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#4593000 - 12/03/17 12:31 PM Oil "Life" Indicator
HouseTiger Offline


Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 164
Loc: Georgia, USA
A board search revealed nothing specifically on this, so here goes:

Wife's car, 2006 Ford 500, 3L V6. Runs 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum (at least until my supply runs out). It has an oil life sensor that puts a message on the dash to the effect of "Hey, you, change your oil". Usually it's around the 3000 mile mark. When we've done longer road trips, the sensor has gone as long as 5000 miles. This time it came on with 0% oil life at 2,850 miles.

The car gets mostly urban stop/go driving (north suburban Atlanta), so I know that type of driving is hard on oil, but I find it difficult to accept that Pennzoil synthetic (or any good synthetic oil for that matter) would actually go south at 3,000 miles.

Assuming (cautiously) that the car's computer can't tell synthetic from non-synthetic oil, what sort of formula are these 'computer monitors' using to calculate 'oil life' ??

Thanks in advance.

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#4593004 - 12/03/17 12:36 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
Patman Offline



Registered: 05/27/02
Posts: 20249
Loc: Oakville, Ontario
Most of them use engine rpm and oil temperature to determine oil life. If you drive harder (higher rpms) the monitor counts down faster. Same with high oil temps, those will make the monitor count down to zero faster as well. The new Corvettes add another factor, time. I don't think many oil life monitors use this factor yet, the previous two generations of Corvette didn't. The monitor in the new Corvettes will continue counting down to zero even when not driven (for instance if you store it for 6 months after resetting the monitor to 100%, it will say 50% after those six months are up), so that it never lets you get beyond the one year point.
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2010 BMW 328i X-Drive (GC 0w40 & Mann)


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#4593008 - 12/03/17 12:42 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
Danh Offline


Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1707
Loc: .
My 2005 Ford product also had an oil life monitor. This generation was not "intelligent" but was simply counted down based on a 6 month, 5,000 mile (whichever comes first) interval. Yours may be the same. If so, I'd bet the 2,850 mile mark coincided with 6 months after the last oil change.

And you're right: Intelligent oil life monitors have no idea what brand/type/grade of oil is in the sump but simply deplete oil life based on an algorithm using factors such as engine revs, number of cold starts, coolant temperature and a bunch of others.

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#4593010 - 12/03/17 12:43 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: Patman]
HouseTiger Offline


Registered: 04/16/17
Posts: 164
Loc: Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: Patman
Most of them use engine rpm and oil temperature to determine oil life. If you drive harder (higher rpms) the monitor counts down faster. Same with high oil temps, those will make the monitor count down to zero faster as well.


Ahhh, makes perfect sense. Run higher revs accelerating to traffic speed, idling in traffic tends to run hotter. Cruising at highway speed it rarely goes over 2000 rpm, but accelerating, 2500, sometime 3000 is not unusual in Atlanta traffic . . . then there's sitting in traffic with the AC going. The picture is much clearer. Thank you.

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#4593017 - 12/03/17 12:55 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
Warstud Offline


Registered: 09/02/05
Posts: 5183
Loc: MIchigan
Originally Posted By: HouseTiger
3L V6. Runs 5W30 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum...."Hey, you, change your oil". Usually it's around the 3000 mile mark.

It's assuming your using Dino Oil....I would reset the monitor and change between 50%-25% since your using Ultra.

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#4593024 - 12/03/17 01:07 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 13516
Loc: Illinois
My 2017 Fusion has one but I totally ignore it.
_________________________
2007 Ford Fusion 224,000 miles
M1 0-20 EP
2017 Ford Fusion 47K
M1 0-20 EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and MC LV
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters


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#4593035 - 12/03/17 01:15 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: tig1]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 9732
Loc: OH
Originally Posted By: tig1
My 2017 Fusion has one but I totally ignore it.


Do you go over on miles compared to what it tells you? Since you do 10k oil changes.
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2012 Toyota Camry 72k-Idemitsu 0w20,OEM filter, RT43s.
2005 Toyota Matrix 135k miles - VWB 5w30 conv, Valvoline oil filter. Nokian eNTYRES.

