Most Smart Car vehicles are equipped with an electronic computer system linked to the dashboard, that tells drivers when the engine needs to be serviced. One or two wrench-shaped symbols will display on the dashboard instrument panel, including a message that reads “A,” “B,” or “C,” indicating what service package is needed. If the driver neglects a service 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. Smart Car’s service interval 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 many miles have been driven since the vehicle underwent its last service. Once the service interval indicator system is triggered, the driver knows to schedule an appointment to take the vehicle in for servicing.
How the Smart Car service interval indicator system works and what to expect
The sole function of Smart Car’s service interval indicator system is as a reminder for a driver to take the car in for an oil change and other routine maintenance as outlined in the standard maintenance schedule. The computer system tracks the engine miles from the time it was reset, and the light will trigger after a certain amount of miles add up. The system is set to trigger about every 10,000 miles, depending on how the vehicle is driven. Once the system is triggered, it will display a count down from 500 miles, giving the driver ample time to schedule an appointment to take the vehicle in for servicing. The system will also track negative miles: those miles accrued after the initial 500-mile countdown has passed, indicating the vehicle is overdue for servicing. If your Smart Car service indicator is accruing negative miles, or the vehicle hasn’t been serviced within one year as recommended, it is imperative to take your vehicle in for servicing as soon as possible.
Additionally, the Smart Car service interval indicator system is algorithm-driven, and takes into account the differences between light and extreme driving conditions, load weight, towing, or weather conditions - important variables that affect oil life. Even though the vehicle monitors the engine itself, it is still very 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 might 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 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 wrench symbol is triggered and you schedule an appointment to have your vehicle serviced, Smart Car 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 Smart Car’s recommended inspections for different mile intervals. This chart is a general depiction of what a Smart Car maintenance schedule can look like. Depending on variables such as the vehicle year, 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 might need to reset the service interval indicator system in your Smart Car. 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 Smart Car. While the Smart Car service interval indicator system can be used as a reminder to the driver to have the vehicle serviced, it should only be a guideline that depends 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. 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 Smart Car maintenance system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.
If your Smart Car 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 Smart Car Service Interval Indicator System and was authored by Brent Minderler.