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The Dexos Dilemma: What It Means to Your GM Vehicle

What is dexos oil? And why do I have to use it in my vehicle?
Although it’s been six years since General Motors transitioned to its dexos oil specifications, there’s enough confusion and misinformation that we regularly receive questions from customers concerned about maintaining their vehicle warranties.
Here’s the short answer to the dexos dilemma: If you own a 2011 or newer GM vehicle, you must use a motor oil that meets GM’s dexos specifications to maintain that vehicle’s warranty.
There are some exceptions. The dexos specification applies to most, but not all, GM vehicles model year 2011 or later. Most GM diesel trucks do not require dexos1 oil. Your Oil Can Henry’s technician will happily explain the oil specifications established by your vehicle’s manufacturer and let you know which oil(s) meet those specifications.
Some dealerships would like you to believe that you must specifically use factory-fill dexos motor oil such as AC Delco dexos1 to ensure your warranty remains in tact. That’s not true.
You can maintain your vehicle’s warranty by using a motor oil that is dexos-licensed or meets dexos specifications. No conventional motor oil can meet the extremely strict dexos oil specs, so you will need to use a synthetic blend or full synthetic oil. Most Oil Can Henry’s service centers offer these dexos-licensed oils:

  • Valvoline MaxLife ®
  • Valvoline MaxLife® Full Synthetic
  • Valvoline NextGen

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about dexos oil:
Do I have to use GM brand dexos oil to maintain my vehicle’s warranty?
No. Your warranty will remain in tact as long as the oil meets the specifications listed in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Of course, the easiest way to ensure this is to use a dexos-licensed oil.
Does Oil Can Henry’s carry dexos-licensed oils?
Yes. As noted above, Oil Can Henry’s proudly features the following dexos-licensed oils:

  • Valvoline MaxLife ®
  • Valvoline MaxLife® Full Synthetic
  • Valvoline NextGen

Some of our centers carry other dexos-licensed oils in bottles. Contact your local Oil Can Henry’s for more information.
My vehicle’s owner’s manual states that an oil that meets dexos specs must be used to maintain the warranty. What happens if I don’t do that?
Using a motor oil that does not meet dexos specifications can void your warranty, even if you use it just once. So, for obvious reasons, Oil Can Henry’s strongly encourages customers with 2011 and newer GM vehicles to use an oil that meets dexos specifications.
A friend told me Oil Can Henry’s wouldn’t complete an oil change for his 2012 GM using conventional motor oil. Why is that?
An oil that meets dexos specifications is required to maintain your friend’s vehicle’s warranty. As previously noted, no conventional motor oil can meet dexos specs. At Oil Can Henry’s, it’s our policy to provide only products and services that meet warranty requirements. Using a conventional oil would violate the warranty.
Why did GM create the dexos specifications?
Vehicle manufacturers are creating increasingly complex engines as they work to meet stricter emissions regulations and increased fuel economy standards. GM enacted its dexos specifications to create a global standard for its vehicles; so, the oil specifications that apply in the United States, also apply in France, South Africa and Japan.
GM is not alone in issuing specific oil standards; Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen also do it. But GM’s move from five recommended oil specifications to two –dexos1 for gasoline-powered engines and dexos2 for diesels – seems to have generated more confusion among drivers.
What does it take to get an oil dexos-licensed?
To have an oil dexos-licensed by GM, oil manufacturers must pay a licensing fee and complete a program administered by The Center for Quality Assurance. This dexos licensing program requires oil producers to be facility accredited and undergo product testing prior to final licensing.
Is there a list of oils that are dexos-licensed?
The Center for Quality Assurance maintains a database of the oils that meet dexos specifications:

Airbag Recall Rises to 34 Million; How to Check If Yours Is Affected

Japanese airbag maker Takata announced in mid-May that it is almost doubling the size of its recall for faulty airbags to a total of about 34 million vehicles — equal to roughly 1-of-7 vehicles on U.S. roads.
According to CNN, it’s now the largest auto recall in history and one of the largest consumer products recalls ever.
While most of the recalled vehicles were manufactured by Honda, dozens of  models are on the recall list.
To see if your vehicle is affected, check the special website created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Study Up On School Safety

School’s back in session, so now’s an excellent time for a tutorial on driving safely in and around school zones.

