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HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE'S ENGINE OIL

Difficulty Level: Intermediate  |  Time Required: 5 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.

  • 7,700-lb rating requires a properly equipped 2WD Canyon Elevation Crew Cab short bed model with available Duramax 2.8L I4 Diesel engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires 4WD Crew Cab Short Bed with available 6.2L V8 engine and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires Sierra 3500 HD Regular Cab Long Bed 2WD DRW with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8, Max Trailering Package and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the Trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 4WD Double Cab with available 6.2L V8 and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • SLE models only.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • 7,550-lb rating requires a properly equipped 4WD Canyon Denali model with available Duramax 2.8L I4 Diesel engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options oraccessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The 30,990 lbs. rating requires properly equipped Sierra 3500HD Crew Cab Long Box 4WD DRW with available Duramax 6.6L Turbo-Diesel V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • 7,550-lb rating requires a properly equipped Canyon AT4 Crew Cab short bed model with cloth seating, available Duramax 2.8L I4 Diesel engine and Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra’s 9,200-lb rating requires a properly equipped AT4 Crew Cab Short Bed 4WD model with 5.3L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Crew Cab SRW Standard Box 4WD model with 6.6L gas V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Savana Passenger's 9,600-lb rating requires 2500 or 3500 Regular Wheelbase model, trailering equipment package and 6.6L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo’s 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 or 3500 Regular Wheelbase, trailering equipment package and 6.6L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 8,920-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.6L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • Maximum Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Canyon’s 7000-lb rating requires available trailering package and 3.6L V-6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra's 12,500-lb rating requires Sierra Double Cab or Crew Cab Short box 2wd with 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine and NHT Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Canyon’s 7700-lb rating requires 2WD Crew Cab model with available Duramax 2.8L I-4 Diesel engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Starting at price for base Sierra HD. The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Regular Cab DRW Long Box 2WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule®. See dealer for more information.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Available. Requires 2.0L Turbocharged gas engine.

  • Terrain's 3,500-lb rating requires available 2.0L Turbocharged gas engine and available trailering equipment. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires available 3.6L V6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Yukon’s 8,500-lb rating requires short wheelbase 2wd with 5.3L EcoTec3 V8 engine and HD Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires 2WD Denali Short Box model with 5.3L V-8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Crew Cab DRW Long Box 4WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires properly equipped 3500 Crew Cab DRW Long Box 4WD model with available 6.6L Duramax Turbo Diesel engine and fifth wheel or gooseneck hitch. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Cutaway’s 9,006-lb rating requires a 4500 Series 159" Wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine. These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Savana Cargo’s 10,000-lb rating requires  the available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package.  Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual.  The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 9,600-lb rating requires a 2500 or 3500 Regular wheelbase model with available 6.0L V8 engine and trailering equipment package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

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