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View Poll Results: When do you change your oil?
When the Light Comes On 26 35.14%
3,000 miles 43 58.11%
7,500 miles 2 2.70%
When I get arond to it 3 4.05%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-28-2003, 09:49 PM   #1
usa4624
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2002 SL1
Dizzy Suvery: Oil Change - By Oil Change Light or Mileage?

How often do you change your oil? The book says 3,000 miles if you do a lot of city driving, or 7,500 is you drive mostly highway. I drive a 50/50 mix, and the oil change light comes on ~ 4,000 miles. So, the Light is about right, according to the manual.

Of course, the dealer and oil change place both recommend 3,000 miles, but they might be biases, as oil changes are profitable for them.

So, do you change your oil when the light comes on, or at 3,000 miles?

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Old 08-28-2003, 10:15 PM   #2
cary
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At the "Auto Show in Motion," GM made the point that following the light will save you money and will not hurt the engine. And it will save millions of gallons of oil. If you follow the light the warranty covers the car.

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Old 08-28-2003, 10:35 PM   #3
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~ 4000 miles here. CHanged mine yesterday in fact!

I did it at 3k one time, and it looked brand new, sorda wasteful, and then I did it at 5k and thought it looked dirtier than it should have.. so 4 is my nice medium!

Thomas

...
So Long L Series... Hello Mazda 3.

I still miss the polymer.

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Old 08-29-2003, 11:39 AM   #4
Yankeez
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We put alot of highway miles on it. I never waited untill the light comes on.I just can't wait for the light to come on, I tired once. With what we are paying for the car I don't wan't to have a problem while we have three years of payments left. I usually wait untill 4,000 miles. We have74,000 miles on it now. It does get brownish by then. My dealer charges $30 which is reasonable considering it includes a wash and vacum which is $10 at the local car washes.

The L's service schedule isn't bad. Basically tire rotations, oil changes and cabin and engine air filters.

The spark plugs and timing belt and fuel filter at 100,000 miles.

I checked with my dealer and the timing belt change will cost about $400.

So far the wear of the car hasn't been that bad. I have had the front brake pads done, and a set of tires. Watch the brake fluid though. We had ours flushed when the pads where changed. The tech said it was blackish, basically from the heat the fluid is exposed too.

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Old 08-29-2003, 01:21 PM   #5
Qlara
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Light...always follow the Oil Change Light if it's available in your Saturn.

The 3k miles change is just the rule of thumb in old days. The Oil-Change Light is functionally base on specific engine data collected during the period, a better benchmark to determine the life of motor oil.

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Old 08-29-2003, 05:26 PM   #6
socketz
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3k with synthetic.

Takes me about 4 months to reach 3k.

May sound excessive, but I'm one of the few that has yet to have any problems.

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Old 08-29-2003, 08:53 PM   #7
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I don't really pay attention to the mileage, but I usually do it every 6 weeks, which is around 3 - 4K.

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Old 08-30-2003, 06:19 AM   #8
kknobl
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I usually have it changed every 3k-3500 miles, so as to keep up with all the Saturn recommened maintenence services.

Kevin

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Old 08-30-2003, 08:17 PM   #9
JeffN
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I have it changed at around 4000 miles. I drive a mix of city and highway driving, and the light has not come on before any change so far after 28,000 miles. The person at the service desk at my dealer advised me to change every 3000, saying that the climate here in Western New York (hot muggy summers and cold winters) requires more frequent replacement of oil and filter, but I'm not convinced. The oil looks pretty clean still at 4000.

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Old 08-30-2003, 08:54 PM   #10
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I changed mine every 3,000 miles. The last time my light came on, My engine had just blown~ Guess we will never know the answer to this question :-)

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Old 08-31-2003, 08:51 AM   #11
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Here in AZ becuase of the dusty climate and heat it is recommended to change your oil every 3k mi. Stop and go traffic when its 115 outside and the AC on inside really does a number on engine temperature, and high temps will slowly break down your oil. I suspect the reason for the longer change interval if you do highway driving is because all that air moving by the engine keeps it a bit cooler so your oil will last longer.

