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Oil changes are essential maintenance for your car but it won’t do anything that could trigger your check engine light to come on. If you notice the light after an oil change, something else is wrong.
The engine check light can turn on for a number of different reasons, but a low oil level is typically not one of them. Being low on oil is a serious problem, but it will not trigger your check engine light. It will, however, cause the oil light in your dashboard to turn on.
Replacing a faulty oxygen sensor — a sensor used to optimize a vehicle’s fuel-to-air mixture to increase gas mileage and reduce emissions — is the most common cause for a check engine light.
- Excess Vehicle Exhaust. …
- Falling Oil Level. …
- Increased Engine Noise. …
- Irregular Oil Texture. …
- Low Oil Level. …
- More Mileage Than Usual. …
- Persistent Check Engine Light. …
- Shaking While Idling.
The rule of thumb is that if the check engine light is flashing, you can’t keep driving the car. It’s an emergency. Often it indicates an engine misfire. If you keep driving, you will likely cause irreversible damage, mostly to the (expensive) catalytic converter.
The check engine light — more formally known as the malfunction indicator lamp — is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. … If the light begins flashing, however, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter.
A solid Check Engine Light can mean something like a loose gas cap, or it can indicate a more in-depth problem like a fuel, timing, or transmission issue. Get your car diagnosed, although the urgency isn’t the same as if the light was flashing at you.
You can. All that you need to check your own light is an OBD-II reader, which can pull codes that help you find out what’s wrong with your car. If you don’t have a code reader, keep reading to learn the most common causes, and then bring your car to your local AutoZone to find out why your Check Engine Light is on.
When the oil light on your dashboard comes on, it might mean your vehicle has low oil pressure. This drop in oil pressure could be a sign of a few things: you are low on oil, your oil is dirty, or you have an oil leak.
Bottom line: Yes, if you see a pattern in which the engine light comes on during periods that your tank is low, then turns off right after you fill it (and tighten the gas cap!), one of the above issues is probably going on.
Spark plug or coil issues Speaking of spark plugs, they too can throw up a check engine light. Faulty spark plugs can cause misfires or even cylinders to stop running entirely. The coil packs that sit on top of the plugs can cause the same symptoms when faulty.
- Oil pressure warning light.
- Burning oil smell.
- Strange noises.
- Weaker performance.
- Overheating Engine.
Due to this, cars can generally go 5,000 to 7,500 miles before needing an oil change. Furthermore, if your vehicle uses synthetic oil, you can drive 10,000 or even 15,000 miles between oil changes. However, keep in mind that these numbers are just general guidelines.
You cannot feel any difference at all. Now, if you do not change the oil, often enough, carbon and metal particles will wear your engine out faster. Sludge can buildup in small passageways. This will prevent your engine from getting proper lubrication and cooling.
Generally speaking, you have about 2 weeks or 500 miles of driving before a flashing oil light turns into a legitimate problem. But once it hits that point, things can go downhill fast, leading to serious mechanical damage. So, try to get your vehicle into a mechanic sooner rather than later.
So why is the light still on? Here’s something you probably don’t know: after clearing the car’s computer you will need to drive for about 50 to 100 miles. As you drive your car the computer will monitor all the sensors and register the results. You can use GOFAR to constantly monitor your car diagnostics.
Look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention. Check your dashboard gauges and lights for indications of low oil pressure or overheating. … On some cars, a yellow check engine light means investigate the problem and a red one means stop right now. Try tightening your gas cap.
Usually, when the check engine light is on and the car is shaking, that means you’re dealing with an engine misfire. Basically, the check engine light comes on whenever there’s an issue that could increase vehicle tailpipe emissions.
The costs to fix whatever’s ailing your car — and causing the light to come on — can vary greatly. Repair costs for the most common check engine light problems range from under $20 to almost $1,200, according to CarMD’s analysis of millions of repairs recommended in 2016 in the U.S.
Check Engine Light Testing – Free O’Reilly Auto Parts offers free check engine light testing to help you diagnose the problem. Most of our stores can loan you a code reader for OBD 1&2 systems for vehicles from 1996 and up, except in areas where it is prohibited by law.
Low oil pressure means the pump isn’t circulating enough oil, or there isn’t enough oil in the system for the pump to circulate. The oil is important to keeping the surfaces lubricated, so if the oil light comes on and the pressure is low, pull over and turn off the engine.
- Whining Noise From the Fuel Tank. …
- The Engine Sputters or Surges. …
- Trouble Starting the Car. …
- Loss of Power Under Load. …
- Reduced Gas Mileage. …
- Stalling at High Temperatures.
It’s normal for your check engine light to go one in the event of an issue with your car. … Your check engine light going on doesn’t mean it’s your transmission, but if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms along with it, get your car in to see your service technician as soon as possible.
Worn Out Piston Rings or Cylinder Walls However, if your piston rings have worn out or the cylinder wall has begun to deteriorate, then the seal may no longer function properly. With a faulty seal, oil can enter the combustion chamber, burn, and leave you with less oil than you started with.
Most cars can go 5,000 to 7,500 miles between oil changes. Your owner’s manual will tell you what’s best for your car. The 3,000-mile oil change is dead. Cars can be driven more miles between oil changes than this outdated rule of thumb would have you think.