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I had my Toyota Corolla 2013's maintenance light starting to flash when I turn on my car. Probably due to an automatic maintenance schedule or oil change.

I had my car's oil changed Jun 1, 2018 with full synthetic oil before starting a road trip. I had . Right now, it is almost 4000- 5000 miles. Looking at my car's oil and levels, it looks pretty OK to me. Plus, I think for synthetics, it is roughly 10K miles for changes.

How do you see my oil quality? Do I need to change it now?

enter image description here

  • oil looks quite clean but what does your user manual say? always stick with the intervals if you want the most out of your engine. – DamoC Mar 10 '19 at 21:33
  • "had full synthetic"? does that mean you have changed to something else? – Solar Mike Mar 10 '19 at 21:34
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    @SolarMike - It's a figure of speech ... she says ,"I had my car's oil changed." Which means she had it changed to full synthetic. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Mar 10 '19 at 21:37
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 ah the challenges of writing clearly : given two questions about the same thing... – Solar Mike Mar 10 '19 at 21:39
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    The oil seems fine. The maintenance light may be coming on because of a fault rather than because of a service interval, you may want to get your OBD codes read, most auto parts stores will do it for free, otherwise readers are seriously cheap these days. – GdD Mar 11 '19 at 9:29
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The "maintenance required" light is tied to mileage on these - it will start coming on 5000 miles after it was last reset (which it should have been last time you had the oil changed), it doesn't know/care what the actual state of the oil is - just that 5000 miles have been driven since it was last reset.

The oil looks okay in your picture - and to be honest I'd expect a good quality synthetic oil to last more than 5k. However it's impossible to tell the complete nuances of how well an oil is going to be performing from a purely visual inspection. Add in that you're coming up on 10 months since it was changed I'd probably suggest changing it again.

If you decide against it you can reset the light by the following procedure:

  • Turn the ignition switch to the “On” position, but do not start the engine
  • Press the odometer button until you see "Trip A" on the LCD display
  • Turn the ignition back to “Off”
  • Press and hold the trip computer "Reset" button, and turn the ignition switch to the “On” position
  • Continue to hold down the "Reset" button until “000000” MILES appears on the display and the maintenance light turns off.
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It's alright to exceed what's prescribed from time to time. Your engine oil looks fine from the picture, and considering you filled up with full synthetic oil, it'll probably take some time before you need another oil change. It's best that you get it changed a little shy from the 10k mark. If you wanna learn more about oil you can check out the oil guide from Dig My Ride. Make sure to check your oil levels from time to time and watch out for that engine light.

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