I change my oil religously every 3k mi.

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Old 09-01-2003, 02:21 PM   #12
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I think I will change my oil and follow the maintenance schedule every 3,000 miles. The question is -- once the warranty is out (I bought the car at 33,500 it now has 34,000+) after 36k, do most people stick with the Saturn dealer or their favorite mechanic shop?

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Old 09-02-2003, 07:17 AM   #13
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3,000 miles (usually 6 weeks)
Foolish to put blind faith in an idiot light.

...
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Old 09-02-2003, 04:05 PM   #14
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when the idiot light tells me. i'm not wasting any more money than i have to on the lemon-300

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Old 09-02-2003, 04:48 PM   #15
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GM spent a lot of money to give us a system that will tell us when to change oil based on our usage --- not just kms (miles). And, even takes into account weather conditions.

Here's a time when the car knows best.

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Old 09-03-2003, 04:30 PM   #16
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Every 5K miles, makes it easy. Change the air and pass compartment filter every other oil change.

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Jerry N

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."

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Old 09-04-2003, 08:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by socketz
3k with synthetic.

Takes me about 4 months to reach 3k.

May sound excessive, but I'm one of the few that has yet to have any problems.
Actually, you are one of the vast majority that has yet to have engine problems. I can't think of a single case of problems on an L related to inadequate oil changes. How many engine failures on an L have you heard about? There are a couple here, if I remember, but they had nothing to do with oil.

The problems you are probably referring to, the steering racks, wheel vibration, poor interior materials, etc. have absolutely nothing to do with engine oil.

You are throwing money away. 3,000 miles may be appropriate, as you don't drive many miles, which may indicate city driving, but insisting on expensive synthetic and 3,000 mile changes regardless of driving habits is foolish. If anything, wait until the light comes on. Synthetic has its advantages, although I don't recommend it for most people.

Remember folks, the 3,000 rule is tradition and marketing from oil change companies that profit from excessive oil changes. Follow your user's manual. My Accord went 160,000 miles with 7K changes of regular oil and experienced no oil usage, no loss of compression, absolutely no engine problems.

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Old 09-04-2003, 09:05 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by UNKLE BIK
3,000 miles (usually 6 weeks)
Foolish to put blind faith in an idiot light.
As my previous post suggests, this is probably excessive. You probably do a lot of highway driving. Why don't you trust the manual and drive longer on each change? The engineers that designed the engine know more about it than you do.

Trusting the light isn't blind faith. If you do insist on 3,000 mile changes, it would be foolish to trust the light, since it probably won't come on at that mileage in your case, because you don't need to change the oil that soon. Of course, one should use their own judgement in case the light malfunctions or burns out. The light isn't really an idiot light, either, because it doesn't indicate a problem as a last resort due to negligence (failure to check the oil, etc.), but the light is in fact smarter than us. It uses many factors to calculate the oil change intervals.

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Old 09-04-2003, 09:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by spencerb


Of course, one should use their own judgement in case the light malfunctions or burns out. The light isn't really an idiot light, either, because it doesn't indicate a problem as a last resort due to negligence (failure to check the oil, etc.), but the light is in fact smarter than us. It uses many factors to calculate the oil change intervals.
Can you elborate on ALL the factors the light considers when to come on?
The manual says some things regarding engine revs, etc. Does it take in account viscosity?
Thanx.

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Old 09-04-2003, 09:41 AM   #20
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I do between 3,000 and 4,000 miles. Is a 15 minute job an costs about $10 to do. I use a name brand oil and buy a case on-sale. For oil change intervals I would suggest reading the manual. If you meet the hard use items then follow that schedule. If not you can use the regular schedule. I would say I live in a dusty area so I follow a more conservative which most likely follows the regulat schedule. The syn .vs regular oil thing is so played out hear I'm not even going in that direction

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