Honda Odyssey Oil Life Reset (Step By Step Method)

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Do you even know what the oil life indicator does? This mechanism is part of the car’s maintenance reminder system. The icon keeps you apprised of the engine oil’s quality. In other words, it has nothing to do with the oil level.

Scott Honda describes ‘Oil Life’ as a mechanism that monitors the motor oil’s lubricating ability. The percentage will reduce over time as you drive the vehicle until your car crosses a threshold where it becomes unsafe to drive. At this point, the system will encourage you to take action.

How To Interpret ‘Oil Life’ Percentage?

  • At 15 percent, the service is due soon. Make plans to take your vehicle to the garage for service.
  • At 5 percent, you must take your vehicle for service now.
  • At 0 percent, you have crossed a dangerous limit. Service is overdue.

Try to remember the following:

  • You want the indicator to show 100 percent. You see this percentage when you add fresh oil. The percentage decline soon after because of pollutants like dirt.
  • Many people panic when the ‘Oil Life’ percentage falls to 15 percent. But that isn’t an appropriate reaction. 15 percent is simply a reminder that your oil will require changing in the near future, but not now.
  • The ‘Oil Life’ indicator will appear whenever you switch the ignition on once you reach 15 percent. You will also see the maintenance minder indicator. But the car is still safe. The oil has degraded, but not to the point where it threatens your life. You can change the oil immediately if you wish. However, you can also afford to wait a little longer.
  • The engine oil life indicator will start blinking at 0 percent. The maintenance minder indicator will also become a permanent feature on the dashboard. This is where you worry because service is overdue.
  • If you neglect your car’s service, you will see negative mileage on the dashboard. It will blink once you’ve driven 10 miles or more.
  • At 0 percent, you can’t remove the maintenance minder indicator by changing the information display.

Resetting The Honda Odyssey Oil Life Indicator

Once you take the car to a garage for service, the mechanic will reset this meter. However, if you change the oil at home, you can perform an oil life reset using these steps:

  • Turn the ignition on.
  • Press ‘SEL/RESET.’ The goal is to scroll through the options until you see ‘Engine Oil Life.’ In other words, you must press this button repeatedly. Whether you use a button on the steering wheel or a knob on the dashboard depends on the model.
  • Press ‘SEL/RESET.’
  • Hold this button for ten seconds. Wait for the engine oil indicator light to blink.
  • Release the button and press it again, holding it for five or more seconds. This will reset the meter to 100.

You can watch this video to know more in detail!

Don’t Confuse Oil Life and Oil Pressure

The oil life indicator is not the oil pressure indicator. Some people confuse the two. The oil pressure indicator is red and looks like a genie’s lamp. The lamp has an oil drop coming out of the spout.

You see it when you first turn the ignition switch on, but it disappears soon after when the engine starts. This icon will only persist in a running car when the engine loses oil pressure. You can drive a car with a blinking oil life indicator without attracting significant side effects. However, a persistent oil pressure indicator should worry you because you may damage the engine.

Does The Resetting Method Change With The Model?

The resetting method is mostly the same. The differences are too small to matter in the long run.

ModelResetting Method
1995 – 2004These models will display ‘Maint Reqd.’ Turn the ignition off. Press ‘Select/Reset’ and hold it. Turn the ignition on. Don’t stop holding ‘Select/Reset.’ Don’t start the engine. Most people hold the button for ten seconds, but you can hold it until the meter resets.
2005 – 2017These models display a wrench icon. Turn the ignition on without starting the engine. Press ‘SEL/RESET’ repeatedly. Cycle through the options until you find ‘Oil Life %.’Hold ‘SEL/RESET’ for ten seconds. Release the button when the screen blinks. Press ‘SEL/RESET’ and hold it for five seconds. Release the button or stem when the code disappears.
2018 – 2021Go to settings on the touchscreen. Select ‘Vehicle.’ Select ‘Maintenance Information. ’Select ‘Oil and Filter.’ Select ‘Reset.’ Tap it again for confirmation.

As you can see, newer models are the most distinct because they have a sophisticated touchscreen that gives consumers access to a variety of functions and features. Older models are similar.

You use ‘SEL/RESET’ to find and reset the oil life percentage. Some cars use a button on the steering wheel. Others have a stem on the display. But the way you use them doesn’t change. The touchscreen is more appealing because it is intuitive. Even if you’ve never reset an oil life indicator, you can figure things out without help.

Why Do I Need To Reset Oil Life?

The oil life indicator keeps you apprised of the amount of life left in the oil. It will alert you when you need to change the oil. It does this by showing a percentage that slowly declines as time passes.

The indicator starts at 100 percent because your oil is fresh. Over the weeks and months, you will see it fall until it hits 0 percent. At this point, you need to take the car for service. But what happens when a mechanic changes your oil?

You can’t just drive out of the garage because your indicator is still at 0 percent. It will continue to warn you to take the car for service. You avoid this problem by resetting the indicator. Resetting takes the meter back to 100 percent. What if the gauge refuses to reset? You can blame the following:

  • The reset switch is defective.
  • The reset switch has dirty contacts.
  • You don’t know how to reset the oil life indicator. The method you’re using is not correct. Check the manual to confirm that you followed the appropriate procedure. Match the resetting method to the model.
  • Are you sure your car has an oil life indicator? Maybe you misinterpreted the icons on the dashboard? Again, you should check the manual to confirm.

Don’t tamper with the Honda Odyssey’s electrical system in an effort to fix the glitch in the oil reset mechanism. Unless you have experience with fixing a car’s electrical system, call a professional.

What happens If I Don’t Reset Oil Life?

In truth, you don’t have to reset the oil life indicator. To be more specific, the car will continue to run even if you forget to reset the indicator. However, the consequences will catch up to you in the long run.

In the beginning, not resetting the oil life indicator will inconvenience you because you have no way of knowing whether or not you need to change the oil. The indicator simplifies this process by alerting you when the oil degrades.

But it can’t perform this function unless you reset it. If you don’t know any better, the indicator may trick you into thinking the car needs another oil change even though you just performed one.

You may waste money on frequent oil changes when you don’t need them. But if you ignore the oil life indicator’s alerts, you may forget to change the oil altogether. The oil is a lubricant that protects the engine’s parts from wear and tear.

If you forget to change it, the car will become less efficient because the oil is too dirty to lubricate the engine. Don’t be surprised if the engine overheats and blows a gasket. You are better off resetting the oil life indicator.

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