Performing all scheduled and recommended maintenance on your Dodge is imperative to keep it running well so you can avoid the many untimely, inconvenient, and possibly expensive repairs that come from neglect. Luckily, the days of the standardized manual maintenance schedule are coming to an end.
Smart technology, like Dodge’s Oil Change Indicator automatically monitors the oil life in your vehicle using the advanced Powertrain Control Module algorithm, an on board computer system that alerts owners when it’s time for an oil change, so they can address the issue promptly and without hassle. All the owner has to do is schedule an appointment with a trusted mechanic, take the vehicle in for servicing, and a mechanic will take care of the rest. With the Dodge owner’s consent, the servicer’s information can be scanned into the electronic vehicle information center (EVIC) to display the business name and phone number when the “OIL CHANGE DUE” is triggered on the dash.
How the Dodge Oil Change Indicator works and what to expect
The Dodge Oil Change Indicator system is not a simple oil quality sensor, but a software based, algorithm driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine, the engine size, engine revolutions, and even ethanol levels in the fuel, to determine when the oil needs changing. That said, the computer does not strictly track mileage or the condition of the oil, but certain driving habits that can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and driving terrain (but not dusty conditions). Lighter, more moderate driving conditions and temperature will require less frequent oil changes and maintenance, while more severe driving conditions will require more frequent oil changes and maintenance. Read the table below to see how the Oil Change Indicator system determines oil life.
- Engine oil life is dependent not only on the factors listed above, but also on your specific vehicle model, year, and what type of oil is recommended. Check the owner’s manual for more information about what oil is recommended for your vehicle, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced professionals for advice.
Some Dodge models have a percentage-based indicator that counts down the oil life as a percentage. Once the information display number reduces from 100% (fresh oil) to 15% (dirty oil), an “OIL CHANGE DUE” light will be trigged on the dashboard information display, giving you ample time to plan ahead to have your vehicle serviced. Every time you start the engine, the engine oil percentage will be displayed. When the information display number reaches 0%, the oil life is over, and you begin accumulating negative miles that tell you your vehicle is past due for servicing. Remember: if the vehicle racks up significant negative mileage, the engine is increasingly at risk of damage.
The following will automatically display on your dashboard once your engine oil reaches a certain level of usage:
When your vehicle is ready for an oil change, Dodge has a recommended list of scheduled maintenance items that coincide with the mileage accrued:
After your oil change and servicing is complete, you might need to reset the Oil Change Indicator system in your Dodge. Learn how to do this by following the directions below:
Step 1: Insert key into the ignition and turn key to “ON” without starting the engine.
Step 2: Slowly depress the accelerator pedal three times in succession in under ten seconds.
Step 3: The system should be reset. Turn the ignition switch “LOCK.” If system has not reset, repeat steps 1-3.
While the engine oil percentages are calculated according to an algorithm that takes into account driving styles and other specific driving conditions, other maintenance information is based on standard time tables such as those in old-school maintenance schedules, located in the owner’s manual. This does not mean Dodge drivers should ignore such alerts. Proper maintenance service will greatly extend the life of a vehicle, ensuring it is reliable, safe to drive, covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and also providing a greater resale value. Such maintenance tasks should always be performed by a qualified technician. If you have any doubts as to what the Dodge Oil Change Indicator system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.
If your Dodge’s Oil Change Indicator system is indicating that your vehicle is ready for servicing, have it checked out by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic. Click here, choose your vehicle and service or service package, and book an appointment with us today. One of our certified mechanics will come to your home or office to service your vehicle.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Understanding the Dodge Oil Change Indicator and Service Indicator Lights and was authored by Brent Minderler.