Most Mazda vehicles are equipped with an electronic computer system, linked to the dashboard, that tells drivers when maintenance is required. If the driver neglects a service light, such as the “CHANGE ENGINE OIL” light, he or she runs the risk of damaging the engine - or worse, ending up stranded on the side of the road or causing an accident.
For these reasons, performing all scheduled and recommended maintenance on your vehicle 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 scratching your head and performing diagnostics to find the service light’s trigger are gone. Mazda’s oil-life monitor system is an on-board computer system that alerts owners about necessary maintenance schedules so they can address the issue promptly and without hassle. Once the system is triggered, the driver knows to schedule an appointment to take the vehicle in for servicing.
How Mazda’s oil-life monitor system works and what to expect
The Mazda oil-life monitor system is a dynamic tool used to remind drivers when to take their car in for an oil change, at which point other necessary inspections can be fulfilled depending on the age of the vehicle. The oil-life monitor system can be set up in a variety of ways to suit the driving habits of the owner. Mazda offers two different options for setting the oil-life monitor system: fixed or flexible (flexible is only available in the United States).
The fixed option responds to a more traditional, interval-based oil change plan. The owner can set the system to track distance intervals (in miles or kilometers). At the end of the cycle (i.e. 5,000 miles or 7,500 miles), a message will display on the dashboard indicating that an oil change is due, next to a wrench symbol.
The flexible option is more dynamic. It is a software based, algorithm-driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine to determine when the oil needs changing. The engine oil life will be reflected as a percentage that will display on the dashboard each time the vehicle is started.
Certain driving habits can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and terrain. 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 Mazda’s oil-life monitor system determines oil life:
- Note: 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.
The Mazda oil-life meter is located on the information display on the dashboard, and will count down from 100% oil life to 0% oil life as you continue to drive the vehicle, at which point the computer will trigger a reminder for you to schedule an oil change. Around the 15% oil life threshold, the computer will remind you to “CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON,” giving you ample time to plan ahead to have your vehicle serviced. It is important not to wait to have your vehicle serviced, especially once the indicator reads 0% oil life. If you do wait, and servicing is overdue, you risk severe damage to the engine, which could leave you stranded or worse.
The following table outlines what the information on your dashboard means when the engine oil reaches a certain level of usage:
When your vehicle is ready for an oil change, Mazda has a standard schedule of inspection for every servicing. Schedule 1 maintenance is recommended for light-to-moderate driving conditions, while Schedule 2 is recommended for moderate-to-extreme driving conditions:
Note: Replace engine coolant after 105,000 miles or 60 months, whichever comes first. Replace coolant again every 30,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first, after that. Replace spark plugs every 75,000 miles.
Note: Replace engine coolant after 105,000 miles or 60 months, whichever comes first. Replace every 30,000 miles or 24 months, whichever comes first, after that.
Once your Mazda has been serviced, the “CHANGE ENGINE OIL” light will need to be reset. Some servicers will neglect to do this, which can lead to premature and unnecessary service light triggers. There are many different ways this light can be reset depending on your model and year. Consult the owner’s manual on how to do this for your Mazda.
While the Mazda oil-life monitor system can be used as a reminder to the driver to have the vehicle serviced, it should be used only as a guideline that is dependent on how the vehicle is driven and under what driving conditions. Other recommended maintenance information is based on standard time tables located in the owner’s manual. This does not mean Mazda 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 it also provides a greater resale value.
Such maintenance tasks should always be performed by a qualified technician. If you have any doubts as to what the Mazda maintenance system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.
If your Mazda oil-life monitor 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 Mazda Oil Life Monitor and Service Indicator Lights and was authored by Brent Minderler.