To wait or not to wait for the oil life monitor ???

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593
Location
Quebec Canada
My 2002 Buick Century is running with Petro-Canada Supreme 5 w 30 (mineral)for the last 3 months and 11000 km or 6820 miles. This is about 75 miles of highway per days I can say 6250 miles of highway. The engine is running around 2000 rpm for about 40 mn ( 65 mph) I beleive this is an optimal condition for this oil and engine ,even in winter.The car was plugged in ( at home) during the very cold months.No excessive idling. Now I am waiting for the oil life monitor light to go off...but I also reach my limit. Should I wait a little longer to see ? or should I dump the stuff and get it analysed ? Note that the oil seems to be in pretty good shape, not too dark (can see the dipstick through it), not "tacky" no mayo in valve cover. I know I know its not the best analysis but I have seen worst oil condition. I also drive a Montana 2002 ( mainly town)and very short trip and I had the oil analysis done at the last oil change and everything was ok, the oil was almost all used when the monitors light goes off, seems reliable enough for me. Maybe GM used the right receipe ??? Input please Richard
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
I also think you could be pushing the dino oil too far, even though highway driving is generally easy on the oil. But winter driving is not, and I know it gets cold in Barrie, and even with a block heater the oil still stays thick. I think the better recipe is to keep using the oil life monitor, but use synthetics instead. You have talked about the Canadian Tire synthetic, why not give it a try? I often see it on sale for only $20 for a 4L jug, which is a lot cheaper than M1.
 
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339
Location
High Springs, Florida
On my GMC Duramax diesel, I was on the 3rd OCI before the Oil Life Monitor went off at 10,157 miles [Eek!] Oil was changed at 2600, and 9975 miles. AND to top it all off, Blackstone recommended that I not run such a long OCI the next time, as engine is still breaking in.
 
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2,534
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
[Cool] Get a UOA from what's in there to see. I'd also agree that if you want to go by the monitor then run full synthetic. My wife's GM has one, I change it every 5000 miles anyway with M1, once I purposely didn't reset the monitor and it lit up shortly afterward anyway. Both UOA's I've gotten on her car were very good and Blackstone said I could go longer if I wanted, but again that was on full synthetic.
 
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2,768
Location
Tn
Dump it. I would only use the monitor with a good synthetic. Good idea to do an ocassional uoa on that 3.1L!! 3.1's and 3.4's aren't good candidates for extended drains, imho, unless you sample without dumping.
 
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1,130
Location
California
With your engines I believe (based on owning one) that the potential failure of the intake manifold gasket which allows antifreeze to get into the engine oil is a much higher risk factor than is oil degradation from other means. Does your vehicle let you read out a percentage of oil life left indication from the monitor? If so, I would run it down to 10% theoretical life left then do an oil change and get an oil analysis. In theory GM's system is much better than any rule of thumb like XYZ miles or zzz months. Check it out for yourself. In any case, get at least two oil analysis runs per year on each vehicle to check for antifreeze contamination. The $20 per test is well worth it IMO! John
 

Patman

Staff member
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22,012
Location
Guelph, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Baveux: Patman, I will consider the synth.only when the analysis will prove to me that the dino can't cut the mustard.That have nothing to do with the price. just principle, I truely beleive that it is overkill to use synth if the dino can do the job. I don't know why, but I want to see the oil life monitor to be a good tool designed properly.After all GM designed that to be used with dino.
Yes, but with what kind of engine life in mind? Their recipe of following the monitor and using dino oil might only get you to 250,000km, while another choice might get you to 400,000km and beyond. I don't believe that carmakers always have our best interests at heart all the time. Sure they design it with a big of long life in mind, but they surely don't want you to be getting 1,000,000km out of an engine. As far as dino getting the job done, I know we've seen a lot of evidence on here that people can get long life with dino, but also keep in mind a lot of them live in moderate climates too. In a colder climate I do believe using dino oil isn't the best way to get long engine life. And I also believe 6000 mile intervals with dino isn't the best recipe for internal engine cleanliness, even if it's all highway driving.
 
Messages
2,768
Location
Tn
quote:
Originally posted by jthorner: With your engines I believe (based on owning one) that the potential failure of the intake manifold gasket which allows antifreeze to get into the engine oil is a much higher risk factor than is oil degradation from other means. Does your vehicle let you read out a percentage of oil life left indication from the monitor? If so, I would run it down to 10% theoretical life left then do an oil change and get an oil analysis. In theory GM's system is much better than any rule of thumb like XYZ miles or zzz months. Check it out for yourself. In any case, get at least two oil analysis runs per year on each vehicle to check for antifreeze contamination. The $20 per test is well worth it IMO! I concur. Synthetic or dino and oci is a moot point if you have this failure. It's amatter of time. Sorry to be negative, but keep a watch for anti-freeze contamination. John
 
Messages
43,676
Location
'Stralia
quote:
Originally posted by Baveux: SHANNOW, if the bulb burn you just replace it, or you take all the previous oil change , makes the average and go from there
Sorry, what I meant was that if you are waiting for a light to come on, and the globe is blown, it will never come on.
 
