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First Oil Change


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Jan 10, 2002
Edmonds, WA
Well my Avalanche rolled over 3,000 miles on Thursday night so it was time to do the first oil change. ?The battle plan got turned upside down when my little girl got sick and landed in the hospital (see Chit Chat thread).

So with mom and my daughter both passed out napping, I took the stir crazy eight-year-old boy with me to get an oil change done. ?I pointed my Avalanche to the first Jiffy Lube by the hospital (I know I KNOW).

First we stopped at an area parts store so I could pick up a case of Mobil 1 10W30. ?No such luck, they only had one bottle of 10W30 and 5W30. ?ARGH!

However I was able to score a sweet deal. ?They had a bottle of Slick50 (which I've used in my last four cars - this stuff WORKS) with four quarts of Penzoil (any one want some crappy motor oil?) for $16.99, and then a $5 mail in rebate for $11.99. ?Sweet ass deal! ?So I bought that and the folks there told me about a closer Jiffy Lube so I went there.

Got to the Jiffy Lube and I went with the full synthetic oil (Pennzane). ?I went to the "back" of the shop so I could watch everything above and below. ?UGH! ?You can't take your eyes off of these guys for a second! ?:mad: :mad: :mad:

First, thanks to the awesome guidance I got from here I told them to be sure to put clean rags on the skid plate so oil wouldn't drip on it. ?The guy below did an excellent job, layering about four rags on the plate to catch any oil.

So the oil drains out and they start the ritual. ?First, the guy above goes to put the standard garbage oil from the big tank in ?:mad:. ?Hey - I'm paying for synthetic.

Then he goes to pour the Slick50 in first ?:mad: so it will do a great job of coating and protecting the oil pan, and nothing else. ?Then he tries to stop filling the crank case at 4-1/2 quarts ?:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

DUDE - thats a 285 HP Chevy 5.3 liter V-8 not a 215 HP Ford 4.6 - it needs oil! ?Finally it was all done and then they went to ring me up at the wrong price ($20 too low) and again, ummmm, guys. ?So they finally got that right.

I reset the oil change monitor (again thanks to great info here that it is possible to reset it even if it hasn't turned on yet) and headed back to the hospital. ?Glad that I got it done at 3,020 miles on the dot. ?I'm now planning to run it another 3,000 miles, change it out with Mobil 1, and then go with the sensor (unless the oil looks dirty).

I will give the guy down below credit that he didn't get oil on those skid plates. ?I didn't get under there but I never had that sweet smell of motor oil warming when it does get slopped everywhere. ?The next one will be "do it yourself" or at the dealer. ?If you go to Jiffy Lube - DON'T TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THOSE GUYS FOR A SECOND!
Got a quick question. Sounds like you would have put in the Slick 50 and the Mobil 1 at the same time, but the oil wasn't available. True? Tell me about the Slick 50. What does it do? Is Mobil 1 the best way to go and how often should you change the oil when using mobil 1? Thanks in advance!
Slick50 is an engine treatment that in real plain English contains teflon. The folks that invented Slick50 at least 15 or 20 years ago were able to get the Teflon in an oil suspension in a way that if would bond with metal. When I treated my first car in 1988 - the stuff cost $49.95 for a one quart bottle!

There are a lot of engine treatments out there today to add to your oil that make a lot of claims. The bottom line is this, when these products go to get certified, again and again only one passes the key tests - Slick50. The stuff really works. It's so darn good, the FAA has approved it for the use in aircraft, and I don't know of too many automotive additives that can make that claim.

The benefit of coating everything with teflon internally is less friction. The engine runs cooler, there is less wear on internal parts, and in smaller engines you can even pick up a few horsepower (you won't get much benefit in an Avalanche). Because things run cooler and easier, your engine lasts longer, and deposits have a harder time clinging to the metal because of the PTFE (teflon in plain English).

As I said earlier, this is car/truck number four I've treated. My Ford Probe went 186,000 miles, including three seasons of SCCA Auto Cross and, well more street racing than I should have done. It never had an engine related problem. Never. OK - that's my sales pitch on Slick50.

Couple of things though. One, you should never put Slick50 in a brand new engine. Many owners manuals state this will void all warranties. Because oil hasn't soaked the metal yet, the PTFE bonding prevents it, and a treatment on a brand new engine can cause it to burn oil in the future. Second, when you go to pour in the stuff, pour it in the middle (three quarts of oil, one quart of Slick50, two to three more quarts to top off your Avalanche - assuming a 5.3 liter). Then, this is the most important step, drive. You really need to drive at various speeds (through traffic lights is best) for 20 minutes so the PTFE is circulated and doesn't just settle in the pan.

