Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Do I need to change my oil if it's at 60% oil life?

asked by on

My recommended service change was at 100,250 miles, but my oil life on my dashboard says 60%. Can I wait a bit longer to change the oil? What are the risks of waiting longer?

My car has 100300 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is a lot of mixed information about the service life of oil. There are many factors that have an effect on oil life.

Most newer cars like yours are equipped with oil life monitors. Some go by mileage, and some are more dynamic and take into account temperature, how hard the engine is pushed, and more. Some other factors are the age and condition of the engine, and where you live plays a role. If it’s all flat and not in the city, you can stretch it to 6 or 7 thousand miles. If it’s hilly, or city driving, 5K at the most.

Full synthetic oils last much longer than conventional. Now that you have 100,000 miles, I would shorten the interval. Your engine might be using a little more oil now, so check the level once or twice between changes. If the oil level is low, the remaining oil degrades much quicker. It’s always the last thousand miles, or running low on oil, that oil sludge develops. Once it is there, it can not be removed without an engine rebuild.

Summary: I wouldn’t go past 20% oil life remaining. That’s probably around 4 to 5K. Check your oil at least once a month. So your answer is yes, you can wait. Some shops still say 3K or 3 months. That is just a waste. Make sure the monitor is reset every time the oil is changed and I would change it between 40 and 20 percent.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Can you use a California emission fuel pump or will federal fuel pump work

Depending on your state, this should normally not be an issue as a California fuel pump and Federal fuel pump both run the same amount of fuel pressure. The issue is whether or not you live in California. If you...

Q: what problems could occur if the wrong oil is used.

Hello. There are many things that could happen if the wrong oil is used in a vehicle. The oil may be too thin or thick to be sucked up into the oil pump, which will cause your engine to suffer...

Q: What is the cost for full synthetic oil and filter change, lube vehicle, and top all fluids?

Billing question sent to CS for the cost for a full synthetic oil and filter change, lubricate the vehicle, and to top off all fluids

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...