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Old 03-20-2006, 09:35 AM   #21
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Default Re: First oil change

Which is a better gauge for oil quality: the OLM or the odometer?

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Old 03-21-2006, 10:54 AM   #22
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Default Re: First oil change

Well...most mechanics I know universally charactorize any warning light that comes on on the dashboard as a "Too late light"

On a side note: When I first began looking into purchasing a VUE, I inquired of some current Saturn techs (off the record...so don't go fishing for names) about whether or not they were dependable vehicles. The answer was YES....other than problems with "a few" Vti transaxles...not an issue for me as the one I was looking at did not have the Vti...followed by advice to IGNORE the OLM and change the oil just like on any other vehicle. (They of course: Have no reason to lie to me, and; cannot readily repeat that advice to every purchaser)

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Old 03-21-2006, 01:30 PM   #23
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Well...most mechanics I know universally charactorize any warning light that comes on on the dashboard as a "Too late light"
The OLM isn't a warning light, it's an indicator that comes on BEFORE you need service.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
...followed by advice to IGNORE the OLM and change the oil just like on any other vehicle.
That's not so bad. The two other vehicles I owned prior to Saturns, a Jeep and Honda, recommended 7,000-7,500 miles oil change intervals. The OLM in my VUE has been coming on at around 6,500, so I guess I'm in line with other vehicles.

We all agree that changing the oil too often won't hurt the car at all. I would change mine sooner if I had a reason to beyond "so-and-so says so" or "that's the way it's always been done." I would pay money to meet someone who changed their oil by the light and can prove that they incurred an engine failure caused by not changing oil soon enough. Who knows, I may end up being that person. But I honestly believe those chances are near zero.

I still want to know whether the odometer or OLM is a better gauge of oil quality.

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Old 03-22-2006, 12:21 AM   #24
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Default Re: First oil change

Ever wonder why an extended warranty covers "Internal Lubrucated Parts"?

Because internal lubricated parts almost NEVER "fail" even under the longest warranty periods. This does not mean that excessive wear is not occuring, it just means that the odds are on the warranty company's side....BIG TIME.

You will also notice that same warranty insists that you can provide PROOF that the vehicle was "properly maintained" but is almost always ambiguous about just what exactly that means...

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Old 03-22-2006, 09:18 AM   #25
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Default Re: First oil change

I've wondered how you prove that you've done your own oil changes. Just because you have a receipt for oil and a filter doesn't mean you actually put it in the car. I'm out of warranty, so I throw away my receipts and just write the date and mileage down for my own purposes.

I agree that long powertrain warrantys are pretty much a wash. How often does an engine fail before 100K?

On the subject of wear: I don't care about engine wear. I don't want to know how many thousanths of an inch my cams are worn. What I DO care about is reliability, performance, and economy. If those three things are maintained, then my engine can wear all it wants. When someone says they used brand X engine oil and tore their engine down and found less wear than brand Y, I don't think anything of it. Like I said, it's not the wear I care about.

Kinda like the new Ford truck ad that shows it getting smashed between two bulldozers to tout its safety. That tells me nothing about how it will fare in a crash. All that says is that if I find myself in the truck being compressed between two bulldozers, I'll be ok. And the chances of being in that situation are very, very slim.

Also the ads for household cleaners that make an old penny shiney again. I don't care what it does to a penny, I care what it does to my bathroom tile.

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Old 03-23-2006, 04:07 AM   #26
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Default Re: First oil change

There in lies the flaw in your logic. As an engine wears, its critical tolerances open up, its piston rings and other seals don't seal as well, and wear to the camshaft results in gradually deteriorating valve timing. All of which result in performance, potential reliability and economy gradually decreasing in a proportionate amount. Will it be "notceable?" I can't really say, there are simply too many factors to consider. Will an "over maintained" car always perform better and last longer; driven under identical conditions than one given just the basics? Every time.

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Old 03-23-2006, 09:32 AM   #27
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Will it be "notceable?" I can't really say, there are simply too many factors to consider.
Wear or no wear, it's what I notice that I care about.
Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Will an "over maintained" car always perform better and last longer; driven under identical conditions than one given just the basics? Every time.
I don't believe I agree with you (surprise!) on this one. At some level this is true. But what is "over maintained" and what is "the basics?" Will your car last longer with 3K oil change intervals vs. 4K? 3K vs. 6K? 2K vs. 3K? There is a point of diminishing returns at which you receive no benefit from extra maintenance. I bet you could change your oil every 100 miles and have the same engine longetivity as someone who changes it every 200 miles. So where do you start seeing the benefit?

