Soon Light on the Service Engine Dashboard: Meaning, Causes and What to Do

Yellow lightService engine soon” can create panic on the car dashboard. In Spanish, the words on this sign mean “Quick Motor Service.” Very alarmed! However, this light can warn of very different things: some are more serious and may require waiting a few days until a mechanic assesses the situation.

When the yellow Service Engine Soon light appears on the dash, the question is whether the car should be stopped immediately, or if continuing to drive will damage the engine.. Well, for starters, it’s good to know that this signal isn’t as worrisome as it seems. This could be due to a scheduled service or need to replace the spark plugs or change the engine oil.

The subject of service engine is soon light

the light Service engine soon It means that there is a minor problem with your car’s electronics or engine. What’s more: Some manufacturers use this indicator instead of the check engine light when there is a minor problem and not a serious problem. Others instead have an indicator for both scheduled service and engine problems.

There are many reasons why the service engine light might come on sooner. The most common reason is that your car has a small engine problem, low fluid level, bad bulb or, depending on the car model, a small emissions problem.

Service Engine Soon: Material by Color

The service engine light will appear in different colors. We tell you what they mean:

  • Yellow light: Indicates a small problem, but it’s important to take it to a workshop or check for yourself what’s going on.
  • Red light: Warns of an important problem. In this case, you should stop the car, turn off the engine as quickly as possible and take it to the nearest mechanical shop for inspection.
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Service engine soon light: why the signal is coming

Check your repair manual (if you have one) to find out what the service engine light is for your car model.

Common reasons why the Service Engine Check Light comes on are:

  • Minor mechanical issues like a loose fuel tank cap.
  • Time of scheduled service.
  • Low level of any fluid (low oil, coolant, brake fluid, etc.).
  • Minor exhaust emission issues.

If the check engine light comes on, it may blink or stay on. It all depends on the problem. A flashing light, or, on some cars, a red light instead of a yellow or orange light, indicates a problem that requires immediate attention.

The warning lights on the car dashboard alert us when the vehicle breaks down
Credit: Shutterstock

What to do if the service engine soon light comes on

It is important to check all fluid levels (engine oil, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, automatic transmission fluid, coolant level).

  • Check the engine for strange noises.
  • Check that the fuel tank cap is tight.
  • Check if the last scheduled service expires.
  • Take the car to a mechanic so they can scan it.

If the service engine does something that causes the soon light to turn off, then it comes back on and the problem persists, then it needs to be diagnosed again.

Will you be able to turn on the service engine soon?

Generally, most problems that cause the light to come on are not dangerous for your car. However, it is a good idea to check all fluids to make sure the level is correct before continuing to drive.

How to quickly turn off the service engine light

In most cases, the light will turn off when the problem that caused it to turn on is resolved. If the signal is activated by a scheduled service, it will be reset by the mechanic’s scanner when it’s done.

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Misty Tate

"Freelance twitter advocate. Hardcore food nerd. Avid writer. Infuriatingly humble problem solver."

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