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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So some background before I start...My grandfather was a Service Manager for a GM Dealership for roughly 40 years and he still goes back from time to time to ask about things. I sent him on a mission to find out what the Techs, Service Manager think since they tell him the "Truth" vs. what they would tell a common everyday customer like most of us....here is what he came back to me with....

He says: The techs and the Service mananager are seeing people waiting way to long to change thier oil.....in this case the way the engine is designed is with small holes for oil to get to the timing chain location....the tensioner is what wears out first with the very used oil which will cause the premature wear. He also said that there is a whole lot of people that have 2009's that have been changing thier oil at closer intervals (3000-4000 mi. like me) that are not having this issue. So the verdict from his service manager and techs, was CHANGE YOUR OIL MORE OFTEN, since it will be BY FAR the cheapest thing you can put in your car VS. $2000+ for a timing chain repair.

He also asked why the TSB for older and not newer. The Service Mananger told him that 2010's have the new programing for the ECM. Service Manager also told him there may be a few of the early manufactured 2010's with the old program in there. GM was waiting for a certain number of fails before reacting to the problem/ they were finding the best way to go about fixing this with out causing customers loss of vehicles for multiple days for a Timing Chain Recall. 45 mins for reprogram VS. 3-4 days for timing chain repair.

I know this is just what an old man told me but with his history of working for GM for 40 + years I have a tendency to sway his way on matters like this. Hope this helps and of course I can elaborate more if wanted. This is the Cliff Notes version...
 

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This sounds like good info and thank you for asking your grandfather to go in and get some REAL answers. This info will be very useful for ALL the forum members, great work :thumb:
 

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The only thing that I wonder is, if the 2010's have the new programming, why does the Oil Life Monitor react the same as the 2009's?

If I were to go by my oil life monitor, I could go 10,000 miles before I need to change my oil, same goes for the 2009 models.

My understanding is that the TSB is going to reprogram the ECM on the 2009's including changing the OLM to warn the owner to change the oil.

My gut feeling is that the 2010's and newer have an updated timing chain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@Quantum This is true....the Service Mananger did tell him that he wondered if there were some early build 2010's with the older program in them. I guess all you could do is go to your dealership and ask them to reprogram yours anyways.

That usually runs about $75-$100 here in the states. Not sure about Cananda
 

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AFMoulton said:
He says: The techs and the Service mananager are seeing people waiting way to long to change thier oil.....in this case the way the engine is designed is with small holes for oil to get to the timing chain location....the tensioner is what wears out first with the very used oil which will cause the premature wear. He also said that there is a whole lot of people that have 2009's that have been changing thier oil at closer intervals (3000-4000 mi. like me) that are not having this issue. So the verdict from his service manager and techs, was CHANGE YOUR OIL MORE OFTEN, since it will be BY FAR the cheapest thing you can put in your car VS. $2000+ for a timing chain repair.
As I have said before (ie too often :-[) such a program i.e. changing oil much more frequently than has been recommended by GM is just a stop gap measure. Specifically I am convinced that timing chains for the 2011 (probably for the 2010s) are physically different chains (materials/design) than we see for the 2009 DI engines. And *if* this is true I might want my 09 chains to fail sooner rather than later (i.e. prior to the expiration of the powertrain warranty) thereby getting the new and improved chains on their dime.
 

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copperbeech said:
As I have said before (ie too often :-[) such a program i.e. changing oil much more frequently than has been recommended by GM is just a stop gap measure. Specifically I am convinced that timing chains for the 2011 (probably for the 2010s) are physically different chains (materials/design) than we see for the 2009 DI engines. And *if* this is true I might want
my 09 chains to fail sooner rather than later (i.e. prior to the expiration of the powertrain warranty) thereby getting the new and improved chains.
If I was a 09 owner, that is what I would want too. I would rather have GM pay for the bill then me. I would be resigned to the fact that either way, it looks like the engine has to come out, sooner or later. The last thing I would want, is a band-aid from GM. Now, if they offered a lifetime warranty and then asked me to prolong the life of the chain, then I would.
 

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Well if I was GM, I would require synth (dexos) in all cars. Since the OLM lets some cars go 10k miles before a change. I know all 11's are now required to use synth. But they should have done this years ago like BMW did. IMHO.
 

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Is the root cause a lack of oiling to the timing chain by dirty oil filling the lube holes or is it just a poor design by GM engineers for the tensionor assembly?
If dirty oil is plugging the lube holes your oil filter is not doing its job or you have waited way to long to change oil [shorter intervals between changes is good]
One thing that should be mentioned is to buy a quality or have whoever does your oil changes use a quality oil filter. You can be using the best quality engine oil but if the filter does not remove contaminants you are not using the full benifit of the oil. Just my two cents.
 

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screw991le said:
Well if I was GM, I would require synth (dexos) in all cars. Since the OLM lets some cars go 10k miles before a change. I know all 11's are now required to use synth. But they should have done this years ago like BMW did. IMHO.
Is has been the case that recent oil formulations have resulted in longer OCIs approved by the manufacturer. For example Toyota approves 1 year or 10k miles for its recent MY cars using its own 0W20 and yet here for these cars and engines GM is intent decreasing the OCI, making the cost of maintenance more and wasting resources...not good GM :mad:.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reguardless of what the OLM says I religiously change my oil 3000-4000mi.... to avoid something like this. It boils down to this...if you take the time to take care of it and keep clean oil in the engine then what do you have to worry about....if you wanna believe a computer then go for it. I will stick to good old fashioned tried and true maint. IMO.
 

