Service Engine Soon – What to do when Check Engine/Service Engine Light Comes on

The Service Engine Soon alerts you of the malfunctions which your Car sensors have detected. Currently, cars are being designed with high technology sensors that help detect problems and malfunctions. These car sensors are installed in modern cars by car designers with the aim of improving the driver’s experience.

Service Engine Soon
Service Engine Soon

Service Engine Soon

“what does service engine soon mean?” you may have wondered. The Service Engine Soon is a term used when the Service Engine Soon Light on your car comes on. The Service Engine Light is a warning light that indicates the condition of your car when there is a problem with emissions, ignition, fuel system, or transmission. In simple terms, the Service engine soon light on your car comes on when your Engine needs to be checked soon.

Most times, the Service Engine Soon light comes on when a Driver is on the road. To ensure safety as a driver, you should pull over at a safe place and contact a roadside service and call for assistance to have your vehicle towed to the mechanic. This is when the Service Engine Soon light keeps flashing continuously.

Ignoring the Service Engine Soon Light on your vehicle for a long period of time can lead to major complications including complete shutdown, the need for emergency roadside assistance, and also costly replacements. With this, you should always pay attention to this indicator light on your dashboard.

Is Service Engine Soon the Same as Check Engine?

Though the term “Service Engine Soon Light” and “Check Engine Light” are used interchangeably, they really do not mean the same thing.

The Service Engine Soon Light on your dashboard tells you that your car needs upcoming maintenance.  Some issues which your car sensor could detect leading to this light includes; Transmission Fluid service, Oil service, Air filter malfunction, etc. when the Service Engine Soon light comes on your vehicle, this does not indicate immediate danger. However, you should not ignore this light as it can lead to more serious complications.

The Check Engine Light on the other hand indicates more serious problems such as a loose gas filter cap, Improper engine timing, Spark plug problems, catalytic converter issues, malfunctioning mass airflow sensor (MAF), etc.

What to do when Check Engine/Service Engine Light Comes on

Having known what the Service Engine and Check Engine Lights are, you may want to know what action to carry out on your car if any of these lights come on your dashboard.  Something like a First aid. When you notice the Service Engine Light or Check Engine Light on your dashboard, you have no need to panic, you could try any of the tips below:

  • Check your Vehicle’s dashboard. Some modern vehicles are able to indicate the specific problem affecting the vehicle. If your vehicle is able to this, this should be the first step you should take. However, you could go on to try the other tips if you can’t detect the problem from your dashboard.
  • Pull your car over to the side of the road. You should do this if the light blinks constantly or is red in color (In some vehicles, a red light indicates immediate attention). However, you should know that the Service Engine Soon or Check engine light does not indicate immediate repairs.
  • Check for a faulty or loose gas cap. A faulty or loose gas cap will lead to the gas leaking and thus, alerting the car sensors. Having known this, this is one of the faults you should check for.
  • Check for low fluid. A low level of fluid or oil in your vehicle could cause the Service Engine Soon light to come on. If this is the cause, you should schedule an appointment with your mechanic to have the oil changed.
  • Check for faulty Spark plugs and wires. Your car sensors may detect old or worn-out spark plugs and wires. This leads to the Service Engine soon Light or checks engine light coming on. Worn out and old spark plugs and wires negatively affect the combustion process of your vehicle.
  • Check if your Mass Airflow Sensor is faulty. The mass airflow sensor is used to measure the volume of air that passes through the Air Filter of a car. A faulty mass airflow sensor will cause your vehicle to stall thus increasing fuel usage. The spark plugs may as well be damaged if the mass airflow sensor is not replaced promptly. In addition to this, a faulty Mass Airflow Sensor may cause significant damage to the catalytic converter, leading to an expensive repair.

If you have tried the tips above and you are still having difficulties in detecting the problem with your car, you would have to go for the last resort. The last resort is to contact a roadside mechanic or call for assistance to have your vehicle towed to your mechanic (this is if the indicator light shows red consistently).



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