Nov 09

Chevrolet Volt May Not Need Oil Changes for up to Two Years

 

[ad#post_ad]The key advantage of the Volt is being able to drive for the majority of daily needs using only electricity.  The gas-powered generator is there only for back-up purposes, and for the majority of owners may only rarely if ever get used.

Since the generator may only be rarely used, it is significantly possible oil change requirements could be much more rare than in conventional cars.

The Volt automatically measures oil life and sends this information to users via the OnStar diagnostic email and smartphone app . The life of oil depends on both number of engine cycles, temperature exposure, and age of the oil.

GMs executive director of EVs and batteries Micky Bly explains how this will work in the Volt.

“We have adapted our patented oil life monitor (used on most GM vehicles the last 8-10 years) to the Volt’s unique operating conditions and its interactions with the engine oil quality,” he says. “We have added a maximum calendar life of 2 years as a cap on the oil life…so that would be the maximum period before an oil change is needed.”

“By using the oil life monitor it insures the customer will optimize the engine performance and be notified if an oil change is needed,” he says. “As we learn more about the Volt in field usage, we may increase that cap.”

A driver who drives primarily in EV mode will after about six weeks get a dashboard message telling him or her to allow engine maintenance mode. This process burns some gas to prevent it from going stale, but also lubricates the engine with oil.

“Oil likes to run at a certain temperature, and to burn off some of the water and some of the ligands that gather in oil,” says Bly. “We call it engine maintenance mode. We’ll ask if you mind if we run the engine a couple of miles just to freshen up basically, and then that will be fine.”
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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 9th, 2010 at 7:10 am and is filed under Features. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 123


  1. 1
    ziv

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:20 am)

    This is a cool feature that demonstrates just how seldom most of us will use CS mode. I will probably use the gasser once a week or more but having a feature to use the ICE in order to keep the oil from going bad if you don’t drive more than 40 miles… Outstanding.
    I really want to depend on American electricity rather than foreign oil to power my car!


  2. 2
    VoltGuy

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:20 am)

    I am sure it it posted here somewhere but do we know if the car will come with regular or synthetic oil?

    Jerry


  3. 3
    voltaholic

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:22 am)

    Email message to Volt owner: “Honey, it’s time to change my oil again”

    What! has it been 2 years already? Ahhh……..time flies when you are having fun.


  4. 4
    C Mull

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:23 am)

    Very good feature. I wonder what happens if the driver decides not to allow maintenance mode? Given a choice, I might not want to allow it at the time, since I might be taking a long trip in the coming weeks…just a thought.


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    Raymondjram

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:29 am)

    I will assume that GM will specify synthetic oil for the Chevy Volt’s engine. After using Mobil 1 for thirty years (26 in my Olds Ciera and 16 in my Buick Regal), I cannot praise it enough for the protection and long engine life it has given me. With the short usage of the Volt engine, and the two year maintenance, the engine could last over twenty years with no wear. This also means that the Volt can last more than thirty years, if the battery exchange program comes into effect after the warranty expires. The Chevy Volt could be running for the next two generations of drivers.

    Imagine if 90% of all the Volt and other Voltec vehicles were still on the roads by 2050!

    Raymond


  6. 6
    Herm

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:30 am)

    VoltGuy: I am sure it it posted here somewhere but do we know if the car will come with regular or synthetic oil?Jerry

    Its a new synthetic blend that will be used in all 2011 GM products (mandatory), its called DEXOS1 . Mobil 1 makes a product that meets the spec. DEXOS2 is for diesel engines.

    http://autos.aol.com/article/gm-engine-oil/


  7. 7
    Exp_EngTech

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:42 am)

    Less service needed.

    Another reason that GM is pulling the plug on Mr. Goodwrench…..

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/11/08/goodbye-mr-goodwrench-gm-reportedly-killing-service-brand/


  8. 8
    Roy H

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:42 am)

    Sounds very good. I had gotten the impression earlier, that to run in maintenance mode, the battery had to be discharged. This would be a nuisance. Looks like that is not required.


  9. 9
    Tom C

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:47 am)

    All new GM cars will use Dexos oil which is a synthetic blend oil.

    Tom C


  10. 10
    Jim I

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:52 am)

    Question of the day:

    If GM has a “patented oil life monitor” they have been using for the last 8 – 10 years, then why is it when you get your oil changed that they still put a sticker on the windshield that says to get it changed again in 90 days or 3,000 miles????

    Why have all this high tech if the dealers just ignore it????

    ;-)

    NPNS

    Have Outlet – Ready For EREV In Ohio!


  11. 11
    Eco_Turbo

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:52 am)

    If I eventually end up with a turbo charged Volt, (hopefully sooner, rather than later), 8-) it will be hard to convince me that a mineral-synthetic blend is better than a full synthetic.


  12. 12
    Jim I

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:55 am)

    Roy H: Sounds very good. I had gotten the impression earlier, that to run in maintenance mode, the battery had to be discharged. This would be a nuisance. Looks like that is not required.    

    ====================

    Roy:

    My understanding is that if the ICE has not been run for a certain period of time or number of miles, that you will get an indicator that the car needs to run the ICE for maintenance. This will be independent of the battery state of charge.

    How that indicator will work is the question. I will look in the Volt Manual to see if it has any more information….


  13. 13
    Herm

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:02 am)

    Eco_Turbo: If I eventually end up with a turbo charged Volt, (hopefully sooner, rather than later), it will be hard to convince me that a mineral-synthetic blend is better than a full synthetic.

    Same here, I only use a full synthetic Mobil 1, with yearly oil changes. Here is the official list of oils that meet the spec.. btw dexos1 is a spec, not a brand of oil, fun trivia fact: its not capitalized. What oil does the LEAF use? (g)

    http://www.gmdexos.com/licensedbrands.html

    100_dexos1_icon_for_exclusive_branding.jpg


  14. 14
    John

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    I have used Red Line synth oils in the past for 8-9K mile oil changes in a Mazda6 3.0L. Good stuff – Blackstone labs said it had more miles left when I did changes. I’m back to 7K mile changes using the Mazda semi-synth. Oil changes are about 8-10 months apart now.

    3K mile changes in the past by dealers for ICE engines is way too often and more of a money-grab for the labor charges.

    I may not get a Volt in 2011 but hopefully 2012. Watching the EV market closely and need an EREV for distance-travel.


  15. 15
    Dave K.

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:18 am)

    Jim I: How that indicator will work is the question. I will look in the Volt Manual

    Don’t have the manual with me. Believe the run engine message will appear about each 6 weeks. With the option to ignor for a short period of time. Fuel used being about 10 gallons per year. The 40 mile range battery is a good fit to my lifestyle. Drive 35 miles most days. 40+ miles twice a month. 100+ miles a few times per year.

    3.8 quart oil change each Christmas. Go Volt!


  16. 16
    demetrius

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:22 am)

    Lyle – are you getting your Volt today?


  17. 17
    Dave G

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:34 am)

    Eco_Turbo: If I eventually end up with a turbo charged Volt, (hopefully sooner, rather than later), …

    In an EREV, the electric motor supplies the instantaneous power, even in range extended mode. So the combustion engine:
    1) doesn’t have to supply a lot of torque
    2) can vary it’s output slowly
    3) is tuned for maximum efficiency instead of maximum power

    This means all the rules for regular car engines just went out the window. The first Volt model uses a normal off the shelf engine, but expect subsequent EREV models to use something very different. GM said they are looking at all sorts of range extenders, including rotary, gas turbine, sterling, etc.

    So a turbo seems kind of old school compared to the alternatives.

    In particular, the Sterling engine shows huge promise in this area. Sterling engines use external combustion. Basically, all you need is a heat source, so anything that burns could be used for fuel. This opens up all sorts of possibilities for alternatives.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterling_engine
    http://green.autoblog.com/2008/10/28/dean-kamen-working-on-stirling-engine-assisted-electric-car/

    So perhaps internal combustion engine (ICE) has a limited future in cars, but the combustion engine in general seems quite promising as a range extender long term.


