knightmb
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Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Wed Apr 21, 2021 1:07 pm

Rather than keep hijacking this topic viewtopic.php?f=38&t=25076 I am starting a new one to focus on the benefits that I have noticed with my Reduction Gear Oil change (both my 2013 and 2020 Leaf). All of this is anecdotal evidence because I don't exactly have a lab or team of interns to help me record large amounts of data :D

But... I do have a lot of "trips" that I drive that are the same distance, same time of day, as part of my job. So it's real easy to let Nissan do the heavy lifting for data collection and just compare before and after oil changes efficiency for the trips.

For example, I have a route from Merchant A to Customer B that is always the same distance, same time of day. So before and after my gear oil change, I can notice a difference in efficiency that the vehicle itself is recording. What is special about this route? It has no stop signs, no stop lights, very little traffic, speed limit is 70 MPH. It's very easy to start the route, turn on cruise control, reach the end and I know the vehicle did a consistent speed all the way regardless of how steep the hill climb was or how far down the other side of a hill it does regen to maintain the speed. The numbers from the Nissan website reflect that, up until the gear oil change it was easy to predict what miles / kWh I would get on that trip. So anything more or less means something has made a difference. It could be the weather, maybe I got stuck behind someone slow and was drafting the whole way, I wasn't running the heat or AC, etc. Luckily, this month of April has made it not necessary to run heat nor AC, so it helps to keep these data points pretty consistent to follow.

25.1 miles 3.6 miles/kWh
25.1 miles 3.6 miles/kWh
25.1 miles 3.6 miles/kWh
25.1 miles 3.6 miles/kWh
25.1 miles 3.9 miles/kWh <- Gear Oil Change

So while I could post up pages and pages of data like this, you can read some of that in the other topic, I would rather get to my conclusion of what I am seeing rather than giving up endless pages of copy/paste data from the Nissan website.

For reference, I used this in my Reduction Gear Oil Change: https://www.valvoline.com/our-products/ ... oducts/ulv

When driving +70 MPH, it seems my trips are 0.3 miles/kWh better. I don't have many that take me on the interstate for high speed driving, so that is about the best I could see with the data I have.
When it comes to trips that are 55 MPH and under, I see an average benefit of 0.5 miles/kWh better. I have a lot of those to compare before and after the gear oil change.

The GOM in any Nissan Leaf is famous for being very optimistic about range when fully charged, we even joke about it a lot, but it does give one a way to see if the vehicle itself thinks it is getting better or worse range. When I first bought my Leaf, the GOM would show about the 220 miles range, which I was fine with since I knew the EPA rating for it was 215 miles at best. I knew it would be guessing high, I came from a 2013 Leaf and expected as much. Ever since my Reduction Gear Oil change though, the GOM has been going higher and higher for the last couple of weeks. I know I'm not somehow driving better or that I am getting magic tail winds at every trip, so something was helping the Leaf range and the even itself knew it. Finally today, the highest GOM range I've ever seen. My weekly driving average is usually about 3.9 miles/kWh and has been that way for a long time. It appears now that my weekly average has been boosted to 4.4 miles/kWh, which was surprising since I have been using the AC on a few hot days.

I know I said it in the other topic, I wasn't going to give the ULV fluid much credit, but now it is hard to deny that it is making a fairly descent gain on range for me and my driving style. How do those numbers translate into actual range you might ask?

If @ 70 MPH, my old efficiency driving was 3.6 and the ULV gear oil bumps that up to 3.9, that is an extra 17 miles of range at high speed if I want to drive the EV from 100% to 0% SOC. Not amazing, but if you are trying to reach a charge station at good speed with good climate control going and just not worrying about it, that 17 extra miles could be a good confidence booster.

My under 55 MPH trips, that 0.5 boost nets me +28 extra miles (100% to 0% SOC). The slower my average drive speed, the more miles I gain from the efficiency boost and that is probably why my GOM is guessing so dang high!

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voltamps
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:49 pm

Good idea starting a new thread. The other one was as worn out as a Gearbox at 200,000 miles.

It does look like your results are undeniable. Which means you're indeed operating nearer the lowest point on the Stribeck Curve than what Nissan Matic S would give you. Like I said in the other thread, maybe single-digits % more wear rates, up to 10% or so. Not a big deal, especially if you get out the metal shavings on the magnets every 70k miles or so.