Now, on to Mobil 1. There is just no better motor oil. Anyone will tell you. Heck the competition will tell you under their breathe, it is just the best oil you can buy. The stuff is pricy $4 to $5 per quart but it is a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a new motor at 150,000 miles.

I guess that's the point, one thing I learned a long time ago was use quality motor oil and good gasoline for a single trusted source, change the filters at the proper intervals and odds are on your side you won't have any problems.

The reason I decided to follow the oil change sensor after the second change and not do the 3,000 mile thing is the General recommends oil changes every 10K or 12 months. I mean YIKES! Hence I'll go with the Mobil 1 to afford more protection. If I'm not happy with the intervals of service from the sensor (I'll bet dollars for donuts I'll get a 6K to 7K warning) then I'll go back to the 3K - or if the oil looks really dirty.

I'd recommend Slick50 to anyone though. Your engine will run quieter (not that the 5.3 liter isn't already whisper quiet) and you'll get a longer life out of it.

Just my experience...
My dealer had a program after I purchased my AV that they would do the first oil change free of charge after 2,000 miles. I got the 2,000-mile change and then the dealer changed it again at 5,000 miles. Then when I got close to 6,000 miles the change oil started flashing. I had less then 1,000 miles on the oil change so I didn't know what to think. I checked the oil (naturally) and it was OK, no problem. I reset the oil sensor and haven't seen it flash since and I am getting close to 8,000 miles. It appears that the dealer didn't reset the oil sensor when they changed my oil. So I am thinking the oil sensor is tied to the mileage and not the oil quality. I am not depending on that oil sensor to tell me to change the oil.
This is for Chief Avalanche Fan. I am pretty sure that you are supposed to use 5W-30 based on the owners manual and the oil filler cap, although a little heavier oil probably won't hurt especially if you live in a mild climate.

I know what you mean with those X!@* Jiffy Lube folks!! Have had similar experiences with other vehicles there. My Avalanche has almost 4,000 miles on it now, and I am probably going to take it to the dealer for the first service. I had been wondering about whether or not it would be of any benefit to put full synthetic in. Most mechanics I have asked said they thought it was a waste of money and to just use a good quality oil and change it often. Unfortunately I don't have any experience with using synthetics, so I am going by what others have told me. I do know a couple of people who have always used Mobile 1 and they swear by it. One was a Ford Tempo that has about 170K on it and they had to take the heads off recently for something, and they said the internals looked almost brand new! Sooo, I guess there is something to it, but I was just wondering if it would be worth it to use in a new engine (NOT immediately) but an engine with under 30 or 40K on it? I know Mobil 1 is good stuff, but I have also heard good things about Royal Purple as well. Think they cost about the same.

As for the Slick50, I have never used it myself, but have used a few others. I have been using ZMax in my Corsica and old Honda Accord for a couple of years and I can definitely tell it helps with gas mileage, HP, etc.. Still expensive, but it works. I am just hesitant to use anything like an additive in a fairly new engine (for some reason;-) My dad used to use TufOil and that stuff has some very interesting test results as well, but that is still pretty expensive too. Used prolong a couple of times, but I have noticed much better long term perf. from the ZMax, and it is also approved for FAA use as well. Let me know if you have any recommendations/comments about the use of syntetics in new engines... Thanks...

David W.
Well I'm going to respond to a couple of posts here. ZMax is also good stuff. I think if anyone is looking at an over the counter engine oil additive, FAA approval is a good acid test. Beware of "certified by the Bob Hopkins University of Viscosity Research and Development," claims.

My wife has been putting Mobil 1 in her T-bird for the last five years. I haven't been in the motor but I know this, every time it goes into the dealer her service advisor reminds her he wants first dibs if she goes to sell the car ;D (think I'm a maniac - can't believe my wife hasn't started fordtbirdfanclub.com)


On the issue of the change oil and oil wear sensor. Shame on your dealer for not resetting it! I'd expect that from Jiffy Lube but not the dealer. The oil wear sensor does not only look at mileage (but it is part of the equation). It looks at load on the engine, type of driving, engine and ambient temperature, and if tow/haul mode is used. Somehow some voodoo is done to come up with the, "change the oil now," light. You are correct though that there isn't a sensor or group of sensors dectecting viscosity and looking for dirt in the oil.
Thanks for the info. I think I''ll probably go ahead and try a full synthetic (whatever brand) after the first change or two. Seems like it can be beneficial if you use it from the start.

Anyone else out there ever used ZMax? I would be interested to hear from anyone who has used it long term to see how engines with it hold up...

