Maintenance Required Light Flashing When Car Starts

  • By: Jose Whitmore
  • Date: May 20, 2023
  • Time to read: 9 min.

The maintenance required light flashing when car starts could indicate a scheduled maintenance needs attention. It is an indicator light that the car needs regular maintenance, such as an oil change or tire rotation.

Regular car maintenance is essential for the smooth functioning and longevity of the vehicle. The maintenance required light is a helpful reminder that it’s time to schedule a check-up to ensure your car keeps running as smoothly as possible. When you turn on the ignition, the light flashes for a few seconds, and then it goes away.

However, if it keeps flashing, that is a sign that it requires attention. Ignoring the light can cause complications that could lead to more costly repairs down the line. This article covers the reasons behind the maintenance required light flashing when car starts and what to do to keep your car in tip-top condition.

Common Reasons The Light Comes On

Lack Of Regular Maintenance

The maintenance required light indicates the need for servicing your vehicle. However, a lack of regular maintenance could be the reason the light comes on in the first place. Here are some key points to consider:

  • The maintenance required light may come on if you fail to replace the air filter as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The light could indicate that you need to replace the fuel filter or you haven’t serviced the transmission fluid.
  • Your vehicle might require new spark plugs, or the timing belt has worn out.

Low Oil Levels

Another common reason the maintenance required light could come on is low oil levels. Here are some key points to note:

  • Low oil levels can cause severe engine damage, and it’s essential to check the oil level regularly.
  • If your vehicle uses a thin oil grade, it may burn quickly, leading to low oil levels.
  • There could be a leak in your engine oil, causing oil to escape and your oil level to drop.

A Malfunctioning Battery

A malfunctioning battery can cause the maintenance required light to come on. Here are some essential points to consider:

  • Your battery is responsible for powering the electronics in your vehicle, and it needs to be in good condition.
  • A malfunctioning battery could cause electrical surges that damage your vehicle’s components, leading to the light coming on.
  • You should ensure that your battery terminals are free from corrosion and tighten to avoid connectivity issues.

Worn-Out Spark Plugs

Worn-out spark plugs could be another reason why your maintenance required light comes on. Here are some essential points to note:

  • Spark plugs play a crucial role in the combustion process, and they wear out with time.
  • If they are faulty, they could cause your vehicle to misfire, leading to the light illuminating.
  • You should ensure that the spark plugs are inspected and replaced as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Other Reasons For The Light To Come On

Apart from the above reasons, several other factors could cause the maintenance required light to come on. Here are some essential points to consider:

  • Your vehicle’s emissions control system could be faulty, leading to higher emissions and the light coming on.
  • If your gas cap is loose, it could cause a drop in pressure in the fuel system, leading to an illuminated light.
  • Faulty sensors or onboard computers could also be the reason why the maintenance required light comes on.

The maintenance required light is an essential indicator of your vehicle’s health. You need to take it seriously and troubleshoot it promptly. Regular maintenance, checking oil levels, and keeping your battery in good condition are excellent ways to prevent the light from coming on.

Steps To Troubleshoot The Maintenance Required Light

Maintenance Required Light: Troubleshoot With These Tips

When you see the maintenance required light turn on in your car, it can be frustrating to figure out what the problem is. Fortunately, there are some easy steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. We’ll go through the different ways to troubleshoot your car’s maintenance required light, so you can identify the problem and fix it quickly.

Step 1: Check The Manual

When you notice the maintenance required light turn on, the first thing you should do is check your car’s manual. The manual will give you specific instructions on how to deal with any warning lights that appear on the dashboard.

Make sure to follow the instructions carefully and check if there are any service codes that correspond to the maintenance required light.

Step 2: Inspect The Oil Level

The most common reason for the maintenance required light turning on is that the oil needs to be changed. Check the oil level to see if it’s low, and if it is, top it up with the recommended type of oil for your car.

If the oil level is not low, you may need to change the oil altogether. Follow the recommended oil change interval in your car’s manual to avoid the maintenance required light from coming on again.

Step 3: Check The Air Filter

The air filter in your car can get clogged over time, which can cause the maintenance required light to come on. Check the air filter to see if it’s dirty. If it is, replace it with a new one. A dirty air filter can also cause your car to lose power and fuel efficiency, so make sure to replace it regularly.

Step 4: Inspect The Battery

A weak battery can cause the maintenance required light to come on. Check the battery to see if it needs to be charged or replaced. If the battery is fine, make sure the connections are clean and tight. Loose or corroded connections can cause your car’s electrical system to malfunction and trigger the maintenance required light.

Step 5: Check The Spark Plugs

Worn out or dirty spark plugs can cause your car’s engine to misfire, which can trigger the maintenance required light. Inspect the spark plugs to see if they need to be cleaned or replaced. Follow your car’s manual to ensure that you’re using the right spark plug for your vehicle.

Step 6: Consult A Mechanic

If you’ve gone through all the previous steps and the maintenance required light is still on, it’s time to consult a mechanic. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and provide you with a solution. Make sure to explain what you’ve done so far to troubleshoot the issue.

By following these simple steps, you can avoid expensive repairs and keep your car running smoothly. The maintenance required light doesn’t have to be a hassle as long as you take care of your car properly.

