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Doing a oil analysis is the only way to know the condition of your oil and your engine. Most synth. oils will go 10k miles easily without serious degradation in a motor in good condition. OLM will usually zero out at 7500 miles. OLM is engineered for regular or semi. synth. oils in most vehicles.
Bob is the oil guy site is mega intensive on oil and filters as those guys are into it.
I took my '09 and a '99 Yukon to 190k miles and sold both running fine on WM ST full synth. oils and on Fram Ultra or Wix's best filters just changing by the OLM.
I've only done one oil analysis and that was on my '02 3.1 'bu to verify the lower intake gasket was leaking coolant into the oil and it did just that.
 

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Discussion Starter #23 (Edited by Moderator)
Doing a oil analysis is the only way to know the condition of your oil and your engine. Most synth. oils will go 10k miles easily without serious degradation in a motor in good condition. OLM will usually zero out at 7500 miles. OLM is engineered for regular or semi. synth. oils in most vehicles.
Bob is the oil guy site is mega intensive on oil and filters as those guys are into it.
I took my '09 and a '99 Yukon to 190k miles and sold both running fine on WM ST full synth. oils and on Fram Ultra or Wix's best filters just changing by the OLM.
I've only done one oil analysis and that was on my '02 3.1 'bu to verify the lower intake gasket was leaking coolant into the oil and it did just that.
Thanks for the advice. I guess I should analyze oil before 75k miles-does the dealership do this? I鈥檓 wondering if that鈥檚 in their best interest(?)
 

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Thanks for the advice. I guess I should analyze oil before 75k miles-does the dealership do this? I鈥檓 wondering if that鈥檚 in their best interest(?)
Dealers do not do oil analysis.
Amsoil is overpriced, many way cheaper alternatives for full synth. oils that are Dexos approved for use in GM engines.
You never will go wrong with a oil that is API certified and Dexos approved in a street driven vehicle. Those certifications are right on the container.
 
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2016 1LT 1.5T
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I change at 5000
If you do a lot of stop and go driving, earlier oil changes are better
My Malibu was 90% highway and I changed the oil every 5,000. The OLM was usually in the 30-35% range, sometimes a little lower in winter. The oil never looked excessively dirty at the 5K mark. Personally I don't trust the OLM. Oil changes are inexpensive and easy to do at home, so it's cheap insurance IMHO.

My new Equinox 1.5T hold 5.2 quarts instead of 4.2. That extra quart probably adds a little life to the oil, but I still change at 5K anyway.
 

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2016 Malibu 1LT 1.5T
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My Malibu was 90% highway and I changed the oil every 5,000. The OLM was usually in the 30-35% range, sometimes a little lower in winter. The oil never looked excessively dirty at the 5K mark. Personally I don't trust the OLM. Oil changes are inexpensive and easy to do at home, so it's cheap insurance IMHO.
The OLM just weighs your driving style into your estimated oil interval, because changing oil after 5,000 miles of gentle highway use is basically the equivalent of 3,000 miles of 90% urban driving. Like you said, it's inexpensive maintenance so to each his own, but when you look at oil tests, it's kind of a waste because modern synthetic oil is still fine at that point.

Over at bobistheoilguy.com there are many records of people getting oil tests at varying mileage/conditions if you're interested in learning about how Mobil 1 and other synthetic brands hold up.
 
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You have a 2017 LT, right JJA? I think changing at 35% is sensible. Under normal usage the OLM on gen9 just uses 7500 and counts down so 35% is about 5000. It can change based on temps and rpm average and a few other uncommon variables but for the most part it is just a linear reminder.
The OLM has a time component in it also. I found that out in the last year not driving much due to "it", working from home mostly. I noticed my monitor drop 25% in 3 months but only drove the car 500 miles in that period, mainly one long 400 highway trip and a few short drives on top of that. I then realized the manual says change the oil yearly if you don't put enough miles on it to hit the 7500 so the monitor was timing how long I had the oil in the crankcase.

Several years ago "Car and Driver" did a test on the GM oil life monitor, let it go to a 10-20% life remaining (I forget the exact percentage). The sent sample of the oil to an analytical lab to see how much life the lab reports compared to the monitor. They were surprised that the number from the lab was a bit higher in life left than the monitor, that the OLM does do it's job.

Campb is also correct about high engine temps causing the monitor to flag the oil is shot. When Caddy first introduced the Northstar they bragged about it being able to lose coolant but still not cook the all-aluminum engine. C/D did a test to find out of that was indeed the case, so the drained all coolant and ran the vehicle in the Mojave Desert. Except for the coolant alert lamp being lit the whole time, the only other thing that was flagging after the test was up was the oil life monitor saying an oil change was necessary now. (The mag also had a tech tear down the engine and no damage was detected)
 

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The OLM has a time component in it also. I found that out in the last year not driving much due to "it", working from home mostly. I noticed my monitor drop 25% in 3 months but only drove the car 500 miles in that period, mainly one long 400 highway trip and a few short drives on top of that. I then realized the manual says change the oil yearly if you don't put enough miles on it to hit the 7500 so the monitor was timing how long I had the oil in the crankcase.
Yep definitely right. Time became a more common variable in 2020 than an "uncommon variable". The full guidelines including the time component are linked in my post. I obviously don't follow OLM because doing so would void warranty coverage.
 
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Discussion Starter #32
Yep definitely right. Time became a more common variable in 2020 than an "uncommon variable". The full guidelines including the time component are linked in my post. I obviously don't follow OLM because doing so would void warranty coverage.
So-in short-even if I garaged it for a year I鈥檇 still have to change the oil
 

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That's the recommendation. The oil goes through 365 changes in temp and humidity, likely allowing water to condense into the oil, where it makes its way to the bottom of the pan.

Is it absolutely necessary? Only her hairdresser knows for sure.
 

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2019 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
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I agree with most posts in that Dexos1 is a must. It has been replaced by Dexos1 Gen 2 that was upgraded for GDI issues. Dexos2 is for diesels so don't go there. ACDelco Dexos1 5w-30 is a blend as is most "FULL" synthetics which is why manufacturer certifications are more important. Some good synthetics don't have Dexos certification. I need to run Dexos1 Gen2 0w-20 and change every 5,000. Its easy to spot on my odometer and since I do it myself so there is no window sticker. Most domestic manufactures say 1 year max in part because of the amount of stabilizer additives. Euro cars are starting to go 2 years and 15,000. Our Mercedes ML350 requires 229.5 spec. I prefer Mobil 1 in both cars, in part because Mercedes recommends it but mostly because the correct certs are on the bottle. I have found no Euro spec'd oils that are also Dexos because good oils are formulated for the specific needs of an engine. Most important thing is to keep it full. Most domestic cars don't have oil temp sensors to add to the oil life algorithm and depend on modeling. Low oil runs hotter and gets stressed a lot sooner.
 
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