Engine Trouble Light

Mine just came on. Was told it’s often just a reminder it’s time for your oil change (10K for my car.) Sound right? Car starts, runs, sounds fine.

My 2015 is about due, anyway, though oil looks fine and is right up where it belongs.


Terminology, terminology, terminology.

There is no “engine trouble” light. You might have a maintenance reminder light. That would indeed be a reminder to change the oil and do some other maintenance items.

You might also have a check engine light. That looks like this: https://www.google.com/search?q=check+engine+light&clien…

That light is not a reminder to change your oil. That is a warning that something is not right with your engine. I could be as disastrous as no oil pressure (unlikely in your particular case), or as minor as some sensor reading out of its normal range. In any case, it’s important to get this light diagnosed promptly so you know what the problem is and how urgent it is to fix it.



In the good old days, a loose gas cap or a faulty oxygen sensor was enough to get a check engine light. Could be harmless or easy to fix.

Auto parts stores like Autozone will usually read the code for you for free.


Auto parts stores like Autozone will usually read the code for you for free.

Agreed, but having your own OBD2 scanner gives you the ability to diagnose or monitor a giant spectrum of operating conditions on any vehicle. They are also super cheap and easy to use. Just search the internet for “OBD2 scanner”. They also give you the ability to clear a fault code after it has been fixed.

If you ever want to find out what a problem might be, a scanner is a high-value tool.



My son had a 2001 Maxima the check engine light stayed on for 5 years. Never could get the O2 sensors right.