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All Engines: Oil Change How-To with picture!

Old 08-23-2006, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Kemble
Dealership guy told me that the cars computer on oil life works on a key turn ratio. The salesman told me it measures viscosity and temperature and blah blah blah. The service guy told me that the cobalts work on a key turn ratio. For example. the mroe times you start your car = the more clicks you get which bring the % of your oil life down. I had an issue with that because I do alot of highway driving and I was only at 50% with 6000 miles. It scared me so I went in for an oil change. They guy told me if it was city driving then my oil life would probably have been more around 25%.

I'm not going to trust that oil life guage thing and just change my oil every 5000
It has nothing to do with the amount of times you start your car, or the oil viscosity. It's based on engine temperature and revolutions over time. Naturally city will wear it sooner, as your engine spends more time at higher revs, and more time sitting at lights. (running warmer) The OLM is great at what it does, but it's not foolproof. It does not account for dirt or oil leaks, so make sure to check it still every couple tanks of gas to make sure that 1. All the oil is still there, and 2. It's not too dirty.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomtwtwtw
It has nothing to do with the amount of times you start your car, or the oil viscosity. It's based on engine temperature and revolutions over time. Naturally city will wear it sooner, as your engine spends more time at higher revs, and more time sitting at lights. (running warmer) The OLM is great at what it does, but it's not foolproof. It does not account for dirt or oil leaks, so make sure to check it still every couple tanks of gas to make sure that 1. All the oil is still there, and 2. It's not too dirty.

+1... the dealers a lot of times (not all) don't know the answers to stuff like does the oil gauge work, or how does it work.. so they will make something up so they don't look like an ass when they say "I don't know." 3 months or 3,000 miles is a safe answer, it's also an antiquated answer and doesn't necessarilly mean it's what you should do... it can't hurt anything to change it every 3,000, but it's a waste of money.. i agree, check it every so often and youl'll be fine... i've taken oil out of this car after 6,000 miles that looked cleaner than oil after 3,000 miles in previous cars...
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:19 PM
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I know I should change it around 4k-5k but hey if they will change it every 3k or 3 months ill take that anytime. Specialy if its on them.
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Old 08-23-2006, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Allshot
I know I should change it around 4k-5k but hey if they will change it every 3k or 3 months ill take that anytime. Specialy if its on them.
You'll get no arguement from me there. If they'll do it every 3k for free, then go for it.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by D4u2s0t
unless you somehow worked it out, it's not on them... and the dealer is WAY overpriced for an oil change.. do it yourself and keep the receeipts along with the mileage that you changed it at...
They offered a maintenance package when I bought my car, but for the price it wasn't worth it...like 60 bucks a month for pretty much oil and brakes. That's more than $2100 over 3 years for, at worst, 7 oil changes ($350), 2 set of front pads ($80), 1 set of rear pads ($40), and *maybe* 1 set of front rotors ($160). I can do all the labor myself easily, so to me it was a complete waste. There are definitely better packages out there, though.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tomtwtwtw
They offered a maintenance package when I bought my car, but for the price it wasn't worth it...like 60 bucks a month for pretty much oil and brakes. That's more than $2100 over 3 years for, at worst, 7 oil changes ($350), 2 set of front pads ($80), 1 set of rear pads ($40), and *maybe* 1 set of front rotors ($160). I can do all the labor myself easily, so to me it was a complete waste. There are definitely better packages out there, though.

yea, that's rediculous...
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by D4u2s0t
+1... the dealers a lot of times (not all) don't know the answers to stuff like does the oil gauge work, or how does it work.. so they will make something up so they don't look like an ass when they say "I don't know."
Yeah - I talked to several dealers before I bought my car... Some knew a lot about it; some knew only a very few basics. It was interesting to see the difference.
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Old 08-23-2006, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by css9450
Yeah - I talked to several dealers before I bought my car... Some knew a lot about it; some knew only a very few basics. It was interesting to see the difference.

i definately knew more than the dealer when i went... it was my brothe in law, but i was on this site before i got the car so i had a little inside info
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:18 AM
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And ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. I will be changing mine every 5000KM or 3000 Miles
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Fidget
And ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. I will be changing mine every 5000KM or 3000 Miles

why?? that's an absolute waste of money... check your oil after 3,000 miles and see how clean it is... then decide if you need to change it...
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by D4u2s0t
why?? that's an absolute waste of money... check your oil after 3,000 miles and see how clean it is... then decide if you need to change it...
Exactly. If it were something I could not check and inspect with my own eyes, my thinking may be different. It's more dangerous to just open it up once every 3000 miles and change it that it is to check it every 500 miles and change it when it's needed.
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Old 08-24-2006, 02:36 PM
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the oil companies/car manufactureres have glued into our minds that you have to change your oil every 3,000 miles... why?? becaust it makes them more money
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:38 PM
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i have the 2.2l ls and my car took 4.5qts and it was almost to max...
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Old 08-24-2006, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by NP05Cobalt
i have the 2.2l ls and my car took 4.5qts and it was almost to max...

was it totally drained?? it should be 5 on the dot...
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Old 08-25-2006, 01:09 PM
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Just did my first oil change in the garage (thanks to this thread) at 3k-ish and break in oil was dirty as sin. The dealer can wedge it. Upcharge for Mobil oil, filter, blah blah blah.