Tbirdfanclub??? Hmm, sounds like a good project for you two to work on together ;)
I know Mobil 1 is good oil - but it is arguably not the BEST oil. ;D

If you want to protect your engine and go longer between changes, I say get on the *AMSOIL* team. :cool:

Amsoil has been around for thirty years selling synthetic fluids of all kinds. They have an oil that goes 35,000 mile between changes - not that I would EVER go that far, but I did go 20,000 miles between changes in my 1997 Suburban. You can order oil analysis kits that tell you when your oil is ready to be changed if you doubt their claims.

Note: It is an ABSOLUTE FACT that after I put Amsoil in my 1997 'Burban, the highway speed RPMs of the truck dropped about 200 rpm or so. AMSOIL is thinner oil, and sticks well to the engine parts, meaning the engine has less internal friction. This in part caused the lower RPMS at higher speeds. My gas mileage increased 1 to 3 mpg also, depending on driving conditions. I once got 19 mpg on a four hour road trip, which was about 3 mpg more that I had achieved previously. :D

You can become a "Preferred Customer" at the AMSOIL website www.amsoil.com and get the Series 2000 0W-30 oil for $5.60 a quart. Their filters are good for 12,500 miles too.

Go read up on them anywhere - no one has much of anything bad to say about them - they are the oldest and in fact their products are race and road tested for thirty years.

I got my 'Lanche last week, and next weekend I'm putting Amsoil 0W-30 in there, with an Amsoil filter.

Happy Motoring !!!!!!
You got 1-3 MPG more?

Figuring the burb gets the same MPG average of 15 that is a 7-20% increase just from changing the brand of oil.

I mean no disrespect but that seems to me to be more due to driving habits then the oil.

Hey - no disrespect taken. :) But my experiences with AMSOIL bear out the increases as factual.

I had never even got 18 mpg in that 'Burb before changing the oil. And on the first long trip (my wife driving, and she is a leadfoot) we got 19 mpg. Later we got 18+ several times, after never getting 18 before AMSOIL.

( In addition, my sixteen year old son has a 2000 Tacoma 4 cyl 2WD with Amsoil, and he get 26 mpg highway on a vehicle rated at 24 mpg highway. )

And we drove 2000 mile round-trips from AZ to Texas about 5 times in 2001.

Lower RPMS translate to less fuel consumed...

From the Amsoil website:

"Will using AMSOIL Motor Oils increase gas mileage?

Tighter government regulations and increases in engine manufacturers? demands are calling for more fuel efficient lubricants. AMSOIL Motor Oils reduce friction and drag better than petroleum oils, resulting in significant fuel economy increases. In a recent 1.2 million mile demonstration, AMSOIL Lubricants showed a 4.5% increase in gas mileage. Other tests have shown increases of as much as 15% under certain weather and driving conditions. Yet, because every vehicle is different, as are driving habits and conditions, it is difficult to accurately project an exact increase."

Sure, they are biased, but hundreds of Amsoil owners report similar findings. (maybe we are all just brainwashed?) :D

I will be reporting any increases with the 'Lanche and Amsoil to this website as I get info. With my first tank in my 1500 4WD Z71 using the oil that came in the truck, we got about 13mpg in mostly urban driving. That was 324 miles on 26 gallons. I will have at least one more tank on dino oil to compare to my post-Amsoil mpg....

Laters !!!
Good read from their website thanks.

5.6 a quart using 6 quarts man that is some money.

Keep us posted on your results.
I have been using Mobil 1 synthetic oil in my vehicles for 2 years now. GREAT stuff. Change every 2k. I believe a vehicle is an ASSET not an expense. CAN PURCHASE at Walmart Superstores this oil (10-W30) for about $17.50 in 5 qt. bottles. You basically SAVE about a buck/qt. going this route. These sales "offers" NOT very common though. You just have to "watch" for them. Just some food for thought. LOVE my Avalanche.
Jerry M,

Do you REALLY change Mobil 1 after only 2K? Man, that seems sorta wasteful..........??.......... ???

You should investigate Amsoil Synthetic oils. They have "oil analysis kits" which will tell you when your oil has broken down.

I'm willing to bet that Mobil 1 you toss out after 2K miles has little or no breakdown yet......

My 2cintz........

