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Hi all, I just entered the 73k mile mark and can’t stop thinking about the transmission fluid. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as “lifetime” fluid and was wondering if anyone has changed their transmission fluid? Thank you in advance. Oh and btw, current gas prices in CA are $4 a gallon, super happy with the bolt.
 

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Hi all, I just entered the 73k mile mark and can’t stop thinking about the transmission fluid. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as “lifetime” fluid and was wondering if anyone has changed their transmission fluid? Thank you in advance. Oh and btw, current gas prices in CA are $4 a gallon, super happy with the bolt.
I agree with you on the fluid needing to be changed even though Chevy doesn't say when. I plan to change mine around 30k to 50k range myself. Weber Auto did a teat down of the motor and in it he talked about how to drain and refill the motor. I would also say getting a service manual wouldn't be a bad idea.

 

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Hi all, I just entered the 73k mile mark and can’t stop thinking about the transmission fluid. As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as “lifetime” fluid and was wondering if anyone has changed their transmission fluid? Thank you in advance. Oh and btw, current gas prices in CA are $4 a gallon, super happy with the bolt.
I think you are worrying to much. First the transmission in the Bolt is nothing like an ICE transmission. There are far fewer moving parts, far fewer moving interfaces, far less heat and far fewer ways for contaminants to get in. Transmission fluid typically doesn't need to be changed because the fluid itself is bad, its mainly from all the contaminants. Metal particles/pieces from the changing of gears and rubbing of clutches and moisture getting in causing the fluid to be less effective.

I saw on a Volt forum someone sent a sample of their transmission fluid in at 120,000 miles and the tests showed everything was just fine, no evidence of moisture and very low metallic particle content.
 

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The 2018 Chevy Bolt EV Owner Manual has no maintenance schedule event for the transmission fluid change:
https://my.chevrolet.com/content/dam/gmownercenter/gmna/dynamic/manuals/2018/Chevrolet/Bolt/2018-chevrolet-bolt-ev-owners-manual.pdf

See page 324 for the schedule and see page 327 for the electric motor drive. As indicated, your dealer knows when to change the fluid according to driven miles and vehicle age. It will probably be after ten years or over 200K miles. The filter will catch most of the metallic particles.

No other vehicle in production has lesser maintenance!
 

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I would trust the engineers who produced the car and follow the maintenance schedule. That saying, I haven't brought my Bolt to the dealership since my second free service. I monitor my fluid levels, change my cabin air filter as scheduled since I live in an area that has bad air quality, and Les Schwab rotates my tires for free. For high mileage drivers the Bolt saves you so much time. Changing oil every 3000 to 5000 miles was a PITA!
 

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I agree with you on the fluid needing to be changed even though Chevy doesn't say when. I plan to change mine around 30k to 50k range myself. Weber Auto did a teat down of the motor and in it he talked about how to drain and refill the motor. I would also say getting a service manual wouldn't be a bad idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=APhRPSdmdmk

"teat down" ?


<snicker>
 

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I agree! Lifetime fill is total crap. I plan to change mine at 35K miles.
I agree. Been resisting posting the video showing the "lifetime" transmission fluid, or at least their change it at 150,000 mile, transmission fluid. We still have heat, though not the heat of an ICE vehicle, in these motors and also have gear shearing occuring. I could also show what happened on the BMW R1200 series "lifetime" final drive fluid. Let's just say, it was expensive. Now, it's possible the fluid might last well beyond your owning of the vehicle, but then again it is cheap insurance to just change it. If you would rather not, just get a sample and send it out for analysis which can also tell you if it's time to change.

Oil and grease are cheaper than steal and iron.
 

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This is definitely a case of maintenance deprivation. There is just not much to do on this car - which is a godsend for most of us. Others found a sense of security when we took our ICE cars in for a "tune-up" or fluid changes, feeling like we were doing something meaningful to our vehicle. Personally, I like to watch internet videos of all the problems engines and transmissions that ICE cars have. If I get that "itch" to do some maintenance on our Bolts, I wax them. They sure shine nice when polished up....
 

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The Bolt EV transmission fluid is a lubricant and a coolant, so it can degrade with mileage, not much with age, so it is not a true "lifetime" fluid, but that depends what GM defines as "lifetime". I believe that it is over ten years, and maybe as long as twenty years.

My 2009 Chevy Equinox has an Aisin AF33 transaxle, and after ten years it still holds the original factory lubricant. The transmission fluid change isn't in its maintenance schedule and it is also described as "lifetime". It gets hot due to its proximity with the gasoline engine and its clutch usage, but its fluid is cooled with a heat exchanger (radiator) inside the engine coolant radiator, so it is working as designed.

As discodanman45 posted above, I trust the GM engineers, and changing the fluid ahead of its schedule is only a waste of time and money. If you do it because you wish to, it is your loss.
 

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The Bolt EV transmission fluid is a lubricant and a coolant, so it can degrade with mileage, not much with age, so it is not a true "lifetime" fluid, but that depends what GM defines as "lifetime". I believe that it is over ten years, and maybe as long as twenty years.

My 2009 Chevy Equinox has an Aisin AF33 transaxle, and after ten years it still holds the original factory lubricant. The transmission fluid change isn't in its maintenance schedule and it is also described as "lifetime". It gets hot due to its proximity with the gasoline engine and its clutch usage, but its fluid is cooled with a heat exchanger (radiator) inside the engine coolant radiator, so it is working as designed.

