change oil light question... NOT REPOST [Archive] - Forum


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12-14-2004, 04:41 PM
it's only been 2300 miles and it came on today??? i rarely hit ridline in first gear and the oil light is based on use and revolutions i think i read that out of my owners manual a while back.. is anything un-normal here? because i put 5w-30 oil in there one of the best and i don't understand how its coming on after 2300 miles??? if you could help me out i'd appreciate it, cause i dont beat the crap out of the car i take good care of it.

EDIT: Mobile1 5w-30 ... real good stuff.

12-14-2004, 04:45 PM
check if your oil is clean.....

there is a button in the fuse box that you can reset the light with

12-14-2004, 04:47 PM
How many cold starts. Part of the computation of the oil change interval is the amount of cold starts you have on the car. Somebody that drives only 4 miles to work each day will get a change oil light than somebody who drives 30 miles to work every day. I commute 25 miles each way at home when I'm working, and this summer I was averaging 4500-5500 miles before the light would come on. And that was with a lot of hard driving on weekends, trips to the track, etc. I always change at 3000 or so. I also think that the 4 cylinder version often throughs the light sooner than the 3400 V6, not sure what motor you've got.

12-14-2004, 04:51 PM
oh sweet thanks for the information if anyone has anything else to add i'd appreciate it! i've had a lot of cold starts and also have a remote starter that i use most mornings in the cold- its only like 4 miles to my gfs house god knows how many times i've started it up and gone there and back cause i drive her everywhere and also.. when i go to school in the morning its only like 3 miles to school and occasionally i drive the rest of the 10-15 miles... (auto tech) so that is probably it. thanks a lot! if someone else has some more input i'd highly appreciate it

12-14-2004, 05:21 PM
I'll bet anything its all those cold starts, which really do have a lot to do with the life of your oil.

12-14-2004, 05:30 PM
well im not sure on that..mine usually ranges from 3500-5500 just depending on what the weather is like and weather or not there is short drivin vs highway driving... i have had my light come on before as early as 2200 mi and as long as 8500mi just depending on the climate and the weather cond.. if the system is working correctly your oil should be already dirty if it came on.. but if it isnt then it may be the cold starting. but that shouldnt have to much to do with it.. but then again if you start it up quite often then it could be whats starting it.. the actual system is suppose to be able to read a approx. thichkness of the oil. once it reaches a certian point its suppose to throw the light..a proven fact is the worse time for engine wear is @ startup so i would recommend an oil additive like prolong or something like that. those do actually work i can honestly vouch for prolong 've put it in my 00 gase 4 cy. and im at 189,253mi and it still runs like it is brand new..hope to help out some

12-14-2004, 06:07 PM
check if your oil is clean.....

there is a button in the fuse box that you can reset the light with The "reset" button in your fuse box doesn't get rid of this.

You have to do another way(after you get the oil changed of course. You put your key in, and turn to "on", but do not start the car. You press the gas pedal to the floor 3 times quickly and the light should start blinking and go out. If not, repeat until light starts blinking. Just make sure you get your oil changed first.

12-14-2004, 06:30 PM
From another Change oil Light ( discussion, good informantion...
You guys are WAY underestimating and WAY simplifying this system.

I don't find anything telling me this is confidential, so here's something written by one of the engineers involved with the system...

"Length of oil life is fundamentally based on oil temperature and number of combustion cycles. Whether there is sufficient need to tailor the oil monitor calibration to each engine-vehicle application is debatable.

This sounds too good to be true. Yet, considering the interacting effect of all the variables involved, this simple approach may produce the best overall results across the GM product fleet. This simple approach is possible due to the fundamental design of the Oil Monitor system which is based on combustion cycles rather than vehicle mileage. The Monitor degradation formula/algorithm adjusts cycles/rev based on basic engine configuration: 4, 6, or 8 cylinders. Further degradation variations due to chemically sub-optimum cold or hot temperatures are adjusted by “Penalty Factors” which act as multipliers to the basic highway (optimum) degradation rate. N/V is also inherently considered since, again, combustion cycles, not vehicle miles, determine oil degradation rate (a heavy-duty truck with a 50+ N/V is going to degrade oil in far less miles than a 6-speed Corvette with an N/V of less than 25).

It would seem then, the only real question is what oil change advice should be advertised in accordance with typical GM Oil Monitor oil life measurement. I would propose the following:

1) Author an owners manual statement along these lines: “Your new GM vehicle has a unique, patented Oil Life Monitor integrated into the digital engine control micro-processor module which is far superior in determining optimum oil change intervals than indicated by calendar date or vehicle mileage. This Oil Monitor continually monitors and precisely counts your engine’s combustion cycles and attendant severity of use. By integrating this data, the Oil Monitor is able to calculate the optimum interval for oil change. The actual time and/or vehicle mileage between changes can vary significantly but typically falls within a range of 5,000 – 10,000 miles or 6 months to one year. Have faith in your Oil Monitor! This is the best way to optimize your new vehicle’s performance and maximize engine durability. Changing oil more often is NOT ‘cheap insurance,’ it has insignificant benefit to your new vehicle and a negative impact on the overall environment.” ... [end excerpt]

Let me just add that there are people that know WAY more about this than I do, and certainly way more than you all do. People have invested lots of time and money researching the system, and it works. It's good enough to go on ALL GM models and I've seen cars with over 150,000 miles on them running like new going by this system. So, I think there is substantial evidence that the system is due more credit than you are giving it.


There is no sensor that reads the thickness or chemical makeup of the oil. The car calculates the life of the oil based on rpms and temperature. Cold starts, and short trips will factor into a shorter oil change period. Easy highway cruising at full operating temperature yeilds the longest mileage by far. Beating on a cold engine yeilds the shortest life. And I don't know about the gas pedal trick for reseting the light, but the reset button has always done the trick for me.
How to reset the light is in the manuel.

EDIT: The above read also did confirm my thoughts that there were different parameters for 4, 6, and 8 cylinder motors, just FYI.

12-14-2004, 06:58 PM
thanks - i got the light covered, i'm ognna go an oil change tomorrow.. the reason, i guess, is because i take it short trips, i use my parents lease vehicles to drive far so i guess im gonna have to live with it for now.

12-14-2004, 08:37 PM
So I'm guessing that the car doesnt know that I'm running Mobil 1 and wants me to change at the same frequency as if I were running a cheaper oil?

12-14-2004, 08:41 PM
It has no idea, it bases its calculations on Dino oil.