Oil Life Indicator

oil

#1

My 2007 Honda CR-V has an Oil Life Indicator. When it reads 15%, the oil and filter should be changed. I know that one criteria used to measure the remaining oil life is highway vs other types of driving. My question is if the indicator is smart enough to measure other “extreme usage” factors. For example, I occasionaly carry a canoe on top of the car. Does the oil life indicator know that I am now driving under an extreme condition and adjust the percent of usage accordingly?


#2

It must be a heavy canoe.

No, the oil life indicator does not know if you’re driving with a canoe on the roof. Read your owner’s manual for clarification. If you’re uncertain, just use the severe use schedule.


#3

It bases the oil life on inputs/parameters from your vehicle computer. True highway driving is pretty consistent speeds with few shifts in the automatic transmission which is easy detectable. If you are driving in the city it will know the start/stop conditions and if short trip by engine temperature.

I seriously doubt a canoe makes “extreme driving” unless it causes your vehicle to downshift to overcome the increased friction.


#4

It is possible, just barely, that the computer may also incorporate data from the knock sensor to detect periods of engine loading. But why should it matter? All of this electronic feedback really can’t tell the actual state of your oil. And you can be sure the programmers will alert you to an oil change long before your oil the car really needs it.

The gadget should not be taken too seriously. It’s there mainly for the naive owners who pay no attention to miles driven or to maintenance schedules. Conscientious owners can ignore it and go by the odometer if they prefer.