Cover Image for how to trigger a motorbike oil change



Oil change is fundamental for the maintenance of engines. In southeast Asia, there are plenty of old motorcycles. Maintenance in these motorcycles is essential to keep them running. Unfortunately, many motorcyclists forget to periodically change oil, or they simply ignore that oil must be changed.

Nowadays motorbikes owners must remember to check the odometer and notice that a certain amount of kilometers have been traveled. This method is prone to failures, users forget when was the last oil change and periodically check the oil level for leakages.

From a Behavioral perspective.

Let see this problem from the perspective of the BJ Fogg behavioral model. In this model each time a user will execute a behavior humans take into consideration three factors, Ability, Motivation, and a trigger that forces the computation. If there is enough ability and motivation when the trigger fires then the behavior will be performed. 

In this case we the problem does not deal with ability, which would be represented by factors like money and time to make an oil change. Nor it has to do with motivation to keep the motorbike running and in good shape. The problem is a triggering problem, how to prompt the rider that an oil change is needed. 

The original problem was a triggering problem (the user does not notice that the oil needs to be changed) in some dated motorcycles.

The new problem is that in most vehicles the triggering mechanism for an oil change is dated.

This changes the scope of the problem and makes us question the objective public for this product.


The design has two distinct sections, the cap, and the dipstick. The cap is hollow and contains most of the electronics of the device, insulated from the heat of the oil tank using a thermo isolant that separates both sections. Here is placed the piezoelectric sensor that measures the vibration of the engine along with the microprocessor that deals with the logic required to notify the user. On the top face it contains a button that allows interactions with the user:

  • check if the device is working
  • reset the timer when oil has been changed
  • Visually notify how close is the next alarm.

In the same place, there is a LED light that is used to communicate with the user such as

  • Is time for an oil change
  • oil is under the minimum line
  • The device battery is low.

The dipstick has a float that when is not submerged in oil, notifies an alarm to the user until detected. Note that this alert will be processed by the cap only when the engine is off, due to engine movement, temperature, and safety conditions.

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