Oil change for my 2011 LaCrosse and my Acadia

rodeman

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It's time for the first oil change in my LaCrosse. It's been about 7500 miles and It's now telling me it's time to do the oil change. I love the new computers that help you understand your oil life and avoid the 3000 miles to make you smile oil change that the quick lubes like to talk about. Back then, you had no choice but now we know better.

However, I'm not sure what the difference between a conventional oil change, a synthetic blend or a full synthetic change is. There is a Fletchers tire and oil center near me that has a great deal, in my opinion. They charge $15 (a $10 savings) for a conventional oil change. They charge $25 ($10 savings) for a synthetic blend or $45 ($10 savings) for a full synthetic oil change. Jiffy lube is about $50 for an oil change, so I stopped going there.

I have no idea the difference between the three. But they do have a special of 12 synthetic blend oil changes for $99.95. That brings it down to less than $10 per oil change. They probably count on you loosing your card. But the card is good forever and all you do is bring the card and get it punched each time you need an oil change. You can share it with your friends or family too it says.

I need about 2 oil changes a year for each vehicle based on an oil change every 6k miles. SO this should last me for 3 years and I think it's a great deal.

Is there anything to be concerned with regarding a synthetic blend oil change? Any input would be great.

Thanks,
John
 

E_Net_Rider

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First, you are supposed to use dexos certified oil which few quick changes are likely to have yet. It is generally more expensive. It is available in part synthetic according to ad by local GM dealer. As for off the shelf oil, it appears that it will only be available in full synthetic and limited brands as well as only one type of full synthetic made by any company. Example, say company A makes three different labels of full synthetic in varying weights. Makers websites stating they would have dexos generally would only have it in one of those labels and maybe in only some of the weights.

Now there is the issue of the filter. Most of those quick changers use a low quality filter, afterall it is only meant for 3K miles. And their bulk oil may be similar.
Also stated in owners manual, starting with 2011 the PF48 filter is to be replaced with a PF63. Mine came with PF48 from factory but no area dealer has the PF63 yet. I was told they were trying to deplete stock. It seems that prior years would also be changing over to PF63 when readily available. There is no specs widely available to explain the differences between them, but pictures do show the new filter is longer, ie larger. The only aftermarket brand that I found showing some specs to compare to PF48 vs PF63 was Purolator. I chose the PureOne, their better filter. Their version of the 63 has a bit higher valve pressure than their version of the 48, along with being bigger.
I normally stick to automobile brand but due to lack of availability I pursued alternate this time. And when I removed the factory PF48 I thought I had found a major change until I found the filter was defective. It was missing the anti-drainback valve.
So I was pressed even further toward used oil testing. I learned a couple of things. Even though the OLM showed 22% with 5880 miles the lab determined it was just short of being worn out, used up.
Also there were very high concentrations of several metals and silicon but the lab this was likely normal for first oil change, but to watch on future changes.
What they did call attention to was high gasoline content. Roaming a number of forums and others results of testing there seems to be a consensus that these GM DI engines have been noted to have this condition. Also that the change interval should be decreased because of gas content. This might even be the reason for dexos without GM admitting to it.
I used Mobil 1 because it is claimed the factory fill in this engine and that they were certifying Mobil 1 for dexos. It did not say so on bottle, but that was within stipulations of owner's manual for oil change.
 

MikeERideWNC

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I have changed the oils in my cars every 3K no matter what for 30 years.
I had a shop teacher that drilled it into our heads and now I just look at it as cheap protection.

I drive 30-35K per year and I need my car to always be 100% dependable and regular PMs help.

I am able to change my oil every 3K for a cost of 29.00.
I use the PF48 filter, because I could not find the PF63, anywhere. And cases of PF48 were readily available. I always use OEM filters.
I go to Wal-Mart and get the 5qt of Mobile 1 5w-30.
Your car takes 5.5qt.
So your first oil change get two 5qt bottles.