  18. 18
    MichaelH

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    VoltGuy: I am sure it it posted here somewhere but do we know if the car will come with regular or synthetic oil?Jerry    

    Verified in the owner’s manual page10-11: “This vehicle was filled at the factory with dexos-approved engine oil. Use only engine oil that is approved to the dexos specification or an equivalent engine oil of the appropriate viscosity grade.”
    “SAE 5W-30 is the best viscosity grade for the vehicle.”

    “Failure to use the recommended engine oil or equivalent can result in engine damage not covered by the vehicle warranty.”


  19. 19
    China Man

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:40 am)

    (click to show comment)


  20. 20
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:45 am)

    So perhaps internal combustion engine (ICE) has a limited future in cars, but the combustion engine in general seems quite promising as a range extender long term.    

    I’m just thinking 180 or so HP on the generator side of that planetary gear set might be handy for occasional jaunts to 130 mph.


  21. 21
    Jimza Skeptic

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:47 am)

    Exp_EngTech: Less service needed.
    Another reason that GM is pulling the plug on Mr. Goodwrench…..http://www.autoblog.com/2010/11/08/goodbye-mr-goodwrench-gm-reportedly-killing-service-brand/    

    It will be interesting to see if they actually kill off the Good Wrench guy. I think it was only about 2-3 months ago GM marketing announced that they will only use Chevrolet. That the term “Chevy” did not adequately convey the brand identity. Now there tag line is “Chevy runs deep!” ;-)


  22. 22
    China Man

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:48 am)

    (click to show comment)


  23. 23
    Eco_Turbo

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:50 am)

    Jimza Skeptic:
    It will be interesting to see if they actually kill off the Good Wrench guy.I think it was only about 2-3 months ago GM marketing announced that they will only use Chevrolet.That the term “Chevy” did not adequately convey the brand identity. Now there tag line is “Chevy runs deep!”     

    Good thought, it seems the Good Wrench guy is especially appealing to the ladies. ;-)


  24. 24
    Tall Pete

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:50 am)

    It seems to me that a cap at 2 years is conservative. If the engine doesn’t run much, the oil doesn’t break down that much.


  25. 25
    Tall Pete

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:52 am)

    China Man,

    Sir, you are no gentleman. Feel free to leave. The sooner the better.


  26. 26
    MichaelH

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:01 am)

    Tall Pete,
    PDNFTT


  27. 27
    George S. Bower

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:02 am)

    Anyone how the GM oil monitor sys works–ie does it actually do a chem analysis of the oil or does it do it some other way.


  28. 28
    Kevin R

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:02 am)

    Chinaman…. for somebody as self righteous as yourself you should be a bit more careful and thoughtful. China is rising because America is buying and making most of its products there. Should America pull the plug on this scenario, China will see a substantial drop in it’s fast track economy.

    Don’t be too self assured about China’s economy staying in the fast lane. All good things come to an end and this will too. A little less arrogance on your part would do you well.

    You’re welcome in advance for this free lesson in humility.

    Have a nice day.


  29. 29
    JeremyK

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:15 am)

    I agree. Two years is probably conservative. The main oil issue that I can see is water condensation/contamination. To get the water out of the oil, the engine must run for at least 10 min….but longer is better. This ensures that the water in the oil boils off, but also heats up the entire exhaust system and related components. As long as the ICE is allowed to run for 20+ min. once every few months there should not be a water issue and the oil could last for years.

    I would say running the engine for 10 minutes would be the minimum…especially if you’re using EV mode predominantly. This may not be as big an issue in moderate climates, but here in the north (and probably coastal regions with high humidity) you can get a lot of water in places where you don’t want it. A few start/stops at sub 0F temps and you get a ton of water in the oil. I’ve seen video of this using a transparent oil pan. It’s scary.


  30. 30
    Herm

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:17 am)

    Eco_Turbo:
    I’m just thinking 180 or so HP on the generator side of that planetary gear set might be handy for occasional jaunts to 130 mph.

    Shame on you, thats not green.. your contrition act will be to stop eating any animal products and/or bathing for one week.. Go forth Ecowarrior..


  31. 31
    JeremyK

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:20 am)

    George S. Bower: Anyone how the GM oil monitor sys works–ie does it actually do a chem analysis of the oil or does it do it some other way.    

    The oil analysis system is a software algorithm, but it is correlated to in house tests which included oil analysis. So, it’s not a direct measurement of oil quality, but I believe it measures operating temp, engine rpm, engine hours of operation, etc as inputs. Actually, here is a link that explains it better and with more detail:
    http://www.machinerylubrication.com/Read/77/gm%27s-oil-life-system-improves-timing-of-oil-change


  32. 32
    Herm

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:28 am)

    George S. Bower: Anyone how the GM oil monitor sys works–ie does it actually do a chem analysis of the oil or does it do it some other way.

    No chemical analysis, its just a look-up table of measured conditions such as oil temp, load, time of use etc and lots of statistics..

    ChevyMgr in our forum says that there are restrictions on that 2 year interval, such as being near a body of salt water.

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5198-Official-Maintenance-schedule-interval


  33. 33
    CorvetteGuy

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:37 am)

    It sounds like my Service Manager will not like the Volt all that much. ;)


  34. 34
    Tim Hart

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:43 am)

    Just got my Volt owners manual and its great reading. Pretty high tech and very cool but I still want to change my own oil! The Volt is one awesome car.


  35. 35
    nasaman

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:45 am)

    Jim I: Roy H: Sounds very good. I had gotten the impression earlier, that to run in maintenance mode, the battery had to be discharged. This would be a nuisance. Looks like that is not required.

    ====================

    Roy:

    My understanding is that if the ICE has not been run for a certain period of time or number of miles, that you will get an indicator that the car needs to run the ICE for maintenance. This will be independent of the battery state of charge. How that indicator will work is the question. I will look in the Volt Manual to see if it has any more information…

    Not sure what the Volt Manual will say, but I specifically asked the GM chap who hosted my recent test drive and is a mechanical engineer, how to check the ICE. He explained (then demonstrated) using the mode switch to run the ICE/Gen. The switch sequences through 3 stages, NORM – SPORT – MOUN; so he clicked it twice while we were in CD mode & the engine/gen started (in Mountain Mode). IOW, if at any time you have concern that the CS mode is fully functional you can instantly switch to Mountain Mode, which does two things: 1) Verifies the CS mode drive train path is fully functional and 2) Adds charge to the battery depending on how long you stay in Mountain Mode.

    So a Volt driver can manually check ICE/Gen operation any time he likes and as often as he likes (which CARB may NOT like), independently of the car’s maintenance mode(s).


  36. 36
    Nick D

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    China Man: You are not very smart. Just because you engine hasn’t died from oil contamination doesn’t mean you did good. As a matter of fact you have some serious sheet on your brain mister. Everyone and their dog knows that oil MUST be changed every 3,000 – 5000 miles no excuses. You are just dumb lucking that is all. I will repeat for those with dense headspace:OPTIMUM OIL CHANGE INTERVAL = 3000 MILESMAXIMUM OIL CHANGE INTERVAL = 5000 MILESAnybody going beyoind 5000 miles need more than an automotive check up, they seriously need their own personal check up from the neck up !Consider yourselves schooled !Absolutely NO CHARGE for this lesson as I consider it a public service. Have a nice day.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I used a full synthetic on my 2001 Chevy S10 and changed the oil every 10,000 miles (changed the oil filter every 5,000). The engine easily surpassed 100,000 miles with no issues related to the engine. My 2006 Scion XB had the oil changed every 5,000 miles with a synthetic blend also over 100,000 miles with no issues (Other than water damage due to a flood).

    My 2010 Prius had its first oil cahnge at 10,000 miles as recommended by Toyota – the 2010 Prius had a Toyota Service Bullitin stating that every 10,000 miles was the new oil change interval.

