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Oil Viscosity.....GM and my local Service Manager


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I like to do all of my own maintenance on all my vehicles. My brother has a 14' Silverado he used the 2yr/24K free maintenance on and one time the idioits at the dealership had it so overfull of oil it was either blowing out a valve cover or the dipstick tube (sorry I can't remeber which, but the dealer confirmed it was overfilled).

 

I understand the owner's maual (and GM) specify 0-20 dexos oil for my 5.3. I would like to run Valvoline full syn 5W-30 oil, just my preference. I believe 0-20 is specified for fuel mileage purposes.

 

At any rate the Service Manager at my local dealership has not been very responsive when I've had questions about my truck since I purchased it in early May of this year. I typically have to go to the dealer GM before he is "encouraged" to respond to my emails or phone calls. I could just be spoiled by the excellent customer service I received at my local Honda Dealer on Honda's I've owned in the past. His responsiveness is concerning considering these are simple routine questions.....what is going to happen if I ever have a warranty claim? He's not customer service oriented and that's been my experience with him. He acts like he'd rather not be bothered.

 

When he finally did respond he stated I can do my own work and maintain the 5/100K powertrain warranty, but he could "only reccomend" 0-20. I asked specifically if using 5-30 would void my warranty and he didn't respond (no suprise with this idioit)

 

So I sent an email to GM directly and asked this question. I got a genaric email reply stating Dexos 0-20 blend was reccomended. I also got a voice message from someone with a heavy foreign accent, which makes me think GM's customer service center is not in the USA!

 

After trading few more email they told me not using 0-20 would void my warranty. I replied if that's the case, which engine components specifically would be damaged by using 5-30? I've rebuilt several small block Chevy's so This information would be benificial. Of course, no response and I get another voice mail from another person with an accent.

 

The bottom line is I would prefer to use 5-30W, its a little thicker and I think would protect internal components better. (I'm not an engineer and I realize modern engines are built to tighter tolerances, it's just a preference)

 

However, if there are legitimate reasons for me to use 0-20, I'll happily use it. But my perception is the information I'm being given is from people who have no technical background and are just reading out of a book. I specifically asked them to ask their engineering division about my quesiton and that of course had no response either.

 

What do you all think? I had a 14' Honda CRV before I bought my Silverado, the Honda specified 0-20, but when I questioned that, the Service Manager there confirmed what I suspected, 0-20 is specified to maximize fuel economy but I could use 5W-30 without issues and maintain the powertrain warranty.

 

My experience so far with my service departement and GM direct is this is the same old GM, difficult to work with and no loyality to their customers. They need to study how Honda and Toyota treats their cusomers. I work with a guy who used to be a body shop estimator for a local Toyota dealer and he's told me stories of how Toyota will bend over backward to keep their customers happy and pay for things they don't owe.

 

I don't see that happening with GM. I was hoping through the bailout they would have learned more.

 

This may seem very trivial and I suppose in the end it is. It's just the principle and concerning what I will be up against if I ever do have a real issue with this truck. If GM wants me to use 0-20 and tells me using another weight will void my warranty then provide a legitimate rationale for that requirement and I'll gladly do it.

 

I love my new Silverado, I was hoping for a more responsive, customer oriented experience at my service department (I know they are all different)

 

Thanks

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Lesson of the day? Run the 0w20.

Dexos is not a GM oil is is a standard they have set for oils to meet to be considered for use in GM vehicles and for licensing purposes. Your 5w-30 oil you want to use meets the Dexos standard, so

And you prove my point exactly. I think, I'm not sure though. This conversation has gone way over my head now. The Engineering department at my school must have been lacking the class where they ta

Frequently Asked Questions About dexos1™ 0W20 Engine Oil

Question: Why dexos1™ 0W20 engine oil?

 

Answer: The new 5.3L and 6.2L V8 EcoTec3 engines available in the completely redesigned 2014 Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 pickup trucks are the most fuel efficient and technologically advanced engines in the market.

 

These engines utilize an advanced combustion system that maximizes the potential of the direct injection (DI) fuel system, active fuel management (AFM), variable valve timing (VVT), two stage oil pumps and other technologies. The dexos1™ 0W20 oil supports these technologies and is an enabler for the improved fuel economy performance that is exhibited in these products.

 

Question: Are other automobile manufacturers recommending 0W20 engine oil for their products?

 

Answer: Some other manufacturers are already recommending 0W20 engine oil for their products. General Motors expects this to become an industry trend and more automobile manufacturers will be recommending the use of 0W20 engine oil in the future.

 

Question: What do the numbers 0W20 represent?