I personally see no reason for not changing your own oil.
It is probaly the single easiest job you can do with only limited mechanical experience.
Twenty minutes out of your life and you know that it is done right.
 

jft69z

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E NET RIDER,

Excellent reply to the initial question!

I did the first oil change on my '11 CXL yesterday at 2540 miles & also found a PF48 filter installed from the factory. My dealer had PF 63 filters in stock (about $5 my cost I think) so that is what is in there now. Like MikeE said, Walmart is the cheapest local place for Mobil 1 5w30, with the 5 quart jug being the best value & it is Dexos certified though it does not show it on the jug yet.

I'm part of the old school as well concerning oil change intervals & wouldn't feel good going 7-8000 miles between oil changes based on the OLM system. For my customers it is 3000 miles on conventional oil with OEM filters and I'm going about 4500 miles with the Mobil 1 full synthetic on my vehicles. Even on my new Caddy, they offer oil changes and filters for the first 4 years of ownership based on the OLM system but I am not waiting that long between changes, plus I don't want them working on it or driving it unless it is absolutely necessary. Oil & filters are cheaper than engine parts, especially if they try to void the warranty because of an inferior spec oil found in the engine.

So far it appears that Moblie1, Pennzoil & Quaker State full synthetics are Dexos certified according to the Dexos website:
http://www.gmdexos.com/

and a bit more info here:
http://www.sandyblogs.com/techlink/2010/09/the-new-gm-dexos-engine-oil-specification.html

Concerning the quick change places, if that is where you choose to go make sure they are putting in the correct oil & filter. I've seen a lot of cars come thru my shop that have been to those places and let's just say that I've seen some bad things. You mentioned that you aren't really sure about the different kinds of oil types so one possibility may be to see if your dealer offers any specials on oil changes. I typically throw their stuff out that they mail to the house so I don't know what they have to offer. Bottom line, put the right stuff in there and sleep better at night!
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rodeman

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Thanks everyone for the reply. I'm learning a lot about this oil change that you would normally take as easy to complete. I've got a couple of questions though.

JFT69Z, how do you know Mobile 1 5w30 synthetic is DEXOS certified? I found that Penzoil Platinum and Quaker State Ultimate Durability are DEXOS certified from a GM announcement that linked to their respective web pages. On their site, they reference that directly with a banner ad.

As for a filter, I called the place where I was going to do my oil change (the local shop) and they did not have any DEXOS certified oil at the moment but told me I could bring my own with me and they would charge me a nominal fee of $10 to do the oil change. They also told me the WIX filter 57045 was the oil filter equivalent of the PF63. I confirmed that on the WIX website.

O'Reilly carries the WIX filter but they don't carry the 5 quart jug of oil. They only carry the quarts. Autozone carries the 5 quart jugs. But I didn't know Walmart carried it too. Does walmart carry the correct filter as well or should I stick with the WIX one?

I don't buy into the 3000 mile oil changes. I've done that when my vehicles did not have the onboard computer and one dealership tried to tell me that I should ignore what the computer says and stick with 3k at their dealership. They said the engineers didn't have the bugs worked out. Come on now sales guy, we know that's not the case. There would be a class action lawsuit of damaged autos if GMs computer system didn't work correctly. From what I've seen, it takes a while to start counting down and as the oil is used more and more, it counts down quicker and quicker. So a previous poster made a comment on it not going fast and at this rate it would be 10k miles before it needed changed. I've never been past 7500 miles on an oil change with any of my vehicles.

However, every car that has had that computer system I've followed it and my Trailblazer, that I sold to buy the LaCrosse, had one and it lasted me 10 years and ran like a champ the entire time.

So I'm sticking with the engineers at GM and what they say is right, but fully understand and respect the feelings of the others on here. More than anything, I just appreciate the feedback. before, I never would have worried about an oil change, just give me 5w30 and let's go. But I'm definitely paying more attention now.

Thanks,
John
 

jft69z

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John,

Mobile 1 is listed on BOTH of links I posted, it is on the Mobile 1 website, and it was factory filled in my 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe which calls for Dexos spec oil.

