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2012 Chevy Equinox 2.4L LT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 72 years old. Last year I bought a 2012 Equinox 2.4 FWD with 99,000 miles. Great condition and runs perfect. Recently had to replace the intake/exhaust solenoids because of a code. Living with my girlfriend who also has a car and we switch car use. All of my driving is local. Car is used only 2 or 3 times a week. At the most, I put 20-25 miles per week on the nox. Very seldom do I do longer trips. Upcoming Ohio to NY trip planned in September. With the low mileage that I put on the car, how often should I change oil and filter?? I just had it changed after I replaced the solenoids.
 

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I err on the safe side and change mine at 25% remaining on the OLM. With COVID limiting my driving this meant I had a change at as little as 4500kms but have typically been in the 7000km range. My mustang which I only drive 2000-3000kms in the summer gets once a year oil change.
 
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2011 GMC Terrain I4 here. I have sent my oil to blackstone labs on multiple occasions for analysis and have been able to confirm that the GM oil life monitor is very accurate all things considered. I just follow that now. The OLM will usually get to zero around 7500 miles. Although I usually change around 15% or so which is around 6500ish miles.
 

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2017 Equinox LS 2.4L FWD 184,000Km
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The equinox with the 2.4L engine ( 2010 to 2017) has a very poor PCV system. This can cause the blow-by contaminates to accumulate in the engine oil much sooner than most other engines. As well all direct injection engines have a higher level of fuel dilution. For these reasons I would change the oil and filter at 5000 miles ( 8000 km ) when driven under the best driving conditions. If you drive short distances, or drive under severe conditions, or when cold winter weather arrives I would change the oil and filter more often than that. Don't trust the engine oil monitor... it lies. Good synthetic oil and and top grade filters are a must.
 

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'16 Equinox LTZ AWD 3.6
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Full synth. oils and changing by the OLM is just fine. As others have said by doing an oil analysis the report will show that the old oil will still have plenty of life when changing by the OLM.
Conventional oils will be closer to being depleted but not full synth. oils.
I took the 2.4 in my '09 Malibu and a '99 Yukon both to 190k miles and sold them running fine and both always used less than a qt. of oil between changes. And the gas pedal in both saw the carpet frequently plus the Yukon towed.
 
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My wife’s 2013 2.4 Equinox has 105k on the clock. The trans gets a fluid change every 35k miles, and oil changes every 4K miles with Mobil 1 5w30. After 2k miles it starts burning oil as fuel dilution starts to occur. Over the next 2k it will consume a quart.

I would not ever go past 5k miles on these 2.4 engines in between changes. I plan on keeping my car for the distance. If I was to keep it only 50-75k then I’d probably use the OLM. The OLM is only designed to make the engine last 75k. Why do you think they reprogrammed the OLM on the cars and dropped it from where it was? Because after 40k the engines were shot. Now they’ll last 75k.
 

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I helped a gal buy a used car once and we looked at an equinox.. I forget what year it was but it had the 2.4 engine.. I asked the seller how often he changed the oil.. He replied "Never had to!"... I told the gal she didn't want that car and we left with the seller yelling at me telling me I didn't know anything
 

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Change the oil every 3000 miles. Check it every 100 miles. But with your driving habits change the oil annually. Looks like you're only driving 1500 miles a year. So change your oil once a year and check it once a month. Also, do a transmission fluid change(not flush) every five years. Flush the coolant and brake fluid every five years also.
 

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With the 2.4L engine change the vvt solenoids with the spark plugs. And always change them in pairs and put in fresh oil when changing the solenoids. Sounds like you're nox is in great shape. Checking the oil level is very important in these engines.
 

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2012 Chevy Equinox 2.4L LT
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
With the 2.4L engine change the vvt solenoids with the spark plugs. And always change them in pairs and put in fresh oil when changing the solenoids. Sounds like you're nox is in great shape. Checking the oil level is very important in these engines.
That's the answer that I was looking for (because of my driving habits). Being an old grease monkey and backyard mechanic and former hot rodder, I knew it was important to change the oil regularly even if you didn't use it that much. But being that the car required synthetic oil, I still wasn't sure how often, especially with the reputation of this engine. Like I stated before, I replaced the VVT solenoids a few months ago because of the code. I also had the oil changed by a local shop even though the dealer I bought the car from said they replaced it. The oil filter was black and collapsed which I'm told could also have contributed to the code. Not that it makes any difference, I gave them a nasty review and I had words with salesman! Overall, I love this car.
 

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2010 chevy equinox lt 2.4, 135k miles. Mocha steel metallic mobile 1 full syn extended performance
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The oil filter was black and collapsed which I'm told could also have contributed to the code.
Keep an eye on that, when these motors have problems with blow by it totally destroys the filters or if a cheap filter was used... Chances are the next one will be black and collapsed when you take it out.
 

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2012 terrain 2.4 ecotec flexer
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I own a 2012 terrain bought new and disregard olm. I do my own oil changes and have all my life. I have never seen oil so diluted with fuel and soot with as little es 2000 miles on it. Every time I remove the filter it is collapsed in this amount of miles. I used mobil one full synthetic but recently changed to Pennzoil full synthetic because of the lower noack value hopefully helping the terrible pcv system remain somewhat cleaner. These engines are so dependant on oil pressure for timing chain tensioner and chain life, a little extra attention to the oil is needed. A lot of the issues with these engines are caused by people putting all their confidence in technology. On page 10_13 of my manual it says that if olm has been accidentally been reset oil must be changed within 3000 miles. Wonder why?

Also in my manual the automatic transmission service is at 156,000 miles which is almost saying no service needed for life. Changed mine at 30,000 miles and thought I pulled the wrong plug. Fluid looked like motor oil. Never seen fluid so black at 30,000 miles. Point being if you believe your manual and what dealer tells you by all means use olm.If you plan on keeping these vehicles running for a long time, old school service intervals are recommended.

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typical city driving will darken you oil fast.

As a perfect example. I changed oil (This is Valvoline Conventional). (on my 3.6 Direct Injection Traverse)
Took a road trip. 2100 miles 1 way. California to Florida. It was practically non stop. I believe it was a 31-35 hr drive.
This is what the oil looked like with 2100 miles.

The 2nd picture- is once we were back in Los Angeles. Also done in similar amount of time.
thats 4200 miles on that oil.

I drove it for another 1000 miles in city. Then had the oil sent out for Used oil analysis @ 5200. Oil had nice low iron #s. And oil still had life left.






4200 miles on this oil.
 

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'16 Equinox LTZ AWD 3.6
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My old '09 Malibu 2.4 still had the factory VVT solenoids in it when I sold it with 190k miles on it. Got the car at 75k and only used SuperTech full synth. in it changed by the OLM. I'm a big fan of full synth. oils. and I attribute that to how long the solenoids lasted as they are very oil quality sensitive.
Under the hood that motor only got plugs and a purge valve in all that time. Cracked exhaust manifold wasn't bad enough to mess with, not leaking bad enough.
 

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Many people assume the color oil means its bad. The color is just the oil doing its job and keeping the engine clean and as it suspends the dirt/carbon in the oil to protect the engine. I only change mine when the OLM also says its time. Use full synthetic and engine never has a issue.
 

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2012 terrain 2.4 ecotec flexer
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My comment was related to 2010 to 2013. 2.4 ecotec dfi engines. GM knows this is a bad engine when it comes to oil. They have had to repair many of these engines for oil related issues and it is well documented. Look it up. As I said in my comment, I have always changed my oil since the 70's and have never seen oil so black with so few miles. Keep doing what you are doing and I will do the same.
 
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