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Oil Change Indicator


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#1 DP360

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Posted March 25, 2010 at 08:47 am

This question probably could go anywhere, but I figure this section of the forum needs some activity, so here it goes...

Exactly how does the oil change indicator system in my Journey (and probably all CGLLC vehicles) work? Here's my theory:

The oil change sensor is really just an intelligent odometer/calendar. It's programmed to go off at 6000 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. That is why it needs to be reset after an oil change. If it was really monitoring the state of the oil, a reset wouldn't be necessary. The "intelligent" aspect of the system comes in the form of the computer factoring in usage. The computer certainly knows the operating condition of the engine during those 6000 miles. It must have some algorithm that factors this in so that if it thinks you have been hard on the engine, it chimes the indicator light sooner than the 6000 mile interval.

So, am I right (or close to right)? I'm pretty sure I am but I have heard just enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that there might be more to it than that. I need to know this mainly to satisfy my curiosity. I've adopted my own oil-change regimen and there is no way I'm going to blindly trust that system. However, if my indicator goes off 2000 miles after my last oil change, I'd like to know if its something to worry about or that I probably just failed to reset it last time my oil was changed.

#2 ImperialCrown

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Posted March 25, 2010 at 10:48 am

The 'oil life' monitor is a software algorithm. It takes in factors like trip length, run time, load and temperature to make an informed decision. GM cars do oil life as a 'percentage of life left' reminder.

#3 DP360

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Posted March 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm

The 'oil life' monitor is a software algorithm. It takes in factors like trip length, run time, load and temperature to make an informed decision. GM cars do oil life as a 'percentage of life left' reminder.

Thanks! That's what I figured.

Now, if I change my oil when the indicator is OFF but I go through the motions of resetting the indicator (three full depressions the gas pedal, I believe), that will reset the algorithm, right?


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