Ok, I decided on DIY for my first oil change, so I could document the process and check for the presence of metal shavings. On 31-Mar-12, OV had 2,022 miles on the odometer and 78% oil life left - and although I considered waiting longer, thought after 10 months and winter's short runs, I should change it "just in case" it mattered. Little did I know ... :( At first all seemed normal, somewhat dirty oil drained:
Went to Advance Auto and bought a AC-Delco PF-48 oil filter, which made me feel good - like I was working on one of my old GM V8s back in the day. Saw Mobil 1 there for $36 for 5 quarts, thought that was kind of pricey, so headed to WalMart and bought 2 jugs there for $26.48 each, Score!
Got home and drained the oil. Felt some grit on my fingers from the drain plug - not great, but a tiny bit of metal was to be expected.
Went to take off the oil filter, and then realized I didn't have a filter wrench!
And of course it was 8:55pm, so too late to go to an auto parts store. Well, I have strong hands, so gave it all I could - and got the thing off! It took about 15 minutes of trying, a couple of millimeters at a time. But I got it, not bad for 50-year old hands!
After draining the filter oil, I checked the drained oil for metal particles. Well, I could not beleive my eyes when I poured the oil into another container for examination - metal pieces and shavings in the bottom of the container:
So glad I did not wait another mile to change the oil. Also plan to cut the oil filter open and check for metal particles it may have trapped. Might be interesting to bring it to BBOMG4 in St. Catharines this summer to show the powertrain folks.
Lesson learned: I will always change the oil in a new car after the first few hundred miles, no matter what the factory or oil monitors recommend, and no matter how much technology "improves." Imho the owners manual should inform people about this, so those who care will know. I believe it recommends the first oil change to be done when the oil life indicator says it's needed. In my case, at 78% left, that would have meant a lot longer driving around with lots of metal shavings and grit in the crankcase. Although I realize most of it would be trapped by the pickup screen and/or the oil filter, it can't be too good for the engine.
I also filled the oil filter full of oil before reinstallng, the result was absolutely no knock upon engine restart. Also, this is how much oil is left in the second Mobil 1 container after filling the crankcase to full:
Will do another oil change this summer, hope to see only a minimal amount of grit and metal pieces.