New 06 Pontiac Vibe oil change plan dilemma

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9,365
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USA
I'm picking up a new 06 Pontiac vibe 1.8L base model in the next day or two. The owners manual says "change engine oil every 5000 miles or 3 months" Thanks toyota! There is no GM OLM for this car. This car will put maybe 1500 miles (all highway) in 3 months since this will be our third vehicle for two of us. I never used syn before and I want to for my first ever new car. However, I do not want to void the engine warranty of 3 yr/36k miles. This is my plan: Should I A)change the break in wear after 500 miles, put trop artic dino from my stash, run it another 3000 miles to 3500 miles, change with syn, run a UOA on the 3000 batch of dino to make sure everything is fine with the new engine. Then change yearly with syn, but buy dino oil/filter every 3 months as receipt/proof. I will do yearly UOA with syn. I really don't want to dump syn at 3 months/1500 miles or dino oil for that matter! I've been doing 6 month changes with dino for at least 5 years. You maybe asking yourself "why am I buying a new car since I don't put that many miles and we each have our own car" well, my wife has been driving the same car for ten years and wants a new one. I will get pennies for her 96 sunfire on trade in. Also, my 7 year GM car earnings ($2214) are up to be used and I didn't think my 14 year old Mitsubishi mirage would still be running! It's a great problem to have, eh? [Smile]
 
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1,043
Location
Central IN
Here's my personal opinion (nothing scientific)... Since you will not be putting many miles on this vehicle, I would follow the manufacturers rules and change the oil every 5K or 3 months, whichever comes first. In your case, it sounds like you'll be changing it ever few months with about 1500 miles between OCI's. With this being the case, I'd just use a good dino. Be sure to keep all receipts and records of any maintenance you do. Oh yeah, one more thing...I'd change the factory oil out somewhere between 500-1000 miles. This area highly debated so do what you want but that's my .02. Good luck w/it!
 
Messages
849
Location
WA
I've put about 5K miles on my Vibe during the six+ months I've owned it and oil changes have been a pretty similar dilemma for me. Though the mileage seems low, I've already changed the oil three times, the first being to synthetic at 800 miles, followed by a couple of three-month OCI's per the warranty requirement. Obviously dumping synthetic at such short intervals is a waste, but the pain of it is tempered by the fact that I haven't paid more than $2.50/quart for synthetic (I stocked up during the PB's B3G3 M1 sale and AA's $15 rebate on Pennzoil Platinum). There is no way I'd run fully priced synthetics, but at a discounted $13 per three month oil change (4 quarts + a $3 Toyota OEM filter), I can live with it. However, I don't think I'd fake the receipt thing. Not that you're going to have any oil-related problems with this engine during the 36K warranty period, but it's good to remember that GM will be servicing it if you do. Since there isn't a lot of precedent for failures with this engine, and coupled with the fact that GM isn't as technically savvy at servicing them, I'd surmise that any castrophic engine issue would be thoroughly shook out. In other words, an oil analysis might not jive with what the receipt says (though I doubt it since I've never read of that happening here). If saving money is an issue, I'd go with your Trop Arctic stash (or maybe even something cheaper, like Havoline) and stick with the warranty requirement. Then, when the silly-short warranty period runs out, do your switch to synthetic. The only reason I'm not doing that (I have a whole lot of Kendall GT-1 Blend) is that I want to see how this engine looks at five years on only synthetics; I'll be going to extended-drains when I'm out of warranty. BTW: There is some good info over at www.genvibe.com, if you can wade through the boy-racer/tuner stuff.
 
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4,118
Location
Olathe, KS
That's a ridiculous OCI spec. For normal use, why would you ever put "time" as a factor in OCIs? Since I purchased my second vehicle, my other one doesn't even see 1K miles in 3 months. Would I change the oil every 3 months? NO.
 
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3,094
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Metro Detroit
IMHO, people worry way too much about break-in metal in the oil. Machining techniques are improved to the point where that shouldn't be an issue. If it was, you'd be given special instructions in the manual. I recently bought a Buick Terraza. I know it's not the same engine, but I ran it for 3k miles on the factory fill, then 3k on dino, then switched to M1, with which I'll be using the OLM. It's got about 9k on it and I have yet to see any noticable oil consumption. I'm talking none, zip, zero, zilch, nada. Not with the factory fill, not with the Havoline I replaced it with, not with the M1. If I were you, I'd do as mshu7 suggested and just follow the factory instructions and don't worry about it.
 
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4,478
Location
Southern California
If modern machining methods preclude break-in metals, how come initial UOAs inevitably show very elevated wear metals? I'm no genius, but something doesn't seem to jibe here.
 
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1,043
Location
Central IN
quote:
Originally posted by kkreit01: That's a ridiculous OCI spec. For normal use, why would you ever put "time" as a factor in OCIs?
It's called a WARRANTY! I would never follow a time specification personally. But, while the car is under warranty it's best to follow the manufacturers requirements.
 

