2002 GM oil change interval.

artwisartwis Member Posts: 66
edited March 2014 in Buick
Wife just purchased a 2002 Buick Century. While reading through the manual I found that GM recommends changing the oil within two tanks of fuel from when the "change oil" light comes on. No regular or severe service mileage intervals listed at all. I haven't talked to the dealer service dept about this yet but think I will have the oil changed at 3000 and 6000 miles and then change to synthetic and go 5000 between changes. I read somewhere that all 2002 GM vehicles are the same. Any comments?


  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    and just follow the change oil light. I personally would go longer. But each needs his own comfort level.
  • armtdmarmtdm Member Posts: 2,057
    I have a 2000 Buick with the indicator light. About 19,000 miles now. Changes oil the first time at 4,350 miles and indicator had about 40% life. Changes to synthetic at that irtme and cahnged the filter at 6000 miles (Indicator had about 30-40% left) and changed the oil and filter when it had 12,000 miles on oil or about 16,000 total.

    So, I basically ignore the indicator with synthetic oil. Oil analysis was fine, analysis after 12,000 was much better then with teh OEM oil at 4,350 but primarily due to the engine breaking in and you get the higher particles of metal and silicon in this period.

    Anyway, it appears that with the type of driving I do the indicator would come on between 6000-7,500 miles.
  • lukjacklukjack Member Posts: 21
    I have a buick rendezvous. It too has the oil change indicator. In my manual, it says follow the indicator light and change within two fuel tanks, but if the indicator does not happen, must change at one year interval.....
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    This came right from my mechanic, and the service manager told me the same thing.

    1st change at 1000 miles to get all the break in lube out and change the filter. Change oil every 3-4 k until you hit 12k. Then switch to synth. After you switch to synth. you can let the car tell you when to change the oil, it's pretty accurate for synthetic oil, I wouldn't trust it on regular oil.

    This is where all the posts for burning up oil come from. You have to let the rings seat to seal the engine up tight. Synthetic is too slippery for the rings to seat properly causing you to burn the oil. WAIT UNTIL YOU GET 12,000 MILES ON THE MOTOR BEFORE SWITCHING TO SYNTHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    This is a verbatim copy and paste from the website of Mobil 1, the biggest player in the synthetic oil industry, Q&A page:

    "You can start using Mobil 1 in new vehicles at any time. In fact, Mobil 1 is the factory fill in all Chevrolet Corvettes, Dodge Vipers and Aston Martins. And all Porsche cars manufactured at their Zuffenhausen plant are lubricated with Mobil 1. So are all Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles. One of the myths that persists about Mobil 1 is that new engines require a break-in period with conventional oil. Current engine manufacturing technology does not require this break-in period. As indicated by the decisions of the engineers who design these high-performance cars, Mobil 1 can be used in an engine from the day you drive the car off the showroom floor."
  • cmack4cmack4 Member Posts: 302
    Anyone out there have one of the new triplets, and weigh this decision? I'm leaning toward sticking with dino... not just because of the price, but for several other reasons. Obviously, price is a factor, but when you're talking a $25-35K vehicle, it's not going to be a make or break. Really for me to do the extended drain with synth, I would have to do the oil analysis 2-3 times to feel comfortable. Those I've talked to, who have done the analysis, tend to get between 6000-7500 before they need to change oil. I have always been one of the religious 3K oil changers with dino. With a 7qt fill capacity, I don't know if I'd see any real advantages going to synth? The engine is already going to be running cooler with either due to the large volume of oil... The only thing I can see that I would get would be better cold weather starts and extended drain intervals. Can anyone make any other arguments why I should go synth?
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    The information you are getting from your mechanic is basically 30+ years old. I'm not bashing old mechanics but some just don't keep up with the times. Alcan is of course one of many-many exceptions to the rule (he-he).

    cmack4: If you go over to the Synthetic Oil board you will find a couple thousand of arguments for using (or not using) synthetic oil.
  • cmack4cmack4 Member Posts: 302
    I've perused the board... not read every post, but a lot of them. The results are so mixed that it seems hard to get a straight answer. My question to you would be, what advantage would I really see using synthetic for say 5K miles versus dino for 3K? Obviously, I'd get better cold weather starts. What else? Will the 7 quart fill cap. effect the performance of either?
  • fleetwoodsimcafleetwoodsimca Member Posts: 1,518
    I feel fortunate that I do not yet own a vehicle that is prepared electronically to tell me when to change oil! I know my time is coming for that, and it appears unavoidable. I suspect that I will elect to not "get with the program" and will change oil and filter far more often than is really necessary, just as I do now. Many thou miles down the road, the "light believers" will try to wave me down to help them, as I sail by at speed in my over maintained rig, and they broil on the shoulder of the road. (:oÞ
  • dweezildweezil Member Posts: 271
    Given that the electrical system is STILL the most troublesome part of vehicles [per 20 years of data compiled by Consumer Reports and personal experience]and the extended maintenance claims for trans fluid and coolant are I feel only so much advertising hype and given that for years car enthusiasts have decried vehhicles that monitor critical functions such as oil and temperature with an "idiot light", are you allreally ready to take seriously an oil monitor light to tell you when your oil should be changed??? Now I know BMW does it and airplanes use a form of it [or is that an "hours run" monitor to indicate when rebuilding is necessary?], but knowing how the public needs no excuse to defray, postpone or ignore vehicle maintenance [not on Edmund's of course :-}],is this really a sign of progress? Are the manufacturers going to be willing to repair/replace when the engine fails because of a faulty electrical connection and the engine never had the oil changed in 40,000 miles? I'm skeptical.Sorry -just read the latest batch of posts on the "Sludge" topic and it's not pretty.
    It just seems like false economy to maintain a 15,000 to 75,000 dollar purchase by the flashing of an idiot light.Pardon my lack of trust in these things,and I guess if you lease or trade often they're fine, but I would not trust them. Fun gimmick, though! :-}
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    They have covered their bets by indicating that oil change should be no more than 1 year. I suspect under the most favorable of conditions. Very few starts (highway miles) they still will be conservative.

    cmack4 Probably is not much difference changine conventional at 3K and syn at 5K. Neither of those under most conditions is IMHO warranted-just to short. In addition to the cold weather starts-you have the added insurance of synthetics at elevated temperatures and cooling component failures. So in your case its really just an insurance policy (using syn). Now if you would chose to go the full 7.5K or whatever with syn, it starts to make more sense. To me the once a year syn change with a filter in between is the best of all worlds.
  • cmack4cmack4 Member Posts: 302
    What's your thought about blending conventional and synthetic? I was thinking of going 5 quarts conventional to 2 quarts synthetic, probably all Mobil. I'll probably still do the 3k changes just because I'm anal and have access to a hydraulic lift.
  • adc100adc100 Member Posts: 1,521
    My opinions are quite slanted because I just can't stand the thought of using any conventional oil-period. Your plan though is the next best option to my way of thinking. Some extra benefits of the synthetic and not wasting extra money on blends. I used to do as you are doing now, but the sheer number of vehicles (extended family) I have taken responsiblilty for (my choice) just doesn't allow that option.

    See 'ya.
  • artwisartwis Member Posts: 66
    was put up because this is the first vehicle (2002 century) we have owned with a oil monitor system. My vehicle is a 1997 Z71 Siverado CK1500 4WD. The severe service interval is listed in the manual as 3000 miles. I looked at the mobil 1 site and they say to change oil at the interval listed by the vehicle manufacturer. Going by Mobils own info I will just keep using dino oil in my truck as it's going good after 55K. GM mentions nothing in the manual about dino or synthetic so I assume they recommend using dino oil and changing it within using 2 tanks of gas of when the light comes on. I will also talk it over with the service guy as I have all my work done by the dealersip shop. As far as the post aways above about breakin oil, I have purchased new vehicles in 95, 97, 99, and 2002 and have always been told to just do the first change at 3000.
  • lukjacklukjack Member Posts: 21
    I have great confidence in the new electronic engines that monitor and give best prediction of oil change interval.

    Miles driven means absolutely nothing to the engine;, the load factor, rpms, run time, and amount of fuel burned are more inportant and better indicators of when the oil needs changed. 3000 miles is the most conservative figure, under severe driving conditions, which 90+% do not operate under. However, I do not blame anyone for changine at 3000 on dino or 5000 on syn. it is cheap insurance, but I just feel an overkill when your engine can tell you when ideal is...
  • hoyahenryhoyahenry Member Posts: 399
    The light came on when I started the Grand AM 2002 to drive onto the ramps to change the oil on my schedule - talk about coincidence. Got just shy of 4K and six months on the factory oil, 40/60 city/highway. The ECOTECH engine uses a paper oil filter placed in a plastic canister housing which was pretty clean. Expect that will be about the cycle for this car, about every 6 months instead of the 1 year interval. I have the luxury of just following the light since the car is leased; can post results, albeit pretty infrequently.
  • aguywhowritesaguywhowrites Member Posts: 11
    Re: Break-in with synthetic.

    I switched to synthetic when I bought my car in 1984 after the first 3,000 miles. No problem. However, after 30,000 miles, I noticed a fairly abrupt improvement in mileage and to a lesser extent smoothness. It took me a while to realize that the car had finally broken in.

    When the oil and car manufacturers say that there is no "break-in" required, they mean that the strict limitations on speed, use and driving habits that prevailed in the old days are no longer required. I don't think that they mean that your car won't drive better after a few thousand miles.

    I changed the oil every 6,000 miles. My car finally wrecked at 270,000 miles but didn't burn oil, and ran very smoothly.

    My suspicion is that 6,000 miles is quite conservative. The people who change the filter and not the oil are probably optimizing the benefit of synthetic oil, although my feeling is that if you have to jack with the filter (which you do, whether or not you use synthetic) you might as well change the oil too.
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