Saturn Oil Change Indicator

Discussion in 'General Motoring' started by C. E. White, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. C. E. White

    C. E. White Guest

    Here's a question for fellow Saturn Owners (and any others with a
    reasoned and insightful opinion):

    My new Saturn Vue has an oil change indicator light. I am not sure of
    the algorithm used, but assume it is based on starts or something like
    that. The salesman told me about the light and how to reset it, but then
    said he recommended changing the oil every 3000 miles instead of waiting
    for the light. The dealership also had an impressive display of a Saturn
    4 cylinder that had failed because the oil wasn't change often enough
    (this was actually scary since I don't see stuff like this at the Ford
    dealerships I usually deal with).

    In the past I have been a 3000 mile oil change guy, even though I am
    sure it is a major overkill. I was thinking I would change the oil when
    the light says that I should with this new Saturn and try to recover
    from being an oil change junkie. Any thoughts on why this may or may not
    be a good idea?


    Ed White
    C. E. White, Sep 3, 2003
  2. C. E. White

    bobby Guest

    An observation made by my old boss was that the oil company is interested in
    selling oil, so they will most likely "recommend" 3000 miles or 3 months. This
    has been the recommendation as long as I remember, but engines and oils have
    improved lots since I changed the oil in my first car back in the 70's. My
    old boss used the the owner's manual recommendation as he felt that is what the
    car was designed for. I tend to run somewhere in between as most of my driving
    is highway like (shortest trip is about 18 miles one way) so change around 5000

    If it were me, I would change it when I felt like it needed it (maybe 3000
    miles while in warranty to avoid any finger pointing if something went wrong)
    but not reset the meter to see how far it recommends you drive.
    bobby, Sep 3, 2003
  3. | Out of curiosity, you might want to let it go until the light comes on,
    | at least
    | one cycle, to see what happens.

    After the 1st oil change. You want to get that 1st oil change in as
    recommended, then experiment after that.
    James C. Reeves, Sep 3, 2003
  4. You'll notice it every 5,000 miles or so. We have it in our L300, and
    we go by it. The 3/mo 3,000 miles is pretty outdated. The OLD Saturn
    engines needed more frequent oil changes due to their inherent burning
    of oil, as well as timing chain lubrication. The I-4 and V6 in the Vue
    and L-series are different. Changing oil at 3mo/3000 miles only
    accomplishes two things these days:
    1. increases your mechanic's income
    2. Wastes natural resources

    In the old days, oil needed to be changed more frequently because of
    all the contaminants in gasoline (like lead). It's just not necessary
    anymore. I do about 5 - 6 thousand miles between changes. (or six months)

    It is a good idea. (if you do towing, or other severe duty, then
    change the oil sooner)
    Victor DiMichina, Sep 3, 2003
  5. I asked service about this cause my new Ion QC has this feature and they
    told me it's still recommended for 3 month/3,000 so I'm not sure what to do
    either because the service intervals in the book do not even mention oil
    changes at all, or even spark plug changes. They say the computer tells you
    when to change your oil but not to go over 6 months/6,000. I may just stick
    with 3 month/3,000 though because I tend to drive pretty hard, though I did
    go to about 700 miles as opposed to the recommended 500 before starting to
    push a bit, I'm still being pretty nice with it at this point because I want
    to make sure it really is properly "broken in".
    Charles Paluda, Sep 4, 2003
  6. C. E. White

    C. E. White Guest

    The Vue reset is in the underhood fuse block. The procedure for resetting the light
    is needlessly complicated (turn on the ignition, press the button), but I think I
    can remember to do it.


    Ed White
    C. E. White, Sep 4, 2003
  7. C. E. White

    saeengineer Guest
    saeengineer, Sep 5, 2003
  8. C. E. White

    Ricky Guest


    My 2001 SL manual says to hold the oil change reset button for 5 seconds.
    This doesn't work for me, nor does 10 seconds, but 20 does it.
    My 2 cents.

    Ricky, Sep 6, 2003
  9. C. E. White

    C. E. White Guest

    Do you have the ignition turned on? Yours is a 2001, but the following
    procedure for a 2002 may work

    2002-04 Saturn L and Vue

    1. Remove the cover of the underhood fuse block (UHFB), which is located
    under the hood.

    2. With the ignition key in RUN but the engine off, press the red OIL
    RESET button and hold for 5 seconds.

    3. If the CHANGE OIL SOON light is flashing, the system is reset. The
    light will flash for up to 30 seconds or until the ignition is turned

    4. If the light comes on again and stays on for 30 seconds at the next
    ignition cycle, it did not reset. Reset the system again.

    C. E. White, Sep 7, 2003
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