Oil life indicator

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I own an 2007 Saturn Aura XR with about 59,000 miles. I've had the car since July of last year and so far I've put on about 23,000 miles. I drive on average of about 950 miles per week. I've only had
the oil changed twice in the nearly 6 months that I've owned it. Both times that I've had it changed I've waited until the "oil life" reading on the DIC had decremented itself down to 0%. Today, when I was in for my most recent oil change, the oil change tech scolded me for not bringing in the car sooner. I specified that it had been nearly 11,000 miles since my last change but that the oil life reading had only very recently went all the way down to 0%. He told me that I can't use that as an indicator as to when the oil should be changed if I'm using standard oil. He said that I'd need to be using a premium type oil in order to go that long without a change. I double checked my owners manual and reread the portion that talked about oil changes. As I expected, the manual said that the car uses the onboard computer to determine when the oil needs to be changed. As well, the manual didn't say anything at all about only using high grade synthetic oils. My question is this - if I'm using regular grade 10w - 30 oil should I "trust" the car and only get my oil changed when the life meter decrements itself all the way down to, or near, 0% (even if this means that 10 or 11 thousand miles have passed since my last change) or should I religiously change my oil every 3 months or 3,000 miles as has been preached to us since time immeasurable. I think that the oil change tech was probably just regurgitating what he was told when he was hired - "tell everyone that has gone more then 3 months or 3,000 miles since their last change that this is a bad practice and that it should be done every 3 months or 3,000 regardless." Thanks for any help!
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Shawn wrote:

I would never run an engine with dino oil more than 5k miles. Depending on driving habits: IMO, change the dino oil every 3k-5k. Change the full syn oil every 10k, with possibly a filter change every 5k.
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I wouldnt run ANY oil or engine longer than that without a change. Oil is cheap. Stupidity isnt.
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On 22/01/2010 2:10 PM, Shawn wrote:

Forget the silly broken gadgets. 3000 miles or 6 months whichever is sooner. GMs are not built well enough for less and the damage it can cause makes oil cheap. And change the filter every time.
GM dealers love it when those things fail.
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wrote:

That may have been true in the days of leaded gas, and poor engine temp controls.
I can remember 3000 mile oil changes where the oil came out looking like tar.
My 2002 BUICK had an "oil change" light" Every dipstick check showed the oil as clear and golden as the day it was put in.
The light finally came on at 5K..... and the changed oil still looked like brand new.
My new KIA ( Hyundai 2.0 engine ) has a recommended oil change of 7500 miles.
Automotive stuff is improving ! ( and you don't even have to lube the ball joints any more )
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Thanks to all that provided an informative reply!
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An oil life monitor is no more a "silly broken gadget" than a Mitutoyo one inch micrometer is.

IIRC, 6 months is exactly what GM recommends if for some reason the oil monitor is inadvertently not reset correctly.

Thing is; most of what GM is known for doing badly has nothing to do with internally lubricated parts.

The "dealer" has nothing to do with the implementation of oil life monitors on the current GM offerings.
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On 23/01/2010 11:12 AM, aarcuda69062 wrote:

It is when they go off late or early. Had one go off once in just 100 miles after the change. The droid forget to reset it and the last change.

I always just follow a fixed rule, change it before the manufacture says so by the sooner of time or distance.
If it gives the engine 30,000 miles extra by the time it is dead or burning oil the few extra changes it gets will be a trivial cost.

Not directly, but I am sure they have profited from engine repairs when the owners are not paying attention and they fail.
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So it was the "gadget" operator that was broken, not the gadget itself.

Which according to your above account happens to be within 100 miles of what the "gadget" alerted to. Doesn't sound broken to me.

Wow, imagine that... someone opens a business and charges for a product AND makes a profit. A bit at odds with your objections to GM receiving bail-out money isn't it?
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http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/TechnologyDevelopment/OPPTD_FLY_High-Efficiency-Oil-Filters.cfm
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On 23/01/2010 7:59 PM, G wrote:

http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/TechnologyDevelopment/OPPTD_FLY_High-Efficiency-Oil-Filters.cfm Instead of getting fancy and complicated, say a manual says every 7500 miles.
But you do every 5000 as you don't want the risk. And less waranty arugments.
In 200,000 miles in say 10 years of driving, that works out to 26.66 oil changes instead of 40. Say 14 oil changes saved.
At a high rate of $50 per that amounts to $700. Or $70 a year. Small insurance to avoid a $3000 full motor job or burning a quart every 7500 for 80,000 miles.
Mind you, will a GM today make 200,000 miles? A Volt will surely not, not at least without a few expensive battery replacements. The batteries will not take that many charge/discharge cycles be they lead-acid or lithium.
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On 23/01/2010 7:08 PM, aarcuda69062 wrote:

Could be both.

How so? Sell a POC, it dies, dealer profits. Smart customers move on. GM fails because people will not pay top dollar for a POC.
Bring on Tata... $4,000 and goes further than a Volt at 10 times the price.
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What could be both? Your statement makes no sense.

Why should the dealer or anyone else be responsible because the owners aren't paying attention?

This has nothing to do with the premise you offered. GMs oil life monitor is not a POC. Regardless of what you may think about the rest of their vehicles, the oil life monitor is based upon sound engineering.

What does the Volt have to do with any of this? AFAIK, they aren't even on the roads yet.
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On 24/01/2010 5:19 PM, aarcuda69062 wrote:

Carbon/water unit didn't notice the electronic unit was not working.

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You said that it come on 100 miles later. The carbon/water unit saw it on. How is that "not working?"
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Once again our friend Canuck57 is telling us the sky is falling LOL

wrote:

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On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 11:24:13 -0500, "Mike Hunter"

Hey Mike, don't you get tired of annoying everyone here with your silly reply? Most of us stopped that kind of stuff by 4th grade.
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The crap he has been posting for a year in this NG has been shown to be his personal opinion, not necessary based on facts.
He has been told that many many time but our friend Canuck57 keeps saying the same thing over and over, GM is corrupt GM sucks etc., telling us the sky is falling. He talks like the old General Motors still exists.
Other than the fact you are one who agrees with his personal opinion, what do you think it is wrong with pointing it out every time he posts that it is same old BS?
wrote:

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On Mon, 25 Jan 2010 17:14:18 -0500, "Mike Hunter"

Point out some fact or what makes his opinion wrong. To post the same silly line about the sky is falling gets rather old after the first 100 times. Everyone will kill file you and you just waste your time and accomplish nothing. You are losing your own credibility and will be thought of as a buffoon, not a contributor or good discussion.
Do as you please. I have a new computer and have not set up any filters. Yet.
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On 25/01/2010 3:14 PM, Mike Hunter wrote:

What, Mike a fascist? We see it your way or the highway? Your opinion isn't any different than mine, it is up to the third party reader to decide for themselves. Not some self annointed GM loving ass hole chirping at people for their ideas or comments.

I bet my posts have more diverity in about every respect compared to yours.

The universe does not revolve around Mike hunter and his GM loser.
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