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  1. #1

    Default Question about oil change intervals - computer vs dealer advice


    My 2011 Silverado 5.3 was telling me I still had like 35% of my oil life left after 9000 or so miles since my last oil change, but I brought it into the dealer anyway. I needed my bowtie replaced and wanted my tires rotated so I had my oil done since I was there.

    Upon speaking to the service guy I was advised to disregard the oil life % indicator and bring the truck in after every 5000 miles regardless of what the computer told me...

    9000 miles does seem like quite a long time, especially considering the amount of city driving I do.

    Somebody tell me who to believe, my car's computer or my dealer mechanic.


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    everett, massachusetts


    oil life is not all that accurate. with synthetic oil you should be able to go safely 8,ooomi. some go to the 15,ooomi amount. replace the oil filter at the mid point.

    checking oil condition you can see if / when it gets dark . this would be a good indication of change required.

    cut open the oil filters and examine for filter media contamination. this will give good results in determining when to replace the oil / filter.

    if using non synthetic 3500 mi is the most I would go . non syntheic is more apt to breakdown and create sludge / engine deposits.

  3. #3


    I use Mobil 1 full syn in my truck and change it every 5000 miles. Some may see this as overkill. But it gives me peace of mind knowing that my oil won't (or should I say shouldn't) ever be an issue. I also feel that if I am going to go under my truck to change a filter I might as well change the oil. Again some may see this as overkill.

    2011 GMC Sierra SLE - 5.3 - 4X4 - Z71 - King Shock Level Kit - Body Color GMC grill emblem - 2 Tone Engine Cover, Rad Cover and Battery Box - Volant CAI - Tru Cool 40K tranny cooler - Sylvania ZXE bulbs Hi/Low -TriFold Hard Tonneau Cover- CoverCraft Seat Covers - Diablo inTune - GoRecon LED under rail lights - GoRecon LED White Lightning Tailgate Light Bar - Windows tinted to 45%- Kenwood DNX6990 - JL Audio C5-650 &650X- JL Audio Amp- Interco Truxus M/T 33x12.50x18

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    everett, massachusetts


    with 140,ooomi on my 2000 5.3L I have no oil issues. clean when draining. the filters are important to remove debris. @ 8000mi the engine uses 1/2 qt. some say I am doing overkill and suggest 15.000mi as they do.

    with the new engines made and oil consumption issues , perhaps 5,ooomi is required.

  5. #5


    This argument will never be resolved.

    GM spent many millions of $ designing the OLM. They are willing to stand behind the operation of the OLM and warrant the condition of the engine.

    Any GM dealer that tells you to disregard the OLM and come in every 5,000 miles is looking after his bank account and not your best interest.

    If you are concerned about the condition of your oil, send a sample, to a lab, for an oil analysis.

    '09 Avalanche LTZ - Black
    '05 Envoy XL (sold)

  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Groton, Connecticut, United States


    I am good friends with a couple of guys that are basically experts in the oil analysis field and this topic was brought up once. The "oil change every 3k miles" is a thing of the past. Due to new oil developments and the advances in modern engines from auto makers, it's safe to run 5k to 7k miles per oil change. Ultimately the deciding factor is your oil filter. And I hate to burst some people's bubbles, but there really is no difference between that $3 no-name oil filter and the $8 FRAM because they are both 10-micron filters. If you want to get a longer time between oil changes, then the way to go is a dual-filter system. But you have to have a primary filter that's a standard oil filter (10-micron) and a kidney-loop filter (3-5 micron) and you end up adding a qt. of makeup oil every 1k to 1.5k miles. I know this works because my friend Jeremy ran this setup in his 03 Corvette he had and after 15k miles and constantly sampling and analyzing his oil, it was showing to have the indications of wear equal to that of 2k mile oil. Just an idea.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    everett, massachusetts


    If you cut open these filters you will find there are very much differences. workmanship is one other factor. meda density is another. the check valve is another factor.

    some filters are manufactured by the same company, then different names are used.

    when you examine these you can determine how often to change the oil by looking thru the media. if its solid black you need more frequent changing.

    with off road use / dusty conditions would also reduce oil/filter life.

    depending on the engine you may be with limited choices on which to use.

