First oil change in new Camaro

I have a 2012 Camaro SS and am not sure when to go for the first oil change. I have always heard it’s good to perform the first oil change around 1,000 miles to help get rid of any metal shavings, etc. from the new engine break-in. However, my Camaro SS came with synthetic oil from the factory, and has an oil life monitor. The monitor states I have about 75% oil life left at 950 miles. It took me 4 months to get that far, so I don’t put a lot of miles on the car.

Should I be “old school” and change the oil early (1,000 - 1,500 miles) or wait until the oil life monitor tells me I’m down to 20% or so left? Also, should the same be applied to changing the rear differential (limited slip) fluid?

Thanks for the help.

You should read the Owner’s manual and follow its instructions.
Factory engine building has come a long way in the last 50 years.
I would be conservative and always change the oil when the monitor says 50%.


Metal shavings?? That’s almost funny…

I thnk metal shavings is a bit of a stretch although there could well be microscopic debris from the engine break-in.
My feeling is that a new engine should have the oil changed around the 1000 miles mark.

You should not get in the habit of relying on that oil minder gadget. Many people who have adhered to that thing have ended up with a trashed engine for any one of a number of reasons.

You will be ok doing following the owner’s manual. Modern machining tools and procedures make a brand new engine one that is nearly broken in before you drive it for the first time. You can change the oil and filter anyhow if it makes you feel better about your car as the oil in your new GM engine is the same as the specified replacement oil. At the very least, change only the filter to do something rather than nothing.

Later, you can rely on the oil change monitor. It was designed by engineers with a stake in your long term satisfaction with their brand.

When almost all cars had rear drive, changing the differential lube was not normally done and rear drive life was not compromised as a result. Again, refer to the owner’s manual for advice from the people who designed your car.

…another case of oil change fetish ? Please do as mleich suggests. If IT says 1000 miles, fine.

There’s 2 problem with engineers. One is that they do not always know what’s best and the line mechanics are the ones stuck wrestling with their poor ideas or recommendations. The engineers do not have to face an irate customer nor do they have to work for little or nothing straightening out an engineering faux pas.
Two is that an engineer knows better but allows themself to be constantly overridden by a bean counter who has a contrary opinion and which is detrimental to how the car operates. An engineer who allows themself to be constantly second-guessed by management and has valid mechanical principles undermined should seek other employment.

The following is just one of many who heeded that GM maintenance minder.

Wasn’t that the lady that had engine problems cause by low oil, not the minder saying incorrect oci?

Oil minder system do not remove the need to check the dip stick, which was her problem.

“Two is that an engineer knows better but allows themself to be constantly overridden…”

Managers make decisions, not engineers. Somewhere there is an accounting forum where they say that engineers override accountant’s recommendations. They aren’t correct, either.

Which brings up item 1. If managers make decisions, not engineers, how can you blame engineers for all the technical issues a mechanic has to deal with? An issue might deal with an engineer’s recommendation, and it might not. All you know is that it came from the factory.

My point is that mechanics face WTH were they thinking moments all of the time and someone further up the chain than the mechanic is responsible for those moments, be it the engineer, manager, or more than likely; both.
If an engineer is constantly being overridden as to the proper way of manufacturing something then that engineer should find another job at a company where they want to do things right.

That lady with the Traverse suffered a combination problem; low oil and sludge, with the latter leading to the former. She should have raised the hood, true enough, but if the engine wasn’t sludged to oblivion then oil consumption wouldn’t have been an issue at that point.

Note that GM issued a service bulletin about a year ago (10287A) about reprogramming on a number of vehicles so an earlier oil change will be called for; and based on a number of premature timing chain complaints. Most timing chain and/or tensioner problems are caused by irregular/extended oil changes and the only thing that reprogramming will accomplish is abate the problem a little because odds are the new, revised schedule is still going to be too far in between.

And speaking of engineering faults and ethics, do a net search about the Kansas City Hyatt walkway collapse some years ago that left over a 100 dead. That incident involved far more than one lone engineer cutting corners.

If you aren’t going to drive it more than that, go at least six months between oil changes or longer.

The manual would state a time frame too. My Honda was at 60% oil life, but one year old and the manual stated that change at least once a year. So I went to the dealership and changed it last week. Granted the counter person told me “you know you are NOT due for an oil change?”, so never rely on other people to read the manual and interpret it for you.

Personally I’d let it go at least 3K miles on the first oil change as long as it was within the recommended time frame of the manufacturer. If you don’t go by the maintenance schedule and you have problems later it could void your warranty. I’ve never drained the factory oil before around 3K miles and sometimes closer to 4K. My '88 Escort has over 1/2 million miles on the original engine with out being rebuilt. I didn’t buy the car new, but my brother did and the factory oil was drained at around 3K miles. My '97 Escort has 32K miles on it and has had 10 oil changes since new, every 3K miles regardless of elapsed time. It’s 15 years old so it’s averaging an oil change every 1.5 years.

“Note that GM issued a service bulletin about a year ago…”

I wanted to see if this was related to my Silhouette or Cobalt, and did a web search for the TSB. I found it at the US DOT. here’s the URL:

You can look up any TSB for free. You guys may have known about it, and I’m glad I found it. BTW, not my cars, fortunately.

Speaking of the factory technical people allegedly knowing best, consider the response a Subaru owner got a few years ago after contacting corporate about how often to change their automatic transmission fluid.

“After consulting with out technical department they advised that you should change your transmission fluid when it’s dark and smells really bad…”.

That’s right up there with the service writer who told my son a few years back when he asked about his balky transmisson shifting after having a fluid change performed that "it takes a few hundred miles for the new transmission fluid to break in… "

The Brothers Grimm couldn’t even make stuff up like this. :wink: