Oil Life Monitor - Chevy Colorado & GMC Canyon
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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Life Monitor

Hey guys! I'm new..I have a question for here. I have a 2015 Colorado Z-71 crew cab 4WD with the 3.6L V-6. I bought the truck brand spankin' new. In fact, I ordered it for myself. The first oil change I got about 5,500 miles out of the oil before the monitor told me time for a change. The second oil change I got a little over 4,000 miles. The third oil change I got about 3,500 miles. And now the oil change coming up, I have gotten about 2,700 miles out of the oil before the monitor told me It's time for an oil change. My Colorado has only 16,000 miles on it now. I have owned it for 1 year and 10 months now. Why does the oil life keep decreasing and the Oil Life Monitor coming on sooner and sooner? I do live in northwestern PA and I do use my remote starter during the winter months to thaw the windows out but I'm out there and going down the road before the first 10 minute cycle is up, so it's never sitting and idling for real long, this is before the morning commute to work and before driving home from work. So I do get that remote starting a vehicle has a little bit of an impact on oil life. I usually drive the speed limit to and from work, I never get into high RPM's while driving, I live in a small town just outside of the city in the country so "start/stop" isn't much at all. My drive to and from work is around 35 miles round trip each day. The dealership is the only one who changes my oil, not a mom and pop joint, not myself, JUST the dealership. The oil life percentage is always reset after each oil change too. Just can't understand why my "oil life" keeps decreasing.

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 04:53 PM
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That sounds really odd.
My 15 remained consistent with my typical driving habits for 30K, which I changed at 6K, and just under 20%. I would consult dealer service about that.
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 05:27 PM
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Hmm strange. Definitely consult your dealership.

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post #4 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 06:43 PM
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My Colorado only has 1500 miles on it and I purchased it after most of the colder mornings this past winter were long gone, but I did use my 2016 Equinox with the 3.6 most of the winter which probably has the same software. It currently has 7500 miles. The OLM last spring and summer was very slow in decreasing the life of the oil. I changed the oil at about 4000 miles in November with about 40% life left. Since the last oil change, I often would pre-start the vehicle since it sits outside on the cold mornings and start driving it within 10 minutes before the timer ran out. I then drive about 15 miles on a four lane highway to work which should get the engine up to operating temp to burn off condensation. After 3200 miles since the last oil change, the OLM is down to 18% which is taking in consideration the idle time during warmups and the time it sits in the garage more since I purchased the Colorado in mid February. I will probably change the oil at about 3500 miles this time to not cause a warranty issue, but otherwise I usually change the oil between 4000 and 4500 miles. Since the warmer spring weather, the OLM life counter has slowed up and is not decreasing as fast as it was.

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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:25 AM
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FWIW

My truck is 14 months old and only has about 7800 miles on it. My first oil change was at 4,500miles and the oil life monitor listed 25%. I'm only 3,500 miles since my last oil change and I looked at the monitor last week and it listed 18%. I'm not sure I'll be able to get to 10K miles before it gets to Zero %. Granted...the first oil was the factory oil. The First oil change was the dealership. Does the oil life monitor know anything about what type of oil you use? Synthetic versus regular?

Honestly...I'm not worrying about the oil life monitor and what it tells me. I'll consider 5K miles between oil changes a pretty 'safe' place to be. Should I mention it (the OL monitor reading) to them the next time I get it changed? Sure...I would.
Even the sticker (oil change reminder) they put on the inside of my windshield (after the last oil change) says 5,000 miles until the next change. Go figure.

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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:39 AM
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Here is some good info on how the OLM works.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 975c7820afba1004895010145efa6b30.pdf (14.0 KB, 46 views)

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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janster View Post
FWIW

My truck is 14 months old and only has about 7800 miles on it. My first oil change was at 4,500miles and the oil life monitor listed 25%. I'm only 3,500 miles since my last oil change and I looked at the monitor last week and it listed 18%. I'm not sure I'll be able to get to 10K miles before it gets to Zero %. Granted...the first oil was the factory oil. The First oil change was the dealership. Does the oil life monitor know anything about what type of oil you use? Synthetic versus regular?