P.S. I use Amsoil on two vehicles, and I have gone 20K between changes........$5.60 a quart..... ;D
Hi Folks:

I read most of the posts on this topic and found something missing... first according to the owners manual the AV is supposed to run through a quart of oil for every 1000 miles while the engine is being broken in. However, the first oil change should be done at 500 miles in order to catch any metal shavings or problems associated with any errors while assembling the engine. The best oil to use for at least the first 3000 miles is the standard 5-30 as recommended by GM. I have a couple of friends who have treated themselves to Mobil-1 prior to the 3k mark and found themselves using way too much oil. They reverted back to standard oil and with an average of 4k a piece are happy to repport that all is well and no more oil consumption is being noticed. Both AV are 4X4 2500 and will have Mobil-1 treatments at 6k. I would also hold off on the Slick 50 treatment untill then and for the same reasons. BTW... all my current vehicles run on Mobil-1 and have done so for the past 50k miles. I can't say enough about the quality of this product and the kind of performance it gives both my LT1 powered vehicles down the 1/4 mile and on the road course. Hope this helps and do take care.


Enrique "Chino" Barreto
BBB (Big, Bold and Black) Avalanche 2500 4X4
All leather interior and power to boot! :cool:
I did the first oil change at 890 miles and went with Valvoline 5-30 full synthetic. So far I have not burned any oil (1500) miles on the AV so far.

2500 4X4 8100 Flowmaster K&N Air Filter
You ever have one of those days...

Well with 1260 miles I thought I would drop the oil and filter for the first time. No problem with the oil (it comes out fast and furious)...but you do have to watch the oil collector plate (skid plate). Then I went to pull the filter :cry: :p. The factory does not observe the 3/4 turn rule :mad:. I stuggled by hand ??? and with a one of those multi fit cap adapters (no room next to the oil pan for it). I fotgot that my GM adapter is in Ohio with my boat :( and only had a dedicated cap for my previous f150 :eek:.
I was all ready with 7 qts of mobile 1 and a new filter...now what-
two options...

Stab the filter with a screw driver, get really messy and hope that I whatever is left comes off-


Throw some cheaper oil back in, leave the old filter on and let a dealer do the first one (2nd one I guess)...and insist no tools when appling the filter.

Did I mention it was 7:00 pm on Sunday night..Wal-mart had more oil but was all out of the dedicated cap wrenches (go figure).

Well I had exceeding my time allowed for this project ...and the wife was already tapping her fingers, so I put the plug back in, wiped up under the car, and poured 5 3/4 qts of castrol 5w-30 in with the old filter :cautious:. The way things were going...the filter would have shredded...but not totally removed. I figure, let this happen at a dealership.

I need to have a dealer check a leak from my front diff anyway so i might let them do both that and a oil/filter change...and save the mobile 1 for later.

I plan to this sometime this week-

Moral-Do not start a project without the right tools

Hey Chief...this site rules...I visited often before I bought my Av...and since then I no longer surf the net...I am addicted to this place since I bought my Av ;D
Thought I would post a new topic since the other one was so long.

My first oil change was at 1000 miles.
Second was at 3000 miles
Third was at 6100 miles

After the 3rd oil change I decided to test the oil monitor and see how long it would take before the light would come on. I did not see the change oil light till 10,800 miles. I do a lot of city driving my last oil change was done on 1/19/02. Just under 3 months. Going with the oil monitor I went 4700 miles since my last oil change. I will keep using the oil monitor from this point foward and see how it acts with the hotter TX summer temps coming up.

My washer fluid light came on at the same time and it took a little less than 1 gallon to fill up.
I have another idea to go along with the oil monitor. The engine hour meter. When you do an oil change also note the engine hours. Compare the difference. Sitting in heavey traffic could have an effect on the oil condition. Any thoughts on this???? ??? ???

Am I missing something. I don't have a hour meter. Is this only on the 2500 series. I think so.

If I do have one where is it. I have a 1500 2wd Av
owners manual page 2-101 covers checking engine run hours. i think it is on both trucks.
Engine hours meter definitely on both the 1500 and 2500. With the ignition off, just press the trip OD button and hold until hours appear!

A nice feature!

I had no idea they were equipped with this feature. Very cool.
Thanks for the posting it.
The engine oil change light is a bunch of crap. Basiclly an idiot light for women who don't know when to change it. I had my oil changed and the dude forgot to reset the monitor. Well almost 3K into my drive back from vacation the light comes on. 95% of the driving after the oil change was highway and after checking the oil many times, it was still clean as a wistle. So the computer can only read your driving habits, not the actual oil. That's why synthetics can be run longer even if the light comes on.
I kinda figured the oil light was not an analysis of the condition of the oil. Sounds like it must be tied to the odometer and activates at 3k intervals.

If it was a idiot light it would come on every 3K miles. In my case I change my oil at 6100 miles and the light did not come on until 10,800. That would be 4700 miles between oil changes. I am running Val. 5W/30. If I ran syn. oil I would hope that the oil change would take more miles. I will see how long the next light comes on and then try syn. oil to see if it helps.