If you see the service engine soon light comes on whilst you’re driving, this can be worrying, and it may bring some anxiety because now you’ve got more things on your calendar. When you see this light come on, it can mean a lot of things. Since the message is quite vague, it can be hard to know what to do – can you still drive? Do you need to get it checked out now? A lot of questions can pop into your head so it’s important to know what this message means so you know what to do in the future.
The service engine soon light means that there’s either a problem with the electronics of your car of the engine. Depending on the manufacturer of your car, the check engine soon light is usually used to highlight minor issues that are going in within your car. For example, your oil may need replacing, or a spark plug needs to be changed. There are some things you should check before you decide to take your car to the mechanic.
Why the Service Engine Soon Light is On
There is a list of reasons why you may see the service engine soon light. Here’s a list of the most common things it can mean.
- You need to get the car serviced.
- Minor engine issues.
- Low level of fluids which can include things like low oil, or brake fluid.
- Exhaust emission problems.
- Faulty Oxygen Sensor.
- Damaged Seat Belt.
What to Do When Your See Service Soon Light
If you don’t have a diagnostic tool with you to check what’s wrong in situations like this, you’ll need to check things that will commonly bring up this message.
Note: An OBD2 diagnostics code read (View on Amazon) will give you the meaning of an error code and it will allow you to reset them then and there’. The tool connects to the OBD port which will allow the software to determine what the problem with your car is.
There are some common things you should check If you haven’t got a diagnostics tool but before you do so, the color of the warning can give you a lot of clues. If you get a yellow light, this means that the problem is minor, and you’ll be able to diagnose the problem yourself or drive to a nearby workshop to get it checked out.
If the color of the warning is red, then there’s a major problem going on and you should turn off your car’s engine as soon as possible. If you aren’t a few seconds away from a mechanic shop, you’ll need to call a service to get your car towed to a shop so it can be diagnosed properly there.
Some manufacturers have a separate check engine light along with a service light. If you do see the check engine, then the engine control unit or your transmission control unit has detected a problem with your engine.
If your check engine light comes on rather than the service engine light, then you can use your OBD2 scanner to check the code. If the check engine light did light up, then a scheduled service shouldn’t be due because the check engine light doesn’t come up if there is a scheduled service.
Things to Check For
If you have your car’s manual and you know that the problem is minor, then you can check what the check engine soon light means. This is the best way to check what could be wrong with your car before taking it to the mechanic.
1. Check the fuel tank to see if the cap is tightened. If not, this can cause the light to come on which will prevent any spillage which could lead to further problems. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to drive your car a few times so that the OBD2 reader notices problem is solved and therefore turn off the SES light. If the light does remain on in this case, then you may need to replace your gas cap.
2. If our Oxygen sensor is faulty, this can cause the light to come on. Your car needs to have the correct ratio of oxygen to gasoline. If there’s too little oxygen, this can damage the engine, the same as if there’s too much oxygen. There’s a sensor that can detect if the ratio is correct. If the sensor is faulty and it cant adjust the ratio properly, the light can come on.
3. Check your car’s fluid levels including the brake fluid, oil, widow wiper fluid, and automatic transmission fluid. Lower levers of any fluid can trigger the light to come on depending on your car’s manufacturer.
4. Check the anti-lock brake of the safety restraint system.
5. Check if any seat belts are broken. Because of safety issues, a broken seat belt can trigger the light because this can be a danger to someone’s life.
6. This light could also mean that your car’s battery is bad, or you have a broken alternator.
Making Sure the Service Engine Soon Light Doesn’t Come on Again
As you’ve seen, there are a few reasons the service engine soon light can come on. It’s most likely due to one of the reasons above and for these to be fixed, you can either do them yourself or go to the mechanic. If you want to make sure the service engine soon light doesn’t come on again, you need to be servicing your vehicle often. This involves checking parts to make sure that they’re up to standard and not malfunctioning.
If you want to avoid problems and save $100s of dollars that you’ll spend at the auto repair shop, you’ll need to service your vehicle often – you can use our mechanic-rated Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual to do this. It’s basically what mechanics use to go through your vehicle to check if there are any problems that need fixing. As soon as they notice the most minor problem, they’ll ask you to fork out some money even though it’s a problem you can fix yourself in minutes – the manual will teach you how to maintain your vehicle every few thousand miles and it’ll teach you how to fix minor problems that mechanics will ask you to pay for; saving you money in the long run.
A lot of our readers have the Auto Maintenance and Repair Manual printed on their garage wall and 92% of them haven’t visited the auto repair shop in the last year because they know what to do to avoid problems. All it takes is giving your vehicle a little attention every few thousand miles and you’ll never spend money at the workshop again.
Still Can’t Find Any Issues?
If you’ve checked your car thoroughly and you weren’t able to find any issues with it, make sure to take it to a shop where it can be checked on. If you have the OBD2 diagnostics tool at home, then you can take the car home if you’re nearby and your light is yellow and not red. From here, you can try and diagnose the problem and start taking steps from here.
Some car manufacturers will provide you with codes along with the service engine soon light so more information can be provided about the problem. If this is the case, make sure to remember the error code and check the manufacturer. If you do have a OBD2 code reader, you can diagnose any codes or errors you receive because they have a built-in code library that can provide solutions depending on the error that you receive.
Sometimes after resetting the service engine soon light, it can come back on. This can happen if your engine control module performs tests on your engine’s components and one of the components has failed, then this could be a reason why the service engine soon light keeps coming back on. This only usually happens if the component has failed multiple times.