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Walleye Guy

Oil Change Interval on new GMC Sierra

47 posts in this topic

I recently purchased a new GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab. I just hit 3000 miles this weekend on the way home from the cabin. This morning I called my local dealer to set up an appointment for an oil change. The service advisor said the truck does not need an oil change until I get a message from the truck that says the oil life is nearing zero. He said the truck has sensors that measure the oil life. The alogorithm for assessing oil life includes miles driven, temperature of the oil and a few other things. Right now the computer in the truck says the oil life is as 60%.

Should I wait until the computer says I need an oil change or should I have one done before that? With new vehicles I usually like to make sure that I get that first oil change at or before 3000 miles.

Thanks on advance.

WG

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I would change it!

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$20 to $30 is pretty cheap for a little piece of mind!!

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Nice truck by the way. I know when I bought my last truck, a Dakota V8, I changed the oil at 1000 miles and then went to normal intervals. This was recommended by the dealer.

When we bought our last car, an Acura TSX, the dealer WOULD NOT change the oil before the oil guage read 15% or less (about 4500 miles or so). It has an oil life calculator very similar to yours. Their reasoning was that Honda uses a special break in oil with higher amounts of Moly in it, which helps during the initial break in. Our car runs great, gets better mileage than stated on window, and doesn't burn any oil after 30k miles.

I would check and see if it's special oil, and if so try to change it a little earlier than recommended by GMC. 3000 might be a little early.

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I appreciate all the input. Thanks.

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I have a 2004 GMC 1500 and the first oil change I went until the message came up, and every oil change after that I am doing every 3,000 miles. Every mechanic I have ever talked to has said the best thing you can do is change the oil every 3,000 miles to keep your engine going long and strong. I drive less than 15,000 a year so for me its only 4 changes a year @ $25 and I think thats pretty cheap preventative maintenance.

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As new as things are (technology), I do not think they have perfected a sensor that measures certain properties of oil. The oil minder message is derived on mileage and date. As stated before, it does not hurt at all to change oil early. Factory ( I have no experience with imports) do not have break in oil or persegers anymore. With the way oils are processed today and they way engines are designed, I would run until the factory owners manual states to change it (not computer message). If you start getting above 5000 miles and message center has not reminded you of oil change, this could have an effect on a warranty repair in future or warranty assistance in future.

Some of the diesel guys run synthetic oils "claiming" you can run 15,000, 30,000 and I have heard of claims up to 50,000 between changing your oil (minus filter). This may be true for the oil's sake, but if you have a failure under warranty with a diesel engine now a days, red flags are triggered (tech's have get authorization for most all repairs under warranty on diesels now) and the manufacture will request oil maintenance records before warranty repair can be completed. I do not care how much info you get from aftermarket synthetic oil company, the factory will not honor a warranty repair if maintenance is not done by the owner’s manual. No exceptions, no repair. On a $12,000 remanufactured engine, plus install. Airjer's statement sounds pretty good!

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Everything I have owned since 1995, I change oil every 5000 miles. Mostly Ford's and one import. I have not had oil burning issues or any engine failures.

Again, it is good to change oil on time! But I do not like wasting money if I do not have to.

In the end, it is what ever helps you sleep at night!

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Most people think 3000 miles per oil change is what you are suppose to do. But really most owner manuals tell you 5000, so I stick to what the manufacturer says and I've never had any problems. I've won a few bucks betting people that their manual says 5000 and not 3000. Sure you might be 'a little' better off changing at sooner intervals, but then why not do it every 2000 miles or 1000 miles? I'll save the money. But then again I'm not trying to get 300,000 miles out of a car as I usually get rid of them when they start approaching 100k.

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Quote:

Sure you might be 'a little' better off changing at sooner intervals, but then why not do it every 2000 miles or 1000 miles?


3k is the tried and true industry standard. There are many techs and mechanics who have been around for a while that will tell you there stories about meticulous car owners, there high mileage vehicles, and the condition of there motors innards when repairs are made.

