Oil Change?



My Vue has 6,000 miles on it. Purchased it in July 2009. The change oil light has not come on. My ON Star diagnostics still tell me my oil has life left. Should I change my oil?


My vote is yes. Reset the OLM and move on. My daughter has the same issue with her Vue. The OLM came on once this winter. Previously she hit 5K miles before changing oil and no OLM. Being conservative in this area may pay off in the long run. Oil changes are cheap insurance.

Others will say to go on until the OLM comes on. That is probably a reasonable course of action, but I am personaly not comfortable with its use yet, because I still don’t trust the algorithms used to determine % oil life left.


We’ve had many lengthy threads on this and opinions vary, but I personally feel that oil should be changed every 5,000 miles. The goal, after all, is to extend the life of the engine, not to extend the life of the oil. Oil is cheap. Engines are expensive.

By the way, I hope you’ve been checking the oil level with the dipstick, adding if needed.


It’s very likely time to change the oil per your car’s warranty. As others will no doubt repeat, check your owner’s manual and do what it says.

Also, check your oil often. Don’t rely on your car to tell you when to do things.

P.S. Is there really a ‘change oil’ light on your car?


Most new cars have them. Usually it’s called a “service engine” light or something similar.


We bought a new Civic on January 5th this year. We’ll have about 3000 miles on it in March and I’ll change the oil and filter, despite the oil change diagnostics of the car computer. The dealer (salesman) told me that he usually doesn’t see the indicator recommend an oil change any earlier than 7500 miles on new Honda automobiles. I have an '89 Accord with 509,000 miles I bought new which has always had 3000 mile oil changes which tells me otherwise. Flame on! Rocketman


Those “change oil” or “service needed” lights might be a handy reminder for those who don’t pay the attention they should to their service intervals, but they should not be taken as the primary means by which to determine when an oil change is indicated. Nobody ever damaged an engine by changing the oil too often, but many an engine has been destroyed by not changing the oil often enough. Like the old mountain men who would take a bath every spring whether they needed it or not, waiting for the light to come on strikes me as being a little like waiting until I can smell myself before jumping in the shower.

With today’s engines and oils, changing the oil AND FILTER every 5,000 miles is likely a good conservative approach and much better than waiting for the computer to figure out when it’s time to turn on the light.


This is interesting that your change oil light hasn’t come on. I have a 2006 Uplander that shows the message “Change Oil Soon”. It is reset every time the oil is changed. This last time, I went only 2500 miles when the message appeared. Most of my driving has been stop and start around town driving the last couple of months. On the other hand, in the summer when I take long trips on the road I can go 5500-6000 miles before getting the message.

I think the best method is to use common sense. Severe service is around town short trip driving. Long road trips are easy on the oil. I use the message indicator and I watch the miles traveled. In your case with a new car that has gone only 6000 miles, I would change the oil.


I have an '89 Accord with 509,000 miles I bought new which has always had 3000 mile oil changes which tells me otherwise.

No flame …but all that this tells you is that you have a 500k Honda AND changed the oil @ 3k miles. There’s nothing to associate the two other than a belief. Faith, if you will. There are millions of units that haven’t made 500k due to automatics going out …timing belts …heck, just not being worth fixing up where the cost of the part/repair is $500 or more …and a whole newer car is cheaper.

I’d like to see the mass of cars junked due to true lubrication issues. Aside from design flaws or misspec’d fluids being used …or neglect, I just don’t see them out there.

There’s nothing to support the notion that the OLM shortens the life of your engine. There’s nothing to support that preempting the OLM lengthens the life of your engine. It can act as a mood enhancer. I can give you “peace of mind” …aka …a tranquilizer.


I would likely change it, but frankly I suspect I would be wasting my money and time. So far, it it has been long enough to show by now, there has not been any real increase in engine problems from those who are following the on-board system.


The GM OLM is a masterpiece. It requires ZERO maintenance itself. It’s all software/firmware. It accounts for everything EXCEPT PERHAPS dusty conditions. If you idle …it accounts for it. If you’re on the highway …it accounts for it. Short trip …towing …flogging it …you name it …no condition that is monitored (speed, coolant temp, rpm’s) escapes its view.

It’s way more articulate than just a blanket/static mile/time base. For the 7500 mile/6month recommendation there has to be a substantial fudge factor. I hope no one thinks that the 7500 mile number is some line of demarcation where some black abyss exists beyond it. It’s a “sensible average”. Most will fall in some +/- zone on either side of it within 6 months. Real simple. The server duty 3k/3m would be sensible for something like taxi or delivery service since the odometer won’t register the real engine usage. Fuel would be a more sensible measure in that instance. That is, a 24 mpg average vehicle that’s getting 13 mpg due to idling or serious city stop and go traffic is probably using the fuel that would result in a whole bunch more mileage on the odometer. That type of service isn’t at all severe for an engine. Trans? Sure, but a single warm up event where literally a whole tank of fuel can pass through the engine, not likely.

Now there are surely other forms of truly severe duty, but they would tend to fall into the time restraints more than the mileage. That is, 3 months would come before 3000 miles.

Ford comes very close with their idle hour meter on some models. There the odometer reads the mileage and the hour meter records the idle time. They assign something like 33 miles per hour of idling.

 Maybe . . . but I still think that a 3000 mile oil change won't hurt, costs almost nothing when you do it yourself, and it kind of gets me in the habit of looking things over pretty well every 3000 miles while the oil is draining . . . much more than someone who just waits for the car to tell you what to do.  I generally look at thing more frequently (tire pressure, oil level, stuff), but I figure that once I'm dirty (changing the oil) I might as well look things over.  But maybe . . . those folks who await the computer telling them what to do and when to do it check their cars out often anyway.  Maybe it is faith, but maybe it's just a good habit I got used to.  Anyway, couldn't hurt and our new Civic will get the same type of attention. Rocketman


GMs have a sophisticated oil change algorithm that monitors your driving to estimate oil life. If I had it I would follow it. Up to you.


“I have an '89 Accord with 509,000 miles I bought new which has always had 3000 mile oil changes which tells me otherwise.” Original engine? Rebuilt? Transmission?


ALL cars have a similar system. It’s called the dipstick…You pull it out and look at the oil. If it’s dirty, you change it. Simple.


ALL cars have a similar system. It’s called the dipstick…You pull it out and look at the oil. If it’s dirty, you change it. Simple.

Can you also tell compression by how much force it pushes your thumb off the open plug hole? How about secondary ignition by the feeling in your fingers and toes?? ;^)

You must be that guy who can tell where the duck comes from by shoving his finger …


Why is it that the oil doesn’t need to be changed every 3000 miles?


Interesting, because my oil didn’t look dirty at 2500 miles when the OLM said it was time to change the oil. On the other hand, I remember when I would do an oil change on m cars made in the 1950’s through the 1970’s and the oil would turn dark within a couple hundred miles. I’m not certain you can judge oil by its color.


Some newer cars don?t require the oil to be changed every 3000 miles, like many of us are accustomed to. However, it is my thought, that any car should have the oil changed frequently (every 3000 miles). The point in changing a vehicle?s oil is to preserve the engine and changing the oil regularly is one primary way. Equally important is to not rely on the car to tell you when your oil is low or needs changed. If the OLM light malfunctions, this could be detrimental to the car?s engine. This feature on the vehicle, should not replace standard maintenance procedures. Once the light is on that means its time to change the oil and it?s time right now. I would exercise caution in waiting for the computer to make this detection or extending changing your oil beyond 3000 miles.


If your driving is predominantly stop and go, short hop stuff you would be well advised to change the oil every 3k miles or 3/4 months, whichever comes first.
This type of driving combined with extended oil change intervals is what causes oil sluding and no oil made is immune to moisture content and excess contaminants from a cold running engine.

This post also strikes me as one in which you may not even be raising the hood to check the oil level. If so, you’re rocketing towards a trashed engine. If you are checking the oil level then I retract that comment.