The Engine Oil Life Monitor in most new GMC models helps owners keep their GMC vehicle properly maintained.
  • Popular
  • Recent

What Your Oil Life Monitor Can Tell You

Knowing when to change your oil is incredibly important. That’s where GMC’s Oil Life Monitor comes in handy.


Changing engine oil is one of the most important maintenance tasks associated with owning a truck, SUV, or crossover. Knowing when to change your oil is incredibly important, and the Engine Oil Life Monitor, found in most new GMC models, not only helps owners keep their GMC properly maintained, but also maximize their maintenance investment.

An engine contains thousands of moving parts, like valves, pistons, camshafts, and so on. These parts require proper lubrication in order to function properly and prevent damage. The chemical compounds found within engine oil help give these parts sufficient lubrication, but over time, they wear down and are less effective. An oil change, which drains old oil and replaces with fresh new oil, helps to keep an engine properly lubricated.

Years ago, engine oil changes were typically prescribed at a set interval, which was usually based upon mileage. It wasn’t uncommon to see owner’s manuals and maintenance shops advising drivers change oil every 3,000 or 5,000 miles.

But those intervals aren’t the best means to determine if a truck or SUV truly needs an oil change. As no two drivers are alike, vehicles can be subjected to a wide range of conditions, even if they’ve traveled the same number of miles. A vehicle that regularly carries heavy loads or tows trailers daily may put more strain on the engine, and need an oil change before it reaches a 3,000 mile interval. Conversely, a vehicle used for mild highway driving in warm climates may have oil that’s still good for another couple thousand miles or so.

That’s where the Oil Life Monitor comes in. Although it doesn’t measure the level of engine oil (you’ll still need to check that on the dipstick underhood), it helps provide a realistic guide as to when an engine needs its oil changed. Depending on the vehicle and the conditions experienced, the oil in a GMC may not need to be changed for up to 7,500 miles or a year.

Based on data collected over decades of extensive powertrain testing, GM engineers have developed sophisticated algorithms that reflect how time, engine speeds, engine temperatures, load, and other factors affect oil life. By plugging in real-world data for those variables, the Oil Life Monitor can accurately calculate when an oil change is needed and display the remaining oil life within the Driver Information Center.

For more information on the Oil Life Monitor, refer to your GMC’s owner’s manual or speak with your GMC Certified Service consultant.