    Modern Engines no longer need every 3000 miles. Its obvious china is still a bit behind the times in this aspect.


  37. 37
    John M

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:51 am)

    Posted on the Nissan
    Leaf site

    Jay (Statik) Cole
    says:
    November 9, 2010 at 9:42 am Slightly OT: The 15 CAB members (customer advisory board) had their Volts shipped out yesterday/weekend, and non-left coasters can pick up their cars today. The rest tomorrow.

    Good luck Lyle and post pictures!!


  38. 38
    Tall Pete

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:54 am)

    MichaelH: Tall Pete,
    PDNFTT    

    I really appreciate civility. Couldn’t stand the tone of the posts. But I know you are right and I’ll do my best to follow your good advise.


  39. 39
    Larry McFall

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:55 am)

    I think that all know it depends on how often (i.e., time vs. miles) the internal combustion engine runs. Two years?? This doesn’t sound good even if the engine never got started.


  40. 40
    Tall Pete

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:59 am)

    CorvetteGuy: As long as the ICE is allowed to run for 20+ min. once every few months there should not be a water issue and the oil could last for years.

    On the contrary. It will take quite a while before anybody can service that car outside of GM Goodwrench, oups, Chevrolet technicians.

    I believe you just got the exclusivity for service. It will take less but you will have the entire pie.


  41. 41
    Tall Pete

     

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:08 am)

    There is a mixup in the postings. My last comment was regarding post # 33 of CG. If you click on his name in my post, it will bring you there. But the actual text of CG message is wrong.

    His comment I was responding to was :
    « It sounds like my Service Manager will not like the Volt all that much. ;) »

    Now my reply makes more sense !


  42. 42
    Loboc

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:20 am)

    The problem of oil change services still using 3,000 mile drain intervals is a real issue. This just adds to petroleum use and the associated pollution problems with old oil recycling.

    Hopefully, we will get to the point someday where periodic oil changes are not needed. We’re already at 2 years for Volt (and 7,500 miles for most ICE cars) so it’s just a matter of time before we just change filters and top it off. Looks like a few of you are already headed there.

    The new cartridge filter for Volt looks like a step in this direction.

    /I stopped changing my own oil for two reasons:
    - too old.
    - getting rid of the old oil is a pain.


  43. 43
    Loboc

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:27 am)

    Tim Hart: Just got my Volt owners manual and its great reading.

    I got mine last week and I’m only in the first chapter. It’s a very large manual (not physical size, number of pages.)

    The problem with reading it cover-to-cover is that it’s mostly the same as the Impala manual. Kind of dry and familiar. Manuals aren’t really engaging literature except for us geeks. :)


  44. 44
    Van

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    In the age of synthetic oil, I have often wondered why we change oil at all. Why not filter it and centrifuge it and put it back in?


  45. 45
    Mark Z

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:30 am)

    nasaman: …how to check the ICE…

    Here is another way (and be careful to not allow anyone to sit behind the wheel if you are changing the oil or working on the ICE.) Open the hood then turn on the Volt. “If the vehicle is on, the engine will start when the hood is opened.” (See page 10-7 under Vehicle Care in the manual.)

    (Off topic: chevroletconnects.com has not sent emails to me lately, but my build status is rapidly changing. Those who have ordered might want to manually check their status.)


  46. 46
    Mike-o-Matic

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    Raymondjram: Imagine if 90% of all the Volt and other Voltec vehicles were still on the roads by 2050!

    +1 for the post, and here’s hoping it will come true… However…

    Not to be a wet blanket… but while the spirit* is willing and probably able, the flesh** is weak.

    Definitions, as applied in this little allegory:
    * The Spirit = Volt, Voltec v1.0, etc.
    ** The Flesh = Phone-gabbing, text-sending, burger-chomping, makeup-applying, lane-weaving, stop-sign running, inattentive, no-common-sense humanoids.

    I’d think in 40 years, far more than 10% will be totaled due to people texting alone! Nevermind whatever attention-draining nonsense gets invented in the next four decades… Looking at the last 10 years alone, I shudder to think of it!!

    I just pray we NEVER get non-autonomous, mass-marketed FLYING cars…. ugh.

    I know, I know, cue Debbie Downer…
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSeNXPM1zdBCvRe3-2hZumReJQoTme6XdzcVjWdmlYesS4a6yc&t=1&usg=__bpJHEUDFKu59CW258B5OKySOWOY=
    Wah-wah!


  47. 47
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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:33 am)

    I am not sure that 6 weeks is a good thing. We all know that the longer you let an engine sit without running that the engine will have more problems. I would put it more like 3 weeks to let the engine run for 30 minutes to make sure all parts are lubricated. Maybe more during cold temperatures. I wouldn’t have that problem where I live. I live 45 miles from work. So if I hyper mile I can get to work on electricity and then use gas to go back home.


  48. 48
    Loboc

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:35 am)

    John M: Posted on the NissanLeaf siteJay (Statik) Colesays:
    November 9, 2010 at 9:42 am Slightly OT: The 15 CAB members (customer advisory board) had their Volts shipped out yesterday/weekend, and non-left coasters can pick up their cars today. The rest tomorrow.Good luck Lyle and post pictures!!    

    Lyle started a forum post on this site several weeks ago:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5553-My-Volt-Has-Arrived-in-New-York


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:35 am)

    Herm:
    Shame on you, thats not green.. your contrition act will be to stop eating any animal products and/or bathing for one week.. Go forth Ecowarrior..    

    Could I have my sentence commuted to three weeks of electric only driving?


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:36 am)

    Sure you CAN go 10,000 miles, but your engine will have worn much faster than if it had fresh oil. As contaminants accumulate, the oil degrades and loses its ability to protect your engine parts. There’s no way around that! I change the oil on my silverado around 3,500-4,500 miles. The oil change notification usually comes on around that time anyway. 197,000 miles w/no engine repairs, runs like a dream! Getting an electric car will mean I can park the truck so it’s useful for many more years. No reason to heft around 6,000 pounds of V8 just to drive to work.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:47 am)

    I’ve driven my last three cars to 280,000 miles and I never change the oil sooner than 10,000 miles. No engine rebuilds either. One head gasket, but I think that was antifreeze related. My owners manual recommends 10,000 mile oil change intervals, and it was a GM product, until recently.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:54 am)

    I never see this discussed, so I’ll bring it up today. Unless you damage the oil (by burning it), lubricating oil lasts freakin forever.

    With my navy ship background, I have been educated in the (fairly low tech) art of oil purification. If you run your lube oil through a centrifugal device, water (less dense than oil) moves to the center (leaving the purifier near the inner periphery) and the denser, sludgy crap leaves via the outer periphery. The stuff left in middle leaves the purifier to go back and keep lubricating ad nauseum.

    While one could argue the disadvantages/costs associated with putting such equipment under an automobile hood, the concept is there. It is obvious with such comments made by China Man, that some people are clueless as to WHY the oil needs to be ‘changed’. People blindly go through the regimen, not understanding that if you could get all the crap out of the oil, you wouldn’t have to ‘change’ the oil at all.

    Therefore, do not accept an obsolete mentality that dictates oil replacement by the calendar or engine hours only. If a manufacturer states that the oil only needs replacement after _____ , than take heed and don’t be stupid/wasteful by doing it more often. The manufacturer has a) taken care to make sure that less crap gets into your oil and/or b) is monitoring the lubricating quality of the oil. I suspect that as the world continues to move toward a mentality of ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and diminishing fossil fuel availability, we will see the concept itself overhauled.

    Imagine the life of an engine where the crap went to a waste oil tank (as in a navy ship) and was not recirculated (continuously) until it was decided that ALL of the circulating oil was deemed of poor enough quality to be ready for disposal. As with the rest of the Volt concept, it is time for a paradigm shift on how we think about things.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:56 am)

    demetrius: Lyle – are you getting your Volt today?    

