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I have a 2009 Saturn. Ever since we have owned this suv the oil gets really black a few weeks after an oil change. I am always on time, if not early on my oil changes. I have had several attendants tell me the oil is to dark, and that something must be wrong. So... I took it to my gm retailer and had them check it out. They came back with nothing that has satisfied this issue. They did an oil change, and " misplaced" my sample I requested. I was going to have the oil tested at a lab. Days later they claim to have found the sample, I will wait now until the next oil change I have. Please help! Very confused and frustrated.
 

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Angie said:
I have a 2009 Saturn. Ever since we have owned this suv the oil gets really black a few weeks after an oil change. I am always on time, if not early on my oil changes. I have had several attendants tell me the oil is to dark, and that something must be wrong. So... I took it to my gm retailer and had them check it out. They came back with nothing that has satisfied this issue. They did an oil change, and " misplaced" my sample I requested. I was going to have the oil tested at a lab. Days later they claim to have found the sample, I will wait now until the next oil change I have. Please help! Very confused and frustrated.
Have you consulted with the service manager at the retailer you took the vehicle to about this?

If you are not happy with the outcome of your visit, you can feel free to take your Outlook to another General Motors dealership's Service Department for further assistance with your concerns.

Please, keep in mind I am not a technician, but have you experienced any concerns with the behavior of the vehicle? If you have, you will need to communicate this with the technicians, service advisors and/or service manager.

Michelle, GM Customer Service
 

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Angie... this is normal on the Direct Injected engines.
This is what alot of us notice on our 3.6.
The oil turns dark pretty fast.
These Direct Injected engines- do beat up oil quite fast... especially if you do alot of in town driving...
Take note--the color of the oil does not mean the oil is no good... Because its black does not mean its useless. (up to a certain point).
Some of the DI engines- especially in cold weather areas- will show signs of fuel dilution (fuel in oil) which will degrade the oil life.
Its good that you plan on getting a Used oil analysis.
Most of us Outlook, Acadia, Enclave, Traverse owners (all share the same engine/platform)-- who have had UOA- now change oil at roughly 5000 miles.
This is a safe point to change (the 2011's and up Lambdas- the Oil life monitor reaches 0% at about 5000 miles) which is what most of us realized with the UOA (the early models were going to 10,000 miles- which we found was a little off the mark).
But I change at 5000 (on my traverse it shows 50% Oil life left). I use regular Valvoline oil- this normal oil has shown very nice results for my driving in Los Angeles (its cheap too- available at Walmart). Others use synthetic--- but I find that Valvoline does a nice job for the price- and miles (I would not put in an expensive Synthetic if im going to take out oil at 5000 miles-- to me thats a waste of money.).....
But- when I said that the color will go darker in more stop and go--- heres an example...
All highway----
I drove from Los Angeles to FLorida- in about 45 hrs---2100 miles... this is what the oil looked like- 1st pic..
then I drove back Florida to LA... the oil now had 4200 miles- (2nd pic).. it still has that golden hue. So 4200 miles on about 4 days. Oil looks clean.


My oil is usually way darker in my everyday driving here in LA- by 1000 miles...
2100 mile oil


4200 miles oil
 

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The only way to tell if the oil is good or bad is to do a UOA. I did two on mine, both at 5% on the OLM or less (over 9K miles) and both came back good. So I'm one of the few with a DI engine that can tolerate the extended change intervals that the standard OLM gives.

Do a couple UOAs on yours and you'll get a comfortable feel for how long is too long on your Outlook.
 

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@ ANGIE:
The sample the dealer "found" for you is likely from another vehicle. I wouldn't trust it unless I observed the sample being taken and handed directly to me, or I take the sample myself. I wouldn't bother shipping that sample for UOA after the dealer "found" it for you days later. Maybe they did, but maybe they didn't either.

I totally agree with the others, the colour of the oil bears no meaning. Dark oil can still be working just as hard at protecting your engine as it does when it's fresh oil. If someone has a very dirty or sludged up engine, their fresh oil may turn dark rather quickly as its detergent action works at cleaning. Some engine designs are harder on oil than others. Our 3.6DI is known for 'beating' on the oil.

Your mix of driving (city or highway) and particularly short trip drives or towing all are contributing factors to how well the oil in your engine holds up. External temperature conditions (seasonal temperatures) affects your oil too. Some oils work better under a given set of conditions than others.

Don't depend on oil colour to predict it's current state. A used oil analysis will give you a better idea of how your oil is doing in your engine with your mix of driving.

You may not even need to do UOA. Are you following the Oil Life Meter or are you going by a specific mileage interval in determining whether an oil change is required?
 

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That's my only slight worry with my UOAs, the samples were taken by the dealer and I didn't see them take it. I got mine on the same visit, but the paranoid in me wonders if it's actually my oil. I have no evidence to suggest otherwise, just naturally distrust dealers.

I agree that you may not need a UOA. Only if you want to extend your change intervals past a traditional 3K-5K or if you have reason to believe that something's wrong. Dark oil by itself, however, is not evidence enough to suggest something's wrong. I did mine to test if the OLM is worth following on my vehicle.
 

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How are things going with your Outlook? Any updates about the dark oil situation?

Michelle, GM Customer Service
 

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I dont think Angie the OP is coming back.....
 

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rbarrios said:
I dont think Angie the OP is coming back.....
Thank you! I thought so, but it never hurts to check in to be sure.

How have you been?

Michelle, GM Customer Service
 
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