ET50 are not really a wear item to a Prius fanatic claiming that their clutchless drivetrain was more reliable than the Volt's. It did not sync in :)
The ironic thing is the Prius does have a clutch in the transmission that wears over the life of the car. Well, a clutch of sorts, anyway. In an effort to reduce the vibrations and surges in the driveline with the engine permanently connected to the wheels, Toyota put what they call a "transmission input damper assembly" between the engine and the power split gears of the transmission. The damper is pretty much a standard clutch with a fixed clamping force from springs and no throwout bearing to open it. It slips (and thus wears) to limit the surges of torque to/from the engine.
 

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It did not sync in :)
Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk :)

Was it our Prius troll John who loves to visit Jeff Cobbs articles on our home page and spew?
 

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I tried to explain that the three clutches in the 4ET50 are not really a wear item to a Prius fanatic claiming that their clutchless drivetrain was more reliable than the Volt's. It did not sync in :)
+1. Very funny.
 

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wipeout,

That really is a great report! I may not do mine so soon now after seeing this.

That Prius guy needs to see this thread I started on Priuschat about changing the ATF at 112k miles on my Gen3. It was ugly.
Skip all the words and go to the 3rd attachment to see 4 reports.
The other report is from a friends Gen3 at 104k miles. It was also "Too dark to do the light-based Particle Count Test".
http://priuschat.com/threads/atf-fluid-changes-are-required.119530/

The Prius transaxle has an oil pump but it is only spinning when the engine is on, I think, and no oil filter, not even a magnetic drain plug.
The Volt transaxle has an electric pump and a real transmission fluid filter. What does it take to change it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The What does it take to change it?
About 200 dollars and an hour at the dealer. Or there is a thread on here where a guy did it himself.
 

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You have to split the trans case to get to it.
Huh? What are you talking about? I'm on a road trip and don't have access to my Volt service manual right now but I was recently skimming the transmission fluid replacement instructions and I don't remember anything particularly complicated about draining and refilling the transmission.
 

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Huh? What are you talking about? I'm on a road trip and don't have access to my Volt service manual right now but I was recently skimming the transmission fluid replacement instructions and I don't remember anything particularly complicated about draining and refilling the transmission.
To change the filter.
 

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Hope it's OK to 'resurrect' this thread, very interested in this topic.

Interesting analysis but what do the numbers actually mean (some combined statistic of size an particle quantity, or just mass?) and what is the 'universal average'?

One particular reason I tend to replace my fluids much more frequently that recommended is simply to reduce the number of recommended filter changes. Change the fluid and reduce the need to replace filters. eg. I have tended to swap oil out at 5k miles on my diesel but skip filter changes.

If the transmission change on the Volt is simply a drain and refill, as it basically seems to be, I'm all for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The numbers are in parts per million, which means for a million parts of total fluid, the percentage is 1,000,000/that number.

The Volt's transmission theoretically has almost no wear items, as all the clutches engage and disengage at zero torque. This means there should be no large particulates for the filter to pick up. This was confirmed by the wear metals in the fluid test. The reason you change the fluid at 100,000 miles is because oil encounters viscosity wear due to shearing. Although the lab stated the fluid was near perfect, especially for the mileage.
 
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