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2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? #5360476 02/26/20 09:44 AM
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Bob5150 Offline OP
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I bought a 2004 Chevy Cavalier back on February 1st. It has a 2.2L engine and auto trans. Aside from some dings and dents, it runs great, and only has 82,000 miles.

I did some basic maintenance when I got it: oil change, air filter, tire rotation, and spark plugs.

This is kind of a "beater" car, to rack the miles up on and save some gas money rather than driving my Dodge Ram every day.

The owner's manual recommends a 7500 mile OCI for "normal driving", and 3000 miles for "severe" driving (stop & go, lots of idling, dusty conditions, ect).

Most of my driving is "suburban" (up to 40 mph then a red light, things like that) and highway driving. I might sit through a traffic light 2 or 3 times due to lots of traffic a few times a week during rush hour.

I was thinking a 7000 mile OCI with Walmart Supertech full synthetic 5w30 and whatever decent name brand filter happens to be on sale.

Does this sound ok? I usually don't go past 5000 mile OCIs, but this is sort of a beater and I am not looking to get fanatical with maintenance. On the other hand,I don't want to neglect it, and I want it to last as long as possible, so I'm looking for a happy medium. Is 7000 miles too long, maybe I should cut it down to 5000? I put about 12,000 miles per year on my car, and drive in all kinds of weather conditions (0 to 100 degrees F).

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!


2008 Dodge Ram 1500 QCSB 4x4 5.7L Auto
2004 Chevy Cavalier 2.2L Auto
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360480 02/26/20 09:48 AM
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supton Offline
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I'm a fan of 5k. It's easy to look at the odometer and do a tire rotation and oil change every 5k without having to think about it. In this case, I'd probably do 5k, although if I woke up one day and realized I was at 6 or 7k I'd just run it for the full 10k and then go back to 5k OCI's.


2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 203k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 158k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 223k, his
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360516 02/26/20 10:11 AM
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jayjr1105 Offline
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Go 5K and use a hi mileage syn blend or full syn. Might not have the high mileage but at that age, might be good to give the seals some extra conditioning love. The supertech full syn hi mileage blend has a nice add pack.

Last edited by jayjr1105; 02/26/20 10:12 AM.

2013 Mazda 3 - PP 0w20
2005 Honda Odyssey - PP HM 5w20
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360538 02/26/20 10:40 AM
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faramir9 Offline
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Had the same engine in an '04 Chevy (Malibu) Classic. Easy on oil, never added more than a few drops during an OCI and sometimes nothing at all. I changed oil anywhere from 5K to 8K miles depending on how much highway driving it saw. I suspect it could have gone further. I would check oil level and how fast it darkens the next few months. If there are no issues, 5K minimum OCI. Down the road can extend that if things go well. In non-oil news: Watch out for the PassLock security system shutting off the car for 10 minutes.


2005 Corolla LE, 1.8L
Valvoline Daily Protection 5w-20
Continental TrueContact 195/65R15


Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360551 02/26/20 10:58 AM
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rob1715 Offline
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I'm also for 5k OCI. Supertech syn is good but not the filters. Don't cheap out on them. High mileage ST is also fine. You use Dex III trans fluid which is dirt cheap. Gallon at WM for under $14. Drain and refill every 20k miles or so. Get a Doorman pan with a drain plug. Makes for easier drainage.

Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360557 02/26/20 11:07 AM
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tiger862 Offline
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Check it for sludge. These engines normally go high mileage but only on 3k with dino of the day. Lots of engines replacement at the 90k mark for this. I bought an 06 Saturn Vue with 2.2L at 85k. I fought dealership over this issue. I had sludge in filter after they changed oil as I did a quick change a week after I got it. I ran all brands to flush out but finally settled for PP at 5k. Kept for 8 years and put 50k more on it. Listen for chain rattle in morning so you can replace it. Not a bad engine but have it's quirks.


Tiger862
2018 Grand Caravan
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360578 02/26/20 11:22 AM
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NormanBuntz Offline
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5K OCI with your choice of syn blend or full syn and ACDelco filter. Does it call for 5w-30?


