Picture this scenario: You’re driving to work or running an errand and suddenly the oil maintenance light comes on. First, don’t panic! Getting your oil changed is simple. Many modern vehicles are equipped with an engine oil life calculation system. This relies on a mileage tracker that notifies you when an oil change is necessary. Most dashboards include two lights: one that indicates it’s time for an oil change and another that tells you the engine has low oil pressure.
The Oil Change Light
The oil change maintenance light is the most well-known light on the vehicle dashboard. It normally illuminates for a few seconds when you start your engine as it ensures that the bulbs on your dashboard are working properly. If the light stays illuminated, it signifies that your vehicle is due for an oil or filter change.
The moment the light illuminates depends on the mileage set in the oil life calculation system. 3,000 miles is no longer the standard today due to advanced fuel injection technology that makes engines more efficient. The recommended mileage number also varies due to the type of oil used (conventional, synthetic, synthetic blends, or high-mileage) and your driving conditions. Thanks to these advances and factors, vehicles can now go much longer in between oil changes. So, when the oil change light turns on, change the oil or filter (or both) and reset the engine oil life calculation system.
The Oil Pressure Light
A properly running engine receives a constant supply of oil from the oil pump to lubricate its parts. When the oil pressure light turns on, it means that the oil pressure in your vehicle’s engine has dropped, and you need to take action immediately. This light indicates that something is interfering with the lubrication process and the oil level is too low. With a proper oil level, the engine is protected from friction and heat, but without it, the engine may be damaged in a short period of time. Driving with a low oil pressure light on may cause serious damage to your vehicle’s engine. Thus, it’s important to check your oil and filter regularly. If the light comes on, here's what to do:
1. Safely pull over to the side of the road and turn off the engine.
2. Open the engine compartment (front hood) and check the oil level. To do this, remove the dipstick and clean it with a cloth. Then put it back into the oil reservoir and pull it out again to read the level. If it is below the “full” line, it means the oil level is low.
3. Look for signs of a leak under your vehicle. Dripping oil may mean a seal or gasket failure. If you don’t see a visible external oil leak, there may be an internal problem with the engine.
4. To refill the oil, purchase the correct type of oil and amount for your vehicle. Then fill the oil reservoir until the dipstick indicates “full”.
5. If the light is still on after restarting your vehicle, contact tow assistance to have the problem diagnosed by a professional.
How To Reset The Oil Change Light
During an oil change, be sure to reset the engine oil life calculation system. Again, this system calculates when you’ll need your next oil change. On most modern vehicles, this manual reset is relatively easy by pressing a few buttons on your instrument panel. For specific instructions, you may check your vehicle’s owner manual. And in the rare case that a special tool is required, visit your local Jiffy Lube® to have a trained technician perform the reset for you.
Keep Up with Regular Oil Changes
To make sure your vehicle gives you the longevity and performance you need, be sure to keep up with oil and filter changes. Following the regular maintenance schedule recommendations from your original equipment manufacturer (OEM) also helps you retain your vehicle’s warranty.
When the oil change or pressure lights appear, call and visit your local Jiffy Lube® service center. During your appointment, the trained technicians will start by letting you know which motor oils are recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer and how often to change them. Then they will perform a complete oil change which includes draining the used oil and refilling the oil pan with Pennzoil® products that meet or exceed OEM specifications. They will also replace the oil filter as needed. Finally, they will reset the oil life monitor and adhere a removable sticker to the inside of your windshield to remind you of your next oil change.
Please note: Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center or visit jiffylube.com for specific services offered.