2014 Chevy Impala: GM Oil, or Dino Substitute?

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This is my first post. I've read Motor Oil University, and a couple of searches have yielded nothing. I just bought a used (20,300-mi.) 2014 Chevy Impala LT sedan with a 3.6-L V6 engine. The recommendation is for 5W30 GM oil only. I don't have the owner's manual at hand to relay the details of the other specifications for the oil. The GM oil costs $7.95/quart, and apparently no one has developed or marketed a generic substitute for it yet. I live in the Houston area and drive hard and fast when possible. My weekday commute is about 17 miles one-way, with a mixture of stoplights, internal highways (posted 55 mph, traffic flow sometimes 80 mph), and often gridlock. Before shifting into gear, I religiously let the engine warm up until the rpm falls as far as it's going to. If crucial details are missing here, please ask for them. Questions: 1) Must (should) I stick with the GM oil, or can I use dino oil at all? 2) If I use other-than-GM oil, will my engine last for 100,000 miles? The mechanic who has done my conventional oil changes says that he'd be loath to use anything but the GM oil, because in the event of an engine problem, tests are done, and if unauthorized oil is found to have been used, warranties become void. Thanks in advance for your blunt, informed answers.
 
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In order for the engine warranty to remain in force I recommend using a 5W-30 oil with a Dexos 1 rating. It don't think you will have any problems using an oil from any of the major suppliers. If I remember correctly, Dexos 1 oil has to be either semi or full synthetic. I have a 2010 Impala and have been using Pennzoil Platinum full synthetic oil in it for years with good results.
 

TBoneTX1234

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Thanks. What are the very cheapest store-purchasable options? Does synthetic oil need to be changed on a schedule, or only when the "engine oil life" indicator drops below a certain percentage?
 
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ls1mike

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Just find a good quality Dexos 1. I use Mobil 1. 2014 Impala manual from the manual Specification Use and ask for licensed engine oils with the dexos1® approved certification mark. Engine oils meeting the requirements for the vehicle should have the dexos1 approved certification mark. This certification mark indicates that the oil has been approved to the dexos1 specification. Use only engine oil licensed to the dexos1 specification of the proper SAE viscosity grade. ACDelco dexos1 Synthetic Blend is recommended. See Engine Oil on page 10‑11
 
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There's a Pennzoil blend for about $17.97/ 5 qts at walmart that's about the cheapest repeatable option. IIRC it's in the bronze bottle, says dexos front & center. The full syn at $22-23 for 5 qts at walmart has a $10 rebate if you haven't cashed in yet, I think the limit is 2. You can also join the fun of fuel rewards, read up in the "rebates" section of this BBS.
 
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Dexos1 doesn't need to be a full synthetic. Many synthetic blends meet that approval. Try Walmart for the best everyday retail prices... Castrol GTX Synblend 5w30 Pennzoil Synthetic Blend 5w30 Quaker State Syn blend 5w30 Valvoline MaxLife 5w30 All meet dexos1 and are under $20 for a 5qt jug.
 
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Here's the dexos 1 list too. Edit: I don't know anything about the Impala but a quick search online looks like the 3.6 is DI...may warrant a full synthetic and watching the change interval?
 
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Many oils are certified Dexos 1 but GM charges royalty to advertise it on the bottle. So if you look around I'm sure you can find a very reasonably priced oil that carry's Dexos 1 certification.
 

TBoneTX1234

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Originally Posted By: 99Saturn
Here's the dexos 1 list too.
Thanks -- I'd just stumbled upon this myself. There are a lot of choices. In the past, I've taken my own oil & filter to my mechanic, who has done my oil changes for $15. I'll have to see if his Shell brands were what he was referring to at $7.95/qt. If the 2014 Impala is like my wife's 2012 Impala, it takes 6 quarts (not 5) to fill the crankcase. Yuck.
 
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Like everyone else has stated, use a Dexos 1 approved oil for warranty purposes. At $7.95 per quart, the AC Delco Synthetic blend factory fill that your car came with from the factory is ok oil. Go to Walmart and pick up Mobil 1 for less money than the factory oil and that will be an even better oil. You can't go wrong with Mobil 1 5W30 and it's Dexos 1 approved. If you're gonna spend $7.95 per quart for oil, at least get the good stuff (Mobil 1.)
 
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TBoneTX1234

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I'm very grateful to all respondents. I just called a couple of GM service advisors, who say that 5W30 is mandatory, any dexos-1-certified oil is fine, and synthetic blend is recommended. Full synthetic is not recommended, and some conventional oils have the dexos-1 certification. One advisor said that they generally recommend that the synthetic-blend oil be changed approximately every 6 months or 5,000 miles, and not to trust the oil-life indicator too much.
 
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Synthetic oil is NOT recommended?!!! Never listen to service advisors. They know nothing! The 3.6L engine you have in your car is very hard on oil, so having a very good synthetic oil will only help preserve your engine. The factory oil is mediocre at best.
 
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Originally Posted By: TBoneTX1234
I'm very grateful to all respondents. I just called a couple of GM service advisors, who say that 5W30 is mandatory, any dexos-1-certified oil is fine, and synthetic blend is recommended. Full synthetic is not recommended, and some conventional oils have the dexos-1 certification. One advisor said that they generally recommend that the synthetic-blend oil be changed approximately every 6 months or 5,000 miles, and not to trust the oil-life indicator too much.
To my knowledge there is no conventional oils that are Dexos 1 certified. If you want to go the cheaper route I would pick up the Pennzoil Dexos blend and call it a day.
 

TBoneTX1234

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Well, two service advisors recommended against full synthetic, so I'll keep probing in hopes of a general consensus. Again, I appreciate all the input. I'll price the offerings at Walmart and other places. Logging off for now.
 
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they are right when they say that syn blend is recommended. A "full"syn although not recommended would definitely be a step up from a blend. I don't understand what they were trying to tell you with that. When it comes to the oil life monitor, follow it. They are pretty smart! My wife and I put over 250,000 miles on her Impala and when we sold her it still didn't use any oil and it ran like a champ. My father has 450,000 miles on his Suburban, changing the oil only when the oil life monitor says to. Just buy quality DEXOS1 oil and good filters. Check oil level and top off as needed, change the oil and filter when the car tells you to and you will be doing great. I do like the synthetic oil offerings from Mobil1, Pennzoil, Quaker State and Valvoline. They all have Dexos1 ratings and will make your car happy.
 
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I'd run a full synthetic dexos1 oil. The full syn oil will help with volatility and fuel dilution. That 3.6 V6 is a sweet engine, but the older versions have been pure murder on oil.
 
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Originally Posted By: TBoneTX1234
Well, two service advisors recommended against full synthetic, so I'll keep probing in hopes of a general consensus.
Corvettes come from the factory with synthetic oil (as do plenty of others) and for a service advisor to recommend not to use a synthetic (by "implying" something is wrong by doing so) is just lame and is a dealership that I would avoid like the plague.
 
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