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Check Engine Light Still ON After Oil Change: Causes Explained with Instant & Permanent Solution

June 18, 2023 | by score-michigan.com

Check Engine Light Still ON After Oil Change

You recently changed your oil in hopes of getting a smooth ride and a properly oiled engine. However, as soon as you turn on your car, the dreadful check engine light stubbornly stays on your dashboard. Is there a severe issue with your car? A combination of perplexity and worry kicks in. What causes the check engine light to remain on after an oil change? Find here the reason for check engine light’s potential recurrence after an oil change and the need to act quickly to guarantee your car’s proper operation. To find the remedies that will allow you to drive again confidently, let’s explore the realm of check engine lights.

Common Causes of Check Engine Light After Oil Change

CauseDescription
Oil cap fitted backwaysOil cap not sealed properly, causing a vacuum leak and lean condition
Dipstick not fully seatedDipstick not pushed all the way in, allowing unmetered air entry
Oil level overfullExcess oil in the engine, leading to various issues
Oil spill on sensorsOil dripping onto sensors, affecting their functionality
Sensor wiring disconnectedWiring connection to sensors accidentally disconnected
EVAP wiring looseLoose or damaged wiring in the EVAP (evaporative emission control) system
Loose or faulty gas capGas cap not properly tightened or malfunctioning

Its an aim to warn you of any possible problems with your car’s pollution and engine systems. After an oil change, this light may illuminate, confusing you and making you wonder what may be wrong. Taking care of this problem right away is essential since it may indicate more serious issues that would need more extensive and expensive repairs if left untreated.

Instant Solutions to Stop Check Engine Light After Oil Change

To temporarily stop the check engine light from coming on after an oil change, you can try a few solutions. To start, you may restart the computer by temporarily removing the battery. Utilizing a scanner to erase the codes is an additional option. A gasoline additive may also assist in cleaning the engine and removing any residues that could be causing the light to come on. Additionally, if you drive the vehicle for a while, the light can turn off itself. However, if these short-term fixes don’t work, a technician should be consulted for an accurate diagnosis and repair of the problem.¬†

Instant SolutionDescription
Restart the computer by temporarily removing the batteryReset the computer by disconnecting the automobile battery. This may fix any temporary difficulties that triggered the check engine light following an oil change.
Use a scanner to erase the codesClear the car's computer system's fault codes using an OBD-II scanner or code reader. This resets the check engine light and determines whether the oil change caused the issue.
Add a gasoline additive to clean the engineA gasoline additive for engine cleaning helps remove deposits and pollutants that may be activating the check engine light. Choose a good additive and follow the manufacturer's directions.
Drive the vehicle for a whileThe onboard computer system may review engine performance after a long drive. After many successful drives, the check engine light may turn off if the fault was small.
Consult a technician if the problem persistsAfter trying interim fixes, get expert help if the check engine light stays on. A skilled expert can identify and fix the issue.

Understanding the Check Engine Light

The check engine light serves as a watchful watchdog by continuously checking your car’s systems and parts with the onboard diagnostic system. It marks the identification of a possible problem that requires attention when it flashes. Defective catalytic converters, faulty oxygen sensors, loose gas caps, and engine misfires often cause its activation. Although an oil change doesn’t start the check engine light on its own, skipping routine oil changes might cause engine issues that do. By gaining insight into these dynamics, you can solve the puzzle of why the check engine light could stay on even after an oil change and be better equipped to guarantee that your car performs at its best.

Symptoms of Oil Level Issues

SymptomDescription
Engine misfireEngine runs unevenly or stumbles during acceleration
Sluggish performanceLack of power and responsiveness in the engine
Blue or white smoke from exhaustExcessive smoke indicating oil burning or coolant leaking into cylinders
Oil leaksVisible oil leaks under the vehicle or around the engine
Difficulty starting the engineEngine struggles to start or fails to start

Other Possible Causes of Check Engine Light

CauseDescription
Faulty oxygen sensorOxygen sensor malfunctioning, affecting air-fuel ratio calculations
Malfunctioning catalytic converterCatalytic converter not working efficiently, impacting emissions
Issues with engine componentsFaulty spark plugs, ignition coils, or other engine components
Vacuum system leaksLeaks in the vacuum lines or intake manifold causing air leaks
Transmission issuesProblems with the transmission system affecting engine performance

Diagnosing and Fixing Check Engine Light Issues

StepDescription
Check for error codesUse an OBD-II code reader to retrieve error codes from the ECM
Research the codesLook up the error codes to understand their meanings and causes
Inspect relevant partsCheck the oil cap, dipstick, sensors, wiring, and gas cap for issues
Perform necessary repairsFix or replace the faulty components identified during inspection
Clear the error codesUse the code reader to clear the error codes from the ECM
Monitor for recurrenceAfter repairs, drive the vehicle and monitor if the issue reoccurs
Seek professional helpIf the issue persists or is beyond your expertise, consult a mechanic

How to Fix the Check Engine Light Issue?

