How to Reset the Oil Light in a Vehicle Using 9 Easy Steps

How to reset the oil light might seem like a complex operation, a secret code only mechanics are privy to. But what if we told you that you could decode this secret right in your driveway without an expensive trip to the garage?

Steps of Resetting Oil Light in a Vehicle

With our concise step-by-step guide, you’ll not only become proficient at resetting the oil light but also be equipped with a vital skill that promotes optimal vehicle health.

How to Reset the Oil Light

Resetting the oil light involves a series of steps: park the vehicle safely, turn the ignition to run, navigate to the settings and vehicle menu, locate the oil life indicator, reset and confirm the reset of the oil life, start the engine, and regularly check the oil life.

1. Position the Vehicle for the Process

Assuring the correct positioning of your vehicle is the maiden move in resetting the oil light, an integral cog in the wheel of this procedure. The vehicle’s positioning ought to ensure safety and convenience. This primarily means the vehicle should be in a stationary state. But why? Initiating the oil light reset process while on the move may be futile and endanger you and others on the road.

Different Size of Cars In Repairshop

Your environment should not pose distractions or disturbances that can break your focus. The oil light reset operation necessitates undivided attention, ensuring no missteps occur. Notably, the locale should have enough space for you to move around, be well-lit, and, if possible, be shielded from adverse weather conditions.

Proper vehicle positioning on level ground is also a crucial aspect. Unleveled terrain can disrupt some vehicle sensors’ accuracy, including the oil level sensor. The inaccuracy can lead to misleading oil life readings, thus defeating the essence of the oil light reset process.

Lastly, secure your vehicle appropriately. Engage the parking brake to prevent any inadvertent movements. Also, ensure the gear is in ‘Park’ for automatic transmissions or ‘Neutral’ for manual ones. This safety precaution safeguards you and your vehicle, allowing for an undisturbed and secure reset procedure.

2. Insert the Key and Turn the Ignition to Run

In vehicles equipped with a key ignition system, insert the key into the ignition switch, usually located on the steering column. Twist the key clockwise to the ‘Run’ position, also known as ‘ON.’

For vehicles with keyless push-start systems, the process is slightly different. You need to depress the brake pedal while pressing the engine start-stop button. This sequence also puts the vehicle in ‘Run’ mode.

Man Turn Ignition On To Start the Car

But why the ‘Run’ position? This is a semi-active state of your vehicle’s electrical systems, illuminating various dashboard indicators, including the oil change light. Without starting the engine, ‘Run’ serves as the prerequisite for most electronic and electrical components to be active and interactive.

Upon successful execution, the oil change light will appear on your vehicle’s instrument cluster. This oil light signifies that the vehicle’s electronic control unit is ready for the oil life reset process. If it doesn’t light up, double-check to ensure you’ve correctly turned the ignition to ‘Run’. It’s crucial to keep in mind that this step, though seemingly simple, is the cornerstone for the subsequent actions, pivoting us into the electronic interface of your vehicle.

3. Navigate to Your Vehicle’s Settings Menu

In this phase, your attention is directed towards the digital dashboard display. This digital command center houses the settings menu for your destination in this step. By a sequence of button presses or touchscreen gestures, you will gain access to a repository of the vehicle’s systems and parameters, each contributing to your driving experience.

Driver Navigating In Car_s Setting

The navigation process is one of discovery. It is driven by an understanding of your vehicle’s unique interface design. Vehicle models differ; thus, the path towards the settings menu isn’t universal. The variance could be the menu being listed as ‘Settings’, ‘Setup’, ‘Options’, or even ‘Preferences’. Nevertheless, the settings menu, by any other name, is your gateway to an assortment of vehicle adjustments.

The specifics of navigating through this electronic labyrinth might differ, but the objective remains constant. This step is not merely a matter of exploration; it is a dance with digital symbols and pictograms, all leading to the settings menu. The interface could be controlled through the steering wheel controls, touch screen, or even a standalone dial, depending on your vehicle’s specifications.

Unraveling the way to the settings menu is akin to unlocking a trove of your vehicle’s customization. Among these, you will find the key to adjusting the oil life. That’s your target: initiating the journey to reset oil light.

4. Scroll to the Vehicle Menu

Having landed in the settings menu, step four requires you to navigate further, steering towards the ‘Vehicle Menu’. The vehicle menu is akin to a control room, showcasing information and housing the controls for various aspects of your vehicle’s performance.

Scanning through the settings menu, you may encounter various sub-menus and options. These could range from ‘Driver Assist’, ‘Safety & Security’, ‘Audio & Display’, to ‘Climate & Comfort’, among others. Your eyes, however, should remain set on finding the ‘Vehicle Menu‘. The designation might differ across vehicle models, appearing as ‘Vehicle Information’, ‘Vehicle Setup’, ‘Vehicle Details’, or similar terms.

The scrolling action might seem mundane, a mere flick of the fingers, yet it demands precision. A careful examination of every item is essential to prevent overshooting the ‘Vehicle Menu’. Depending on your vehicle’s interface, you might be using arrow buttons, a touchscreen swipe, or turning a dial to scroll.

Once you reach the ‘Vehicle Menu’, it is as if you’ve entered the heart of your vehicle’s digital domain. In this sanctuary, the oil life is nested. This specific sub-menu will be your guiding compass to reset the oil light, a crucial step in maintaining your vehicle’s performance and longevity.

5. Locate the Oil Life Indicator

Step five catapults you into the intricacies of the ‘Vehicle Menu’, where amidst the array of vehicle metrics, the ‘Oil Life’ indicator rests. This marker is an electronic gauge of your vehicle’s oil health, signaling the life left in your current oil, usually represented as a percentage.