How To Reset The Maintenance Required Light

If you’re like most drivers, the sight of the maintenance required light popping up on your dashboard can be a tad unnerving. Luckily, resetting the light is a relatively easy task. Here’s how you can do it yourself with just a few simple steps.

Step 1: Turn Off The Engine

The first step is to turn off the engine of your car and make sure the headlights and all other electrical accessories are switched off.

Step 2: Press And Hold The Trip Button

Locate the trip button on your dashboard and press and hold it down. You’ll want to keep the button firmly held down for the next few steps.

Step 3: Turn The Key To The On Position

While still holding the trip button, turn your car key to the on position (but not to the position where you start the engine).

Step 4: Release The Trip Button

Once the dashboard lights come on, you can safely release the trip button.

Step 5: Press The Button Again

Press the trip button once again and keep it held down for about ten seconds or until the light resets. If the light doesn’t reset, repeat the process or consult your car’s manual.

Step 6: Turn The Key Off

Finally, turn the key to the off position and wait a few seconds before starting your car’s engine. The maintenance required light should now be reset.

Now that you know how to reset the maintenance required light, you can easily take care of this task yourself instead of needing to rely on a mechanic. Remember that regular maintenance is key to keeping your car running smoothly and ensuring it lasts for years to come.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your vehicle running smoothly for a longer time. Preventive maintenance can also help you avoid costly repairs. These are a few easy-to-follow preventive maintenance tips:

Regular Oil Changes

  • Change the oil and oil filter regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Failure to do so may result in engine damage.
  • Regular oil changes will help lubricate the engine and keep it running smoothly.
  • Check the oil level in your car every month. If it gets low, add more oil to keep it running smoothly.

Keeping Track Of Maintenance Schedules

  • The maintenance schedule for your vehicle can be found in the owner’s manual.
  • Follow the recommended maintenance schedule to help keep your car running smoothly and avoid any potential issues.
  • Schedule regular maintenance appointments with your mechanic to check the health of your car.

Checking The Tire Pressure

  • Check the tire pressure every month, as underinflated or overinflated tires are dangerous and can affect your car’s fuel efficiency.
  • Inspect the tread depth of your tires to prevent tire blowouts or uneven wear and tear.
  • Regularly rotate tires to ensure even wear and tear.

Keeping The Car Clean

  • Regularly clean your car inside and out, including washing the exterior and detailing the interior. This will help maintain its value and prevent dirt from accumulating.
  • Regularly clean and replace air filters as it can help improve fuel efficiency and extend your car’s lifespan.
  • Use quality cleaning products, and avoid using harsh chemicals that can cause damage to the car’s paintwork.

Additional Tips For Maintaining The Vehicle

  • Always park your car in a cool, dry place to prevent corrosion and rust.
  • Use quality motor oil and gasoline, as low-quality options can damage your engine.
  • Keep your car’s fluids topped up, including transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant.
  • Get your car serviced by a professional mechanic if you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations or leaking fluids.
  • Invest in a good-quality car cover to protect it from the elements.

By following these preventive maintenance tips, you’ll help keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come!

Frequently Asked Questions Of Maintenance Required Light Flashing When Car Starts

Why Is My Maintenance Required Light Flashing?

The maintenance required light can flash to indicate that your vehicle needs routine maintenance, such as an oil change or tire rotation. A flashing light could also indicate a more serious issue, such as a problem with the engine or emissions system.

It’s important to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic to diagnose the problem.

Is It Safe To Drive With A Flashing Maintenance Required Light?

It’s usually safe to drive with a flashing maintenance required light, but it’s important to have your vehicle serviced as soon as possible. Ignoring the light could cause more serious damage to your car, and could even put you at risk of a breakdown on the road.

Get your car serviced soon to avoid any problems.

Can I Reset The Flashing Maintenance Required Light Myself?

You might be able to reset the flashing maintenance required light yourself, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to reset the light, or search online for resources specific to your car.

In some cases, you may need a professional mechanic to reset the light.

How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Flashing Maintenance Required Light?

The cost to fix a flashing maintenance required light depends on the underlying problem causing the light to flash. Routine maintenance, such as an oil change or tire rotation, can be relatively inexpensive. However, more serious issues, such as problems with the engine or emissions system, can be more costly to repair.

Consult with a professional mechanic for an estimate.

What Happens If I Ignore The Flashing Maintenance Required Light?

Ignoring the flashing maintenance required light could lead to more serious damage to your car, as well as potential safety risks. Continuing to drive with the light flashing could cause more damage to the engine or other vital components of your vehicle.

Get your car serviced soon to avoid any problems.


Based on the information discussed, it is critical for car owners to take the maintenance required light seriously. It serves as a significant reminder indicating the need to check for any underlying issues that may present dangers or lead to additional breakdowns.

Whether it is a simple oil change or replacing worn-out parts, ignoring the flashing light can have devastating consequences. By addressing the problem early, car owners can see improvements in their vehicle’s performance, fuel economy, and ensure its longevity. Remember to refer to your car’s manual to gain more insight into the possible causes of the light malfunction and schedule routine servicing appointments with a trustworthy mechanic.

With the right maintenance practices, you can ensure the safety of you and your passengers’ lives while preventing costly repairs in the future.

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