Tell me the oil change interval that is ideal, show me that it is at a point before diminishing returns, and explain to me how this mileage interval will be continually valid even if I change my driving habits.

Don't have this info? Someone does... at the GM Lubrications Engineering Lab. The folks who designed and programmed the OLM.

Oh, and if I wanted my VUE to last 500,000 miles, I would probably do my maintenance a little differently. But I won't keep it that long. I really don't care if my choice of oil change intervals kills my engine at 300,000 miles. The VUE will be long gone by then.

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Old 03-23-2006, 03:19 PM   #28
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Default Re: First oil change

Actually, Ford did a study and found out that new oil puts more wear on an engine than slightly used oil...

A 3,000 mile OCI is overkill on modern oils and this is why...Motor oil used to be primarily sourced from Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania oil has a high content of paraffin (aka wax) in it, so it had to be changed before it started to sludge up.

Mid East oil has lower paraffin and modern refining is more complex and produces a more 'pure' oil.

Oil companies were not about to start telling people to change less often since it would hurt their bottom line.

Now, oil needs to be changed to replace the additives that counteract the acids produced by combustion and to remove any particles in it. When they recycle oil, they bascially re-refine it down to the base oil and can use it as gear or transmission oil.

A good air and oil filter are probably 2 of the best things you can do to keep the oil clean. If dirt gets by the air filter, then the oil will pick it up and hopefully get filtered by the oil filter.

Personally, I use the OLS..and if I had severe service, I'd go with a 3K or even 5K interval...and really that's probably overkill and I'm sure the OLS is VERY conservative

Just MHO..

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Old 03-24-2006, 12:26 AM   #29
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
Wear or no wear, it's what I notice that I care about.
You've missed the point again...by the time you "notice it" it is too late....that is why it is called preventative maintainance

Quote:
Originally Posted by sspeer
A 3,000 mile OCI is overkill on modern oils and this is why...Motor oil used to be primarily sourced from Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania oil has a high content of paraffin (aka wax) in it, so it had to be changed before it started to sludge up.

Mid East oil has lower paraffin and modern refining is more complex and produces a more 'pure' oil.

Umm...most of the oil refined in the US comes from Canada, not the middle east.

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Old 03-24-2006, 10:08 AM   #30
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
You've missed the point again...by the time you "notice it" it is too late....that is why it is called preventative maintainance
My point is that you can't judge an oil's performance on factors that are invisible. "Wear" might lead to degraded performace or an engine failure, but when? In 500K miles?!

You can brag about how your cams have 0.001" less wear than mine. I simply don't care. I'm not convinced that will make a difference during the lifetime of the car.

Make a judgement based on the affects to the owner/driver, not to the engineer with a set of calipers in a lab.

I still want evidence of real world usage results, but I guess the OLM hasn't been around long enough.

Like I said, I will gladly change my ways if someone can prove that I am wrong. But all I'm hearing is "...just because..."

I'm getting tired... how much longer are we going to do on this discussion? It's not that fun anymore.

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Old 03-24-2006, 10:11 AM   #31
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
Make a judgement based on the affects to the owner/driver, not to the engineer with a set of calipers in a lab.
Believe it or not, that is EXACTLY what I am saying! But that little light on the dash DOES NOT do that, nor does it provide the "proof" you seek either....

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Old 03-24-2006, 03:10 PM   #32
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Believe it or not, that is EXACTLY what I am saying! But that little light on the dash DOES NOT do that, nor does it provide the "proof" you seek either....
I agree. I just believe that the OLM is more based on scientific research and evidence than using the odometer for calculating oil change intervals. The bigger issue, however, is my belief that relying on the usually longer than traditional intervals that the OLM suggests are not harmful to the engine. Picking a specific mileage interval is just a guess, as is the OLM. I just believe that the OLM is a more educated, closer guess.

All in all, with today's engine characteristics and oil quality, there is a wide range of acceptable oil change intervals up to even hundreds of miles past the OLM indication. Anyone is free to change oil sooner with no ill effects. If eveyone aggreed on this, then I would be delighted. My issue is when people distrust the OLM with no evidence to back them up besides a declaration that it goes against their tradition of when to change the oil. If you want to change your oil too soon, that's fine, as long as you realize that it offers little, if any, extra protection. The OLM is ok 99.999% of the time, and if you want to change it sooner to protect yourself in that 0.001% cases, then go ahead. For me, I find it a better use of my money to install a lightening rod on my garage.

