2012 Acura TL oil warning/oil life

Hello, I bought my car about 3weeks ago and a warning of low oil popped up on my screen. It’s a 2012 Acura TL SH AWD. It’s obviously burning oil quickly. Also, the little screen in front of the steering wheel says oil life is 90%. Is 90% ok or do I need to add oil? What is an ‘ok’ oil life percentage? Thanks so much in advance!

A. You need to check the oil level with the dipstick at least weekly. Add sufficient oil to bring it to the full mark.
B. The message might have been low oil pressure warning.
C. The 90% reading is the remaking oil life remaining , when it reaches 0% you must change the oil. I change mine at 15-20% oil life remaining.

There is the possibility the oil pressure sensor is failing. But that does not absolve you of the responsibility to check the oil level.


Agree with everything @Purebred posted!

You also should read your owners manual so you know what these lights and warnings mean. Especially the red lights and lights that flash. Both mean you should pull over as quickly as is safe and stop the car and engine.

If you don’t have a manual, you can get a PDF version here for free.

You are confusing oil LEVEL and oil LIFE.
If the oil’s “life” is at 90%, it means that the oil needs to be changed very soon.
On the other hand, if the oil level is low, the engine could self-destruct before you can even get to a shop to have the oil changed.

Step#1: Lift hood and check the dipstick
Step#2: If–as I strongly suspect–the oil level is low, you need to replenish it before starting the engine again. Be sure to use the same oil grade/type/viscosity that is listed in the Owner’s Manual.

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No no no. It means that 10% of the oil life has been used and 90% is left. I usually changed oil at 50% left in my TL but some people like to let it get down to 5% or zero. I don’t recall anymore if my 2012 TL had a low oil warning or not. It never used any oil or not. You will have to check the oil level with the dipstick. If it is in fact down a quart, you have an oil burner or a leak and no good will come of it. If the message is low oil pressure, that is also an indication of doom and if true the engine will not last longer. So you really need to read the manual and the specific message you are getting. If low oil or low pressure, it needs to go to a shop for evaluation, now. If you would have bought my TL, it would have been in perfect condition with no oil usage and oil changed every 5000 miles.

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I stand corrected in regard to “oil life”, as my car doesn’t have that technology. :thinking:
However, I am very concerned that the OP’s oil level is low, and that he could wind-up destroying the engine.

That engine shared with MDX is known to consume oil in 2010-2013 year range. You need to immediately check the oil level.

See this: https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/tsbs/2019/MC-10153886-0001.pdf

I hope your is not a burner. My brother has 2013 MDX and he dumps a quart in every 1100 miles :frowning: Acura did not cover a fix(replace pistons) under their consumption test. They put a sticker over fill hole and also the drain plug to perform test over a time period.

His new trunk accessory is a case of Walmart SuperTech :slight_smile: