Use the recommended 5w-30 or during the winter run 0w-30.
Oil change intervals are purely opinion oriented. I have and always will do the first oil change at around 1,000 miles. After that it's based on whether I have an oil life monitor, or not. If I do, I'll use the oil life monitor and change when it tells me to. If I do not have an oil life monitor I'll usually change per the owners manual. On my Mazda that was every 5 months or 5,000 miles. Ultimately choose what you feel comfortable with. Everyone will have a different opinion on when you should change.
'09 Malibu LTZ
Black Granite Metallic
Capitalization & punctuation is the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse." and "I helped my uncle jack off a horse."
Just do what GM recommends and you will be treating your car well. The OLM is your best guide if you are not driving in a dusty area. Changing oil any more often is a waste of money and a hit on the environment (how often can you say being environmentally correct actually saves money).
I am from further upstate than you. The temps run about 10 degrees cooler here than where you are. I keep my car in a garage as well. On my 08 LTZ with 2.4 I did the first oil change after 11 months of ownership and 8000 miles. The OLM was still showing above 10% but we were leaving on a vacation trip and I didn't want to be bothered changing oil while on the trip. It has been 6 months since I did that oil change, the mileage is just at 14K and the OLM is showing 40%. I probably will change the oil somewhere around March at the current rate. I am using 5W30 dyno oil.
I have been following GMs recommendations using the OLM on GM cars since 1997. Several of them I kept for 6 years, ran them many miles at WOT on a track and only changed the oil once per year. Never a problem with the engine. I use the OLM as a guide on my 03 Tahoe and it has 75K miles on it. It is my tow vehicle and sees some hard work during the summer when I tow my Vette to various tracks. Since I retired I don't drive it every day so last year it went a full year on one fill of oil.
The Malibu OLM is calibrated for dyno oil not synthetic. If you use synthetic your oil change intervals would be longer than the OLM indicates. The Corvette uses Mobil 1 as its factory fill and its OLM is calibrated for synthetic oil. It can go 1 year or 15K miles on an oil fill. Even with several thousand track miles per year it only gets its oil changed once per year.
I have been around long enough to see oil change intervals go from 2 months/2000 miles, to 3 months/3,000 miles in the 60s through the early 90s. Now we are much better off. You should have heard the comments when the manufacturers changed to the 3/3K interval from the 2/2K. The world was coming to an end just as it is now.
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