: Oil Change questions

02-26-13, 08:20 PM
Hey guys,

I bought my V back in august 2012, with 21.7k miles, I am now at 25.9k miles, coming up on 5k miles and looking to change it myself soon. my questions:

- what weight is recommended for them?
- is the capacity 8 or 9 quarts?
- is a special oil filter needed?
- is the oil life percentage on the DIC accurate? I still have over 50% life showing.

any other recommendations? whats recommended by 25k miles? the other fluids have not been changed yet. Thanks for the help!

02-26-13, 09:32 PM
you should get 10k out of the oil.. the dic is pretty acccurate honestly. it takes 8.8 quarts i believe.

02-27-13, 01:09 AM
I only put about 5,000 miles a year on my cars (5 miles from my house to work) so I change the oil at one year even if the mileage on the oil is low. The Oil Life Monitor may not get to 0% until you hit 10,000 miles. How often you change it is really up to you (and your wallet). The Oil Life Monitor works pretty well but I wouldn’t run it past 0% (or to 0% for that matter). My Oil Life Monitor is at 58% and one year will be the 1st week in March. I’ll change it this weekend or next. On my wife’s vehicle (6 cyl, Chrysler product) I change at 7,500 miles running M1 EP. That’s my comfort level for stop and go city driving. I would suggest that you use Mobil 1, Mobil 1 Extended Performance, Amsoil, or other equivalent 5W-30 synthetic motor oil. This car runs high oil pressure, use the recommended AC Delco or other premium oil filter (M-1, Amsoil, Wix, etc). The owner’s manual specs 9.0 qts. That may vary a bit, don’t overfill it. If you have the dealer change the oil I would make sure they use Mobil 1, not dexos1 (although Mobil 1 is dexos1 approved). More info here; http://www.gmdexos.com/. Also, this is site has a lot of info about motor oil http://www.bobistheoilguy.com/. Everyone has their own opinion based on their experience. That’s my 2 cents. Hope it helps.

02-27-13, 03:54 PM
Thanks for that info!

Also, not sure exactly how much oil the previous owner used, but checking the dipstick shows a level halfway up the measuring portion of the stick. Im debating if i should add half or whole quart as a just in case measure. Does it sound like she has enough oil? Also the DIC shows 71% oil life, even though ive put almost 5k since the last oil change.

02-27-13, 04:19 PM
If you're halfway up the measuring portion then you're right on the money. That area is equal to a quart. If you were at the bottom you would be a quart below maximum.

I've sent oil to Blackstone Labs that had 13,500 miles on it after changing the oil when the Oil Life Indicator read 5%. Oil was fine and Blackstone said I could have gone 15k miles on it. The 3k, 5k, 7.5k mile limit on oil is 100% an old wives tale. Today's synthetic oil is night and day different than oil from the 1970's. Secondly, GM didn't pay an engineer a lot of money to develop an algorithm that would put them in jeopardy of having to cover warranty claims of seizing engines. The DIC Oil Life Monitor is accurate. Very Accurate.

02-27-13, 04:21 PM
Oil capacity is 9 quarts on a 4.4L S/C N* (STS-V or XLR-V)

the owners manual will recommend that you use a synthetic 5w30 that meets the GM Standard GM4718M
this standard has been replaced by the dexos standard and you will be ok using a dexos oil (even though most of them are syn blends)
the oil filler cap should probably say Mobil1 5w30 on it and that's fine to use as it is GM4718M (or was) and is currently a dexos oil (check the back label if you're not sure)

OLM is accurate there's a ton of reading ahead if you want theoretical proof
but if you want actual proof/evidence send some oil samples to blackstone labs (http://www.blackstone-labs.com/) (make sure you note what the OLM said when you send the samples out)

fyi, the test kit is free (you pay for the results... they're fairly priced though)

03-02-13, 02:34 PM
I only put about 5,000 miles a year on my cars (5 miles from my house to work) so I change the oil at one year even if the mileage on the oil is low.

Do you check the oil between changes with such low mileage?

What I've found on past vehicles is that very short trips don't allow the oil to get hot enough, long enough to burn off any condensation that may build up. I've seen oil that looked milky from the short driving cycle repeated many times.

03-02-13, 07:11 PM
Excellent point. Getting the oil hot (not overheated) is important to get maximum miles between oil changes. I check the oil, tire pressure and wash the car on Saturdays. The oil color looks good, still translucent. Remember it’s warm to hot down here. In the summer the ambient temperature is at 6 AM is 75 – 80 degrees and by late afternoon it’s 95 degrees. Winter is 50 to 60 at 6 AM and the afternoon is 75 to 85. Most of the time I run my DIC is the oil temp mode and in the summer the oil temp runs up to 180 degrees on the morning drive and 200 to 210 in the afternoon drive. Winter the oil temperature is 160+ in the morning and 180 to 200 in the afternoon. Traffic here in south Florida is very heavy at this time of year so it may take me 20 to 30 minutes each way to drive my 5 miles to and from work. Today was a bit of exception to the rule. It only reached 60 degrees ambient and on a 5 mile drive the oil temp only hit 165 degrees. If I were in the northern states and only driving 5 miles each way to work I’d keep a close eye on it, probably run an oil analysis at 3k to see what the story is or just change it at 5k. That may be cheaper. I think the OLM takes the temperature into account so low ambient temps and short runs should reduce the miles between oil changes. Regardless, always best to check it regularly. Down here, I’ll continue to run the wife’s van to 7,5k.
In the summer, it’s funny to start your car in the morning and the water temp gauge is already 1/8 to 1/4 of the way up.

03-02-13, 09:47 PM
Ah, then that makes sense. I didn't notice you live in FL, compared to my northern climate.

From what I remember, a good rule of thumb is oil temp at 200F for 20 minutes to burn off moisture in your oil.

03-03-13, 08:17 PM
OLM is mainly based off of temp and rpm

The more rpm's at colder temps the quicker the life will degrade.

02-05-14, 04:06 PM
Bump for old thread.

I was wondering if a different grade oil could be used. Does it "have" to be 5W30? I have been reading up and i want to try Pennzoil Ultra but am curious if another viscosity can make it run better.

P.S. I used the search function

P.S.S. The amount of threads in regards to oil leaks is terrifying.

02-05-14, 04:56 PM
5w30 is the only recommended viscosity