One that comes to mind for me is an olds that our service writer used to have. The oil was changed every 2500 to 3000 miles. I installed a set of valve cover gaskets and was amazed at what I saw. The insides of the covers look like brand new, there wasn't a deposit of any kind anywhere in the visible valve train. That motor was solid!

My Tundra has 5k service intervals. In a perfect world where the temp is always the same and the humidity is ideal, there is no stop and go traffic, no city driving, a constant 55 on the freeway, never towing or hauling anything, and certainly no punching it to pass than I wouldn't have any problem going 5k between oil changes. I bring mine in (yup I bring my vehicle to the dealership for service grin.gif) every 3k for oil changes. I see what good and bad maintenance does to a vehicle. I know that a 3k service interval is tried and true. when the 5k service interval gets the same track record I'll jump on that band wagon!

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airjer,

I'll let you know how mine turns out. Where I live I don't have to deal with a lot of stop and go traffic. I tow my boat but that's about it for towing loads and even then it usually isn't a long distance. I have been using the 5K interval for over 65K miles based on my driving habits and road conditions and so far I don't see any issues. I have also been following the other recommended service practices as well such as changing air filters, fuel filters, transmission oil, and coolant.

The quality of oils today compared to the past has improved its ability to withstand thermal breakdown much better. That along with improved filters to remove impurities and improved engine machine tolerances that reduce wear all play a role and today's engines are far superior to yesterday's. I can remember looking at buying used cars in the late 70s and seeing anything more than 85K miles made one look elsewhere. Today, 150K is not unusual.

I personally think 3K interval is old school thinking except for city dweller that have to deal with traffic jams, lots of lights, etc. or those heavy-duty applications. Even at that, you know the manufacturers are going to cover their butts. We build packaging machinery and our recommended gearbox and lubrication schedules are designed to be conservative. I believe auto makers are no different.

Bob

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I believe all GM vehicles today have "oil minder" systems in the computer to tell when to change the oil. It does NOT measure the quality or condition of the oil. It uses a combination of miles driven, short or long trip, heat or cold, and hard driving, towing (heavier load) and some other factors. Most are set to a max of 7500 miles, some even higher. One thing they don't consider and in the owner's manual tells you is that if you drive in dusty conditions to change it earlier, as early as 3000 miles.

3000 miles is definitely "old school" as was 1000 miles back in the 1950s. The quality of all oils is definitely much higher. All quick lubes are still pushing the 3000 mile number just so they get more business and profits, it has nothing to do with the fact that you are draining perfectly good oil, they just want your money!

Another thing that GM has done is raised the quantity of oil in the engine, most trucks are now 6 quarts (gasoline engines) - just another factor that will help you go further.

HOWEVER, I do recommend a first oil change be done early, my personal preference is around 1500 miles. Highest wear on an engine is when it is first 'broken in' and no matter how good they are, there may be leftover material from manufacturing. Use the first oil change as a 'final cleaning' and get it out of there.

How long do I go? First oil change at 1500 miles. I have installed AMSOIL 2-micron absolute bypass oil filters on both my vehicles. My 2006 Sprinter (2.7L diesel) I do oil analysis/test at 12,000 miles with planned changes at 25,000 miles (even though the oil tests analytically clean). My 2002 Chevy Trail Blazer (4.2L) I do once a year, about 25,000 miles.

When using just full flow filters only AMSOIL recommended interval is 1-year / 15,000 miles whichever comes first for most of our oils in severe duty driving (which in reality is over 90% of us).

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One other thought that came to mind and has been discussed on previous posts is that if you are going to go the 5,000 or more miles between service please check your oil at some point . maybe around the 3k mark to see where your at.

You would be absolutely amazed at the vehicles we service with 4 to 5k since the last service and literally a shot glass of oil will drain from the oil pan!

A majority of the engines we replace are due to the lack of lubrication with many well over the 5k mark since there last service.

