When to change the oil with an oil life monitoring system - Truck Forums

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Old 04-27-2011, 12:31 PM
09GMCSierra's Avatar
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Location: Kingwood, Texas (just N of Houston)
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Default When to change the oil with an oil life monitoring system

I have an 09 GMC 5.3 2WD truck with an oil life monitoring system. Nothing in the user manual says that I need to bring the truck in for service (Maint I or II) every 6,000 or when the % falls below 20%. Yet that is what one dealer told me that I should do. Typically I just go until the 'Change Oil Soon' light comes on which is typically between 8,000 -- 10,000 miles.

Any advice would be helpful...
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:58 PM
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Location: KY
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For one thing, you need to take into account the type driving you do (start/stop, short trip, or highway), the conditions (dusty or not), how long it takes to put the mileage on, and whether you use dino or synthetic.

Seems to me if most of the miles are highway, not dusty, put on in a year or less, and you use synthetic, then your 8-10,000 mile interval would be good. (I don't know if you can depend on the oil life indicator...I never have done that.)

If any of the other conditions apply...start/stop, dusty, low miles per year, or dino...then I think 8-10,000 is too much.

Everybody has an opinion on oil, so others might disagree with my approach. I still use dino and change the oil/filter every 3000 miles!

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Old 04-27-2011, 01:27 PM
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My 04 says the same thing when it comes to the Oil Life Management System thing. However; I change my oil every 5,000 miles and that is at roughly 30 to 33%. Every 5,000 miles is easy to keep track of and you are not using your oil's life to the extreme, but close to it. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:08 PM
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I use Mobil 1, and do changes every 5,000 miles during late fall, winter and early spring, and over the summer while towing the camper I do them 3-4K.

I dont use the oil life monitor, as it is a time monitor and doesn't take into consideration temperature, engine load , etc.

Pay a little more now and save a lot later.
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Old 05-06-2011, 04:24 AM
jvp jvp is offline
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 91

Your mechanic has given you good guide lines and as you can tell most everyone else is in the same basic range.

That said I do check the oil life monitor as I am am resetting the guages at fill ups
currently it is showing 28% and I have a little over 6k in miles on last change.

So I will start to think about an oil change in the next 1k or 2k or if the monitor were to drop bellow 20% in the next several tanks of gas.

I only use synthetic oil and would not recommend running extended miles without it.

Of the synthetics oils out there look at Mobil 1 Extened, Amsoil, and currently I am using Castrol Edge. When I really became sold on synthetics was when my wifes Honda would not pass CA. smog, I changed the oil from dino to Castrol Edge and the car passed with flying colors.
Walmart carries Mobil-1 and Castrol Edge and will change your oil for a reasonable price.
Currently my truck has over 93k and does not use oil and I regularly pull heavy loads with my 5.3
Waiting until the Change Oil Light comes on, I have done it only because I just could not get to time to jump in for an oil change and knowing that I have a quality oil I was not overly concerned. But I Do Not Recommend you do that on a regular baisis.

As stated above consider the type and where you have been driving, lots of dirt roads shorten up the interval.

Example if my monitor only moves a few percentages from this point and I am getting ready for another trip pulling my trailer I will change the oil before I put on the heavy load.

good luck

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Old 05-08-2011, 11:09 AM
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I have a 2000 gmc 1500, with a 5.3. I use castrol edge oil and k&n oil filters. my truck has 255,000 miles on it and still dosent use a drop of oil. It gets hard use also, it`s hauled a lot of hay, 250 bales at a time. 5 to 7 thousand lb. trailers is a norm. /and hauls my butt 150 miles a day back and forth to work. wouldn`t sell it for nothing.
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Old 05-08-2011, 01:44 PM
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Posts: 2,267

I don't even pay attention to the monitering system - my oil gets changed at 3000 miles regardless of what the dash is telling me. To me it is just a good interval to not only change the oil, but give the trucks a full inspection. I don't use synthetics either because they would be a waste of money for as often as I service my vehicles. I am not saying this is the only way, but I have gotten ALOT of miles out of my vehicles this way so I will stick with what works for me. Good luck!
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