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Hello All and Happy Holiday's,

Question for any one. I changed the oil in my 94-STS on Sunday 12/26. I reset the oil life read-out to 100%. I checked it yesterday and now it's reading 96% life left. I only put about 120-miles on it since the change. I've been using Castrol non-synthetic oil. The odometer just turned 110,000.00 miles. Do you think if i switch brands of oil, the life will change? I change the oil when it get's to 40% which is every two months. <_<

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The oil life indicator does not measure the qualities or characteristics of the oil, but is rather a statistical analysis based on the usage of the Cadillac. So it will not predict longer life for syn oil or for brandX oil, but rather a set oil life for so many starts, running at so many rev's, etc.

Bruce

2016 Cadillac ATS-V gray/black

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I've noticed that for a very short time after a change, the oil life indicator seems to go down kind of fast; but that doesn't continue. I'll bet you'll get at least 7,500 miles before the indicator says to change - not that I ever go that long.

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Forget the oil life monitor altogether! My father in law ownes a 1964 Impala, a 1971 Monte Carlo, a 1979 Impala, a 1990 Lincoln Mark, and his new 2003 Chevy 1500 crew cab. Besides the truck, none of these cars is mint, but they all run well, even though I had to make a few of them pass the smog test. He has little knowledge about cars, and can barely change the oil on them. He has got some major miles on the 71, and 79, almost 250 grand on the both of them individually. The 64 is not mint, but is complete, and a prime candidate for a minor restoration, as it is still that nice. I asked this "not even good enough to be an alley mechanic" how he kept all these cars running. His adivce was "I change the oil at 3000 miles or 3 months regardless"! No major rebuilds on any of these cars, he has the history on these cars that would make you all laugh! He owns the original title to them all! Have you ever seen a title issued in 1964? Ha! Ha! Change the oil from the beginning at the 3/3000 interval my friends! I simply can't argue with his results!

I will quote the Society of Automotvie Enginners (SAE). "80 percent of all engine wear occurs during the first initial seconds of engine start up". Does clean oil have anything to do with that? How about letting your car idle for 20 seconds prior to driving? You can dispute these claims, but the SAE DID make that statement!

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Change the oil from the beginning at the 3/3000 interval my friends!

The 3/3000 interval was invented decades ago (when your dad's cars were first built) and no longer applies. Advances in oil technology have far removed the ol' 3/3000 mantra still touted by Jiffy Lube to maintain their level of business.

It's like brushing your teeth. I brush mine twice a day, and I haven't had a cavity for as long as I can remember. There are fanatics out there who brush 5 or more times a day, and their teeth are just as clean. Cleaner? Maybe. Can they get MORE cavity-free than no cavities? No.

Same deal with the oil. I've followed the oil life monitor on the Cadillac since it had 48,000 miles on it. Still do at 140,000 miles. Engine hasn't even had a cam cover off. I haven't had a single problem with this engine. There are fanatics (and Jiffy Lubes) out there who have you to believe that if you go beyond 3000 miles, it's curtains. Are their engines cleaner, just because they change oil twice as often as I do? Maybe. Can they get MORE problem-free than no problems? No.

If you look at the responses on this board, you'll have countless members who follow the oil life monitor on their vehicles successfully after 100,000 and 200,000 miles. It's also more than just simple economics. Changing oil every 6000 miles instead of every 3000 miles for instance allows you to use HALF the new oil you otherwise would; you'll also dispose of half the used oil. I don't know about you, but I prefer against lining some Arabian shah's pockets with liquid gold. If everyone would look rationally at oil change intervals (like the OEs do), you'll find that change intervals of 5000 miles or more are completely acceptable with modern oils.

You're also talking about ancient engine designs (small block Chevys and Fords) which damage oil much more than modern engines do. Like oil shear. I've learned this just since I've started following this board. For example, do you know why the 2000+ Northstar cars use 5W-30 oil and the 1999- cars use 10W-30 oil? It was a change in the lifter design. The maximum oil life interval was also raised to 10,000 miles I believe...instead of 7,500 for the same reason. There's much more to oil life than simply the miles spent in an engine.

There's just no good reason, beyond keeping Jiffy Lube in business, to change as often as 3000 miles today. Follow the OE's recommendations. If that's 3/3000, fine. If that's 6/7500, great. If that's "as indicated by the oil life monitor", do that.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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Put me in Jason's camp. I have been changing my own oil per the OLM for 141,000 miles on the '98 for a total of 20 oil changes.

And I plan to abuse the '04 exactly the same way.

Jim

Drive your car.

Use your cell phone.

CHOOSE ONE !

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Changing oil every 6000 miles instead of every 3000 miles for instance allows you to use HALF the new oil you otherwise would; you'll also dispose of half the used oil. I don't know about you, but I prefer against lining some Arabian shah's pockets with liquid gold.

:lol: Jason, what makes me really sick is lazy and stupid people leaving engine running for sometimes as long as 15- 20 minutes while they buy their hamburgers, donuts and soda from a local store. It is not just about making someone rich , it is about WASTING natural resources of this planet and polluting the air for no good reason. :angry:

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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Yes, there are certainly good environmental reasons for "extending" oil change intervals. And you're not really "extending" them past safe, into the "do at your own risk" category. You're simply throwing out the decades old 3/3000 rule and following your OE's recommendations. As I said, it's more than just economics -- our quality of life is at stake too. Remember, individual initiatives add up to collective ones!

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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The following is a quote from Bbobynski's August 27, 2004 post regarding oil life:

Changing the oil sooner than the oil life monitor says will certainly not hurt anything. It just wears out the drain plug threads sooner and wastes time and money changing the oil needlessly. Plus it puts more used oil into the waste oil system than necessary. Quickie oil change places make money one way....having you come in often for an oil change so they can then try to sell you all sorts of extra "services" on top of the oil change. I' surprised they don't recommend 2000 mile oil changes or even sooner. If everyone followed the oil life monitor recommendations in GM cars half the quickie oil change places would probably go under for lack of business....

Follow the oil life monitor recommendations for your oil changes. Just remember to reset the oil life monitor when the oil is changed as it has no way of knowing that you had the oil changed.

Any good quality conventional mineral oil is fine. Synthetics are certainly not required for the FWD Northstars...unless you just like to spend more money.

Realize that oil change intervals are based on many factors including time, oil temperature, engine operating conditions, engine run times, soak times and temperatures, ambient temperatures, cold starts, etc. Mileage alone is a very poor indicator of oil change requirements but was the only thing available until the GM oil life monitor came along. The oil life monitor takes all the factors that dictate oil life into account and customizes the change interval recommendations to YOUR personal driving schedule. The computer algorithm monitors your driving conditions and engine operating parameters and sets the change interval accordingly. There is no more accurate means of determining when to change the oil. Certainly not the recommendations of an oil change shop that has no idea how your driving schedule is. In a very worst case, short trip driving schedule in the middle of the winter you may find the oil life monitor recommending a change SOONER than 3000 miles even. If so, do it.

You can bet that General Motors wouldn't base their waranty on the Oil Life Monitor unless they had verified that it was reliable!

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Happiness is owning a Cadillac with no codes.

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I too was a firm believer in 3/3000 til I found this board and became educated. I still change my wifes at 3K (shorter trips and no OLM). I get 7500 between changes on mine now per the OLM and I am not worried. Having said that, I understand where Styes is coming from. Old habits die hard, especially when we are talking about the care and feeding of our beloved "babies".

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I have a 94 STS with 93000 miles and allways use the oil life indicator. I think it's a fantastic feature offered in this car. Since I often drive inner city and take short trips, I've never experienced a 7500 mile oil change interval since I've owned the car. My oil life indicator almost allways tells me to change oil befor 3000 miles. I've also never experienced a fast drop in oil life shortly after changing oil. I also use Castrol GTX. Our expert here is strongly against using synthetic oil in Northstar because it will increase the oil consumption. Forget about all the advertisement out there suggesting synthetic oil reduces fuel consumption and such. I think it's not worth it.

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Since I often drive inner city and take short trips, I've never experienced a 7500 mile oil change interval since I've owned the car. My oil life indicator almost allways tells me to change oil befor 3000 miles.

That's a great point -- sometimes 3000 miles is too LONG for oil to be in the engine. Every car should be equipped with this system. I'm glad to see the General at the forefront of including this type of technology in most all of their vehicles.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I don't trust the oil life indecator the guy at the dealer said they can be thrown off very easy. I just get the oil changed every 2,500 miles.

user posted image

Defending Northstar perf a qtr mile at a time!!!!

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I don't trust the oil life indecator the guy at the dealer said they can be thrown off very easy. I just get the oil changed every 2,500 miles.
:D Do you change the oil at that dealersip? I believe "the guyat the dealer" does not have any idea how the thing works.

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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I don't trust the oil life indecator the guy at the dealer said they can be thrown off very easy. I just get the oil changed every 2,500 miles.

There is no way the oil life indicator can be "thrown off".....the dealer is feeding you a line of BS....

Do a search in the archives on OLI or Oil life indicator and pay attention to the posts by Bbobynski in order to get educated on the operation of the oil life indicator.

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I don't trust the oil life indecator the guy at the dealer said they can be thrown off very easy. I just get the oil changed every 2,500 miles.

That's because if he tells you it works, he knows you won't have the oil changed but every 6000-7000 miles on average, and that hurts his bottom line. Too bad that comes at the expense of your wallet, and the environment. Unfortunately, some people in the world are dishonest, and your dealer is one of them. At the least, he's misinformed. It'd do him well to have a visit to caddyinfo.com! :)

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I don't trust the oil life indecator the guy at the dealer said they can be thrown off very easy.  I just get the oil changed every 2,500 miles.

