Home / Engine / What Does Service Engine Soon Mean? 5 Symptoms & What To Do?

What Does Service Engine Soon Mean? 5 Symptoms & What To Do?


Service Engine Soon is a terminology which is associated with the automotive industry. It is a term which is understood and used by the people who have hands on knowledge about the vehicles. Service Engine depicts the warning lights that are on the dash board of the any vehicle.

What do the Basic concept of “service engine soon” light stands for?

What does “service engine soon” mean? This is what you should know if you regularly manage a vehicle. When you see this light on your dashboard. Basically, this is a warning for the driver that there is some problem in the vehicle, so you should be ready to take the necessary measures.

There are different warning lights and signs, which are important to understand if you manage a vehicle, such as, “engine soon” light; this article will highlight what this light means and what should be the precautionary measures on this.

Check Engine Light Coming On?

Is the engine light on something serious? Since this light is a representation of a malfunction, the operator has to be alert as the sensors of the vehicle have identified an issue.

The new drivers generally get nervous about this caution by assuming a high expense for repair, however it is not necessary that the case may be that much serious.

If there is a serious issue with the engine, regarding one or more important parts of the engine, it may cost a little higher, however in most of the cases, the problem is so simple that it could be managed by the driver himself, without involvement of a mechanic.

You do not know what the engine soon means? Don’t panic, this can be as simple as a faulty gas cap. If you do not own an OBD II code reader, then a schedule maintenance appointment for a basic car repair check up.

Service Engine Soon Light On?

A basic measure is get to know your vehicle soon before service is do. According to Thomas bay, avoidance to getting awareness has no excuse. So, there can be no reason why you are not aware what is inside your vehicle. Try to have basic understanding about the parts of engine and its systems through user manual, internet or your friends.

What can be the possible issues?

All you need to understand, and get to know your vehicle and find out, which part may be causing the problem. According to Ardot, the very first reaction to this problem should be checking the gas cap.

Only a loose gas cap may create such panic, which could cause you fear of losing hundreds of dollars in auto repairs.

What are the possible solutions for this problem?

In such a situation, you should check the gas tank which must be more than half, before you close the gas cap tightly. After doing this you should drive the vehicle up to half an hour and check if the light turns off. If it does not, you should replace the gas cap immediately.

What Does It Mean If this does not resolve the issue by turning off the “service engine soon” light is it an emission issue??

In case the light is fully on, it is possible that there is an emissions systems issue which may be of urgent nature or also it could be opposite case. But if the light is blinking, there may be an urgent need to attend the issue by taking the vehicle to the mechanic.

How can we solve this light problem by ourselves?

It may be resolved by checking the oxygen sensor, which is responsible to check the amount of oxygen that has not burnt as yet.

This is not an expensive component, but if you don’t change it on time, you may have the catalytic converter damaged, and bear loss of 1000s of dollars.

Eventually it can lead to engine replacement or you have to sell your automobile for pennies.

Can I change the oxygen sensor myself?

Off course you can; this is not a very tricky task. The method of changing the oxygen sensor is usually mentioned in the user manual of the car and is so simple. All you have to do is to pull the old sensor and pop the new one; this will cause you saving of both; thousands of dollars and time.

Are these lights same in all the vehicles?

No, these lights are variant; as the these differ according to make and model of any vehicle. The moment these lights show any indictor; it informs that there is some need of the car, due to a malfunction, however the style may differ in each vehicle.

There may be two different cautions in some vehicles; Dependent upon the make of the vehicles. Several vehicles show “Engine Soon Light”, or “Check Engine” Light. Both of these cautions should not be takes as same; these two require different measures.

Should you worry about the light?

Panic is not the solution to anything, but this light is a clear indication that the vehicle requires regular maintenance and this is the right time. This may be identified through yellow or red light. In this case, all you have to do is to take to a mechanic, which was already due & delayed by you.

What else may be the possibility if the “service engine soon” light is on?

Engine Soon light on (Need to know how the engine light is on?)
Parking light on and not the engine light

It may also occur due to lower level of oil, water or battery issue; hence all of these indicators may be checked. All are important considerations; however; as per Joe Ben at car talks shortage of oil may even cause seized engine; yet a great loss, which requires higher budget.

Electric systems require great care

Off course, you must agree with me that you cannot blindly depend on the electric systems. Electrical control systems may fail anytime due to small negligence. Since the cars are entirely dependent on the electrical systems; any error in the system is highlighted to the user.

No need to fear from this light

What does it mean? Service engine soon light shows to the users that computer or system of the vehicle has detected a fault in the electrical section; which can lead to the mechanical error like burst, breakdown or any related issue.

That means timely identification of this error may prevent a great disaster.

It may also be linked with the alignment of coding

The codes starting with P zero or P one may be linked with the Service engine soon issue. This electrical signal of lesser or greater values to a sensor shows that the designed coding is not aligned and there is some bug in the system and this shows that there is something wrong with code of the work.

Are these two codes enough for identification of the “service engine soon” light error?

Picture of the Service Engine Soon Light onThere are hundreds of possible codes, and they only provide the general location of the problem. More specific troubleshooting must be done on the area to determine the root cause. These may be understood only as a sign, but not any instant problem which may be drastic.

Engine Soon Light is guiding towards the potential danger

Service engine soon is leading towards the potential danger; thus, you can stay safer due to timely warning by the sensors.

If you are a new user, you may be confused over the possible issues. In such cases, don’t take a risk and take the vehicle to a trust worthy mechanic for identification.

Don’t panic; find the root causes of the problem

It is important to note that there must be some causes that lead towards the Service Engine Soon and some of them are bad spark plug, old, torn and bad wiring, bad oxygen sensor and the damage in the Catalytic convertor.

Always try to find the correct root cause in order to deal with the issue. Remember to check the transmission fluid level.

Every vehicle has its own mechanism and even computer coding

Every vehicle has its own mechanism and even computer coding that indicates the malfunctioning in the system. For example, as per Pfaff in Nissan it can lead towards the low gas or emission issue. Try to find the right one for your car model and make for correct identification.

Always keep ready to involve the service center soon

It is better to see a service center because the break down is dependent on the code that is generated during the service engine lights.

The scanner helps them to read the code for identification; in case of erasing this code; the technician might not be in a position to locate the exact problem.

Does the Mass Air filter needs to be checked when the “service engine soon” light comes on?

Mass air filter (MAF) can also be one of the reasons for service engine soon light on your dashboard. This is the area which is mostly neglected however this cheaper component of the vehicle can also be the root cause and can easily be addressed at a very low cost.

Do not forget to check plugs

Generally, the common drivers are not careful about checking plugs; in the older vehicles this may be the main problem because as suggested by Ardot it should be changed by forty kilometers, however, in the modern automotive, it may last for a longer period.

On Board Diagnostics II (OBD II)

Do you know that this simple OBD II scanner is available in the market at a very cheap cost of around ten dollar, and the potential saving caused by this equipment is highly significant? This is a one-time spending which saves you from various high expenses to take place due to different errors.

You can even buy parts yourself

What do i need? Sometimes it happens that you are not happy with the parts installed in your vehicles.

If you have some experience regarding vehicle and installation of the parts, you can even buy the new parts on your own and get a mechanic to fit those as per your supervision and guidance. Bringing your car to a mechanic is a must if the engine light goes on.

ECM (Electronic Control Module)

The modern age is blessed with the latest automotive technology, and everything is computerized. The ECM (Electronic Control Module) has become a great help to facilitate emission regulations.

Since the rules are highly strict, the maintenance of the vehicle demands the same level of care. If you notice that the battery light or service engine light comes on, schedule maintenance to find out what cause the light to come on.

A bad mass airflow sensor could be the issue and it could cause serious damage to your engine.

How do you ensure compliance of emission regulations?

How do i know if i am in compliance? In order to ensure the compliance of the regulations, the engine control must be continually and surely tuned in accordance with the various conditions, among which, speed, load-taking capacity, heat capacity of the engine, the quality of fuel, surrounding temperature, condition of the road conditions, are important.

Poor fuel can be a cause of this problem?

Definitely yes, if the quality of the fuel is not up to the mark, there is a high possibility that the vehicle will face the higher level of emissions and thus there will be the service engine soon light displayed at the dash board as a sign of the potential problem in the Nissan Altima or other vehicle. A good mechanic will ask how often did you perform oil changes to the vehicle.

Should we turn the light off and take another week to check?

This is never recommended in any case; people do so an in return, they cause a small problem into a bigger challenge which may harm the vehicle even more thus due to this mistake, you will need a higher amount to settle the identified problem or even face a severe loss and threat. Things like coolant and the engine oil mixture can cause problems on the long run.

Schedule an Auto Appointment Soon

  • One of the common causes or signs is when you notice that the air conditioning is not working properly. Take you vehicle to a local repair shop for them to diagnosed the issue. With an OBD II code reader they can reset it when the service engine soon light comes on. Also, ask your local mechanic to check power steering brake fluids, and the plug wires if your vehicle has over 100k miles.
  • Another option is to check the owners manual to see what the engine light mean. Sometimes manufacturers would include helpful tips to help you find a solution. Also, if you own an older vehicle consider buying a trouble code reader. This device can help you identify a minor issue especially when you vehicle has a constant check engine light coming on.
  • A mechanic may be able to identify what does it mean much faster. There can be plenty of reasons why the service engine soon light comes on. Being able to identify what does it mean early on can save you from a big engine repair expense.

Service Engine Soon Summary

The entire issue may be summarized, saying one simple thing; nothing can be ordinary when you talk about the problems in a vehicle.

One should never leave the issue un-addressed unless he is pretty sure about the ordinary nature of the problem, that it may not lead to a disaster. If the car engine soon light comes on, tackle this issue as soon as possible.

Even on identification of the small issues, the owner of the car must not prolong maintenance and avoid enhancing the issue due to delay.

This may cause him a great loss, because small problems may give birth to the severe error, which may demand expensive vehicle maintenance.  You can reset the service engine light with the OBDII code reader.

Driving is not only about just moving a car from one place to another, there are several important aspects, related to the automotive which must be kept into consideration while maintaining the vehicle.

That is why it is highly recommended, that you should seek precise information about your specific vehicle to stay safe from the potential  engine problems.

To avoid such issues, I suggest; never ignore “Service engine soon” light and pay a quick attention to the matter, so that you ensure, not only a lower cost maintenance, but safety as well.

This is the basic objective, for which these technologies were introduced in the modern world. Hopefully now you understand what does service engine soon means.

Last Updated on: November 3, 2022

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar