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My recent oil change showed dirty oil after only 4,000 km so I spent today seeing what the internal magnet does when influenced by an external magnet. It’s very loose in its cage and spins easily.
I think the violent oil stream impinging on it from above is making it spin and rattle, causing wear particles from contact between the magnet (including any magnetically-attached particles) and the aluminium housing nib that keeps it from escaping.
I’m attempting to mitigate this by placing a strong external magnet where it might keep it away from the nib.
It will take about 4,000 km to see if this keeps the oil clean. More background in the video description so best watch it on YouTube.
 

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I'm going to suggest that Kona EV owners change their gear oil on this schedule to obtain a balance between cost and the risk of needing repairs down the road:
  • First oil change at 4,000 km (2,500 miles).
  • Subsequent oil changes at every second service.
I'll get back in 6 months to report on if my magnet "fix" kept the oil clean or not.
 

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Kiwi
You are an amazing engineer. You never give up in your investigations!

Question: Why do you think they have a magnet inside a cage and not in the drainage bolt? It would be easy to clean, then. Impossible to clean the magnet in the cage.

In your recommendations above what mileage do you recommend?

I changed mine at ~1,500 miles the first time, ~5,000 miles the second time, and ~10,000 miles the third time. Plan to do changes every 10,000 miles from now on. If my magnets do not catch any metal after 10,000 miles, I might stop using them. I am always afraid the magnets may detach from the drain and get stuck to the rotating driveshaft.
 

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Thanks for your kind comments!

The reason why the magnet is non-serviceable will be all about cost. Not only is the part cheaper but not having a magnet that can be inspected eliminates techs and customers contacting Hyundai with unnecessary questions regarding the completely-normal presence of particles. However in this case Hyundai have shot themselves in the foot.

I'm suggesting every "second service" because (a) that takes care of the miles delineation and (b) it's more convenient for non-DIY owners to do this at a service, and (c) the added cost of every second service may be more palatable as opposed to every service given that I can't quantify in dollars a resulting consequential savings long-term. Personally I'd change it every 5,000 km as long as it keeps coming out black and the cost is minimal as a DIY.

The idea of sticking to the Votex as the magnetic drain plug of choice is to validate the part, meaning prove its reliability in this application. Myself and a few other have been using that part for a year now and I'm not seeing any sign that it's deteriorating nor have we heard that it could. Certainly the reliability of the magnet is a concern because the results would be absolutely catastrophic to the drivetrain and potentially dangerous to the car's occupants. I've personally had a magnet come out of a drain plug long ago in an engine and so I'm very concerned about this possibility. You can always use the Toyota part or stick external magnets on the stock plug, either solution is very safe. One UK owner placed a magnet inside the stock plug - that takes confidence!
 

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Hello All! I am new to the forum. I reside in Georgia (USA) and just purchased a 2023 model year Kona EV. I had to drive it down from Maryland because they don't sell them where I live and that was the closest state I could purchase the one I wanted. Anyhow, I've already added 980 miles to it despite the fact that I've had it for 6 days.

So, this discussion has made me wonder if Hyundai has made any changes whatsoever to the reduction gear box design on the newer models. Either way, after reading most of this post, I will be having the gear box oil changed at 2000 miles. I don't want to replace the drain plugs in case there is a future warranty claim. But I am considering placing magnets on the drain and fill plug (outside).

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether there are any changes in the newer model year gear box? I'll keep looking to see what magnets others have used on their drain and fill plugs but does anyone have any recent links for magnets that may work with the stock drain plugs?

TIA
 

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Welcome to the forum ... If you read back a few posts on this thread we've talked about a production change in the shape of the stock non-magnetic drain and filler plugs and your example will likely have that. You could probably see the filler plug with a mirror, the new ones are a zinc colour. So, assuming that type, buy (4) Ø15x3mm neodymium disk magnets now and install (2 stacked) on the filler plug per the instructions a few posts back. Yes, it's wise to change the oil at 2,000 miles no matter what, and that gives you a chance to see the condition. There's been no sign from other new owners that the issue has been fixed, a shame since IMO it's the only major flaw in this excellent EV.

I expect you'll get resistance from your local Hyundai dealer if you ask them to change the oil on an EV in a state that doesn't sell them. There are a few stories in this thread about this.
Don't let the dealer talk you out of it or overcharge you. If they want to bill it as a conventional automatic oil change, or think it takes more than 1 litre of oil, that's a problem. It's a very easy job and takes 1.0 to 1.1 litre. Suggest billing it as a rear differential oil change if that helps, others have mentioned that costing about US$140 including oil.

Also, any normal mechanic with a car lift should be able to carry this out in under 45 minutes if you provide the Hyundai 70W DCT or Redline MT-LV oil, take 2 litres to be safe. And, of course many of us DIY the job. Ideally place the other 2 magnets on the drain plug at that time but it's not a show stopper if you don't.

Be sure to ask for a sample of the old oil, 1/2 litre is enough. We're eagerly awaiting the photos!

**
And, here's a shorter version of my video. As before, more details can be found in the video description when viewed on YouTube.

 

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Also, any normal mechanic with a car lift should be able to carry this out in under 45 minutes if you provide the Hyundai 70W DCT or Redline MT-LV oil, take 2 litres to be safe. And, of course many of us DIY the job. Ideally place the other 2 magnets on the drain plug at that time but it's not a show stopper if you don't.

Be sure to ask for a sample of the old oil, 1/2 litre is enough. We're eagerly awaiting the photos!

**
And, here's a shorter version of my video. As before, more details can be found in the video description when viewed on YouTube.

Thanks for the info and suggestions. I will do it myself if the local dealer doesn't do it. This has been a helpful forum and thread. I just want my Kona EV to last as long as possible and if an oil change and vigilance will reduce the likelihood of a major event in the future then it's well worth it.

I read up on the Kona EV and other EVs and in fact still have a pending ID4 order (need to cancel that soon) and I believe the Kona EV is an underrated car. The efficiency on it is excellent. Over the past week I've averaged over 5 miles per kwh. I had a leaf immediately prior to the Kona and I would average a bit above 4 miles per kwh with it. Even on the interstate from Baltimore, Maryland to Georgia I managed a respectable 4.5 miles per kwh.
 

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In case you haven't seen it one of the FB group members posted a how-to video on the oil change procedure. The first snip in my video above came from his first change. In a few months I'll know if my experiment of attaching magnets underneath the gearbox keeps the internal magnet from doing any further damage. Meanwhile periodic oil changes are the best defence by far and it's relatively cheap if you DIY.
 

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Hello All! I am new to the forum. I reside in Georgia (USA) and just purchased a 2023 model year Kona EV. I had to drive it down from Maryland because they don't sell them where I live and that was the closest state I could purchase the one I wanted. Anyhow, I've already added 980 miles to it despite the fact that I've had it for 6 days.

So, this discussion has made me wonder if Hyundai has made any changes whatsoever to the reduction gear box design on the newer models. Either way, after reading most of this post, I will be having the gear box oil changed at 2000 miles. I don't want to replace the drain plugs in case there is a future warranty claim. But I am considering placing magnets on the drain and fill plug (outside).

Does anyone have any thoughts on whether there are any changes in the newer model year gear box? I'll keep looking to see what magnets others have used on their drain and fill plugs but does anyone have any recent links for magnets that may work with the stock drain plugs?

TIA
I got four N45 Neodymium 5/8in x 5/8in Cylindrical Magnets from Appliedmagnets.com. The catalog # is ND040-N45. Each magnet was $3.79USD. I stacked two magnets back to back and stuck them on the filler and drain plugs. The magnetic field on the other side of the plugs is very strong. I slipped a 5/8in ID plastic tube on the two magnets just to make sure they are secure. I also secured the magnets with a wire because I was afraid the magnets would detach and stick to the driveshaft, but that has not happened so far. The magnets are extremely strong.

Some pictures of the magnets on the drain plug are attached. The 5/8in diameter magnet allows a socket wrench to be used to open the drain plug.

