The newer GM vehicles have a feature built into the electronics, an
algorithm that senses and calculates oil life. Some of the GM literature
says it is not uncommon for a vehicle, under certain circumstances, to put
as many as 15,000 miles on an oil change.
I'm not sure I trust the 15,000 miles but at the same time, I want to be as
cost effective and enviroment friendly as possible. I put on a lot of
highway miles and have been changing at around 6,000 miles.
I checked my oil life reading, using a Tech II and with 6,000 miles on the
oil change, I show it still has a life of 47%.
Does anyone have any experience on the accuracy of this sensor?
I prefer not to get into a flame war over 3,000 mile oil changes, I am
trying to gather info on the accuracy of GM's oil life sensor.
There is nothing cost effective about replacing an engine well
before it's time, or can I see anything particularly environmentally
friendly about replacing an engine before it's time. Most of the
used oil in our city is recycled, I believe. I'm sure it's probably
put to good use the second time around. I really don't buy the
line that the manufacturers care very much about being
environmentally friendly. What I do believe is that they
want to "appear" to be EF. So in the short term, they "appear"
to be green.
> Does anyone have any experience on the accuracy of this sensor?
Accuracy compared to what?
If it works within the parameters set by the manufacturer, then it could be
said that it is accurate. However, if it allows me to go 15000 miles between
changes, then I'd have to say the manufacturers standards are much lower
To the best of my knowledge and from what I've read in the manual of my new
truck, there is really no "sensor" so to speak. The Change Oil message is
triggered by one of three things, whichever occurs first: The mileage hits
10,000; the engine revolutions reach some designated total number (not
detailed); or the hours reach some designated amount (again not detailed).
If the brain senses high engine load (including extended use of the Tow/Haul
mode) or a great deal of idle time then it reduces the trigger points and
tells you to change the oil that much sooner. There is nothing inside the
motor physically looking at the quality, viscosity or particulate content of
the oil itself - just a glorified timer/counter.
FWIW, I change my oil with synthetic every 5,000 miles (long before the oil
change message comes on), ignore and reset the message when it does come on
because I'm well ahead of what it's telling me, and recycle every drop of
used oil I can. I've seen how they recycle oil on board ships with a
high-speed centrifuge. Used oil goes in looking like thick black mud and
comes out golden clear. We would then test it's viscosity, thicken or thin
it ad required, and add anti-friction and other additives as needed. In
this manner, oil stock could last through decades of use.
Cheers - Jonathan
For sure, additives are used up over time. But when conventional oil breaks
down you get loss of viscosity. Then it's fubar'd and generally so are your
bearings if the oil is not replaced soon. And coolant in the oil is the
fastest way to seizing a bearing other than running the poor bastard totally
out of oil.
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