Our friends at AAA, a fantastic resource for safe and enjoyable motoring, provided these 9 important school zone safety tips:

Be Alert. Watch for signs, crossing guards and other indications that you’re approaching a school zone.

Drive Distraction-Free. Keep your eyes on the road, not on your cellphone, radio dial or the morning newspaper. AAA research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chance of crashing.

Slow Down. School zone speed limits are intentionally set low for several good reasons:

  • Children are unpredictable (they may dart into the street unexpectedly) and have difficulty gauging the distance and speed of an approaching car.
  • Lower speeds significantly reduce the likelihood of fatal accidents. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at a reduced school zone speed of 25 mph is nearly 66% less likely to be killed than a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.

Stop for School Buses Loading or Unloading Students. Resist temptation to save a little time by driving around a school bus with its lights flashing red and stop sign extended. Doing so is unsafe and against the law. While laws vary by state, it’s safe to assume you must stop behind a school bus with its lights flashing red and stop sign extended if you are in the same lane or an adjacent lane (either in the same direction or an opposite direction) or if the bus is at an intersection you’re approaching.

Come to a Complete Stop. According to AAA, research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods.

Back Out of Driveways Slowly. In many neighborhoods, children are walking to school during the morning commute. So, be sure to back out of your driveway slowly and watch for little ones.

Be Especially Cautious Around Young Bicyclists. Anyone who has seen young cyclists riding in the neighborhood knows they can be a little wobbly and very unpredictable. So, pass them slowly and allow a wide berth — at least three feet between the bicyclist and your vehicle. If your child rides a bike to school, make sure the child wears a properly fitted bicycle helmet every time.

Make Sure You Can See and That You Can Be Seen. Our days are getting shorter and rain is making its way back into the forecast. So, take a few seconds now to double-check that all of your vehicle’s lights and signals are functioning correctly and that your windshield wipers are cleaning your windshield well.

Our Famous 18-Point Full-Service Oil Change includes a complimentary check of your lights, signals and windshield wipers. Our trained technicians will be happy to replace burned out bulbs and worn-out wiper blades.

Talk to Your Teen Driver. AAA notes that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occur during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get tips to help your teen drive safely at


July Anniversaries: Another Vintage Year in McMinnville

McMinnville, as the local Chamber of Commerce proudly pronounces, is “the epicenter of all the best of Oregon’s Willamette Valley: wine, food, culture, lodging and recreation.”
Centrally located less than an hour from Portland and the Oregon coast, McMinnville most definitely boasts a wonderful quality of life and a variety of interesting destinations that draw visitors from throughout the country.
Once home to a thriving turkey farming industry, McMinnville now enjoys a well-earned reputation as a world-class wine destination.
Surrounded by scenic and productive vineyards, McMinnville is home to dozens of wineries. Every July, it hosts the world-renowned International Pinot Noir Celebration, which attracts wine fans and pinot noir producers from throughout the world.
While the local wines are, indeed, amazing, there’s a lot more to do in McMinnville.
When planning your itinerary, be sure to include Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, where you can see Howard Hughes’ enormous Spruce Goose, manned and unmanned spacecraft, and a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – and enjoy the thrills of a world-class aquatic park. Also set aside time to enjoy lovely downtown McMinnville and check out the landmark Hotel Oregon, operated by the uniquely Oregon McMenamins group.
Oil Can Henry’s laid down roots in McMinnville 18 years ago, opening the service center on Highway 99. Gregg and Jill Peters purchased the center three years ago and have steadily grown its success by providing quick, convenient and thorough oil changes and preventive maintenance services that drivers trust.
Congratulations to Gregg, Jill and their team of precision technicians on another vintage year in McMinnville! And, a tip of our Gatsby cap to the eight other Oil Can Henry’s centers also celebrating July anniversaries:

From Our Customers: I’m Done Doing My Own Oil Changes

This was my first time using an oil change service.
I have always done my own because I’m paranoid about some buffoon stripping my oil pan drain plug. But I needed my (transmission) fluid changed and they have the equipment to completely remove the old fluid. While I was having that done, I had them do an oil change, too.
I was very pleased with the service, the courtesy of the workers and the cleanliness of the environment. I got to sit in my car and read a complimentary newspaper while they worked.  Additionally, they checked all my lights and other fluids.
I think I’m done doing my own oil changes.
~ Jimmy Y.
via Yelp