If you drive a Toyota or Honda, you may be wondering why the maintenance required light comes on, and just how you can get rid of it.
What does the Maintenance Required Light Mean?
The maintenance required light isn't present in every vehicle on the market. Its sole purpose is to remind the driver that after so many miles the car needs to be taken in for regular maintenance. This can included oil or fluid changes, tire rotations, or changing spark plugs. Typically, this light flashes for six seconds around the 4,500-mile intercal or more, the light stays on as long as the vehicle is running - this should be treated as a final warning.
While the maintenance required light doesn't necessarily mean there's somehting wrong with the car, you should still take it seriously if it pops up. Make sure you call your mechanic or dealership and schedule a service appointment.
How to Reset Your Maintenance Required Light
When you take your vehicle into the dealer or shop, the mechanic is supposed to reset the light so the car can let you know when it needs regular maintenance again. But, because not every vehicle has this warning light, some mechanics forget to reset it. It can be concerning when the light comes on if you know you were recently at the shop and had regular maintenance done well before the 5,000-mile interval mark. The good news is that you can reset it yourself, and don't have to waste time schlepping the car back to the shop.
If you have a Toyota...
If you have a Lexus...
If you have a Honda...
(Note that Honda calls their maintenance required lights "maintenance minder lights")
If the light doesn't go off when at step five (Toyota and Lexus) or step four (Honda), turn the vehicle off completely and start over. If after a few tries it still doesn't turn off, consider taking it in to your dealership or local mechanic.
Maintenance Required vs. Check Engine Light
Is the maintenance required light the same as the check engine light? Not at all. As we discussed earlier, the maintenance required light is triggered by mileage, and is concerned with regular car maintenance schedules. The check engine light is triggered by something that's faulty in the OBD II system. The check engine light can go on for many reasons, including:
These are more serious repairs that need to be done, and if the check engine light comes on, you need to use a special code ready to find out what the problem is. Major auto parts stores have the you can use for free, or you can bring the vehicle to the dealer or shop and have them look at it.
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