changing spark plugs and oil for the first time. - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 07-11-2007, 12:30 PM   #11
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Default Oil Changes...

FWIW,
Oil change frequency has a greater bearing on engine longevity than the brand you use...

I had one of the first Dodge Cargo mini-vans brought into Canada. (1984). It came equipped with a 4 cylinder engine. In three years of constant VERY long-distance driving, I accumulated 550,000 KM'* (that'* 330,000 miles for the non-metrically minded). Oil changes were done every 5,000 K (3000 miles) using any available brand. Although I went through four exhaust manifolds in those 3 years, (design flaw in the 4 cylinder manifold..stamped steel manifold) the engine itself was still running well when I traded it in on a new Chev C30 van, with the 350 V-8. (P.*. Not my fault that model year Dodge only came with a FIVE digit odometer!!)

During the next five years of the same long-distance driving, the Chev accumulated 1,120,000 KM'* ( 700,000 miles), again with the oil /filter changed every 5,000 K (3000 miles). No attempt was made to use synthetic, semi-synthetic, or any other premium brand oil. (Most oil changes were done every 10 days-2 weeks, in those days synthetic would have broke the bank!) . At the 700,000 mile mark, the rear seal was found to be leaking, We did a complete teardown of the engine, to see if anything else was looking tired. Hardly a mark anywhere. Replaced the rear seal, ran another 50,000 miles with the same engine, and then sold the van to a local plumber in 1991, who drove it daily until 1996, at which point he scrapped the whole van. Engine at that point was starting to smoke, he said.

There were others who ran Chevy Astro vans on our fleet at the time, all using the same oil-change schedule. In fact, one of them broke the one million MILE mark with his van after 11 years on the road. GM (I believe it was Tonawanda) asked for and recieved the rear axle out of his van. ( to see what they had done right, I suppose!!)

Sorry for the long dissertation, but the point I wanted to bring forward was that the only thing keeping these engines running so long and so well was the frequency of the oil changes, not the particular brand used. Would both engines have lasted longer if premium/synthetic oil had been used? Possibly. More Expensive? Definitely!!

Of course, the same regime is used with the International truck that I own, with the oil change interval set every 25,000 Km (18,000 miles). I have,however standardized on Shell Rotella T, 40 quarts at a time! Nary an engine/turbo burble with 865,000 Km on the odometer.

As I said, FWIW.

Regards. Dave
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Old 07-11-2007, 01:35 PM   #12
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To get at the rear plugs and get the leverage you may need to pull boots off, remove the brace between the strut towers. It only takes a minute or two and allows much better access to the plugs. I agree with the previous post about oil, but you can buy Mobil 1 at Walmart for 20.00 for a 5 quart container. The is pretty reasonable and I have found my engine runs 3 or 4 degrees cooler with it than regular oil.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:18 PM   #13
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Default Re: Oil Changes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by olex126
There were others who ran Chevy Astro vans on our fleet at the time, all using the same oil-change schedule. In fact, one of them broke the one million MILE mark with his van after 11 years on the road. GM (I believe it was Tonawanda) asked for and recieved the rear axle out of his van. ( to see what they had done right, I suppose!!)
They had to melt down the evidence. They're in the business of selling vehicles, not making everlasting ones.
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Old 07-11-2007, 02:42 PM   #14
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Let'* try to keep this on topic for the topic author, and not get into a lecture series, shall we?

For the record, oil-related failures in Buick 3800'* (that'* what we have, you know) are EXTREMELY rare. So lets get this back on topic. This is a simple oil change he'* asking about, not how to prepare for the end of the world.
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Old 07-11-2007, 03:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Let'* try to keep this on topic for the topic author, and not get into a lecture series, shall we?

For the record, oil-related failures in Buick 3800'* (that'* what we have, you know) are EXTREMELY rare. So lets get this back on topic. This is a simple oil change he'* asking about, not how to prepare for the end of the world.
thanks.. i dont no what any of that had to do with my question..
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:56 PM   #16
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Would also recommend removing the strut tower brace...not very hard to do, and makes doing the rear plugs much easier. If your wires look really old it might be a good idea to replace them at the same time. I've had wires that were so old they ripped to pieces as I was taking them off.

Also, I would recommend having some dielectric grease on hand. Put it on the plugs and the coil pack connections so you don't have to worry about corrosion where the wires connect.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:07 PM   #17
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I've never had a problem with the strut tower brace in place, so at least try it before you just remove it. You may not need to.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:43 PM   #18
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I also suggest doing it with the brace on. The fewer times that comes off and on, the better. The nuts have a limited lifetime of removal/installation. And if you do remove it (which you shouldn't have to), do NOT move or jack the car without it in place and properly torqued.

Torque specs are in Techinfo/specifications.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Fm > 88 Bonnsse

Have you ever had a problem with it leaking any oil..?
No, never....
Quote:
What if something hits the valve while your driving and opens it
If you're going off road, truly, there is a special 'clip' one can add to the unit. However, on my '85 Trooper II, which I used to go back into the mountains, though using a very infrequently used 'fire trail', there was never an issue.

For those who affect their own maintenance, it is simply invaluable....
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