    Yes, it should be in my possession in 5 or 6 hours:

    http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5553-My-Volt-Has-Arrived-in-New-York/


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:56 am)

    Rob Peterson confirmed this when I took my drive with him Friday in NYC. I asked ‘what if you rarely use CS?’ and he said b/c of degradation issues, you would still want to change at the 2 year mark.

    this is when he also said about 200 showroom Volts will actually come off assembly line by the end of this year…and the ramp-up of production will continue for several months beyond.

    http://bit.ly/cyYwwp


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:11 am)

    Van: In the age of synthetic oil, I have often wondered why we change oil at all.Why not filter it and centrifuge it and put it back in?    

    There are some contaminates that are not captured by the filter, like water, hydrocarbon contaminates (combustion by products), etc. Also, the molecules in the oil break down over time. The chemical bonds literally break, making for shorter molecules which change the properties of the oil. Changing oil will be necessary for quite some time, though the intervals will likely be extended.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:22 am)

    flmark: With my navy ship background, I have been educated in the (fairly low tech) art of oil purification.

    Great point and nice explanation.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:24 am)

    And another question to ask of the obsolete mentality crowd- WHY do we run our engines periodically just to ‘make sure everything is lubricated’? A navy ship in a yard can’t go to sea for months or years to accomplish such a task. You can design a machine to provide (shall we suggest electric) low rpm rotation to periodically re-coat surfaces in lubricating oil and prevent corrosion associated with bare metal. You don’t need to run fossil fuels through a combustion chamber just to accomplish this task. I will say it again (especially to GM people if you are reading), paradigm shifts are necessary as we think about a world running out of oil.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:36 am)

    (click to show comment)


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:39 am)

    flmark: I never see this discussed, so I’ll bring it up today. Unless you damage the oil (by burning it), lubricating oil lasts freakin forever.

    Sure oil can be re-built, it was commonly done but I think it died out in the ’70s along with lead-acid battery rebuilding and tire re-capping. The reason was the sharp drop in the cost of new motor oil, new tires, batteries with increasing tech and globalism.. its not economical now, in other words the china/walmart effect. I think semis and large trucks still use re-capped tires but I’m not sure.

    Things have gotten a lot cheaper over the years. Remember TV repair shops?, shoe repair shops?

    http://www.safety-kleen.com/products/OilProducts/Pages/EcoPower.aspx


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:40 am)

    flmark: And another question to ask of the obsolete mentality crowd- WHY do we run our engines periodically just to ‘make sure everything is lubricated’?A navy ship in a yard can’t go to sea for months or years to accomplish such a task.You can design a machine to provide (shall we suggest electric) low rpm rotation to periodically re-coat surfaces in lubricating oil and prevent corrosion associated with bare metal.You don’t need to run fossil fuels through a combustion chamber just to accomplish this task.I will say it again (especially to GM people if you are reading), paradigm shifts are necessary as we think about a world running out of oil.    

    I’m thinking that just running the engine is more cost-effective than installing more machinery to oil the systems.

    It’s not just oil that needs circulation. Fuel and coolant also need to be circulated and the engine needs to come to operating temp to make sure that all other systems (emission controls are key) are operating properly.

    This is not a semi-stationary engine like a boat that is designed for sitting long periods. It’s an auto engine that’s designed to be run every day.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:45 am)

    China Man: OPTIMUM OIL CHANGE INTERVAL = 3000 MILESMAXIMUM OIL CHANGE INTERVAL = 5000 MILESAnybody going beyoind 5000 miles need more than an automotive check up, they seriously need their own personal check up from the neck up !</P  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Riiiiiiight, that’s why my Civic says I should change the oil every 10,000 miles (and it’s not even synthetic).

    China Man, the 1960′s called, they’d like their oil changing guidelines back.

    join thE REVolution


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:57 am)

    I’m not sure why you’d want to leave oil in the crankcase for 2 years. There’s a lot of things that happens to oil as it ages inside an engine- one of them being that it collects acids from crank case gasses and this in turn helps to build up sludge deposits and it can also damage the metal surfaces within the engine. I’ve always used the cheapest, plain-ole’ generic no-name regular oil and oil filters in all my cars and trucks and changed it myself every 3,000 miles. Usually takes me under 10 minutes and costs me maybe $15-$20 each time. I save the old oil and take it to be recycled. If you lift the oil filler cap on my 15 year old Tacoma, its absolutely squeaky-clean underneath the cap- a sure sign that there’s been little to no sludging in the engine. I’ve had the valve cover off once just to check things out and it too is also clean as a whistle. The engine has over 240,000 miles at this point. Near-factory compression and not a single drop of oil burned. All due to having kept the oil changed regularly. Easy and simple.

    The Volt is a $40,000 car. Saving a few bucks on oil seems a bit silly given how easy and simple it is to simply change it every 3,000 miles.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:58 am)

    Herm:
    Sure oil can be re-built, it was commonly done but I think it died out in the ’70s along with lead-acid battery rebuilding and tire re-capping. The reason was the sharp drop in the cost of new motor oil, new tires, batteries with increasing tech and globalism.. its not economical now, in other words the china/walmart effect. I think semis and large trucks still use re-capped tires but I’m not sure.Things have gotten a lot cheaper over the years. Remember TV repair shops?, shoe repair shops?

    In commercial airlines, batteries are still rebuilt and wheels are rebuilt. In the trucking industry, tires are still recapped. (I am in aerospace parts business. My brother is in the trucking business.)

    But, like you said, it’s a cost/benefit issue. If it’s cheaper (and safer) to use new, then, use new.

    Having been in the automotive parts business and now in aerospace, I can see the benefit of following drain interval recommendations and even make them shorter (not longer). GM and other manufacturers have several drain interval recommendations one of them usually is extreme service. If it’s dusty, you run short trips, your run long trips, you commute, you haul a boat, if it’s cold, if it’s hot etc. etc, you fall into the extreme service category and need to follow those recommendations for warranty if not engine life purposes.

    Saving a few hundred dollars in oil and filter changes isn’t cost effective when risking a multi-thousand-dollar repair.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:15 pm)

    OT, but the new Autoweek has an extensive driving impression of the Volt. Overall very positive, although their observed mileage on the range extender was 38 mpg.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:16 pm)

    edvard: I’m not sure why you’d want to leave oil in the crankcase for 2 years. There’s a lot of things that happens to oil as it ages inside an engine- one of them being that it collects acids from crank case gasses and this in turn helps to build up sludge deposits and it can also damage the metal surfaces within the engine. I’ve always used the cheapest, plain-ole’ generic no-name regular oil and oil filters in all my cars and trucks and changed it myself every 3,000 miles. Usually takes me under 10 minutes and costs me maybe $15-$20 each time. I save the old oil and take it to be recycled. If you lift the oil filler cap on my 15 year old Tacoma, its absolutely squeaky-clean underneath the cap- a sure sign that there’s been little to no sludging in the engine. I’ve had the valve cover off once just to check things out and it too is also clean as a whistle. The engine has over 240,000 miles at this point. Near-factory compression and not a single drop of oil burned. All due to having kept the oil changed regularly. Easy and simple.The Volt is a $40,000 car. Saving a few bucks on oil seems a bit silly given how easy and simple it is to simply change it every 3,000 miles.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I’ve been told by mechanics that newer engines (at least the last 4 years) don’t have the acidic issues with oil in the crank case that the older engines have had.

    join thE REVolution


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:24 pm)

    I’m just trying to think of another 3900 lb vehicle that gets 38 mpg or better.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:33 pm)

    OK, I had a few minutes to look up how the engine maintenance mode will work in the Volt manual.

    “Engine Maintenance Mode (EMM) runs the engine to keep it in good working condition after approximately six weeks of no or very limited engine operation. EMM will force the engine to run, even if there is a charge to power the vehicle. When EMM is needed, the EMM request screen appears on the center stack display at vehicle start,”

    It then goes on to show how it will work if you say yes to allow EMM. the engine will run for a set amount of time and a display will show the EMM percentage complete. If you say no to the EMM request, it will only delay for 24 hours, and then the ICE will start automatically at the next vehicle start.

