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well, after 12,000 miles, my oil change light finally came on. i don't know if the techs at the dealer forgot to re-set it after the last 3, or i've just been driving that much harder since i feel she's fully broken in by now, but it'd be a miracle if it went on in under 3000 miles.

and for those who say it doesn't matter what car the oil monitoring system is in, i'd like to bring up the fact that our cars use synthetic, most cars GM releases this system with doesn't, we have 7+quarts of oil as well. how can it possibly remain accurate regardless of it monitoring driving conditions, etc. if it was not SPECIFICALLY designed for our cars. makes no sense the more i think about it.

how about you, have you had the oil change light come on?
 

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I personally haven't had it go off (only 2,000KM on it), but my father has in his ION Sedan about 500KM after Saturn told him it was time after a recall was done on his car. Oh and his ION came with synthetic oil too from the factory.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
the 2.2 comes with synthetic fromt the factory? never knew that. i'm just in serious denial that the light would come on just before my 4th oil change
 

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i guess it depends on if they reset it last oil change, if so i'm impressed, if not, it's been too long and would not recommend going by it

so i do not believe it's accurate
 

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This is something that I need clarification on. I know there's been discussion on # of miles between changes.
From what I read in the manual it says that they recommend changing within 600 miles of the notification and that this takes many factors into account (speed, rpm etc.). It also said that you must change your oil at least once a year. This leads me to believe that they actually put some thought into this because thay are saying that depending on your driving your mileage between changes can vary quite a bit. I'm @ 5000klms and still not notification (I would normally do it at 5K).
 

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7 quarts of synthetic will last well over 10,000 miles. Studies done on other cars, like Camaros, have shown it to last over 15,000 miles. In my Evo and RL I would never change it before 5,000 miles. The 3,000 mile oil change is one of the most succesfull marketing gimmiks ever implemented.

So FWIW, I'm going by the oil life monitor in the RL. I wouldn't be surprised to get over 6,000 miles between oil changes if the car is driven lightly.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
i'd much rather prefer to change it BEFORE it begins to break down, that's the point of synthetic anyways, better engine protection. if you wait until the oil is breaking down, then you might as well use dyno oil. oh well, it's like beating a dead horse
 

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I think one can never be too anal about anything, so just to be on the very safe side, I think that the synthetic oil should be changed every 1500 miles. That way there would NEVER be any broken down oil in the lube system and all bearing surfaces should remain just as good as the day the engine was first fired up. BTW, please continue to purchase MOBIL 1 as your synthetic oil, I just bought a ton of their stock and I really would like to see the profit margin grow on my investment. :D
 

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Vita said:
well, after 12,000 miles, my oil change light finally came on. i don't know if the techs at the dealer forgot to re-set it after the last 3, or i've just been driving that much harder since i feel she's fully broken in by now, but it'd be a miracle if it went on in under 3000 miles.

and for those who say it doesn't matter what car the oil monitoring system is in, i'd like to bring up the fact that our cars use synthetic, most cars GM releases this system with doesn't, we have 7+quarts of oil as well. how can it possibly remain accurate regardless of it monitoring driving conditions, etc. if it was not SPECIFICALLY designed for our cars. makes no sense the more i think about it.

how about you, have you had the oil change light come on?
OMG, this again... all of the variables that you named off are taken into account by the system, it needs no additional programming to switch between an Ion Redline, and a Chevy Malibu. Do you remember the post about how the system worked? It's based primarily on temperature of the oil. All of those things: Amount of oil, driving distances, engine size, etc, are null and void. The more oil in the car, the longer it takes to heat up, the driving distances, the properties of synthetic vs. regular oil, ALL WILL SHOW UP IN THE TEMPERATURE OF THE OIL!!!! It only needs to know the temperature of the oil, the driving style, and the time spent in those states. Watch:

Well make up some numbers....
10 min drive at low speeds to the store = 170 degrees oil temp in 5 qts...
10 min drive at low speeds to the store = 150 degrees oil temp in 7 qts...
10 min drive at low speeds to the store = 160 degrees oil temp, 5qts Synthetic
10 min drive at low speeds to the store = 140 degrees oil temp, 7qts Synthetic

You can infer every single thing you need for this system to adjust between cars from the temp of the oil, and the drivetime/habits....

