If My Oil Indicator Is On, How Long Can I Drive On 0 Oil Life?

Are you short of time and your oil light has come on? Are you wondering how long can I drive on 0 oil life? Fortunately, you can drive with 0% oil, but it’s not a great idea to do so. Why? Read the article below to find out.

You can drive for a few miles even if you have hit 0 on your oil life. Going on zero oil life is acceptable for the car and you, but only so much!

You can drive your car until you need to change the oil at the oil change interval. After hitting the oil change interval, you can also reset the light, and this light is a timer based on mileage. 

If you want to travel with zero oil life in your car, you must give your car proper servicing. If you have hit the zero oil life mark in your car and have still not given your car for servicing, you risk damaging your vehicle.

We will discuss using the vehicle at zero oil life further in this article. 

How Long Can I Drive On 0 Oil Life

Why Is My Car’s Oil Light On?

Have you witnessed this event yet? Has the oil light in your vehicle turned on and left you astonished as to the reason behind this occurrence?

Please stick with us till the end to understand what prompts cars to show such signs. Below is the list of the four most probable events owing to which the car’s oil light may be on. 

Low Oil Pressure

If the oil pump cannot circulate enough oil or the oil level is way too low for the pump to carry out the circulation, the oil light on your vehicle will turn on.

One must also understand that driving with an oil quantity less than your car’s specified low-level mark can affect the vehicle’s engine.   

Old Oil Circuit

Oil circuits can wear over time. For example, existing gaps might have enlarged in size because the oil pressure may experience a drop. That can lead to the oil light turning on. One can check this with a mechanic, and they would help repair the circuit. 

Faulty Oil Sensor

The oil sensor’s job is to essentially respond to a probe that is placed into the oil passage. Entry of a foreign object like dirt or grime can lead to faulty messages and flash the car’s oil light. 

How Can I Check the Oil Level of My Vehicle?

Park your car and wait for a while so that the engine cools down. Next, locate the dipstick, which is ideal on the top of the oil tank.

Once you find the dipstick, pull it out and clean it with a rag cloth. Finally, put the clean dipstick back into its original location. Voila! You are done. 

How Long Can I Drive On 0 Oil Life

Does The 0 Oil Indicator Mean That The Car Won’t Drive?

Does 0% oil life mean no oil? 

No, 0% oil life doesn’t mean that your car has no oil.

The zero indicators on oil life suggest that your vehicle is running very low on oil. It means that you should refill the oil in your car as soon as you get an opportunity to do so.

You can still drive around for some miles after hitting zero on your oil. 

What can happen if I drive on 0% oil?

When you notice the oil gauge in your vehicle going near or reaching the 0% level on the meter, the constant flashing of this indicator is a sign that indicates you need to refill the tank. 

If you continue to use or drive the car with this indicator on, you damage your car’s well-being. 

Your car won’t stop running when you see the 0% indicator. The zero indicators are just a reminder for you to go and get your tank filled. 

What does 5% oil life left mean?

If the oil gauge indicator drops below 5%, it is an indicator that the oil has gotten so dirty that you need to eventually change the oil. In such a case, you should schedule a service for your car.

And if the indicator reaches zero, then it means that your service is long overdue. At this stage, the remaining oil in your car is causing more harm to your vehicle instead of supporting it. 

You might like to read: How To Get Motor Oil Out of Trunk Carpet?

What Do The Zero Indicators Mean? 

The zero indicators on your car’s gauge mean that the oil in your vehicle is critically low. Your vehicle will start indicating an emergency warning sign, meaning you need to refill your tank. 

How does your car know this?

This indicator works because of the car’s computer, and this computer gathers information from the unique electronic sensors present in the vehicle.

You’ll find essential information such as the driving time, engine revolution, engine temperature, and other aspects. 

What should you know if you are taking your car out on 0% oil?

Before you drive your cat around at zero percent of gas, you need to know about the mileage and how the car operates in such a situation. 

