The “Service Engine Soon Light” – Not as Dreaded as You Think!

The “Service Engine Soon Light” – Not as Dreaded as You Think!

Engine fault lights; most drivers tend to experience them. The service engine soon light is one of these pesky lights. Many drivers tend to panic whenever they encounter this engine light. So, they hurry to the nearest mechanic to get it fixed. 

Here, they might be billed for a problem that might not even have existed. This is because most motorists aren’t aware of their vehicle’s diagnostic data. Hence the Service Engine Soon light might not even be a large fault. 

So, here’s all you need to know about this light, how you can fix and prevent it. 

What Is the Service Engine Soon Light? 

The light is like any other engine light. It is a harbinger of bad news related to your vehicle’s engine. The light alerts you if your engine has one or more malfunctioning components. The light is an alert sent by the Engine Control Module (ECM) when it detects if something is wrong. 

But the problem is usually minor. The fault could be electrical, mechanical, or both. The ECM receives data from the car’s sensors about it and you therefore get the light. 

Service Engine Soon Light vs Check Engine Light

Your car is a metal box full of countless working components, electrical and mechanical. This is why your dashboard can be ridden with a plethora of fault lights. The Check Engine Light is the most dreaded light that we’ve all had at some point. But what’s the difference between it and the service engine light?

The difference is simple – a check engine light is for much more severe problems. A bad sensor is a common cause of it. Sensors are the reason your ECM detects engine malfunctions. If a sensor such as the oxygen sensor or the mass airflow sensor gets fried, driving the car could be a nightmare. 

But it doesn’t end there. There are a plenty of other problems related it, including a faulty catalytic convertor. This might be the most severe problem that you can encounter in this case. Cat replacements are very expensive and could set you back a couple of thousands. 

What to do if you get the Service Engine Soon light?

If you get the light, you shouldn’t be alarmed. You should pull over to the side of the road. Then you need to turn it off and check the gas filler cap. Make sure it has been put on properly and if it isn’t, do the honours. When the cap hasn’t been sealed the right way, the emission sensors get triggered. 

This is usually what leads to the service engine soon light. You should then start up the car and if the light has gone away, then it’s well and good. Other things that you should look out for is if the engine is making strange noises. Just observe the car and see if there are no problems while driving it.

If the light isn’t gone or is flashing, you may need to take more drastic measures. You should wait for towing services so that you don’t damage your car any further. 

Possible Causes of the Service Engine Soon Light

If the ‘sealing the gas gap’ technique doesn’t work, then you might have one of the following problems:

Fuel-related Issues

Don’t count out the fuel cap just yet. The cap could be damaged which is why it isn’t sealing the system properly. Otherwise, the gasoline in your fuel tank could be contaminated from water or dust. In this case, you’ll need to deplete the tank and refill it. 

Bad or No Fluids

You might be driving a vehicle with oil that needs replacement. Or the oil level might be low because of a leak. Other fluids such as the car’s coolant can also cause this. In this case, you might also get another alert for checking the fluid(s) in question. 

Tuning Needs

Your engine might not be working at its fullest because it’s probably not in a working condition. The air filter or one (or more) spark plugs could need replacement. This is why you should get your car serviced if it has been a while since the last time. 

Other than these, you might just be having issues related to the exhaust and its emissions. 

How to Reset the Service Engine Soon Light?

When the service engine light comes on, there’s bound to be confusion. As mentioned above, there’s a bunch of problems that you can encounter. This is where you need to make the right decision and get yourself an OBD scanner. This is a device that you can plug into your vehicle and it’ll tell you everything. 

A Bluetooth OBD device is for reading your vehicle’s diagnostic data. It will be connected to your engine via the Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC). This will allow it to detect all the faults and errors in the car’s system. This will let you know exactly what’s causing the service light and how bad the problem is. 

When you’re aware of the problem, you can fix it yourself if it isn’t a major issue. Or, you can take the vehicle to an automotive technician and not get overcharged for something simple. It will save you money and time.  

The Best Way to Diagnose the Service Engine Soon Light

There’s a bunch of OBD devices available in the market. But none of them come with an interface for reading and storing your diagnostic data when you’re done driving. SpeedSlip’s OBD device is the talk of the town with its easy-to-use interface. 

Apart from figuring out error codes and help you on trips, it has countless features to make maintenance more interactive. It is paired with a PROACTIVE maintenance feature! This gives you maintenance reminders according to your needs. So, you never miss out on your vehicle’s service. 

SpeedSlip’s OBD scanner is a cheap ticket into the world of vehicle diagnostics. Apart from the one-time charge of $10, you also get a free app with:

  • Trip tracking

  • Navigation

  • Diagnostic data storage

  • Project tracking

  • Social media for motorists

  • Competitive leaderboards

  • 100% compatibility with Torque PRO

To order the device, visit: *link*

You can get the app from the App Store or the Playstore