I'm not supporting it, just explaining how it works...
 

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Blu- are you on drugs?? Rich??? You change your 7 quart Redline's , synt. oil every 1500 miles? Even without the monitoring system, this seems a bit much. Here's a thought- wait till about 5-6K between changes, and then send a sample to be checked. I think you'll be surprised.
 

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How GM's Oil Life Monitor System Works

Engine oil forms a coating on the moving parts of the vehicle's engine to protect against friction and heat damage related to combustion. But over time, that protection can be damaged by several factors. High operating temperatures can cause oxidation while cold engine operation introduces contamination to the oil.

GM engineers have been studying oil life for decades and they've learned that oil tends to degrade in a predictable pattern.

Taking many short trips is more harmful to the oil than highway driving, because it tends to introduce moisture when the engine doesn't reach full operating temperature before being shut off. Heavy use like trailer towing or prolonged driving in very hot conditions can lead to a thickening of the oil that prevents it from adequately coating engine parts.

GM engineers took this knowledge of operating parameters and oil life and built a mathematical model that is run by the car's powertrain control computer. The Oil Life System monitors engine temperature, combustion events and other parameters to gauge the oil's life.

The oil life monitor is so effective because: it is customized for that specific vehicle/engine, it takes everything into account that deteriorates the oil, it is ALWAYS working so as to take into account THAT INDIVIDUALS driving schedule, and it tailors the oil change to that schedule and predicts, on an ongoing basis, the oil life remaining so that that specific individual can plan an oil change accordingly. No other system can do this that effectively.

There is considerable safety factor in the GM oil life monitor. Typically, there is a 2:1 safety factor in the slope of the ZDP* depletion curve....in other words, zero percent oil life per the ZDP depletion is not zero ZDP but twice the concentration of ZDP considered critical for THAT engine to operate under all conditions reliably with no wear. This is always a subject of discussion as to just how low do you want the ZDP to get before the oil is "worn out" if this is the deciding factor for oil life. GM's EOL system would tend to err on the conservative side. If the oil life is counting down on a slope that would recommend a 10K change interval then there is probably 20K oil life before the ZDP is catostrophically depleted....not that you would want to go there...but reason why many people are successful in running those change intervals.

* ZDP stands for zinc dialkyldithiophosphate which , as it sounds, is an anti-wear compound comprised of zinc and phosphorus.
ZDP is dispersed in the oil so as to be at a potential wear site if a surface asperity happens to break thru the oil film thickness causing the dreaded metal-to-metal contact. A molecule of ZDP must be present at that moment to prevent microwelding at the contact site which will cause material transfer, scuffing, scoring, wear and catostrophic failure. The concentration of ZDP in the oil will determine if there is ZDP present to work it's magic. The greater the concentration...the more likely a molecule of ZDP will be there...and vice versa.
 

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That's a different oil monitor... that's the higher quality one...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
i still don't think that with the way i drive i should change my oil at 12000 miles. though i went to look it all up again, and the above posts, and if it's made for our engine, i have MUCH more faith in it. i'm getting an oil change tonight, and i'm going to see how long it takes before the light comes on again. but will NOT go past 10,000 miles before changing the oil, decades of research or not. it only means i've seen NO deterioration before i change it as opposed to waiting until it starts to break down.

again, has anyone else been watching if theirs comes on or not?
 

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mi_redline said:
Nope, same as in our redlines
Yea, you're right, I just re-read it. There's another one, in the Suburbans and such, that actually use a sensor to 'look' at the oil.
 

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How do you get the oil life monitor to give a percentage? Every time I push the odometer button to access it, it just says oil life. Push it again and it goes back to odemeter. What am I missing?
 

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Nothing, it dosen't do that, since it the percentage is always being calculated and changing. What you see when you push it in, is the reset feature of it. You hold the button down, and it chimes to let you know it's reset. That's for after an oil change.
 
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