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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to be old fashioned and change the oil in our Enclave this past weekend even though we only have 1100 miles on the vehicle. The process was straight forward. The only real recommendation that I would have is to let the vehicle cool down a bit before changing it - the oil filter is near a manifold and it is darn HOT. The best way to access the filter is from the top, not underneath the vehicle.

I used one of those oil filter removers that attach to a ratchet - the 3" sized one. This made removal and tightening of the oil filter much easier.

Let me know if anyone has questions.
 

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Lucky you zMan !!!!
 

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How was it accessing the drain plug any special technique or tools necessary?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I put it up on ramps but all it took was a 13mm (I believe) socket. The drain pan is straight back from the filter. Pretty typical process. I never checked the clearance without the ramps.
 

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zman said:
I put it up on ramps but all it took was a 13mm (I believe) socket. The drain pan is straight back from the filter. Pretty typical process. I never checked the clearance without the ramps.
Just curious, did you try to raise it with a floor jack (not the one that comes with the car) before putting it up on ramps? I don't have ramps, but if you think its better to change the oil with ramps I might go buy a pair. I typically like changing my own oil.

I know that its getting harder and harder to use a standard floor jack on cars today (especially unibody). You have to be careful not to jack somewhere that could bend the unibody. I have been able to floor jack my trailblazer, but that has a frame.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, I did not try jacking it up first. I owned ramps from when I owned a Corvette so that is where I started. You may even be able to slide under the vehicle without raising it- I did not try. I do not like working in confined spaces.
 

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I got out of the business of oil changes a few years back when I sat down and figured out what I was saving for my time and grief. There was something satisfying about doing it myself though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For me it actually is a matter of convenience. There is no way I would let my wife take it to a quick change place and our dealer does not have a quick change option, you need to make an appointment. It is quicker for me to just do it myself.
 

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There's a Chevy Dealer in my area that sends out free Oil Change coupon once in awhile. I have 4 vehicles and earlier in the year I had the oil changed in 3 of them and it didn't cost a penny. Not bad !!
 

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Just did my first oil change on my Enclave. That was the easiest oil change ever ;D. I did not have to jack up or drive it on ramps. There was plenty of room to slide my catch pan under the vehicle and reach under to loosen the nut. As noted above, it is much easier to get at the filter from above and they did a nice job of putting a drain slide in so the oil from the filter does not spill all over the suspension.
 

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The only oil change I still do myself is on my 72 Monte Carlo, because no one else is allowed to work on it(I'm funny that way). Used oil disposal is a chore, I must take to the recycling center.
On my newer vehicles, they usually go back to the dealer. They are competitive with the Jiffy Lube type of places, and I trust them more.
 

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One of the rules my parents had was that I had to maintain the cars that I was driving myself. I can not tell you how much I value that today in that I know how to change oil/tires, and on occasion manifold gaskets, carborators, wheel bearings...

I just now choose not to ;D

Plus where I am purchasing our Enclave has a Tires for Life program and Continous warranty program. As long as I go to them for my service they will replace my Enclave tires free of charge when they need it and they cover 7 yr/150,000 mile Limited Warranty on engine, transmission, front differential, rear differential, power steering system and cooling system.

Major long term benefits!
 

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I do all of the maintenance I can myself. That way I know it's done right and done the first time.

I use synthetic oil in all my vehicles and the way I look at it, I can do a synthetic oil/filter change myself for about the cost of a conventional oil change at a dealership or quick-change shop. I use the oil life monitoring system to do my oil changes so I figure synthetic oil is a good trade-off for the extended oil drain intervals (I was always a 3000 mile oil change person in the past). I've done a lot of reading in the past year and am convinced that synthetic is good for a minimum of 10K miles. That's why I don't sweat a 7K-8K change interval when using the oil life monitoring system.
 

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BadAV said:
I use synthetic oil in all my vehicles and the way I look at it, I can do a synthetic oil/filter change myself for about the cost of a conventional oil change at a dealership or quick-change shop.
Thats one of the reasons I do it myself as well. I use syn and that would be quite costly to have someone do it. I enjoy doing it myself as well. I got old of it on the grand prix since it had to be jacked up each time, but with this and not even having to jack the vehicle up, makes it so much easier and enjoyable.
 

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What type of oil does the enclave take. the viscosity
 

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Gmoney_2010 said:
What type of oil does the enclave take. the viscosity
book says 5-30W. Syntec is OK too. If you live where it falls -20 degrees F, below zero, they want you to use 0-30 W, or again 5-30 but, Syntec! I use nothing but syntec and I swear I get 1 MPG more on highway! The great heat/cold protection is a bonus! ;D
 

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I will follow factory recommendations for oil changes and use synthetic oil exclusively. Probably 5W30 instead of 0W30 because this is an overhead cam engine that probably needs a smidgen more viscosity support, but I do like the 0W formulas for their quick penetration on start-up.

I don't know for sure, but judging from what GM and the rest of the industry has done with factory fill oil, it probably has special synthetic in it that is designed for proper break-in over the designated length of time/miles specified. This means NOT changing it right away for proper break in. Metallurgy and coatings have come a long way and engine break-in is quite different nowadays, especially with the newer oils.

www.tdiclub.com has members that have studied different oil types with oil analysis and with different oil change intervals and have found some surprising things, albeit with diesel engines, which arguably are harder on oil than gasoline engines. First, oil change intervals for proper synthetic oil of 10,000-12,000 miles are conservative! What most found was that synthetic oil doesn't accumulate extra metal nor deteriorate in its lubricating/protection qualities under normal conditions until way after 15,000 miles, if at all. Second, they found that changing oil sooner actually creates more wear components in the oil. This can be explained by some of the oil additives needing to be broken-in for a few hundred miles before they work at their peak. Most amateur and professional authorities seem to acknowledge that following the manufacturer's recommended intervals under normal conditions with recommended oil type is the best way to go, since there are other factors like contaminants and water that may accumulate with time/miles.

So changing the oil every 3,000 miles belongs in the early 1970's folks. Don't waste your time, money, or pollute the environment any more than you have to. Do other stuff to keep your vehicle in top shape. And make sure you use the recommended type of oil since each vehicle has design elements that require specific additive combinations such as to prevent contamination of catalytic converters etc.

Regards,

TM
 

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We purchased a new 03 Pilot which now has about 35,000 miles on it. Per the recommendations of David Solomon, publisher of Motorwatch, the best automotive newsletter, I use only Red Line engine oil, which is an American Petroleum Institute Group V. Almost all other synthetic oils are Group IV, polyalphaolefin, which is made from natural gas and is not nearly as good as Group V polyol ester. I use Hastings oil filters. Having subscribed to www.motorwatch.com for over 20 years because it is filled with valuable info, I strongly recommend it.

We are interested in the Enclave but will wait a year or two to see how it proves out, so I was glad to find this site.

Larry
 

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Larry, very interesting data! THKS!
But don't wait 2 years to but and enjoy an Enclave! Life is short! Eat desert FIRST!!! ;D
 
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