How To Reset Oil Change Light After Oil Change

Oil Change

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One important component of every car maintenance routine is the oil change. Then you should reset the oil change light in the car's dashboard.

About the oil change light

Changing car oil is not rocket-science, so do not fret. As most of you know, especially the car enthusiasts, this is something that you can do by yourself. One particular question that you may get into is with regard the resetting of the oil life. This is done by changing the oil, and that change should reset the oil light in your dashboard.

What is the oil light? For starters, take a look at your dashboards: it’s that one tab or gauge that tells you about the condition of your motor oil after a specified number of miles.

oil light gauge

The issue lies when the oil light gauge doesn’t always reset as it should. Sometimes, when a driver is not too knowledgeable about this, pointing fingers or an altercation may happen between them and their mechanics. So, relax, you have to understand that it’s normal.

It can happen. You do not want to have that unnecessary and usually uncomfortable shouting match with your new best friend in town, your mechanic.

If you changed oil on your own and you do not know that this may happen, you might get a little paranoid about the condition of your car. Again, relax: there is something that you can do. Your car is not necessarily damaged. Resetting that oil light gauge is something that you can do on your own.

Easy steps to reset oil change light (Examples: Chevrolet, newer and older models)

You will need to determine certain things first before you can begin with resetting the oil light.

The first step is to determine the car-make and your specific car model which will also require you to know the year when that model was released. This is because cars even from the same manufacturer may require different techniques. With that in mind, you should know that the oil change appropriate for your car is in the manual provided when you bought it. The manual should be able to outline the steps. The steps might differ even on identical models if they were manufactured years apart.

“What if I don’t have the manual as of the moment?” you ask. You may visit the manufacturer’s website for the steps applicable for your car. As mentioned, there may be different ways to do the job. In this article, let’s look at two specific examples so you can get a feel and an idea on how it should be done. Let’s discuss Chevrolet, an American car maker. It is known that non-American brands have completely different methods and needs altogether.

Chevrolet

For Chevrolet, let’s look at two different methods to reset the oil change light: 

1. For cars manufactured earlier than 2005 and without the computer-based Vehicle Information Center (VIC),

You need to sit in the driver seat with the doors closed. 

Then you have to turn on the ignition to the accessory power position which will bring on the lights in the instrument panel.

The oil light should flash and then turn off within 5 seconds of turning the key step on the accelerator to the floor for three times.

If it doesn’t work that way, you have missed your 5-second window and you should restart the ignition and try again.

2. For newer models with the VIC. it seems easier.

First step to reset oil change light:

You have to turn on the ignition to the accessory power position which will turn the lights on. 

Second step:

You have to locate and press the VIC button which will display the oil life message. 

Third step: 

Press and hold the center of the VIC button for a second and you will see an acknowledgment message validating the reset. 

Final step:

You can now turn off ignition. Until your car requires the next oil change, the oil life message won’t be displayed.

This is just one example, and this is only applicable to one car-maker. The method, most likely, will be different for most car brands, but the logic for doing so might be the same.

Final Words

Oil change and resetting the oil change light are very important components of car maintenance routines. It always pays to know your car very well, to understand its components, and to study its unique features that may require different attention and expertise from your mechanics. If the manuals and company websites are not enough, you can always call for a friend’s help. Now get that oil change that your car deserves!

About the Author Simon Adams

Simon graduated with a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Degree. He has over 20 years of servicing experience in both Japanese and German car dealerships. He now acts as a freelance mechanic's instructor for local schools.

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