I can’t open my hood to check the oil, but it’s reading 76% oil life. Is this bad until I get to a mechanic?

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sep 12, 2023 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


Your Chevy Cruze manual explains the oil life reading; see excerpt below. If it's 76%, that means that 76% of the oil's life is remaining and you have many miles to go before you need an oil change. When it gets down to zero or when a year has passed since your last oil change, the oil's remaining life will be at 0% and the car will give you a message, "CHANGE ENGINE OIL SOON".

Oil life is not the same as oil level. You still need to check your oil level on the dipstick from time to time and make sure it remains between the upper and lower marks. See your manual for details. If your car does not have a history of needing the oil topped off frequently, get to a mechanic about your stuck hood when convenient. It's not an emergency.

Manual excerpt:



  • 1
    Re "stuck hood". My old Ford's opening mechanism broke, and the mechanic said "It will be much cheaper if I just remove the broken bits and then you can open it by inserting a screwdriver as a key." I said yes :) Sep 12, 2023 at 22:31

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