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2009 CTS DI AWD Premium
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Discussion Starter #1
I thought I would throw this question out to everyone and see what I got back. I was always told to change your oil after the break in period as that is when metal fragments etc. collect in the oil. I was talking to a friend and he suggested that I wait the full interchange as there are additives in the oil that resist the elements that might harm a new engine. Any thoughts on whether or not to change your oil after break in period?
 

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2009 CTS
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16 Posts
I did my own at 3,300 miles. Glad I did because the filter looked dirty.
It probably won't go that far again, even with 5W30 Mobil 1.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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Do a search here for 13,000 different answers. I change my oil whenever the engine is just about ready to use the last drop of oil. LOL
 

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09 CTS
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You will get as many opinions as there are posters.

I have a question for you: Do you trust the GM Powertrain people that designed your engine? The answer better be "yes" otherwise you should not have bought the car.

Now, given that you trust the designers, and given that they installed an oil life monitor in your car for the specific purpose of recommending when you should change your oil, WHY WOULDN'T YOU FOLLOW THEIR RECOMMENDATION?

Remember, now, that those are the folks that are responsible for minimizing GM's warranty costs due to engine failures, so they must be conservative in their recommendations.

Bottom line: change the oil when the monitor says 10% or so. If GM wanted you to change the oil at the end of the "break-in" period, they would have said so very clearly.

DISREGARD all other opinions as not factually based, regardless of who says otherwise. They are put forth by people that do not have the knowledge, experience or resources of GM Powertrain.

Enjoy your fine automobile.

Frank Gonzalez
 

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2008 Cadillac CTS DI AWD Thunder Gray Chromaflair/Ebony
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798 Posts
I think what you have heard has some merit. Although as previously suggested, following GM guidelines will never steer you too wrong.

That being said, no wonder we are confused:

- My BMW motorcycle insisted on exchanging all fluids @ 600 miles
- My Honda minivan insisted on not changing the oil prior to 5,000 miles (first change only)
- My CTS simply says to use the OLM and change it at least once a year

I love the oil life monitor technology and using it is a safe way for you to save a substantial amount of money over the life of a vehicle. That being said, I did get the first oil change around 5,000 miles (partly due to the first oil change being free and wanted combine with the tire rotation). Going forward, I will generally have the oil changed when the OLM reaches 30-20% remaining.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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Follow the owner's manual and OLM. Anything else is anal and an unnecessary waste of time and money based on old wives' tales and hearsay.

gonzalesfj has the correct answer and yatesd has the correct take on the OLM.
 

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2017 ATS-V Sedan, Vector Blue/Black, 6MT
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By the way, Porsche recommends oil changes at TWO YEARS or 30,000 miles, whichever is first. Even the GT3 with it's $50,000+ race-ready engine. Even if it is tracked! I asked them at the factory and they insist it's okay. They use Mobil One 0-40. They do run the engine briefly on the dyno, then they change the oil and install it in the car, and it's ready to race, apparently for 2 years or 30K miles!
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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If you can find Mobil 1 0W-40 Euro specification oil you'll see that is does not have the starburst "Energy Saving" logo, just a circle with the current oil rating - SL or SM/ILSAC. Why? Because the Euro spec oils carry a higher ZDDP load than our EPA has legislated.

Also, some of the multigrade oils rated for fleet and/or marine service are also high-ZDDP load oils because they're also rated for diesel service. Pennzoil and Chevron make a 10W-30 Long Life fleet oil that is deep amber right out of the jug. Full of good slippery stuff.

Google "chevron fleet engine oil" "shell rotella marine oil" or "pennzoil sopus products" and surf to the spec sheets. (Pennzoil/Shell/Quaker State/SOPUS is all the same company now.) (Shell Oil Products U.S.)
 

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2014 SRX Premium w/20" chrome
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GM issues and backs the vehicle warranty. Simply follow their recommendations. These are not your grandfathers cars, the oil properties and filtration system's are far superior.
 

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Interesting that someone else finally mentioned Zinc-dialkial-dithiophosphate (I've always heard it as ZDP but someone above put ZDDP). I asked this question on another identical thread... I heard for years that you should change your oil early because of "metal shavings" then I heard you shouldn't because modern engines are designed well enough to not shed metal, but also because the factory puts higher concentrations of ZDP (an antiwear agent) for break in. Does anyone know if this is true? I know they have cut back on high ZDP concentrations (from 1200-1400 pmm in the 80's to 800 ppm now) because it clogs catalytic converters. I wonder what the Euro spec concentration is and if they have a problem with their cats.
 

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2002.5 F55 CORSA STS, 2014 Explorer XLT FWD
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One way to look at the question is: Cats got along fine on ~1200 PPM ZDDP 4 years ago, why not now........? (1,000 to 1,300 is where today's "diesel rated" oils are running.....)

If there are any metal shavings in any new engine's first oil change, you got bigger problems than a new filter. "Break in" is just about a thing of the past - a few hundred miles of ever-increasing engine load and rpm is all it takes. Gone are the days when rings had to wear into the bore and cut off the honing ridges. A new flat tappet cam and lifter set is broken in after the first half hour at 1500 engine rpm. Main and rod bearings are set to such close shape and clearance tolerances that there is essentially no break in required there.

The first 100 hour oil/filter change on one of my 1972 Olds 455 marine conversions is pure, clear amber Pennzoil 15W-40 Long Life truck oil. There is nothing in the oil or pan. We use Blackstone Labs for our oil analysis and are told that we're changing the break in oil way too early. It's not 1965 any more.

Here's a trick which I posted down in Northstar Performance a couple of years ago - Next oil change, drain your filter and clamp it carefully in a vise. Hacksaw around the tapping plate, about 1/8" down the can. remove the tapping plate and media. Cut around the media to obtain a long accordion of paper. Break the media into 10-pleat pieces and squeeze all the oil out with the vise. Unfold the medai and look at what's in the filter. Minute particles of gasket dust and maybe a tad of RTV sealer. If there is any shiny aluminum colored flakes, it's piston or bearing metal. Shiny steel flakes is chains, cylinder wall galling, oil pump gears. Between filter analysis and lab testing, you can figure out EXACTLY how fast and what your engine is wearing.
 
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