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Old 05-10-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
statjunk
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Default Oil Life Indicator ?

Hello All,

How does the oil life indicator in a 2009 Malibu work? Does it actually measure the oil or is it based on miles?

Tom
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

It is based on a few parameters. IMO you should change the oil before it gets to 0%.
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

Never use it.
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

They are a joke. Only miles will affect no matter what they say. Its way too many miles.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

What matters is how abused the additive package in the oil is. The more abuse it suffers the sooner you'll need to change it.

If all you do is drive short distances in town, somewhere around 3000 miles is a good estimate. But if you commute 50 miles a day on the freeway, then 7000 is a safe estimate. All that you're interested in is making sure that the detergent and anti-corrosion properties are still good enough to do their jobs. Once they are used up all you have left is the oil lubricating the engine. Without the additives you'll start seeing deposits and/or corrosion inside the engine.

There have been a few articles (available online - use Search on this forum to find references) that suggest that the GM Oil Life Monitor (OLM) is quite good at helping you determine the best time to change your oil. It's set up for regular oil, so if you switch to full synthetic then you'll be able to drive farther between changes.

When I bought my car I purchased the 3/36 LOF and tire rotation package (before knowing about the OLM), so I'm changing it every 3000 miles regardless. Once I get the last one at ~36K, I'm switching over to full synthetic as well and using the OLM. I believe that I'll end up changing it around 7-10 thousand miles. I'm at 15K now.
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Old 05-11-2010, 05:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

Thanks guys. I run Mobile 1 full synthetic and it's my goal to go 8k between oil changes. Or 6 months which ever comes first. It's my wife's car so it doesn't see that many miles.

Thanks

Tom
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverLTZ View Post
It is based on a few parameters. IMO you should change the oil before it gets to 0%.
alright, now I'm curious.....what parameters?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:26 AM   #8
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boobu View Post
alright, now I'm curious.....what parameters?
Mileage, city/highway driving ratio & average operating temp. There might be another, but that is all I remember reading as of now.
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Old 05-11-2010, 09:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

As Silver noted above but also I think the number of ignition cycles is also monitored. I think this is how city vs highway or short trip is determined.

Last edited by tygriff; 05-11-2010 at 09:48 AM. Reason: forgot a word
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:08 PM   #10
boobu
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Default Re: Oil Life Indicator ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverLTZ View Post
Mileage, city/highway driving ratio & average operating temp. There might be another, but that is all I remember reading as of now.
makes sense....and they have some prototypical "average" oil that they plug into the equation then, I would assume, as they can't make it apply for every specific case.
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