GM OLM dead wrong

Joined
Jan 18, 2009
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oklahoma
g/f 3.6L VVT Pontiac G6 GXP...OLM says 37% left. 6900 on this OC so far using Mobil 5000 dino 5w30. I just cheecked the oil tonight and it was well over a QT low! All I had on hand was Trop-artic 10w30 blend so that is what I topped it off with. But had it not been for me she would have pushed it on to 9k (or whatever the OLM said was okay), and most likely ran it way low on oil. How can they have such an animal for soccer moms who do not check their oil between oil changes??? I was planning to switch it to PP as soon as it got down to less than 10% but Even with full-synthetic, if it is going to use that much oil between changes, then I might as well do dino every time the OLM is 50% and then again aat 0% and so on. This is the exact reason I have always done 3k changes...because I do not think on a car with only 21k on the ticker should need to add over a qt of oil when it is not even close to being time to change the oil according to the stupid OLM. I now officially do not trust them. I do 4-5k on my DD now but that is because it doesn't use oil until then. But I am an oil man and I check the oil. She lives 40 miles away and part of the reson she got this '08 model car last year was because she did not want the hassel & maintenance of her aging Camry that (oddly enough) was using too much oil in between changes and that was on a 4-5k interval tops. I know many will say top-off is natural and the OLM is still good, but it seems due to oil usage, I will be doing it at 50% w/ dino instead of full-syn every 8-9k like the OLM is on track to be recommending based on her HWY easy driving.
 
Joined
Sep 28, 2008
Messages
81
Location
Texas
OLM doesn't measure oil level. It does not know if your engine is burning oil and certainly many engines can go the entire length of the OLM's OCI and not burn a drop. The OLM is strictly a computer algorithm that gets some input from your driving habits. If you had put olive oil into the crank case, it wouldn't know any differently. Some engines burn oil so badly that you're in danger even if you have a strict 3000 mile OCI. What then? Your owner's manual most certainly asks you to check your dipstick level every time you go get fuel.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
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NH
all the OLM goes by is cold weather and revolutions...you or your wife have to keep oil at proper level...i just bought a G5 and i know every car company stresses it is up to customer to check oil..my BIL changes his oil once a year and last 3 times i checked his dipstick there was nothing on it cept some crud at tip...we added 2.5 qts each time
 
Joined
Apr 5, 2004
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Pensacola & Vero Beach FL
A couple of counter-points. First, the OLM is not an oil level monitor. Nor does it perform any sort of direct measurement of oil quality. It is strictly a programmed-in function of the on-board computer. From the discussions and information we've seen here over the last several years, it appears to do a very good, and conservative, job of estimating when you should change oil. Second, it simply does not follow that the engine being down a quart means that the oil was exhausted before the OLM was going to call for a change. Now, you weren't assuming you didn't need to check oil just because she had the OLM, were you? Third, doing 3k changes is going to be of no help at all if your car is leaking, burning, or otherwise making oil go away. If anything, it might cover over a symptom you really ought to be looking at more carefully. Fourth, the OLM is calibrated to the lowest common denominator oil -- standard dino -- not synthetic. If the car is losing excessive oil, you need to look at why it is, and not point fingers at the OLM readings. The oil you're using might be involved, or maybe it's not. If you're losing a lot, then sure, use dino until you get it sorted out. But that's got nothing to do with the OLM. Undue consumption is an indicator that you need to look at your engine, not spontaneously disregard the OLM. Ummmm, perhaps instead of distrusting the OLM, you should be questioning your own oil checking practices. . .
 
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
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Cleveland, OH
 Originally Posted By: Mau
take it in for warranty repair, a vehicle with 22k should not be burning/loosing oil....
I totaly agree \:\! Not that I am any authority on oil or oil consumption. But an 08 with 21k to be burning, or leaking that much oil sounds like a problem! When Im bent over shelling out big bucks on new vehicles I demand that it be in perfect running order. Get all the kinks worked out before that warranty is up!...Or take the easy way out, trade it in on a different car
 
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May 29, 2009
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Afghanistan
dealer will not repair that small amount of oil loss - they will claim that amount is within normal limits: that is the reason owners manual tells you to check oil, because it does drop between oil changes - that is the whole reason for having a dipstick. show g/f how to check oil. all these self serve gas stations!!! tell her to go to "we serve" every now and then and get the attendant to check the oil if she doesn't want to get her own hands dirty opening the hood.
 
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Joined
May 1, 2009
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Location
USA
Those Oil Monitors in GM's just plain suck. My dad has a Chevy Colorado. I changed the oil in his truck last weekend because his oil was toast and smelled burnt. He had gone well over 7000 miles and the OLM still said over 30% left. This is way too many miles on conventional oil. I couldn't believe my dad was going that long between oil changes. He's a retired mechanic after all. He knew it had been over 7000 miles, but the Chevy dealer told him to follow the OLM on this model. So, against better judgment, he listened. Anyways, I put in PP just in case he went that long again. At least he would have a better oil in there that can handle the long interval. I also put a sticker in his window and told him to call me at 5000 miles and I would change it regardless of what the OLM said. I ignore the OLM in my wifes Malibu too. They are completely worthless in the GM's.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2005
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mcminnville tn
If I'm not mistaken most manufactures consider 1 Qt per 1000 inside normal. Sounds like alot to me but I've had a few freinds that took an "oil burner" back in and was told by the dealer that 1 Qt in 1500 or 2000 was OK. I personally have no problem with an engine burining 1 Qt during 5000+ miles of driving.
 
