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Chevrolet Cobalt General Care & Maintenance



  • airmn65airmn65 Posts: 14
    Thank you for your input and help. Yes I understand all, and I DO drive mostly in city traffic and the temp. does spike and fluctuate alot, as you said. It is pretty stable on the freeways also. I am glad you cleared all this up for me. My LTZ is great and I love it. Feels very solid also.
    So thanks again. I won't worry so much about the temp. now-lol. Take care.
  • A couple of questions for you. I have an '06 LS with about 1000 miles on it. In reading the Owner's Manual, I should wait until the computer tells me that there is 0% of Oil Life remaining and get the oil changed within the next 500-600 miles. Currently, with 1000 miles on the car, it says my oil life is about 87%. At that rate, it wouldn't need an oil change until almost 7700 miles. Has everyone else been changing their oil at 3000-4000 miles, or going by the computer. It seems the warranty would remain in place if you used the computer, being that is what is in the Owner's Manual.

    Second question, my LS has the standard bolt-on wheel covers. Sometimes I think I hear squeaking that might be coming from them over bumps. Has anyone had a similar experience? Does anyone know how tight they should be?

    By the way, I've still been averaging between 34 and 35 MPG with a 5-speed!

    Thanks for your help...
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "Can this oil filter cartridge be purchased at a local auto parts store or is it a dealer item?" ((

    Cartridge oil filter listings for the 2.2L Ecotec Engine family:

    Fram:...... 9018
    SuperTech:. 9018 (made for WalMart by Champion Labs [formerly sold widely as the "Lee" brand in the aftermarket])
    Purolator:. 15436
    AC-Delco:. PF456G; PF457G; PF458G
    (I suspect these AC-Delco part numbers are variations reflecting engineering revisions. Many AC-Delco brand oil filters are made for GM by Champion Labs.)
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "...if you want a lot of the quality of a synthetic for a much lower price, the Conoco line of oils are now reportedly 50% full synthetic, with the other 50% being a good quality Group II base stock. Kendall, 76, TropArtic, Motorcraft are all made by Conoco; all satisfy the somewhat obscure GM oil spec (which is concerned with low temperature pourability, really only an issue with a solvent refined, Group I, dino oil). I get TropArtic for $1.52 a bottle at Wallyworld (I use it in our PT Cruiser, which gets 3,000 mile oil changes due to my wife's very short trips), cheaper than Pennzoil/Castrol/Chevron. Another well-regarded non-synthetic is Halvoline, very cheap in jugs at Wallyworld. Then you have Chevron Supreme (probably similar to Halvoline, since they are both owned by Chevron now); Pennzoil; Castrol; Quaker State. Rumor has it, that Goodwrench branded oil is Mobil Clean 5,000, an ok but not great conventional oil - thinking being there are better conventional oils for the money." ((

    Solid info, micweb! (I know - I'm an amateur oilhead and have researched all I can find online about motor oils for over three years, now.) A couple of minor points: 1) after Chevron Oil Co. purchased the Havoline name rights from Equilon, Chevron used a better base oil stock (Chevron's "ISO-SYN" Group II+ base oil - not quite a Group III, but awfully close) and a somewhat more robust additive package (heavy on the molybdenum-based anti-wear agent) in Havoline than their own Chevron Supreme brand. However, the company now confirms through their consumer hotline that Havoline and Chevron Supreme are the same product in differently labled bottles - though C/S still enjoys a price advantage. The good news is that C/S was brought up to the same level of base oils (Group II+) and Havoline's outrageosly generous amount of molybdenum anti-wear addtive, rather than dumbing down Havoline. 2) Mobil Clean 5000 is actually a pretty darned good motor oil. ExxonMobil, by the way, is the largest blender of automaker-brand motor oils in the U.S., including Honda and Toyota in addition to GM "Mr Goodwrench" motor oils. (I've traveled far and wide in the U.S., and I've yet to see any automaker brand oil derricks or refineries...) I agree completely with your assessment of ConocoPhillips's stable of syn-blends - truly EXCELLENT motor oils at very reasonable pricing. These are not "also-rans" and it's a shame that Conoco-Phillips doesn't do more to get the word out about these lubes. That 50% synthetic content in the Conoco-Phillips brands is very significant. Most syn-blends from other blenders only carry 10%-20% synthetic content. (There's no gub'mnt mandated minimum synthetic content in a syn-blend motor oil.) Unfortunately the company's various brands (Phillips 66 TropArtic, 76 Super, Conoco Super All Season, and Kendall GT-1) enjoy only limited availability - made worse by WalMart apparently in the process of dropping TropArtic according to recent reports on BITOG. The difference between the Conoco-Phillips brands and Motorcraft synthetic-blend motor oil that C/P toll blends for Ford in the U.S. is the price (and Motorcraft's flashy orange bottles ;)).
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "The Mobil Clean 5000 is not Goodwrench oil. It is one of Mobil's new oils - a 'superior' conventional oil that has additives in it. The additives protect your engine parts better, and they make it last longer than regular oil - 5000 miles (as the name suggests). That's why it cost a few cents more." ((

    ANY brand formulated motor oil that meets current API SM/ILSAC GF-4 specs (and the individual automaker specs which actually coincide with the API specs) have "additives" blended into them. Motor oils typically consist of ~80%-85% base oil stocks and ~15%-20% additive content (The proportions vary with viscosity range; addtives include thin-film antiwear agents to protect against cold start wear, friction modifiers to improve fuel economy, viscosity index improver polymers to maintain "body" under heat, pour point depressants allow for better cold weather flow, detergent/dispersant chemistry traps and neutralizes contaminants to retard varnish/sludge formation, anti-foaming agents, and dyes for leak identification - usually amber, though "Royal Purple" motor oil, I forget... High grade Group II and above base stocks are water-white clear, or nearly so. They're known as "Bright Stocks" in the industry.) If formulated motor oils didn't rely on additization, modern, high compression engines would have visible varnish and sludge deposits in them within 3,000 miles. (Current motor oils ain't yer granddaddy's motor oils - which were little more than filtered light distillates.) Mobil Clean 5000 costs "a few cents more" because ExxonMobil, like Castrol GTX, Pennzoil, Quaker State, Motorcraft and other premium brands can get away with it, NOT because they're inherently superior when actually compared to other API SM motor oils. I have no problem with those who willingly pay a premium for their motor oil - which is one reason I'm heavily invested in ExxonMobil, SOPUS (Shell Oil, U.S.), and British Petroleum (Castrol) securities. But for my own use, I'll just stick with my "Dollar Tree Stores"-scored seven cases of TropArtic synthetic blend and happily encourage the premium brand users to continue enjoying their preferred brands' slick magazine and TV advertising that they're paying dearly for by the quart. ;)
  • logmgrlogmgr Posts: 39
    I change mine at 50%...but YES it will be within warranty if you wait 7500 K.
    My wheel covers move...I can turn them by hand, however, there is no noise from them.

    My feeling on waiting to change oil until the computer tells you is that the longevity of the engine would be effected...lets face it GM sells cars so why would they want to have it last say 200K with frequent oil changes.

    Mine has gotten 40MPG on rural roads at speeds of 50MPH or under,however, that figure goes down on the innerstate at speeds around 70 MPH. My average is between 34.1 and 34.7
    with an automatic with 45K on it....cold weather lowers my fuel economy.

    Here is a tip on air filters for the 2.2 engine...they are only available at the dealer or by order from Oreilly Auto parts.. Most auto parts stores do not stock them. Do not wait to change it until 50K like the book will be FILTHY...I changed mine at 35 K.

    BYW: I have an 06 and an 05.
  • logmgrlogmgr Posts: 39
    you are correct the fan should come on at 195 BUT (and I got this direct from GM) here is what they sent me:
    According to the information we have the normal operating temperature of the
    2005 Chevrolet Cobalt's 2.2L DOHC 4 CYL Engine is 185-205 degrees.

    Additionally, the Cobalt is equipped with two fans for engine cooling. The
    low speed engine cooling fan engages at 223 degrees; while the high speed
    fan engages at 230 degrees. If the engine is operating between 223 and 229
    degrees the low speed fan should be in operation, this is considered normal
    operation. Above 230 degrees the high speed fan engages to prevent engine

    It makes NO sense to me and GM will not budge....I say it WILL shorten both engine and transmission life.

    GM says overheating does not occure until 265 degrees, I agree with you the fan should come on about 195.
  • logmgrlogmgr Posts: 39
    To open the cannister which holds the oil filter you need a 32MM low profile socket.
    I have seen them online at 12.99 and Snap on has them for 27.00...and Oreilly auto parts stocks then for 8.99
  • logmgrlogmgr Posts: 39
    I have an 05 and an 06.
    Here is what GM told me in an email about high temps...I do not agree but here it is:


    According to the information we have the normal operating temperature of the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt's 2.2L DOHC 4 CYL Engine is 185-205 degrees.

    Additionally, the Cobalt is equipped with two fans for engine cooling. The low speed engine cooling fan engages at 223 degrees; while the high speed fan engages at 230 degrees. If the engine is operating between 223 and 229 degrees the low speed fan should be in operation, this is considered normal operation. Above 230 degrees the high speed fan engages to prevent engine over-heating.

    My understanding after speaking with a local dealership about the operating temperature of the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt is that constant temperatures and operation above the 265 degree mark is what would affect the longevity of the engine. Even though the "Normal" operational temperature is listed as 185-205 degrees, the actual can vary based on numerous conditions, weather, speed, load, etc.

    Once again, the engine running up and into the 220's with the low speed fan in operation is considered to be normal operation. If the engine was running in the mid 220's without the low speed fan in operation I would be concerned, more so about the engine control module than the engine itself. The engine control module controls at what temperatures the fans operate.

    When the engine has to run with the high speed fan on continuously due to engine temperatures in excess of 265 degrees the longevity of the engine may be affected, that is something your local dealership should check into as soon as possible. By the way, at 265 degrees the engine's overheat indicator will illuminate. This is the point at which the engine may be adversely affected by the temperature.
  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    I recently bought a 2007 Cobalt, and in reading the owners manual on maintenance, it seems GM is relying solely on the oil life monitor to know when to change the oil. I am from the old school every 3k miles, maybe up to 5k miles to change the oil. My question is should I just follow my gut, or take the oil monitor as religion and leave it at that?
    Any info would be helpful. Thanks :)
  • prdmprdm Posts: 145
    It's not like the oil monitor is just hooked up to the odometer. It measures all sorts of parameters such as duration of run, ambient temperature, coolant temperature, speeds hit, etc. giving a much more accurate picture of stresses on the oil. That said, it's not a lot of money involved to do it either way.
  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    I did not know that it takes into account all of that info.
    Thanks for letting me know.
  • logmgrlogmgr Posts: 39
    Does anyone here know how to change the plugs on an 06 Cobalt with the 2.2 Ecotec engine ?
    Mine is at 93,000 and it will soon be time to change them.
    I know the plugs are under the silver cover with the ignition module on it and that it needs to come off; but what then ? Are there any tricks/tips ?
  • missfr75missfr75 Posts: 1
    I installed a new steering column for my 2006 cobalt. after installation the vehicle lights and radio will come on but the car wont turn over. it shows that it is in lock position. how do i unlock it so that the car will start with the new column and key?
  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    are you using the original key. if not you may have to take the car to the dealer ship to get key program
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 98
    i have a 2005 cobalt my change oil soon light is on, but i don't have the owners manual that was suppose to be in the car. i bought it used, so how do i reset the light?
  • wookie1wookie1 Posts: 98
    i changed the oil myself the filter is under the plastic cover on the 2.2 4 cyl. engine under the hood
  • grosloupgrosloup Posts: 239
    My vehicule is a 2005 Chevrolet Equinox. I figure all G.M. products works the same. This is how the reset is explained in my owners manual.

    1. Turn the ignition key to RUN with the engine off.
    2. Fully press and release the accelerator pedal tree
    times to the floor within five seconds.
    The change engine oil light will flash while the system is resetting.
    3. Turn the key to lock position.

    If the change engine oil light comes back on and stays on when you start your vehicule, the engine oil life system has not reset. Repeat the procedure.

    Keep me in touch, I would like to know if the Cobalt's oil light resetting is the same as the Equinox. Just curious.
    Good Luck.
  • rlenkerrlenker Posts: 13
    I have a new 2007 LT. I looked for a Automatic transmission dip stick, as I read there is none. If you have trouble take it toi the dealer. Can I check the fluied leavle in the transmishion?
  • grosloupgrosloup Posts: 239
    Automatics with No Dipsticks

    According to automobile manufacturer research, a certain percentage of automatic transmission failures are caused by over-filling and/or using the incorrect transmission fluid. It is important to remember to NEVER over-fill the transmission assembly and to ALWAYS use the recommended transmission fluid. To discourage over-filling, some vehicle manufacturers have eliminated the dipstick on the transmission. Unfortunately, this also makes it hard to tell if the fluid level is low.

    On automatic transmissions that do not have a dipstick to check the fluid level or add fluid, a fill plug is usually located on the left side or right side of the transmission. On some, there may also be a drain plug on the bottom of the transmission.

    To check the fluid level, the transmission must be warm and the vehicle must be parked on a level surface or raised on a lift. Jacking up the front wheels will tilt the vehicle and give an inaccurate indication of the fluid level. Therefore, all FOUR wheels must be raised off the ground and the vehicle must be properly supported by four jack stands. NEVER crawl under a vehicle unless it is safely supported by jack stands.

    When the fill plug is removed, some fluid should dribble out of the hole if the fluid is at the proper level (flush with the bottom of the fill plug hole). If no fluid comes out, add fluid to bring it up to the level of the hole.

    Below are some of the automatic transmissions that do not have a dipstick:

    5L40/5L50E 2004-05 CADILLAC CATERA
    AISIN 81-40LE 2004-05 CHEVROLET AVEO
    42RLE 2005-UP CHRYSLER 300 3.5L 2WD
    NAG-1 2005-UP CHRYSLER 300 3.5L AWD
    5R55N/S/W 2005-UP FORD CARS
    5F31J 2004 MAZDA MPV W/5SPD
    AF23 2004-05 SATURN ION
    4/5-Speed 2004-05 SATURN VUE
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