That's because if he tells you it works, he knows you won't have the oil changed but every 6000-7000 miles on average, and that hurts his bottom line. Too bad that comes at the expense of your wallet, and the environment. Unfortunately, some people in the world are dishonest, and your dealer is one of them. At the least, he's misinformed. It'd do him well to have a visit to caddyinfo.com! :)

Wanna find out if he is dishonest or just misinformed? Print out Guru's explanation of how it works (all of them) along with his strong endorsements. Black out his name, since it is just a screen name anyway, but be sure to tell "guy at the dealer" that he is a GM powertrain engineer. Then see if "that's his story, and he's stick'in to it".

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jadcock Posted: Jan 2 2005, 05:56 AM

You're also talking about ancient engine designs (small block Chevys and Fords) which damage oil much more than modern engines do. Like oil shear.

Jason,

I know the Northstar is a "modern" engine but, how do engines of yesterday (70's, 80's and 90's) damage the oil in ways newer engines don't?

Interesting ...

Jim

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I know the Northstar is a "modern" engine but, how do engines of yesterday (70's, 80's and 90's) damage the oil in ways newer engines don't?

Jim, Guru talked about oil shear some time ago, and about how modern lifter designs and gearotor oil pumps (vs. straight-cut gear designs) shear and tear the oil less (on a microscopic level). He said something about an oil life indicator not applying to every engine design. The 93-99 Northstar's OLI has a maximum of 7,500 miles for instance. The 2000+ Northstars, with roller lifters instead of direct-acting tappets, are extended to 10,000 miles. I'll have to try to dig up his post. It was quite interesting, and eye-opening.

Here's the best I found, from the old board actually:

The oil life monitor would go 10,000 miles under ideal conditions in the 2000 model year cars. The Northstar was heavily redesigned for 2000 and the changes made enabled the use of 5W30 oil and the engine depletes the oil much less than the previous Northstar engine.

In addition, from the same post:

We routinely run our test cars to double the oil life monitor intervals to simulate worst case owner abuse and the engines are fine. Not that this is recommended !!!! but it illustrates the cushion built into the oil life monitor limits.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I don't trust the oil life indecator the guy at the dealer said they can be thrown off very easy.  I just get the oil changed every 2,500 miles.

Try not to base you opinion on one persons opinion especially "some guy" at the dealer. Take the information in process it and discard the BS! The oil life indicator is extremely accurate and takes a lot of information into consideration providing its indication.

If ONE doctor said you are terminally ILL would you trust him and climb into a casket or get a second opinion and learn more? I know you are young, so I am going to tell you something that has taken me 50 years to learn and understand. There are a lot of a-holes out there that talk out of their a-hole and you can quote me! Proof of this was the election, it proved to me that one out of every two people you meet is an a-hole (notice I did not choose sides politics is OT :D ).

The hardest thing to learn in life is 1) to ignore the a-holes and 2) not to get upset by them and to just be happy in knowing that they are a-holes and walk away.

If you do a search under bbobynski, and oil life you will find an incredible description of the oil life indicator and how it functions, IT IS VERY ACCURATE. To change your oil every 2,500 miles is excessive even for a fanatic like myself. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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polluting the air for no good reason. :angry:

It really gets me upset when I see a car or truck idling to either keep the occupant warm in the winter or cool in the summer, or because they left the car to run into a store, etc. They actually passed a law in NYC that you can not leave a vehicle idling at the curb, now if they only enforced the law....

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Jason,

Thanks for replying.

I'm one of those that don't use the oil life indicator completly. By that I mean, I don't let it (OLI) go all the way to the "change oil" message in the DIC. Old habits are hard to change and I really prefer the look of somewhat fresh oil on the dip stick as opposed to the "well used" look. I also understand, looks are deceiving.

As far as damage to oil by older style engines, I'll take a look in the archives as I didn't know such an article exsisted.

Scotty,

I agree with you (and everyone else) it chaps my @ss when I see automobiles just idle. It seems like it's those "diesel powered" Cowboy Cadillacs that are the worst offenders.

Jim

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I'm one of those that don't use the oil life indicator completly. By that I mean, I don't let it (OLI) go all the way to the "change oil" message in the DIC. Old habits are hard to change and I really prefer the look of somewhat fresh oil on the dip stick as opposed to the "well used" look. I also understand, looks are deceiving.

I've got to admit, I don't let it expire all the way either. Once it gets to 30% or less or thereabouts, I typically change it as I wish. Even though I've put 60k miles on this car myself, I never really kept accurate records of the mileage or OLI reading when I changed the oil. I just changed it when the OLI got into the lower 3rd of the range reset it. I doubt I ever got more than 6000 miles, but I never got less than about 3500 either. If I let it go all the way to 10% or less, I'm sure I'd see regular 6000-7000 mile changes.

Jason(2001 STS, White Diamond)

"When you turn your car on...does it return the favor?"

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I also agree that I dont let it run out all the way its usually around 30%, but I have let it go down lower to about 10 to 15% because of the confidence I have gained in it from this board, plus during a typical 5,000 mile interval, I probably add three NEW quarts to it...so I think that counts toward something LOL...

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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