Just how to Reset the Oil Change Light in a Car

Just how to Reset the Oil Change Light in a Car

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Has got the "Maintenance" or "Oil Change" indicator light appeared on your vehicle? Learn what it means and ways to get it to show off.

Modern vehicles are equipped with several indicator lights to owners when something needs attention, and the oil change light (also called the maintenance light) is certainly one of them. This light is made to tell you when the engine oil needs changing, on the basis of the car's odometer reading. The oil change light won't turn fully off on its own, even when the old oil has been drained and fresh oil added. That's where resetting the oil change light comes in.

Not all vehicles have a fat change light, but if yours does, resetting it's worth doing, and not merely because of the annoyance of seeing the light on constantly. Unless the light is reset, your car or truck could have no means of suggesting the very next time an oil change is needed.

Here I'll be demonstrating the reset on a 2003 Toyota 4Runner, and although the exact steps vary from make to produce, the basic procedure is similar. Some makes and models have different procedures, like late-model Dodges, which require three quick presses of the gas pedal to reset. If you try the procedure shown here and your light doesn't reset, look at your owner's manual, or check online for help relating to your particular vehicle.

Find the Reset Button and Turn On Vehicle System

Search your vehicle's gauge and dashboard area for a button, switch or stick the says "Reset."
Turn the ignition to the ON position so that your gauges and electronics light, but don't start the engine.

Set Odometer to Display Mileage

Cycle through the various odometer modes until it shows total mileage driven.
Turn the ignition OFF.
Contain the Reset Button and Turn the Key

Press and hold the reset button.
Turn the ignition back to the ON position while holding the reset button.
Watch the oil change or maintenance light carefully. It will begin to blink.
Enable the light to blink ON and OFF for some seconds, then release the reset button and turn the ignition OFF.

Start the Vehicle

Start the engine and make the sure the oil change or maintenance light is currently OFF.
If it's still ON, repeat the reset procedure.
If the dashboard light remains ON after two tries, make reference to your owner's manual or the car manufacturer's site to learn more about the method for the vehicle.

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