What Does “Maintenance Required” Mean On A Car?

What Does “Maintenance Required” Mean On A Car?

The maintenance required light can pop up in your dash anytime. This warning light remains active to remind you that you need to take your car for maintenance.

The maintenance required light usually doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with your car. It often reminds you about oil change after reaching a specific mileage.

What Does Maintenance Required Mean On a Car

However, it would be best if you didn’t forget to change the oil as this boosts the performance of your car.

Keep reading this article to know more about the maintenance required light and why it should be reset.

What Does Maintenance Required Mean?

Maintenance required light means that the car needs to be taken for regular maintenance after a certain driven distance. Usually, this light activates after 5,000 or 10,000 miles.

It depends on the automaker. The light remains active permanently and won’t go off until you reset it manually.

Maintenance required light on a car means that the car’s maintenance schedule is due. It is not limited to an oil change.

This light alerts you but doesn’t tell of the condition or level of the engine oil. Even after changing the oil, the light can pop in your dash, reminding you to change it again.

When this happens, it means that the mechanic forgot to reset the light while servicing your car.

The good news is; you can reset the maintenance required light yourself. It, however, depends on the make of your car.

You can drive with this light on safely since it doesn’t mean your car has problems. But you do need to visit a certified mechanic shop for servicing.

The mechanic will change the engine oil and check the condition of the other car components. They will also reset the light for you.

Resetting the maintenance required light is essential. After an oil change, you need to have the miles reset so that when the servicing is due, the car will notify you.

Differences Between Maintenance Required Light And Check Engine Light

A maintenance required light differs from the check engine light in several ways. The maintenance required light pops up to remind you to take their cars for maintenance.

This maintenance includes engine oil, inspecting tires, changing oil filters, or general car servicing.

The maintenance required light is reset after servicing. However, if your car dealer fails to reset it, this light remains on.

The good news is that you can reset it yourself, although the procedure depends on the make and model of your car.

On the other hand, “check engine light” means that there’s a faulty component in your car.

The driven distance does not activate this light; instead, when there’s a problem with your car, such as a faulty ignition coil.

You will need a code reader to clear check engine light. This code reader identifies the problem that has triggered it.

Most auto shops have these code readers, and they can help you identify the problem free of charge. Otherwise, code readers are cheap, and you can buy yours.

Check engine light can be triggered by:

  • Loose gas cap
  • Low oil pressure
  • Overheated engine
  • Faulty oxygen sensors
  • Bad spark plugs etc

How Long Can You Drive A Car After Maintenance Light Comes On

Maintenance required light doesn’t mean that your car has a problem. Neither does it limit your ability to drive.

While you can drive with your car however long you want to after the maintenance lights come on, it’s still important to take your car for servicing.

You may schedule an oil change about two weeks after the maintenance required light comes on. Or you can check the level of engine oil yourself using a dipstick.

Also, check the condition of the engine oil while at it.

Maintenance Required Meaning On a Car

The maintenance required light is activated by mileage, depending on your car’s make and model. In most cars, the light activates when you reach 5,000 miles.

This driven distance is apparently enough to contaminate your oil filler. And the light activates to remind you to change your oil.

Before you reach this mileage, around 4,500 miles, the maintenance required light can flash for some seconds and then turn off.

It is to remind you that your vehicle’s maintenance schedule is near.

Changing oil improves oil efficiency allowing you to drive your car smoothly. Driving around with old oil strains your engine, and the repercussions for that are expensive.

For instance, if you fail to change your engine oil, it will solidify. It means that the oil will not flow to the motor; thus, there won’t be enough lubrication in your engine.

This friction will damage other parts of your car.

Why Is My Maintenance Required Light On After Oil Change?

Cars cannot detect that the engine oil has been changed. Therefore, the maintenance required light will still be on even after you’ve changed it.

Changing oil doesn’t reset the light itself automatically. The maintenance required light has to be reset manually.

In most cases, auto stores reset the maintenance required oil for you after servicing your car. But at times, they might forget to reset it, leaving you with the task of resetting it yourself.

In rare cases, if the light is still on after an oil change or resetting it, this could indicate potential issues such as:

A Faulty Sensor

A failing sensor can identify false oil problems. When dirt and other components accumulate in the oil pump, the sensor may think that something is wrong with the oil.

Hence, causing the maintenance required light to remain on. You should consult your trusted auto shop to identify what could be the problem.

Oil Pressure Is Too Low

If the maintenance light remains on after an oil change, low oil pressure could be the cause.

Low oil pressure means there won’t be enough lubrication since there’s no oil flowing to the motor. Driving your car in this state can damage your car’s engine.

You, therefore, need to take your car to a certified car shop to check if there is oil pressure.

The light can also come up if the oil pump has failed. However, all these problems you could avoid if your car is serviced by a professional.

If the maintenance required light comes up, a professional will do more than change the oil for you. They will also perform general maintenance of your car and fix the problems identified.

A Word From Us

The maintenance required light has been put there to help you know when your car is due for n oil or general car inspection.

This light doesn’t necessarily mean that something is wrong with your car. All the same, you should not ignore it.

By having your oil changed, you are promoting the optimal performance of your car. You can reset the maintenance required light yourself without making trips to your dealer.

However, taking your car to a certified mechanic would be the best option since they will help you identify problems before they become a headache.