5% Oil Life Remaining (Meaning, Miles Left, Safety)

5 oil life acura, honda, ford, chevrolet, jeep

Once the oil indicator in your car reaches 5%, things become a little more daring and you might want to start making a plan for an oil change. At 5% oil, your vehicle is close to running out of oil, but it is still no need to severely panic.

What Does 5% Oil Life Left Mean?

The oil indicator works with a sensor that is located in the oil tank of your vehicle. The sensor measures the oil left in the tank and this is transmitted to the ECU. The ECU will light up on the dashboard and show you that you only have 5% oil left.

At 5% oil life, your vehicle could still do about 500 miles depending on the vehicle you are driving. For bigger engines, the oil consumption would be slightly higher, which means that oil will evaporate at a much faster rate in your vehicle. While many people should not have any concerns at 10% oil life, it becomes slightly more urgent once you get closer to 5% oil life.

Can You Drive On 5 Oil Life?

You should be able to drive your vehicle at 5% oil life for a few miles. Generally, this should be the time when you drive to the dealership or consider buying new oil to perform the oil change at home. Yes, those with basic mechanical skills can drain the oil at home and replace it as needed.

Read 0% Oil Life (It’s Meaning, Safety, Associate Danger)

Is Oil Life 5% Bad?

Some tests on certain vehicles have indicated that 5% oil life will have adverse effects on your performance. In many cases, the vehicle might go into limp mode and some VW models have been prone to going into limp mode.

The limp mode does not mean you cannot drive the vehicle, but it hinders the vehicle from optimal performance. The oil will still heat up and lubricate all the necessary components, but there might not be enough oil reaching these different components. Limp mode is the way the vehicle prevents the engine from damaging itself.

How Far Can You Drive On 5 Oil Life?

You can drive 300-500 miles on 5% oil life.

In general, the distance you can drive would depend on a few different things. You must look at these different factors to ensure that you understand what is going on with the vehicle when the 5% oil indicator comes on. Here are some of the things that would affect how far you could drive on 5% oil:

Car Model

One of the first things is the model of your vehicle. If you consider a brand like Honda, you will notice that the manual would recommend far more regular oil changes than a Chevrolet. While the manual does not always paint the full picture, it is best to use the manual as part of your guidance on when to perform certain actions for your car.

Engine Size

Whether you believe it or not, the engine size does have a significant impact on how often you should change your oil. Bigger engines like the V8s will heat plenty of oil that is needed to lubricate most of the components. These components also work much harder when the engine is being pushed to the maximum.

Driving Style

One thing that people often forget about is the driving style of the person controlling the vehicle. If you like to rev the car more or run up the RPM, you will be placing a lot of strain on the engine. This means that the car would need more oil to ensure all the components are adequately lubricated for performance.

Type Of Oil Used

There are two different types of oil that you could use to lubricate your engine. One of these forms is conventional oil. Conventional oil is more natural and does not contain many additives. Additionally, you could use synthetic oil. Synthetic oil has more additives that could help the oil be preserved for slightly longer.

Synthetic oil is more expensive, but it certainly offers you all the benefits of saving money in the longer term. Synthetic oil should last you a little bit longer when your oil life indicator is only 5%. The differences would vary when taking into account some of the previous aspects as well.

What To Do After The 5% Oil Remaining Is Showing In Your Car?

You should certainly not panic and understand that you could still do a minimum of at least 300 miles on the 5% oil life indicator. One of the main ways you could use the indicator is to start booking an oil change or prepare to do it at home.

The 5% light should be used as a warning sign and you might want to consider finding someone reliable.

If you can drain the oil efficiently and clean all the filters at home, you can consider replacing the conventional oil in your car with synthetic oil. It should ultimately give you more driving range and reduce the frequency of these changes.

Is Oil Life 5 Percent The Same For Different Car Brands

If you look at the indicator, you have to refer back to how it works. Generally, it will be a sensor located in the oil tank that indicates the level. The sensor might not be installed the same for each vehicle. Additionally, the coding in the ECU might also vary.

If you look at Honda, you will find that they get about half the miles on an oil change as opposed to Ford. This means that when the 5% oil life indicator comes on in your Honda, it is much more urgent that you replace the oil.

Most American brands like Jeep and Chevrolet are designed to warn you of the low oil far ahead of time. The main reason behind this is that you have more time to find someone to do the oil change. Many Jeep and Chevrolet vehicles will state in the manual that you should replace the oil at the latest every 7,500 miles.

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