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"Check oil" light on (Impala)

My son rented this used Impala. There is a dashboard warning light “check oil”. The oil on the dipstick is somewhat overfull and rather dirty. Does anyone know what this warning means? Could it be, in its own damaged and incompetent way, trying to urge an oil change? Or is it something else?

Just tell your son to return the rented used vehicle and let them worry about it.

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Yeah, but the return place is 200 miles away.

Probably just a failed oil level sensor in the side of the oil pan.

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Your son could change oil for $20?

At least call the rental place and ask them what they want done : drive it , change oil or park it.

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You’re thinking it’s not an oil pressure warning or oil level warning, but instead a message that the engine simply needs an oil and filter change?

It would help if we knew the model year. Then we could look online, at the owner’s manual

Yup, without the year. model, engine, and options it’s only possible to make wild guesses.

I agree with Volvo. Your son should call the rental place and let them tell you how they want to handle it. It isn’t your son’s problem, and I strongly urge him not to get the oil changed or take any action whatsoever on his own. If he does, and it turns out that the drain plug is stripped or some other problem exists, he could be screwed for hundreds of dollars.

He could even insist that they bring a replacement vehicle to him. He’s paying for a reliable rental… the rental agency has not fulfilled their part of the agreement.


Just to be clear, the oil is not low. In fact it is slightly overfull.
We don’t know the year.

Then I would have your son contact the rental agency as suggested by several posters above.

It’s also possible that the rental agency will direct your son to take the vehicle to the nearest dealer and make arrangements to pay the dealer directly for whatever is necessary.

If your son takes action on his own, he may end up accepting financial responsibility for any results. I again recommend his not doing so.


There should be a registration certificate and/or an insurance certificate in the glove compartment.
Surely those documents would list the make, model, and model year of the vehicle.

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Pop the hood

The underhood emissions label will list the model year and engine size, among other things

I’m with Volvo_V70 here. Life is too short. Ask the rental car company to deliver you a replacement. Promise to post a great review for their great service. And then do so.

If it is the amber oil check light, that means check the oil level. The sensor is probably stuck or the wire came off. If the oil level is good, don’t worry about it. He can report it when he returns the vehicle.