I had my car's oil change done a month ago in Walmart for my 2010 Ford Taurus. Today I got a message saying oil change soon on the front panel. I bought this car 10 month ago.

My question is: Does this message reflect the actual quality of oil or is that just a timer, distance calculator set or remind the oil change service?

Is it ok if I reset this message after I check if there is enough oil?

  • 1
    Some newer cars will indeed give you a "change oil" message based on not only the time and distance it's been driven on, but can also monitor the quality of the oil. It sounds like this isn't the case for you, but definitely a good question! If your oil was too low, you'd likely get a message saying exactly that, as a low oil level is a big problem and shouldn't happen if everything's working properly.
    – atraudes
    Jan 6, 2017 at 22:10

1 Answer 1


It is definitely okay to reset the message, which is what the folks at Walmart should have done. The light / message on your dash is nothing more than a timer and distance counter. It sounds like the folks at Walmart did not reset it when they did your oil change. It's easy to do, but the method changes from model to model, so a quick Google search should turn up how to do it for your car. So to be clear the answer to your question is that you don't need to worry about changing your oil again. There isn't a sensor in the oil pan that's detecting anything wrong with the oil.

In general, and this is my preference, not fact of any kind, I have had bad experiences with the cheap oil change places. I now only do them myself and don't let anyone else touch my truck unless it's work outside my ability or tool set. I had one such place nearly hand grenade my engine by not bothering to tighten the oil drain plug. When I pointed it out to the manager on my next trip, his response was to put the longest wrench he could find on it and hang off the end of it. I was lucky he didn't snap it off. I had two words for him: Torque Specification. :) I would consider having a reputable garage do these for you. It costs more, but if you were having a blood transfusion, would you want the best quality, or the lowest cost. Oil is your engines blood. Cheap oil or filters are not a good idea.

  • oh ok, I always thought there were sensors that measured the level of oil.
    – Grasper
    Jan 6, 2017 at 18:09
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    Here is a link to a YouTube video on how to reset the oil life on a 2010-2012 Ford Taurus: youtube.com/watch?v=OculEH-UlkA
    – cdunn
    Jan 6, 2017 at 18:09
  • There are sensors that measure the level of oil, but oil life is only a measure of how long before you need to change it because it or the filter have reached the end of their service life. The oil level being low is very likely to be a much more serious message than the ones about changing your oil...
    – cdunn
    Jan 6, 2017 at 18:17
  • FYI: According to the Ford Taurus Owner's Manual, oil change intervals are 7,500 miles or 12 months.
    – CharlieRB
    Jan 6, 2017 at 19:30
  • For organic or full synthetic oil?
    – cdunn
    Jan 6, 2017 at 19:35

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