• If you currently own, previously owned or want to own an Avalanche, we welcome you to become a member today. Membership is FREE, register now!

You Are Now Entering The Missoula Zone


Charter Member
SM 2008
SM 2007
SM 2006
SM 2005
SM 2004
SM 2003
Full Member
Jan 10, 2002
Edmonds, WA
(think twilight zone music playing in the background or the Eagles' Hotel California)

So coming back from vacation on Sunday the worst possible thing as far as oil life management can happen. ?About five miles out of the campground the change oil light comes on. ?I'm looking at over 500 miles of driving planned for the day, so I need to change the oil now. ?If I go beyond, well, I'm following the drill in the owner's manual to the letter.

So the nearest town is 45 minutes away. ?Missoula, Montana. ?Don't get me wrong. ?I love Missoula - Missoula kicks butt. ?It's has many of the features of a big city, the majority of the people there are a tad more liberal in their thought but aren't nut cases like many in Seattle, and it is beautiful.

So for what ever stupid reason, Jiffy Lube (shudder) is closed on Sunday. ?As a matter of fact, the only place I can find open is Wal-Mart. ? :6:

So I pull in at 12:15 PM and I'm told 1-1/2 hours tops. ?Hooray! ?They have MobilOne 5W-30 on sale! ?Hooray! ?I can get the full synthetic oil change for just $30 and I can specify MobilOne.

So we drop off the Avalanche and wander the Wal-Mart and the wife finds a couple of things. ?We come back an hour later (my plan was to watch to make sure things were done right) and my Av hasn't budged. ?I'm now entering

The Missoula Zone​

Well one hour becomes the 1-1/2 hours, and my Av hasn't been touched. ?My two year-old is now crying from hunger and I'm watching the time tick away. ?I've got to drive another 550 miles today, it's 1:45 PM and you haven't even started? ?So I set a mental note, at 2:00 PM I'm ripping my Av out of service and going. ?Maybe I'll do a rolling oil change, dispose of the oil at a gas station and then do another replacing the filter on Monday - ugh I don't want to do that.

With 5 minutes to spare my Av gets started. ?The next thing is three people trying to figure out how to open the hood. ?I've found that the hood latch under the Chevy bowtie has been quite the comical issue. ?So I start to go out to the garage to both watch and tell them how to open the hood and incompetent manager, who I won't name (Jessy) yells at me for being on the shop floor. ?I just look at the nameless manager (Jessy) and tell her she can do it her way, and not get the hood open or do it my way and start working on the truck. ?So I tell them how to open the hood (be afraid - be very afraid).

Now the mechanic who worked on my Av did a great job. ?Didn't get oil on the skid plate, really hustled but did things right, got all the grease fittings (watched) and even poured in my MobilOne instead of going for the bulk oil. ?I check out and I'm not charged for the MobilOne. ?So I got a full synthetic oil change for $21.74 drive out! ?Hooray! ? :2:

It's 2:45 PM. ?UGH! ?:mad:

So then we go to Costco to top off the gas tank. ?Fill up at Missoula I should just about make it to Seattle, maybe a splash of gas in Cle Elum. ?Ahhh, but Costco doesn't take credit cards anymore ?:rolleyes: for gas and doesn't use my banks ATM network ?:7:. ?I'm desperate so I go to use the Av club credit card (yup, I have a credit card for the club). ?Won't take that one either because it's not on the network. ?:8:

Then we go to Fudruckers. ?Might as well eat and I LOVE Fudruckers. ?Well that turns into a scene from the night of the Living Dead with a starving two-year-old screaming then refusing to eat and people looking ?:6:. ?Then no ice or no ice tea, then my wife burns herself because the hot cheese dispenser is almost empty and when she presses down on it it sprays hot cheese spray all over her hand with a bunch of air. ?:cry:

It's now 3:45 PM local time - and I still haven't filled the gas tank - remember - I'm in...

