Originally Posted by beeguz
When I buy a new car I drive it for about 150 or 200 miles then change it to synthetic, ( I get the original oil out as soon as possible) then I go on to change the oil every 3000 to 3500 miles.
I use Pennzoil, Mobil 1, or Valvoline, I had a few instances where Castrol almost cost me an engine, so I no longer use their oils.
(Use your favorite oil, use a national brand, make sure it is DEXOS approved for the warranty coverage) If an oil is DEXOS approved it is written on the bottle, now days most major brands are now labeled dexos approved.
The oil life monitor used to just go by miles driven, then lately they changed it so the monitor counts down for time.
Change your oil every (3500), if you intend to use synthetic, change it more often (2000) if you are going to use conventional oil.
The oil life monitor is made to get you to go back to the dealer more often, they are trying to become your regular stop, replacing your neighborhood garage.
Remember the people who print those specifications want you back to buy a new car as soon as possible.
You can reset the oil life monitor yourself its very simple, each car is a little different, the steps can be found in the OWNERS MANUAL.
I don't normally do this, but felt compelled after reading this, too many people on the internet are mis-informed and it spreads...
1. Pennzoil, Valvoline, Castrol, it doesn't matter... Castrol won't brake and engine, nor would another oil. they are all API certified, and are for all intents and purposes very much the same. An SN oil is an SN oil. sure, they have different additive packs and base stocks, but all work fine. As long as its dexos 1 approved, you're fine.
2. the OLM uses a variety of information such as cold starts, idle times, driving times, temperatures, etc, all in an algorithm that counts down the life of the oil in the form of a percentage.
3. changing out a synthetic oil at 3500 miles is a 100% complete waste of money and natural resources, it's as simple as that. I'm not sure what to say about that, actually... A conventional SN oil would go much further than 3500 miles... you could safely run a conventional oil to 5000 miles, easily. the only true way to find out how your oil has performed is to get a UOA done.
4. the OLM isn't designed to get you to go to the dealer, your neighborhood garage, or anywhere for that matter. the OLM allows your vehicle to tell you when your oil needs to be changed, provided you are using the correct dexos 1 oil, which is what the OLM is calibrated to. the OLM saves you from wasting money at bob's garage who still in today's day and age spews the 3000 mile 3 month oil change nonsense. I follow the OLM and change my oil myself, which usually equates to 10,000 km's or so.
5. the people who print the specifications are the same people who designed the vehicle and know what it needs in order to operate successfully.
all that said, with the GM 1.4 turbo engine, it's very simple. use a 5w30, full group III dexos 1 synthetic, such as mobil 1, pennzoil platinum, castrol edge, etc. all of these oils are more than up to the task. the AC Delco dexos 1 semi synthetic works, but it tends to show signs of sludging if run to 0% on the OLM. The 1.4 T is pretty hard on oil. Using a full synthetic, you can safely run to 10% easily on the OLM, which depending on your climate and where you live, could be anywhere from 8000 - 10000 miles.
It's not rocket science, but if you really really really want to learn from people who know what they are talking about, check of the bobistheoilguy.com forums.