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My Merlot Jewel Terrain is my first GM vehicle with the oil life system. Would you guys recommend following the oil life system the Terrain comes with or just change my oil every 3months/3000 miles? Thanks
 

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I personally don't trust it, I had it in my last vehicle (06 Colorado Xtreme), I drove 15,000 km before I gave up waiting and just changed my oil. That might be ok for some people, but I drive a little too hard for that.
 

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The system is based on engine temp, stop and starts and total running time. It is not based on how "dirty" your oil is. If you are taking short trips to work or the corner store, the engine doesn't get to full temp, thus extending oil life. But if you are driving around the city for some time with a lot of red lights it will decrease the oil life. I think it is a good indicator, but I wouldn't take it as gospel. The maximum length you should go between changes is 6 months if the system hasn't indicated to change.
 

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I trusted it on my Envoy. When it would get down to about 20% I would go in for a change.
This would be around 12K miles.
I sold it with nearly 100K on it, and never had a single issue. So I trust the engineers.
 

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I trust my fuel guage, my speedometer, and all other guages. Not sure why I wouldn't trust the computer to tell me when I need to change oil.
 

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GM wouldn't ever deny a warranty claim based on not following the oil life monitoring system. You can change the oil elsewhere and reset the monitor yourself. If there were to be a claim, it would likely be something pretty catastrophic, in which case changing the oil a couple miles late is probably the least of everyone's concerns.

The engine itself is typically the least of your worries anyway. Any modern engine should do a good 200K miles before even giving a hint of issues (aside burning slightly more oil).
 

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I have the system in my 2000 C5 Corvette. Those folks with late model Corvettes believe in it and typically change their oil when it gets in the 20-25% range. When i buy my Terrain, I WILL utilize it as an important maintenance tool.
 

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Change it between 20-25% and be done with it. Trust it and believe in it. GM has been using it for OVER 10 years and they trust in it.

FWIW, on BITOG, there are TONS of topics on it and the majority of very knowledgeable users trust it and change their oil around 20%. When they send off their oils to get a UOA it will usually show around 20% TBN left.
 

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The oil life system does not take into account different types of oil. For example, full synthetic vs. standard oil. The issue is basically the fluid's efficacy for friction reduction of moving parts.
 

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This is my first car with this system and I like having it as a maintenance tool, but I am still changing my oil at 5000 miles out of habit more than anything. The first oil change (5000 miles) was reading about 35% on the OLS.
 

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FDNY600 said:
My Merlot Jewel Terrain is my first GM vehicle with the oil life system. Would you guys recommend following the oil life system the Terrain comes with or just change my oil every 3months/3000 miles? Thanks
You have to do what you feel comfortable with. I have been working on cars for years and have 3 engineering degrees but all I can do is tell you what I am comfortable with.

First, I would recommend a good oil like Castrol or a synthetic.
For this car, 3000 miles is a waste of oil. It will come out in pretty good shape.

The oil change indicator can go about 10,000 miles or so between changes. I don't feel good about that with cheap oil. I have opted to use synthetic oil and then change the oil when it gets to 20% life. This will be 7000 - 8000 miles between changes.

For my other car with an oil life indicator, a Colorado, it also indicates around 10,000 miles per oil change. I have that one on a fixed 5000 mile interval using Castrol GTX standard oil.
 

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We are on the same page.
 

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I have this system on my C5 Corvette. I believe in it and generally change at 30% or so.
 

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Their Oil Life Monitor was set for conventional oil up until the 2010/11 models. Dexos oil is a blend and the oil life system was programed accordingly.

Due to 'problems' with the 2.4L 4 cylinder engine, those have been re-programed for shorter intervals. It might be shortened for all DI engines, or certainly should be, as those engines are hard on oil.

I follow it but use full synthetic. It's a good system under the circumstances.
 

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cheddar11 said:
The system is based on engine temp, stop and starts and total running time. It is not based on how "dirty" your oil is. If you are taking short trips to work or the corner store, the engine doesn't get to full temp, thus extending oil life. But if you are driving around the city for some time with a lot of red lights it will decrease the oil life. I think it is a good indicator, but I wouldn't take it as gospel. The maximum length you should go between changes is 6 months if the system hasn't indicated to change.
Short trips, not getting up to operating temps SHORTEN oil life, not extend it. Red lights have NOTHING to do with oil life.

IMHO, follow the owners manual, use quality oil (approved) and filters.
 

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With over 20K miles, I've done the 5K mile change with Pennzoil Platnum. The only time I didn't follow this was break in. I changed at 2K and then at 5K, then 5K there after. At 5K, the oil monitor is at 0-3% every time.

I don't know how people are getting more "life" out of their oil but ours hasn't shown it.

FWIW, I've done the 5K with our 2000 Malibu and have over 250K miles on it with no problems. The 2003 Olds Silhouette was also done at 5K and it had over 150K when we traded it in on the Equinox.
 

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At 4500 miles, my OLM was reading 70%; I changed the oil anyway, as the dealer told me to change the first time between 4K and 5K.

My 2009 Malibu had an OLM and I'd go 10 to12K miles and it would still read above 40%, so to be safe, I'd just change it. I was leary about taking it down to 20% as I think that would have been closer to 20K miles than 10K.

I understand basically how the OLM works... it counts engine revolutions, tracks operating temperatures, and monitors driving conditions (such as city vs. highway), but I don't see how it can adjust for certain things that cause deterioration of oil such as dusty roads, fuel or water in the oil, and so on.

I have two trip odometers. I use one to track oil changes and one to track gas mileage. While I will use the OLM as a guide, I do not trust it 100% for the reasons I have mentioned.
 
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