Q: What does the Service Engine Soon Light mean?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What does the Service Engine Soon Light mean?

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The meaning of the "Service Engine Soon" Light is dependent on the make and model of your car and the manufacturer’s specifications. There are numerous dashboard indicator lights, and the particular indicator lights that are included on a dashboard are determined by the manufacturer.

Some vehicles will have a "Service Engine Soon" Light, as well as a "Check Engine" Light. For these vehicles, the meaning of the Service Engine Soon light will differ greatly from the Check Engine Light.

The Service Engine Soon Light could mean:

  • It is time for scheduled maintenance-the light will illuminate according to the car’s mileage and predetermined maintenance schedule.
  • There is a minor problem, such as low oil levels.

The Check Engine Light could mean:

  • The fuel cap is loose or off.
  • There is a problem with the exhaust or emissions system
  • There is a major engine malfunction/error.

Other vehicles have one indicator light that works as both a Service Engine Soon Light and Check Engine Light. This indicator light may illuminate in different colors or with illuminated text to indicate to the driver what issue needs to be addressed. For these vehicles, the meaning of the Service Engine Soon/Check Engine Light will vary greatly and could be an indication of anything from a notification of required scheduled maintenance, minor problems, major mechanical problems, emissions system issue, or an on-board diagnostic fault regarding one of the engine’s many electronic sensors.

If your Service Engine Soon Light or Check Engine Light is on, have it diagnosed as soon as possible, as the severity of the indicator light varies greatly.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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