    Fuel Maintenance Mode (FMM) to take care of fuel that may be going stale is very similar in operation.

    This is from Section 9, pages 26 & 27 of the manual.

    OK, I just have to say this:

    I AM SOOOOO JEALOUS OF LYLE RIGHT NOW!!! I am really happy for him, but at the same time, I really hate him. Do you all understand what I mean???

    ;-)

    OK, Lyle, post a lot of pictures……………..


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:34 pm)

    ClarksonCote,

    Yes, and it’s my understanding that those acids are created from side reaction with combustion by-products, not just moisture in the crankcase. Also, those acids are neutralized by additive packages in modern oil.

    The main reasons why we have to chain our oil are:
    1) Thermal breakdown
    2) Chemical contamination (including water)

    If you’re not running the engine, neither of these are going to be much of an issue. Seals and bearings do need to be lubricated, but the main reason to run the engine periodically and change the oil periodically, is to address the above two items.

    I run full synthetic in all of my vehicles, including my push mower. Four seasons now on the lawn mower and the oil looks almost like new. I’m not quite that abusive with my other vehicles, but the stuff works.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    On page 10-12 the manual mentions that the computer system will indicate oil change “based on engine revolutions and engine temperature, and not on mileage.”

    This is how the manual explains the two years: “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 and, at this time the system must be reset.”

    There is a mention of 3,000 miles, and this is the quote from the manual: “If the system is ever reset accidentally, the oil must be changed at 5,000 km (3,000 mi) since the last oil change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever the oil is changed.”


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:37 pm)

    VOLT is the very first production car where computers wholly control the start & stop of its ICE. … Cold start & warm-up + start-stop cycles are difficult green engineering challenges .

    VOLT (2011 ULEV) missed green rating SULEV by only the closest margin. SULEV is the EPA green rating given to PRIUS and INSIGHT. In SULEV the CO content is 1.0 g/mi. VOLT scored 1.3 g/mi. – otherwise meeting all other pollutants limits. (NMOG, city & hywy NOx) Aside from reliability and warranty issues, gasoline storage and oil management are paramount green rating components. In other words, it follows all components must be computer monitored.

    You know, if GM is able to commercialize a battery rejuvenation process, and this oil monitor operates as expected, we may be at a point where VOLT like the bunny – keeps going… and going… and going.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (12:53 pm)

    Here are some factors which might be helpful to know for ICE-only engines in the hot climates.
    In vehicles that always run cleanly, (no misfire fault codes, no evap fault codes, no oxygen sensor fault codes, and no “Not Ready” special test conditions,) (all of which can run the oil a lot dirtier), then, where the vehicle has average annual mileage of about 12,000 to 14,000 per year, I find that here in the high heat driving conditions of the Southwest, that an ICE can go about 5,000 miles on a full synthetic such as Mobil 1 full synthetic.
    But if the ICE is run at longer mileages with a higher proportion of the driving hours at full-normal high heat than 15,000 annual miles, then, after about 5,400 miles, the valve cover gaskets can begin to seep.

    There is most likely no problem with the gaskets. Do not have them replaced until the interval mileage is reduced to below 5,000 miles on the next oil change.
    This is because if the oil change interval is reduced again back to the 5,000 mile interval, the seepage stops completely in the vast majority of the cases. This is for very high annual mileages in the high Summer heat driving conditions of the Southwest.

    No surprise that the Volt oil change interval may be up to 2 years because of run-time duty cycle averaging less than 20 percent of what it would be otherwise without the electric drive of 40 to 50 miles before CS.

    But I sure would want to get it into the service department for at least an annual check of the undercarriage and for a visual check of everything at least annually.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (1:16 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (1:17 pm)

    Mark Z: On page 10-12 the manual mentions that the computer system will indicate oil change “based on engine revolutions and engine temperature, and not on mileage.”This is how the manual explains the two years: “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 and, at this time the system must be reset.”There is a mention of 3,000 miles, and this is the quote from the manual: “If the system is ever reset accidentally, the oil must be changed at 5,000 km (3,000 mi) since the last oil change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever the oil is changed.”    

    Lol. I just came back from lunch and was transcribing this section to post.

    Since this is about the Volt, I pretty much disregard anything related to obsolete cars and go with what GM is saying.

    Good post! We need more factual instead of speculative or anecdotal posts I think.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (1:27 pm)

    Streetlight: VOLT is the very first production car where computers wholly control the start & stop of its ICE. … Cold start & warm-up + start-stop cycles are difficult green engineering challenges .

    Huh? Other hybrids have been doing this for years.

    VOLT (2011 ULEV) missed green rating SULEV by only the closest margin. SULEV is the EPA green rating given to PRIUS and INSIGHT.

    No. They’ve achieved the PZEV rating, which adds a requirement for evaporative emissions along with a longer warranty.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (1:39 pm)

    Pumps (rotated by electric motor) at plants we are building NEVER require oil change, and they are designed to work for ~15 years.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (1:43 pm)

    OT.

    MotorWeek’s Volt test drive is tonight @7pm cst. Original air date 10/30.

    Channel 1102 on AT&T. (I was gonna say IP stream 1102, but, they’re still called channels.)

    http://www.mpt.org/motorweek/reviews/rt3008a.shtml

    /I have it scheduled on the divver. I wonder why they have a local recording? Why don’t they just link back to the original copy? It’s the cloud, man.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (1:47 pm)

    1998 Audi A4 1.8t Quattro currently with 125,000K miles. Paid for an synthetic oil analysis before completing one of the cars 7000K mile oil changes. Report indicated oil was normal. Stuck with 7500K oil changes.
    Kinda figured the Volt would not need as many oil changes. Owning one MAY decrease my oil changes up to a third per year. Whoops, two years.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (2:12 pm)

    JeremyK,

    Isn’t it great how technology keeps getting better? :)

    join thE REVolution


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (2:21 pm)

    Loboc: I’m thinking that just running the engine is more cost-effective than installing more machinery to oil the systems…It’s an auto engine that’s designed to be run every day.  (Quote)  (Reply)

    Nooooh…and that’s part of why we’re having this discussion. If it WERE running every day, it is indeed simplest to run as normal. It CAN be run every day, but in fact, its design must accommodate the expectation that it will go for extended periods of zero duty. I bring up the things I do with the hope that GM people read this- for the FUTURE.

    Many things have been mentioned about ICE back up for the electric vehicle- including turbines, sterling engines, etc. Indeed, the reason we have the stock engine is so we can have the car now, while a better mousetrap gets worked on. The better mousetrap is a conglomeration of dwindling oil supplies, extended idle periods and, as I said, ‘reduce, reuse, recycle.’ And another thing, besides wasting fuel just to circulate fluids, thermal duty cycles contribute to material wear.

    There are many reasons to rethink where we are now. Our society is so accustomed to a ‘dispose and replace’ mentality that we end up with things like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. By and large, it is only the last couple of generations that have adopted this short-sighted approach to occupation of this planet. And it has largely arisen because we always had another low-cost labor pool to tap from. Those days are gone. We need to start thinking now like we are on a space station. We might not yet want to think about recycling our urine into drinking water, but if you realize that virtually everyone is downstream from someone else’s effluent, we can’t be too far from it.

    How many CRT screens, with several pounds of lead each, have been tossed into landfills? I am sure everyone who knows something about their own industry could add something to this. For our case, we recently installed an amalgam separator at our dental office. It is designed to catch the dissolved mercury that results from extracted fillings- that previously would have ended up in YOUR drinking water. BTW, most regulatory authorities have no requirements for this amalgam separation; we did this at our own expense because it is the right thing to do.