The PF63 filters are NOT available yet at Walmart (as of a week ago).

In regards to your statement: "So I'm sticking with the engineers at GM and what they say is right," .... I certainly hope for your sake it isn't the same engineering team that designed the buggy seat memory & NAV modules...J/K

Joe T
 

rodeman

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Do you happen to recall the price of the 5quart of oil at Walmart? I'll stop there and pick it up as it's right next to the O'Reaiy auto parts too, for the filter. That beats a trip to AutoZone the opposite direction.

As for the engineers, I know what you mean. I hope it's not the guy who designed the Aztek for Pontiac a few years ago. In my opinion, the ugliest car ever made.

John
 

jft69z

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Do you happen to recall the price of the 5quart of oil at Walmart? I'll stop there and pick it up as it's right next to the O'Reaiy auto parts too, for the filter. That beats a trip to AutoZone the opposite direction.


John


Around here the price is $24.50 a jug, but occasionally it goes on sale...."price rollback" or something like that. Does your GM dealer have the PF 63 filters available?
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rodeman

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When I called the dealer about the oil, which they don't sell because they get it in huge oil containers, I forgot to ask them. But since O'Riely is right next door and they have the oil filter, I'll just pick it up there. No need to go to any dealer at that point. They are not very close in proximity to the house or the store.

Thanks for the price info. At the auto parts store, the jug of oil was about $32, so it looks much less expensive there.

The mechanic said it took 5.5 quarts of oil. Is this what others have found or will the 5 quart container be enough? Do I need to buy a jug and a single bottle? That might not be bad to have in the garage in case I need to add oil for some reason I guess.
 

jft69z

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I just picked up a bunch of the jugs and tap a quart or so at a time out of 1 of them. I have 3 vehicles that I'm running the Mobile 1 in though so it's no big deal. I guess it depends if you're going to supply the oil to the local shop on a continual basis. The price of the individual quart was no bargain compared to the jug.
 

MikeERideWNC

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As I posted above:

You will need 5.5qt.
For your first oil change buy two jugs.
The oil will not go bad on your shelf.

The jug is 24.50 here (4.90 per quart), also. A Quart bottle is 6.96.
6.96 is a no brainer for buying an additional jug.

I have eight vehicles, cars and motorcycles, so I keep many jugs at the house.
I currently have 13 jugs - 5w-30, 10w-30, 10w-40.
My shelf above my oil shelf resembles the auto parts store with all of the filters stacked up.

My friends regularly come here for their oil changes.
I was a deisel mechanic in a former life, and I still like to wrench on stuff.
 

Buffman

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Oil Live expectancy on a shelf stored in good conditions (dry and cool) is at least 7 yrs left unopened.

I've only used 3K OCI's on my higher performance vehicles that showed after a few Used Oil Analysis's that the oil was pretty well worn out after 3K. My wife's 01 cavalier gets a healthy 6,000 mile OCI with Mobil Clean 5000 10w30. UOA's show the oil per her driving habits still has a good amount of life left in it (Total Base Number-- TBN), average metal content, low silicon, no gas or coolant.

Big factors for your OCI is driving, and climate. Short trips especially in the cold are hard on engines. They don't get up to temp and can't burn off condesnation or gas in the oil. There are a lot of good oils out there today. I just wouldn't fall into the mindset that if the bottle says I can go 25,000 miles (Amsoil or 15K for M1 EP) on the oil, that it is for everyone. Doing Extended drains without using UOAs to check oil health is how you damage an engine (over time)
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rodeman

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Mike E,

Question for you. How do you need 5.5 quarts for your first oil change? Wouldn't you need that for all of them? If not, and some oil isn't completely drained, wouldn't that happen at the first oil change too?

I found that comment a little perplexing and wanted to understand what you meant.

Thanks for the info and the follow-up.
John
 

MikeERideWNC

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You are reading to deeply into the post.