    Wix,Purolator Pure One,Napa Gold. these offer great filtration , a strong media, and a check valve that works. also the quailty in fabrication is correct.

    with the price of fuel at above 4.00 per gallon the use of non synthetic along with the new engines and the internal controls I would not recommend.

    The use of synthetic oil has save me on fuel consumption and much faster starts in the cold winter .

  8. #8


    Oil is cheap. Engines are expensive

    I could give a rats-ass about an OLM. These are for people who don't work in technical fields. Just another idiot light.
    You want to your engine to last, change the oil and filter frequently.
    I have been using Valvoline for 30+ years and have had clean high mileage engines as a tight as a virgin.

    The synthetic guys brag about their oil lasting 15,000 miles...So what. So does all the crap that is in the oil, water, sludges, small particles and chemicals left over form the combustion process. Sure I could test the oil and it is still good (as that the oil molecules are still in tack), but what about everything else?

    As for oil filters, I agree with the Dude that talked about cutting them open. I have done this and do this to check my flirtation. I have a lathe and use that to cut the filters open. And I have fond that a lot of oil filters are Fram. There is no difference between the 3 super cheapo and the 8 dollar Fram. I have been using AC filter. But also the Wix and pure oil later are also very good.

    but here's the take away
    Fresh oil and filter every 3000 and be done with it. The synthetic guys can talk all they want but what Granpa told you back in the 70's stall apples to day.

    Keep them Chevy's running for ever.
    This is Chevy Country.

  9. #9


    in my truck and wifes care I do Mobil 1 or Castrol syntec every 6,000 miles. On my little saturn it gets dino castrol. With the saturn I change the filter every 3,000 and do filter and oil at about 9,000. The reason is that I have to put in a quart every 500-1000 miles because it burns it off. So I figure at 3,000 I have already put in 3-4 quarts of fresh oil. Its also my cheap commuter car with 160000 miles on it so not as worried about it.

    I guess it all comes down to different strokes for different folks (what you drive, how you drive it etc)
    2004 Silverado 2500 Crew Cab 4x4, AMSOIL EA air filter, Granatelli MAF sensor, Throttle body spacer, Magnaflow exhaust (true dual to 2 in 1 out muffler), 6" ProComp lift (add a leaf and 5" superlift rear block), Bilstein shocks, 35's (Cooper Disoverer ST) and 4.10 gears, Rhino Liner, EGRUSA fender Flares and widow visors, extended stainless steel brake lines, firestone airbags w/onboard air compressor, Pioneer Avic X940BT navigation, Accel backup camera.
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    NRA Life Member

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    everett, massachusetts


    with the fuel used today it has alcohol in it. basicly water. with synthetic the water does not mix and cause the synthetic to create an acid , also the sludge.

    regular oil with a properly crankcase venting system being used daily on 20 mile commute you should have no problems with the engine oil , if the oil and filter is replaced every 3500-4,000mi.

    I used castrol 10-30wt in my 1983 V8 gm vehicle. followed the above oil servicing and had no oil issues for 17yrs 380,ooomi.. alcohol was not used then !

    when I switched to synthetic 1996-2000 gm vehicles, the cost factor was a little less then 2X. now it is about 1.5 X.

    changing the oil now at 8,ooomi I save time and some money . as an additional benefit I get better MPG.

    synthetic in the transmission as well . no dexron III since 1998.

    my vehicles have no sludge lifter noises or any useage of oil.

    also my vehicles are now not being used daily. mostly short trips. synthetic works better with this type operation.

    the bad part about synthetic is that oil filter if wet with some synthetic on it can get flying out of your grasp.

    filters with a ruff coating on the shell work better when install/removal.

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