Joined
May 31, 2009
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Cleveland, OH
 Originally Posted By: Captain_Klink
dealer will not repair that small amount of oil loss - they will claim that amount is within normal limits: that is the reason owners manual tells you to check oil, because it does drop between oil changes - that is the whole reason for having a dipstick. show g/f how to check oil. all these self serve gas stations!!! tell her to go to "we serve" every now and then and get the attendant to check the oil if she doesn't want to get her own hands dirty opening the hood.
Yeah service writers can and will be tough, but over a quart,considering the cars details seems high. Maybe a leek? Any new car I bought never consumed that much oil. 97 honda del sol/99 saturn sc2/02 toy.tacoma/04 ford ranger/07 saturn vue, none of them....Id atleast take it in to see if its leeking, its under warranty....It sounds like he isnt sure if its burning or leaking....
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2006
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California
Consuming a quart of oil in 6900 miles does not mean anything is necessarily wrong. Obviously the OLM doesn't monitor oil levels!
 

Mau

Joined
Mar 11, 2007
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Thornhill, Ontario, Canada
 Originally Posted By: Captain_Klink
dealer will not repair that small amount of oil loss - they will claim that amount is within normal limits: that is the reason owners manual tells you to check oil, because it does drop between oil changes - that is the whole reason for having a dipstick. show g/f how to check oil. all these self serve gas stations!!! tell her to go to "we serve" every now and then and get the attendant to check the oil if she doesn't want to get her own hands dirty opening the hood.
I had a small oil leak somewhere (turned out to be a crank seal or whatever), took it in for warranty work, dealer put in some dye (glow in the dark?) to see where it was leaking from, there was no oil on the ground, I just told them oil level drops (the motor in my car is known to burn oil but I wanted to see if I could get a new engine before warranty expired...ha ha) Seals were replaced when I did the tbelt change. I agree there is some room for "oil loss" but 1 quart is too much for a new motor....maybe after 200+k on it ya...
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
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SE Pa
 Originally Posted By: FastSUV
How can they have such an animal for soccer moms who do not check their oil between oil changes???
Because some people don't know the meaning of PM is GM's fault? Now I've heard it all!! YIKES!!!
 
Joined
Oct 23, 2008
Messages
385
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Montreal, canada
So the tread title is GM OLM is dead wrong... can some prove it please? I'm still waiting to see that! What is wrong with some oil loss over time or mileage? Letting the oil below the add/min mark on the dipstick is not the fault of any car builders, but the owner of the car. In the owner manual, its clearly written that at every fill-up, you should check the oil level. I'm just asking.. if people blame so much car engineers, why dont you try to make a car yourself if you think you have the solution? Its just a question...
 
Joined
May 1, 2006
Messages
421
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Have car checked for a leak at the dealer, they will fix a leak, but not a burning condition until it uses more than 1qt in 1000 miles. Also, now that you know you have a consumption issue on this car, check the oil often. Regarding the OLM, I've never used mine yet, I change my oil every 5000Kms or 3 months(which is usually the case on my vehicles) religiously. I find that GM has set the mileage high on these monitors in my opinion, GM likes to extand service intervals on most things to make the cost of ownership look lower. With todays lease it and forget it consumers, most big issues caused by long service intevals only show up with those of us who BUY a vehicle and intend to keep for many years, if we follow their service intervals. The older generations long ago learned the value of frequent maintenance on their long term pocket book health.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2004
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1/2 hr N.E. of Detroit
 Originally Posted By: 360kid
Those Oil Monitors in GM's just plain suck. My dad has a Chevy Colorado. I changed the oil in his truck last weekend because his oil was toast and smelled burnt. He had gone well over 7000 miles and the OLM still said over 30% left. This is way too many miles on conventional oil. I couldn't believe my dad was going that long between oil changes. He's a retired mechanic after all. He knew it had been over 7000 miles, but the Chevy dealer told him to follow the OLM on this model. So, against better judgment, he listened. Anyways, I put in PP just in case he went that long again. At least he would have a better oil in there that can handle the long interval. I also put a sticker in his window and told him to call me at 5000 miles and I would change it regardless of what the OLM said. I ignore the OLM in my wifes Malibu too. They are completely worthless in the GM's.
I agree! My Colorado OLM goes on every 12-13K... regardless of my OCIs. If you are an owner -- not a leaser, disregard the OLM and change more frequently. 5K conventional -- 8K synthetic assures a long-long engine life -- provided no gas/coolant contamination is occurring.
 
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