How Long After Oil Light Comes On (And Why)?

How Long After Oil Light Comes On (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Around 500 Miles

Generations of car owners have followed the mantra of changing the oil after traveling every three to four thousand miles to keep their car running smoothly. Millions of modern car owners still follow the same mantra without paying any attention to the model and make of their cars. Indeed, the windshield stickers advising you frequent oil changes don’t help a bit.

The oil in the car serves to lubricate the engine parts and take away heat from them. In this process, it also accumulates dirt and debris from the engine. Thus, it is crucial to change the oil when required or risk overheating the engine.

How Long After Oil Light Comes On

How Long After Oil Light Comes On?

Ideally, car owners should follow the oil changing schedule as mentioned in the owner’s manual. Since many people cannot read this manual due to time constraints, most go by whatever their mechanic tells them. Nowadays, cars come fitted with oil life monitors that automatically tell you when it is time for an oil change. So you can cut unreliable mechanics out of the equation. An oil change is one car service that you should not skip out on.

Most cars with conventional oils require an oil change after running for 5000-7500 miles. Now, auto manufacturers are switching to engines that require synthetic oils. These oils last longer and at most require changing at 15000 miles. They can better protect the engine from wear and tear, giving it a long life. However, the exact time that is required to change the oil depends on the car itself. Companies hire for providing traveling services are oiled late as they don’t want to invest any money.

engine Oil
Cost Of CarsTime For Lights To Come On
High Cost700-800 miles
Low Cost500 miles

The time for lights to come on after oiling depends on the car, whether luxurious or standard. Expensive cars go on for 700-800 miles after oiling. In contrast, cars that are cheaper and more used go on for 500 miles after oiling. It is crucial to know about the car before purchasing it, and a routine must be prepared for oiling and other things.

Why Does It Take That Long After Oiling Lights To Come On?

Various factors affect the time taken to change the oil. As previously stated, changing the oil from a car serving station will take you approximately fifteen minutes to an hour, depending on the number of cars being serviced. However, most car service stations offer their services in fifteen to twenty minutes when there is less traffic. When performing oil change by yourself, it will take approximately twenty-five minutes to half an hour if you are familiar with the entire process. However, if you are new to this, the process will take about forty-five minutes or more.

Since you estimate how long an oil change takes, knowing how to perform it at home is essential. By knowing how to perform oil change will save you time and money. Make sure that you open the oil pan’s drain bolt to flush out the oil. Before flushing out the oil, make sure you have placed a bucket under the oil pan’s drain bolt. Draining the oil will take a while; however, do not leave until the pan is empty. Replace the oil filter with a new one. Also, new seals should be used for both the oil filter and drain bolt. Once you are through with that, close the drain bolt. Always be careful when taking out the old oil filter since it is filled with oil.

engine Oil

It takes that long after oiling because the vehicle needs some time to get started, and lights come on when the oil pressure drops for some time. If not appropriately oiled, the car can stop abruptly, and an accident can occur.


Changing the oil in cars is a very straightforward process, and car owners neglect/forget to do the same. An engine’s good health and durable life depend heavily on the quality of motor oil being used. If good oil is used, then the car can travel for long distances.

On average, it takes around 500 miles for the lights to come on after oiling. Car owners should follow instructions in the user manual to find out the most suitable motor oil for their cars. When the monitoring system indicates the need for change, there should be a minimum delay.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. I appreciate the detailed explanation of the time taken for oil changes and the reasons behind it. This is valuable information.

    1. Fully agree. It’s refreshing to see an article that educates on the technical aspects of car maintenance.

  2. The cost of cars is an important factor to consider when deciding on the oil change interval. This article provides valuable insights.

    1. I appreciate how the article emphasizes the impact of using good quality oil on the car’s performance.

  3. This article provides valuable insight into why it takes some time after oiling for the lights to come on. Appreciate the explanation.

    1. The article humorously highlights the need to be careful when changing the oil filter. A good reminder!

    2. Absolutely. It’s essential to understand the reasons behind this to appreciate the importance of oil changes.

  4. The safety aspects mentioned in this article are very relevant to car owners. Thank you for shedding light on this.

  5. Very informative article. It’s crucial to change the oil at the right time to ensure the car’s engine health.

  6. The conclusion is a great summary of why oil changes are crucial. It’s a reminder to car owners to prioritize this maintenance task.

  7. I find it amusing that the lights coming on after oiling depends on the type of vehicle. Shows the variety in car technology.

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