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Hi,

Just reading some bits of the 611 page manual for my new Niro PHEV, confused about required maintenance intervals and who is required to do them. Obviously I want to retain warranty coverage.

Note that the car will be driven about 7-8K mi/year.

First, I see under "7500 mi or 6 months"

Replace engine oil and filter
(7,500 miles (12,000 km) or 12 months)

Doesn't "7,500 miles (12,000 km) or 12 months" contradict the "7500 mi or 6 months"? Is the oil change required at 6 month intervals, or as I only drive 7-8K mi/year, at 12 month intervals? If the latter, is it still required that I bring the car in at 6 months intervals to have other things checked?

Also, is the specified "0W-20 API SN or ACEA C2" always full synthetic? Def would seem overkill for a 3250 mi/6 month interval, if that is indeed correct.

Also, is it necessary to have this work done at a Kia dealer? I'm pretty far from the nearest dealer.

Thanks, Jim
 

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Nope, you don't have to have work done by a dealer. You can change oil at their specified interval if you want, but I'm planning on going much further. It is absolutely overkill and I'd suggest using the mileage, not the time frame. I will be using the specified oil which is available in a non-synthetic I'm told, but I'm using the best synthetic I can find, along with the best filter with synthetic media I can find. The stock OEM filter is paper (I cut it open), fine for short change intervals but questionable for longer intervals. It is possible for your warranty to be voided from doing non-specified interval changes, but in US law anyway, Kia would have to prove some correlation to issue. For example, your transmission fails, that is unrelated to engine oil changes.
 

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I have seen posted on European maintenance schedules 15000km or 12 months oil change interval. In my manual it says 12000km or 12 months.
I do 90% of my driving in electric mode, if not more, so the engine is hardly used, so I'm going to end up getting an oil change with new looking oil.
On top of that, the dealer put a sticker in my car indicating 6000km as an interval, which seems a little extreme, but maybe ok for the first change since the engine was just breaking in.
Any Canadians had a similar experience?
It would be cool if we could capture data from the computer indicating actual engine hours (my van even had that!).
 

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Agreed, it would be nice if the car logged IC engine hours/miles for oil changes, since 7500 miles on the odometer could mean 1000 miles on the IC engine for one person, and 6000 miles for another person. Still, oil changes are cheap - $35 or so right? I'd say just have it done every 7500 miles or 6 months and call it a day. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Oil change requirements can be silly. What if you park a car for a year? Warranty voided if you don't change oil twice on a car than doesn't have even one mile?
 

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The question comes into what is considered extreem conditions. In Southern Ontario, there is a huge differance between living in Niagara Falls, and living in the snow belt that is just 60km away. So they tend to say the whole of the area is considered exteem condition and therefore needs to have the 6month oil change vs the 12. The ownus seems to fall on the car manufacturer to proove that it was becuase you didn't follow some confusing part of the mantanence regiment that the warraty is void.
 

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First, I see under "7500 mi or 6 months"

Replace engine oil and filter
(7,500 miles (12,000 km) or 12 months)

Doesn't "7,500 miles (12,000 km) or 12 months" contradict the "7500 mi or 6 months"? Is the oil change required at 6 month intervals, or as I only drive 7-8K mi/year, at 12 month intervals? If the latter, is it still required that I bring the car in at 6 months intervals to have other things checked?

You have a good point. It definitely does seem contradictory, and the oil isn’t the only maintenance activity that has this problem. And if you look at the table for the second maintenance interval, which is described as “15,000 miles (24,000 km) or 12 months”, the guidance for the oil change is “15,000 miles (24,000 km) or 24 months”.


Who knows what they really mean? I interpret it this way: think of the first table as “Service Visit #1” and the second table as Service Visit #2, and so on. When should you schedule service visit #1? Ideally, after 7500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. But regardless of when you actually decide to get the car serviced, you really need to change the oil at 7500 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first, and you might need to schedule it sooner if your car is subject to “Severe Usage Conditions”. If you visit the dealer at 6 months and the car has only gone 3000 miles of “normal usage”, then they should tell you that you don’t need your oil changed yet (but don’t count on that).


I plan on getting the first oil change at the dealer after six months, for several reasons.


