I just bought a 2004 Pontiac Montana. It has an Oil life Monitor. My dealer
tells me that the oil should be changed after the light comes on and after 2
tanks of fuel are burnt
How accurate is this? should I just have it changed every 3 months or 5000
kms, like my 2000 cavalier?
I just realize the importance of oil changes and service and I have read
about the controversy concerning this subject.
Read your operator manual. It has the manufacturers recommendations. It also
explains the service light which is normally based on mileage driven since
last reset. It also explains haw to reset it. The dealer is usually biased
towards more income than actual needs of the vehicle.
I have a 2002 Venture with the Oil Life Monitor as well. I still do my
oil chnges at the 5000Km mark regardless of what the monitor says. I figure
it's cheap insurance. Got enough problems with the dreaded piston slap so I
feel good oil is even more important.
There is no controversy. Read your owner's manual. There is a section about oil
changes. It sounds like your dealer is trying to do one of two things. Either
he is just trying to drum up more service business, or he is testing you to see
how gullible you are.
I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion that the Dealer is trying
to drum up more business. If I read the OP correctly, the dealer is telling
him one of two things. (the op is bit vague in his opening statement)
change the oil when the oil light monitor comes on "and" he's put another
two tanks of fuel through it....or....do an initial oil change on the
after two tanks of fuel, and then begin to use the oil life monitor. Either
way, I don't see any attempt to drum up more service business. An early
initial oil change is good advice in my books. Following the oil life
will actually result in "less" service business for the dealer. Under most
driving conditions, the oil life monitor usually ends up extending the oil
change intervals past the 5000 klm mark.
Does anyone on these newsgroups know how much profit is
generated by oil changes in a dealership on low mileage vehicles?
If not, I'll let you in on a secret.....there is "none", quite possibly
there may even be a "negative" profit. And since we aren't really
allowed to "actively" sell warranty repairs, this is not a huge profit
center either. In fact, our dealership does everything it can to
prevent large amounts of warranty claims as GM gets quite excited
if you are over the national average. Obviously, we will point out
and repair defects that come to our attention when doing regular
maintenance. This is only fair, as the customer is expecting us
to check and advise on problems that we see when doing things
like oil changes and tire rotations. Any warranty repair that the
customer does not actively complain about, has to be verified by
shop foreman...etc, etc.
You are a bit vague about what the dealer actually told you. Personally,
I'd go with an initial quick oil change (say, after about 1-2000 klms) and
then I would follow the old 3 month/5000 klm schedule. On your vehicle
you can't actually see the oil life percentage left (at least I don't recall
info being available on your model) so you can't really track where the
oil life monitor is at when you hit 5000 klms. Some models, like the
Caddy's, will allow you to see the remaining oil life percentage. This is
helpful, so that you can compare your driving habits to how fast the
oil life monitor is ticking down.
I'm not a big believer in the oil life monitoring system. Especially
with your vehicle which has known problems with the intake
gasket leaking coolant both externally and internally. The oil
life monitoring system "cannot" detect an internal coolant leak.
So to me, regular oil changes at regular intervals will go a long
way towards preventing engine damage that could occur if
you start to get an internal coolant leak.
GM is really pushing the oil life monitoring system hard. Even
internally.....they basically try to make you feel like you are
an idiot with no concern for the customer or the environment.
Which is fine: we'll see how good it is for the customer in
the years to come. I guess if you only drive your vehicle for
the 3 year lease period, you can afford to leave the regular
maintenance by the wayside. But if you plan to keep the
vehicle for a long time....I'd stick with the tried and true
oil change intervals.
If you want to read GM's propaganda...here's a link from
the GM website:
As a side note, I saw in the tech bulletin refrences to "maintenance 1 and
these are the "normal" and "severe" maintenance schedules.
Just wondering if these are the same as in the owner's manual or whether
better/more complete, etc. If the latter, can you post a link to them?
Thanks for that info shiden_kai. Some of us can read posts with
understanding. Unlike whats his face Robertwgross. Who thinks a good
scolding and a " Read your owners manual" statement, is good enough
information to make him look like an expert!
Thanks Again shiden_Kai. Keep up the good work in this group.
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