 

Answer: 0W20 represents the standard SAE measurement of oil viscosity. Viscosity is a measurement of the oil’s resistance to flow. The more resistant the oil is to flow, the higher its viscosity

.

Question: If dexos1™ 0W20 oil is recommended for my vehicle’s engine, do I have to use it?

 

Answer: Yes. As an example, the 5.3L and 6.2L V8 EcoTec3 engines available in the 2014 Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 pickup trucks, were designed, engineered, validated and EPA certified using dexos1™ 0W20 oil. This is the ONLY oil approved for these engines.

 

Question: What if the engine Is low on oil and dexos1™ 0W20 oil is not available to top off the oil level?

 

Answer: There are many different retailers nationwide that sell GM licensed oil products that meet the dexos1™ specification. Refer to the first section in this Bulletin: dexos 1™ and dexos 2™ Information Website

 

If you are unable to locate a retailer, then a GF5 Synthetic grade 0W20 oil that meets the dexos1™ specification, such as Mobil 1™ 0W-20 Advanced Fuel Economy synthetic oil can be used. It meets or exceeds International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee (ILSAC) GF-5 requirements.

 

Question: Can another oil such as 5W30 that is cheaper and more widely available be used in place of dexos1™ 0W20 oil?

 

Answer: No. The 5.3L and 6.2L V8 EcoTec3 engines available in the 2014 Silverado 1500 and Sierra 1500 pickup trucks were designed, engineered and validated to run using dexos1™ 0W20 oil. This is the ONLY oil approved for these engines.

 

Question: What if a different viscosity oil is added to the engine other than dexos1™ 0W20 oil?

 

Answer: If a different viscosity oil is added to the engine other than dexos1™ 0W20 oil, GM recommends that an oil change be performed as soon as practical, but no longer than the next scheduled oil change. in order to return the engine to the original dexos1™ 0W20 oil factory requirements.

 

Question: Will using a different viscosity oil other than what is recommended damage the engine?

 

Answer: It is not possible to comment on every type and viscosity of oil that is available. Some higher viscosity oils may impact engine and fuel economy performance. Likewise for example, using a lower viscosity oil in an engine that requires 5W30 oil may not provide appropriate lubrication and may impact engine and fuel economy performance.

 

Always follow GM recommendations and only use the oil specified in the GM Service Manual and/or the GM Owner Manual for the appropriate Model Year/Vehicle/Engine.

 

 

 

 

Lesson of the day? Run the 0w20.

Edited by 15HDriver
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What do you hope to gain from running 5w-30? More protection? You will end up with less protection...possibly a losing the protection of the warranty, if you have an engine problem related to oil.

 

GM is telling you to run 0w-20 because they have real data from an elaborate testing and warranty service system around the world, which indicates that there is better lubrication with 0w-20. You are basing your desire on your past experiences of a few engines and "gut feel".

 

Like stated by 15HDriver...

 

 

 

 

Lesson of the day? Run the 0w20.

 

Put the recommended oil in it and change it at the recommended intervals. If you want 'more protection', there are a number of synthetic oils out there with the recommended spec to choose from.

Edited by spurshot
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Ok thanks for the quick replies. The first post was good information. That's what i was looking for. If that information is in my owners manual then i missed it. It's a very large manual to read. I may have to re read it.

 

I appreciate the help and information.

Edited by GsBowtie
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What do you hope to gain from running 5w-30? More protection?

 

To answer this specifically, yes.

 

Part of what bugs me about the first post is it's verbatim GM nomenclature. Of course they want you to buy their Dexos oil so they are going to tell you to run it.

 

The part I found interesting was the question as to whether running a different viscosity would cause engine damage and they were non-committal on that aspect. I believe that is because it won't, but of course I have no proof of that.

 

Based on the information however, I will Run 0-20W at least until my powertrain warranty is out. I do have an email from my service manager confirming I can upgrade to a full synthetic oil at least so my plan is to do that and run Full Synthetic.

Edited by txab
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Ok thanks for the quick replies. The first post was good information. That's what i was looking for. If that information is in my owners manual then i missed it. It's a very large manual to read. I may have to re read it.

 

I appreciate the help and information.

 

 

Not in the owners manual. It's an FAQ that your dealer can locate in GM service information.

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Not in the owners manual. It's an FAQ that your dealer can locate in GM service information.

 

Understood. Thank you very much for your time and help with that information. If my service manager would have sent me that himself then I wouldn't have had to bug you all with this thread. Again, thanks for you help!

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The engines in the 14 and up GM trucks is a completely new beast. For starters is has a variable displacement oil pump. All the R&D has been done and 0w-20 is what is required. If the engine wasn't changed from previous models and they wanted to switch to 0w-20 then it would be more on the lines of CAFE' reasons.