You need 5.5qt for every oil change.
The point I was trying to relay was it is more affordable to buy two 5qt jugs for the first oil change.
This way when you are done you have 4.5qt on the shelf for the next oil change and will only need to purchase one 5qt jug.
The 1qt bottle is a few dollars more than a single quart in the 5qt jug.

And if the user is worried about shelf life of the first jug. On the second oil change they would dump the remaining 4.5qt into the car and 1qt from the new bottle into the car.
On the third oil change thet can dump the 4qt into the car and 1.5qt from a new bottle.
On the forth oil change they can dump the 3.5qt into the car and 2qt from a new jug.

And so on, and so on, and so on...



I apologize if you feel this is sarcasm.
It is just an oil change.
 

rodeman

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Thanks so much for the reply. I thought you were saying you wouldn't need that much oil after the first oil change for some reason and after that, just one 5 quart jug was all I would need to purchase. What you said makes complete sense. I wasn't looking at it the way you were thinking.

And no sarcasm felt.

John
 

taverg03

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I had my first oil and filter, tire rotation change today at about 4100 miles on my 2011 CSX. E-Net: Thanks for the info about PF-48 and 63 as I called dealer 2 days prior. They were using former but ordered a case of the 63s and I verified that was installed. I believe the oil used is Mobil1, 5W-30 but service writer said semi-synthetic. Mobil1 site says that grade is full synthetic so I need to check the invoice # with parts tomorrow. 3/12/11-The oil used is a Mobil Dexos semi-synthetic, of weight noted but I couldn't locate it Mobil's site as a retail product. It is compatible with Mobil 1 synthetic if you need to add between changes.

I checked oil level before leaving and for my cable-type stick it was right up to the top of the bulb, just barely above the cross-hatched area. The invoice showed 6 qts and they said about 1/2 qt fills the filter volume.
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E_Net_Rider

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I checked oil level before leaving and for my cable-type stick it was right up to the top of the bulb, just barely above the cross-hatched area. The invoice showed 6 qts and they said about 1/2 qt fills the filter volume.
If the dealer is using a Mobil semi-synthetic, then it may be a special blend only distributed through GM.
Six qts, ridiculous. It is no one sells half quarts. With an additional half quart your level would be way over the bulb. Whether that scheme is fair or not is probably best judged by what the total cost was. Also if you have an engine problem, the dealer is hanging himself out there by documenting that he is overfilling.
 

92sub

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It might take 6 quarts.
I've only done one change on the Lacrosse so far and I can't remember exactly how much I used.

It is interesting to note the Cadillac CTS owners manual specifies 6 quarts for the 3.6L engine which is physically the same engine as the Lacrosse. Same engine part number, same oil pan part number, etc.

I believe the DEXOS specificationis a semi-synthetic blend.
I only use Mobil 1 full synthetic in my vehicles and have done so for over 25 years. I change about every 6000 miles.
 

taverg03

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...snip.. Whether that scheme is fair or not is probably best judged by what the total cost was. Also if you have an engine problem, the dealer is hanging himself out there by documenting that he is overfilling.

The service was the $40 GM special less a $10 mail back VISA cash card running until the end of March. This included std oil and filter change, tire rotation and a 27 point inspection. Bottom line cost after the rebate is ~$45 which includes~ $3 state taxes and about $3 shop/disposal fees. So the semi synthetic Dexos oil was about $9 more for the fiill, not bad.

They also checked on my rear shocks per other thread posts (no problems) and NAV map updates (none found).

This dealer's service has been super so far and the car is running great.
 
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Banto

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It's time for the first oil change in my LaCrosse. It's been about 7500 miles and It's now telling me it's time to do the oil change. I love the new computers that help you understand your oil life and avoid the 3000 miles to make you smile oil change that the quick lubes like to talk about. Back then, you had no choice but now we know better.

/quote]

Be careful with the OLM. My 2009 Enclave has the same engine. OLM indicated oil changes at about 12,000 miles. I refused to go that long and have been doing it at 6,000. GM just released a TSB to change the OLM because of timing chain failures due to oil being in the engine too long.
 
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