Honda Oil Life Percentage – What is it, Is it Accurate & How Do I Reset It?

The Honda Oil Life Percentage Indicator is useful for many different reasons. Here you will learn what it is, if it's accurate, and how you can reset it yourself

Honda Oil Life Percentage

Everyone understands the value of regular car maintenance, but trying to figure out how often it needs to be done can be more challenging. Some automakers attempt to take the guesswork out of it with specialized tools. The Honda Oil Life Percentage is one such tool.

We take a closer look at the Honda Oil Life Percentage Indicator to determine how it benefits your life. This guide also looks at how accurate it is and shows you the best way to reset it. 

What Is The Honda Oil Life Percentage Indicator?

The Honda Oil Life Percentage Indicator tells drivers when the oil quality has degraded and requires a change. It counts down the percentage of the oil quality, meaning that 100% is completely new oil. As it hits drastically lower quality levels, a light comes on, indicating it’s time to change the oil. 

Getting regular oil changes is essential to keeping the engine running its best. In general, people can keep track of the mileage to determine when it’s time again, but many people overlook the maintenance because they become busy. 

With the Honda Oil Life Indicator, drivers are reminded when the time is drawing near, ensuring that it never gets overlooked again. Instead of relying on the odometer reading and date, the indicator lets you know when service is required. 

The Honda Oil Light doesn’t just run on mileage. It also evaluates the current condition of the oil, ensuring that changes are only performed when the time is right. 

RELATED: Honda vs Toyota – Which is More Reliable?

How Accurate is the Honda Oil Life Percentage?

Honda isn’t using a new algorithm to determine when the oil needs to be changed. In fact, it’s very similar to the other systems that are offered by some of the top car manufacturers.

This Oil Life Monitor remains fairly accurate and is often more conservative than it needs to be. Therefore, if the regular oil changes are set up for 7,000 miles and the indicator is saying you can go longer, it’s probably just due to you changing the way you drive or where you are traveling. If you’ve moved from driving in the city to spending more time on the highway, the mileage could easily be extended.

However, there are also times when the system gets reset. When this happens, it could believe that you recently got an oil change even though you didn’t. This could cause the system to become inaccurate.

On the plus side, when the system works, it can help you save a lot of money. For example, if your car should have the oil changed every 5,000 miles, it doesn’t mean that it always needs one at that time. By blinding changing the oil by mileage, you could be getting rid of perfectly good oil that could have gone longer. This costs you more in the long run and forces you to spend more time on car maintenance than necessary. With the maintenance minder systems, the mileage isn’t the only factor, ensuring that the oil only gets changed when it actually needs it. 

RELATED: What is Honda’s Econ Button? (When to Use it & When Not)

How to Reset Honda Oil Life Percentage

The steps to reset the oil life percentage system will vary based on what year and model you drive. You can find the specific directions in your car owner’s manual. However, here are a few basic steps to follow.

  1. Turn the key in the ignition to the ON position. Don’t start the engine.
  2. There’s either a knob on the dash or a button on the steering wheel that allows you to Select/Reset. Push this button and scroll or select the options until you get to “Engine Oil Indicator %” or “Engine Oil Life.”
  3. Hold the Select/Reset button down for ten seconds. You should see the Engine Oil Percentage Indicator blinking. Once the display shows “Engine Oil Life,” you want to push the Info Button to enter Reset Mode.
  4. After you enter Reset mode, you can once again push the Select/Reset button and the engine oil life should return to 100%, indicating that you just had an oil change.

You only need to know how to do this if you perform your own Honda oil changes. If you take your vehicle to the dealership for maintenance and service, the technicians will reset it as part of the appointment. If they don’t, you can take it back and have them do it.

Oil Pressure Indicator vs. Oil Life Percentage

Many people get confused between the Oil Life Percentage and Oil Pressure Indicator. These two symbols are very different, even though they both deal with oil. While the Oil Life Percentage Indicator helps you know when it’s time for maintenance, the Oil Pressure Indicator tells you there is a problem.

This warning light features a red icon, similar to what a leaking oil can might look like. This light should never come on with the motor running. If the light starts flashing, the system is trying to tell you that the pressure has dropped low. If it goes off, the system has recovered. However, when the light stays lit, there is a loss of oil pressure that must be dealt with immediately. You must stop driving right away before severe engine damage occurs.