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AFMoulton said:
He says: The techs and the Service mananager are seeing people waiting way to long to change thier oil.....in this case the way the engine is designed is with small holes for oil to get to the timing chain location....the tensioner is what wears out first with the very used oil which will cause the premature wear. He also said that there is a whole lot of people that have 2009's that have been changing thier oil at closer intervals (3000-4000 mi. like me) that are not having this issue. So the verdict from his service manager and techs, was CHANGE YOUR OIL MORE OFTEN, since it will be BY FAR the cheapest thing you can put in your car VS. $2000+ for a timing chain repair.
Most of the engine wear that is done to an engine is during start up , when all of the oil is cold and can't reached the farthest and smallest oil holes fast enough in the engine.
Why don't we use a lighter oil that allows for quicker flow during start up , like a 0W30 oil. By doing this the oil will get to those smaller and farther oil holes faster and quicker helping to reduce premature wearing of the timing chain and other components . It will cost a few dollars more/quart to use but it will help along with a very good oil filter.

I agree ,regular oil changes are a necessity to help prevent those small oil hole from blocking up . :thumb:
 

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AFMoulton said:
...if you wanna believe a computer then go for it. I will stick to good old fashioned tried and true maint. IMO.
I believe computers....just not ones that are made by GM. Unbelieveable that the oil life monitor can be off by such a HUGE margin. I can't believe that GM didn't do oil sample analysis...how does something like this slip through the cracks?
 

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2LT AWD said:
Most of the engine wear that is done to an engine is during start up , when all of the oil is cold and can't reached the farthest and smallest oil holes fast enough in the engine.
Why don't we use a lighter oil that allows for quicker flow during start up , like a 0W30 oil. By doing this the oil will get to those smaller and farther oil holes faster and quicker helping to reduce premature wearing of the timing chain and other components .
In theory what you say is correct. Regarding the selection of an oil the new mantra is something like "as thin as possible, as thick as necessary".

However it has been my experience having done a UOA for every OCI for my Traverse is that wear #s were (much) better for the thicker oils that were used.
This may be in part due to the seemingly inherent fuel dilution associated with this DI engine. This is particularly true during a cold weather OCI. Basically adding gas in to an already 'thin' oil leads to further loss in viscosity which in turn results in less protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I believe that cleaner oil is jsut better and the more often you change it the cleaner it stays...so computer or not...raplcing oil is much cheaper than replacing the engine or timeing chain or whatever it happens to be.....

I agree with copperbeech....thicker oils are better....maybe even a 10W30 should be good??? maybe too much.....

Thoughts on using 10-30 or maybe 10-40??
 

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I would stick with what the owner's manual recommends. That way, you can't be denied warranty IF you happen to have an engine related problem. Owner's manual says 5w30, or 0w30 if below -20 or something like that.
 

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Quantum said:
I would stick with what the owner's manual recommends. That way, you can't be denied warranty IF you happen to have an engine related problem. Owner's manual says 5w30, or 0w30 if below -20 or something like that.
+1
 

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AFMoulton said:
I believe that cleaner oil is jsut better and the more often you change it the cleaner it stays...so computer or not...raplcing oil is much cheaper than replacing the engine or timeing chain or whatever it happens to be.....

I agree with copperbeech....thicker oils are better....maybe even a 10W30 should be good??? maybe too much.....

Thoughts on using 10-30 or maybe 10-40??
2011 Manual says:

Viscosity Grade
SAE 5W-30 is the best viscosity grade for the vehicle. Do not use other viscosity oils such as
SAE 10W‐30, 10W‐40, or 20W-50.
 

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copperbeech said:
In theory what you say is correct. Regarding the selection of an oil the new mantra is something like "as thin as possible, as thick as necessary".

However it has been my experience having done a UOA for every OCI for my Traverse is that wear #s were (much) better for the thicker oils that were used.
This may be in part due to the seemingly inherent fuel dilution associated with this DI engine. This is particularly true during a cold weather OCI. Basically adding gas in to an already 'thin' oil leads to further loss in viscosity which in turn results in less protection.
yeah..... but that lighter weight oil you used was M1 0w30 no ?? If that Esso oil you talked about came in a 0W30 weight it would be worth trying, yes ???
Isn't the viscosity loss only at high temperatures when the oil is tested in the UOA reports , the 0W30 weight oil is supposed to stand up and not break down just like the 5W30 weight oil. advantage is that it flows easier at than 5W30 oil ?
I don't remember seeing anything in those reports showing this......!
 

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copperbeech said:
However it has been my experience having done a UOA for every OCI for my Traverse is that wear #s were (much) better for the thicker oils that were used.
This may be in part due to the seemingly inherent fuel dilution associated with this DI engine. This is particularly true during a cold weather OCI. Basically adding gas in to an already 'thin' oil leads to further loss in viscosity which in turn results in less protection.
Checking in with the Saturn Outlook forum there are a few of them that don't mind using 0W30 oil in the winter even with high mileage between oil changes.
They prefer thinner oil and don't worry about fuel dilution in the oil, i guess some of them drive a lot ,with road trips which will help burn off excess fuel in the oil , bringing it below <2.0 level on the UOA.
You can get lower viscosity numbers with any oil if you drive in a lot of stop and start traffic , but if you drive longer round trips so that the engine get and maintain a constant temperature ,then fuel dilutions shouldn't become a hugh issue .
Are you using XD-3 or HDEO oil this winter and is it 0W30 or 5W30 .
 
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