Tag Archives: GM

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: