OCI and Oil Life Monitor

Todor

Member
2017 3.0 AWD Continental (new to me from the spring) approaching 30k miles
The oil life monitor seems to either like my driving very much or just tick at constant rate.

I reset it at my first oil change and it was running as if it will zero at ~10k miles. At 5k miles I changed the oil with the monitor stating 53% remaining oil life.
At oil change I reset "Trip 1" that's how I observe actual overall fuel economy and engine hours.
It was reading 183 engine hours (round it to 180) and 13.1 L/100 km (18mpg - excellent for the power, driving style and usage) with mixed 1/3 city, 1/3 road and 1/3 highway.

Now on the next oil I have 1300-1400 miles and the monitor says 87% oil life. So it will recommend around 10k miles once again.

How are yours going? Anyone being able to make it read less? For instance, 15-20% life loss per 1k miles?

I am very curious whether the OLM monitors variable oil pump solenoid duty cycle. If oil thins ot thickens, the required DC for the two pressure levels will deviate from normal.
Does the OLM system have optical sensor? A friend engineer said that the best oil life parameter to be observed was colour. Don't listen to the refrains for dispersant/detergent, etc. Oil darkens because of age and oxidation.
 
Last edited:

Town

Senior Member
4,584
253
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Ottawa Ontario Canada
2017 3.0 AWD Continental (new to me from the spring) approaching 30k miles
The oil life monitor seems to either like my driving very much or just tick at constant rate.

I reset it at my first oil change and it was running as if it will zero at ~10k miles. At 5k miles I changed the oil with the monitor stating 53% remaining oil life.
At oil change I reset "Trip 1" that's how I observe actual overall fuel economy and engine hours.
It was reading 183 engine hours (round it to 180) and 13.1 L/100 km (18mpg - excellent for the power, driving style and usage) with mixed 1/3 city, 1/3 road and 1/3 highway.

Now on the next oil I have 1300-1400 miles and the monitor says 87% oil life. So it will recommend around 10k miles once again.

How are yours going? Anyone being able to make it read less? For instance, 15-20% life loss per 1k miles?

I am very curious whether the OLM monitors variable oil pump solenoid duty cycle. If oil thins ot thickens, the required DC for the two pressure levels will deviate from normal.
Does the OLM system have optical sensor? A friend engineer said that the best oil life parameter to be observed was colour. Don't listen to the refrains for dispersant/detergent, etc. Oil darkens because of age and oxidation.
The oil life monitor used by Ford does not utilize any oil flow or physical properties like colour to determine remaining oil life before a change is required. It uses an algorithm based on the collection of relevant data such as ambient and engine and oil temperature and number of starts and cold starts and hours of idling and other engine data. When it is all put together in real time, the algorithm is able to present the oil life at that point in time. This version of the OLM has been around since 2011 approx with later tweaks. The prior version from the late 90's early 2000's (approx) used much fewer data points and so was not as accurate. I think GM used a feature to check the oil opacity as a guide to oil life but that was a disaster since oil life has little to do with colour. The Honda algorithm used engine oil temperature data as the main feature to help define oil life, but that has probably changed now.

The OLM on your car is concluding that your driving is very easy on the oil, so can last a very long time, which is typical of highway driving with little idling and stop and go driving, also lacking frequent cold starts and short trips. That would be pretty much the opposite of my driving, along the lines of 1/3 highway and 2/3 short trips and town driving and very cold temperatures for a part of the year. So I have always changed oil twice a year regardless of distance travelled. To give you an idea of how the OLM sees my driving:

17 April 2019 to 21 Nov 2019 drove 6,000 kilometers between oil changes and OLM said 41% oil life left;
21 Nov 2019 to 15 April 2020 drove 2,000 kilometers between oil changes and OLM said 60% oil life left;
15 April 2020 to 8 Sept 2020 drove 2,800 kilometers but no oil change until the Fall and OLM says 61% oil life left (current odometer 30,870 kilometers).

COVID restrictions has affected the amount of driving I did but the OLM is reflecting the strain on my oil and my need to use Ford synthetic oil and filter. The Ford OLM does what it is supposed to do, with the added warning that one oil change per year is minimum regardless of OLM reading. I could go longer between oil changes but twice a year includes tire changes for winter use and summer use, so everything is done at the same time with nice dry conditions.

I cannot immediately find the Ford current OLM algorithm data points and strategy.
 
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