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#4593041 - 12/03/17 01:21 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
car51 Offline


Registered: 03/12/15
Posts: 9784
Loc: Southwest PA
He probably doesnít since he does 10,000 ociís and has for years

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#4593170 - 12/03/17 03:46 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
NormanBuntz Offline


Registered: 07/27/13
Posts: 2012
Loc: Outer Banks, NC
Using Pennzoil synthetic, I'd say you should change every 6-7K miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Basically just use the OLM as a guide, not like the bible.
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"What is it, the first hole I dug?"
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#4593173 - 12/03/17 03:56 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
OneEyeJack Offline


Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 7395
Loc: S California
I purchased my first new car in 1966. It was a great car, had electric lights and a self-starter but no info screen. In those days many people still changed their oil at 2K miles and those that believed in extended interval oil changes went all the way to 3K miles.

While driving down the several mile dirt road that constituted my driveway on a nice day and hit the 2K mile interval, came to a stop and changed my oil. And yes, I had the oil, filter and drain pan with me. Why would I not?

Today I do 10K intervals, leave the oil, filter and drain pan at home and tolerate going under/over several hundred miles so that I can change my oil at home and not down some dirt road. My current cars might suffer but that's life in this new age of improved oil (lol).

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#4593193 - 12/03/17 04:21 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
Danh Offline


Registered: 10/16/10
Posts: 1707
Loc: .
Originally Posted By: HouseTiger
Originally Posted By: Patman
Most of them use engine rpm and oil temperature to determine oil life. If you drive harder (higher rpms) the monitor counts down faster. Same with high oil temps, those will make the monitor count down to zero faster as well.


Ahhh, makes perfect sense. Run higher revs accelerating to traffic speed, idling in traffic tends to run hotter. Cruising at highway speed it rarely goes over 2000 rpm, but accelerating, 2500, sometime 3000 is not unusual in Atlanta traffic . . . then there's sitting in traffic with the AC going. The picture is much clearer. Thank you.


Except your oil life monitor is not "intelligent" and uses none of these metrics. It simply counts down mileage and time using the 5,000 mile/6 month service interval Ford specifies for your car. Operating conditions play no role.

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#4593196 - 12/03/17 04:21 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3801
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
the OLM in my 2009 Sable, isn't intelligent either. with my normal commute(4.5mi each way to work, avg speed limit 45mph) basically counts down 1% per day.
if I do some highway it will extend, but it basically wants me to change oil every 100 days.

I've been doing 6 mo/5k mi oci's(usually hit 6 mos first). I'm tempted to take this current fill of Synpower out to a year... maybe pull a sample at 6 mos for a UOA.... though that will be in mid feb...

(I have Forscan, checked the settings,and it is set for 6mo/5000mi)
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#4593201 - 12/03/17 04:23 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: tig1]
4WD Offline


Registered: 09/21/10
Posts: 5961
Loc: Texas/International
Originally Posted By: tig1
My 2017 Fusion has one but I totally ignore it.


Fordís Black Box is watching you Tig wink
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2014 Fusion Hybrid
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#4593288 - 12/03/17 05:31 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: HouseTiger]
splinter Offline


Registered: 07/01/13
Posts: 1204
Loc: Dana Point, CA
Originally Posted By: HouseTiger
...0% oil life at 2,850 miles.

Kinda like my owner's manuals from 30 years ago in spite of all our 'technological advancements' with respect to such matters.
_________________________
M1 0W-40
T6 5W-40
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#4593322 - 12/03/17 06:19 PM Re: Oil "Life" Indicator [Re: SatinSilver]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 13516
Loc: Illinois
Originally Posted By: SatinSilver
Originally Posted By: tig1
My 2017 Fusion has one but I totally ignore it.


Do you go over on miles compared to what it tells you? Since you do 10k oil changes.


Yes. The OLM came on in Kansas when we returned from Colorado. I re-set it the first stop after it came on. I will be changing at 40K for a 10K OCI.
_________________________
2007 Ford Fusion 224,000 miles
M1 0-20 EP
2017 Ford Fusion 47K
M1 0-20 EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and MC LV
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters


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