Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum - View Single Post - Sky Specification Estimates/Sky FAQ
View Single Post
post #16 of (permalink) Old 04-13-2007, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,677
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

GMOLS GMOL oillife oillifeindicator indicator GMOLMS oillifemonitoring

GM's Simplified Vehicle Maintenance Can Save Consumers Time & Money
3000-Mile Oil Changes May be Unnecessary

Frequently Asked Questions on GM Oil Life System & Simplified Maintenance

How frequently should drivers change their engine oil? Most technicians will say 3,000 miles while others say 5,000 or 7,000. But ask Mr. Goodwrench and he'll offer a simple solution - let your vehicle tell you when - that could protect your wallet and the environment from unnecessary oil changes. GM's patented Oil Life System (GMOLS) can double or even triple the time between oil changes when compared to the common 3,000-mile recommendation simply by evaluating driving conditions.

"This car care season, most owners of 2004 GM vehicles won't have to worry about deciding when to change their engine oil because leading-edge technology will determine the right time for them," said Peter Lord, executive director, GM Service Operations. "Simply visit your GM Goodwrench dealership for an oil change service when the vehicle signals and you won't have to worry about how many miles you have driven. This alone could save consumers significantly on the number of oil changes they purchase over the life of the vehicle."

GMOLS is on about 95 percent of the vehicles that GM produces today and on a wide variety of models since the mid-1990's. There are roughly 20 million vehicles on the road today equipped with GMOLS. The system itself uses an algorithm that tracks engine revolutions and temperature and predicts oil life based on these parameters and driver use.

GM's New Simplified Maintenance Schedules Challenge Industry Assumptions

GMOLS technology allows GM and GM Goodwrench dealerships to offer all new Simplified Maintenance Schedules on most 2004 vehicles to simplify maintenance for GM customers and to build long-lasting customer relationships. The new schedules are a departure from the typical industry approach of basing maintenance intervals on mileage. Instead of a complicated list of different services to be performed at different mileage intervals, GM's new Simplified Maintenance Schedules are based on the change oil light/message.

The first time the message on the dash appears, GM Goodwrench dealerships will offer a Maintenance I service package which includes an oil and filter change, a four-tire rotation, visual inspections of the fluid levels and brakes and a resetting of the system. The next time the message appears a Maintenance II service package is recommended, which includes everything in Maintenance I, plus a professional inspection of the suspension and steering components and the transmission. After the first two visits drivers will alternate between the two schedules as the prompt appears on the dash for the life of the vehicle. Since the system must be reset to work properly and many of the required maintenance services can be complex, GM recommends taking GMOLS-equipped vehicles to the GM experts at Goodwrench dealerships for proper service.

"Simplified Maintenance Schedules are a major convenience to drivers because it takes the guesswork out of when to change oil and it eliminates the need to make decisions regarding routine maintenance," Lord said. "Basically, when the light comes on you bring the vehicle in for maintenance and the technician can perform an oil change along with other necessary maintenance items such as checking belts, rotating tires and changing the air filter."

When used as intended and linked with the Simplified Maintenance Schedules offered by GM Goodwrench dealerships, GMOLS also can provide an environmental benefit, said Lord. If the more than 20 million vehicles on the road equipped with this technology all used the system as intended, hundreds of millions of gallons of oil would be saved, eliminating the chance of this oil ever entering the environment, he added.

Consumers should check their owner's manual to determine if their GM vehicle has GMOLS. If it does, a GM Goodwrench dealership can service and reset the system at the vehicle's next oil change. If it doesn't, they should follow the oil change recommendations listed in their owner's manual. The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year even if the GMOLS indicator does not come on.
GM Oil Life System & Simplified Maintenance
Frequently Asked Questions

Oil Life Monitoring System

How does the system work?
The GMOLS system is not a mileage counter. It is actually a computer based software algorithm that determines when to change oil based on engine operating conditions. There is no actual oil condition sensor. Rather, the computer continuously monitors engine-operating conditions to determine when to change oil. Over the years, millions of test miles have been accumulated to calibrate the system for a variety of vehicles. The system was first introduced in 1988 and is now on more than 18 million GM vehicles.

What makes it so simple?
GM engineers have been studying oil life for decades and they've learned that oil tends to degrade in a predictable pattern. Engine oil forms a coating on the moving parts of the vehicle's engine to protect against friction and heat damage related to combustion. But over time, that protection can be damaged by several factors. High operating temperatures can cause oxidation while cold engine operation introduces contamination to the oil.

Taking many short trips is more harmful to the oil than highway driving, because it tends to introduce moisture when the engine doesn't reach full operating temperature before being shut off. Heavy use like trailer towing or prolonged driving in very hot conditions can lead to a thickening of the oil that prevents it from adequately coating engine parts. GM engineers took this knowledge of operating parameters and oil life and built a mathematical model that is run by the car's powertrain control computer. The Oil Life System monitors engine temperature, combustion events and other parameters to gauge the oil's life.

