Oil changes/fuel additives for ICE in PHEV? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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Oil changes/fuel additives for ICE in PHEV?

I'm the happy owner of a 2019 PHEV with 6,800 miles, and recently had my first oil change. I'm very lucky that my workplace has a free onsite Level 2 charger, so between that and Level 1 charging at home, my daily round-trip commute is almost 100% battery-powered except for uphill climbs/passing acceleration and winter cabin heating.

Occasionally, my family takes a trip on a weekend, but the ICE engagement is rare enough that I've been wondering (1) if the factory recommendations for oil changes are correct in my case (since the actual engine running hours are very few compared to miles driven), and (2) if I should be including some type of anti-deposit fuel additive in the gas tank to compensate for incomplete ICE warmups, long periods of disuse, etc.

I asked the Kia service department about this, and did not get anything more than a suggestion to follow the 'severe maintenance schedule' for oil changes, which I generally do with my cars anyway.

Does anyone here have any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:22 PM
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You will probably get as many opinions as the amount of people you ask, but I will tell you what I would do:
1. Follow the recommended oil change interval or at least once a year.
2. I would try to use the ICE for at least 20 minutes straight (put it in HEV mode) a couple of times a month to make sure it gets hot and "burns off" any condensation in the oil/water in the exhaust system.
3. Add some Sta-bil fuel stabilizer if you are worried about the gas getting stale.
4. Enjoy your PHEV.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:40 PM
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In July our 2018 PHEV will be one year old with a little under 4,000 miles. I intend to keep to an annual oil change schedule despite the very low mileage and mostly EV driving. I figure this will suffice to satisfy any related warranty issues that may come up over the next 9 years. Plus, there are annual maintenance checks, computer updates etc. that need to be performed and any other vehicle considerations that may arise from an annual service appointment. It's a plan.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 11:01 PM
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For at least the first couple of years, I'm changing my oil twice a year, even though I don't put on a lot of miles (and **** few ICE miles).


The owners manual suggests oil changes every 7500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first.


I did my first oil change at about six months, even though I had less than 3000 on the car (and about half was EV miles). One reason why I felt that the expense was justified was because it's a brand new engine and in my book, any brand new engine should get its first oil change much sooner than the standard interval, due to concerns about possible debris in the engine left over from the manufacturing process.


Another reason was because guess what: Kia is currently facing a class action lawsuit for several models (which, as far as I know, does not currently include the Niro) because of fires and premature engine failure, apparently arising from a problem with manufacturing debris left in the engine that plugged up the ports where the oil circulates. I have no reason to think the Niro has a similar problem aside from the fact that Kia apparently made this mistake with other models.


Another reason was because the Niro PHEV is a really new model and there might be bugs that will shake out in the years ahead and if that should happen, I want to be on really solid ground with respect to my warranty compliance.


And another reason was because I use my PHEV in a way that is probably somewhat atypical: I go for months in almost 100% EV mode, infrequently starting the ICE. While that's probably mostly good for ICE longevity, there might be some unexpected consequences that arise from using the ICE in that way, so here again, I want to hew close to the warranty requirements.

I imagine that along about year three, if my driving habits are still the same and I haven't heard anything awful about the Niro with respect to the ICE and lubrication in the interim, then I might drop back to the 12 months schedule.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-20-2019, 07:51 AM
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As long as you use top tier gas, you shouldn't have to use a fuel additive. It says as much in the manual.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 09:08 AM
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My ICE (and overall) usage is also very little. My PHEV did 6400 miles in its first year.
I am going on a 12 month/7500 mile oil change interval. The manufacturer of the Diesel engine in my motor coach says 11,000 miles or 1 year and that is my basis for the Niro.
I am changing one thing in the interest of ICE longevity. Once a week, I will use Sport mode to run the ICE for at least 15 miles.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by cookrd1 View Post
My ICE (and overall) usage is also very little. My PHEV did 6400 miles in its first year.
I am going on a 12 month/7500 mile oil change interval. The manufacturer of the Diesel engine in my motor coach says 11,000 miles or 1 year and that is my basis for the Niro.
I am changing one thing in the interest of ICE longevity. Once a week, I will use Sport mode to run the ICE for at least 15 miles.
On the days I go into the office (telework twice a week) I have a long grade to climb. I always enter HEV mode and hold the battery until I reach the top and get onto the main interstate. It exercises the ICE, and also extends my EV range enough to cover my commute back home. The total round trip is 34 miles, and I gain a little back going back down that long grade on the way home. So for the entire round trip, I'm in EV mode for about 30 miles. Since I can't charge at work, that's still a good range out of the PHEV, and I'm using the HVAC as well. If I take an alternate way home, it's a mile shorter, and since it's not freeway there's more opportunity for regen. I can actually arrive home with 3-4 miles remaining on the GOM. I'm learning how to get the best I can out of the limited EV range the car has.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSilverFlash View Post
As long as you use top tier gas, you shouldn't have to use a fuel additive. It says as much in the manual.
Fuel additives are irrelevant for a direct injection engine, at least the Niro implementation. Fuel doesn't pass the intake valves and thus cannot clean it. The fuel additive suggestion is simply boilerplate crap from Hyundai/Kia port injection manual - especially for countries where detergent gasoline is rare. But if you follow the manual, the implication is one tank of top tier gas every 12 months is sufficient. Save your money for something you want - literally, that extra money is just being burned.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Fuel additives are irrelevant for a direct injection engine, at least the Niro implementation. Fuel doesn't pass the intake valves and thus cannot clean it. The fuel additive suggestion is simply boilerplate crap from Hyundai/Kia port injection manual - especially for countries where detergent gasoline is rare. But if you follow the manual, the implication is one tank of top tier gas every 12 months is sufficient. Save your money for something you want - literally, that extra money is just being burned.
Agreed


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:00 AM
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Just did my first oil change the other day. I used Moble 1 0W20 and a NAPPA Gold filter (made by WIX). Nothing remarkable but the typical first filter tightened by Mongo such that it's near impossible to remove. I intended to get a sample off to Blackstone but have bigger fish to fry right now. Maybe next time.
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