The Dexos spec was '11 and up. i think it is possible to meet Dexos spec without synthetic base oil. If you do the changes every 5K, it'll probably suffice. To me the OLM is a nice idea and a guide on a good day. It's not gospel and it's a calculation, not a measurement of oil life remaining. I have issues going 4K but I'll see what the next drain looks like and go from there. I'm not trying to get the last bit of life out of the oil. But it's your motor and your money.
Well of course it isn't exact, just like the mpg averages the car gives you. I just use it to help remind me when to change it. I also have an Excel spreadsheet on the computer where I type in the date and mileage when I change it.
I think changing the oil before 5,000 miles is wasting money but like you said it's their money. It wouldn't worry me to go 7500 miles before an oil change and many cars I've had have been over that and I've never in 29 yearsof driving had any major engine problems caused by it.
I have only had a Malibu for a few months so I looked thru the maintenance records of my other car [ 99 Caravan 3.3] to see how often I change oil. I only change oil [cheapest conventional] in the spring and fall and it looks like I have been going between 7,500 to 9,500 miles between changes. A few times I skipped the filter change. I didn't realize I have been going that far between changes. Guess I have been lucky. I'll change the Malibu's oil according to the OLM, which is counting down faster than I'd like. My driving habits are the same on both vehicles, which would say I have been using the oil in my previous cars longer than the OLM in my Malibu would let me go. I've been doing this for the at least 20 years and I have never had an engine fail. I haven't owned an overhead cam engine in 28 years, just push rod V6s and V8s. Tough engines!
You haven't gotten lucky, some people are just still stuck on the old ways of having to change the oil so early.
I know I was going way beyond what I should have, but I once had a 91 S-10 that I went 7 years without changing the oil. Still ran good when I got rid of it and the only thing that ever broke down on it was the alternator. Of course I would never recommend doing that however.
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