Most Mercury vehicles are equipped with an electronic computer system linked to the dashboard, which tells drivers when the oil needs to be changed and/or the engine needs to be serviced. A dashboard message will display on the instrument panel that reads “ENGINE OIL CHANGE SOON” or “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED,” accompanied by a percentage indicator that notifies the driver about the life of the oil. If the driver neglects a service light, such as the “ENGINE OIL CHANGE SOON” or “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED” 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 Mercury 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 the standardized manual maintenance schedule are coming to an end. Smart technology, like the Intelligent Oil-Life Monitor (IOLM) from Mercury, automatically monitors the oil life in your vehicle using an advanced algorithm-driven, 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; it’s that simple.
How Mercury’s IOLM system works and what to expect
The Mercury IOLM system is not just a simple oil quality sensor, but a software-based, algorithm-driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine to determine when the oil needs changing. Certain driving habits can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and driving terrain. Lighter, more moderate driving conditions and temperatures 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 IOLM system can determine oil life:
The Mercury IOLM 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 a certain point, the computer will trigger a reminder: “ENGINE OIL CHANGE SOON” or “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED.” Around the 15% oil life threshold, the computer will remind you: “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED,” 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:
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.
When the “ENGINE OIL CHANGE SOON” or “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED” light is triggered and you schedule an appointment to have your vehicle serviced, Mercury 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. These recommendations depend on your driving habits and conditions. Mercury has model-specific and year-specific routine maintenance schedules for your vehicle. Click here and enter your year, make, and model to see what service package suits your vehicle now, or consult the owner’s manual.
After your oil change and servicing is complete, you may need to reset the IOLM system in your Mercury. 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 Mercury.
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 located in the owner’s manual, or found online here. This does not mean Mercury 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 Mercury oil life monitor system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.
If your Mercury’s 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 Mercury Intelligent Oil Life Monitor and Service Indicator Lights and was authored by Brent Minderler.