Driver Trying To Find Oil Life Indicator On Screen

The ‘Oil Life’ monitor might be buried within a multitude of settings and metrics, which could include options such as ‘Tire Pressure’, ‘Fuel Economy’, or ‘Service Intervals’. Hence, it’s imperative to sift through these attentively, keeping your eyes peeled for the ‘Oil Life’ indicator. The name may slightly vary, appearing as ‘Oil Life Remaining’, ‘Engine Oil Life’, or similarly titled options.

Locating this indicator isn’t merely finding a digital display; it’s akin to spotting the pulse of your vehicle’s lubrication system. The oil life percentage directly represents the quality and longevity of your engine oil. It helps anticipate the need for an oil change, effectively functioning as your vehicle’s ‘change oil’ alert.

Once you lay eyes on the oil life indicator, pause. This gauge is your stepping stone towards resetting the oil life. Its location is now registered; you are set for the next action: initiating the reset. The aim here is to bring the oil life back to 100%, signaling a fresh start after an oil change, thereby maximizing your vehicle’s efficiency and lifespan.

6. Reset the Oil Life Indicator

Moving into the sixth step, your task shifts to initiating the reset for the ‘Oil Life’ indicator. This operation is the cornerstone of the oil light reset procedure. Primarily, it involves engaging a specific command, usually executed by holding down a ‘reset button‘ or the ‘OK’ button.

The reset command could be embedded in the steering wheel controls or could be an independent button on the dashboard. Some vehicles might even require you to interact with the touchscreen interface. Identifying this command tool is vital as it orchestrates the oil life resetting process.

On locating the appropriate command, proceed to hold down the reset or ‘OK’ button for a few seconds. During this action, be vigilant of any changes in the oil life display. You may observe the oil life percentage start blinking or instantaneously reset to 100%. This reaction signifies that your command has been acknowledged.

7. Confirm Reset

As you advance to step seven, your goal is not just to ensure the reset operation is done but to confirm its success. This phase is an exercise in verification, double-checking the effective execution of the oil life reset process.

Following the holding down of the reset or ‘OK’ button, you’ll have observed the oil life percentage either blinking or resetting to 100%. Once you witness this change, it’s time to release the button. This pause is critical; it prepares the system for the final confirmation stage.

Now, with the button released, initiate the same process again: press and hold the reset or ‘OK’ button once more. During this second hold, watch for the oil life percentage to settle at 100%. The reading stabilizing at 100% is unequivocal evidence of a successful reset. If the percentage doesn’t reach 100%, repeat the process until it does.

This step isn’t merely a mechanical act; it’s an assurance of precision. It validates that your oil life indicator accurately mirrors the current state of your engine oil after an oil change. This confirmation is integral to maintaining the vehicle’s health, allowing you to continue driving with confidence, aware that your engine is well-lubricated and functioning optimally.

8. Start the Engine

Following the confirmation of the oil life reset, it’s time to put the heart of your vehicle back into motion. Step eight involves an integral action – starting the engine. This step isn’t just about reactivating your vehicle’s mechanical beast; it also serves as the final testing ground for your reset operation.

Engines Start Button On A Car

If your vehicle operates with a key ignition, turn the key further clockwise to the ‘Start’ position. If it’s a push-start vehicle, simply press the engine start-stop button while keeping the brake pedal depressed. This action should spring your vehicle back into life, its engine purring once more.

Watch your dashboard as the engine comes alive. At this point, the oil change light should have disappeared, a surefire sign of a successful reset. If the oil change light is no longer visible, you’ve successfully turned off the oil light, aligning your vehicle’s electronic readings with its physical state.

9. Regularly Check Oil Life

With the oil light reset process wrapped up, your journey morphs into a continued vigilance centered around regularly checking the oil life. This closing step is not a mere add-on but forms the crux of responsible vehicle maintenance.

Checking The Engine Oil Manually

Though your oil life is now showing a promising 100%, it won’t stay that way forever. As you pile on the miles, the percentage will steadily decrease, each point lower a step closer to the next oil change. Thus, consistent monitoring of the oil life becomes a cardinal practice.

Just like a diligent doctor regularly checks a patient’s vitals, you, as the vehicle owner, need to routinely check the oil life. This vigilance can typically be carried out via the same path you navigated during the reset process: Ignition to ‘Run’, find the ‘Settings Menu’, ‘Vehicle Menu’, and finally, the ‘Oil Life’ indicator.

Can a Vehicle Oil Light Reset Solve a Water Leakage Issue in a Car?

When faced with a car leaking water issue, it is important to address the root cause rather than relying on a vehicle oil light reset. Although resetting the oil light can be beneficial for maintenance reminders, it cannot solve water leakage problems. To fix water leakage in a car, it is advisable to consult a professional mechanic who specializes in car leaking water solutions.


Mastering “how to reset the oil light” is a vital skill for maintaining your vehicle’s health and ensuring a smooth driving experience. To summarize the main ideas that we have discussed here:

  • Ensure safe parking conditions and engage your vehicle’s ignition to the ‘Run’ position without starting the engine.
  • Navigate through your vehicle’s digital menu, focusing on the ‘Settings’ and ‘Vehicle’ options.
  • Locate and understand the importance of the ‘Oil Life’ indicator.
  • Initiate and confirm the reset of the oil life, aligning the vehicle’s electronic readings with its physical state.
  • Regularly monitor your oil life, staying informed about your engine’s lubrication status and upcoming oil changes.

This simple yet critical operation will allow you to keep a close eye on your engine’s lubrication, promoting its longevity.

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