I agree that oil today is leaps and bounds better than what was available 15 - 20 years ago. Toyota tried the 7,500 mile service interval on there vehicles and it backfired miserably. The 3 liter (4.75 quart system) was prone to sludging. Whether or not it was the oil or the motor I don't know for sure, but even on the new ones that we service at 3k - 5k the valve cover under the oil cap is just nasty with deposits? Anyways this led to the starving of oil to key components and ultimately a motor failure. Toyota replaced a significant number of these motors and knocked the service interval back to 5k.

7,500 miles absolutely not! 5k we'll wait and see.

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Quote:


Some of the diesel guys run synthetic oils "claiming" you can run 15,000, 30,000 and I have heard of claims up to 50,000 between changing your oil (minus filter). This may be true for the oil's sake, but if you have a failure under warranty with a diesel engine now a days, red flags are triggered (tech's have get authorization for most all repairs under warranty on diesels now) and the manufacture will request oil maintenance records before warranty repair can be completed. I do not care how much info you get from aftermarket synthetic oil company, the factory will not honor a warranty repair if maintenance is not done by the owner’s manual. No exceptions, no repair. On a $12,000 remanufactured engine, plus install. Airjer's statement sounds pretty good!


Theoilguy,

I just wanted to stress how the factory’s warranty is stated. Synthetic oils are great and may do every little thing the manufacture of the oil claims, but the manufacture of the automobile will use this loop hole of going over the recommended mileage interval for oil changes and will not cover repairs or assist after the warranty expires.

I have seen 2 6.0L Fords, that had the engine “Run Away” and blow sky high to kingdom come. This failure had nothing to do with the quality or condition of the oil, but the first question that was asked from Ford hotline to the diesel technician was “have customer prepare maintenance records, before authorization is granted”. Low and behold, the owners of these trucks both ran synthetic oil and followed the manufacture of the synthetic recommendations on service intervals. Well as far as I know, they never got repair costs reimbursed and sure did not get repairs covered. We had local area synthetic oil dealer down their, customer had lawyers, technicians had to depositions, I saw more literature on synthetic oil than ever in my life and still factory would not cover repairs, because the customers did not adhere to the factory recommended maintenance schedule.

Any questions

on what I am saying, please contact your local dealership and ask them about what you are going to do to your

car while it is still

under factory warranty. Beyond that, it is totally up to you.

This is all I will say about this!

Good luck!

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Checking one's oil on a regular basis is good advice anytime. Even new engines are typically within spec if they use less than a quart per 800 miles, at least that was a common spec for new engines. Maybe that has changed in recent years.

Bob

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Quote:

the factory will not honor a warranty repair if maintenance is not done by the owner’s manual. No exceptions, no repair. On a $12,000 remanufactured engine, plus install. Airjer's statement sounds pretty good!


I don't believe they can legally do that without proving what caused the failure - although they may try to tell you that. Not performing maintenance on schedule may cause you a fight because some may try to use the maintenance/service thing as an easy out. However, it's not grounds for unconditional disallowance of warranty if the failure has nothing to due with the maintenance/service in question.

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Like I stated, I do not know if either of the two customers did get any recourse further down the road. I do know for a fact they had to pay a large repair bill.

I saw it, lived it and watched the whole thing go down.

!!!!Again! If you doubt me, please contact your local dealer about this if you have any questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The factory is the say all in warranty authorization, unless deemed other wise in a court of law.

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Quote:

Like I stated, I do not know if either of the two customers did get any recourse further down the road. I do know for a fact they had to pay a large repair bill.

I saw it, lived it and watched the whole thing go down.

!!!!Again! If you doubt me, please contact your local dealer about this if you have any questions!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The factory is the say all in warranty authorization, unless deemed other wise in a court of law.


I'd like to think I know a little about warranty policy and administration since I spent about 5 years working directly with warranty for a large OEM (non-automotive, but still with engines, power trains, etc.) with ~11,000 dealers around the world. I'm still with that same company, but no longer deal with the warranty administration/policy side of things.

I'm not saying that warranty can't be rejected if appropriate. I'm saying that I believe the OEM is on the hook to prove cause and effect if it has to go that far.

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Are some of you guys on foot or horseback?

Get out of the stone age and welcome to "new" oil and also new "monitoring" technology.