Honestly...I'm not worrying about the oil life monitor and what it tells me. I'll consider 5K miles between oil changes a pretty 'safe' place to be. Should I mention it (the OL monitor reading) to them the next time I get it changed? Sure...I would.
Even the sticker (oil change reminder) they put on the inside of my windshield (after the last oil change) says 5,000 miles until the next change. Go figure.
The OLM doesn't deal with oil type, it just monitors driving conditions.
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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:42 AM
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Here's what I've seen. My first oil change was at 5,000 miles at dealer with 35% oil life left. My second oil change was at 9,500 miles with approx. 8% oil life. Truck not driven hard with a lifetime fuel economy of 19.8 mpg per DIC. The winter seems to have a big effect. I expected the DIC to give me longer life but I'm starting the question the algorithm. I'm using Mobil1 now at 5000 mile intervals.

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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by New Z71 View Post
Here's what I've seen. My first oil change was at 5,000 miles at dealer with 35% oil life left. My second oil change was at 9,500 miles with approx. 8% oil life. Truck not driven hard with a lifetime fuel economy of 19.8 mpg per DIC. The winter seems to have a big effect. I expected the DIC to give me longer life but I'm starting the question the algorithm. I'm using Mobil1 now at 5000 mile intervals.
The algorithm is programmed to the factory fill mineral oil. You are using better oil (Mobil 1) so the algorithm is probably on the conservative side in your case. I would keep using the good oil and change it every 5K or according to the OLM anyway, because we like to pamper our babies

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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:59 AM
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Who cares what the olm says, Ijust change mine every 5000 miles and rotate tires.
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post #11 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:00 AM
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As others have already said it's based on the factory full "synthetic blend" they use (which is really just dino oil with a couple things tweaked to make it synthetic blend, the percentage of synthetic is never given). I use Amsoil Signature Series and I run it up to 10k miles (rated for 25k) based on my results from UOA's. I just reset the oil life when it gets down to stop it from yelling at me and to stop the dealership from calling lol
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post #12 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:34 AM
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As others have already said it's based on the factory full "synthetic blend" they use (which is really just dino oil with a couple things tweaked to make it synthetic blend, the percentage of synthetic is never given). I use Amsoil Signature Series and I run it up to 10k miles (rated for 25k) based on my results from UOA's. I just reset the oil life when it gets down to stop it from yelling at me and to stop the dealership from calling lol
Can't argue with the findings of Blackstone Labs!

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post #13 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:44 AM
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The thing I have observed with this system is long idle time will affect life. Also short trips will eat up percentage.

My buddy has a 15 Colorado and he eats up percentage since he drives only a few mins to work daily. The engine barely gets up to temp and he is there. Same for going home. This is harder on oil life than anything and the computer reads this.

Same for cold start and long idle times. It will use up oil life at a much faster rate. Once summer gets here much of this should improve.

I use Mobil One in everything but still go by the OLM.

Note my HHR SS came from the factory with Mobil One and even with the turbo it will run 7500-8000 miles on the OLM. I wish you could change the programming to full syn oil to show the extra 2-3 thousand miles it is worth.

As for this new oil where you change it once a year or even the 25K. I am just not comfortable with that. I know it may do it but I like to not let things settle that long in an engine.

Lets face it changing oil for most of us is not an issue and it is cheap enough at Walmart.
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post #14 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 10:57 AM
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Who cares what the olm says, Ijust change mine every 5000 miles and rotate tires.
Same here. Just because some computer is there to 'monitor' my truck does not mean it knows whats best for it.

Manufacturers, contrary to popular belief, do NOT want your vehicle to last forever. They want to make them reliable and for you to be satisfied and not have to bring it in for warranty. But if they designed them to last too long, well then no one would need to buy another.