The manual defines pretty much everything except highway driving on flat roads as “Severe Usage”.


I think that there’s a greater chance of the oil getting contaminated more quickly during the first few thousand miles while the engine is still breaking in.
In addition to changing the oil, the dealer might know of some other kinds of service that need to be done. There might be TSBs that affect my car that I won’t hear about unless I check in with a dealer.


If you’ve ever shopped for a used car and looked at CarFax reports for different cars, you might have noticed that some show the owner getting the oil changed regularly, and others don’t. I feel better about those that show a pattern of regular oil changes, because it suggests that the owner took good care of the car. So maybe getting the oil changed regularly, at the dealer, improves resale value, or maybe not.


The owner’s manual considers frequent short trips to be “Severe Usage Conditions”. If I’m making lots of short trips exclusively in EV mode, I don’t think that counts (at least, not for the oil change aspect). But if I’m making trips where the ICE starts and stops several times without ever warming up to normal temperature, I think that does count as severe usage. When the ICE is running cold, it seems likely that extra fuel is being injected and also likely that more oil contamination can occur. And because I do drive a lot in EV mode, days or weeks can go by without the ICE ever starting. When it finally does start, I wonder if some parts of the engine might suffer poor lubrication for the first few seconds because the engine has been off for so long. That problem is likely to be less extreme with new oil in the engine, rather than with old oil that has begun to break down.
 

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Do miles trump months? or is it user choice. I get email notices that my service is overdue but I don't even have 5,000 miles on car yet after 8 months. Dealer recommends 4,000 or 4 months in Washington Seattle area so don't know what to believe.
 

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Do miles trump months? or is it user choice. I get email notices that my service is overdue but I don't even have 5,000 miles on car yet after 8 months. Dealer recommends 4,000 or 4 months in Washington Seattle area so don't know what to believe.
I was always under the impression it's always what ever comes first. But of the manufacturer recommendations. Dealers recommend other things to get you to come back for un-needed stuff.
 

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I think it is a pretty fine line. The logic is that some things are as much time as mileage related. For example, your tires might say 60,000 miles on them but also 6 years. That is becuase the rubber compounds will degrade over the 6 years and then you are at risk of the sidewalls starting to leak and possible blowout if left much longer. Likewise, fluids inside the car can get contamination over time from moisture in the air. The oil inside your car can chemically react with the carbon and loose lubrication efficiancy. If you just go with miles, you could have a car driven by a retired person who only drives 30 miles a week who never got the first oil change done even after 3 years of driving and wonders why the car is now not driving well at all.
 

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I look at it like this: for a brand new engine, you can't change the oil soon enough on the occasion of that first change coming due. You should change it at six months or 6k, whichever comes first.



After the first: I have mixed feelings. Some folks on this site point out that they might drive 5000 miles in all-electric mode after an oil change. The counter point to that argument is that when you drive like that, while you're avoiding a lot of daily wear and tear, you are introducing other kinds of potentially more extreme wear and tear, like starting the ICE once every two or three weeks (meaning the oil has a had a really long opportunity to drain out and those first few strokes of the engine are exceptionally dry). A second concern is that unlike a conventional car, when the ICE does start, it might be going from zero to full screech in an instant, if you happen to find yourself in a situation where you need to ask for more power than the battery can provide alone. Conventional wisdom holds that the first few seconds when an ICE is running are hardest on the engine, due to poor lubrication in those first few moments. These considerations suggest that you should live by the "whichever comes first" rule.


But the other side of that coin is that if you really do drive primarily in electric mode, is there anything wrong with six month old oil that has only seen a few hours of ICE run time? I sort of doubt it.


One thing I will suggest (because I recently got burned on this): when you do take your car in for an oil change, spend some time before hand looking at the oil on the dip stick. If your service provider bills you for changing the oil, can you convince yourself that they actually did? If the oil is so clear on the dipstick that you have to struggle seeing the fill level, then maybe it doesn't need to be changed yet. On the other hand, if you get it back from your service provider and it looks kind of dark on the dip stick you might want to question if they actually changed it (that was my recent experience with a Honda dealer and a different car).
 

