Keeping an eye on the oil levels is very important while you are driving your vehicle. Ignoring the signals that indicate you through the light turning on or the digital written signals on your dashboard can sometimes land you in difficult situations. So always make sure you are on the safer side.

You might have got the oil change signal light turned on your vehicle’s dashboard and wondering how long can you go without an oil change after this, and you are in the right place! We will tell you how long you can go without an oil change after the light comes on. Let’s get started!

How Long Can You Go Without Oil Change After The Light Comes On?

The distance which you can go without oil change after the light comes on depends on the vehicle and to some extent on the type of oil. Now oil life monitors also help you with life but don’t depend on them for the oil change too.

People often get confused between signals, and the signal doesn’t necessarily need to be indicating you for an oil change every time. It could be possible that your engine oil has low oil pressure or can even turn on due to a low level of oil.

Now let’s see the different kinds of signals related to oil change.

Different Oil Change Signals!

You might have sometimes seen a yellow or orange and sometimes a red color light coming up on your vehicle’s dashboard, but every time you would have considered it a sign of engine oil change. Well, this is not true, and different signals indicate different things.

Yellow Or Orange Light: 

yellow light
Credits: Fixya

You might have seen a yellow or orange light coming up in your dashboard depending upon which vehicle model you are driving, and this might have made you think the car needs an urgent oil change. 

A yellow or orange light comes up when the oil level drops about one liter or if the oil starts excessively burning or if you haven’t changed the oil for a long and this is not considered a critical situation. 

Red Light:

red oil light
Credits: Drivingtesttips

Red light or red signal always comes up after yellow or orange light, and this will happen only if you ignore the yellow or orange light up to an extent.

Red light is an indication that the oil level has dropped to very low or has broken down, or it has gotten so dirty that it needs to be changed. You should never ignore this signal, as ignoring this might be a risk to you and other drivers near you.

Now let’s see how long you can go without oil change after the light comes on.

For How Long Is It Safe To Go Without Oil Change Or Top-up After The Light Comes on?

This depends on the light that’s popping on your dashboard. As mentioned above, in the case of yellow or orange light, the situation is not very critical. So if a yellow or orange light turns on, you should park your vehicle aside. Check the oil level with a dipstick if it is above the minimum level or hasn’t dropped much. 

That means your vehicle is burning excessive oil or needs an oil change. So, in this case, you can go around 300-500 miles without an oil change but make sure you don’t go far as this can land you and other drivers in critical situations if ignored. 

In case a red light turns on, this might be an indication of something critical. You should immediately stop your car, park aside, turn off the engine and check the oil level with a dipstick. But in any case, you should reach out to a professional for the inspection and get the issue resolved until the light goes off. 

Especially in cases where the red light turns on, we would advise you to turn off the engine and get your car towed or call service on wheels to get the vehicle’s engine inspected. 


The above shows that how long you can go without oil change depends on which color signal you have got on your vehicle’s dashboard. Suppose it is a yellow or orange color signal. In that case, you can go around 300-500 miles until there is no such critical scenario, and in case of a red signal, we would advise you not to turn on the engine and call the mechanic as soon as possible to get the thing resolved.

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