We’ve all been there: it’s a great day for driving, you’ve got your favorite tunes on, and there’s nothing to be worried about. Until, anyway, the ‘Service Engine Soon’ light flickers on. It’s only natural for a torrent of thoughts to race through your mind, the biggest of which is ‘What’s wrong with my car?’ But before you panic, let’s learn what the Service Engine Soon light actually means.
The Real Meaning of the Service Engine Soon Light
First of all, it’s important to note that the Service Engine Soon light isn’t the same thing as the Check Engine light – at least, not all the time. Some manufacturers feature both lights, while others only have one.
If your vehicle has both lights, the Check Engine light is generally an indicator of a moderate-to-severe problem with your engine. This may be a problem with your oil pressure, the engine temperature, exhaust or emissions system. In some cases, the check engine light may be a first alert about a possible engine failure.
The Service Engine Soon light, on the other hand, does several things depending on the manufacturer. The most likely reason it’s on is because it is automatically set to come on as you approach your next vehicle maintenance schedule milestone. This light may also alert you to minor problems such as a loose gas cap or minor electrical problem.
If your vehicle only has the one light, check to make sure your engine temperature and oil pressure gauges are all reading normal before deciding whether to pull over. We recommend giving your mechanic a call to schedule an appointment to diagnose the problem. It’s far less expensive to treat a problem while it is minor than wait for it to become severe and costly. Worse, you could even wind up stranded on the side of the road.
Your Service Engine Soon Light Should Not Cause You to Panic
When your Service Engine Soon light comes on, don’t panic – as long as your vehicle seems otherwise normal. Once you’ve reached your destination, you can check the following to make sure none of these items is the culprit:
- Make sure all of your fluids are topped-off, as low fluids can trigger this light. Check your engine oil, brake fluid, windshield wiper fluid, and transmission fluid.
- Inspect your car to check for any leaks or damage. If liquid is pooling below your car, your vehicle is unsafe and needs to be repaired immediately.
- Tighten your gas cap. Sometimes, a loose gas cap can trigger a ‘Service Engine Soon’ light.
If everything seems normal, your fluids are topped off, and your car isn’t overheating, then it’s likely that the Service Engine Soon light is on as part of your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.
Diagnose Your ‘Service Engine Soon’ Light at T3 Atlanta
The Service Engine Soon light can send a jolt of panic through any car owner, but it’s not always a cause for concern. To be absolutely sure why this light is on, bring your car to T3 Atlanta. We will diagnose the issue free of charge to make sure there is not a serious problem with your car’s engine.
Our convenient locations in Smyrna and Decatur make it easy to get the car care you need quickly. Our team of mechanics has more than 20 years of experience working on Nissan, Lexus, Infiniti, and Toyota cars. When your ‘Service Engine Soon’ light comes on, call T3 Atlanta for a fast and free diagnosis!