As discodanman45 posted above, I trust the GM engineers, and changing the fluid ahead of its schedule is only a waste of time and money. If you do it because you wish to, it is your loss.
Only problem is GM hasn't listed an interval. Essentially saying it's lifetime. I know of no lubricant that is truly "lifetime".
 

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I agree. Been resisting posting the video showing the "lifetime" transmission fluid, or at least their change it at 150,000 mile, transmission fluid. We still have heat, though not the heat of an ICE vehicle, in these motors and also have gear shearing occuring. I could also show what happened on the BMW R1200 series "lifetime" final drive fluid. Let's just say, it was expensive. Now, it's possible the fluid might last well beyond your owning of the vehicle, but then again it is cheap insurance to just change it. If you would rather not, just get a sample and send it out for analysis which can also tell you if it's time to change.

Oil and grease are cheaper than steal and iron.

HAHAHAHAHA! My 2013 BMW GSA had lifetime final drive fluid too...................:confused:

I pulled the drain plug @ 1K miles and it was silver. The magnet was covered with metal. I changed
it and serviced it again @ 3K miles. It took 4 services to get it to spot producing metal. After that, it's
been pretty clean. I now have 36K on it without a problem. My friend had one start leaking at that mileage,
but it was a used bike. We have no idea if it was ever serviced. He was so mad, he sold the bike :eek:
 

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HAHAHAHAHA! My 2013 BMW GSA had lifetime final drive fluid too...................:confused:

I pulled the drain plug @ 1K miles and it was silver. The magnet was covered with metal. I changed
it and serviced it again @ 3K miles. It took 4 services to get it to spot producing metal. After that, it's
been pretty clean. I now have 36K on it without a problem. My friend had one start leaking at that mileage,
but it was a used bike. We have no idea if it was ever serviced. He was so mad, he sold the bike :eek:
Yeah, BMW moved away from the "lifetime" final drive fluid deal. At least for the LC GS series like my 15 GS. I think the big question right now for EVs that the manufactures don't have an answer for is when the fluid needs a change on the motor. That or they already know it can go well outside of warranty and well....
 

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The Bolt EV transmission fluid is a lubricant and a coolant, so it can degrade with mileage, not much with age, so it is not a true "lifetime" fluid, but that depends what GM defines as "lifetime". I believe that it is over ten years, and maybe as long as twenty years.

My 2009 Chevy Equinox has an Aisin AF33 transaxle, and after ten years it still holds the original factory lubricant. The transmission fluid change isn't in its maintenance schedule and it is also described as "lifetime". It gets hot due to its proximity with the gasoline engine and its clutch usage, but its fluid is cooled with a heat exchanger (radiator) inside the engine coolant radiator, so it is working as designed.

As discodanman45 posted above, I trust the GM engineers, and changing the fluid ahead of its schedule is only a waste of time and money. If you do it because you wish to, it is your loss.
I wouldn't call preventative maintenance a loss! More than anything, I'm a technician and it
makes perfect sense to me to service any gearbox/transmission on any vehicle.
Break In of all gearboxes produces metal. The differential on my truck is 18 feet from
the engine. I serviced it @ 25K miles and it was full of metal from gear wear in.

As stated already. The traction motor gears have shear. These gears are not impervious to
break in and wear. This adds materials to the fluids that lubricate the bearings. By flushing
those particles out with the fluid, you prolong bearing life. Whether you believe it or not.
 

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It's fascinating how some members of this forum are so desperate to find things to make life with their Bolts more complicated.

Show me one Bolt, just one, that has had a problem that would have been solved by changing the transmission fluid!
 

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It's fascinating how some members of this forum are so desperate to find things to make life with their Bolts more complicated.

Show me one Bolt, just one, that has had a problem that would have been solved by changing the transmission fluid!
That may be true, but we should all be changing the transmission fluid every 3,000 miles, just to be on the safe side, and also, always keep your Bolt charged to between 65-70 percent.

That somewhat reduces the range to just over 11 miles, but you can’t be too careful.
 

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That may be true, but we should all be changing the transmission fluid every 3,000 miles, just to be on the safe side, and also, always keep your Bolt charged to between 65-70 percent.

That somewhat reduces the range to just over 11 miles, but you can’t be too careful.
And every month you need to fully disassemble the HV battery to perform a complete visual inspection of each cell to check for any problems. While you're at it, replace all the coolant. Every two weeks, test the window washer system for leaks by draining the system, measuring what's left, and comparing it against the amount used. (This requires you to always time your window-washing to precise pre-measured bursts, but it's no trouble to do.)

When you do change the fluids, don't use GM fluids, they're low quality. Instead use a fluid from the specialist company with the longest list of beneficial claims at the lowest price.

Follow these steps and your Bolt will either last for ever, or the ownership experience will at least feel like an eternity!
 

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Nobody is twisting anyone's arm. It's your car and you can do or not do whatever you like.
I certainly know what I'll be doing. You can believe whatever you like. Posting childish drivel
is also your choice. It just shows how closed off some people can be. How far they can bury
their heads in the sand. That's also your choice.

Common sense isn't common. Lifetime fluids are..........LOL! YMMV! I own my Bolt.

I've seen this lifetime fluid marketing BS first hand. I've also seen the damage it can do.

Happy Motoring :eek:
 
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