The Missoula Zone​

So I decided forget it - 2/3 of a tank should get me to Spokane and that's good enough - but Missoula is not done with me. ?As we pull onto I-90 westbound I notice my hood is buffeting a lot. ?Yup - the hood wasn't fully closed from the oil change ?:p. ?Pull over, slam it down and finally get out of town.

UGH! ?The Missoula Zone...

For those interested this is my fourth oil change. ?I did one at 1K, went to synthetic at 3K, followed the oil life monitor and change at 7.6K and did this one as 12.9K. ?Reset the monitor again I continue to plan to follow it...
nfhjr said:
Hay Chief why didn't you just reset the Change oil light till you got home and changed the oil, and then reset it again :0: :0: ;D ;D ;D

That wasn't the issue. It was the principal of proper maintenance and after the dust bowl in our June Av meet, a beach trip, and then the dust bowl I was in as well as the stop and go city driving I just couldn't see going the 500+ plus miles knowing I had used up 90% of my oil's life - I'm taking care of my Av!!!
Chief, have you ever changed your name? Sounds like your name could have been "Murphy" ;D

I don't blame you, though. I would have been hesitant to go that far past the change myself. We just got back from 4 days at the beach on Sunday, but we didn't take the Ava :cry: Wife convinced me that it would make more sense to take her Elantra (hmm, let's see, 30mpg or 15mpg). I'll be switching to synthetic on mine at my next change...

Lets be fair to Missoula now, Chief! I am in Missoula at least 12 times a year (I'll be there next week! ;D) and have never had even a hint of a problem there.You're probably lucky Jiffy Lube was closed! I think the problem at the Wal-Mart Auto dept wasn't so much that you were in Missoula but that you were in a Wal-Mart Auto dept.!
A month or so ago the Costco in Edmonds, WA had a sign saying they would no longer be honoring credit cards. Thankfully, they seemed to have done an about face on that though.
I've never eaten at Fudruckers, but based on your recommendation I am going to!
I sure hope the Mobil One is still on sale when I am there.
Loved the story, have to appreciate the driving obsession that prompted you to do that, I would have waited till home. ;D

But then again, I am on my third set of differential oil changes. ;D
mmmmmm Fudruckers - Steak Sandwich w/Mushrooms and Grilled onions....

Its obvious I lead a sheltered life. i gonna have to get out of oklahoma more often and find some real adventures like the Chief >:D >:D
Walmart Changes Oil?!?!

Okay, out here in MA, it's odd to see a Super Walmart - the one with the food store in it too... I think those are only North and South of us.

But a Walmart that will change your oil?! I'm blown away!
hey how do you reset the oil light,at home? I'm doin mobil one now and it sure looks cleaner on the dipstick!
Oh, I should know this... I knew there was going to be a test. Just bought the AV and should remember what the saleslady told me about resetting the oil change message.

It was something about turning the key to on but not starting it and hitting the gas 4 times in five seconds.

Better make sure though.. I do know it is in the owner's manual.
To reset the monitor:

1) Turn the key to run (not start).

2) Wait for the inital (bing bing bing) to stop (this is only so you can hear the tone)

3) Press the gas pedal to the floor quickly and release four to six times in five seconds or less.

4) The Change Oil Light message should appear in the Message Center and flash a few times. If it does it's reset.

5) If the light was on in the first place to confirm remove the key - count to three (why not) and put the key back in, turn to run (not start). The Change Oil message SHOULD NOT be on.

6) If the message wasn't on in the first place as long as the message flashed (can't remember 3 or 5 times) you're cool. I'll admit I'm paranoid and I repeat the procedure...

Hope this helps (ya I know goo - teach 'em to use search)
if the message has not appeared yet, you should be able to do the above steps, except, i was able to do it with pressing the pedal three times only, and when you start the truck, you'll notice that the oil change message will flash a couple times, and then go away. hope that made sense.

in short, key to start, press pedals, start truck, should see oil message flash and go away.

oh and chief, i just ate at fuddruckers today (this afternoon) for the first time. excellent food, had the grilled chicken breast and a basket of wedges and cheddar dip, mmmmmmm darn, hungy again ;D