While some think that changing oil too frequently is a waste of time or money, I think doing 2 oil changes a year (in my case anyways) is cheap insurance.... whether it needs it or not.

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post #15 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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I agree

I agree with a lot of what you all are saying :) I work for a Chevy dealer actually, in sales. This is my 4th "free" maintenance visit already then I start paying for them after that. I generally like to change my oil in all my vehicles, past and present, between 4,000 to 5,000 miles. I rotate tires every time as well. My truck goes in for the oil change on Monday and I talked to our service advisor and one of the top techs, not only in our shop but in the entire country, about my oil life decreasing and they were both kind of puzzled by it as well. I actually made a comment to our service advisor saying, "The factory probably programs it that way, that way they get you to come in and spend more money in the shop and then eventually buy another brand new vehicle." He said, "Yeah, probably. I wouldn't put that past them."

I think what I may do after this last "freebie" is go back to changing my oil every 4,000-5,000 miles like I used to with my old vehicles and just ignore what the monitor says. All ya gotta do is pull the dipstick and look at it to make sure the oil is up to the full line and also look at the color. If it's golden then it's good. If it's black then it's time. Technology is great and all, but a lot of times..It's just a great big pain in the a$$ :P It really doesn't need to be as complicated as what they make it.
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post #16 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 03:01 PM
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I have used this technology for a good while and never saw a orobem with it in the 4 cars I have knew with it.

It was never a marketing deal to get you in. Hell if that ever got out GM would pay dearly in the media.

If there is a problem it is a programming thing. If not it is just a lot of over thinking and the lack of understanding of the parameters and condition tha affects the changes.

Many underestimate the things that do the most damage to oil.
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post #17 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 05:39 PM
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I have posted this in the other oil life monitor threads but this is what the algorithm is

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post #18 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 05:41 PM
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See:

"COLD HOT coolant temp readings have multipliers that reduce engine revolutions pathway quicker depending how far from normal oil temperature the vehicle is operating"

So maybe since you are in a cold climate, it doesnt get to the normal oil temperature as quickly which causes the OLM multipler to be higher than normal thus reducing the stated oil life?

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post #19 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 05:14 PM
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I'm at 8% and the oil life warnings are popping up..... I'm at only 8020 miles total. I don't put a lot of miles on this thing - short trips 5 miles at a time to/from work. My last oil change was in September with 4500 miles or close to that (7 months ago).

The sticker the dealership put on my windshield says 'Next Oil change 9900 miles". It'll take me 2 months to reach that mileage. LOL.

I'll get thru this tank....and maybe another and see where I'm at. I could poke the dealership about the transmission stutter/chuggle again while I'm there.

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post #20 of 51 (permalink) Old 04-28-2017, 12:38 PM
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I'm at 8% and the oil life warnings are popping up..... I'm at only 8020 miles total. I don't put a lot of miles on this thing - short trips 5 miles at a time to/from work. My last oil change was in September with 4500 miles or close to that (7 months ago).

The sticker the dealership put on my windshield says 'Next Oil change 9900 miles". It'll take me 2 months to reach that mileage. LOL.

I'll get thru this tank....and maybe another and see where I'm at. I could poke the dealership about the transmission stutter/chuggle again while I'm there.
I bought my Colorado from a friend who moved up north and needed a 4WD (mine is a 2WD). He used up the complimentary oil changes so I switched to fully synthetic. This was 2400 miles ago. Now it shows that I have 40% remaining. It does not seem like it will make it to 5k miles. Prevously I used synthetic on my cars and did 5k or 1/yr oil changes, whichever came first. I think I'll stick with the 5k interval with the truck also.

Speaking of the stutter/chuggle, give your truck a 91 or 93 octane next fill-up if you want. For me that was the only solution. It took my ECM the second tank to adjust for the better gas. I wrote up my "chuggle" story in this forum.
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