Dexos-1 Motor Oil for a Gen 2 Chevy Volt


This afternoon, a couple of friends and I went down a bit of a rabbithole while looking for Dexos-1 5W-20 motor oil for my 2017 (2nd generation) Chevy Volt.

The main takeaway: It’s easiest and best to use Dexos-1 certified 0W-20 (rather than 5W-20) motor oil in the 2nd generation (2016-2019) Chevy Volt.

Some more notes down below in case it’s helpful or interesting for anyone in the future.

5W-20 Dexos-1 oil selection is very limited

The owner’s manual for my car gives these instructions:

Ask for and use engine oils that meet the dexos1™ specification. Engine oils that have been approved by GM as meeting the dexos1 specification are marked with the dexos1 approved logo. See

Use SAE 5W-20 viscosity grade engine oil. SAE 0W-20 may be used as an alternative.

2017 Chevrolet Volt Owner’s Manual, page 245

At the auto parts store, I was surprised to find that most brands of 5W-20 oil did not carry any Dexos-1 logo on the container. However, the 5W-30 and 0W-20 oils of the same brands immediately next to the 5W-20 oils had the Dexos-1 logo. Additionally, there was a mix of Dexos-1 Gen 2 and Dexos-2 Gen 3 logos.

I was able to find just one or two brands of 5W-20 oil with the Dexos-1 logo. Pennzoil had it, and I think maybe Castrol as well:

Pennzoil: Dexos-1 Gen 3 logos across all viscosities, including 5W-20

Adding to the confusion, the offical Dexos pages of licensed brands indicate that all of these brands have 5W-20 oil that do meet at least the Dexos-1 Gen 2 certification, if not Gen 3 as well.1,2 Yet we didn’t see these on the shelf.

So what’s going on here? We went back and did some searching, and here’s what we found:

Background on Dexos

The switch to 0W-20


Thanks to Corey and Frank for digging into this with me!