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Hi @2Crows are you going to change your oil again and if so at what mileage
Most certainly will get it changed again before the maintenance schedule's 60,000 Km "inspect and replace if necessary". The question remains, when? That is the $336 question...

and are you going to get it professionally tested?
No, I think there are enough analyses floating around the net now.

By the way, what oil did you put in?
Presumably the mysterious Hyundai oil for which Hyundai HQ would not even tell me the part number - it was done by a Hyundai dealership in Melbourne, not our local country NSW Hyundai dealership. We'll probably get it serviced in Melbourne too (we have a small apartment there) as they seemed competent and were cooperative.
 

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I think the mysterious Hyundai oil p/n 04300-KX1B0 is supplied by German company Ragenoil, based on what I've found from vague and unreliable internet sources. This dealer is in Croydon, NSW and was brave enough to publish their eye-watering retail price. The MSDS linked from this page confirms the original colour as clear brown.
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I think the mysterious Hyundai oil p/n 04300-KX1B0 is supplied by German company Ragenoil, based on what I've found from vague and unreliable internet sources. This dealer is in Croydon, NSW and was brave enough to publish their eye-watering retail price. The MSDS linked from this page confirms the original colour as clear brown.
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Well the problem obviously isn't due to poor quality mineral oil, so it will definitely be interesting to see what @AusKona gets back from his next analysis.
I have just received a message from the dealer, we have not yet received a VIN number for your vehicle, we will keep in touch. Ordered on the 1st March, so it will be interesting.
 

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Because winter is approaching and we had a surprise 24°C sunny day yesterday I decided to take the opportunity to check the gear oil at 21,300 km despite it being in use for only 2,000 km. It will take me nearly two years to cover another 8,000 km and I didn't want to worry about it for that long.

The bottom line is that it was in nearly perfect visual condition without a hint of blackness and only the faintest trace of a yellow glitter. The magnets were as expected for the distance driven and I simply filtered the oil through a mask and replaced it.

Despite the short distance in use the reason I'm over the moon about this because many of the owners who have taken the advice to carry out a first oil change have had very low kms (like under 4,000) yet their oil is jet-black and often full of particles. My first change was at 19,000 and those particles had already been ground to dust.

Of the two potential causes of the blackness that I've been pondering, break-in wear and electrical discharge erosion, only the latter could be ongoing. Wear particles should drop off significantly as gear tooth surfaces wear off the hobbing (machining) artifacts. So, at this stage I'm optimistic that the wear particles alone are responsible for the blackness. Once break-in wear drops off that should be much reduced and more conventional oil change intervals can be adopted. Why there is so much initial debris and why that is not contained by the built-in magnet as with other gearbox designs may remain a mystery, but could be as simple as the manufacturer accepting a lower level of surface finish to manage costs. Lack of sequestration could be down to particle size and/or condition as it seems evident that small particles are not always readily attracted to a magnet.

I've also recognised this week that there is a brass/bronze grounding "brush" acting on the bearing inner race at the tail end of the input shaft and that may be the source of the yellow glitter. That's good news because I don't have great confidence that the brush on the motor output shaft would be fully effective and reliable (based on a test of brush types by a company that makes motor shaft grounding solutions) and it demonstrates that Hyundai are aware of this critical function. Whenever there is an engineering design solution applied it will be followed by a verification process.

I'll also add in case it's not clear that loading the oil with wear particles can result in a snowball effect. Oil containing circulating particles will cause more wear than clean oil and result in generating more particles. There could be a point of no return and we know a few failures have occurred. In any case running the gearbox for thousands of kms with particle-laden oil is never a good thing. Particles can also cause cavitation in certain conditions and a number of owners have reported that the car is quieter after the first oil change.
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Well that is good news...

I just have to decide when to get the oil changed again. First replaced at 1,730 km and the car's now at 4,538 km (round trips to Melbourne add about 1,000 km). I'm leaning towards 15,000 km/12 months when its first full service is scheduled.
 

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Having to pay for it does complicate any advice since it's not cheap at the dealer. Figuring wear will drop off over kms, oil changes early on will help more than those later as contamination doesn't contribute linearly like a car engine. I'd lean towards 10,000 km for the next change and based on that determine if it's good for the long haul or needs another. But it's up to you, I know it's a pain to take it in for just one thing and I might be too pedantic about it.
 

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Has anyone asked their Hyundai dealer to change the oil and include a magnetic plug? I have a 2022 Kona EV with about 3500 miles and am considering printing out Kiwis report and handing it to my service advisor.
 

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The problem is that dealers are not technical experts and they won't be able to assess the issue nor bill Hyundai for an oil change and plug without approval from the importer. You'll just get the roll-eye if you "roll-up" with this. I don't think that any of these parties would even recognise that black oil is abnormal in any gearbox at only a few thousand miles.

I have no problem paying a few hundred $$ only to lower the risk of having to park once in the dealer's ridiculously-tiny service parking lot, nevermind make a warranty claim and go through the stress of having my precious EV sit outside for weeks or months collecting door dings while they faff around. And with an expired warranty I would have to get (NZ) government consumer rights on my side to avoid paying for all of it.

Every couple of days another owner reports on the forums that they found black oil and I add them to my list, 17 now. The fact that the NHTSA posted Hyundai's TSB must means that complaints have reached a certain threshold.

We may have to accept that the parties involved are interested solely in business profit and having <0.5% need a new motor/gearbox is not going to prompt them to roll out a campaign. The new E-GMP models probably won't have this issue as they are far more sophisticated mechanically so this will become a legacy issue.

An interesting clue has come about recently. The released specs for the new 2023 Kia Niro EV indicate an astonishing drop in maximum motor torque of 35%. The maximum power is the same (150 kW) 201 hp but the 0-60 time is longer. The only engineering-oriented reason for making such a change is to lower the stress on the gearbox. I'd be not surprised if the 2023 Kona is the same.

A possible marketing-oriented reason could be to reposition the Niro under the base EV6 RWD in terms of acceleration. Seems a bit pointless however since range is usually the bigger factor and the Niro wins that anyway.
 

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A new Aussie Kona owner over at InsideEvs added a magnetic drain plug at 142 km and changed the oil the next day, 5 km later. The photos show how quickly the initially-clear oil starts to become tainted with crushed wear particles. Normal wear particles are only ferromagnetic when they are fresh off the gear teeth. If they are not sequestered promptly they will circulate and get reduced to dust, partly thanks to the unwary ball and roller bearings. The local heating while being crushed causes them to lose magnetic attraction and the chance to capture them with a magnet is lost. For whatever reason the built-in magnet is not doing a sufficient job.

The added Votex drain plug magnet was able pull out particles that had not yet had a chance to get crushed in just 5 km.
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Just joined the forum - we just purchased a 2022 Kona Electric Limited which now has 450 miles on the odometer...

With the high torque that the kona ev delivers I wouldn't be surprised to see break in metals as you are seeing. Frankly, I would be more surprised to not see it....

On my high torque diesel 1 ton pickup - the rear differential break in mentions 500 miles of "taking it easy" before towing heavy and changing rear differential gear oil at 5k miles. The funny thing is they factory fill with a lifetime fluid made by texaco (300k mile drain interval) - it is crazy expensive....

After break in, I have always changed out gear oil in diffs and gearbox in every truck I have owned. The rear diff fluid looks black and full of wear metals from break in - so this doesn't worry me greatly. Fresh fluid after break in is always a good thing to take care of and will extend the life of the drivetrain.

I am thankful to come across this thread - I now know to change this gear oil after break in. And to install a magnetic plug.

One question I have is when is break in complete and what the optimal time is to do the first gear oil change. Somewhere between 5k and 10k miles would be a guess. After swapping out the break in oil, it might go a long time after that or be happier with a change every 40-50k miles. Out of caution, and given the ease that it can be swapped out and the relatively low cost (1 quart of fluid) - I will probably do it every 2-3 years and every 36k miles (whichever comes first). If it held two quarts instead of one - I would have gone a little longer between changes....

Still beats the heck out of the cost of my oil change on my turbo ICE I just traded in. 5 quarts of mobil 1 and a filter every 5k miles...

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Yes, the production of wear particles is not the issue, the lack of immediate sequestration is.
... And to install a magnetic plug.

... One question I have is when is break in complete and what the optimal time is to do the first gear oil change.
... After swapping out the break in oil, it might go a long time after that or be happier with a change every 40-50k miles.
Ideally you should add the magnetic drain plug immediately, just put it in the filler opening until the first change, if any. But use the Votex one only because a number of us have proven it stays intact and I would hate for someone to destroy their car because I wasn't specific enough.

The knowledge base surrounding this subject gets updated and revised as reports arrive in from owners and the last week has been no exception. Technically, in my retired-mechanical-engineer opinion, the Kona has a now-proven design defect, a non-serviceable internal magnet that is by all accounts totally ineffective. It's an extremely important part for optimum gearbox life and the thankfully-easy fix is to just add one ourselves. Preliminary results with the Votex have been encouraging, if not downright amazing. We have a pending owner 10,000 km (with plug magnet) oil change coming up perhaps within 2 months that will hopefully confirm the preliminary findings.

If you have a brand new Kona it seems that's the first step. The lucky Aussie above does have a new car and has both changed the oil (perhaps prematurely) and added the Votex magnetic plug we've been recommending.