After analyzing all these factors, the car’s computer uses some mathematical solutions and algorithms to get the correct estimate of the fuel life in your vehicle. The vehicle shows a warning light to the user. At 0% of the indicator, the car service is overdue. 

How Long Can I Drive On 0 Oil Life

How Many Miles Can I Drive With 30% Oil Life?

Does the buffer mean I can drive around for a few miles?

Even though you have some buffer after this indicator, you should not take this indicator for granted. Your car will stop working after a specific time when it hits the zero mark. The mileage of your vehicle is also dependent on how a driver runs their car, such as their driving style, tendency, etc. 

What are the factors that decide how long I can drive on 0% oil?

The number of miles on your car that you can cover or drive with 30% oil life depends on various external factors.

If the conditions remain ideal, you should be able to go 1000-1200 miles more with 30% of oil life.

When you hit the 30% mark on the oil life, you should start thinking about changing your motor oil soon. 

Having a zero percent mark is nothing major that you should worry about. The engine’s condition of your car depends on the components. Using bad motor oil will affect the performance of the vehicle. 

There is another thing that you should remember is the oil life monitor. This monitor doesn’t reset when you refill the oil tank.

Due to this reason, the indicator might be showing a false reading. You need to change the value of the meter every time you change the motor oil. 

Why Should You Not Drive With 0% Oil Life? 

You should not drive your car while showing the zero percent oil life indicator. Going like that can deal severe damage to the vehicle in the long run. The car’s engine needs to be well lubricated with oil to rush and deliver optimal performance.

If you keep changing the oil at the ideal time, all the components will remain lubricated, preventing them from friction.

In most cases, using the engine without motor oil can also overheat the engine. Overheating of the machines can result in engine failure and seizures. 

How Long Can I Drive On 0 Oil Life

Frequently Asked Questions

#1. How many miles can you go before an oil change?

Ideally, it is recommended that you change the oil in your car every 5000 miles. With the improvement in the car’s parts, better lubricants are now available in the market. These lubricants can perform well in an engine for about 5000 to 7000 miles. 

There are types of motor oil that can affect the mileage of your car, as there are some synthetic lubricating oils that can stretch the mileage of a car up to 15000 miles. 

#2. Should I change my oil by date or mileage?

Ideally, you should change the oil in your vehicle either once or twice a year. If you have not traveled much and covered the recommended mileage mentioned on the motor oil, you can delay this motor oil change. 

Still, you cannot prolong those changes as the quality of the motor oil will deteriorate with time, and at one stage will not be able to use it anymore. Degrading oil, I’m the engine, and the motor can harm your vehicle’s performance for months and months. 

#3. Can you change oil too often?

Yes, you can change the motor oil in your vehicle too often. Changing the oil frequently on your car will not help it or improve its performance. 

Although this will not harm your vehicle, you’ll be wasting money as motor oil is not very cheap. Disposing of the oil without using it properly will also harm the environment. 

#4. What Is Negative Oil Life?

Yes, it is as negative as the term sounds. It indicates that the vehicle has surpassed the maintenance required point and needs immediate attention. The display comes on every time you turn the ignition switch to the ON (II) position. 

#5. At What Percent Should Oil Be Changed? 

Now the most important question is, when should I get the oil changed? Well, between 10 to 5% would be the ideal time to get the oil replaced. A well-maintained car can go as many as 5000 miles or even 7500 miles between two consecutive oil changes. 

Good quality oils can surpass this limit and last even longer miles. However, the best place to reach out for this information is the manual you received when buying your car. Also, the number of miles is different if you are opting for synthetic oils. 

A Few Final Words

Motor oil deteriorates sometime after your car is displaying a zero percent motor oil sign. It doesn’t mean that there is no motor oil in your car. Rather it means the fluid levels have dropped below the critical limit. 

The motor oil will not cause any physical damage to you or the car. You can still drive around in your car for some time as every car maintains some surplus amount of motor oil.

We also shared some reasons why you should not drive your car with zero percent oil life. Thank you for reading – we hope you enjoyed the article!

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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