How do I operate the system?
The GMOLS is very easy to use. First, refer to the vehicle owner's manual for a description of the specific 'change oil' message and instructions for resetting the system. When the engine has been operating the appropriate amount, the 'change oil' message will be illuminated on the instrument panel or driver information center when the vehicle is first started. An oil change should be done within 600 miles from when the message was first displayed. Immediately after the oil has been changed, the system must be reset. After resetting, the 'change oil' display will no longer be displayed after engine start up.

How many miles can I expect to go between oil changes when using this system?
The beauty of the GMOLS is that it will automatically adjust the oil change interval based engine characteristics, driving habits and the climate in which the vehicle is operated. For instance, mild highway driving in a warm climate will maximize the interval between oil changes. Depending on the vehicle, this could be in excess of 7000 miles and as high as 12,000 miles. On the other hand, short trip driving in cold a climate may limit the oil change to 3000 miles or less. In general, most people that drive a combination of city and highway find that the GMOLS will indicate an oil change every 5000 to 6000 miles. Additionally, most people maintain consistent driving habits. Therefore, their mileage between oil changes will be consistent. Changes in climate will affect this somewhat.

What happens if I change oil and forget to reset the system?
Since the GMOLS does not actually sense oil condition, it is important that the engine computer knows when an oil change takes place. By enabling the reset (read owner's manual for instructions), it lets the computer know an oil change has taken place. In the event that an oil change is done without resetting the system, the 'change oil' indicator will remain illuminated until the system is reset. The more miles that are driven without the system being reset, the more inaccurate the GMOLS will be. If more than 500 miles have been driven after an oil change without resetting the GMOLS, the oil change interval should be defaulted back to 3000 miles. After the oil has been changed and the system reset, normal use of the system can be resumed.

I change my oil every 3,000 miles, so of what use is this system?
You can continue to change your oil every 3,000 miles if you so choose, but remember to reset the system after changing the oil or you will get a false "change oil" message. Also, remember that the GMOLS will allow you the ability to extend the mileage between changes without harming your engine. This will save you time and money as well as helping to protect the environment by minimizing the amount of used oil. And, if you took your vehicle to your GM Goodwrench dealer they could inspect your vehicle, reset the system and make it easier to have your vehicle properly maintained in the future.

Do I have to use special oil?
The GM Oil Life System calibrates the vehicle's needs based on use of the standard factory-fill mineral-based automotive engine oil that displays the "Starburst" APIŽ Certification Mark. Make sure to read the vehicle's Owner's Manual to select oil with the viscosity and grade that are correct for your engine. Synthetic oils are not required except for the models that came with synthetic oil from the factory.

You've had OLM for years. Why hasn't my dealer told me about it and why all the fuss now?
As you can imagine, when changing from a 35-year-old traditional approach that is marketed by some very large companies, people will resist the change. Until the 2004 model year GMOLS was only available on select vehicles. Since the system was only on select vehicles it's been a little difficult for dealers to fully explain to customers so they stayed with the conservative approach. By putting it on the majority of the portfolio and simplifying the maintenance schedules we believe the benefits to the consumer and environment make this a change worth talking about.

The oil change service station recommends that I change oil every 3000 miles. Why should I not believe them?
The 3000-mile oil change is very conservative approach to maintaining your vehicle. It is based off an oil performance rating that was introduced in 1968. Since then, there have been many advancements made in both engine and oil technology. These advancements, in conjunction with using the GMOLS, allow engine oil drain intervals to be increased without risking harm to your the engine.

What should I do if I suspect my engine is leaking coolant into the oil?
Use of the GMOLS should be suspended until the engine has been repaired and the engine no longer leaks coolant.

I change my own oil, should I reset the system myself?
You can per the vehicle owner's manual, or ask your selling dealer.

Will I damage the car if I don't get the oil changed soon after the light comes on?
As stated in the owner's manual, it is recommended that oil be changed within two fuel tank fill-ups. Owner's manuals for newer vehicles recommend changing oil within 600 miles of the light turning on.

Do I have to check my oil level now that my vehicle is equipped with the GMOLS?
Yes, the system does not sense oil level. As stated in the owner's manual, it is recommended that you check your oil every time you stop for gasoline.

Will I void my warranty if I don't go by the GMOLS?
Complying with the owner's manual recommendations will maintain the warranty.

I had my oil changed recently and now my GMOLS light came on.
If the system was not reset (refer to owner's manual) at the time of oil change, the system can be reset as long as it's been less than 500 miles since the last oil change. If this mileage has been exceeded, change the oil at 3000 miles and reset system.

I prefer to have my oil changed still around 3,500 miles, what should I do?
You can continue to change your oil every 3,500 miles if you so choose, but remember to reset the system after changing the oil or you will get a false "change oil" message. Also, remember that the GMOLS will allow you the ability to extend the mileage between changes without harming your engine. This will save you time and money as well as helping to protect the environment by minimizing the amount of used oil. And, if you took your vehicle to your GM Goodwrench dealer they could inspect your vehicle, reset the system and make it easier to have your vehicle properly maintained in the future.

My oil seems dirty, I have 6,000 miles and no light, do I have a problem?
Discoloration will take place under normal conditions depending on driving conditions. Refer to owner's manual.
Also some really good information available in this thread:
KappaMan is offline  
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome