As a car mechanic, I’ve always admired the reliability of Toyota vehicles.
While they’re often dependable, they can still have occasional issues. One common alert is the “engine maintenance required” light on the dashboard.
If you own a Toyota Highlander, Camry, Rav4, or Corolla, you might have come across this warning light.
Wondering what this light means and how to turn it off?
Keep reading for a full guide on understanding and resetting the engine maintenance required alert.
What Does Engine Maintenance Required Mean in Toyota Cars?
In most cases, the engine maintenance required warning light appears to remind you that your Toyota requires routine maintenance services.
These services may not necessarily have anything to do with the engine itself, but they are important to keep your car performing at its best.
Some of these maintenance services include:
- Engine oil change
- Air filter change
- Coolant fluid replacement
- Multi-point inspection
- Brake check
- Transmission fluid replacement
- Tire Rotation.
From my experience, this alert usually comes on when your car has reached a specific time interval or mileage set by Toyota for routine maintenance.
While the light doesn’t necessarily mean there is something wrong with your vehicle’s engine, the maintenance services required are important for the smooth running of the vehicle.
They also prevent any potential risks and ensure the longevity of your vehicle.
Toyota Engine Maintenance Required Causes
So, what triggers the engine maintenance required warning light in Toyota vehicles?
This light will appear when it is time for you to service your car. In most Toyotas, this will be after every 5000 miles. However, there are more specific possible causes of the engine maintenance required alert:
The warning light may be triggered by a specific set time that’s passed since you last reset the vehicle. The car’s components and fluids deteriorate over time and when this happens, the warning light may come on.
Specific Car Maintenance Intervals
Toyota predetermines maintenance schedules for all their vehicle models. The schedules are often outlined in the owner’s user manual.
Now, when a particular maintenance service is due, it may trigger the engine maintenance required light.
Multi-Point Inspection Required
When your Toyota vehicle is due for a multi-point inspection, it may turn on the engine maintenance required light to alert you to it.
A multi-point inspection involves checking different components of the car such as fluids, lights, and seat belts. It can help you catch and solve minor issues that would otherwise cause major problems.
How to Reset Engine Maintenance Required Warning Light
Since we now know what causes the engine maintenance required warning light and why it is important, let us go ahead and look at how to reset it.
However, I always recommend letting a professional help you with resetting the alert. It is something you can do yourself, but it is advisable to avoid any possible mishaps, especially when you are not sure about what to do.
To reset the engine maintenance required light:
- Turn the car to the ON position so the car’s electrical system is activated. Check to see if the alert is still on
- If it is on, switch the ignition back to the OFF position.
- Now, on your dashboard, near the ODO button, locate the trip meter reset button.
- Press and hold it down
- While pressing it down, turn the car back to the ON position
- Continue holding down the reset button as the car powers on. Keep an eye on the odometer. Hold down the button until the odometer average reading returns back on the screen
- Now, release the trip meter reset button and then crank up the engine. The engine maintenance required light should disappear
This is the standard procedure for resetting the engine maintenance required warning light for most Toyotas. If the light does not disappear, repeat the procedure.
If it is still there after the second attempt, you might want to consult a professional Toyota-authorized service provider.
Can You Drive a Car with the “Engine Maintenance Required” Light On?
You can continue driving your car with the engine maintenance required light on. However, this is not advisable because the light may, sometimes, be alerting you to a more serious issue than required routine maintenance.
Also, ignoring the warning light may lead to major issues. For instance, if the warning light was triggered by low or worn-out engine oil, you may end up doing expensive repairs to the engine due to premature wear of engine parts.
What if You Ignore the Engine Maintenance Required Light?
The engine maintenance light is there for a reason. It is a reminder that your car is due for maintenance services, and you should act promptly.
While ignoring the warning light may not result in any immediate issues, over time, you will begin experiencing potentially serious problems with the car.
You may end up damaging engine parts, or even worse, it may lead to an accident. You can also get stranded on the road when you least expect it. Be sure to take prompt action when you see the engine maintenance light.