I was pretty freaked when the 5 quarts wasn't enough (my 98 monte took 5.5) but it's all good. Thanks for the comprehensive guide. Think I'm gonna go 5k this time and judge from there the frequency of oil changes.

Big ups for a uber-useful post.
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Old 08-28-2006, 11:46 AM
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I should probably change my oil, it's got just under 6k in the 2 months I've owned it. Mostly highway miles
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:49 AM
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I run semi-synthetic and change mine every 5k-7k miles. I wouldn't trust the oil life meter even if I watched God himself install it. Grab your stick, whip it out, wiggle it around, then check for dirty spots. If it ain't dirty, put it back in her and have some more fun.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Switt23
Grab your stick, whip it out, wiggle it around, then check for dirty spots. If it ain't dirty, put it back in her and have some more fun.
hahahahahahahahaha!!!! wow

anyone have a difficult time finding the filter at the store?
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:29 AM
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Yea, it seemed like every time I go, my local store doesn't have 2 of the 3 brands in this filter, so I have to look through several books until I find a brand that they stock, and if that brand isn't up to my standards, off I go to another store.
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by GSoccer24
hahahahahahahahaha!!!! wow

anyone have a difficult time finding the filter at the store?
Nope. I found something interesting too. I wanted the WIX brand (that is what I was brought up on), but for giggles, I looked at a couple others. I stopped by the local Wally*World and looked at both their 'Supertech' brand and the Fram brand fitlers. They looked identical to me (didn't buy either one because I did not like the design/build structure). I then proceeded to my local auto parts store (Auto Value I think) where I normally get my filters. It took them a minute to find the one for the Cobalt, but when he returned from the back room, the WIX filter looked identical (again, to me) as both the Wal*Mart Supertech and the Fram filters. I ended up buying the WIX because I had to have something, and it is possible they were made of different filtering material. I am going to buy one of each on this next oil change which is comming up (about 250 miles to my 5000 mile interval), and see if they are the same. If they are, the $2.XX Wal*Mart filter sounds better than the $8.XX WIX to me. Anyone have more input on this by chance?

Thnx for the space.
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by asyferme
Nope. I found something interesting too. I wanted the WIX brand (that is what I was brought up on), but for giggles, I looked at a couple others. I stopped by the local Wally*World and looked at both their 'Supertech' brand and the Fram brand fitlers. They looked identical to me (didn't buy either one because I did not like the design/build structure). I then proceeded to my local auto parts store (Auto Value I think) where I normally get my filters. It took them a minute to find the one for the Cobalt, but when he returned from the back room, the WIX filter looked identical (again, to me) as both the Wal*Mart Supertech and the Fram filters. I ended up buying the WIX because I had to have something, and it is possible they were made of different filtering material. I am going to buy one of each on this next oil change which is comming up (about 250 miles to my 5000 mile interval), and see if they are the same. If they are, the $2.XX Wal*Mart filter sounds better than the $8.XX WIX to me. Anyone have more input on this by chance?

Thnx for the space.
I do, stop worrying about saving money and go get the purolator pure one filter....


PureONE is the cheapest insurance available for your car today. Does it make sense to spend hundreds, or thousands, of dollars on automobile insurance each year, and then turn around and save a buck or two by purchasing an oil filter with less quality?

PureONE features exclusive Micronic Filtration media that traps even the smallest particles of dirt and grime before they get to your engine. Particles too small for conventional filters to catch. Which is why PureONE is the top ranked filter in SAE tests at keeping your oil pure. And why no other filter provides better protection for your engine.



PART NUMBER: PL15436
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Old 10-23-2006, 11:15 AM
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Amen to that. That's the brand I buy; almost went insane when the kid at pep boys suggested I just use the cheapest one on the rack (I had to send him out back to find more pureones).
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by asyferme
If they are, the $2.XX Wal*Mart filter sounds better than the $8.XX WIX to me. Anyone have more input on this by chance?
They might be exactly the same filter; there are only a handful of companies who make all the filters.

Check out the forums at Bob is the Oil Guy.com. They are nutso about oil, and filters, grease, etc. They have a post on there (its a sticky) that tells who makes which filters. By the way, the Walmart Supertech is a favorite of many on there since its esentially a premium filter at a bargain price. Other favorites on there include Wix, Napa Gold, Pure One, AC Delco and others I can't remember. Oh, and no one there likes Fram either.
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Old 11-25-2006, 02:42 PM
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My DIC won't reset?? DO i have to hold it for several minutes or soemthing??
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Old 11-25-2006, 04:20 PM
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Make sure you hold the arrow button for about 5 seconds.
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