GM,dexos and the common man


Who or what is dexos and why are people looking for it!
In my daily dealings with auto parts customers while they are entertaining they are also an engine to get more info. This is one of those more info scenarios. So here we go. Consider yourself informed. Any opinions stated here are just that … opinions based on how I see it. Feel free to make your own judgements but here they are mine. I hope the following will enlighten you to what the heck is dexos and what can I do I do about it.

According to the official GM dexos info center this is a direct quote

That’s why GM Powertrain engineers developed the dexos™ engine oil specification. The result is engine oil designed specifically for your GM engine, with added performance in areas important to its operation. dexos™ represents a high quality, robust oil formulated to some of the most rigorous specifications in the industry. And just like GM, dexos™ is global. GM wants to make sure that every GM car anywhere in the world has access to the highest quality oil formulated exclusively for GM engines.

dexos™ is designed to increase fuel efficiency, extend the life of your emissions system, require fewer oil changes, and produce fewer emissions. You save time and money, and your car performs the way it was designed to.

dexos™ is the best oil for any GM car. It’s that simple.

To ensure you are using the right oil for your GM car, choose only authentic, licensed dexos™ oils. dexos™ is an exclusive trademark of General Motors. Only those oils displaying the green or blue dexos™ trademark and icon on the front label have been certified and licensed by GM as meeting the demanding performance requirements and stringent quality standards of the dexos™ specification. Other oils may make a lot of claims but have not gone through GM’s rigorous testing and quality control process.

Source – GM dexos information center

When you initially read this either in the owners manual or on the site the impression that you get is that GM is dictating which oil you can use and that if it is not theirs you are toast. Marketing 101, make it sound unique even if it is not. More than one customer has come in to the store in a panic looking for this elusive GM dexos oil that they just gotta have. Nothing else will do!

dexos1 icon

dexos1 icon

Here is the real deal. The gospel according to Bob. dexos™ is not an oil it is a specificationfor oil, as stated in the quote. What a lot of the literature that deals with it, makes you think that you have to get it from GM and that is GM oil. Not so! All it means is that these goonybirds at GM have spent a whole bunch of time making up a “new” specification for oil that is so very special and unique that they had to go so far as to brand it and make a licensed logo for it. And, yes, they do have their own branded oil. Is it the only game in town? NO! They would like you to believe that and they appear to have gone to great efforts to imply that, but NO! Basicly they want you to use synthetic oils. We all know that these are the best oils for all kinds of reasons. Nothing new here. Just more expensive. But take note of the licensed part very carefully.

Here is why. If you read further into the site you will come to a page GM dexos Licensed Products. This is the “official” list of “GM dexos certified oil”. As official and impressive as it sounds don’t be too overly taken by it. It basically establishes that they want you to use synthetic oil. That’s it! On to the list. At the top of this list is a flock of oils in the ACDelco dexos1 family. Wow! No surprise there. But here is where it gets your attention, and in my case [remember, it’s my opinion] it aggravates me enormously, when you drill down this extensive list you will find most of the major brands of synthetic oils. Mobil 1, Pennzoil, Quaker State, they are all there.

Now, follow along with me here, all of these “licensed” name brand oils have been on the shelves for a long while. And we all know that synthetics are better for your engine. Now they had to pay a fee, major oil company to major car manufacturer, to get “licensed” for something they already did! And everyone already knew. WTF??!!! So basicly GM engineers spent alot of time and effort to create this unique, nifty neato oil spec all on their own because they thought they were being tricky and special. And they can get a fee to put their logo on all the major oil companies bottles. But it turns out they really aren’t because all the major oil companies synthetic products, that were already on the shelf, meet this “special” spec right out of the box! That sucks. So much for being “special”. But they can get money for inventing something that was already there. Now that’s the tricky side. I guess it worked.

What does puzzle me is that the major oil companies were okie dokie with this and went ahead and let it happen. I guess you can call it a windfall because now GM is pushing their premium products for them. Well, maybe, kinda ,sorta, after they paid them for it.

After all this hokus pokus magic show stuff that GM did all it really comes down to is that they, GM, want you to use synthetic oil in their motors! That’s it! Pretty frickin straight forward. And anyone with any sense about cars already knew that and is probably already using it.


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