Oil Life Percentage: How Long Will it Last?

oil life percentage

On your dashboard, you may have seen the 5% oil life, or any other percentage come on. This is a sign that there’s only a certain amount of oil left in the vehicle and it’s a warning to tell you how little oil there is in the engine. This light is also known as the oil monitor light and it uses a system that monitors the oil level to make sure that the engine doesn’t get deprived of lubrication and cooling.

Other vehicles have different percentages that the manufacturer has set and this is all to remind them that there isn’t as much oil in the engine as you think there is and you need to consider getting it topped up soon. These percentages can come up as 30, 40, 15, 10, 5 or 0%. The purpose of all of this is just to let you know that you need to start thinking of getting your oil topped up.

If there is little oil in your engine, it can cause problems with other parts and this can lead to your engine eventually blowing and needing an intensive repair or rebuild – this can be an expensive process so it’s important that you void it in the first place. The oil in the engine is the blood of the vehicle and without it, the engine will lack lubrication, and this can cause problems down the low. If your engine starts to overheat, this is a sign that there isn’t enough lubrication and you’ll need to get it topped up with oil.

How Many Miles Left with Oil Percentage Light on?

5% Oil Life – When the oil percentage light is on, your vehicle is trying to indicate to you that there isn’t enough oil and you need to get it topped up. Depending on what the percentage says, then you’ll need to make sure that you act accordingly. The higher the percentage that your oil light shows, the more miles you’ll be able to drive while the percentage light is one. If the 5% oil life is showing, then you have about >1000 miles left to drive before you need to think amount topping your oil up – driving for longer than this can result in your engine being deprived of oil which can lead to a blown engine.

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15% Oil Life – If you have the 15% oil light on your dashboard, then you’ll be able to drive about 1,500 more miles before you need to get the oil topped oil. Driving for more than this will put your engine at risk of overheating and damage. You need to make sure that you change the oil as soon as you see this light come on to make sure that it doesn’t have any repercussions on the engine in the future.

0% Oil Life – If you have a 0% oil light, it means that there’s pretty much no oil in the engine and you should stop driving as soon as possible. Having 0% oil means that you’ve ignored all of the signs of low oil and you’ve managed to reach a level of oil that’s so low that your engine is now at risk. If you see this light, it means that you need to stop driving immediately and get some high-quality oil (View on Amazon) to put in your vehicle. If you’re in the middle of the road, then you’ll need to get a service that can come to you or you can change the oil yourself. Having 0% oil is bad for your vehicle and it’s important that you never reach such a low amount of oil.

When you’ve hit 0 or 5%, you may also receive a message telling you that you need to service your vehicle soon. In this case, you’ll need to head over to the dealership as soon as possible because you can’t be driving around with such a low amount of oil

30% Oil Life – If you have the 30% oil light, then this means that you can drive around 2,000 miles before you need to get your oil changed. Depending on how much your oil lasts in your vehicle, having used 30 percent of it, you can figure out how long you can continue to drive before this light runs out. For example, lets say that each time you top up your oil, you can drive for about 6,000 mils. If you only have 30% of this left, then you’ll only be able to drive for 1,800 miles before your engine has no oil. In this case, it’s important that you get your oil topped up when you notice that the oil percentage light is on.

The oil light percentage can also go down as your oil is going down. This means that it doesn’t just come on at a specific percentage, it says on and goes down as the oil goes down. This is good because you know you can continue to drive before the oil reaches a really low amount like 5% and the engine is just deprived of oil. In this case, you can cause how many miles it takes for the percentage to go down be 10%. This will let you know how many miles you’ll be able to drive while the oil light is one.

How to Fix the Oil life Percentage Light or the Oil Service Light

If you want to turn off the oil life percentage, then you’ll have to reset the oil system. The oil life system is what calculates how much oil is in the engine and if the engine oil filter needs to be changed. If you want to turn off the light in the dashboard that lets you know your oil is low, then you can use a professional OBD2 scanner tool with a reset function. Mostly professional OBD2 scanners (View on Amazon) have a reset function and this will allow you to turn off the light on the dashboard.

To reset the oil light, you’ll need to turn on the ignition but make sure not to start the vehicle. Once the ignition is on, you’ll need to turn on the scanner and wait till the menu appears. On the screen, you’ll need to select the Oil Reset icon and what for the next page to come up – you’ll be provided with the manufacturer’s info so you can select your type of vehicle. Before you can reset the oil light, you can either choose to do a manual reset or an auto-reset.

If you choose to do a manual reset, then you can do this will any American, Asian, or European vehicle. Once your vehicle is elected, then the scanner will give you an option to reset the oil light. This stage, you should select the manual reset option. If you have an American or European vehicle, then you’ll be able to use the auto reset button. In this stage, you’ll need to select your vehicle on the main menu, then select auto reset and select OK. At this point, you’ll see options: SRI reset and Adaptation. Selecting the SRI will reset the service reminder.

How to Prevent the Oil Life Percentage Light

If you want to ensure that your engine has longevity, you’ll need to make sure that you’re putting the right oil and doing the right checks on the engine. There’s a lot to know about oil such as the quality, additives, consistency, brand, and temperature that can all affect the way the engine runs. Failure to maintain the engine by putting in the wrong oil can cause the engine to deteriorate quickly. The key to a long-lasting engine is maintenance. Oil is just one form of engine maintenance and even this needs to be done right. Failure to main your vehicle as a whole can lead to all sorts of problems.

If you want to avoid engine problems or any other problems and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.

A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.

How Much Oil to Put When Oil is Low

If you’re wondering how much oil you should put in the tank when the oil is low, then you’ll need to correlate how much oil you’ve got left with how much you usually put then there’s no oil left. This will allow you to top up the oil level to the right amount. You can use the dipstick in the oil compartment to let you know how much oil is in the vehicle and how much you should top it up with. When you’re topping up the oil, then you should be able to let the oil run down through the engine then check the dipstick level to see where the oil is marking – make sure to clean the dipstick before you do this so you don’t get confused.

When the oil is low, then you should put any oil that you have available so that you don’t deprive the engine of oil. Having low oil can be bad – the less oil in the engine, the more the engine is going to suffer. In this case, you need to grab any oil you can found, and 1 quart should be enough to top it up when you have low amounts. This can last you a few wheels depending on how much you use your vehicle. If you have a 4-cylinder engine, then you should aim for about 5 quarts when the oil is low and this will sustain you for about 4k-6k miles. If you have a 6 cylinder, then you should ain for about 6 quarts.

Symptoms of Driving with Low Oil

If you’re driving with low oil, there are going to be a few symptoms that you notice in your vehicle. These symptoms will let you know that the engine is deprived of oil and that you need to get it changed as soon as possible.

Knocking Sounds – if you hear knocking sounds, this can be a sign that the pistons are hitting against the crankshaft. This happens when the components like the bearings aren’t lubricated, therefore, the pistons become loose and they start to hit against other parts of the engine causing a knocking sound. A knocking sound is a clear sign that there’s something wrong in the engine due to low oil. You should get your engine checked out as soon as you hear this because you may have caused some serious damage to the engine by depriving it of oil.

Burning Smell – if you can smell a burning smell, this is a sign that there isn’t much oil in your engine. If you continue to drive with low oil, then the engine will be deprived of lubrication and this will cause the metal components to start rubbing on each other and produce a lot of heat. This heat can be smelled from the seats of the vehicle and you’ll know that you need to top it up with some high-quality oil.

Engine Failure – the most serious symptom you’ll get when your oil levels are too low is engine failure. if there’s too little oil and you continue to drive – this can lead to the engine using up all the oil that’s left. If it’s all been used up, this can cause the engine to shut down. Since the components will continue to rub past each other with little oil, this can cause the engine to overheat and this will lead to engine failure. If the engine fails, it can be expensive to repair, and you might have to end up getting the whole engine replaced.

Job Guthiri is a freelance writer with 3 years of experience writing for Motorsrun and other established automobile outlets. His focus and key interests are Tacomas and maintenance. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.