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Understanding the Ram Oil Change Indicator and Service Indicator Lights

Understanding Ram Service Indicator Lights - view of a Ram’s instrument panel with check engine light on

Performing all scheduled and recommended maintenance on your Ram is imperative to keep it running well, so you can avoid the many untimely, inconvenient, and possibly expensive repairs that come from neglect. Luckily, the days of the standardized manual maintenance schedule are coming to an end. When the “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED” light is triggered on the dashboard, the owner knows to take vehicle in for servicing as soon as possible, or as Ram recommends, within 500 miles, giving the owner plenty of time to respond to the vehicle’s maintenance needs.

Smart technology, like Ram’s Oil Change Indicator, automatically monitors the oil life in your vehicle using advanced algorithm and an on-board computer system that alerts owners when it’s time for an oil change, so they can address the issue promptly and without hassle. All the owner has to do is schedule an appointment with a trusted mechanic, take the vehicle in for servicing, and a mechanic will take care of the rest.

How the Ram Oil Change Indicator works and what to expect

The Ram Oil Change Indicator system is not a simple oil quality sensor, but a software-based, algorithm-driven device that takes into account various operating conditions of the engine - the engine size, engine revolutions, and even ethanol levels in the fuel - to determine when the oil needs changing. That said, the computer does not strictly track mileage or the condition of the oil, but also tracks certain driving habits that can affect the life of the oil, as well as driving conditions such as temperature and driving terrain. Lighter, more moderate driving conditions and temperatures will require less frequent oil changes and maintenance, while more severe driving conditions will require more frequent oil changes and maintenance. Read the table below to see how the Oil Change Indicator system determines oil life.


  • Note: Engine oil life is dependent not only on the factors listed above, but also on your specific vehicle model, year, and what type of oil is recommended. Check the owner’s manual for more information about what oil is recommended for your vehicle, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our experienced professionals for advice.

Some Ram models have a percentage-based indicator that counts down the oil life as a percentage. Once the information display number reduces from 100% (fresh oil) to 15% (dirty oil), an “OIL CHANGE REQUIRED” light will be trigged on the dashboard information display, giving you ample time to plan ahead to have your vehicle serviced. Every time you start the engine, the engine oil percentage will be displayed. When the information display number reaches 0%, the oil life is over and you begin accumulating negative miles that tell you your vehicle is past due for servicing. Remember: if the vehicle racks up significant negative mileage, the engine is increasingly at risk of damage.

The following will automatically display on your dashboard once your engine oil reaches a certain level of usage: Understanding Ram Service Indicator Lights - WHEN TO CHANGE THE OIL IN A RAM

When your vehicle is ready for an oil change, Ram has a recommended list of scheduled maintenance items that coincide with the mileage accrued: Understanding Ram Service Indicator Lights - RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE BY MILEAGE FOR A RAM 1 Understanding Ram Service Indicator Lights - RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE BY MILEAGE FOR A RAM 2 Understanding Ram Service Indicator Lights - RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE BY MILEAGE FOR A RAM 3 Understanding Ram Service Indicator Lights - RECOMMENDED MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE BY MILEAGE FOR A RAM 4

After your oil change and servicing is complete, you might need to reset the Oil Change Indicator system in your Ram. Learn how to do this by following the directions below:

Step 1: Insert key into the ignition and turn key to “ON” position. Do this without starting the engine.

Step 2: Slowly depress the accelerator pedal three times in succession. This must be done in under ten seconds.

Step 3: Turn the ignition switch to “LOCK”. The system should be reset. If the system has not reset, repeat Steps 1-2.

While the engine oil percentages are calculated according to an algorithm that takes into account driving styles and other specific driving conditions, other maintenance information is based on standard time tables like in old-school maintenance schedules, located in the owner’s manual. This does not mean Ram drivers should ignore such alerts. Proper maintenance service will greatly extend the life of a vehicle, ensuring it is reliable, safe to drive, covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, and it also provides a greater resale value.

Such maintenance tasks should always be performed by a qualified technician. If you have any doubts as to what the Ram Oil Change Indicator system means or what services your vehicle may need, do not hesitate to contact our experienced professionals for advice.

If your Ram’s Oil Change Indicator system is indicating that your vehicle is ready for servicing, have it checked out by a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic. Click here, choose your vehicle and service or service package, and book an appointment with us today. One of our certified mechanics will come to your home or office to service your vehicle.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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