Cutehumor

Thread starter
Messages
9,365
Location
USA
quote:
Originally posted by kkreit01: That's a ridiculous OCI spec. For normal use, why would you ever put "time" as a factor in OCIs? Since I purchased my second vehicle, my other one doesn't even see 1K miles in 3 months. Would I change the oil every 3 months? NO.
I think the 3 month OCI is the result of Toyota's sludge engines. I don't believe the 1.8L in the corolla was ever a sludge proned engine. I thought it was the camry's engine that was sludge proned. Toyota really cut down the OCI/Time interval on their engines. Are all Toyota engines 5k miles/3 month OCI? The only thing I don't like about the 3 month OCI, I'm forced to use Dino. I have no problems with dino but as mentioned in my previous post, I wanted to use syn for an entire vehicle's life. If I do use dino, I'm looking at havoline. Syn-Mobil 1
 

vad

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1,856
Location
So Cal
quote:
That's a ridiculous OCI spec.
Toyota sludge monsters fallout, all across the board, even though the Vibe's engine has nothing to do with those. [Frown]
 
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4,844
Location
Saskatchewan
If there's no other maintenance schedule offered, I'd change the oil every 3 months to preserve my warranty. If it doesn't get driven often, this would likely involve buying oil and filters and stashing them so that I have receipts for the 3 month OCI's that I didn't actually do. Is the powertrain warranty really only 3yr/36K miles on those cars?
 
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395
Location
Texas Hill Country
I'd go dino for one year...then a synthetic like PP/Mobil1 for 2 consecutive OCI's...then repeat... 4 dino's/2 Synthetics/4 Dino's...catch the Synthetics on sale during your 12 month dino run....this will keep your engine cleaned up nicely....you may even go 3/2 versus 4/2 if you catch some PP onsale....NAPA down here has it right now for $4.20 per quart w/ $15 dollar mail in rebate for a 6pack of PP....just alternate... By the way...that is a cool little car...I'm sponsered by Pontiac and the Regioanl Manager had one the other day...we went to lunch...I drove it...peppy lil cuss for sure....nice car...
 
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2,324
Location
Baltimore, MD
i was thinking the same thing as rpn. if you really want to go a full year on synthetic oil, then buy synthetic oil and a filter every 3 months and then keep it on hand for when you do need it. when your warrenty is up you will have a good amount of oil sitting around waiting to be used. as long as the car gets driven a decent distance each trip it shouldnt be an issue leaving it in for a year.
 
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2,533
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I'd go with the 3 month OCI until the warranty is up using whatever dino oil is on sale. After that I'd run syn on a 5000 mile OCI. Sludge monsters aside, if the oil is changed as per the book, how often is there ever an oil-related failure on warranty anyway? Somewhere between very rare and never.
 
The OCI on Toyota's engines is due to the sludge issue. [Mad] The one thing to remember is that Toyota's lean buen designs run on the hot side. Actually in 05 they upped the oil capacity spec from 3.7L to 4.2L A 1/2L increase. Not sure why, but I'm sure it's some sort of built in safety measure. If you run a synthetic, you could probably run it on the low side (3.7L) and be fine. The extra oil capacity was likely to keep oil temperatures down to prevent sludge build up. It's funny you know, my 05 Corolla manual states 3.7L but the dipstick only reads full at 4.3L Go figure. I think since I'm running redline now, I'll just use 4qts and leave it at that. The Redline synth can take a lot more heat.
 

Bill in Utah

Staff member
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12,849
Location
UT
quote:
Are all Toyota engines 5k miles/3 month OCI?
All Toyota engines are 5k miles or 6 months whichever comes first. As far as the orginal question. FOLLOW the manual (Check it again, I wonder the 3mo) and just use dino and enjoy the new car. It will last as long as you want it too, you'll follow the manual which means no problems with the Warrenty if you need to use it. Your engine will be well protected and save the $$ for other things.
quote:
Actually in 05 they upped the oil capacity spec from 3.7L to 4.2L A 1/2L increase
Not on my 2005. They did increase the oil capacity for 2006 by using a shorter dip stick. [Confused]
quote:
Is the powertrain warranty really only 3yr/36K miles on those cars?
It is on the GM models. Toyota is 5yr 60k miles. Take care, Bill [Coffee]
 
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80
Location
Tx
I changed the factory oil in my 06 vibe at 1500 miles. UOA showed very high ppm Fe, Cr, Cu. I plan on changing again at 5000. I plan to use TropArtic 5-30 semisyn $1.48 at Wallys and change at 5000 if UOAs are good. After the warranty I will go for extended OCIs as determined by UOA. Hope for 10,000 + mi OCI using GC or M-1.
 
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2,230
Location
Southern Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Cutehumor: I'm picking up a new 06 Pontiac vibe 1.8L base model in the next day or two. The owners manual says "change engine oil every 5000 miles or 3 months" This car will put maybe 1500 miles (all highway) in 3 months since this will be our third vehicle for two of us.
Not exactly true Cutehoumor. I have an 05 base Vibe. My manual and I am sure yours describes a "long trip/highway maintenance schedule". Under this designation you can change the oil and filter every 7,500 miles (12 500 km) or 12 months— whichever occurs first.
 
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849
Location
WA
I love this! We took a fairly simple request for advice and we created confusion about the warranty OCI, questioned how much oil capacity is in the sump, brought up the mystery about the new dip stick, blasted the warranty period, started the "wear metals/machine tolerances" discussion again and touched on Toyota sludge. This place is great. [Frown]
 
Messages
2,230
Location
Southern Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Mustang_Cougar: We took a fairly simple request for advice and we created confusion about the warranty OCI,... [Frown]
What did I do ? [Confused] The initial inquiry was based on the bald statement appearing in the manual: "change engine oil every 5000 miles or 3 months". I provided additional information, also appearing in the manual, that extensive hwy driving allows for a much longer OCI. I would think such information would lead to a better decision by "Cutehumor". [ March 22, 2006, 08:35 PM: Message edited by: Boxgrover ]
 
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