Actually, the oil monitoring is nothing new....It is just new for vehicles.

Change your oil like your vehicle tells ya to.

"Today's organic" oil is probably more synthetic than "yesterday's synthetic".

I put 245,000 miles on a Pontiac 3800, with oil changes about every 10k-15k miles. The motor would burn about 1/2 quart per 3k miles.

Today's super-synthetics don't require oil changes for possibly up to 30k miles.........

Welcome to the 21st century!

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I think the US has been conditioned to the 3000 mile oil change intervals. Its a good ploy by the oil companies, oil change places, and dealers. If you look at Europe and the manfs over there, some state in the the manual to do 20,000 mile oil changes. I know even BMW and Mercedes do a 12,000 oil change interval here in the US. Are there oil standards in Europe different, yes. Are the cars in the US and Europe different, very slightly. Do you hear of European vehicles breaking down from oil sludge problems, NO. I think maybe back in the days when engines were carbed and didn't run as efficient as todays engine, the 3000 mile oil change rule was great. Next time send your oil in for an oil analysis, I bet you it will say you still had some miles on it. I had a 600 hp turbo charged car, daily driven, that I used to change oil religiously at 3000 intervals with synethnic, all the time. Until I sent my oil in for an oil analysis and it show the my oil was still at 80% with minimal breakdown. Now I change oil with synethnic at 5000-7000 intervals. I guess I could only speak from experience. Am I telling you guys to start changing oils at 10,000 mile intervals, NO. All I am saying is research and get out of the blanket, you might learn something new.

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I have a 2002 duramax with 259000 miles. I put 1000 miles on the first oil and been running synthetic oil ever since. I change oil at 15000 to 18000 miles. Every time I change I send a sample in to be tested. They check for all metels, antifreeze, soot, fuel, silacone and more that I can't think of. The test come back normal wear and suggest going higher miles. The truck has been uses 1 qt of oil in 15000 miles. It does cost $9.40 a gallon, so you pay for what you get. We have been using this oil since 1988. The last truck had 368000 miles on it, used no oil. The body was falling of around it though. We run it in all our trucks and cars.

We use the same oil in a pump moter that runs wide open 12 to 16 hours a day that gets change at 400 hours. It has the last time I looked 14700 hours and never been opened up.

I am going to run this moter until it blows just to see how long it will go. I have a brand new moter sitting in the crate on the shelf for 2 years now when it does go. I know this oil works for me and have the records to show it.

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Hawkeye, that sounds great.

Good luck with that pump.

The one thing no one has said anything about in this thread is how synthetic helps turn over an eng. in extreme cold conditions. This is the one key thing I think helps the life of eng. from Minnesota when is has been using synthetic oil.

During the winter, I have an ice house on Mille Lacs. I run a 3500 watt craftsman generator to power a ton of elec. item. I run it all night mostly. Some times it will run out of gas around 2 or 3 in morning. I would not realize this until around 8:00 am in the morning. By then, with the extreme cold temps and the fact it has been sitting out there for a long time, I was not able to pull motor over to start it. I had to drag it in to shack and let it thaw out until I was able to restart it.

This was my first year!

I was told by a couple other fish house owners about running synthetic. Well I heard about this at the end of the season, so I forgot about it until the night before the first trip of the second season. I run up and got, I think Mobile 1. Changed the oil and went up to the lake. I could tell right away it worked much better, because the generator has to ride in back of truck on the way up to Mille Lacs. It started right away. Sure enough, I ran out of gas on the second night. Woke up, went out in 10 below temps and pulled her right over. I have put thousands of hours on it and she is still running strong.

Buddy of mine just ran her for 4 days at BIR.

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Quote:

I know even BMW and Mercedes do a 12,000 oil change interval here in the US


Don't those vehicles specifically call for synthetic?

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I am not sure, but I figure at least a synthetic blend like motorcraft 5w20.

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I have used 0W-30 synthetic in the winter. The truck always fires right up plugged in or not, and the best part is the oil pressure gauge registers pressure almost immediately.

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