ProblemSolution
Oil cap fitted backwaysRemove and fit the oil cap correctly, ensuring a proper seal
Dipstick not fully seatedOpen the hood, locate the dipstick, and push it all the way in to ensure a proper seal
Oil level overfullDrain the excess oil using an oil siphon or consult a professional mechanic
Oil spill on sensorsClean the sensors affected by oil spillage to restore their functionality
Sensor wiring disconnectedReconnect the wiring to the sensors properly
EVAP wiring looseInspect the EVAP system wiring and ensure all connections are secure
Loose or faulty gas capRemove the gas cap and reattach it tightly, or replace it if it's damaged or malfunctioning

Standard Solutions for Check Engine Light After Oil Change

1. Draining the old oil and adding fresh, proper-grade oil:

Using the wrong kind or grade of oil during an oil change might cause the check engine light to come on. The problem may be fixed by draining the erroneous oil and adding the suggested oil.

2. Changing oil levels to the suggested range:

The check engine light may come on if there is an excessively high or low oil level. Checking the oil level with the dipstick and setting it to the right range may help.

3. Tightening slack connections or fixing wire damage:

The check engine light may come on due to loose connections or frayed wires connected to sensors or the engine control module. The problem may be fixed by checking for any loose connections, tightening them, or fixing any broken wires.

4. After fixing the problem, turn the check engine light back on:

Resetting the check engine light is crucial when the underlying issue has been resolved. Do this with an OBD-II code reader or briefly remove the car’s battery. However, It is essential to remember that just resetting the light without addressing its underlying cause might result in its reappearance.

5. Seeking expert help if the issue continues:

After trying the fixes mentioned above, if the check engine light still stays on, it is advised to seek expert help from a licensed mechanic or automotive specialist. The check engine light may continue to illuminate due to complicated problems, but they have the knowledge and diagnostic equipment to find and fix them.

Tips for Maintenance and Prevention

Oil changes should be performed following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Manufacturers specify the miles between oil changes and the oil that should be used in their cars. Following these recommendations lowers the possibility of experiencing oil change-related problems and guarantees that the engine is adequately maintained.

Choosing the appropriate oil for your vehicle   

Different oil kinds and grades are needed for various automobiles. To find out what oil is best for your car, check the owner’s handbook or ask a mechanic. Utilizing the suggested oil provides optimum engine efficiency and reduces the possibility of turning on the check engine light.

Carrying out routine maintenance inspections

Regular maintenance inspections and inspections assist in finding any problems early on. Keep an eye on the oil levels, search for leaks, assess the oil filter’s condition, and check the condition of the other engine parts. Early issue detection and quick repairs decrease the chance of the check engine light turning on.

Maintaining a record of past oil change data

Keep a log of each oil change for your car, noting the time, distance traveled, the oil used, and any other services carried out. In addition to assisting you in keeping track of the maintenance plan, this record gives mechanics helpful information if a problem arises, facilitating quicker diagnosis and problem-solving.

Quickly addressing any new problems.

If your car exhibits any anomalies or warning indications, such as weird sounds, diminished performance, or fluid leaks, take care of them immediately. Ignoring possible faults increases the likelihood that the check engine light will come on after an oil change and may cause more serious concerns.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a check engine light that appears after an oil change is often a minor problem that may be quickly fixed. Vacuum leaks and messed up air-fuel ratios are often caused by incorrectly fitting oil caps or unseated dipsticks. The light may also come on if your oil is too full. Make sure the cap and dipstick are seated correctly to solve these issues. Maintain the oil level within the prescribed range and handle spills or loose wires. Check engine light incidents may be avoided by adhering to manufacturer recommendations, carrying out routine maintenance, and swiftly resolving any problems. To preserve your vehicle’s best performance and avert any harm, seek expert help if issues continue so that they may be accurately diagnosed and fixed.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why did my check engine light come on after getting my oil changed?

There are many potential causes for the check engine light to turn on after an oil change. The most frequent reasons include:

  • Low oil levels.
  • Improper oil filter installation.
  • Using the wrong kind or viscosity of the oil.
  • Underlying engine problems.

Inadequate lubrication caused by a low oil level may harm an engine. The check engine light may come on due to air leaks caused by improperly placed oil filters. An engine’s performance may also be impacted by using the wrong kind or viscosity of the oil. In rare circumstances, the light can signal underlying engine issues unrelated to the oil change. To guarantee the car runs properly, taking care of these problems right away is crucial.

How can a faulty oil cap cause the check engine light to come on?

An imbalance in the air-fuel ratio might result from an improperly installed oil cap or needing to be adequately sealed. As a result, the check engine light is activated since the engine control module has noticed the disparity.

How should I move on if my check engine light flashes after an oil change?

Ensure the dipstick is firmly seated and the oil cap is installed appropriately. If required, change the oil level. Check for spills or loose connections if the light stays on. For a more precise diagnosis, think about utilizing a code reader. If the problem continues or you need help figuring out what caused it, get expert help.

Can the check engine light come on if the oil level is too high?

Yes, a high oil level will turn on the check engine light. It may result in problems with the engine, including misfiring, sluggishness, smoke, or even engine failure. It’s crucial to keep the oil level within the advised range.

How can I stop the check engine light after an oil change?

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing your oil, choose the right oil for your car, do routine maintenance checks, record your past oil changes, and take care of any new problems as soon as they arise. These preventative steps may reduce the likelihood of seeing the check engine light.

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