Q: Why does my check engine light come on when it's close to getting an oil change

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My check engine light always comes on when it is or close to getting a oil change.

My car has 243847 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hi there. In most cases, a service engine light will be illuminated on the dashboard when routine service and maintenance is required. The Service (or Service Engine) light is a warning light that is connected to the engine control unit (ECU) of a vehicle. The ECU is the brain of the car and monitors a number of systems, including mileage, engine temperature and performance and the efficiency of the entire system. There are scheduled intervals for service; and after the service has been completed, the warning light can be manually reset. If you look inside your glove compartment there is most likely a vehicle owner manual. If your check engine light comes on, it might indicate that the oil pressure is increasing due to oil sludge blocking the oil galleys or plugging the oil pump. This is common with older engines with more than 200,000 miles. The solution to this problem is to have oil changes completed more frequently, so instead of changing oil and filter every 5,000 miles, perhaps changing oil at 3,500 is best.

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