Most Fiat vehicles are equipped with an electronic computer system linked to the dashboard, that tells drivers when the oil needs changing and/or the engine needs to be serviced. The dashboard will display a message that reads “CHANGE ENGINE OIL” for approximately 10 seconds. 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. Fiat’s engine oil change indicator system is an on-board computer system that alerts owners about maintenance needs, so they can address the issue promptly and without hassle. At its most basic level, it determines how the vehicle has been driven and under what conditions since the last service. Once the engine oil change indicator system is triggered, the driver knows to schedule an appointment to take the vehicle in for servicing.
How Fiat’s engine oil change indicator system works and what to expect
The sole function of Fiat’s engine oil change indicator system is to serve as reminder for the driver to take their car in for an oil change and other routine maintenance as outlined in the standard maintenance schedule. The computer system is what Fiat calls “duty cycle based,” which uses algorithms to determine the differences between light and extreme driving conditions, load weight, towing, or weather conditions - important variables that affect oil life and maintenance intervals. Although the system has the ability to monitor itself, it is still important to be aware of your driving conditions throughout the year and, as necessary, have a professional determine whether or not your vehicle needs servicing depending on your specific, most frequent driving conditions.
Below is a helpful table that can give you an idea of how often you may need to change the oil in a modern vehicle (older vehicles often need more frequent oil changes).
- Note: Engine oil life is dependent not only on the factors listed above, but also your specific vehicle model, year, and 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.
When the “CHANGE ENGINE OIL” light is triggered and you schedule an appointment to have your vehicle serviced, Fiat recommends a series of inspections that will help keep your car in good running order, as well as help prevent untimely and costly damages to the engine, depending on your driving habits and conditions.
Below is a chart of Fiat’s recommended inspections for different mile intervals. This chart is a general depiction of what a Fiat maintenance schedule can look like. Depending on variables, like the vehicle year and model, and your specific driving habits and conditions, this information is subject to change for maintenance frequency as well as the maintenance performed.
After your oil change and servicing is complete, you may need to reset the engine oil change indicator system in your Fiat. 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 Fiat.
While the Fiat engine oil change indicator system can be used as a reminder to the driver to have the vehicle serviced, it should only be a guideline. Other recommended maintenance information is based on standard time tables located in the owner’s manual. Proper maintenance service will greatly extend the life of a vehicle, ensuring it is reliable, safe to drive, and covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. 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 Fiat maintenance system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.
If your Fiat maintenance reminder 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 Fiat Oil Change Indicator System and Service Indicator Lights and was authored by Brent Minderler.