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Oil changes are one of the most crucial parts of vehicle maintenance that help you keep your vehicle running smoothly and efficiently. However, with several advancements in automobiles and motor oils, the conventional approaches no longer apply to present-day vehicles.
Nowadays, most vehicles are equipped with an oil life monitoring system that determines the remaining lifespan of your engine oil. Let’s explore what oil percentage you need to change your oil in this blog post.
Oil Life Percentage – What Is It?
Oil life percentage is a useful feature that comes in many modern vehicles to track the condition of your engine oil and determines an estimate of its remaining life. It’s usually displayed on your vehicle’s dashboard and is based on certain factors such as miles driven, engine condition, and more.
The feature is specifically designed to help drivers like you determine when is the right time to change your engine oil. Therefore, instead of relying on a fixed schedule for oil changes, you take the actual condition of your engine oil into account.
When your car’s oil life percentage reaches a certain limit, the vehicle’s dashboard warning light may start illuminating to indicate that it’s time to change the oil. However, you should still follow the manufacturer’s oil change interval and not rely solely on the oil life percentage only.
What Percentage of Oil Life is Considered Too Low?
Depending on the make and model of your vehicle as well as the driving conditions and the type of oil used, this figure may vary. Usually, most vehicles will indicate a warning light when the oil percentage reaches a certain threshold.
It’s necessary to keep in mind that the oil percentage isn’t an exact measurement, but an estimate backed by several factors like driving habits and conditions, temperature, engine load, and more. That’s why it’s always recommended to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.
If your car’s oil life percentage has reached the threshold limit, you need to get the oil changed as soon as possible. In case you choose to continue driving with low oil life, it may cause engine wear and potentially expensive damage to your car.
Can You Determine When To Change the Engine Oil With Mileage?
The traditional practice of changing your oil after a certain period or mile range is no longer applicable to modern vehicles. With the advent of engine technology and oil quality, manufacturers are now recommending longer oil change intervals based on several factors.
Many modern vehicles are using multigrade engine oil nowadays which provides better lubrication and protection for high-performance engines. It can also withstand a range of operating conditions and temperatures as compared to standard monograde oils.
To identify when is the right time to change the oil for your vehicle, you should consider consulting the owner’s manual or sticking by the maintenance schedule provided by your manufacturer. They’ll also help you with guidance on oil type, viscosity, change interval, and more.
How Often Should You Check the Oil Level in Your Car?
It’s a good practice of keeping an eye on your vehicle’s oil level regularly, at least once every month, to make sure that it is in good condition and at the proper level. This will allow you to identify any potential issues with the oil or engine before they get worsen.
If your vehicle has an electronic oil monitoring system, it will alert you when it’s the right time to change the oil. In case your vehicle has a traditional dipstick, you may need to check it manually when the engine is cool and parked on a level surface.
You can also take a look at the color and consistency of the oil as healthy oil would appear somewhat black or brown without any frothy or milky appearance. If you suspect any changes in the color or the consistency, then get your vehicle inspected by a mechanic.
Can You Drive with a Low Oil Life Percentage?
Driving your car with low oil life can prove to be very harmful to your engine as it indicates that the oil in your engine is dirty and depleted of additives to perform its functions. It’s responsible for lubricating the moving parts and preventing any friction or wear.
That’s why when it becomes too depleted or dirty, it loses its lubricating properties and can increase wear and friction instead. This can also cause the engine to heat and cause further damage to components like cylinders, bearings, or piston rings.
Moreover, as time passes, driving with low oil life will cause permanent damage to your engine which may require costly repairs. That’s why it is important to change your car’s oil regularly and follow your manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
The days of relying on mileage-based oil change schedules are long gone and determining the optimal time to change your engine oil is now a lot more complex process. By monitoring your oil life percentage and following the recommendations in your owner’s manual, you can make sure that your engine oil is changed at the right time to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.