If you have one with a few more miles on it the answer is still the same, add the plug, but you'd also want to also clear out the black oil at some point before it degrades delicate parts. That is where my advice gets wishy-washy because oil changes cost non-DIY owners time and significant money and I want to remain cognisant of that.

Also, not everyone wants to pay for the pricey Votex magnetic plug and some are reluctant to install one within the warranty period, whether that's realistic or not in one's relevant country and consumer laws. Many US owners don't seem to care because of their unique warranty. Mine was 3 years, long gone and it's entirely my problem now.

There is a fine particle content in the black oil that is clearly building up over the miles. It only settles out after weeks sitting, based on seeing oil samples in a clear container. We have plenty of owners who have driven to over 100,000 km without a problem and so it's hard to justify changing it earlier than the manual recommends - which is, um, never, except for Canada, 120,000 kms. Regarding break-in, we can only assume some relaxation of metal sparkly production.

I'm pretty sure that the grit is responsible for some noise, nevermind the ongoing damage inflicted to ball bearings.

Now bring in the Wheel-of-Misfortune noise (WoM) that affects a very few, possibly under 0.1% and now has a TSB. It's not proven connected to the filthy oil but it seems incomprehensible that it isn't. I believe it is because there is significant aluminium present in UOA results and I can see a plausible chain of events.

So, I'm thinking along the lines that for those who do not install a Votex, oil changes at 2,000 km (1,500 miles) and 10,000 km (7,500 miles).

For those who do install a Votex when past 1,000 km (600 miles), one change should be enough until you reach the higher miles like 60,000 km (40,000 miles), TBD. And as I hinted, brand new Konas may get away with no early oil change but that's TBD.

I'm trying to write a better FAQ because I get a lot of questions on forums and I'm guilty of not being 100% consistent in my replies, plus it's time consuming to write all this out.
 

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Hi @Kiwi , thanks for your ongoing perseverance with the issue, as you have already mentioned the Votex drain plug has a fairly short thread, it may be worth adding the tightening torque to your write up, which by the way I think is a terrific document that can be added to and updated.
Thanks again for all the effort you and Auskona are putting in, by the way I just ordered two Votex plugs off Amazon nearly $100aus, they obviously have cottoned on to the demand.
Last I heard my Kona ETA is Sept, it's as bad as waiting for a baby.
 

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Hi @Kiwi , ... the Votex drain plug has a fairly short thread, it may be worth adding the tightening torque to your write up ...
Yes, I've always been a little nervous about the short thread for those who don't have a torque wrench, plus the slippery SST doesn't seem to need as much torque as the cheap cold-formed stock plugs. I was told 33-44 lbs-ft by a Hyundai mechanic on YouTube, actually the person who first raised the black oil issue a couple of years back, but I've found for the Votex 30 is good for the drain and about 28 for the fill. For some reason I've found the fill plug feels like it's almost stripping when tightened but I think it's a combination of the washer deforming and the well-oiled stainless threads.

I've ordered two more plugs (a new brand) with a 5mm longer thread to test, plus one for my ICE engine to provide some thermal cycling, another $120 spent. A second source is always a good idea but it will take me a couple of months to carry out some simple tests before I have the confidence to install these in my Kona.

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Yes, the production of wear particles is not the issue, the lack of immediate sequestration is.

Ideally you should add the magnetic drain plug immediately, just put it in the filler opening until the first change, if any. But use the Votex one only because a number of us have proven it stays intact and I would hate for someone to destroy their car because I wasn't specific enough.

The knowledge base surrounding this subject gets updated and revised as reports arrive in from owners and the last week has been no exception. Technically, in my retired-mechanical-engineer opinion, the Kona has a now-proven design defect, a non-serviceable internal magnet that is by all accounts totally ineffective. It's an extremely important part for optimum gearbox life and the thankfully-easy fix is to just add one ourselves. Preliminary results with the Votex have been encouraging, if not downright amazing. We have a pending owner 10,000 km (with plug magnet) oil change coming up perhaps within 2 months that will hopefully confirm the preliminary findings.

If you have a brand new Kona it seems that's the first step. The lucky Aussie above does have a new car and has both changed the oil (perhaps prematurely) and added the Votex magnetic plug we've been recommending.

If you have one with a few more miles on it the answer is still the same, add the plug, but you'd also want to also clear out the black oil at some point before it degrades delicate parts. That is where my advice gets wishy-washy because oil changes cost non-DIY owners time and significant money and I want to remain cognisant of that.

Also, not everyone wants to pay for the pricey Votex magnetic plug and some are reluctant to install one within the warranty period, whether that's realistic or not in one's relevant country and consumer laws. Many US owners don't seem to care because of their unique warranty. Mine was 3 years, long gone and it's entirely my problem now.

