Chevy Sonic Code 82: Meaning, Causes & Fixes

Error code 82 might not be a high-level alert but must be cleared in a day or two to avoid engine damage. What the code indicates is a reminder that you must change your motor oil and reset the oil life meter.

Unlike other Chevrolet series, resetting code 82 in a Chevy Sonic is a two-interface procedure. Older model Sonic clears the code via dedicated menu buttons while recent ones make use of turn signal stalk. Nevertheless, the process of clearing the code is the same. 

Now that you are familiar with what code 82 means, let’s dive into what causes it and how to clear the code. You will also get to learn about the importance of quality motor oil and different types of motor oil suitable for a Chevy Sonic engine.

chevy sonic code 82

What Causes A Chevy Sonic Code 82 Error?

The most common cause of code 82 in your car includes:

  • Impure or low-quality oil – these types of motor oil get easily contaminated.
  • Failure to reset oil life meter – after changing motor oil, if you do not reset the oil life meter, the code will remain on your dashboard.

To avoid these:

  • Ensure you buy only high-quality oil for your car’s engine. They last longer because they protect your engine from debris. 
  • Get rid of dirt or residues on your car’s engine and its components regularly. It becomes harder to clean when this debris accumulates. 
  • Check oil-fill caps for cracks or faults always. They are an alternative route for dirt to get into your Chevy’s engine.

How To Clear And Reset Error Code 82 in Chevy Sonic

The solution to Chevy Sonic code 82 is to replace the dirty oil with new and quality oil. Auto shops provide this service and even help in code resetting. 

However, if you wish to save a few bucks, you can change the oil and reset the code by yourself.

How To Change Motor Oil

1. Elevate The Car

The first thing to do is to elevate your car so you can conveniently work under it. Depending on the sophistication of your garage, hoist, ramps, or jack stands are what you can use. We do not recommend a floor jack because it is NOT safe.

Before you open up the engine, check for oil leaks.  Once you are positive there are no leaks, go ahead and unfasten the bolts around the oil section.

2. Unplug And Drain The Engine

With the plugs loosened, the next step is to remove and drain the engine and oil plug. Before unplugging and draining, make sure you have a big liquid holding container in place to prevent oil from staining the floor.

Allow the engine to drain for at least 5 minutes or until it starts to drop faintly. Expect a lot of oil (at least a gallon) in the container after draining.

3. Remove the Old Filter

After draining the oil, locate the oil filter and change it. In terms of appearance, the oil filter is a softball-sized cylindrical component attached to the engine or in some cases, a cartridge housing.

Loosen the oil filter (preferably with a wench) or your hand in an anti-clockwise manner until oil starts coming out from the top. Wait until it is completely drained before removing the filter.

Before installing a new filter, ensure that the old oil-filter gasket (an O-shaped thin rubber) has been removed. If the old gasket is not removed, the new filter won’t fit properly. This will result in excess oil leakage and it never ends well for car engines.

4. Replace Drained Plug And Oil Filter With A New One

Not just the oil filter gets a replacement, but the drained plug gets too. This replacement must be tightened very well but not too much. Follow this up with installing your new oil filter. 

The process of tightening is the same (don’t go too hard). Apply the right coating of oil on the rubber gasket before tightening.

5. Fill It Back Up with Oil

Now that the oil filter and drained plug have been replaced, all you need to do is cover the engine and lower your car to the ground. Open the hood, lose the oil cap and fill with the manufacturer’s recommended volume of oil. Use a funnel for the procedure to prevent oil stains on the floor.

6. Check the Oil Level And Check for Leaks

After filling with new oil, wait for a few minutes for the oil to settle in before checking for adequacy via a dipstick. Start the vehicle and let it warm up while you check for leaks under the vehicle or around the oil filter. No leaks? You are good to go!

How To Reset A Chevy Sonic Code 82 Error

  1. Place the key in the “on” position
  2. Press the “Menu” button and toggle it until provides detailed information about the oil life
  3. It will display a “Reset” option 
  4. Press and hold the “Set/CLR button” until the oil life reads 100% (reset status)

Chevy Sonic And Motor Oil Compatibility

Motor oils are responsible for the smooth running of engines. When your car engine is in good condition, you get to worry less about performance.

There are 3 major types of motor oils:

  1. Mineral oil – natural oil great for old Chevy sonic
  2. Semi-synthetic oil – a blend of mineral and synthetic oil. Should be replaced after every 10,000 miles.
  3. Synthetic oil – specifically for modern Chevrolet engines. Synthetic oils are best for long-distance travel.

Best Motor Oil Brands For Chevy Sonic

1. Castrol – EDGE High Mileage 5W-30

Castrol EDGE High Mileage is a fully synthetic motor oil with Fluid Titanium Technology. It is specially designed for Chevy Sonic with over 75K miles and is the ideal choice for individuals who want to experience maximum engine performance.

This oil preserves the catalytic converter and the entire emission system thanks to its Phosphorus Replacement property.

2. Mobil 1 – Extended Performance 5W-30

Mobil (synthetic) motor oil is a renowned brand for all car engines, not just Chevrolets. If you wish for your vehicle to be there for you at all times, you need a motor oil like the Mobil 1 – Extended Performance 5W-30.

The oil offers ultimate protection and performance for all engine types. Other Mobil oils to also look forward to are the Mobil Super 3000 5W40, and Mobil Super 3000 FE 5W30, to name a few.

3. Castrol GTX 15W-40

This is one of the best mineral versions from Castrol. The quality oil is great for owners of old Chevy Sonic and can cover about 10,000 km before a code 82 appears. 

It also offers great value (very efficient) for money because most old Chevy Sonic engines consume fuel. If you stay in a very cold region, this oil is not a great option. Consider changing your engine to a modern one and start using synthetic or semi-synthetic oils.


Code 82 is meant to notify you about the condition of your motor oil. In this case, the oil is no longer in good condition and must be drained and replaced within a day or two if you don’t want engine troubles.

With this guide, we believe you should be able to change your Chevy Sonic motor oil and reset code 82 whenever it appears. If at any point of the procedure, you run into any problem you can’t solve, visit a local repair shop.

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