    Enough of a rant. I guess I am tired of the ‘simplest and cheapest’ approach to living. We are all suffering for it. The word ‘SUSTAINABLE’ needs to be incorporated into our daily lexicon. We want the convenience that the ICE gives use, but its very presence reminds us that the current iteration of mobility is NOT about ‘sustainable’ at all.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (2:24 pm)

    OT:

    Interesting take on how GM is using the Volt in education:

    http://www.businessjournaldailybuzz.com/

    Warning: The Volt story does not start until 8:45 into the video….


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (2:32 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: I’m just trying to think of another 3900 lb vehicle that gets 38 mpg or better.    

    2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid gets 41. Curb weight = 3,800.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (2:39 pm)

    The word is getting out. People are stopping by the showroom and asking about Volt.
    “When will it get here?”, and “Can I drive it?”
    December is going to be the start of a great year! :)


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (2:46 pm)

    flmark:

    Loboc: I’m thinking that just running the engine is more cost-effective than installing more machinery to oil the systems…It’s an auto engine that’s designed to be run every day. (Quote) (Reply)

    flmark: Nooooh…and that’s part of why we’re having this discussion.

    I said it was designed as a traditional automotive engine. As a matter of fact, it is an off-the-shelf automotive engine that GM re-purposed. They did not redesign it for use as a stationary or limited-use engine. It doesn’t have any special oiling or special cooling or special anything.

    It therefore needs the same care and feeding as any other gasoline automotive engine. Probably more care because it is not being used for the duty-cycle it was designed for.

    I agree with the philosophy of the rest of your post, just not the application, in this case.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:05 pm)

    Slightly OT, but since my last discussion was about the next ICE iteration and many here advocate NG being its fuel source, I thought I’d point out today’s headline on MSN-

    ‘Halliburton refuses to list gas drilling chemicals’
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40092466/ns/us_news-environment

    NG is no free lunch and until the stuff pumped into the ground is safe, NG is not a clean fuel. I get a kick out of the reasoning that the drilling occurs well below drinking water extraction. When you pump HIGH PRESSURE liquid into something, the fluid flows to a low pressure area, which will be at a SHALLOWER depth. If you advocate NG, then press your legislators to overturn this industries exemption from clean water requirements! [Or better yet, let’s just forget fossil fuels entirely]


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:06 pm)

    ClarksonCote,

    Depends on who you believe. Most engines made in the past 25-30 years have had some sort of e-vap system, usually consisting of some sort of charcoal canister that removes a lot of the harmful crank case gasses. The problem is that the oil is going to absorb some of those pollutants regardless.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:06 pm)

    OT …but time for a little comic relief (I HATED this so much I LOVED it! It’s sure worth 30 secs!)

    Hold your breath then click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=767XHA5KQKY


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:19 pm)

    nasaman: OT …but time for a little comic relief (I HATED this so much I LOVED it! It’s sure worth 30 secs!)Hold your breath then click: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=767XHA5KQKY  (Quote)  (Reply)

    This is not as ludicrous as it might first seem. I took a tour of a historic house in FL. I read that one of its occupants (early in the last century) burned to death while using a defective GASOLINE POWERED CLOTHES IRON! [What were they thinking back then?] Yes, electricity provides many advantages.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:47 pm)

    OT again, but worth reading (from Edmunds’ Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds)*. After commuting in his leased 2010 Mini E, Dan shares this view. During his 108-mile round-trip commute, he said “the Mini E’s 100-mile range was frequently on my mind, and I believe range will weigh heavily on the minds of those considering an all-electric vehicle.”**

    “With all-electric cars, any time you deviate from the norm you have to think about it,” Edmunds said. “If you wanted to be spontaneous, you have to make calculations to see if you can actually do it.” Larger batteries wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. “Batteries are like salaries — no matter how much you make, it’s not enough,” he said. (emphasis added.)

    /* http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/165909/article.html
    /** I gotta believe Mr. Edmunds was granted an OK to plug in at the Edmunds office 54 miles from his home


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:57 pm)

    edvard: Most engines made in the past 25-30 years have had some sort of e-vap system, usually consisting of some sort of charcoal canister that removes a lot of the harmful crank case gasses.

    The evaporative emissions system (charcoal canister) is used to absorb expanding gasoline vapor from the gasoline tank not the crankcase. Combustion gas (such as piston ring blow-by) is removed from the crankcase via the PCV (positive crankcase ventilation) system.

    Both pollution sources are purged by venting through the intake manifold into the normal combustion process.

    This is probably one of the reasons the Volt’s gas tank is pressurized. It’s entirely possible that the engine would not run enough to purge a charcoal canister.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (3:58 pm)

    The Oil Life Monitor is nothing new to me. My 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP has one, but I believe it’s setup to monitor conventional oil. I’ve been using full synthetic Castrol for years now, and only change the oil about once a year (because I only have 69K miles on the car). When I changed to full synthetic oil, I noticed the normal operating temperature of my car actually went down slightly. This tells me the oil is definitely working, and well worth the extra price.

    Nice to know the Oil Life Monitor in the Volt will be setup to monitor the new synthetic blend dexos oil! Fewer oil changes works for me! :)

    CorvetteGuy: It sounds like my Service Manager will not like the Volt all that much.     

    That’s supposedly one of the reasons electric cars were “killed” the first time…


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (4:06 pm)

    This is more opinion than fact and based on cultural norms that assume one is less off if they don’t have a car for every whim.

    If I take public transportation to work every day (bus/train) my route and schedule is bracketed by the route schedules. If I want to be spontaneous (have dinner in the city, shop, pub, etc.) I look for places within walking distance to my work/public transport.

    I would contend this expectation that unlimited possibilities (provided by the car) is the norm is why the US is struggling to come to grips with an economy/standard of living in which all of us will have to do more with less.

    nasaman,


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    CharlieInTheTrees

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (4:43 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (5:14 pm)

    In issues related to the gas engine running infrequently, does the computer give a heads-up on other maintenance such as anti-freeze flushes and timing belt replacement?


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (5:18 pm)

    Darpa,

    Yes, well public transportation that’s worth anything only exists in a select few large cities in the US and of these, the vast majority of these such as NYC and Boston are so prohibitively places to live ( primarily housing costs) that the average American can’t really afford to live in them anyway. Thus if you want to go the whole route that public transportation is better then it too has some serious drawbacks.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (5:24 pm)

    Darpa: standard of living in which all of us will have to do more with less.

    Not altogether merely opinion.

    The recent crash of housing has warned that a car in every garage and a house attached to that garage may not be sustainable for 100% market penetration.

    If you grew up with a child of the ’30s as a parent, you know what it looks like to live lean. I mean to-the-bone lean. Home vegetable gardens lean. 3-generations-living-together lean. Kids out schlepping papers and polishing shoes lean. Freeze in winter and broil in summer lean.

    This ain’t over yet and I’m willing to bet that McMansions aren’t coming back. This is the first generation in decades where the kids aren’t expected to live as long as the parents.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (5:34 pm)

    Francois: In issues related to the gas engine running infrequently, does the computer give a heads-up on other maintenance such as anti-freeze flushes and timing belt replacement?    

    Engine cooling system flush and refill occurs at 150,000 miles or 5 years. (pp 11-5). I don’t see anything about the computer telling you this, but, I haven’t read the entire thing yet.

    I don’t see where it has a timing belt. It has a water pump belt that needs to be inspected at 150,000 miles or 10 years. (also pp 11-5).

    The funny thing is the belt routing diagram (pp 12-3). It’s only two pulleys and one belt. How complicated could it be? :)


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    Lawrence

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (5:57 pm)

    China Man,

    I doubt you’re a chinese, but let me share you my thaughts:

    In fact, China has shown how good it is at building an economy by copying what others have done and discovered. I doubt how powerful you can be as far as your country isn’t able to invent anything except waving your hands and excerpt testosterone.

    There is a big difference between owning a (tradeable) knowledge and being able to build one.

    /My rant


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (5:58 pm)

    CorvetteGuy: It sounds like my Service Manager will not like the Volt all that much.     