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Carried out the first reduction gearbox oil change today at approx 1,200km, first thing of note, the drain and fill plugs are 23mm heads, not 24mm as the earlier model.
The oil was dark but not completely black, there is indication of some suspended particles, but what they are I'm not sure they appear to have a bronze tinge to them.
There was no major build up on either plug, a magnet has been affixed since new. The drain had a slight bit that discoloured a tissue, there was no traces on the fill plug.
I have increased from one to two magnets on each plug and will check again at the 5,000km change.
 

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I’ve also seen a tinge of bronze on an earlier change. There is a bronze ring on the input shaft seal.
Could you verify the 23mm for the socket size? I would have thought 19 from appearance.
Overall I predict a healthy life for your gearbox :)
 

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I initially tried a 24mm socket and had to change to a 23mm, I was a bit surprised, not a common head size.
I certainly hope for a long and trouble free life from the gearbox, keeping fresh oil in it until it is bedded in, certainly can't hurt..
I picked up two 2.5L bottles of oil on special, so I'm thinking of changing the oil at 5K, !0k and then every 10k until the oil starts coming out fairly clean if it ever does..
I did buy two sets of ramps, one high set for the front and a low set for the back, this makes the car only slightly down at the back, which should help with the fill level.
The other thing I'm going to try, is to see if any metal settles out, I have immersed a stack of 30mm magnets in the oil.
I will check it in a weeks time.

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Thanks for the photos. That plug is completely different from what I expected which was this below. So, now we have three variations!
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Your oil condition looks like you've caught it at an optimal time. The amount of ferrous fuzz you mentioned was found on the plug sounds about right for that short change interval. I saw much the same on my last check, over 2,000 km distance.

With what I've learned this last week I think the tapping noise could be caused by this cap falling off the input shaft, but also bearing issues in the motor may have produced similar noise issues.

I think these issues have been dealt with by Hyundai. We don't see many occurances now, where it was once quite common around 2019-2020.

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However the black oil and generally high levels of contamination seem to be ongoing and I'm confident that it's due to the internal magnet being left loose. There may be a variation in the size of that round magnet and that might explain why we see a few cases where the oil remains clean. Another possibility is that a high level of early wear particles jam the magnet in place.
In any case, fortunately this issue can be managed with more frequent oil changes and the addition of an owner-added magnet or two.

In some months I'll know if my attempt to reduce the movement of the internal magnet has been successful. I have a brand new traction battery this week, the most excitement the car has provided in ages! After four years I'm hoping I've finally contained any future potential problems.

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The sump plug is as per your photo and has a 23mm head, I will take a photo showing the size at the next oil change.

The sump plug in my previous photo is a left over from our earlier experiments and I am using it to add volume for attracting any metal in the waste oil from the oil change.

It will be interesting to see if your oil clears up, with the mods you have done, to reduced movement of the internal magnet.
By the way, thanks for all the time and effort you are putting in.
 

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Kiwi,
How many miles/years did you get on your old battery? How different is the new battery in terms of miles per specific level of charge vs. your previous battery?
Just trying to understand how these LG batteries are degrading in real world use.
Thanks
 

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Well, it was replaced under the safety recall applying to those built through March 2020. It had little use on it, perhaps 60 full-charge cycles where the expected life is around 1200. Last time I checked, about 6 months ago, it was still delivering the full 64 kWh /180 Ah after 3.5 years.

This owner on FB reported 98.6% SoH a few weeks ago, also 3.5 years.

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I suspect none, but I'll bet it's noisy. I almost can't believe how quiet my Kona's drivetrain is now.
It might be imagination, but the gearbox did sound and feel smoother after the oil change.
A long time ago when synthetic oils were relatively new to the general public, I was sceptical about the value of different oils, but I had a couple of air cooled vehicles (motor bikes and a car), I tried back to back changing oil and the difference in motor noise and smoothness was huge.
As the old saying goes "oils ain't oils", the choice of oil does make a lot of difference IMO.
 
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