What's the purpose of the oil life monitor if it recommends changing the oil after 7500 miles (as it does in my saturn) if the factory recommends a maximum of 6,000 miles between changes. I can see it now when someone will have a warranty claim....I just followed the oil monitor! Too bad mam, 6K is max. No reason why they couldn't program a maximum of 6,000 miles into the monitor. [I dont know]
 

Baveux

Thread starter
Messages
593
Location
Quebec Canada
quote:
Originally posted by ryansride2017: What's the purpose of the oil life monitor if it recommends changing the oil after 7500 miles (as it does in my saturn) if the factory recommends a maximum of 6,000 miles between changes. I can see it now when someone will have a warranty claim....I just followed the oil monitor! Too bad mam, 6K is max. No reason why they couldn't program a maximum of 6,000 miles into the monitor. [I dont know]
That doesn't make sense at all, normaly they give you a period of time.like follow the OLM or change oil every 12 months. Shannow , the OLM light goes off everytimes you start the car, like any other dash board bulb, so you know when it's burnt.
 
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4,917
Location
Lakeville, MN
I also agree that a system like GM's is probably better than the generic x months or y 1000 mile change recommendations most brands currently use. After all, my 6,000 miles may be nothing at all like your 6,000 miles, etc... I once was a bit squeamish about running oil past 3,000 miles. Now I'm running a water thin 5w20 6000 miles at a time in a full size truck that sees trailer towing and fully loaded conditions regularly enough. Why, because UOA was able to show me that I was not pushing the limits or capabilities of the oil. I also live in a relativly cold climate, and I'm still able to do so. If you are worried, go ahead and dump it and get it analyzed. That alone would be interesting given the miles. Otherwise, plenty of us would like to see what it looks like when the monitor says its time! I'm curious about it as a family member has a Trailblazer with the monitor on it. His usually goes ovre 10,000 miles before triggering the oil change light. In the meantime, he changes it every 3000 miles... [I dont know]
 
Messages
998
Location
Lexington, SC
I, also, believe you are pushing the dino oil beyond it's useful limits. If you want to go with extended OCI use a good synthetic. I wouldn't wait for the Oil Change monitor to come on. I would like to know what paramiters GM uses to monitor the oil change interval. If you knew that, I think you would want to rely on a fixed no of miles/km not wait for the monitor to light. Any GM tech's out there who know the formula? BTW in my V8, I can tell the difference between 3k and 3.5k in the condition of the oil. Yes, I know each engine is different in the demands placed on the oil.
 

Baveux

Thread starter
Messages
593
Location
Quebec Canada
I will give it another week ( 650 km or 403 miles ).Just because I'm stubborn [Big Grin] I will get the analysis done for sure,Ive waited the last 3 months for that [Smile] Patman, I will consider the synth.only when the analysis will prove to me that the dino can't cut the mustard.That have nothing to do with the price. just principle, I truely beleive that it is overkill to use synth if the dino can do the job. I don't know why, but I want to see the oil life monitor to be a good tool designed properly.After all GM designed that to be used with dino. I doesn't like the one fits all recommendation like 5000km or 3 month. That just doesn't make sense to me.Way too many variable. I was driving a little GEO metro 3 cyl under the same condition for 5 years 145000 km (90000 miles)with the oil change done at 12500km as per owner manual recommendation.And not a single problem.No analysis done [I dont know] didn't know better at that time. One thing for sure, next Friday the oil is coming out, I will post the result shortly after. Next oil is going to be 10w30 Formula 1 synth.blend from Canadian Tire ( Shell) You see Patman, I'm going there slowly [Wink] SHANNOW, if the bulb burn you just replace it, or you take all the previous oil change , makes the average and go from there JIM SPAHR: oil life monitor takes the decision based on Engine temperature, RPM, and the amount time the engine is start up. Of course can't tell if too much solid in the oil. That is going to be an interesting analysis I think [Big Grin]
 

Baveux

Thread starter
Messages
593
Location
Quebec Canada
Ok after a good night of sleep and reading your answer again I decided to dump the oil [Smile] Anyway I will know before its too late ( hopefully) if GM screwed up or if my oil was still good to go. The oil sample is gone, wearcheck will get it Monday or Tuesday , so I should get the result by the end of next week .I'll have all the test done but TBN...because I came to the conclusion that Viscosity, Silicone, wear numbers , fuel,and Sulfation,nitration are enough to tell me if the oil was shot or not. Am I wrong again ? [Roll Eyes] Thanks for your input
 
Messages
43,676
Location
'Stralia
quote:
Originally posted by Baveux: That doesn't make sense at all, normaly they give you a period of time.like follow the OLM or change oil every 12 months. Shannow , the OLM light goes off everytimes you start the car, like any other dash board bulb, so you know when it's burnt.
Ahhh, cool. Down here, we just change the oil at 10,000km, 12,500km, 15,000km, or 20,000km, depending on what the car manufacturer tells us
 
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