    Ask him to moonlight as a Sales Manager!

    Raymond


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (6:05 pm)

    Nick D:
    I used a full synthetic on my 2001 Chevy S10 and changed the oil every 10,000 miles (changed the oil filter every 5,000).The engine easily surpassed 100,000 miles with no issues related to the engine.My 2006 Scion XB had the oil changed every 5,000 miles with a synthetic blend also over 100,000 miles with no issues (Other than water damage due to a flood).My 2010 Prius had its first oil cahnge at 10,000 miles as recommended by Toyota – the 2010 Prius had a Toyota Service Bullitin stating that every 10,000 miles was the new oil change interval.Modern Engines no longer need every 3000 miles.Its obvious china is still a bit behind the times in this aspect.    

    Well said, and I agree with you. Although we all agree that the oil quality determines the life of the engine, synthetic oil is a proven life extender (my first post here explains my case) and money saver. If the engine use is below average, or used in light conditions, the oil change should be done much later. I never drive over 10,000 miles in a year, but just as recommended I change the oil yearly. I save money, I save gas , I save the environment (I also return the oil for recycling), and my cars last more.

    Raymond


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (6:18 pm)

    Mike-o-Matic:
    +1 for the post, and here’s hoping it will come true… However…Not to be a wet blanket… but while the spirit* is willing and probably able, the flesh** is weak.Definitions, as applied in this little allegory:
    * The Spirit = Volt, Voltec v1.0, etc.
    ** The Flesh = Phone-gabbing, text-sending, burger-chomping, makeup-applying, lane-weaving, stop-sign running, inattentive, no-common-sense humanoids.
    I’d think in 40 years, far more than 10% will be totaled due to people texting alone!Nevermind whatever attention-draining nonsense gets invented in the next four decades…Looking at the last 10 years alone, I shudder to think of it!!I just pray we NEVER get non-autonomous, mass-marketed FLYING cars…. ugh.I know, I know, cue Debbie Downer…

    Wah-wah!    

    I cannot place a bet on that because I am not planning to live that long (I was born when Harry Truman was still President and I visited a voting school fifty years ago when my mother placed her vote for Kennedy). But I know that Gen 1 Volt buyers will take extra care to keep their vehicles as long as possible, mostly as a new classic, and after thirty years, their vehicles will appreciate, like the first muscle cars of the early 1970′s that have past that age.

    Just remember to leave the Volt to your great-grandchildren in your will…

    Raymond


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:07 pm)

    edvard: I’ve always used the cheapest, plain-ole’ generic no-name regular oil and oil filters in all my cars and trucks and changed it myself every 3,000 miles. Usually takes me under 10 minutes and costs me maybe $15-$20 each time. I save the old oil and take it to be recycled. If you lift the oil filler cap on my 15 year old Tacoma, its absolutely squeaky-clean underneath the cap- a sure sign that there’s been little to no sludging in the engine. I’ve had the valve cover off once just to check things out and it too is also clean as a whistle. The engine has over 240,000 miles at this point. Near-factory compression and not a single drop of oil burned. All due to having kept the oil changed regularly. Easy and simple. The Volt is a $40,000 car. Saving a few bucks on oil seems a bit silly given how easy and simple it is to simply change it every 3,000 miles.    

    Your Tacoma:

    240,000 miles / 3,000 miles per change = 80 oil changes.
    80 changes x $20 each = $1,600 spent + 400 quarts of spent oil (5 quarts per change) + 80 used filters.

    My 1995 Regal (see my first post):

    One change per year x 16 years = 16 changes
    16 changes x $35 per change (5 quarts Mobil1 + filter) = $560 spent + 80 quarts used oil + 16 used filters.

    I see that I did much better using the more expensive oil and for one extra year.

    If I add the 26 years of my 1984 Olds Ciera, that is another $910 spent + 130 quarts of used oil + 26 filters. So for less than what you spend on one Tacoma, I changed the oil on two GM V-6 car engines (both cars are still running), and I sent less used oil for recycling.

    I feel sorry for others who did as you did but paid Toyota for their oil changes. Imagine the millions they could had saved by using synthetic oil and not using Toyota!

    In 2005 I removed the oil pan of my Ciera’s 3.0L V6 engine (just to check the inside of the oil pan), and I saw every connecting rod, the insides of each cylinder (I rotated the crank a few times), all of the journals, and the pan. All were very clean!

    Synthetic oil is worth every penny! Now GM is following my example!

    Raymond


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:08 pm)

    Loboc:
    2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid gets 41. Curb weight = 3,800.    

    But if I got sentenced to 3 weeks of electric only driving I would be SOL.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:10 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: I’m just trying to think of another 3900 lb vehicle that gets 38 mpg or better.    

    Maybe a big horse??

    Raymond


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:18 pm)

    Mark Z: On page 10-12 the manual mentions that the computer system will indicate oil change “based on engine revolutions and engine temperature, and not on mileage.”This is how the manual explains the two years: “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 and, at this time the system must be reset.”There is a mention of 3,000 miles, and this is the quote from the manual: “If the system is ever reset accidentally, the oil must be changed at 5,000 km (3,000 mi) since the last oil change. Remember to reset the oil life system whenever the oil is changed.”    

    My 2009 Equinox has this same oil monitor system. Two weeks ago, my dealer called me for a “scheduled oil change”. I knew it wasn’t needed (the monitor had “55% of oil life left”), but I brought the Equinox over because it is still under warranty. The shop attendant checked the millage, then checked the oil, and told me, “You don’t need an oil change. Come back in six months (around May).” Although the monitor is programmed correctly, the low millage and the near perfect oil condition proved that even a newer vehicle doesn’t need a scheduled oil change if the engine is treated correctly. Which is what I did for this Equinox and for all of my older vehicles.

    Raymond


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:39 pm)

    edvard,

    The EVAP system on modern vehicle traps the vapor from the fuel tank. It does not trap the crankcase vapors. The purge control valve opens when the engine is running to burn the vapors trapped in the EVAP canister. On hot days after a fillup 50% of the fuel used at idle can be these vapors.

    The crankcase vapors are burned in the engine through the PCV system. PCV systems were on mid 60′s vehicles. It was the first emissions control system. It replaced the crankcase vent tube.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:50 pm)

    Loboc,

    The Volts fuel tank is “pressurized” sealed when the engine is off to stop all vapors from going into the EVAP canister or the air when the engine is not running and to keep the fuel fresh. If the system was open when the engine was not running then eventually the fuel would all evaproate. There is no canister larger enough to absorb all of it. The only exceptions are when fuel is added to the tank and 5 to 7 hours after shutdown of the engine when the EVAP tests run to check the tank for leaks.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (7:56 pm)

    nasaman: OT again, but worth reading (from Edmunds’ Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds)*. After commuting in his leased 2010 Mini E, Dan shares this view. During his 108-mile round-trip commute, he said “the Mini E’s 100-mile range was frequently on my mind, and I believe range will weigh heavily on the minds of those considering an all-electric vehicle.”**

    “With all-electric cars, any time you deviate from the norm you have to think about it,” Edmunds said. “If you wanted to be spontaneous, you have to make calculations to see if you can actually do it.” Larger batteries wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. “Batteries are like salaries — no matter how much you make, it’s not enough,” he said. (emphasis added.)

    Yes, exactly.

    Think of it this way: EREVs can replace 80% of our current gasoline consumption just by charging overnight. And if people with long commutes plug in at work, EREVs can replace 90%. So the question really boils down to how to get rid of that last 10-20%.

    If we choose pure BEVs, then we’ll need:
    1) some new (yet to be invented) safe method of charging at 500,000 watts
    2) some new (yet to be invented) battery technology that will charge at that rate
    3) a completely new infrastructure based on the above

    If we choose biofuels, then we just scale up existing cellulosic gasification technology to meet supply, and modify our current liquid fuel filling station infrastructure to meet demand. And if a rural filling station hasn’t made the switch, then we can still run on gasoline as a backup. That’s why they call it FlexFuel.

