Ford Escape: How to Reset Oil Life

Oil changes are a fundamental part of car maintenance. Unfortunately, it can be tricky to keep up with your car’s oil changing schedule. “Oil Change” or “Oil Life” lights – like the one in the Ford Escape – help you do just that.

However, after changing your Escape’s oil, you’ll need to reset the “Oil Life” light. In this guide, we’ll look at how it’s done.


Why You Need to Reset the Oil Life Light

Before we look at the “How?” of resetting the “Oil Life” light, let’s first explore the “Why?” There are multiple reasons why you might need to reset this light. The first – and most obvious reason – is if you’ve just changed your car’s oil.

The Escape’s “Oil Life” light won’t just reset on its own after an oil change. Instead, either you or your mechanic will need to reset it. That way, your car will be completely in sync, ready to alert you right on time when the next oil change is due.

Another reason why you might want to reset the “Oil Life” light is if the light is out of sync with your oil change schedule. You may have your own set times to reset the oil – such as every 3,500 miles or every 7,000 miles – that don’t match the times when the light comes on.

In that case, the “Oil Life” light isn’t really useful to you. In fact, it can be a source of annoyance to have that light shining up on your display every time you hit the road. For that reason, you’ll want to reset the tracker and turn the light off.

How to Reset Your Ford Escape’s Oil Life Light

Perhaps you just changed your oil and now need to reset the light. Or maybe it’s just bothering you, and you need to turn it off. Either way, the process isn’t too tricky, but will vary, depending on the specific trim and age of your Ford Escape.

4th Generation Escapes (2020-Now)

If your Ford Escape is part of the most recent 4th generation release, the process to reset the “Oil Life” system is as follows:

  1. Press the “Engine Start/Stop” button once. Note that there’s no need to hold down the brake or start the engine as you do this.
  2. Press the “Menu” button on the steering wheel to display the menu options.
  3. Use the “Up” and “Down” arrows on the steering wheel to highlight “Settings.”
  4. Press “OK” to continue. Use the “Up” and “Down” arrows again to find and highlight “Oil Life,” and press “OK” to select.
  5. Push and hold the “OK” button for about 3 seconds. This should complete the reset.

3rd Generation Escapes (2013-2019)

For slightly older Ford Escapes, dating back to 2013 (the 3rd generation), there are two possible methods that might work. It all depends on the specific age and layout of your Escape. In general, newer models from this generation (those made between 2017 and 2019) should follow this method:

  1. Turn the ignition to the “On” position. If you have a push-button start, press and hold the “Power/Start” button for two seconds. Do not start the engine.
  2. Press the “Left” arrow on the left side of the steering wheel to scroll to “Settings” on the display and press “OK.”
  3. Again, using the arrows, scroll to “Vehicle” and press “OK.”
  4. Then scroll to “Oil Life Reset” and press “OK” to confirm.
  5. Press and hold the “OK” button to reset the oil life. The reset is complete when the percentage reaches 100%. You can then turn the vehicle off – next time you switch it on, the light should have gone.

Ford Escape How to Reset Oil Life

Meanwhile, if your Escape is from an earlier stage in the 3rd gen release (2013-16), here’s a method to try:

  1. Turn the car to the “On” state, but don’t start the engine. If you’ve got a push-button start, just push and hold the “Power” button for two seconds.
  2. Press and hold down both the gas pedal and the brake pedal at the same time. After a few seconds, you should see a message reading “Service: Oil Reset in Prog.”
  3. Keep the pedals held down for around 25-30 seconds, until you see the “Service: Oil Reset Complete” message.
  4. Let go of the pedals and turn your vehicle off. Next time you turn it on, that light should have vanished.

2nd Generation Escapes (2008-12)

If your Escape was made between 2008 and 2012, it’s part of the 2nd generation. For this model, the “Oil Life” reset process is arguably even easier than for some of the newer Escapes. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn the ignition to the “On” state, but don’t start the car.
  2. Find the “Setup” and “Reset” buttons. They should be behind the steering wheel to the left, just above where your left knee is in the driver’s position.
  3. Press the “Setup” button until the “Oil Life” reading shows up on your display.
  4. Push and hold the “Reset” button for a couple of seconds. A message should then appear saying “Oil Life Set at 100%.”
  5. Turn off the ignition, then start your engine and you should see the “Oil Life” light has gone.

1st Generation Escapes (2001-07)

There aren’t too many 1st gen Escapes still around, considering that they were made from 2001 through 2007. However, you might still have one, and here’s how you can reset its “Oil Life” light.

  1. Turn the ignition on, but don’t start the engine up.
  2. Push the “Info” button, which you should be able to find on the central console. Check the display and push the button again until you see the message “Press Set for Sys Chck.”
  3. Press the “Set” button. You should then see a new screen, displaying the current oil life.
  4. Push and hold the “Set” button and wait for the system to go through various checks and changes.
  5. When the display finally stops changing, you can let go of the button and the reset should be complete.

Reset Your Oil Light in Seconds

As you can see, resetting the “Oil Life” light isn’t something that should take long. Nor does it require the services of a professional. It’s something that any Escape owner should be able to do. If it doesn’t quite work for you the first time, try again – sometimes these resets take a couple of tries before they work. Don’t forget to check your owner’s manual for extra details, too.

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6 thoughts on “Ford Escape: How to Reset Oil Life”

  1. Just tried on my 2015. Does not work. You have to turn it on and THEN press the gas and brake. Pedals and then turn on does not work.

  2. 2018 2019 Models Step 1 says: Using the directional pad on the steering wheel, highlight “Settings“,
    How do I do this!


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