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Old 03-24-2006, 11:22 PM   #33
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Default Re: First oil change

Ah....but you see....the OLM does not know what you have in the crankcase, Mobil 1 or corn oil. Nor does it know the viscosity.....It assumes you are using the correct stuff, and makes a few other assumptions along the way....quality of fuel, that all sensors are functioning properly and accurately, that you actually have an air filter installed....etc...etc..

Provided you use a quality SAE oil AND FILTER, have made no modifications, and the vehicle is in good mechanical shape overall, then following the OLM is "probably" not going to result in any excess wear or damage. For many owners (myself included) "probably" is not good enough.

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Old 03-25-2006, 05:30 PM   #34
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
Don't have this info? Someone does... at the GM Lubrications Engineering Lab. The folks who designed and programmed the OLM.
.
If Saturn, like most car manufacturers, gives you free oil changes within the warranty period, they want to see you as infrequently as possible. Even if you went 20,000 miles between oil changes, it probably wouldn't break within the warranty period.
I agree with you that with today's oils and engines, oil changes can wait until 6,000 miles without any risk of major damage (I've heard that the 1st gen S series may be an exception because of their timing chain system though). However, I agree with wolfman in that if you change it more often (say 4,000-5,000) it would potentially last longer. Besides, even synthetic oil and the best filters are cheap compared to a new engine (and the hassle of putting it in).

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Old 03-27-2006, 10:07 AM   #35
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock
If Saturn, like most car manufacturers, gives you free oil changes within the warranty period, they want to see you as infrequently as possible.
Free oil changes?! Nobody told me about that! I'd get them every week if they were free. Oh, wait, the gas to get to my retailer would be more expensive than the change itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PlasticCarsRock
However, I agree with wolfman in that if you change it more often (say 4,000-5,000) it would potentially last longer.
How did you come to this conclusion?

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Old 03-27-2006, 10:16 AM   #36
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
Ah....but you see....the OLM does not know what you have in the crankcase, Mobil 1 or corn oil. Nor does it know the viscosity.....It assumes you are using the correct stuff, and makes a few other assumptions along the way....
Since the OLM is based on standard certified dino oil, then any "better" oil will give extra "protection" on top of the intervals recommended by the OLM.

The odometer method of determining intervals assumes the same things. It assumes everything is running right and you actually put motor oil in the crankcase.

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Old 03-30-2006, 02:50 AM   #37
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
Since the OLM is based on standard certified dino oil, then any "better" oil will give extra "protection" on top of the intervals recommended by the OLM.

The odometer method of determining intervals assumes the same things. It assumes everything is running right and you actually put motor oil in the crankcase.
You are missing the point. The OLM makes its guess based on assumptions...the driver decides the change interval based on his/her known REALITY.

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Old 03-30-2006, 09:36 AM   #38
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfman
You are missing the point. The OLM makes its guess based on assumptions...the driver decides the change interval based on his/her known REALITY.
And what reality is that? What does the driver know that the OLM does not?

The driver is GUESSING based on HIS assumptions. The OLM takes in more factors to make it a more educated guess.

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Old 03-30-2006, 06:43 PM   #39
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Dizzy Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
And what reality is that? What does the driver know that the OLM does not?

The driver is GUESSING based on HIS assumptions. The OLM takes in more factors to make it a more educated guess.
For instance, have you been driving under intense loads (towing a jet ski? - yes I've seen an L300 towing a jet ski), have you been towing your Saturn (as in behind a RV), have you been sitting in more traffic than normal, were your trips shorter/longer, was the speed more constant? Does the oil itself appear dirtier than normal? I think there are variables that the OLM doesn't necessarily consider. I go by both, depending which alerts me first, the oil is changed.

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Old 03-30-2006, 10:08 PM   #40
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Default Re: First oil change

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
And what reality is that? What does the driver know that the OLM does not?

The driver is GUESSING based on HIS assumptions. The OLM takes in more factors to make it a more educated guess.
Trailer towing
Overall vehicle load
Dusty conditions
Whether or not the oil was "topped up"
etc...ect..

The OLM is a simple algorythm. It is not "smart" by any stretch of the imagination.

The OLM is guessing. Only the owner/drivers knows for sure what exact conditions the vehicle has been driven under. Basically the OLM is sitting in a windowless black box getting a phone call a couple of times a day with limited information that it has to trust as it has no other source.

The owner/driver does not even make that call....but he or she actaully lives in the world the call is coming from. Now who knows more about the world the car lives in? It ain't the OLM.

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