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My 2012 Journey (3.6-Pentastar+6speedAT, w/synthetic oil) announces an oil change needed at EXACTLY 3500.0 miles and has done it for four years. My 2015 Chrysler T&C (3.6-Pentastar+6speedAT, w/synthetic oil) went 8500+ miles without an oil change indication, so I changed it any way. The two vehicles are parked side by side, I drive them the same except the T&C I sometime pull a pop-up trailer, which by all rights would make the interval shorter.

Now to the question: Why two similar drive trains, same driver, same oil (almost the same 5W30 in Journey, 5W20 in T&C). Why are the oil change intervals SO different?? Especially why the Journey is ALWAYS 3500.0 miles, with no variation.

BTW the Owners Manuals Max interval are: 8,000 miles or 6-months on 2012 Journey, and 10,000 miles or 12-months on the 2015 T&C

Is there something wrong with the Journey's oil change algorithm?
 

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My 2012 Journey (3.6-Pentastar+6speedAT, w/synthetic oil) announces an oil change needed at EXACTLY 3500.0 miles and has done it for four years. My 2015 Chrysler T&C (3.6-Pentastar+6speedAT, w/synthetic oil) went 8500+ miles without an oil change indication, so I changed it any way. The two vehicles are parked side by side, I drive them the same except the T&C I sometime pull a pop-up trailer, which by all rights would make the interval shorter.

Now to the question: Why two similar drive trains, same driver, same oil (almost the same 5W30 in Journey, 5W20 in T&C). Why are the oil change intervals SO different?? Especially why the Journey is ALWAYS 3500.0 miles, with no variation.

BTW the Owners Manuals Max interval are: 8,000 miles or 6-months on 2012 Journey, and 10,000 miles or 12-months on the 2015 T&C

Is there something wrong with the Journey's oil change algorithm?
Since this problem has occurred for four years, did you discuss the matter with your dealer and see if there was a computer system update?
 

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Virginia Gentleman
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My 2012 Journey (3.6-Pentastar+6speedAT, w/synthetic oil) announces an oil change needed at EXACTLY 3500.0 miles and has done it for four years. My 2015 Chrysler T&C (3.6-Pentastar+6speedAT, w/synthetic oil) went 8500+ miles without an oil change indication, so I changed it any way. The two vehicles are parked side by side, I drive them the same except the T&C I sometime pull a pop-up trailer, which by all rights would make the interval shorter.

Now to the question: Why two similar drive trains, same driver, same oil (almost the same 5W30 in Journey, 5W20 in T&C). Why are the oil change intervals SO different?? Especially why the Journey is ALWAYS 3500.0 miles, with no variation.

BTW the Owners Manuals Max interval are: 8,000 miles or 6-months on 2012 Journey, and 10,000 miles or 12-months on the 2015 T&C

Is there something wrong with the Journey's oil change algorithm?

Might be. Are both vehicles driven the same? If the T&C is driven more highway type miles while the Journey is driven more city type miles I would expect the Journey's oil change interval to be shorter. We have a '10 Journey SXT 3.5L/62TE and depending on how it is driven the oil change reminder pops up at 2500 miles or 5500 miles. I've noticed if we do any highway type miles the oil change reminder won't pop up until 5500 miles, but if it's driven only city type miles (Stop and go) then it will pop up early at 2500 miles. It's usually been 2500 miles since until recently my wife only had a 1 mile commute. Now that she's driving 40 miles (one way) I'll expect the oil change reminder to go to 5500 miles.

You could take in to the dealer, but unless he finds a diagnostic code, he'll probably be of no help. As mentioned there could be a TSB on it (note - a TSB is not necessarily a recall).
 

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. . . . Now to the question: Why two similar drive trains, same driver, same oil (almost the same 5W30 in Journey, 5W20 in T&C). Why are the oil change intervals SO different?? Especially why the Journey is ALWAYS 3500.0 miles, with no variation . . . .
I am NOT trying to be insulting but are you sure the vehicles are driven in very similar situations? Does one vehicle spend more time idling at the drive-thru (bank, fast food, etc) or idling waiting to pickup or drop off children at school? That can make a difference in oil change predictions.

Another way to accurately check the validity of oil change prediction algorithms is to do an engine oil analysis. At oil change time and at identical mileage intervals between oil change, take a sample of each vehicle's engine oil and send it to a specialized laboratory that does such analysis. Ask for the TBN (total base number) of the oil sample. This gives an index reading of how much life is left in the additives in the engine oil. In that manner you could more accurately assess if the oil change prediction algorithms used are valid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I am retired and I am pretty sure the driving of each vehicle is similar, one day I use one vehicle and the next I use the other, or somethng like that. No children, don't stop at the drive though, Pretty much about the same driving routine. I did mention that I pull a trailer (pop-up) with the Town & Country Van, which to me would be harder on the oil than not towing, and yet I have never seen the Oil Change indicator on it come on. I think the real strange aspect is that the Journey oil change came on at Exactly 3500.0 miles. It has been 3500 + or - a mile every time. No change in the interval. So that is why I am wondering about it all.
 