 

No problems asking question here. That is what the forum is for. :)

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The engines in the 14 and up GM trucks is a completely new beast. For starters is has a variable displacement oil pump. All the R&D has been done and 0w-20 is what is required. If the engine wasn't changed from previous models and they wanted to switch to 0w-20 then it would be more on the lines of CAFE' reasons.

 

No problems asking question here. That is what the forum is for. :)

 

Thanks for the reply, info and understanding. I apprecaite it. Yes, Unfortunately, it appears much of my old school wrenching and engine rebuilding is going by the way-side. I still like that the 5.3 is an "old school" push-rod V8 and not the OHC stuff that Ford has been producing since the last 90's. Although, there is nothing "old scool" about this new Ecotec3, that's for sure.

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All the information on the low viscosity oils indicate to me that they prevent wear better than the higher viscosity oils.

 

From what I've read, the largest portion of wear occurs at the start-up and first few seconds of operation. Low viscosity oils flow more readily during this time and provide better lubrication. I don't think GM would overlook a better oil/viscosity and steer you to something that didn't work as well.

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All the information on the low viscosity oils indicate to me that they prevent wear better than the higher viscosity oils.

 

From what I've read, the largest portion of wear occurs at the start-up and first few seconds of operation. Low viscosity oils flow more readily during this time and provide better lubrication. I don't think GM would overlook a better oil/viscosity and steer you to something that didn't work as well.

 

I have read the same information. I understand your position. I guess my worry, perhaps unfounded is these engines run at such high temps, I fear such thin oil would breakdown more than a slightly thicker oil. I tow a heavy travel trailer and I know it works it hard in the mountains of Central PA. I'm sure GM has done all the R&D on this new engine and it will hold up with the thinner oil, at least I hope it will.

 

Thanks again.

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If I were towing like you're describing, I might be looking into additional coolers for the engine and trans as well as using a good synthetic and an enhanced interval for fluid changes.

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I guess my worry, perhaps unfounded is these engines run at such high temps, I fear such thin oil would breakdown more than a slightly thicker oil. I tow a heavy travel trailer and I know it works it hard in the mountains of Central PA. I'm sure GM has done all the R&D on this new engine and it will hold up with the thinner oil, at least I hope it will.

 

You're not wrong. 0W20 is better for mileage and cold weather performance. GM recommends 5W30 in the Corvette with the same engine for street use where these things are obviously less important than they are with the trucks. They also recommend 15W50 for race track use--which would be similar to towing in hot weather up mountain passes. The thicker oils simply do a better job at high oil temps.

 

I do use 0W20 in mine (Redline full synthetic) because cold starts and cold weather use is more common for me than summer towing right now, but I have taken steps to make sure my oil temps stay cool as possible during summer towing.

Edited by Jon A
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You're not wrong. 0W20 is better for mileage and cold weather performance. GM recommends 5W30 in the Corvette with the same engine for street use where these things are obviously less important than they are with the trucks. They also recommend 15W50 for race track use--which would be similar to towing in hot weather up mountain passes. The thicker oils simply do a better job at high oil temps.

 

I do use 0W20 in mine (Redline full synthetic) because cold starts and cold weather use is more common for me than summer towing right now, but I have taken steps to make sure my oil temps stay cool as possible during summer towing.

Hi jon

 

Thanks. This is what i thought initially and was the motivation behind wanting to run 5-30w. However GM has made it clear i cannot without jeopardizing my powertrain warranty. So for now I'm stuck with 0-20w. I'm going to change to full synthetic at 5k and change it every 5k thereafter. Trans, transfer case and both diffs service every 30k.

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To answer this specifically, yes.

 

Part of what bugs me about the first post is it's verbatim GM nomenclature. Of course they want you to buy their Dexos oil so they are going to tell you to run it.

 

The part I found interesting was the question as to whether running a different viscosity would cause engine damage and they were non-committal on that aspect. I believe that is because it won't, but of course I have no proof of that.

 

Based on the information however, I will Run 0-20W at least until my powertrain warranty is out. I do have an email from my service manager confirming I can upgrade to a full synthetic oil at least so my plan is to do that and run Full Synthetic.

 

 

Dexos is not a GM oil is is a standard they have set for oils to meet to be considered for use in GM vehicles and for licensing purposes. Your 5w-30 oil you want to use meets the Dexos standard, so using your logic you're buying "their oil".

 

Run 0w-20 and be done with it. Too many of you guys out there still want to run 20w-50 in their engines because they believe they need "thick" oil for protection

Edited by txab
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