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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do you check your engine's oil level in between oil/filter changes? How often do you check it? Do you always add it if it isn't at the full mark? Do you wait until a dash light comes on to add oil?

The GMI population tends to be made up of automobile enthusiasts who are more likely to be on top of their vehicle maintenance but I've been curious as to how people treat their engine oil level.
 

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I check every month or two. There is no oil level monitoring system. Just oil life at present although I've heard rumor gm is going to offer oil level monitoring system because owners just don't check the oil like we did years back when gas stations lifted IAT by selling a quart of oil as often as possible.

With self service and snack shops in gas stations these days....the days of gas station mechanics pumping gas and checking the oil are long gone.

Most Americans just don't check their oil. They should every 1000 or 2000 miles for any brand that does not have an oil level monitoring system.

Most manufactures like BMW put this in because owners lack of checking oil levels was costing them a fortune in warranty claims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I ask this because it seems like most people don't. My finacee's mom has a Mazda Tribute and not too long ago she said that on a trip the oil light came on. They added some oil and continued driving. She asked me why it would have needed oil, and I asked when it was last checked before the light came on. She replied that it was not checked since the oil was changed, and that it was almost due for a 3k oil change...

I reminded her that if she were to look in the owner's manual, it would say to check the oil at every fuel stop. I also said that there likely isn't a mechanical problem...V6 has like 140k miles on it and I wouldn't consider less than a quart to be unacceptable.

On the Tech Forum and Complaint Line there are often Equinox owners complaining about excessive oil consumption that GM won't take care of. I know that GM won't do anything if it's not using more than a quart every 1k miles (which in my opinion is excessive) but checking the oil regularly and just adding some would be cheaper than paying the $4k for another engine to be installed out of warranty...that'd buy you a lot of oil.

My Forester uses a little over a quart between 5k intervals. I check it at like every other gas stop (I'm driving like 800 miles/week). Interesting how it won't use a drop for the first like 2500 miles, then it'll need like half a quart, then another half quart or so at around 3500-4k. Boxers are kind of known to use a bit of oil and with 178k I'm not alarmed at all.

My fiancee's '95 2.2L Corsica with 218k miles uses maybe half a quart between 3k changes
 

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I check my Jeep every 2,000 miles. It's always at the full mark. (oil/filter gets changed every 4,000 miles) I check the Impala about the same. It is always at the full mark. (oil/filter gets changed when the DIC says the oil life is low)
 

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The GM Service manual specification for acceptable oil consumption is 1 quart in 2,000 miles.

If you are driving an LS engine truck and change you oil based on the Oil Life Index (which have gone 12,000+ miles) you will run out of oil and experience a catastrophic engine failure if you never check the oil level. I think the owners manual says to check every fill up.

So to combat that the new LT motor has 8.5 quarts of oil, so now you have about 2 quarts left when you reach 12,000 miles for the OLI.

I check every other month (about 2,000 miles) and add when it is a quart low. I change the oil every 5,000 miles regardless of the stupid OLI, and I use BG MOA in every oil change. I have 425,000 miles on one of our work vans. 250,000 on another. Never had an issue, I also run the BG EPR service annually to our fleet and the BG Ethanol Defender fuel additive every oil change (as per a GM Bulletin to use a fuel additive every oil change, "the addition of .. Fuel System Treatment .... added to a tank of fuel at each oil change" - #04-06-04-051D)
 

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Where I am, Europe, we have very long OCI so regular checking is important although I suspect the average European is just as bad as the average American and doesn't check it.

I always mean to check mine weekly but get lax so it's typically 3-4 weeks, always first thing on a Saturday morning when the car has stood overnight as I can never get consistent readings any other way.

When I ran petrol/gasoline engines I used to ensure the level was on full just after an oil change and then regularly check - to me the sign of a healthy engine was to use no more oil between OCI than the difference between Max and Min so never needing topping-up - as European OCI's have extended from 3,000 miles 40 years ago to 20,000 miles 10 years ago that same policy has worked as engine tolerances seem to have improved at the same rate - it should be noted I do change oil at 50% of recommended interval, so my last GM car comfortably achieved better than 10,000 miles / litre oil consumption on fully synthetic. Anecdotally I believe the standard for European oil is higher than minimum standard in North America, there's certainly no difference in the highest standard as most of those on sale in Europe are made in North America!

Since running a diesel, I've had to accept a degree of oil consumption as normal, around 3,000 miles / litre but I've also had to adopt a different policy and maintain the oil level just above the Min - this is because running higher can/does result in even higher oil consumption which contaminates the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) which is expensively undesirable. My car is Euro 5 - current cars are Euro 6 which uses AdBlue injected into the exhaust so I don't know if that effects any oil change principles or best practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Considering this is an automotive message board, there seems to be a lot of people who don't know what the concept of checking oil is due to the small number of replies to this thread.
 

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I have oil changes every 3,000 miles at the respective dealerships (Chevy and Dodge). Don't have VVT and DI in either one so don't need to worry about timing chains flying apart. With the winter we are having, I will bet that many a person who regularly checks is passing when that wind blows.
The 89 Caravan's 3L used a quart every 1,000 miles and I changed the oil. Ran that motor for over 190,000 miles with no problem but I kept an eye on it (but still did not check it every fillup).
 

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I check every month or two. There is no oil level monitoring system. Just oil life at present although I've heard rumor gm is going to offer oil level monitoring system because owners just don't check the oil like we did years back when gas stations lifted IAT by selling a quart of oil as often as possible.

With self service and snack shops in gas stations these days....the days of gas station mechanics pumping gas and checking the oil are long gone.

Most Americans just don't check their oil. They should every 1000 or 2000 miles for any brand that does not have an oil level monitoring system.

Most manufactures like BMW put this in because owners lack of checking oil levels was costing them a fortune in warranty claims.
I check ours about like JB checks. Every month or two. My wife runs 1000 miles a year and I run 10-12K not sure this year.
Neither car has used oil.

A quart per 1000 miles is a helluvva lot. Reminds me of a friend's old clunker he had as a teenager. Never changed the oil--well, he was a hack too--just added it. Oil ALWAYS fresh!

In Europe, GM's acceptable oil consumption is 1 litre (1.06 US quart) / 1,000 miles - but most petrolheads agree the engine's shot at that level.
Zouds. I guess, to paraphrase #42, it all depends on your definition of "acceptable."
 
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