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My new 2016 caravan indicater never came on but I changed it at 5000 miles. The van is now at 9800 miles, still not on but I will change at 10,000 miles.....It has 98 percent city miles.....PS, The dealer uses regular oil.
 

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Chrysler changed both the intervals and the oil life calculation method as of model year 2013:
Fewer oil changes needed for 2013 (at https://www.allpar.com/news/2012/07/17855-17855 )

On the 2010 Challenger I'd usually reach the owners manual's 6 months / 6000 mile limit before the indicator came on. The 2015's oil life monitor has been letting the oil go close to 10,000 miles per change and the Ram is looking like it'll do the same.
 

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My 13 Caravan gets the oil changed at 5K intervals. Then I reset the timer, for what it's worth. (has never gone off yet)
I use 5W20 Pennzoil, since that's what was used for all the durability testing on the Pentastar engine.
Also use MoPar filters, since they are made to a higher spec than after market, and again, they were used for the durability testing.

I get peace of mind, knowing the oil is fresher. I have a hard time thinking ANY oil can go 10K.
Oil is cheaper than a new engine.
 

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I find the 2013 300C hits around 10,000 miles before a change. It gets an awful lot of highway driving which is easy on the oil. I am pretty sure they are being conservative, cars now are not cars then, and oil now is not oil then. I've been using synthetic but the last change I put in 5W20 and it doesn't seem to have made an audible difference.
 

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Fleet vehicles use set intervals, but I think they're at 5000 miles. I don't believe rental fleets come under that, but I could be wrong.

I had the oil change light come on once at 1500 miles in the winter - lots of short trips, cold temps.
 

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My wife's GC 4.0 SXT goes off every 5000k like said above but different engine. When getting the Ram 2500 6.4 it's different, approx. every 10000k but varies from change to change .. winter has it changing sooner and just this summer is the best done so far .. 9000k and oil is at 35%.. where is usually when I change it.. but the oil still looks good so I'm pushing to snow flies..
 

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From the 2012 owners manual:

"Change Engine Oil
The oil change indicator system will remind you that it is time to take your vehicle in for scheduled maintenance. Refer to the “Maintenance Schedule” for further information.
NOTE: Under no circumstances should oil change intervals exceed 8,000 miles (13 000 km) or six months, whichever occurs first".


"Synthetic Engine Oils
You may use synthetic engine oils provided the recommended oil quality requirements are met, and the recommended maintenance intervals for oil and filter changes are followed".


NOTE:
• The oil change indicator message will not monitor the time since the last oil change. Change your vehicle’s oil if it has been six months since your last oil change, even if the oil change indicator message is NOT illuminated.
• Under no circumstances should oil change intervals exceed 8,000 miles (13 000 km) or six months, which- ever comes first.


From the service information:

CHANGE OIL INDICATOR
The change oil indicator gives an indication to the vehicle operator when a duty-cycle algorithm contained within the software of the PCM/ECM determines that a recommended oil change interval has been attained. This indicator is controlled by the instrument cluster logic circuit based upon cluster programming and electronic messages received over the CAN data bus from the PCM/ECM.

The change oil indicator function of the odometer or Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) VFD unit is completely controlled by the instrument cluster logic circuit, and that logic will only allow this indicator to operate when the instrument cluster receives a battery current input on the fused ignition switch output (run-start) circuit. Therefore, the odometer or EVIC VFD change oil indication will always be OFF when the ignition switch is in any position except ON or START. The instrument cluster will turn ON the change oil indicator for the following reasons:

  • Change Oil Indicator Lamp-On Message - Each time the ignition switch is turned to the ON position and the cluster receives an electronic change oil indicator lamp-ON message from the PCM/ECM indicating that a duty-cycle based recommended oil change interval has been attained, the change oil indicator will be illuminated for about three seconds, until the trip odometer reset switch button or an EVIC steering wheel switch button is depressed, or until the ignition switch is turned to the OFF position, whichever occurs first.
  • Change Oil Indicator Reset Procedure - Once an engine oil change has been completed, the PCM/ECM duty cycle counters can be reset using the following procedure. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position, but DO NOT start the engine. Slowly depress and release the accelerator pedal fully three times within ten seconds. Turn the ignition switch to the OFF position. If the change oil indicator illuminates the next time the engine is started, repeat this procedure.
The PCM/ECM continually monitors numerous sensor inputs to determine the duty-cycles to which the engine is being subjected. A pre-programmed algorithm within the PCM/ECM then determines when to send the proper lamp-ON or lamp-OFF message to the CCN.
******************************************************************************************************
With that being said, there are a few vehicles that have a software flash available to change the behavior of the 'ChAngE OIL' indicator. The 2012 Caravan 3.6L does not have a software update listed for an update.

The API-certified motor oil should be a 5W-30 weight that meets Chrysler's material standard MS-6395. Use of synthetics is optional.
 
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