Oil change reminder

We bought a new 2010 Civic in January and have just under 6000 miles on it. I changed the oil and filter in March at 3000 miles, no oil change reminder light came on. I’m just about to change the oil and filter (this weekend) at 6000 and guess what? The oil change “Engine Oil Life Display” came on, indicating 15% of oil life left. We drove the car almost exactly the same for all 6 months/6000 miles. I specifically remember the salesman at the dealer telling me that the new Civic has “a sophisticated computer which monitors your driving, miles and hours driven, driving habits and the like” and will tell me when to change the oil. My query is . . . was my early oil and filter change premature, or is this “sophisticated computer monitoring system” simply clocking off miles and tells me to change at 7500 miles. I understand this area to be a genuine can of worms. Rocketman

The oil change monitor doesnt know when you change the oil. The monitor has to be reset every time you change the oil. Just continue to change the oil regularly like you are doing but reset the monitor every time you change it. The owners manual should tell you how to reset it.


It looks like the sophisticated computer did not catch the oil change you did at 3000 miles. I believe the unit has to be RESET after an oil change., so it then starts from 0 miles on the new oil. I think you computer has 6000 miles still in its memory and 15% remaining would be about right, although 1500/7500=20%, to be exact.

The computer compiles the miles, starts and stops, has some ambient temperature input, etc. It does not measure the actual qualities of the oil.

See you dealer’s tech, not the salesman on how to reset the computer.

Some oil change reminders are also mileage changeable . My 06 Escape hybrid will let you tell it how many miles to set it.

It’s simply a static timer ( like setting your alarm for 9 but waking up at 8, it doesn’t have a clue ) and you get to adjust your personal oil changes as you know you should. ( sooner under severe conditions, later under mild conditions )

I have heard of some developing technology, oil condition monitor system, to baby sit the ‘‘drive it till it breaks’’ users out there.
But I don’t know of any in use yet.
How 'bout youall ?

The computer has an algorithm program that takes into account the conditions the engine is operated under. From this the computer program determines when the oil should be changed. These algorithm programs were tested on an engine on a dynamometer and through engine oil analysis to determine the useful life of the oil.

However, these algorithm programs don’t take into account if the oil becomes contaminated from another source other than normal engine operation. Such as a fuel leak into the oil from a defective fuel pressure regulator or fuel injector or if the oil becomes contaminated from an internal coolant leak. And if one waits until the oil reminder light comes with these contaminates in the oil it can destroy the engine.

I’m of the belief that if I own a vehicle it’s my decision when the oil should be changed. Not when a computer tells me when the oil should be changed.


It it were my Civic, I would change the oil when the light comes on. Then I might shorten the interval a little bit. Since your light came on at 6,000 miles, I might change the oil every 5,000 miles, unless the light comes on sooner than that. You might never see that light again if you remember to reset it when you do your oil changes.

Until the vehicle manufacturers come up with a reliable clock or tire pressure monitoring system I will continue to change my oil on my schedule and disregard the computer. Algorithmic programs work perfectly on paper but in the real world they come up short in a lot of areas including vehicle engines.

I have an OLM system and I ignore it. I’m a 3-5,000 miles kind of a person and I just do that. Sometimes I reset the light when I change the oil. Sometimes I don’t. Whenever it comes on it comes on. I ignore it and eventually reset it so it will stop turning the big yellow light on. To me its just a nuisance to be ignored.

Actually, the clocks on both of my current cars are completely reliable and quite accurate. One of them even knows what time zone it is in. The clock in my 73 was reliable, it just wasn’t accurate. I can’t remember for the 85, but everything since then has been reliable and accurate. I haven’t had a car with TPS yet, apart from a rental.
Yes, the algorithm to say when to change the oil is just a guess, but it’s a better guess than the manual saying to change it every X thousand miles.