Oil Changes on a 2009 Chevy Malibu

I take your opinions seriously. You offer words of caution built on years of experience. My own limited experience shows that the GM OLM works. Our 2005 Silhouette has over 100,000 miles on it and doesn’t use oil. I have changed the oil when the OLM shows less than 20% life remaining. It typically goes 7500 miles despite being used for many short runs. California tested the GM OLM in their motor pool and found that it worked so well that they use it to determine oil change interval for all their fleet. They also recommend it to everyone; I read about it on a California State web page. This was a detailed study where the state motor pool evaluated engines with and without oil changes using the OLM. Third party professionals studied it, and they found it works.

I would not categorize your skepticism as wrong, just cautious.

“f the monitor says I have 20% life remaining on the oil, what does that mean?”

It means it’s time to start thinking about an oil change so you don’t exceed the remaining oil life. That’s how I use the OLMs in my Silhouette (100,000+ miles) and my Cobalt (12,000 miles). You guys can do anything you want, I’ll stick to the OLM because it works for me. And the entire state of California.

Yes, that’s what it means; change the oil when ordered and not before. Unfortunately, the oil “life” really isn’t defined except that GM’s software thinks it might still be slippery enough to keep engine parts from rubbing together and sludge from forming… maybe…

For now I’ll keep driving my car with over 250,000 miles and keep changing the oil every 3-5K, thank you.

I hate machines that think for me.

I am in agreement100%. I never cared for an automatic choke back in the carburetor days–I could operate a hand choke just fine. I would prefer a manual transmission, but in the cars I have, the manual wasn’t available. I had a Chevrolet Uplander with the oil minder. I know that open road highway driving is easier than short run city driving-particularly in the winter. The service minder told me what I already knew. I took my 2011 Toyota Sienna in for an oil change because the service minder came on. The dealer turned it off and said that the oil can go to 10,000 miles since it is synthetic oil. I will go back to my independent garage and have them do the servicing from here on out.