Nissan, for future Leaf production, and Ariya coming soon, should get a nice bump up in range by specifying the newest generation of "ultra low viscosity" (ULV) ATF oil like the Valvoline ULV you're using.

I'm planning on sneaking into the plant in Smyrna, & substituing out their vats of Matic S ATF with the Valvoline ULV goop, like in Mission Impossible where Cruise had to lower himself into a room thru the roof. ... If you DON"T read about this in the news later, you'll know I succeeded without being detected. .... Yer welcome, Nissan. ("Yer mission, if ya decide to accept it, ...")

Seriously though, I do need to contact somebody either at NREL, INL, or ORNL (all those Federal Laboratories spending our tax dollars on figuring out EVs) to ask them the obvious question "Why not get an easy instant boost in range by using Valvoline ULV? What's the hold-up here?"
2020 Leaf SV - sold - I'll get another EV later...Reserved the irresistible Maverick Hybrid, here in a few months
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G3NG4R
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:29 pm

voltamps wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:49 pm
"Why not get an easy instant boost in range by using Valvoline ULV? What's the hold-up here?"
Could it be an improvement they are holding onto for use with future models? I'm sure Nissan aren't implementing every improvement as quickly as they can. EVs are a competitive and growing market, and Nissan is clearly in this long haul.

I'd have a running list of ideas and would be pulling from it only as needed. I'd want some easy to implement improvements in my back pocket for the years that larger improvements fall flat.

It's one thing to maximize the efficiency of an EV, it's another to keep a car model alive year after year.

knightmb
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:49 pm

voltamps wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:49 pm
Nissan, for future Leaf production, and Ariya coming soon, should get a nice bump up in range by specifying the newest generation of "ultra low viscosity" (ULV) ATF oil like the Valvoline ULV you're using.
....
Seriously though, I do need to contact somebody either at NREL, INL, or ORNL (all those Federal Laboratories spending our tax dollars on figuring out EVs) to ask them the obvious question "Why not get an easy instant boost in range by using Valvoline ULV? What's the hold-up here?"
I wonder if it would take a lot of "engineering" to design future EV gear boxes to just work with the ULV from the factory? Seems that as battery sizes get bigger, that small bump in efficiency adds up to more and more miles.

So, in a perfect battery world, say the Gen 1 Leaf with the 24 kWh, would only get (perfect battery math 24 x 0.5) 12 extra miles of range, but those with larger battery packs 40, 62 kWh, would gain additional 40 x 0.5 = 20 miles, 62 x 0.5 = 31 miles. A future battery pack that was 100 kWh would gain an extra 100 * 0.5 = 50 miles.

The gains are small with a smaller battery pack, but increase proportionally as the battery size gets bigger. I didn't design the Nissan Leaf and the original engineers probably didn't worry about gear box fluid visocity because of the small gains on the smaller battery. Nissan would probably need to be able to produce or buy it's own *official* ULV fluid and maybe that just wasn't a big priority at the time since they already had the Matic S ATF that was good enough. The ULV may have required extra years of testing to make sure the gears can hold out and they don't want to fall behind the other car companies, who knows?
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Nubo
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:47 pm

knightmb wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:49 pm
Nissan would probably need to be able to produce or buy it's own *official* ULV fluid and maybe that just wasn't a big priority at the time since they already had the Matic S ATF that was good enough. The ULV may have required extra years of testing to make sure the gears can hold out ...
I'm sure that's it right there. One ATF to rule them all; one less variable for R&D testing, production, dealers... and the volume of LEAF production probably doesn't warrant upsetting that cart.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

voltamps
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:13 am

G3NG4R wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:29 pm
voltamps wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 5:49 pm
"Why not get an easy instant boost in range by using Valvoline ULV? What's the hold-up here?"
Could it be an improvement they are holding onto for use with future models?
Bottom Line: 8% EPA Range Boost is Gold in the market. Reduces carbon footprint fleetwide (powerplant emissions) too. That would boost a 40 kWH Leaf like mine to 162 miles (from 150). A 226 mile S Plus model would get 249. That sells more Leafs.

Looks like, not sure, but it looks like @knightmb is getting 8% better range using thinner ATF fluid. @estomax is going to try it soon too. I just spent a wad on Amsoil SS PAO ATF & still need to know my wear rates are way down before I use it. Tempting.

(( Note to most readers: Nissan Matic S is the official fluid to use. It's good stuff of course. Nissan says never change it; I say every 60k miles. ))
knightmb wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 7:49 pm
The ULV may have required extra years of testing to make sure the gears can hold out ...
I get the arguments that Nissan didn't want to stock or spec a new ATF fluid, and the ULV low-visc oil would need testing. Still, the range bump is just too nice.

Thin ULV ATFs have been on the shelves for 4 years now as a commodity. Slap a Nissan OE label on a Mercon ULV bottle & it's done.

It's easy to measure gearbox wear rates at big company's labs.

Lubrizol, Afton, Infineum, Oronite, etc., all the ATF fluid companies who work with big blenders, can test the wear rate (mass steel shed per mile) in that simple fixed gearset in about a month, taking it to several thousand miles, weighing-measuring, & taking a gander at the Ra RMS roughness, looking for pitting, etc. of the gear teeth & bearings. Easy test.

In addition, they can formulate a standard anti-wear ATF additive package (Dexron VI type chemicals) tweaked with esters & more phosphors to help the low-visc base oil, and remove most of the VII plastic polymers to avoid long-term mechanical shearing which reduces visc too much over time. Actually all that describes "ULV" ATF which came out 4 years ago. It might even be made to naturally oxidize slightly to keep the visc up stretching out to 50k+ miles in a tranny or gearset.
2020 Leaf SV - sold - I'll get another EV later...Reserved the irresistible Maverick Hybrid, here in a few months
2016 Ford Focus Electric (traded in at 34k miles, 5 years)

knightmb
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:19 am

voltamps wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:13 am
In addition, they can formulate a standard anti-wear ATF additive package (Dexron VI type chemicals) tweaked with esters & more phosphors to help the low-visc base oil, and remove most of the VII plastic polymers to avoid long-term mechanical shearing which reduces visc too much over time. Actually all that describes "ULV" ATF which came out 4 years ago. It might even be made to naturally oxidize slightly to keep the visc up stretching out to 50k+ miles in a tranny or gearset.
Another excellent point I didn't think about, if ULV ATF is new, then nearly all the EV manufactures wouldn't be designing anything to use it anyway, certainly not in the late 2000s when Tesla, Nissan, and the likes were pushing out BEV. They used what was best known at the time, ICE relative ATF fluid with the lowest, safe viscosity. Thanks for pointing that out!
2020 Leaf SL Plus - (Manufacture Date March 2020)
2013 Leaf SV (8 faithful years of service before trade in at 75,679 miles)
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knightmb
Posts: 973
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:41 pm
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:41 am

voltamps wrote:
Thu Apr 22, 2021 6:13 am
Looks like, not sure, but it looks like @knightmb is getting 8% better range using thinner ATF fluid. @estomax is going to try it soon too. I just spent a wad on Amsoil SS PAO ATF & still need to know my wear rates are way down before I use it. Tempting.
I'm really curious to what others that use the same ULV will experience, I'm hoping mine isn't an edge case. I have a bunch of friends and family that would gladly pay $20 for a range boost on their Gen 1 Leaf :D
Of course I'll probably be the one doing the actual change for them, but it might be a good way to collect a lot of samples for laboratory analysis. :)
2020 Leaf SL Plus - (Manufacture Date March 2020)
2013 Leaf SV (8 faithful years of service before trade in at 75,679 miles)
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estomax
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:07 am

i have only driven a couple hundred miles so far with the ULV, commute is now only a once a week type of thing. My results with the ULV are that my average bumped from 3.5 to 3.9, but some of that bump is from the fact that temperatures here in the NW have jumped a solid 10F right when i did the fluid change - from 40-50F into the 50-70F in the last two weeks. 3.9 is what i saw last summer during the warm season, so if my average creeps over 4 while driving the way i'm driving, then that is certainly statistically significant. The other variable compared to knight is that i started with redline D6, not the stock Nissan fluid.

The 10R80/10L80 transmission that Ford/GM use and that uses this Valvoline ULV ATF fluid (or similar) in started production in 2018, I am very curious what gear oil other EVs use, like Hyundai Kona, Teslas, Ford MachE, Chevy Bolt.

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DougWantsALeaf
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Re: Reduction Gear Oil Change - Benefits for Range

Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:19 am

That is a huge improvement. Definitely worth a try. Is that much energy lost in the gearbox?
Last edited by DougWantsALeaf on Thu Apr 22, 2021 7:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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