Porgy Tirebiter: "Heavy on the 30 weight, Mom."
2017 Toyota Camry XLE, 12K, 2nd owner
2007 Honda Ridgeline RTS, 96K, original owner
2007 Infiniti M35, 115K, original owner
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360594 02/26/20 11:33 AM
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csandste Online Content
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Had a '97 Cavalier with the 2.2 and don't remember it giving me any trouble. Don't think I changed the oil myself (stopped in mid nineties) probably got the basic Wally World $12 (at the time) oil change which was probably ST (prolly Tech 2000 at that time) 5w30 rather than QS. Think I got rid of it at about 90,000 miles.

Think I'd do high mileage oil, since I think they're about the same price. Since you're doing 12K a year, I'd go 6K synthetic or 5K conventional (blend) changes with high mileage ST. Easy to divide. Don't think a ST or low end Fram filter would give you problems given the low tech-ness of that engine.

Last edited by csandste; 02/26/20 11:36 AM.

2017 Kia Soul+ Valvoline Daily Protection 5w30+ a bit of Harvest King syn 5w30-- 75,000 miles
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360646 02/26/20 12:40 PM
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daman Offline
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Those 2.2 are great little engines run forever HM oil is not needed there not a sludge monster engine I've had two, run any name brad syn. and do 7-8+k OCI easily.

0w30 or 5w30 can be used they spec 5w30


"Always"....Mobil 1

Current fill: AFE 0w30
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360687 02/26/20 01:56 PM
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slacktide_bitog Offline
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Your planned OCI sounds fine smile

Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360716 02/26/20 02:47 PM
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Oily_Thing Offline
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Why not do a twice a year oil change, spring and fall? That would be about 6,000 miles. I would use a synthetic oil in the recommended viscosity (ST would be fine) and a Fram Ultra filter.

Have fun!


2020 Nissan Rogue SL AWD times two! (white and black)
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360733 02/26/20 03:09 PM
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Silverado12 Offline
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I would do 5,000 mile intervals with full synthetic oil and an ACDelco, NAPA Gold or other decent filter. I use NAPA branded full synthetic oil and buy when it goes on sale, which seems to be every October but may be more frequent than that.


12 Chevy Silverado ext. cab LS, 2WD 4.3 auto
18 Mustang GT 5.0 auto
07 Harley Dyna Street Bob 96 c.i. 6 sp.
00 Mustang GT auto
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Oily_Thing] #5360869 02/26/20 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Oily_Thing
Why not do a twice a year oil change, spring and fall? That would be about 6,000 miles. I would use a synthetic oil in the recommended viscosity (ST would be fine) and a Fram Ultra filter.

Have fun!

+1

Spring and fall. You won’t be lying in the snow if you do it yourself. Full synthetic your choice 5W-30 with a better filter Wix NAPA gold Fram Ultra...


2018 Mazda CX-5 6600 miles Zepro advanced moly 0W-20 Mazda filter
08 Saturn VUE AWD 3.5 V6 65,000 miles Schaeffer 9000 5W30 Wix 51522XP
65 Pontiac Tempest 355 Chevy Schaeffer Racing 10W30 K&N
Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360917 02/26/20 07:18 PM
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eljefino Offline
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This car has the ecotec and as stated the timing chain is an issue. I'd do full syn every 5k. ST is fine, or whatever you find on clearance from autozone.

Re: 2004 Cavalier 2.2L Oil Change Interval? [Re: Bob5150] #5360981 02/26/20 08:35 PM
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compratio10_5 Offline
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I owned a 96 Cavalier with this engine until I sold it to my son with 220,000 miles, with no major work except a head gasket at about 190,000 and never any oil leaks. With a manual transmission, it had the longest range of any vehicle I have ever owned. Drove from Flagstaff, Az to Ogden, Ut once between fuel fill ups (about 50 mpg). I am also a fan of time based oil changes. Spring and fall for me with Chevron Supreme and Wix filters. You do not need synthetic oil with this engine but since "synthetic" has become more of a marketing than a technical term, you certainly can use what ever proper grade fits your budget. I do not think that they make cars anymore that are as easy to maintain and will give you as low a cost of ownership as these were.


It's not what you don't know that hurts, it's what you think you know that ain't so. Will Rogers
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