My new 2009 Chevrolet has a meter built in the vehicle which gives remaining oil life. However, two local Chevy dealers have said I should not follow this. Are they correct or are they just trying to get my service earlier than neceaasry?
The owner’s manual says to observe the oil meter. That’s better than not changing oil at all, which a lot of owners do. The meter is not a direct oil condition meter, but a computer simulation as to what the engine does. It can’t distinguish between good and bad oil, carrying a heavy load through the Mojave desert or just cruising on Interstate 94 .
The oil meter will allow your car to reach the end of the engine warranty period without failing. That is about 1/3 its potential life.
So, if you want to maiximize engine life I would change oil twice as often as the monitor says, i.e. at 50% or so. The dealer is more right than wrong; how often did they tell you to change the oil?
The dealer is not necessarily trying to increase their business; they are leery, like the rest of us, of a computer simulation of engine operation. People who own large industrial engines would not dream of using such a gadget; they actually chemically anlyze the oil (costs $35 per sample) and then decide based on the wear chemicals when the oil should be changed.
I don’t like the meters at all. I would set a maintenance interval for the vehicle based on the way you drive. Stick to that and you can’t go wrong. It may cost you a little more money in the long run but 20 years from now a kid and his father will be in your driveway looking at your beautifully maintained Chevy.
I’m with Doc on this one. The purpose of oil change intervals is to extend the life of the engine, not to extend the life of the oil. The “oil meter” gets people to change oil that might not otherwise do so, but I’d consider its intervals absolute maximums. Shorter is better. I’d personally not exceed 5,000 miles between changes.
Thanks for your comments, I had a 1994 Suburban in which I changed the oil at 5000 and 221,000 later it still ran excellently and did not burm oil. I’m inclined to use that program again.
The GM oil change meter is very good at including the various aspects of driving, and their effect on oil life. Of COURSE your dealers don’t like it, it limits their $$$! I would follow it.
+100! The GM OLM is a MASTERPIECE. Accounts for idling, towing, short trips, long commutes, warm ups, …any and every driving condition except something like dusty conditions. It’s beautiful. No other system is as accurate while being so reliable. It’s software. Dr. Shirley Schwartz hit it out of the park with this thing.
The ONLY problem one could have is if you never check your oil, but you can have that negligence at any interval. 3k/3m is safer for those who don’t know how to check their oil. LOL!!
Most old timers, including me, get a little nervous with this things. However all the real world results and test I have seen support the auto makers and this gadget.
Yea, I would likely still do it the old way if I had one of those cars, but I really can’t justify it. You and your car should be just fine if you follow the information in the book.
Frankly many of us come from a time when 3,000 mile oil changes were considered the same way. Those cars did just fine and I suspect the say would be true for yours. The dealer does want to see you and your car often, he makes a few dollars for over priced maintenance and likes to do maintenance that the manufacturer did not recommend, although it might sound like the manufacturer requires it the way they say it.
Sounds like a good approach; I wish you many years of happy and trouble-free motoring!
Follow the meter and when it gets to 20% life remaining, change it. California did a test with their motor pool fleet and found that the oil meter works well. The Cali State Government even recommends using the oil meter on their web site. I’ve used it on my wife’s 2003 Silhouette, and at 90,000 miles it still does not use oil.