: Heartland High Mileage Oil Changer Review

09-18-09, 08:07 PM
I posted about this product back in August when I needed a top off of oil from SpeeDee.

I had a problem that my Check Oil Light was coming on at about every 30% of Oil Life lost. SpeeDee the first time it came on it was 1230am after work so I drove to the nearest gas station and bought 3 qts of oil. Put in 2 qts and the light turned off, a few weeks later when I got into my car to head to SpeeDee for an oil change the light came on immediately. I drove down and they changed the oil and said I have a small leak and it was going to cost about $2k for them to repair so I said forget it. Well after that when my car hit the 69% mark the Oil Level came on again and I was only 3 blocks away from SpeeDee so I went for a top off. I told them about the leak and the manager recommended the Heartland product because a lot of their VW customers had success with it. He said it was $25 and to use it every 6months so I said WTH and went for it. He said it is very thick and its supposed to stick to the crankcase and fill up any leaks and what not and also should stop engine tick.

Now almost a month later and down to 38% Oil Life & my oil is in the middle of the dipstick. I noticed recently that it seems my tick has disappeared too. I'm due for an oil changed in about 150 miles so I'll will know by then if it has truly worked.

09-18-09, 09:07 PM
Well, we know these engines burn a little oil - many leak some also. By thickening your oil, you may be causing more trouble than you are solving. That thicker oil is more viscous than the engine is designed for, and takes longer to pump into all the oil galleries when the engine is first started. Honestly, you probably won't hurt anything in warmer weather, but if you live in a cold climate, you might cause some damage in bitter cold weather.

09-18-09, 09:36 PM
"Drove to a gas station and put in 2 quarts of oil......" Sure hope you let it sit for a few minutes and then checked the dipstick. Anything over halfway up the hashmark is over filled................What mileage is "30% of the oil life lost......" on the dipstick. Very possible that it's a considerable distance. NEVER gauge your oil consumption by an oil life monitor: Oil consumption is what a dipstick is for, period. "Life" is a very different parameter from "consumption" - the two have no correlation.

09-18-09, 10:55 PM
Yeah that is true but I was getting the message about every 1200miles or so and I am over that amount, I change it every 3k no matter what the Life says.

The guy said during an oil change most of this stuff will come out so that's why they say every 6 months because they figure about every other oil change. I won't put the stuff in the car again and I'll see what happens. Oil Change should be coming up next week.

09-19-09, 10:31 AM
Yeah that is true but I was getting the message about every 1200miles or so and I am over that amount
Not uncommon on a pre 2000 Northstar. The message comes on at 2 qts low, just about when the oil level drops off the end of the dipstick (5 - 5.5 qts remaining).

Have you read up on oil consumption in the Technical Archives at the top left of this page?

09-19-09, 04:39 PM
If you put 3,000 miles a year on your car, change the oil and filter once a year.

If you put 8,000 - 12,000 miles a year on your car, a 3,000 mile oil change interval is a waste of oil and money. Your car will safely run 7,500 - 9,000 miles between oil/filter changes.

09-19-09, 09:00 PM
Got the car in the middle of May and got it changed 1 week later...drove 3k in about 2-2.5 months and changed it.

So that was about the middle of July the last time I changed it, I should hit 3k in the next 1-2 days. I drive 3k in about 2-3 months. So that's about 12k a year I guess.

I believe I read that article when I was looking into buying a Caddy but forgot most the information on it. So its normal to have to add oil about every 12-1500 miles? I still have a qt of Castrol GTX in my trunk from when I added it the first time but I'll have to ask SpeeDee what oil they used so I can have that brand on hand.

I believe I ran it down to 15% when I first got the car and last time I changed it at about 39% because I was just over 3k and I was never religious about changing it in my Buick and Caprice and that lead to problems.

The system should tell me when to change it but is there a certain number it comes up at?

09-20-09, 10:35 AM
When the OLM determines that the oil/filter is due for a change it will post a message in the DIC. At that point you're supposed to change within a tank or two of gas. Go ahead and use your Castrol for top-up, but remember to only fill to halfway up the dipstick hashmark, cold. That's the full line, not the MAX at the top of the stick. There's a GM Service Bulletin on this - the engine burns off the first half-quart quickly when overfilled, and that leads to oil consumption complaints. 1200-1500 miles per quart is on the low side of acceptable consumption as published by GM/Cadillac. 7.5 quarts of oil with filter is the full mark, not 8 quarts as is common with jiffy oil change shops.

Curious about your OLM and a lot of driving - the more highway driving I do, the slower the OLM moves down, because highway driving is easier on the engine and oil than urban stop-and-go driving; under city or cold short hop driving conditions the OLM drops fairly fast.

09-20-09, 10:54 AM
So its normal to have to add oil about every 12-1500 miles?
Go to the top left of this page and click on Technical Archives and read up on oil consumption.

The system should tell me when to change it but is there a certain number it comes up at?
When you get to 10% oil life remaining, the message will appear.

09-20-09, 09:39 PM
Thanks to both of you guys...I think I'm going to have my mechanic do it next time instead of SpeeDee, that way I can use a WIX filter and make sure its 7.5 qts.

09-21-09, 11:44 AM
Don't loose any sleep over the 7.5 qts. I only put 7 qts in when I do an oil change just because it's easier.

09-22-09, 06:27 AM
Actually, you know what I think SpeeDee actually does 7.5, I'm gonna have to check my paperwork again...if they do 8 I'll probably just tell them 7.5.

09-24-09, 02:54 AM
7.5 quarts of oil with filter is the full mark, not 8 quarts as is common with jiffy oil change shops.

When I pull up a cadillac at work (jiffy lube) it says 7.5 with filter. I start with 7 and go from there to the half way point on the dip stick.

I also try to tell everyone else there that it has been proven that over half way up the hash marks is over filled and burn off shortly after.

I can argue it to the death with the rest of the techs at work they still fill ti until it's at the tip top which ends up being about 7.5-7.85 on the digital meter on the gun.

09-26-09, 12:19 AM

I'm going with my girl's stepdad from now on.

09-26-09, 04:40 PM

I'm going with my girl's stepdad from now on.

Why It won't hurt it people prolly do it everywhere. They obviously do it at speede da de do or w/e the heck you where going to.

It calls for 7.5 correct. What does 7.5 put it at on the dipstick for the rest of you guys? I have seen it put it to max and on some put the level below half way. Halfway or right under on the cross hatch is ideal obviously and that's where I fill the oil to on the northstar. It's just others that add the half quart too much.

What we go by at places like jiffy lube is if it's not at the very top of the hash marks ppl will pull there dipstick after they leave and see it's halfway down the crosshatch which is technically safe on any vehicle but mainly they will come back and demand that we top it off the rest of the way (1/4 of a quart most the time) and then procede to say we tryed to not give them all there oil..... The N* is and exception with me and if the customer has a issue with it I give them the facts and they are happy and educated afterwards.

09-26-09, 05:20 PM
I know oil brand doesn't matter, it was 5 years ago before I became a member here I was using Mobil 1 syn oil. But my concern now is would it be a good idea to use diesel oil? Shell Rotella? Because it has more wear additive?

09-26-09, 07:15 PM
Regardless of which oil brand you use, it is an absolute fact that levels of ZDDP (Zinc/Phosphorus), an anti-scuff additive, have been decreased in the current SL - SM rated oils. These carry the "starburst" symbol for EPA approved energy-conserving oils.

The easiest and most inexpensive way to recover the earlier level of protection is to change to a fleet or marine oil in your recommended viscosity range. These oils are called "Heavy Duty", "Long Life", "High Mileage" or something equivalent, and they will not have the "starburst" symbol, but will have a circle affair with the oil rating and viscosity in the center. They are practically mandatory for longevity in flat-tappet style engines (pre-2000 Northstars or other non-roller cam engines.)

Pennzoil Long Life, Shell Rotella, Chevron DELO, - all manufacturers have a line of HD commercial oils.

As an aside, filling a Northstar engine routinely to the MAX or FULL mark on the dipstick will harm nothing; it merely leads to the customer complaint of excessive oil consumption because the engine rapidly throws off/burns the half-quart overfill, so if the customer tries to keep the level at MAX, perceived oil consumption is accelerated.

09-26-09, 10:07 PM
Went through my paper work from SpeeDee for my two oil changes.

1st time they used 8qts of 5w30, Thumbs down

2nd time they used 7.5qts of 10w30, Thumbs up correct viscosity and amount, I will stick with them.

They use Chevron Supreme for the oil...I have 130k on the engine, should I go with High Mileage next time? I'm going to stick with them and make sure they do it correctly again.

Another thing, turned on car after work, 29% Oil Life and Check Oil Level. So at 69% it needed oil and now 29% it needed oil. I only had the qt of Castrol GTX so I put that in, its also 20w50 since that's what the gas station had when I bought it the first time I needed it. Went to SpeeDee today so they could give me the free top off.

I know now to stock up on some Chevron Supreme 10w30

09-27-09, 10:45 AM
Instead of maintaining oil level by watching the OLM percentage of life remaining, let the OLM tell you when to change the oil/filter, and adopt a habit of checking oil level once a week during your hood-open window wash tire pressure check walkaround. Check the level with the engine warm, off for at least 5 minutes, car on level ground, and maintain it at halfway up the dipstick hashmark.

When the level gets to the bottom of the dipstick hashmark it takes 8 - 12 ounces of oil to bring it back to the halfway mark.

The GM manuals state that the Northstar takes 7.5 quarts of oil with filter, 7 quarts without. If you do your own oil/filter change to those specs you'll find that the level comes out to about halfway up the dipstick marking.

09-29-09, 04:19 AM
Oh yeah, I'm not going by the OLM it's just that it always happens at x9% when it needs it, just coincidence.

Ok, so to check it the car has to be OFF for at least 5 minutes but WARM.

09-29-09, 11:04 AM
Theoretically yes, but I have checked mine both hot & cold and found very little difference.