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Discussion Starter #1
I purchased a 2018 Kia Niro Phev EX a week ago. I am concerned if I operate the Niro Phev continually on battery power will the gas engine suffer from non use? If so, is the Niro Phev programmed to automatically force the gas engine to run if it senses that it hasn't been operational for a set number of hours? I asked a couple of Kia service reps but they each said they didn't know. Would it be a good idea to run the gas engine for a day or two at least monthly? Does anyone have an answer to my question? Does anyone else share my concern about non use of the gas engine? I have a very short work commute so I can operate continually in the electric mode. And I can get around our small rural community on electric power only too. I can do three days of local driving on just one electric charge. As it is I never plan to have more than a half tank of gas in my Niro Phev because I'll rarely need to use gasoline. Any information regarding my concern for the gas engine would be appreciated.
 

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I posted a thread called "Fresh Fuel" where I asked about gas sitting in the tank for perhaps months on end. I've had my PHEV for 7 weeks and I've barely used the gas engine (ICE). You're not supposed to leave fuel for months in your lawn mower so I was thinking the same might apply to my car. There were suggestions to put an additive in like Sta-bil. Or just take it for a long drive every few months. The ICE has kicked in every once and a while - when I've gunned it for passing or merging or when I've driven 40+ miles on a longer errand. So I'm not too concerned about engine disuse.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ICE of Kia NiroPlug In

Thanks everyone for their practical advice regarding my concerns for the gas engine from non use. With all the computer technology in this vehicle I thought it might be possible that Kia may have programmed tracking non use of the ICE for preventative maintenance purposes. :)
 

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Thinking along the same line I was worrying if the engine might need to start at idle if it hasn't been run for awhile to oil up the upper end before it kicks in at speed.
 

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I believe you are all worrying a bit too much...

Remember, the entire drive train (including the ICE) comes with a 10/100 warranty, so unless you're putting on massive mileage, you're covered - at this point, we are all covered for a lot of miles/years.

Since the Niro is a new model, WE are Kia's guinea pigs - or, if you prefer, Kia's canaries. This is, in reality, a part of being an "early adopter" (owner of a new model). We are the beta testers. We provide the data points for Kia to debug and improve their work.

Expect some bugs to be worked out. All new models have 'em. So far, the Niro's issues seem to be pretty minor for the majority of owners.
 

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No issues with Prius PHEV from "old" gas, or the Volt. Pretty much a non-issue unless you are going to park a modern car for several years. The gas tank is sealed in a way that older cars are not. Gas mowers are often cited as an example of concern, but their tanks and old fashioned carburetors are effectively open and evaporate over the winter months they are not used and gum things up. The Niro has direct injection, not even open to the manifold and the tank is pressurized.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
ICE Fluids

My concerns regarding significant under use of the gas engine was not so much about stale gas as it is about not moving fluids like oil, anti-freeze, transmission fluid etc. For my driving needs, I could go electric 95 to 100 percent of the time. The only time I would need to use the gas engine is making longer trips to Costco,Walmart and the Kia dealership in neighboring communities. I make trips to those two stores on average every two months. If not routinely moving fluids by running the gas engine is not a concern, then there's no issue.
 

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The engine decides when it needs to run. Has to run on a heat call of course to warm the interior. There is no transmission fluid, the DCT and engine clutch are dry. I think with most modern cars, other than battery, they can sit unused for a year (sometimes do before they are sold) without an issue. The old wive's tales and common wisdom have no relevance.

Have faith and be happy your engine isn't smoking old dinosaur residue without good reason.

Sounds like a short range BEV would have suited all your described trips just fine.
 

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There is no transmission fluid, the DCT and engine clutch are dry.
It's strange that Kia would be suggesting routine maintenance checks of the DCT Transmission Fluid IF it didn't have any!:rolleyes:

I can appreciate that the clutches might be dry but there are other components within the transmission which require lubrication.
 

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The DCT doesn't have transmission fluid and the clutches are electrically activated. The engine clutch is hydraulically actuated, and that fluid is scheduled to replace after 22,000 miles.
 

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I would be more concerned about the battery degrading over time than the engine having issues. That said, I have noticed the engine kick in sometimes even when I have EV mode selected and the battery is fully charged. It is for no apparent reason that I can figure out. Maybe outside temperature or climate control or maybe it just has an algorithm that says do it sometimes..

About the battery, I noticed this on the myuvo.com portal:

BATTERY CARE TIPS

Level 2 charge is recommended to keep the high voltage battery in optimal condition.
If the high voltage battery charge is below 20% you can keep the high voltage battery performance in optimal condition by charging the high voltage battery to 100%.
Charging to 100% at least once a month is good for your high voltage battery.
Make sure to use a designated charger when charging the high voltage battery.
Make sure that the state of charge gauge does not read "MIN". If the vehicle's high voltage battery is kept at minimum for a long period, it may damage the battery.
Use of quick charge in hot weather condition should be minimized in order to help prolong high voltage battery life.
 

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BTW, my battery charging routine is just level 1 trickle charge each night between 8PM and 8AM regardless of how much charge is left in the battery when I park at home at night.
 

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I would be more concerned about the battery degrading over time than the engine having issues.
The displayed charge is not the total capacity, just what you are allowed to use. It is unlikely in the extreme that the battery charging algorithms will ever let the battery drop below 30% actual capacity or above 80% actual capacity. That makes for extremely long battery life in a lithium ion design.

Speaking of allowed displayed capacity, I've never seen my HEV drop more than one bar below half full (whatever that really means). And I've only seen it "full" once on a really long downhill. 95% of the time it is between half and three quarters on the display. I really have to get my OBD2 software configured to read the battery and charging status.
 

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The DCT doesn't have transmission fluid
O.K. I stand corrected! I guess Kia doesn't know what they're talking about.
Strange that they would bother posting, "Kia Niro : Transmission Gear Oil Repair procedures : DCT(Dual Clutch Transmission)" on-line.
 

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I might be wrong. I was too focused on the clutch part. The gears would need lubrication. So I think you are right. Kind of scary that it needs frequent checking though. That is a 50,000 mile plus inspection for many transmissions.
 

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Does the Phev run totally on battery without using any gas at all.. I have a touring without plug in, but mine uses gas and battery together.. I’ve been told that if I run out of gas the car will no longer run( just like any other car that runs out of gas)...please someone explain the difference between the plug in and the no plug ins
 

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Does the Phev run totally on battery without using any gas at all.. I have a touring without plug in, but mine uses gas and battery together.. I’ve been told that if I run out of gas the car will no longer run( just like any other car that runs out of gas)...please someone explain the difference between the plug in and the no plug ins
yes

HEV 1.8 KWhr battery 1~2 miles electric only range
PHEV, 8.9 KWhr battery 25~30 miles electric only range
 

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Does the Phev run totally on battery without using any gas at all.. I have a touring without plug in, but mine uses gas and battery together.. I’ve been told that if I run out of gas the car will no longer run( just like any other car that runs out of gas)...please someone explain the difference between the plug in and the no plug ins
The PHEV has a port in front of the driver's door that allows you to plug it in. There is a button near the shift lever on the PHEV that allows you to run in electric-only mode for 26 to 30 miles when fully charged. When that runs out the car switches to hybrid mode just like the Touring model you have. If most of your trips are short you can run the car without using any gas at all. We've had our PHEV for two months and filled it for the first time this weekend after a long trip.
 
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