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My take would be why wouldn't you just buy a full electric vehicle? If you want to drive in electric mode all the time what is the point of having a gas engine? Gas engines need to be driven regularly. All the seals will dry up at some point and could cause potential problems when you truly need to have gas power. I bought the hybrid because I am not fully ready to give up the gas portion of my driving experience and changing oil comes with the territory.
 

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I'm just curious. Even for people that just drive in electric mode all the time, doesn't the computer force the gas engine to run every so often for a certain period of time to try to prevent the problems of the gas engine sitting for a long time and to use gas to prevent stale gas? I thought I read that someplace.
 

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I'm just curious. Even for people that just drive in electric mode all the time, doesn't the computer force the gas engine to run every so often for a certain period of time to try to prevent the problems of the gas engine sitting for a long time and to use gas to prevent stale gas? I thought I read that someplace.
not that I can tell. drive conservatively in the summer and the gas engine never runs for months at a time.
 

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not that I can tell. drive conservatively in the summer and the gas engine never runs for months at a time.
I would love to know how you know the engine has not turned on? I have a regular HEV version and every morning when I turn on my car it shows on the dash that it's running in EV. When you drive it sounds like you are running in EV, but if you look out the back, there is gasses coming out of the tailpipe, and if I hook up a scangauge, I can see that the engine is turned on. But everything inside the car says that it's running in EV mode. There is the computer inside and I would highly doubt that it doesn't perodically test the engine to make sure that it is running correctly.
 

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I would love to know how you know the engine has not turned on? I have a regular HEV version and every morning when I turn on my car it shows on the dash that it's running in EV. When you drive it sounds like you are running in EV, but if you look out the back, there is gasses coming out of the tailpipe, and if I hook up a scangauge, I can see that the engine is turned on. But everything inside the car says that it's running in EV mode. There is the computer inside and I would highly doubt that it doesn't perodically test the engine to make sure that it is running correctly.
sound, the engine is noisy, its pretty obvious

trip mpg, if the ice hasn't run at all one gets 999 mpg. running just a few seconds moves this down.
 

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I would love to know how you know the engine has not turned on? I have a regular HEV version and every morning when I turn on my car it shows on the dash that it's running in EV. When you drive it sounds like you are running in EV, but if you look out the back, there is gasses coming out of the tailpipe, and if I hook up a scangauge, I can see that the engine is turned on. But everything inside the car says that it's running in EV mode.
Everything except the instant mpg display. It will not be pegged running EV mode with engine on and will show low mpg. No scan gauge needed.
 

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But that would only be true if the engine was running inline with the rest of the system. As I know from my car, you can start the car up and it acts as if the engine is not there even though it is turned on and running. You are not getting any charge to the battery, nor adding anything towards driving the wheels. It is just turned on and doing it's own thing to self-test. It takes the whole of 1 minute for it to do this. If I turn on the car and just leave it standing any you sit quietly, you can hear the engine running. If you turn on the car and then stick it into drive, you get the EV indicator on the dash. if you select Hybrid on the center console screen, it shows the battery driving the car, yet the engine is turned on. If this is how the HEV works, then why would they design the PHEV to work completely different? Why would they have a self-test mode for one car model and not for the other? If the PHEV is supposed to be like the HEV but with a bigger battery that you can plug in to charge and a larger electric motor as it will be running full time to drive the vehicle up to at least 65mph. I'd be pretty pissed if I had a PHEV that would allow me to drive for 28 miles only to find out the engine is not working and leave me stranded.
 

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If you turn the car on, and the engine is running, the instant mpg will show zero mpg. If you now start driving with the engine on, the mpg will increase, but still be very low. This is now what is happening during every cold start now that it is winter. After a couple three blocks (depending on the SOC), the engine turns off, into EV mode and the instant mpg is now pegged at infinity.
 

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There is an Energy Flow display available on the instrument cluster. In the EX Premium PHEV the display shows if the ICE is on (it glows slightly) and the display shows energy flowing from the ICE to the battery. In EV mode when the cabin heat is on the ICE is essentially idling even at speed as it's jut being used to produce heat. In this mode the display shows the battery powering the wheels and the ICE just directing energy to the battery. I think this mode is missing from the owner's manual description. It also might just be a PHEV feature.
 

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