I'm curious Because gasoline engines that operate under high to full loads normally require thick oil and/or single grade oil. As well as frequent oil changes. Boats, rvs, atv, motorcycles and portable generators. My boat uses straight 50w oil changed every 25-50hrs.
By design the little bitty gas engine is under heavy loads. The small engine has to move near 4000lbs and typically such small engines are used in sub 2800lb cars with better .cd and/or smaller frontal area.
it will be synthetic oil only(my guess). I had a 2.0L turbocharged engine vehicle making 300whp and other's like me making close to 400whp and used Mobil1 synthetic without any problems. oil change interval will be not infrequent like my normally aspirated hybrid though since oil temp were running high(turbo). my guess with the volt since it is not turbo should be just fine
Regardless of what peak hp your car has 90% of the time the engine would not running wide open. The little 1.4l volt engine will be running near full throttle all the time to move the near 4000lbs of mass. Typically such heavy cars have at least a 2.0l engine and more commonly a 3.0 or larger.
No one believes me, but the Ford Escape Hybrid at 3900 pounds empty, and 4900 pounds fully loaded runs on a 2.3L engine. The 4 banger runs at 85% to 95% of wide open throttle any time the car is moving at highway speeds because that is where the best fuel economy is.... as close to WOT as possible.
I use Mobil 1 0w20 about the lowest viscosity you can find.
I change oil every 15,000 miles.
New oils of today do not wear out.... they only get dirty.
I'm at 124,000 miles and it runs good as new, or slightly better than new in the fuel economy department.
The oil change interval for the Volt should be once a year, or every 15,000 miles.
I agree with John. My 2007 FEH just hit 100,000 miles and I just had a 15,000 mile oil change this weekend. I always send my oil in to Blackstone for analysis to make sure that the oil change intervals are within the safe range. BTW, the state oil change interval for the FEH is 10,000 miles.
I will let you know about the Volt oil change once I get mine. I ordered one in January after getting a ride in the ground floor course that had been set up for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. My Volt was built on May 2, 2011 and has been on status 4B00 since. 4B00 code is "Your car is bayed and is waiting for transportation by truck, rail or transfer to vendor." (A friend of mine got her new Corvette in Detroit last week 2 days after it was built in Kentucky. I don't know why it has taken more than one week to ship my Volt 50 miles from Poletown to my dealership.)
It looks like the Volt calls for SAE 5W-30 oil that is approved to the dexos specification, 0w-30 if operating at temps under -20F. There is a maintenance minder but it looks like they recommend checking the level often.
Keep us posted in the Volt forum when you take delivery Motown. I find the Volt intriguing and would love to hear some real world reports on it.
The requied oil change is follow the oil minder on the dash but not longer then every 2 years. In 10 months I have 14K and my dealer offered me a free oil change, I was going to stick with once a year. Having used 140 gallons of gas I seem to recall my oil life was at about 60%. All in all I'm really happy with my Volt.