I have followed the OLM on my '06 3.5 (I know they are different) throughout the nearly 115,000 on the odometer. Average about 7500 miles between changes, which according to my owners manual is about right for the type of driving we do. I use Kendall synthetic blend and have since day one of ownership.
A couple of things not said:
1.) Oil is better than it was 10-15 years ago. Even the conventional oils made to the newer standards are better than similar oils and are less prone to breakdown. My first new vehicle was a 1979 Chevy C-10 with the 250 C.I. (I know massive!!!) and the oil was a 10w/40 weight. It was almost a requirement to replace it every 3000 miles. My newer vehicles use a 5w/30 and it lasts about 2X longer.
2.) Engines are better than 10-15 years ago. Modern engines are made to tighter tolerances than older engines much of that due to the being smaller and stronger. Modern fuel injection systems don't allow extra fuel into the cylinders that can wash the oil off the cylinder walls and get into the oil the way a carb could. When you don't have gas washing into the oil, you have less breakdown as well.
I let the dealer do the first oil changes in the truck with whatever they used for the first year (that was their deal 12 mo\25,000 miles) then I have changed it with my blend ever since. I wouldn't be too concerned about synthetic if you want them to do them for you. I'd be more worried about them not being done at all.
__________________ "The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity"
@Mike7143, I can understand your concern about what you have experienced at the dealership. I am happy that the other members of the forum have provided you with information that they use when it comes to the oil changes in the Malibu.
If in the future you are not clear as to why the dealership may have you change the oil differently than what the owner's manual recommends, don't hesitate to contact the service manager to get clarification as to why they are wanting to vary away from the owner's manual.
So the OLM is pretty accurate at telling you when to change the oil if you change around 15% or 20% assuming you don't add any fresh oil in between? It can tell between cheap $12/case Walmart oil and nice synthetic and account for that? Never had a car with anything like this ha.
So if it can't sense oil then does it solely "know" there's synthetic oil in based on performance properties? It sounds like people are implying that the OLM decreases at a lower rate with synthetics. Regardless, I think I'll stick to what I've been doing for years, cheap oil every 4k and a filter every other change.
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