A Driving Instructor's Blog

Ford Focus oil change messageI got a message on my 2016 Ford Focus TDCi Titanium centre console the other day telling me that it was due for an oil change. I wouldn’t have minded, except that it was only on 5,500 miles and service points are every 12,500 miles.

I spoke with the local dealer and they said just to bring it in so they could reset it. I wasn’t too pleased with that since visits to the dealer inevitably mean at least half a day in lost lesson time. Therefore, my first action after that was to buy an OBD II monitor tool so I could reset it myself. The tool worked fine, except that it didn’t find any faults and so there was nothing to reset – and the oil change warning remained stubbornly visible.

Then I did what I should have done in the first place and Googled it. It turns out Ford has a system which can be set to give an oil change warning at various points, so when it triggers it isn’t an actual fault and therefore doesn’t show up as one.

How to reset the warning

Resetting it turned out to be incredibly simple – though completely undocumented by Ford, of course. All you do is:

  1. Turn on the ignition (or push the start button with the clutch up)
  2. Press the brake and accelerator fully down for about 20-25 seconds

The display tells you when reset is complete, and the warning goes away. From what I understand, this applies to all Focus models from MkII onwards.

How soon should I get my oil changed when the warning message comes on?

For a Focus, if your car is under the manufacturer’s warranty then I think they allow 1,000 miles on top of the normal service points at every 12,500 miles. After that your warranty might be affected.

Of course, if the oil change warning message appears before 12,500 miles then you can safely ignore it (or reset it, as explained above). It isn’t a sensor warning, just a timer based one.

If the oil warning dashboard light comes on, though, you mustn’t ignore it.

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