Manufacturer mandates oil changes every 3 months!!

gwm

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Just purchased a new 2009 Pontiac Vibe GT w/2.4L engine. Thinking of switching to synthetic oil. I look in the owners manual and the oil service schedule says,"change oil & filter every 5k mi.or THREE months, whichever comes first". Well, I only drive approx. 8k mi./year, so that means I'd have to change oil every 2k mi.! I can't afford to do that and use synthetic. I'm in the process of contacting the Pontiac Warranty division, but I'm having difficulties. So far, I've talked to: a CSR who doesn't even own a car; a CSR who just wants to repeat what's in the manual; a CSR who tells me to follow the "Oil Life Monitor"'s prompts(which Vibes do not have); and CSRs who can't find a supervisor free to talk to me. I'll call again tomorrow; but in the meantime, what do you think about this? Doesn't a 3mo./2k mi. interval seem a little ridiculous? Toyota, who makes the engine, allows 6mo. intervals! Should I just keep quiet and lie(saving all the oil & filter receipts I can, just in case)? Or should I keep pushing for justification, which probably won't satisfy me? Oh, and by the way, the car sat on the dealer's lot from Dec. to June. And I don't think that HE changed the oil in that 6mo. period, do you? I wasn't sure where to post this, but I would appreciate your feedback. Thanks, G.W.
 
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of course that is ridiculous. with your (light) driving, you could even use dino like YB. In my experience, the dealer will only ask for oil change receipts if they find a sludge problem - which, if they find it, the receipts are useless anyway.
 
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I would just buy oil and a filter at the required change interval and just not change it. Keep the receipts so it looks like you did, and just keep it in your stash for later.
 
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Sounds like the speed of gubmet motors. Definitely would not follow that path because at that point the maintenance cost of ownership would simply suck for your vibe! You should go for 2 oil changes/year with a syn blend and just buy oil on BOGO that you can use later. Chief Pontiac would have a tear in his eye if he knew how you were being treated...and what about the environment )-;!
 
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My 06 vibe said the same thing 3 month/5k interval. The sludge scare caused them to scale back. I stuck with 10k intervals with synthetic.
 
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FWIW: My friends have an '04 Matrix and they are running Amsoil SSO 0w30 and run it for the full 25K Miles (not KM) without issues and just change the filter and top-up in between. They have been doing this for the last 4 years. This car has over 160K KM (100K Miles) and runs great. I think with quality oil it's not a problem...
 
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Can you say marketing vs. data analysis? The 100k powertrain warranty was a marketing risk undertaken across the platforms to try to lure customers away from the perceived more reliable foreign auto makers. It was the last marketing ploy GM could pull out after years of 0%financing and deep rebates failed to reduce inventories, provide profit or protection of market share. Now the sludgers come with their own "special" maintenance schedule that affords a statistically lower risk of failing within the period, but burdens the consumer with a higher cost/mile of operation. You can bet that any engine failure would require the owner to produce the proof that said schedule was adhered to. It reminds me of the Valvoline marketing around the 300,000 mile engine protection. The average consumer hears the radio ad and thinks WOW the white bottle is the best. In reality Ashland will only guaranty the white bottle conventional to 150,000 miles with several stipulations/limitations in place. The 300,000 only comes via use of a full synthetic and changing it at the same interval as its dino counterpart (a heinous waste of resources)...obviously by the time a motor blows the consumer would have funded the cost of the program- if they actually kept the documentation LOL.
 

gwm

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StevieC, I may take your suggestion on the receipts. Now, I need some more recommendations. I purchased some synthetic that was on sale w/rebates. I also bought 2 changes worth of Castrol GTX. Here was my plan: at 1k change out fact. fill w/GTX & Puro. Classic at 3k change again w/GTX & Puro. Classic at 5k change to PP & Pure One and continue this every 5k What do you guys think of this? Would you do differently? Would you just go for the synthetic at the first change? Would you blend your own mix of dino/syn., since I have some of each? I plan to keep this car for a long time and I would like to start out on the best foundation possible. Thanks for your advice, G.W.
 
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While I'm a fan of PP, I think it's a waste to keep dumping it out at 5K. I would use Yellow Bottle until the warranty period is up and dump it at 5K as required. Then switch to PP after the warranty period and run to 8K...
 
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 Originally Posted By: blackdiamond
Does the warranty specify "new" oil or can you simply alternate used oil back and forth?
You sneaky bugger you!
 
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 Originally Posted By: pickled
It reminds me of the Valvoline marketing around the 300,000 mile engine protection. The average consumer hears the radio ad and thinks WOW the white bottle is the best. In reality Ashland will only guaranty the white bottle conventional to 150,000 miles with several stipulations/limitations in place. The 300,000 only comes via use of a full synthetic and changing it at the same interval as its dino counterpart (a heinous waste of resources)...obviously by the time a motor blows the consumer would have funded the cost of the program- if they actually kept the documentation LOL.
Since I'm nearing the end of my second day at home sick and I'm bored and I'm an engineer that enjoys numbers I had to check your statement out. Assuming a 5 quart sump and $8 a quart for synthetic the cost in oil would be between $3,000 and $4,000 depending on if you started at zero miles or 75,000 miles. If the OCI gets pushed to 7,500 miles the cost drops to $1,200 to $1,600. This means that the "warranty" costs $1,800 to $2,400 over the life of the motor. About the cost of an extended warranty.
 
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 Originally Posted By: StevieC
 Originally Posted By: blackdiamond
Does the warranty specify "new" oil or can you simply alternate used oil back and forth?
You sneaky bugger you!
I just wonder if the owners manual is the "letter of the law" or if there is more fine print somewhere.
 
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Yup, and it has the same stipulations offered by extended warranty providers which is a profitable business hence why they are sold- all due to our friend the law of large numbers. It's simply buying insurance. It's all lovely statistics and reliability functions coming to life in optimization models for profit. Nothing wrong with it, but the average Joe or Jane thinks wow that's cool! When you weed out the disqualifications there's some great coin to be had for the manufacturers. Especially if they are looking to be acquired or on the edge of bankruptcy where the end game, if they miscalculated, is no deal for the consumer anyhow. PS- hope you heal up soon so you don't have to be captivated by our thoughts LOL
 
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gwm

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blackdiamond, I like your thought process. It says,"Change engine oil and filter at 5k mi. or every 3mo., whichever occurs first". Hmmmm.....
 
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