Performing all scheduled and recommended maintenance on your Pontiac vehicle is imperative to keep it running well so you can avoid the many untimely, inconvenient, and possibly expensive repairs that come from neglect. Luckily, the days of the standardized manual maintenance schedule are coming to an end.
Smart technology, like the Oil-Life Monitor (OLM) system from General Motors (GM), automatically monitors the oil life in your vehicle using an advanced algorithm, on board computer system that alerts owners when it’s time for an oil change, so they can address the issue promptly and without hassle. All the owner has to do is schedule an appointment with a trusted mechanic, take the vehicle in for servicing, and a mechanic will take care of the rest - it’s that simple.
How the Pontiac Oil Life Monitor (OLM) system works and what to expect
The Pontiac Oil Life Monitor (OLM) system is not a simple oil quality sensor, but a software-based, algorithm driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine to determine when the oil needs changing. Certain driving habits can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and driving terrain. Lighter, more moderate driving conditions and temperature will require less frequent oil changes and maintenance, while more severe driving conditions will require more frequent oil changes and maintenance. Read the table below to see how the OLM system determines oil life:
- Note: Engine oil life is dependent not only on the factors listed above, but also on your specific vehicle model, year, and what type of oil is recommended. Check the owner’s manual for more information about what oil is recommended for your vehicle, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced professionals for advice.
Some Pontiac models have a percentage-based indicator that counts down the oil life as a percentage. Once the information display number reduces from 100% (fresh oil) to 15% (dirty oil), an “SERVICE ENGINE OIL” light will be trigged on the dashboard information display, giving you ample time to plan ahead to have your vehicle serviced. Every time you start the engine, the engine oil percentage will be displayed. When the information display number reaches 0%, the oil life is over and you begin accumulating negative miles that tell you your vehicle is past due for servicing. Remember: if the vehicle racks up significant negative mileage, the engine is increasingly at risk of damage.
The following will automatically display on your dashboard once your engine oil reaches a certain level of usage:
When your vehicle is ready for an oil change, GM has a standard list of inspection for servicing your Pontiac:
Pontiac also recommends these scheduled maintenance items throughout the life of the vehicle:
After your oil change and servicing is complete, you might need to reset the OLM system in your Pontiac. Some service technicians will neglect to do this, which can lead to premature and unnecessary service light triggers. There are many different ways this light can be reset depending on your model and year. Consult the owner’s manual on how to do this for your Pontiac.
While the engine oil percentages are calculated according to an algorithm that takes into account driving styles and other specific driving conditions, other maintenance information is based on standard time tables such as those in old-school maintenance schedules, located in the owner’s manual. This does not mean Pontiac drivers should ignore such alerts. Proper maintenance service will greatly extend the life of a vehicle, ensuring it is reliable, safe to drive, covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and also providing a greater resale value. Such maintenance tasks should always be performed by a qualified technician. If you have any doubts as to what the GM Oil Life Monitor (OLM) system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.
If your Pontiac’s Oil Life Monitor (OLM) system is indicating that your vehicle is ready for servicing, have it checked out by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic. Click here, choose your vehicle and service or service package, and book an appointment with us today. One of our certified mechanics will come to your home or office to service your vehicle.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Understanding the Pontiac Oil-Life Monitor and Service Indicator Lights and was authored by Brent Minderler.