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Jeep Oil Change Required- Meaning and How to Reset

As a Jeep owner, you want to ensure your vehicle is always in top condition. This includes regular maintenance, such as oil changes, to ensure your Jeep runs smoothly and efficiently. However, when the ‘Oil Change Required’ message appears on your dashboard, it can be confusing and even concerning.

When Your Jeep Says ‘Oil Change Required,’ it means it is time to change the oil. This software-controlled indicator will flash for about ten seconds on the EVIC display. While the recommended oil change intervals may vary from vehicle to vehicle, the indicator system is duty cycle-based.

In this article, I will delve into the meaning behind this message and provide you with the information you need to take appropriate action. So, keep reading to find out more.

Working Principle of the Jeep’s ‘Oil Change Required’ Indicator System:

Jeep’s ‘Oil Change Required’ indicator system is solely software-based and does not incorporate an oil quality sensor. 

The indicator system uses a duty cycle-based algorithm to determine when an oil change is due, which means that the interval between oil changes may vary based on the driving habits of the vehicle operator.

The software algorithm monitors various factors, such as mileage and engine operating conditions, to determine when an oil change is necessary. 

Therefore, the ‘Oil Change Required’ message may be triggered sooner or later than the recommended oil change interval, depending on how the vehicle is driven.

What Does It Mean When Your Jeep Says Oil Change Required

It is important to note that the software-based indicator system is not affected by the quality of the oil used in the engine. 

Therefore, it is recommended to use the manufacturer’s recommended oil and follow the recommended oil change intervals to maintain the engine’s proper functioning and avoid any potential damage.

Driving/Terrain Type

Jeep Oil Life (in miles)

Light Terrain (city road, without heavy loads)


Moderate Terrain (off-road, mountain driving, with heavy loads)


Extreme Terrain (maximum load, frequent off-road)


Understanding Jeep ‘Oil Change Required’ Message:

A Jeep's 'Oil Change Required' message indicates it's time to change the engine oil. The oil in a car's engine lubricates and protects its moving parts. However, it can become contaminated with dirt and debris over time, affecting the engine's performance and longevity.

Jeeps have a maintenance reminder system that monitors various factors, including mileage and driving conditions, to determine when an oil change is needed.

When the system determines that an oil change is due, it will display the ‘Oil Change Required’ message on the vehicle’s dashboard.

It’s essential to follow the recommended oil change schedule in the owner’s manual to ensure that the engine is maintained correctly and to avoid any potential damage to the vehicle.

Failure to change the oil at the recommended intervals can lead to engine problems and costly repairs.

Factors Responsible for the ‘Oil Change Required’ Message in Jeep:

Here, I’ll explore the most common factors responsible for Jeeps’s “oil change required” message. These factors include:

  1. Lower levels of oil
  2. Damage to the coolant hose
  3. Oil leakage in the vehicle
  4. Cracking of oil pan in vehicle

1. Lower Levels of Oil:

A low engine oil level in a Jeep most commonly triggers the ‘Oil Change Required’ message.

In such a case, it is imperative to check the oil level and ensure it is at least halfway up on the dipstick before resuming driving.

What Does It Mean When Your Jeep Says Oil Change Required

The engine probably has insufficient oil if there are no indications of oil leakage. This can happen for multiple reasons, including oil leaks, consumption, or burning oil.

It is critical to comprehend that the Jeep engine necessitates a specific amount of oil to function efficiently. Inadequate oil levels force the engine to work harder, escalating friction and heat accumulation.

Consequently, engine components can get damaged, leading to expensive repairs or, in some cases, engine failure.

2. Damage to Coolant Hose:

The coolant hose is an essential component of this system, as it carries the coolant fluid to the engine and back to the radiator.

However, the coolant hose can get damaged due to extreme weather conditions. If you live in an area with hot or cold weather, the coolant hose in your Jeep might be at risk of damage.

What Does It Mean When Your Jeep Says Oil Change Required

If the coolant hose is damaged, the engine can overheat, leading to premature wear and tear of the engine oil.

In addition, the engine oil can become contaminated with dirt and debris, leading to decreased engine performance, which triggers the ‘Oil Change Required’ message.

3. Oil Leakage in Vehicle:

If you observe oil leakage from any engine block of your Jeep, you may receive the ‘Oil Change Required’ message.

Oil leakage in the vehicle can damage the engine, so fixing this problem as soon as possible is better. If there is oil leakage under the transmission pan of the vehicle, it is a severe matter of concern, so it is better to replace these parts with new ones.

4. Cracking of Oil Pan in Jeep:

The presence of a cracked engine block or head coverings in your Jeep would also lead to the flashing of the ‘Oil Change Required’ message on the dashboard of your vehicle.

The head covering and oil pan cracking during their manufacturing assembly can lead to this issue. The issue can be due to the following:

  • Assembling of the engine or its transfer case
  • Assembling or manufacturing of brake, steering system, or suspension
  • Assembling of steering or axle components
  • Assembling of the power steering pump

Symptoms Indicating the Necessity of Oil Change in Jeep:

The presence of new oil in the vehicle helps lubricate the vehicle’s moving components. So, it is better to keep the oil clean for better working of the engine. Dirty or old oil is not able to quickly cool the engine.

Here, I list down the most common symptoms which indicate that the oil needs to be changed now:




Symptom 1

Presence of dirty oil

  • The color of clean oil is seen as clear amber in the vehicle. However, oil is prone to accumulation of debris and small particles released from the engine during its usage, which darkens its color.

  • Therefore, it is better to check the oil regularly in your vehicle and take note of its color and clarity. If the consistency of the oil is dark and thick, it indicates that it needs replacement.

Symptom 2

Production of knocking sound in engine

  • The lubrication of the engine and its parts creates a thin barrier. It keeps the engine cool, and it runs cleanly.

  • However, oil deterioration does not provide enough lubrication, so the engine produces a knocking sound.

  • This knocking sound indicates that the oil needs to be changed now.

Symptom 3

Checking the engine light

  • The engine light in Jeep is responsible for monitoring various functions related to the engine, such as oil health.

  • When the engine light flashes, the main reason is the presence of dirt and less oil in the engine.

Symptom 4

Production of smoke from exhaust

  • It is a normal thing that exhausts emit clear vapor occasionally.

  • But when you observe dark grey or black smoke coming out from the exhaust, it indicates oil leakage or replacement.

Resetting the Oil Change Message in Jeep:

There is an engine  indicator system in Jeeps which is a software-based system. It accounts for the mileage and other factors affecting the oil's quality. The message for the oil change required is known to flash for about 5-10 seconds on the EVIC display and indicates the oil changing interval.

As I mentioned before, this indicator system is duty-cycle based and depends on the owner’s driving style.

Here I will explain the steps to reset the message in your Jeep.

  • STEP 1: Turn your ignition to the “On” position (do not start the engine).
  • STEP 2: Press the gas pedal all the way down to the floor three times within 10 seconds.
  • STEP 3: Turn the key to the “Off” position.
  • STEP 4: Now, take out the key from the ignition.
  • STEP 5: Wait a few seconds, then reinsert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “On” position.
  • STEP 6: If the “Oil Change Required” message is still displayed, repeat steps 2-5.
  • STEP 7: Turn the key to the “Off” position once the message disappears.

Congratulations, you have successfully reset your Jeep’s “Oil Change Required” message!

Recommended Oils for Jeeps:

Remember a few things before changing the oil in your Jeep.

Your Jeep will not work properly on regular engine oil, so that you will need the specific oil for Jeeps.

There are 3 types of oils recommended for your Jeep:

Oil Type


Synthetic oil

  • Synthetic oil is primarily used in the Jeeps for properly working the engine and is rich in those chemicals absent naturally.

  • Synthetic oils have the same viscosity as petroleum-based oils, but it does not break down quickly like conventional oils.

  • As a result, synthetic oil has extended oil life and is durable for your engine. It also reduces the maintenance cost.

Conventional oil

  • Conventional oils are made up of two molecules, of which one is liquid at room temperature, and the other one is solid at room temperature.

  • The liquid type of conventional oil helps lubricate the surfaces, while the solid part protects the vehicle from wear and tear caused by the friction of moving parts of the engine or transmission.

Semi-synthetic oil

  • Semi-synthetic oil for Jeeps is a blend of synthetic and petroleum-based oils.

  • This oil has an intermediate viscosity and allows the performance of vehicles even in cold and hot regions.

  • In addition, these oils offer excellent lubrication and stability to vehicles and engines in all weather conditions and are available in various consistencies.

