Several years ago my 2009 Traverse was recalled due to a supposedly inaccurate Oil Life System gauge that was allowing the vehicle to go too long between oil changes. So I had the fix completed on the vehicle. Ever since then, the gauge will go from 100% down to 0% in almost exactly 3000 miles. Seems as if the OLS is now tied to the odometer and is not accurately measuring when I truly need an oil change. Do you think I can safely go 5000 miles as I’ve been told is the norm for most vehicles these days, or should I stick to the 3000 my OLS is telling me to go by? Any other thoughts? Thanks for any feedback you can offer!
I owned a 2006 Chevrolet Uplander with the Oil Life System monitor. the distance between oil changes would vary under different driving conditions. I don’t know what your driving conditions are. If you do short distance drives that do not allow the engine to warm up fully, the 3000 miles may be accurate. If you are on the highway a couple hours each day, then you can safely go the 5000 or even more miles. My suggestion is to evaluate your driving conditions and ignore the OLS monitor.
Mine is at 50% with about 2500 miles so just depends on your driving. Every start up knocks some time off and every mile below operating temp. Plus miles and time. I suspect they discovered engine sludging problems and recalibrated the monitor for more frequent changes. You’d best follow the new schedule but I hardly ever let mine get much below 50% and never zero in my life.
I believe this reprogramming was due to cam chain failures. I’d follow the 3000 mile interval if I planned on keeping the car.
Here’s more info on the timing chain issue that caused the OLM reprogram:
Hopefully you won’t have the problem, but if the engine starts running poorly and the check engine light comes on, it may be due to a stretched timing chain. Fortunately the repair is covered by warranty up to 100k miles.
Well at any rate, I rest my case about not totally relying on the OLM and being more conservative on oil changes.
If you do a lot of short trips a 3k interval would not be unreasonable.
This link is about a Traverse Owner who followed the original OLM recommendation (~9k) and ended up with a sludge-related engine failure. I don’t remember the entire thread but I believe GM came through for her. Anyway it a good case study.
Excerpt from the link jesmed1 supplied:
Usually we see this only on 2007-2009 model year vehicles. After 2010, General Motors has seemed to correct the problem with updated chains and ECM calibrations.
This was first thought to be caused by lack of oil changes, and there was a recall to update the vehicle’s computer to shorten the oil life monitor. This was supposed to get customers in sooner to change their oil, thus hopefully eliminating sludge build up, heat, and excess wear and tear that leads to the chains actually stretching some.
On the older models, this didn’t seem to matter. They would still be coming in with the check engine light on and usually running rough. There would most times be trouble codes for cam sensor/actuator correlation, usually on bank 1. Something like a p0017 and a P0008 would definitely mean the engine has stretched chains.
Thanks to all who left comments! It was all very helpful.