There is a fine particle content in the black oil that is clearly building up over the miles. It only settles out after weeks sitting, based on seeing oil samples in a clear container. We have plenty of owners who have driven to over 100,000 km without a problem and so it's hard to justify changing it earlier than the manual recommends - which is, um, never, except for Canada, 120,000 kms. Regarding break-in, we can only assume some relaxation of metal sparkly production.

I'm pretty sure that the grit is responsible for some noise, nevermind the ongoing damage inflicted to ball bearings.

Now bring in the Wheel-of-Misfortune noise (WoM) that affects a very few, possibly under 0.1% and now has a TSB. It's not proven connected to the filthy oil but it seems incomprehensible that it isn't. I believe it is because there is significant aluminium present in UOA results and I can see a plausible chain of events.

So, I'm thinking along the lines that for those who do not install a Votex, oil changes at 2,000 km (1,500 miles) and 10,000 km (7,500 miles).

For those who do install a Votex when past 1,000 km (600 miles), one change should be enough until you reach the higher miles like 60,000 km (40,000 miles), TBD. And as I hinted, brand new Konas may get away with no early oil change but that's TBD.

I'm trying to write a better FAQ because I get a lot of questions on forums and I'm guilty of not being 100% consistent in my replies, plus it's time consuming to write all this out.
Is this a $100 US dollar job or $500 dollar job if I trot into my dealer with my own Votex plug and own gear oil? I have watched the video of doing it yourself but don't feel like getting that ambitious. Also, should I ask for the old oil and plug upon completion?
 

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That torque value (~30 foot pounds) sounds a little high for a steel nut into an aluminum case. I would think 18-20 ft-lbs would be fine and avoid issues. It only needs to seal and not fall out - I see no reason to "reef on it" that much...

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I'll just mention first that overnight two more owners changed their own oil, US and Canada. In short, the first took a photo of the OEM magnet (the black thing) and tried unsuccessfully to make a paper clip stick to it, proving its uselessness. Yes, it was brave putting anything metallic inside the gearbox - I would not have the courage.

The other owner was doing a second oil change to verify the working of his home-baked magnetic plug solution, having only stuck neodymium disk magnets to the outside of the stock drain plug. After nearly 4,000 km the oil was still clean, the same as I found on my second change after 2,000 km using 2x Votex plugs. So, any magnetic attraction is much better than what Hyundai have provided.

This new evidence backs ups everything we've seen so far and further emphasises the importance of having effective ferrous particle sequestration. To be clear, all oil changes after having the benefit of an added magnetic drain plug have returned oil without a black discolouration.

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There doesn't seem to be much of a shoulder on that plug, but I am looking on a phone. lol
I had spotted that as well. Assessing that will be part of the evaluation. I hope I didn't waste my money, lol!
Is this a $100 US dollar job or $500 dollar job if I trot into my dealer with my own Votex plug and own gear oil? I have watched the video of doing it yourself but don't feel like getting that ambitious. Also, should I ask for the old oil and plug upon completion?
US owners have reported around $150 at the dealer but they provide the oil. I'm not sure what they'll say if you bring in your own oil but I think most would be OK with installing a magnetic plug. You might be better off using an independant shop but it doesn't hurt to make some phone calls. You probably won't need the old plug, your choice. Perhaps ask for a small sample of the oil just to confirm what everyone else has already found. I'd be shocked if it wasn't pitch black, but eventually Hyundai will fix this so it's good to be sure.
That torque value (~30 foot pounds) sounds a little high for a steel nut into an aluminum case. I would think 18-20 ft-lbs would be fine and avoid issues. It only needs to seal and not fall out - I see no reason to "reef on it" that much...
You'll have to decide that when it's in front of you. I'm as careful as anyone and that's how I arrived at the numbers I've mentioned, far below what the 33-44 that the Hyundai mechanic mentioned. It's a clear feeling when the washer starts to deform and certainly that's enough with only 13 mm of useful thread length. But the stainless surfaces are quite slippery and don't key to the washer as well as the roughly made OEM plug.
 

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Just got the dealer to change the oil at 1,600 miles on my 21 Kona Electric. It looked black. I stick my fingers in it. Felt slippery and I did not feel any grit which would be associated with large metal particles in it. Dealer claims it is good and nothing to worry about. I plan to change again at 5,000 miles. I have attached a picture.
 

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Just got the dealer to change the oil at 1,600 miles on my 21 Kona Electric. It looked black. I stick my fingers in it. Felt slippery and I did not feel any grit which would be associated with large metal particles in it. Dealer claims it is good and nothing to worry about. I plan to change again at 5,000 miles. I have attached a picture.
Did you install magnetic drain plug and how much did the dealer charge for the oil change?
 
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