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How to Choose the Oil and Fluids for a Chevy Cobalt

by Contributor

First introduced in the 2005 model year, the Chevy Cobalt replaced the Cavalier as the new compact sedan. Like all compacts the Cobalt sacrifices extra space and comfort in the name of fuel efficiency. Here's how to choose the oil and fluids for all model years of the Chevy Cobalt.

Step 1

Top off your radiator or coolant reservoir as necessary with a 50/50 mixture of clean, drinkable water and DEX-COOL coolant. Using any other coolant may lead to premature corrosion.

Step 2

Use SAE 5W-30 engine oil that meets GM standard GM6094M if you're running the 2.2L L4 engine. Look for the "American Petroleum Institute Certified for Gasoline Engines" starburst symbol. Your owner's manual recommends GM Goodwrench oil as meeting all the requirements for a Chevrolet Cobalt.

Step 3

Change your transmission fluid regularly to keep it from getting dirty. Make sure to use DEXRON-III automatic transmission fluid whether you have a manual or automatic transmission. Look for the statement, "Approved for the H-Specification," on the ATF fluid label.

Step 4

Note that while Chevrolet recommends Optikleen Washer Solvent for use in your Chevy Cobalt, this is one of the fluids where discernment is least necessary. So long as you're using fluid with sufficient anti-freeze protection for your temperature zone, almost anything works.

Put Delco Supreme 11 brake fluid in your brakes and clutch system if possible. You may substitute equivalents, but they absolutely must be DOT-3.


  • If you're running a 2.0L L4 supercharged engine in your Chevy Cobalt you need a special engine oil that meets GM Standard GM4718M. Not every oil--especially synthetics--with the "American Petroleum Institute Certified for Gasoline Engines" starburst symbol meets this standard. Look for a note on the bottle that it satisfies GM Standard GM4718M.

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