Service Engine Soon – What to do when the Service Engine Soon Light Appears

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Service Engine Soon is one of the features embedded in cars that notifies drivers when there is a need for engine service, scheduled service etc. If you’re on the road driving, and all of a sudden, the ‘Service Engine Soon light appears on your dashboard.

Service Engine Soon

At this point, so many thoughts will be going on in your mind, like ‘What to do now? Will my engine get damaged if I keep driving? Should I stop the car at once and tow it to the garage?.

If you find yourself in a situation like this, no need to panic, the light is not as dangerous as it looks. Here you will find all the important info about the warning light. So endeavour to read on.

Service Engine Soon

The Service Engine Soon light simply shows or indicates that there is a minor problem with the electronics or your car’s engine. However, some automobile manufacturers use the service engine soon light instead of the check engine light when there is just a minor problem with your car. It simply means this check engine light is used when there is a severe problem.

Furthermore, the light could also mean that it is time for a scheduled service, such as oil or spark plug replacement. Moreover, some manufacturers provided only one indicator light for both scheduled service and engine problems.

Common Reasons for the Service Engine Soon Light

There are lots of reasons why the service engine soon light will always come up. And some of the reasons depend on the car manufacturer. Nevertheless, these causes are mostly very similar between car models. Check out the following causes below;

Due to minor engine issues like a loose fuel tank cap.

Time for a scheduled service.

Low level of any fluids (Low oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.)

Minor exhaust emission issues

What to do when the Service Engine Soon Light Appears

“Service Engine Soon”

If suddenly the light pops up while driving and you don’t have any diagnostic tools with you. Do the following,

  • Pack by the side of the road
  • Get your repair manual (if you have it with you) to learn what the service engine light means on your car model.
  • Then, check all fluid levels, such as the engine oil level, brake fluid level, wiper washer fluid, automatic transmission fluid (if you have a dipstick for it), and the coolant level.
  • Ensure your fuel tank cap is tightened properly.
  • Go to the engine and listen if you can hear any strange noises from the engine.
  • Check when your last scheduled service was done, on your service history manual. And then check if it’s time for a service. However, you can call your authorized dealer if you have a digital service manual or try to find some information on your dashboard menu.

Not able to find what the problem is?

Other Troubleshooting steps

If you are unable to find any problems, you have to take your car to a workshop to read your vehicle’s trouble code memory. You can also do this yourself(DIY) if you have an OBD2 scanner at home.

Check your engine control unit for any stored trouble codes. However, if you receive any codes, save them and try to get information about what they mean. In case there are codes for emission problems that are not dangerous for your engine, you can try deleting the code to see if the engine maintenance light goes out.

So, if the light goes out after you delete the codes, it shows that one of the codes stored in the memory is causing the engine maintenance light to come on.

Service Engine Soon Light In Different Colors

The service engine light features different colours like yellow and Red. The two colours have a different meaning when it pops up.

Yellow Light: Whenever the yellow light pops up it simply indicates a minor Issue: you can drive it to the mechanic or diagnose it yourself as fast as possible.

Red Light: This light indicates a major Issue. When you see a red light, likely stop the car and turn off the engine as fast as possible. Then, get it towed to the nearby mechanic shop for an inspection.

Can I Drive With Service Engine Soon Light On?

In some cases, the problems causing the service engine soon light is not dangerous for your car. Although is best to check all fluids to ensure the level is OK before you continue to drive. And don’t fail to repair it as soon as possible.

How Do I Get The Service Engine Soon Light To Go Off?

The best way to turn it off is to troubleshoot and fix the problem. Once the problem is fixed the light will automatically turn off. However, if the light pops up because of scheduled service, you need to reset it with a diagnostic scanner or a particular combination for your car model.

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