Change oil soon light

Not open for further replies.


Dec 8, 2002
Temple, Tx
First off let me say that I change my oil at 3000, 3 months, with mobil 1 10w-30 on my chevy 2500 HD 6L. Usually after I change the oil I will reset the oil life light just so it won't come on and freak me out. Just out of curiosity I did'nt reset it the last couple of times I changed the oil. Time went on and I forgot about it, and low and behold 7,000 miles later it pops up [freaknout] The oil that GM houses use is a conventional right. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that a oil analysis would be in order to even think about running a conventional oil this long. Later I read in the book that if the light does not come on for 1 YEAR!!! have it changed. I think I'll stick to my aforementioned change intervals, but I just wanted to see everone else thought about this. Bub [ January 08, 2003, 12:00 AM: Message edited by: Bub ]
Those lights push oil out a dangerous limit. I wouldn't use the light, just change it according to your schedule. I'm a fan of doing oil analysis to find out if I can safely run oil out to a certain point such as 5000 miles, and then just change it at that schedule.
I'll also throw out there a relatives Trailblazer with the 4.2 inline six. The change oil light came on the 1st time at 13,000 miles, and the second time at 22,000 miles. Sounds a little long for a conventional! We'll just say the vehicle recieves service on a much more regular basis than that. (And before anyone says it, no the sensor was not reset at any oil change. The owner does his own service and had no idea there was a light to indicate this service, much less how to reset it!)
This really makes me wonder. Why would GM recommend this? Have they done oil analysis, or engine teardowns after using these intervals? To reset the light on the pickups, turn ignition to run but do not start, press fully and release accelerator three times. However the trailblazers might be different. bub [ January 08, 2003, 01:22 AM: Message edited by: Bub ]
This has been discussed here many times before... My father's 5.3L Sierra called for the first change at 5420 miles and not again until 7803 miles later. Many new vehicles are coming from the factory with 10,000 mile / 12 month maintenance intervals (Honda and Volkswagen, probably others) with regular oil. Vehicles such as BMW which explicitly require synthetic call for 12-18,000 miles (based on the computer's calculations) or 24 months. I do not believe that companies like BMW would stake their reputation on such a long interval were it not warranted.
My assumption is they are only designing the vehicles to last 36,000-60,000 miles... They assume most car buyers will get a new vehicle every 2 years, and if they're leasing the vehicle this is a way for the leasee to cut costs (no maintenance... put in gas and drive!) It doesnt mean its the lowest wear... but Im sure a car can go 60,000 miles and be okay doing this. However it'll be about as ragged out as a properly maintained vehicle with 300,000 Im sure! [Smile] (running a lowdollar conventional)
I have the indicator on my 2000 Buick GSE 3.8L SC V6. I use synthetic oil since the first change at 4000 miles and I have been on a 12,000 mile change interval since then with a filter at 6000 miles. Now have 36,000 miles. Oil analysis at every change and so far the oil is holding up fine at the 12,000 intervals. I simply reset the indicator at 6000 miles when I change the filter. The light has never actually come on for me so obviously it would go close to the 7500 mile limit or one year built into my computer on the car.
I appreciate the responses. I had read some time ago that the Germans were putting this feature into their higher dollar cars, and, if I am not mistaken the folks of that country expect a good deal more than 60,000 miles for the original owner. I understood that it was a combination of factors (an algorithm) of extended idling, inlet air temps, cold starts, etc, used in conjunction with certified motor oils and filters to extend cycle to a "natural" limit for each vehicle. That is, as each driver subjects the vehicle to different conditions, the oil ought to be changed in accordance with factors the OEM's find to be important for engine longevity. I can see, but don't entirely buy, the concept of least maintenance as mentioned above. Proper maintenance seems more appropriate. Thus the desire for an extended discussion if anyone knows of an article or site. Certainly it is "easy" for a computer to calculate an end to an oil cycle, and it is on what particular factors to determine that is my interest. Time and/or miles is too rough an estimation what with all the information available on todays car computers/logs.
Originally posted by TheTanSedan: Does anyone know more about what factors the OEM's are using to signal the driver? Any links to appropriate articles?
I can give you the wording from an '01 Buick manual & a link to a Saab TSB. The Buick's manual says, "Your vehicle has a computer that lets you know when to change your engine oil. This is not based on mileage, but on engine revolutions and engine operating temperature. ... The system won't detect dust in the oil." The engine is the 3800 V6 & the recommended oil is 10W-30 conventional. (Curiously, no API rating is specified; only that an oil with the "API Certified For Gasoline Engines starburst symbol" is used.) I feel it's a little premature to discount the use of these monitors entirely. I wouldn't take a dino that far "on faith," but I would test the veracity of it by analyzing the oil every 3k miles rather than just changing it out. (It seems to me that it's no more trouble or expense to pull a sample rather than doing an entire oil & filter change.) Then, after maybe two or three oil monitor cycles you'd have maybe 6 or 8 analyses & you could decided how to respond. Maybe you use dino only to 5k miles, or maybe you switch to a semi or full syn to feel comfortable relying on the monitor entirely. (But, obviously, we need someone with the monitor willing to do this...) While you're at the linked site for the oil monitor TSB (it's listed under the "2003 Oil Quality Requirements" heading), also take a look at the "Thinking about Long Oil Change Intervals?" heading. I asked them about the engine in question, but all they would say is, "Lease car. No history." My guess is 40k miles on factory-fill, with whatever was handy for top-ups. Oil Req & Long Interval [ January 30, 2003, 11:09 AM: Message edited by: Greg Netzner ]
Thanks for the reply and the link. I wouldn't discount a "change oil" light as I think it is a great idea, once a few years and whatever changes are necessary to make it the useful vehicle owner tool it ought to be.
My boss has a BMW 3-series. The computer keeps track of your driving events, and calculates when it's time to change the oil. The light didn't come on until around 14,000 miles! Probably about 9 months of driving for him.
Doesn't that BMW have a large oil sump?--more oil results in one way to extend oil drain intervals. The other way is to use better oils. Ken [ February 03, 2003, 12:23 AM: Message edited by: Ken2 ]
Not open for further replies.