I remember how once I found the “0% Oil Life” warning light on my car’s dashboard while driving at night. Luckily, the road I was driving on wasn’t too jam-packed, and I managed to pull out and figure the situation out.
However, if you ever face a similar situation and have never encountered this light, the first question that might pop up is, “Can I drive my car with 0% oil life?” I have been in your shoes and can completely understand your situation.
Though it took me some research and a lot of patience, I finally found the answer. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go through the same hassle as me as I have compiled this simple write-up for you, confronting your concern.
If you are curious to know what the “0% oil life” light means, can you drive with this light on? What are the potential causes for seeing the “0% oil life” light appear on your dashboard and other similar things? Keep reading this guide till the end.
Can I Drive My Car With 0% Oil Life?
Let me begin by providing you with a simple answer to this question. Well, even after your car turns on the 0% oil life, you can keep driving; however, it is best to try and minimize this as much as possible.
How Long Can a Car Run on 0% Oil Life?
Just like how your car won’t just stop dead on the highway once your fuel indicator indicates you have zero miles remaining because of reserve fuel, your engine won’t experience irreparable damage when your car says that its oil life has reached zero.
Reserving oil life allows for an unexpected breakdown, ensuring you won’t face costly repair bills after reaching 0% oil life. Car manufacturers usually ensure at least 500 miles remain after they notify drivers they don’t have any left.
But, if your engine life has dropped below 0% unexpectedly while out and about on the road, don’t panic; simply visit an approved mechanic to complete an engine oil change.
The oil change process will take no more than an hour at an affordable cost; depending on the car model involved, you may even save some money by performing this service yourself!
What Does 0% Oil Life Mean?
A 0% oil life light indicates that your engine oil has reached its lifespan and doesn’t provide the optimal engine performance and safety required for a car anymore. Sometimes, when this happens, the car automatically turns off the system to save battery and power.
It indicates the current condition of the car’s oil – the equivalent of an inferior quality lubricant, thus rendering its benefits useless to your vehicle’s performance and well-being.
Most modern cars contain sensors and mechanisms that monitor engine oil usage and use complex algorithms to calculate how long it will be until it has all been consumed by percentage – as oil is an integral component of your vehicle’s engine.
Lubricating agents act to minimize friction between moving parts, helping your engine operate more smoothly. Therefore, an oil change should become your top priority once your car displays the 0% oil life warning light.
Why Is The 0% Oil Light On? (Reasons)
As mentioned above, your car turns on the 0% oil life warning when its oil performance has degraded to an unacceptable level, requiring an oil change promptly. However, there may be other reasons your 0% oil life warning has turned on. I have listed some of them for you below.
- Low Oil Pressure
When your vehicle’s oil pump becomes incapable of circulating enough oil or the oil level is too low for proper distribution, the oil light automatically turns on to warn you.
- Faulty Oil Sensor
An oil sensor is like a guard in the oil path. Whenever a foreign object, such as grime or dirt, enters this passage, that can lead to the sensor giving a false reading and triggering the car’s oil light, prompting troubleshooting measures from your mechanic.
- Old Oil Circuit
Oil circuits may wear out over time, and existing gaps might increase due to oil pressure lowering. When this occurs, the oil light might turn on. A mechanic would be able to help assess this and repair the circuit if necessary.
How Dangerous Is It To Drive With 0% Oil Life?
Your car may not immediately explode upon seeing that its oil level hits 0%; however, driving with such a vehicle could result in serious engine issues over time that lead to major failure and costly repair bills.
Believe it or not, most professionals and brands recommend that car owners visit their trusted mechanic or dealership to receive the required assistance when their car drops below 15% oil life. This helps avoid any future engine issues and encourages regular car maintenance.
Therefore, regularly check your car and get an oil change service when your car shows 5% oil life to avoid any future damage to your engine.
What Should I Do When My Car Has 0% Oil Life?
As soon as your vehicle reaches 0% oil level, there is a high risk of sludge building up in the engine, which has no lubricating properties and can cause internal components of your engine to grind against one another until severe wear and tear leads to major engine failures, requiring replacement.
Therefore, when the 0% oil life warning displays, don’t panic. Keep driving and get to the nearest service station to seek assistance for an oil change.
Note: The car with key symbol on the dashboard is another warning light you need to be aware of to be safe on the road.
With this, the guide on “Can I Drive My Car With 0% Oil Life?” comes to an end. In this guide, I have taken you through the meaning of the 0% Oil life light on your vehicle’s dashboard.
I have also provided a simple answer to why you should or shouldn’t drive with the 0% oil life light appearing on your car’s dashboard and what to do upon seeing this warning light.
Hopefully, all your queries have been answered, and next time, you’ll know that once your vehicle reaches 0% oil life warning, you should visit a service station as soon as possible for an oil change to avoid irreparable damage to your vehicle.