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Discussion Starter #1
I was wondering.

I have a 2015 Trax which is equipped with an oil change monitor. I'm pretty sure that all the Trax have these, which uses a percentage readout to indicate oil "lifespan".

I bought the car new at the beginning of March 2016, and have driven it only about 1800 miles. The oil monitor currently shows about 73 percent. I am accustomed to replacing oil every 4 months or so regardless of miles driven. I asked the dealer about this and they said that the monitor measures a combination of time the engine is running and mileage, and to follow the readout. They mentioned that with low usage an initial oil change can be delayed up to a year.

This completely contradicts everything I have ever know about oil changes. I'm inclined to do an oil change anyway as the color of the oil has gone from light to dark over the past 4 months. They did mention that the synthetic oil which is in the car now has a much greater lifespan.

This car came with the Chevy 2 year or 24,000 miles "free" oil change benefit, but I'm inclined to do an oil change anyway and just pay for it myself. Old habits?

Anyone have any thoughts about this?

Thanks!
 

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We received 4 oil changes / 2 years when our 2014 was bought in August 2014. I usually waited every 6 months so I would use up all 4 changes. The last time , the manager told me to skip the 6 months and only follow the percentage readout. I will AFTER I get the free oil changes. If I were you, do the same, may as well get the "free" ones while you can.
 

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I was wondering the same thing. My 2016 Trax has 3000 miles and the oil life says 85% remaining. The OnStar maintenance website says "Most GM vehicles average 8,500 miles between oil changes". We're going on a 2500 mile trip in a few months, and I really don't know if I should change the oil before or after the trip. From what I understand it has a synthetic blend oil in it. I'll be asking for full synthetic oil for the oil changes if they have it at the dealer, even if it costs extra with the free oil changes.
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the input - yes, I'm gonna follow the pattern I've used in the past - basically what you have recommended. It's a small price to pay for a bit of peace of mind. I didn't know about the DEXOS designation thanks for that bit of advice!
 

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I think its just GM's way of making sure you use better oils, most national brands now are dexos approved, thing is if they analyze your oil and you didn't use an approved oil they might not pay your claim.

So far the only oil I haven't seen Dexos on was walmarts brand,(TECH) but I would imagine once they get GM's approval they will be Dexos approved.

On a side note I bought a Miata that had used walmart synthetic oil the car had 175K on it.

I took the valve cover off to change the timing belt seals, it was one of the cleanest Miata's I have had apart.

The owner of the Miata supplied oil change records, he changed the oil every 3 to 3500 using walmart brand oil only occasionally using national brands.

If I have a car that isn't under warranty I use walmart synthetic oil, if you trace walmart suppliers it is Ashland oil the maker of Valvoline oil who packages oil for walmart.
 

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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.
 

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Since our Trax came with 4 free oil changes in the first 2 years. I am getting the 4 free oil changes that I paid for. Nothing is free, you paid for those oil changes in the price of the car. At the first oil change at 6 months the car had 360 miles on it. in a couple of weeks it is due for the next oil change which will be at about 800 miles. The dealer whined about it but I pointed out that I did pay for the oil changes. Fresh oil never hurt any engine.

I do not have any idea what the algorithms used in the OLM are, but in 6 months and just 400 miles the OLM is down to 52%. So not driving much with a lot of trips that do not warm up the engine fully must have an impact to the OLM. As it should. Short trips are he11 on an engine.
 

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I do not have any idea what the algorithms used in the OLM are, but in 6 months and just 400 miles the OLM is down to 52%. So not driving much with a lot of trips that do not warm up the engine fully must have an impact to the OLM. As it should. Short trips are he11 on an engine.
of course. the OLM counts down based on cold/hot starts, driving distance, temps, etc. short trips most certainly affect the OLM.
 

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When I took the Trax in for the first free oil change I asked for full synthetic oil even if I had to pay extra. The service writer told me the Trax engine wasn't designed for full synthetic oil and that Dexos 1 semi synthetic should be fine. Needless to say, after all the free oil changes are used up I'll be doing them myself with Mobil 1 full synthetic which is Dexos 1 certified. We don't put many miles on our vehicles, so I change the oil once per year even if it isn't due yet by mileage.
 

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GM does not care if you drive 10K on your oil, they will be happy to sell you another car when engine quits because you want to save oil change $'s.

Today's engines run hotter to burn emissions, why you would use conventional oil in an engine that is near boiling temp at all times is beyond me.

You get what you pay for, if you want to use cheaper oil at longer intervals, you will pay for it in the end.
 

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This is why I always worry about buying off lease vehicles since I find that happens a lot, people just don't put that much care into things like this which can be easily hidden or overlooked with the next owner.
 

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This is why I always worry about buying off lease vehicles since I find that happens a lot, people just don't put that much care into things like this which can be easily hidden or overlooked with the next owner.
Lease cars get only what they need, they barely get the service that would insure long life, if they do get an oil change they use the cheapest available oils with economy filters.

When I worked for Avis the cars only got what oil they used, if a car went 6 or 10 thousand without using oil the same oil was in the car.when it went up for sale.

Before putting cars up for sale, Avis would install a new oil filter, start the car let it run a bit, then check the oil they added enough to bring the level up to full.
 

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Wow, wasn't aware that dealerships would let lease vehicles sit by the wayside when it comes to maintenance. Had assumed that they would want to keep it in top shape for resale purposes.

Good to know, do not buy a previously leased vehicle.
 

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It all depends on the individual that has the car. I know many people that buy new cars every 3 years and also do the minimum to keep the car running and are not afraid to beat the snot out of it. They do not make an effort to break the engine in properly because the lack of maintenance and poor break in will not show up till after the car is just a memory. I have a leased Trax and it is getting oil change every 6 months, even though it is less than 1,000 miles. I am more worried about late model used than a lease. There are good and bad people on both sides of the fence.

Now a rental car is something I would never touch. Those get beat all the time.
 

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At least now that GM is giving out a few free oil changes some of these cars will get an oil change, because its on GM's dime.
 

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It ain't GMs dime. You paid for those oil changes whether you get the oil changed or not.
GM would much prefer that you did not come in for those oil changes, then they get to pocket the money that you paid.
 

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I put 5000 miles on the Trax in 2 months, only because of a road trip up the west coast. The oil life indicator said it was at 39% remaining oil life. Nope... It's time to change the oil. I still have free oil changes at the dealer, and asked again for full synthetic Mobile one oil even if I have to pay extra. No problem, $42 extra. They did the airbag software recall at the same time and got it done in an hour. Got home and checked the oil life monitor, still says 39%. I went ahead and reset it. Checked under the hood to make sure the oil was changed, it looks new. The washer fluid was low, added. The coolant level was below the full line even though it was hot, added. I guess I'll be doing the maintenance myself from now on, even though I retired from doing this for a living. Come on Chevy dealer, this isn't good for customer retention.
Edit: I just looked at my free service contract. I only get 2 oil changes within 2 years. I could have sworn they said 4 oil changes when I bought the Trax.
 

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Yep, 2 years "free" oil changes = 4, one every 6 months. Not sure where the 2 came from. I was one day past my two year mark as it was a Friday. The dealer let me know how they did me a favor honouring the final oil change on the Saturday morning. Gee thanks Gus Revengurg...I will never forget how generous this dealership was. LOL
 
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