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Computer tells when oil change is due???

ocwaveocwave Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
I have a 2002 chevy vevture. In the owners manual it says a computer will light up a change oil light when the oil needs changing after a certain amount of engine revolutions and heat ect.. have gone through the engine.
Should I go with the computer advice or change the oil at every 3000 miles as I have for 30 years??


  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    Times have changed in 30 years. I know because I've been changing for 40 years. Since you have a level of concern about caring for your vehicle. I would just go with the full synthetic. That way you will do less work and still be in the overkill mode since you could really go longer. If you go that route, stick with Mobil 1, Quaker State, Valvoline, or Amsoil. Syntec and Pennzoil are not Full Pao Synthetics.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I have a 2000 Buick with this feature. manual says to change when light appears but never go beyond the 7,500 miles. My dealer sent me a notice for a 3000 mile change, I wrote back and informed him to read the manual. Actually, if manual says to change oil when light comes on your warranty will be valid. It appears to go on between 4000-7,500 depending on driving and with me, lots of highway, closer to 7,500. Well, in my case, I use synthetic and I am going 12,000 miles between changes with a filter at 6000 so the light to me is meaningless, I just keep resetting it,.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    I still feel that 3000 mile oil changes are a good idea. It costs me about $9.00 for each oil change, and it gives me a chance to examine other maintenance items on a regular basis. I can't even estimate how many times I've found other potentially serious problems during a lowly oil change.
    With todays better alloys and more refined motor oils, it's probably not a big issue as far as engine life is concerned.
  • Oil changes intervals have to be one of the oldest debates here at Edmunds. My experience with oil change indicators is pretty good, actually. However, there are a couple of reason to change your oil more often.

    a.) Peace of mind. If it really makes you nervous, change it. It won't harm anything, but the environment.

    b.) Time. If you have vehicles that aren't driven a whole lot, you might have to change it in certain time intervals. Most manufacturers seems to recommend 6 months to one year.

    c.) Other environmental influences exist, that the service indicator doesn't pick up. Let's say, you live in a high dust area and are worried about oil contamination. Or your area experiences drastic temperature changes, so that condensation might be a concern.

    d.) You just want to inspect your car in shorter intervals than the indicated service. Personally, it has worked well for me to inspect boots, seals and hoses for cracks and leaks. And the oil change is simply the best 'excuse' to get under your vehicle.

    Can anybody think of something else ?
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    First you must reject the Jiffy Lube Hypothesis that the 3000 oil change is necessary and accept the Hypothesis that a good syn oil can last a year with a filter change in between. In addition it provides your engine an added level of protection. That's what I did 8 years ago. I am now free to check out my engine for maintenance items irrespective of the oil change time line. It just depends on what you are comfortable with.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    I crawl under mine every few weeks to have a quick look. Current 2000 Buick has 15,400 miles on engine, current oil has 11,000 and filter was changed about 5000 miles ago.

    Will change again around 16,500 total or about 12,000 on the oil. The first change at 4400 was removing the OEM.
  • bmaigebmaige Posts: 140
    The accuracy of your oil change light depends on whether it is reset with each oil change, as well. My Mother-in-law has a 1996 Caddy, as well as some other vehicles. When my Father-in-law passed away in March of this year all of that fell on her shoulders, and eventually mine. I couldn't find with certainty when he had changed the oil in their three vehicles (four counting his ATV) so I changed it in everything and started a record of the date and mileage for each. I didn't realize there was a "change oil" light in the Caddy, so it wasn't reset. We took a trip in it with her recently and I drove. It popped on during the trip. I knew the oil and filter were fresh so at the next stop while waiting on the two ladies I read the manual, found out I should have reset it when I changed the oil and didn't, how to reset it, and did so. Had she been alone she might have been convinced to have her oil changed.

    Despite that light we will change it every 3,000 miles or six months, though, as she seldom drives it. The oil that came out of it was clean, but not knowing how long it had been in it I changed it anyway.
  • lbthedoglbthedog Posts: 198
    I guess my perspective on oil changes relates differently, I consider oil like I consider bed sheets and underwear. Lump all the subjects together and you have all kinds of reasons to change them. Personally I have a vehicle with one of the oil life monitors. It's nice because I no longer have to put one of those static cling reminders on the window anymore. When the display says 25% oil left, I change it. Now if I had a Toyota Sienna, I'd probably be changing it every other day and of course keeping accurate records.
This discussion has been closed.