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I'm curious- is the oil life monitor calibrated for engines using non-synthetic oil? I'm thinking that that is the case, and it estimates oil life given the mileage and driving condition information that is reported by engine sensors.
if that is the case it begs the question... if using synthetic, when are you going to change oil?
 

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Oil Life System is based on engine revolutions and temperatures. Type of oil has not effect.


As far as your when to change synthetic question of users, let me just add this, change it when the Oil Life System says or sooner, same as old fashion oil. Warranty coverage can be effected if longer oil change intervals are followed.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Small Dealer said:
Oil Life System is based on engine revolutions and temperatures. Type of oil has not effect.


As far as your when to change synthetic question of users, let me just add this, change it when the Oil Life System says or sooner, same as old fashion oil. Warranty coverage can be effected if longer oil change intervals are followed.
with the extended service life of synthetic oil i think changing when the DIC recommends will provide an ample margin of safety. should i be documenting my oil changes to avoid warranty issues?
 

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cdb said:
with the extended service life of synthetic oil i think changing when the DIC recommends will provide an ample margin of safety. should i be documenting my oil changes to avoid warranty issues?
CDB,

I recommend using the tools that GM is giving you. Go to www.gm.com, and from the top list choose Owner Center and set yourself up with a system within their system. One of the tools there is to create a Service History for YOUR car.
 

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cdb said:
I'm curious- is the oil life monitor calibrated for engines using non-synthetic oil? I'm thinking that that is the case, and it estimates oil life given the mileage and driving condition information that is reported by engine sensors.
if that is the case it begs the question... if using synthetic, when are you going to change oil?
I have the same system in my 04 Malibu Maxx..the GMOL..I run syn in the Maxx..and change every 6K or so, never to exceed 7K..the DIC/GMOL usually shows %40 life at that point...my driving habits....mostly highway.....show a %10 reduction in oil life per 1000 miles driven.....have 51k on the car now...without any problems at all..another sound GM vehicle....hope the solstice is just as reliable!!!

I always document all my services at the MYGMLINK as well....
 

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cdb said:
should i be documenting my oil changes to avoid warranty issues?
Always a good idea. The back of section 6 in the owner's manual has a blank chart that will work. Or check out the online capabilities at MyGMLink.com.
 

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I have changed oil in my last four chevys when, and only when, the message center says its time. :yawn:

My Silverado has +120k miles, has never had anything but your basic 5w-30 in it. Has never burned a drop and runs like a top :thumbs:

Being lazy, I don't even bother to record when I change it (I'm sure it is somewhere between 5-7k miles :leaving: )
 

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Conversations with a GM powertrain engineer several months ago indicated that the DIC oil life indicator is very reliable, because they spend quite a bit of time analyzing oil from various test vehicles throughout the life of test cars, making sure the oil is still in good condition near end of the life indicator.

If you really want to be extremely good to your car, it was suggested that you would be better off following the DIC for the oil, and changing only the filter every 3500-5000 miles.

Interesting thing was he/she was completely unaware of any reason to start with the dino oil before synthetic, and there are several engines that start with synthetic from the factory.

Also, interesting conversation on spark knock and fuel suggestions...
 

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For what it's worth, if I change my synthetic in my GTP when the DIC says, it's still slightly translucent. My experience seems to indicate that my GTP DIC is not accurate with the lifespan of synthetic. Of course, there are a lot of variables when talking engine oil that may or may not have any bearing on my results or this conversation...
 

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When to change the oil

You have to take into consideration why you are changing the oil. Oil itself does not break down, it can burn away but that is not why you are changing it. You change oil because it collects particles, gas and acids from the by products of the combustion chamber.

The particles you can generally see by the discolorization of the oil. If it looks dark, change it. If you drive on dusty roads etc., this may occur more frequently than if you do not.

Over time the acids that seep into the oil will have a negative impact on the parts of the engine, so changing the oil at least twice a year as a minimum is also generally recommended. Otherwise you should be able to look at the oil and determine if it is time to change it. The DIC is a helpful reminder of times to review its color.
 

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DIC is purely algorithmic based on RPMs. However it does PRESUME that the kind of oil being used meets what is specified. The algorithm was developed years ago and saying it's well proven is putting it mildly. E.g. there is a considerable margin of error when using any oil meeting the spec in hte owner's manual.

For what it's worth, if I change my synthetic in my GTP when the DIC says, it's still slightly translucent. My experience seems to indicate that my GTP DIC is not accurate with the lifespan of synthetic. Of course, there are a lot of variables when talking engine oil that may or may not have any bearing on my results or this conversation...
If you want to pursue longer intervals than what the GMOL offers - may want to pursue the services of one of those places that does oil sample analysis.

You have to take into consideration why you are changing the oil. Oil itself does not break down, it can burn away but that is not why you are changing it. You change oil because it collects particles, gas and acids from the by products of the combustion chamber.
Add heat cycling to that list. Oil does break down - or to be more specific, multi-vis oil's viscosity improvers BREAK DOWN. For example 5W30 if you ran it too long eventually can become SAE 5...
 
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