“GM has the right equation of automotive technology to simplify service and maintenance,” says Lord. “Each of the industry leading technologies GM has implemented is intended to make life easier for the consumer.”
GM’s Oil Life System and Simplified Maintenance
GM’s Oil Life System informs the driver when an oil change is due based on driving conditions and not on a predetermined time or mileage basis (three months or 3,000 miles as was recommended by many manufacturers in the past). GM’s Oil Life System monitors engine speed and temperature, and the computer continuously examines engine conditions to determine when it’s time to change the oil.
This system can double or even triple the time needed between oil changes. If used properly, it can help to save time and money connected with unnecessary oil changes. “A driver whose fuel tank is still two thirds full wouldn’t empty the tank and refill it, or a driver whose tires are half worn wouldn’t replace them,” says Lord. “It is the same idea with prematurely changing oil that still has life.” GM's Simplified Maintenance Schedules, based on the Oil Life System, are a convenience to drivers because it takes the guesswork out of when to change oil and it eliminates the need to make decisions regarding other routine maintenance.
Yankelovich also notes that after multitasking, the use of technology tools is the top strategy time-starved consumers rely on most to buy back time in their lives. Specifically, 47 percent of women feel it is essential to keep up with the latest technology products and services to stay on top of daily activities.
OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics
OnStar’s capabilities make it very easy for GM vehicle owners to understand their service and maintenance needs. Nearly half of OnStar’s almost 5 million subscribers have registered for OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics to receive free monthly diagnostic reports via e-mail. Each diagnostic report provides crucial data and information on tire pressure, remaining engine oil life, emissions, engine and transmission, and braking systems, as well as air bag system checks. Subscribers can enroll at the OnStar Web site (www.onstar.com) or press the vehicle’s blue OnStar button and sign up through an advisor.
Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS)
Nearly 1.2 billion gallons of gas are wasted each year due to under-inflated tires, according to a recent U.S. Department of Energy statistic cited in a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. They also estimate drivers can improve fuel economy by up to 3.3 percent just by making sure tires are properly inflated.
Checking tire pressure is something drivers often forget or don’t make time to test. The Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) helps alleviate this issue by tracking tire wear and pressure and helping motorists avoid tire failure and potentially dangerous, costly breakdowns. The system uses sensors mounted in each wheel to monitor tire pressure in real-time. Drivers are alerted to tire pressure changes so the issues can be checked and remedied quickly.
Goodwrench.com is a great online resource to learn more about these technologies and get helpful vehicle safety and maintenance tips.