We all know too well the horrors that come with using substandard or incompatible engine oil for your car: the frightening overheating, the frustrating transmission failures, and inadequate lubrication.

This inspired General Motors (GM) to roll out a dedicated oil brand, Dexos oil, for their cars. But why has Dexos oil generated so much enthusiasm among GM car enthusiasts?

Dexos oil is a specialized oil type made exclusively with synthetic blends. Inarguably, this oil boasts superior antioxidant technology and drain interval. More than this, Dexos oil stands out for its significantly reduced viscosity. Such viscosity levels enhance heat tolerance and can better support engine combustion. Particularly, Dexos oils’ drain intervals go as high as 15,000 miles. 

There is so much clamor about how Dexos oil boosts fuel economy and reduces emissions. Let us tell you seven exciting facts about this oil.

When did GM start using Dexos oil?

Over the years, GM buyers have been screaming about improvements in engine efficiency. In response, GM Powertrain engineers were saddled with developing Dexos specifications that assuage these deficiencies.

GM completed the Dexos specification development in 2007. But it was not until 2009 that GM officially approved the oil after rigorously inspecting its capacity to improve fuel efficiency and increase the lifespan of emission systems. 

By 2011, all GM cars came loaded with Dexos oil. Since then, GM has maintained this approach, strongly recommending all of its car users to go with Dexos oil. 

In some cases, these recommendations have been vigorously enforced, with warranties on GM motors being withdrawn if users don’t use Dexos oil.

While GM started stocking their 2011 models with Dexos oil, you can also use this oil brand for GM models even before 2011 if you are in North America. 

Dexos oil has backward compatibility. But if you are in Europe, it is not advised to use Dexos oil on GM models older than 2010. 

Is GM Dexos Oil synthetic?

Dexos oil is synthetic – arguably one of the best synthetic oil brands today. 

You can ascertain the synthetic nature of Dexos oil from its superior temperature tolerance, improved performance at low temperatures, and overall enhanced engine protection. 

Conventional oil readily breaks down when the temperatures rise. You don’t see this in Dexos oil, given its synthetic nature. 

Dexos oil works well in cars in hot climes and cars deployed for high-intensity applications.  

Still, on the synthetic nature of Dexos oils, this oil improves performances when temperatures drop, allowing GM cars to enjoy outstanding cold starts.

Unlike conventional oil, Dexos oil doesn’t experience heightened viscosity when temperatures drop as low as – 40° C.

Dexos oil further establishes its synthetic excellence by resisting shearing force, especially under heavy loads. 

This means Dexos oil safeguards your engine better when engine conditions go extreme.

Does Valvoline have Dexos Oil?

Valvoline™ is one of the most renowned oil producers in the United States. But Valvoline doesn’t produce Dexos oil. 

This is because Dexos® oil is a proprietary GM product. General Motors retains exclusive ownership of the production, licensing, and administration of Dexos oil.

While Valvoline doesn’t have Dexos oil, it suffices to say that they boast products that satisfy General Motors’ premium performance specs.

Valvoline has over the years reinforced its reputation as a reliable provider of high-performance MaxLife™ Technology motor oils that excel at managing sludge (and deposits), oxidation, wear, and overall improved engine protection. 

Valvoline oil reduces handicaps expected as your car’s engine goes older. Valvoline’s Full synthetic High Mileage with Maxlife™ Technology leverages a base exclusively made from synthetic oil.

This is decked with additions to improve wear resistance.

Why is Dexos Oil different?

Using substandard oils substantially degrades your engine performance over time. Sustained usage of such low-quality could ultimately damage your engine. 

Given the criticality of engine oil quality, GM developed a unique formula that boasts superior performance and enhanced compatibility with upgrade in GM engine designs. 

This inspired the development of Dexos oil. Dexos oil stood out outrightly from the plethora of oils (both conventional and synthetic) already in the market. 

Dexos was specially formulated from high-grade synthetic blends. This led to Dexos oils drain intervals running up to 15,000 miles. 

The first-generation Dexos (Dexos Gen 1) has one of the best low viscosity performances and antioxidant technology in today’s automotive oil market.

The Dexos Gen 2 was a delicious upgrade on the Dexos 1. Features like deposit control and oxidation were further ramped. 

Notably, the Dexos Gen 2 had superior protection against low-speed pre-ignition (LSPI). The latter is notorious for terrorizing smaller turbocharged engines more susceptible to pre-ignition and deposit issues.

Why does GM require Dexos Oil?

Over the last decades, automotive producers have rolled out a barrage of exciting engine innovations. These have increased the risks of engine oil incompatibility.

Conventional oil – given that it is naturally occurring – inevitably contains impurities and an unhealthy assortment of elements. You can complain much about this, either, considering how relatively cheap natural oils are.

Unfortunately, these impurities aggregate over time, posing severe issues to your engine. More than this risk of engine damage, using natural oil forces you to change your engine oil too frequently. 

The increasing global clamor around climate change (and environmental pollution) compelled car manufacturers to reduce car emissions. 

Governments worldwide have outlined strict emission regulations that manufacturers have to meet.

These and the need to improve fuel efficiency inspired GM to produce its custom synthetic oil for their cars. 

Dexos oil brings notable improvements in aeration control, oxidation, oil consumption, volatility management, piston hygiene, and wear protection.

What is comparable to Dexos Oil?

There would be unavoidable circumstances where you need an urgent (or emergency) oil change, and Dexos oil is not available.

GM reckons such situations would arise. In such eventualities, this manufacturer has outlined a special batch of oils that are fairly comparable to Dexos oil. 

Oils with SAE 5W-30 viscosity grade and brands with the API Starburst symbol are comparable to Dexos oil and would do for your engine.

5W-30 motor oil is a multi-grade oil rapidly gaining adoption in diesel and light-petrol engines. It has a viscosity grade ranging from 30 to 5.

The W in the name denotes winter performance. This means that 5W-30 motor oil can retain top-grade performance (flowing freely) when temperatures drop really low.

For context, a 5W-30 motor oil boasts superior viscosity at low temperatures than a 10w30. However, its viscosity performance is lesser at high temperatures than 5w50 oil. 

Valvoline SynPower, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum, Castrol EDGE Extended Performance and Royal Purple High-Performance count among the best 5W30 motor oils available in the market.

Does Jiffy Lube have Dexos Oil?

Jiffy Lube is renowned for its car maintenance services across the United States. While they don’t produce Dexos Oil, they can render oil servicing for your GM car with Dexos oil.

When you opt into a special program like the Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change, you get a full-package preventive maintenance service that extends through inspecting your GM engine (and other components of your car), changing your Dexos oil. 

This program also offers complimentary fluid top-off service on unique motor oils. You can get up to 2quarts/fluid top off from Jiffy Lube.

Resources

What is Dexos oil

Jiffy Lube oil services

What is synthetic oil?

Dexos1-Gen-2 what you need to know

Dexos oil equivalent

What oil brands are Dexos approved