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Oil life counter - 2017 Chevrolet Colorado

How does the oil life counter work? Does it know if I use synthetic oil? If not, why would I use a synthetic if it is going to have me change the oil at the same interval?

No it does not know, but it’s also assuming you’re using dexos 1 specification oil.
And depending on your driving style, it could be up to 10,000 miles or once a year before you need to change.

Your truck requires an oil that meets dexos1 specifications, all the oils that meet those specs. are synthetic.
Failure to use dexos 1 spec oil will void your warranty.

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It looks at rpm, load on the engine, miles driven, how hot the engine has been, or not been (short trips) and the algorithm in the car’s computer figures out the time to change your oil. These have been in use about 20 years so they are very good.

But as @It_s_Me says, it assumes you are using the correct oil for your car… which IS Dexos 1.

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Also synthetic oil is preferred for lubrication in your vehicle. It lubricates much better and does not break down nearly as quick as conventional oil. The engine oil maintenance information is on page 284 of your owners manual give or take a few pages.