    If you take away the passion, the choice becomes clear…


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:07 pm)

    edvard: … public transportation that’s worth anything only exists in a select few large cities in the US and of these, the vast majority of these such as NYC and Boston are so prohibitively places to live ( primarily housing costs) that the average American can’t really afford to live in them anyway. Thus if you want to go the whole route that public transportation is better then it too has some serious drawbacks

    I live in the NYC area and use public transportation regularly.

    But I don’t use it exclusively. In other words, there are times where public transpiration just doesn’t work for what I need to do. I drive into NYC on those occasions.

    So for areas that offer it, public transportation is great, but it’s not an all-encompassing solution.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:10 pm)

    There is no need to change engine oil, I used my lawnmower about 15 times/yr but I never change oil since I bought it 10 years ago. why waste the money. the engine will outlast the car body (typical Canadian city).


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:36 pm)

    In the area where I live there will not be much cs mode used. The vast majority of commutes are less than 40 miles.

    My commute will be 20 miles … 10 miles each way.

    So the ICE will not be used that often.. I would exercise the generator like I do my house generator … every month for about 10 min. Probably change the oil every year.

    Geez.. I can’t wait to hear some of the stories of over 100 or even 200 mpg.

    I heard that GM has one Volt battery that has gone over 500,000 miles…. that’s the kind of info I like to hear.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (8:51 pm)

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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:06 pm)

    Edmunds Full Review & Video

    http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/2011-chevrolet-volt-full-test-and-video.html

    Vehicle Tested:
    2011 Chevrolet Volt
    Base Price:
    $41,000

    Price as Tested:
    $43,685 (before $7,500 federal tax credit)

    Power:
    84 hp (gas engine); 149 horsepower (electric motor)
    0-60 mph:
    9.0 seconds

    Fuel Mileage:
    39.0 kW-hours per 100 miles and 31.4 mpg

    What Works (pros):
    Seamless, hushed and responsive power delivery; supple ride; rather nice to drive, actually.

    What Needs Work (cons):
    A few odd noises; costly; fuel economy could be better.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:11 pm)

    nasaman: OT again, but worth reading (from Edmunds’ Director of Vehicle Testing Dan Edmunds)*. After commuting in his leased 2010 Mini E, Dan shares this view. During his 108-mile round-trip commute, he said “the Mini E’s 100-mile range was frequently on my mind, and I believe range will weigh heavily on the minds of those considering an all-electric vehicle.”**
    “With all-electric cars, any time you deviate from the norm you have to think about it,” Edmunds said. “If you wanted to be spontaneous, you have to make calculations to see if you can actually do it.” Larger batteries wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. “Batteries are like salaries — no matter how much you make, it’s not enough,” he said. (emphasis added.)
    /* http://www.edmunds.com/advice/buying/articles/165909/article.html
    /** I gotta believe Mr. Edmunds was granted an OK to plug in at the Edmunds office 54 miles from his home

    We were riding around in an electric cart in the Mercedes plant today. The guys said they never knew how far they could take it even though it has a guage. They have been stranded before. Range anxiety.. in a golf cart. Now if it had a range extender :)


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:35 pm)

    Fox Car Report: Building the Chevy Volt (October 28, 2010)

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4392165/building-the-chevy-volt/?playlist_id=86965

    This is a 29 minute video.


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (9:53 pm)

    Darpa: Edmunds Full Review & Video
    http://www.insideline.com/chevrolet/volt/2011/2011-chevrolet-volt-full-test-and-video.html

    From the article:
    “… had our [electric] rate dropped to $0.24 per kilowatt-hour, we’d have reached parity on a cost-per-mile basis between electrons and dinosaurs.”

    Do people actually think oil came from dinosaurs?

    Does anyone know where oil actually came from?

    95% of the oil we pump out of the ground came from ancient algae.

    And there’s no reason we can’t use algae to make oil today:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxNeBQCRv1c
    “If we took one tenth of the state of New Mexico and converted it into algae production, we could meet all the energy demands of the U.S.”


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (10:49 pm)

    Dave G: “If we took one tenth of the state of New Mexico and converted it into algae production, we could meet all the energy demands of the U.S.”

    Let’s make a deal, I give you one tenth of New Mexico to grow algae, you give me a 2011 Volt. Deal? 8-)


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    Nov 9th, 2010 (11:33 pm)

    Although it seems like a bigger deal to GM than to us, what plan would be more valuable to a Volt owner: free maintenance for 5 years or the free OnStar plan?

    Regrettably, I won’t be a Volt owner next year and I don’t have an owner’s manual, so, just what does the Volt require for total care maintenance?

    I’ve already owned a few GM vehicles so I know that regular maintenance is not a big deal. If GM offered free maintenance or OnStar on any other vehicle I would have a hard time deciding for the anti-theft features alone.
    Just another thing that makes me go Hmmmmm.


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    Nov 10th, 2010 (12:30 am)

    niapa: There is no need to change engine oil, I used my lawnmower about 15 times/yr but I never change oil since I bought it 10 years ago. why waste the money. the engine will outlast the car body (typical Canadian city).  (Quote)  (Reply)

    I used to wonder about this, neglecting my lawn mower and all…
    …then I ripped out my grass, and installed artificial turf http://www2.dupont.com/ForeverLawn/en_US/products/select_VR.html (made from recycled plastic)
    …no gas powered yard equipment left in my garage
    and no fertilizer run off, no unsightly chinch bug damage, no watering…
    You know, after you do this, the awful sound of lawn mowers (from the neighbors) starts to become real annoying :)


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    Nov 10th, 2010 (6:32 am)

    flmark: …no gas powered yard equipment left in my garage
    and no fertilizer run off, no unsightly chinch bug damage, no watering…
    You know, after you do this, the awful sound of lawn mowers (from the neighbors) starts to become real annoying :)

    Once you drive the Volt, the sound of birds singing is annoying! They’re so LOUD (lol). At least birds operate on domestic fuel.

    Be well,
    Tagamet
    /off to work


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    Nov 10th, 2010 (2:02 pm)

    Amazing! This solved “problem” in itself is almost a psychological hurdle to get over.

    Do you all realize what a huge jump in auto technology this is?

    For the first time in an automobile, we’re actually using so little gasoline that Chevy had to come up with a solution to keep the gas from going BAD in the tank from lack of use!

    This technology, and the improvements made to it over the years to come, will truly begin to strengthen America by beginning to end our huge dependence on foreign oil.

    Profound. Amazing. And game changing.


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    Nov 11th, 2010 (7:13 am)

    Tagamet: Once you drive the Volt, the sound of birds singing is annoying! They’re so LOUD (lol). At least birds operate on domestic fuel.Be well,Tagamet/off to work  (Quote)  (Reply)

    If everyone drives a Volt (or any EV), and eliminate engine noises, then I can see my dream fulfilled:

    As I stopped at a traffic light waiting for it to change, I see that all of the vehicles also waiting for the change are silent. There is no noise at all, except for my own breath and the vely low drone of the A/C blower. Then the traffic light changes and we all accelerate quietly. What a peaceful scene!!

    Those of us that live in or near a city (or any expressway) will enjoy the silence of the EV.

    Raymond


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    Nov 14th, 2010 (4:20 pm)

    The “ideal” Volt owner will rarely need to burn gas, and I hope many people use the car this way. However, if Volt drivers are a reasonable approximation of the driving public as a whole, I wonder if their range extender will in fact fire up more frequently than every 6 weeks. All it takes is one trip to the beach, a day trip skiing in the winter, or anything like that to get over 40 miles. I’m curious to see how many Volt drivers will really need to worry about engine maintenance cycles.


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    Andrew

     

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    Nov 17th, 2010 (12:01 am)

    Raymondjram,

    not taking into account every other part of a 30 year old car that rusts and rots away or wears out structurally… if you would like to keep your car that long, go right ahead, just expect a full body restoration after that long.