Here, I lay down the recommended oil chart for specific Jeep types:

Jeep Type

Oil Recommendation

Jeep Wrangler

  • 5W-20 or 5W-30 synthetic blend or full synthetic oil for the 2.0L and 3.6L engines

  • 0W-20 full synthetic oil for the 3.0L diesel engine

Jeep Cherokee

  • 0W-20 or 5W-20 synthetic blend or full synthetic oil for the 2.0L and 2.4L engines

  • 5W-30 synthetic blend or full synthetic oil for the 3.2L engine

Jeep Grand Cherokee

  • 0W-20 or 5W-20 synthetic blend or full synthetic oil for the 3.6L engine

  • 0W-40 or 5W-40 full synthetic oil for the 5.7L and 6.4L engines

Changing the Oil Filter:

It is often related that changing the oil filter along with the oil is an excellent thing to do side-by-side. Most Jeep owners say that it is necessary to change the oil filter when you change the oil of your vehicle to avoid the ‘Oil Change Required’ message.

But some people disagree with this. Actuality, it all depends on the type of the vehicle.

If there is an oil filter in your vehicle that can be changed without removing an engine, it is not necessary to change it when you change the oil.

But, if the oil filter is at a location that is not easily accessible, removing it whenever you replace the oil is recommended.

It is a good idea to change the oil filter in the case:

  • You have replaced the oil in your vehicle recently.
  • Your vehicle’s engine has been running for a long time without any service.
  • There is a high mileage of your Jeep.
  • The maximum mileage recommended for your Jeep for changing the oil filter is 3000-5000 miles.
  • Changing the oil filter in the Jeep
  • Fill up a bucket of 5-gallon quantity with the coolant.
  • Remove the cap from the drain plug, which is located inside the vehicle’s engine block.
  • Dirty coolant will leak away from the vehicle, so place a catch pan under the vehicle so that water cannot get into the engine.
  • Lift and remove the black plastic cover from your oil filter housing. You can use a wrench to loosen it.
  • Replace the old oil filter with a new one and install it.

Final Thought

Keeping up with regular oil changes is a crucial aspect of maintaining your Jeep and ensuring it runs smoothly. The oil change required indicator is a helpful reminder to take care of this task, and resetting it is a simple process.

By following the manufacturer’s guidance and addressing any issues promptly, you can keep your Jeep in top condition for years to come.

Remember to prioritize regular maintenance, and your Jeep will continue to serve you well on all your adventures.

Also Read:

How to Upgrade Performance on 3.6 Jeep JK? Top Gear Picks
Jeep Grand Cherokee Panoramic Sunroof Problems- How to Fix
Jeep 4.0 Oil Capacity and Type- All You Need to Know
How to Fix ESP BAS Light on Jeep- All You Need to Know
Jeep 2.0 Turbo: Common Problems to Watch Out For
Most Common Jeep 2.4 Engine Problems- How to Fix
Jeep Wrangler USB Port Center Console Problems- How to Fix

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

How long can a person drive the Jeep when the message oil change required starts to flash?

It is recommended to get the vehicle inspected professionally by a mechanic or an automobile expert on a priority basis when you get the such message. A driver can ride the vehicle for about two more weeks after flashing the oil change required message. After this limit, a legitimate problem could arise for the owner of the Jeep.

What is meant by the oil change required message?

When the life of the oil is around 0% or is extremely low, the messaging system of the Jeep starts to indicate the oil change due message on the dashboard. This message or flashing does not reset until the oil or oil filter are not changed. If the oil pressure is low in the engine, this message or light can also pop up.

Is it safe to drive with the oil change required message?

Driving with the oil change required message for a few hundred miles is okay. But fixing this issue as soon as possible is recommended as it can damage the engine or vehicle.

What happens when the oil change is overdue in a vehicle?

When the oil change is overdue in the vehicle, the oil sludge is dirty. As a result, the engine had to work harder to eliminate this buildup which lessens the lubrication and decreases its heat absorption.

Does the oil change required message mean no oil in the vehicle?

Oil change required message means that a person should remove the motor oil from the engine of their vehicle and should replace it with new motor oil. In addition, changing the oil filter and replacing it with a new one is also demanded.

How can a person clear the message of the oil change required?

You can clear away the message of the oil change required through these steps:

  • Switch on the ignition switch.
  • Press the accelerator and brake pedals altogether.
  • Keep pressing the brake pedals and accelerator until the message displays indicating the confirmation of the reset procedure.

Is low oil life in a Jeep mean changing of oil?

When the oil life indicator in a vehicle drops to 15%-40%, it indicates the requirement to change the oil. This oil life indicator is a countdown that indicates that Jeep will not function at its peak efficiency after this.