How To How To How to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Engine Oil

Difficulty Level: Intermediate |  Time Required: Five Minutes

Driving around without enough oil, or with dirty oil, can damage and shorten the life of your engine. Here are oil-related warning signs to look out for, information about the oil-life monitoring system and how to select the right oil.


Oil-Related Warning Signs

If the following Dashboard Alerts come on:

  1. "Change Engine Oil Soon”— Change your oil and filter as soon as possible
  2. “Oil Pressure Low/Stop Engine"

a. Safely bring your vehicle to a stop.

b. Do not restart the engine. Running the vehicle with low-engine oil pressure can damage the engine.

c. Check the oil level (refer to your Owner’s Manual for directions).

d. Contact the Certified Service Experts at your local dealer.  

If you notice oil leaks, contact the Certified Service Experts at your local dealer. 


About the Oil Life Monitoring System

  • Featured in 2004 and newer GM vehicles 
  • Estimates how long your engine oil will last based on how you use your vehicle 
  • When the monitor alerts you that it’s time for an oil change, schedule an oil-and-filter change as soon as possible. Once complete, a Certified Service Technician will reset the monitor. Refer to your Owner’s Manual for do-it-yourself instructions

Selecting the Right Oil

Choosing the proper grade of oil will help keep your engine running smoothly. Check your Owner’s Manual for the correct grade; you can also ask the Certified Service Experts at your local dealer. Here are the oil brands recommended by GM: 

  • ACDelco Gold Conventional Oil
    • Offers quality engine wear and corrosion protection
    • Contains special additives that help your engine run smoothly
  • ACDelco Dexos1™ Full Synthetic
    • Offers high resistance to oxidation and oil break-down
    • Provides exceptional low-temperature flow and pumpability during cold start-ups
    • Offers added protection for preventing the formation of sludge and other harmful deposits
  • Mobil1™ Advanced Full Synthetic
    • Offers advanced anti-wear technology for outstanding protection of critical engine parts
    • Offers exceptional high-temperature stability to resist oxidation thickening
    • Provides outstanding cold starting, lubrication and protection from wear at low temperatures


Related Links and Resources


Q&As

How often should I change my engine oil?

When the “Change Engine Oil Soon” message displays, service is required for the vehicle as soon as possible (within the next 600 miles). If driving under the best conditions, the Engine Oil Life System might not indicate the need for vehicle service for more than a year. The engine oil and filter must be changed at least once a year and the oil life system must be reset. Your dealer has trained service technicians who will perform this work and reset the system.

How can I be sure to get the correct type of motor oil for my vehicle?

Choosing the proper grade of oil is a critical step in engine maintenance. From conventional to full synthetic, your Certified Service experts offer a range of oil types, including ACDelco Conventional Oil, ACDelco dexos1™ Full Synthetic, and Mobil 1™ Full Synthetic. Ask the experts which grade of oil you should use for your specific model. You can also check your Owner’s Manual for the correct grade (dexos1 oil is used with Premium Care Maintenance).


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To find out if your vehicle has this feature, contact your dealer or refer to your vehicle’s equipment list. Please check your Owner’s Manual for more information about features.  

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