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I have just noticed that on the car's last full annual service there was no charge for oil.
On my much older MGF I change the oil every year - clearly this is not the case with the Amp.
If I choose to change the oil myself, how difficult is it? Is there a get-at-able sump plug?
 

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The Ampera/Volt oil changes are every two years.
It is a Corsa based engine so very easy to do but the sump plug/sump have a low torque requirement as they are aluminium so be careful.
 

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On the dash it tells you the %age remaining oil life somewhere. I'm not sure what it bases it on but mine was done last year and it's showing 47%, which is a bit concerning as I've only done 5k miles on it!
 

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It's worth getting the best Dexos II oil you can get as well. With the Ampera kicking the engine into life sometimes quite hard without it having much time to warm up, it really benefits from a top quality oil like Magnatec that works from lower temperatures. It's also a bit quieter, particularly when cold. I used to buy the best Dexos II I could get and give it to the dealer at the services as it was still cheaper than the stuff they provided which was inferior!
 

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On the dash it tells you the %age remaining oil life somewhere. I'm not sure what it bases it on but mine was done last year and it's showing 47%, which is a bit concerning as I've only done 5k miles on it!
I read somewhere that the oil life is based on time regardless of mileage.
 

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That is true, the oil life remaining figure is time based only. I therefore ignore it. The engine and it's oil do generally have pretty easy lives and it is quite rare for the engine to have to rev high from cold. I plan to change my oil after 200 gallons of fuel have been burnt, equating to about 9000 ICE miles assuming 45mpg on petrol. After more than two years and 20,000 miles I am still less than half way there.
 

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47% ? 5k miles, mainly using elec, I guess?? My car and yours are at the same service intervals, they both had the 5 year service done last month within the same week, I've done 17k and mine is showing 61% . I've done plenty of ice/motorway journeys too.
 

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Yep, my miles are nearly all on electricity, much of it being local miles not m'way. Deffo says 47%. There seems to be a reset option, maybe someone reset yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone, I will change the oil when next we have a warm and sunny day - I guess I will need a fairly shallow receptacle to drain it into?
 

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Remember that oil goes off over time, which is the reason behind the 2 year interval. Leaving the same oil in there for 3, 4 + years just because you do mostly miles on electricity isn't sensible.
 

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That is true, the oil life remaining figure is time based only. I therefore ignore it. The engine and it's oil do generally have pretty easy lives and it is quite rare for the engine to have to rev high from cold. I plan to change my oil after 200 gallons of fuel have been burnt, equating to about 9000 ICE miles assuming 45mpg on petrol. After more than two years and 20,000 miles I am still less than half way there.
Wow, I've owned the car 4 years and haven't done that. I'd be 9 years between oil changes.... Prob not the best idea.
 

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In theory, for an Ampera, run on UK VX recommended service, the first oil change might theoretically have been done as late as 40,000 petrol miles.

If that is so, I would recommend a number of changes in relatively short succession to clean it up.

If it is not, then just take a look at the oil. Is it dirty? Oil in modern petrol cars should actually be completely clean. You will have to take your own counsel on how that applies to your car.

Some years back I had a car for so long from nearly new, and changed it every 5,000 miles, that the oil was so clean if I got someone else to look at the dipstick they would swear blind there was no oil in it, until I showed them the invisible meniscus of the totally clean oil. One should probably suspect they are overdoing the oil changes somewhat, at that point, however it really wasn't that expensive or time consuming to do because I never changed the oil filter as there was never anything in there enough to filter out!... ;)
 

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I wonder if the 2 year timed interval is also there so the oil is changed as it might have little use and be rarely warmed up. Could there be some water contamination build up due to lack of use?

Mine in the lockdown has now done 2 engine cycles (EMM) in @ 100 miles.
 

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Oil oxidises in air to produce weak acids, this reaction speeds up with temperature, this is one reason why oil needs to be changed regularly
 

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Oil oxidises in air to produce weak acids, this reaction speeds up with temperature, this is one reason why oil needs to be changed regularly
Not really, commercially formulated engines oils incorporate base additives that neutralise the acids. TAN indicates when this has been consumed. In addition, synthetic base oils are extremely resistant to oxidation. The days of using castor oils is long gone!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The days of using castor oils is long gone!
Which is a bit of a shame - I loved the aroma of the exhaust when I used Castrol R30 in my racing Morgan . . .
 

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I just give mine a mini service, inc oil, filter, plugs etc. The only issue I had was someone had put the oil filter on so tight I couldn't get it off. Yes, this is sometimes a fight, but NEVER have I had a fight like this one. I even resorted to getting a new tool which allowed me to put all, and I do mean all, of my strength into it. It then eventually came off, the filter was mangled due to the fight. As long as yours wasn't put on by such an over enthusiastic mechanic, you will have no issue at all. I only jacked up the drivers front, plenty of room to work.
 

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I just give mine a mini service, inc oil, filter, plugs etc. The only issue I had was someone had put the oil filter on so tight I couldn't get it off. Yes, this is sometimes a fight, but NEVER have I had a fight like this one. I even resorted to getting a new tool which allowed me to put all, and I do mean all, of my strength into it. It then eventually came off, the filter was mangled due to the fight. As long as yours wasn't put on by such an over enthusiastic mechanic, you will have no issue at all. I only jacked up the drivers front, plenty of room to work.
They cross threaded it, it's knackered. Should've taken it back and told them to replace the sump they just wrecked.
 
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