How long does 'Change Oil Light' illuminate?

I have a 1998 Buick Century, and the change oil light lights up with everything else when I start the car, but goes off with all of them. It's been about 7000 miles since the last oil change, and I'm just
going ahead and doing it next week anyways because winter is coming up and it hasn't been done since january. My question is wether it's telling me I need to change it, or does that light normally stay on longer if the oil is due to be changed? Thanks for your help. I'm just 24 but I absolutely love this car, except that the ABS kicks in very easily, and the brakes it came with kinda make a very high pitched noise at times, but they aren't worn enough yet to justify replacing just over noise. Otherwise at 52,000 (Bought it at 42,000) it's running terrific and better than having to go to the u-pull-it yard to fix my various $500 clunkers in the past.
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Yes, I did search the group archives, but couldn't seem to find this answer. (Sorry, just thought I'd throw that in because I always wonder if people will google answers first.)
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http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/environment/news_issues/news/simplified_ maintenance_qa_040104.html

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If it decides you need to change oil, the light comes on and stays on.
It will come on during power up, and is sometimes a little longer to go off than the other lights.
I think that 9 months or 7000 miles is too long on oil, regardless of what the warning light says.
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I thought it was 5000 with city driving, 7500 with highway driving. I was driving highway most of it, but it's sat this summer because I used public transportation to get around instead of putting miles on the car.
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Your users manual and your common sense are the best guides, perhaps.
Some of the oil producers recommend changes in the order of 3500 miles, whether synthetic or petroleum refinate. Some say every three months minimum.
Makes me wonder sometimes how many miles the manufacturers expect you to keep the car, and how interested they are in your engine lasting.
My wife's Buick 'Change Oil' light actually came on and stayed on once with under 3000 miles on a change. I dont trust idiot lights.
Yoiu likely have one of the 3800 Generation II engines, by the way. Are you aware of the issue with the fuel injection plenum on this car? Has nothing to do with oil changes.
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In a Century? That's a big motor for that car, he's got a 3.4 max, that's the biggest offered in that car... I went back to his first post to see what car he's got, since he DID mention it...
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I have a 3100 engine in this. That's all they offered that year. Same body style as the last century's they made in 04 or 05. I think it has that piston-slap or whatever they call it that 3100's get which supposedly is a nuisance, but even in the winter it's gone within a minute.
I thought they 3800 engines were pretty decent. What problem do the fuel injectors have? I had a series one 3800 but that car got destroyed by an 18-wheeler on the thruway. My grandparents have a 3800 series II in a 1996 Olds Regency so I'd be interested in hearing what problems the fuel injectors have. When they bought it in 1998 they wound up having to put in motor mounts within a year and some suspension stuff (I personally think it had been in an accident, but I've never carfax'ed it), an alternator a few weeks ago, and now I need to go see why no air hot/cold blows from the dash vents, just floor and defrosters. Engine wise they've had no problems at least.
Anyways, I changed the oil today, and it seemed very clean. Not so dark or thicker like older cars that I've owned in the past at even 3,000 miles. I also checked the level first and it didn't even seem like it had burnt any oil. Did the reset for my car according to instructions on gmtechnet, and the light acts the way it has. Stays on a second longer than the other lights but goes off. So thanks for the info H... (Google groups only shows that part of your name, lol)
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I've got a 2002 BUCK Century with the 3.1 engine. It's got ovet 50K on it.
This oil's got about 2500 miles on it, and it looks as clean and clear as the day it was put in.
I'm somewhat amazed.... In previous cars, the oil was black in the first 500 miles.
Is this a "tighter" engine ?
<rj>
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Sorry, I should have checked before assuming you had a 3800.
Some versions were great engines. From about 1994 to ca present, there were some problems with plastic FI plenums (manifolds). After a period of time, they tend to disintegrate, causing water leaks in the engine.
There are some issues with the 3.1 as well, I think. Perhaps tendency for the manifold gaskets to leak.
Will check it out and try to give you a more accurate answer.
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OK, I couldn't find the really good site, which I used to have, which showed the problems with the 3.1 and similar engines.
If I remember correctly (and you had better check me), the accusation was that the DexCool antifreeze contributed to the breakdown of intake manifold gaskets on those engines. The anecdotal accounts are that these engines can fail suddenly and catastrophically when the gasket goes, and the engine is deluged with coolant.
If you have concerns, you may want to search the web for further information.
(This is definitely NOT the problem that the 3800 exhibited)
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Well I've not got my first real problem with the car. Can't get the hood open. haha
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