What Does Service Engine Soon Mean

Gauges, dials, and warning lights are all features that you can now find in any modern car. These features are made for the purpose of alerting the owners and drivers of the car that there is some component within the car that isn’t functioning in the proper manner. Owning a car as a new owner has its learning curves, one of them being “service engine soon”. What does service engine soon mean?

Warning Lights

What Does Service Engine Soon Mean

When it comes to safeguarding yourself while driving, warning lights are one feature, which is known to be of the utmost importance. However, they are often overlooked by drivers as they simply do not understand what the particular light means and what they should do if the light is on. 

Service Engine Soon Light

The service engine soon light is one such warning light, which has been designed specifically to alert the owner and driver of the car regarding a malfunction that has been detected by the car’s sensor. This sensor within the car typically pertains to issues within the vehicle’s emission control system. Of course, it could also be regarding an issue with some other component of the car. 

Most Common Causes of Service Engine Soon Light 

As mentioned before, there are a variety of reasons and issues why your service engine soon light is turning on. Of course, the most common reasons can vary to a certain degree based on the manufacturers of the car. However, as the model of the car become more and more similar so do the reasons for this light turning on become more and more similar. Here is a list of some of the most common causes of the service engine soon light coming on. 

  • Any type of minor issue with the engine, such as the cap of the fuel tank coming loose
  • It is time for the service according to the car’s settings
  • The car is running low on different fluids, which can include brake fluid, coolant, low oil, and more. 
  • Any type of minor issue with the exhaust emission.

Service Engine Soon Light Meaning

So, once you have noticed that your service engine soon light is on, it is important to know what the light being on means for you as the owner of the car. Well, when it comes to this particular light, there isn’t any room left for interpretation. This warning light means one thing, and that is that you should take your car to have its engine services as soon as you can. However, this, by no means, means that your car is on the verge of breaking down or that it there is some impending meltdown that is about to happen. So, if you do see that this warning light has turned on, there is no need to panic. You should simply make a service appointment for your car with your go-to mechanic shop and make sure to schedule it as soon as possible. This way, you will be able to find the source behind the malfunction prompt and get it fixed without incurring any more damage. 

Service Engine Soon Light While Driving 

Of course, the lighting up of the service engine soon light isn’t something that one can predict, which is why it is important to always stay prepared. So, how do you stay prepared for something that can come on at any point in time, even while you’re driving? Well, by knowing what to do, of course. 

Do Some Tests

So, if you are driving and get the prompt of the service engine soon light, you should first pull your car over to the side of the road so that you can assess what is going on. The best way to assess this particular situation is to do a few simple tests with your car. These tests include checking the gas cap and whether it is sealed properly. 


If you had filled your car with gasoline just recently, then there could be an issue with the gasoline or fuel available at that particular service station, such as contamination or water content. If you see that your car is running just fine and without an issue, you should then drive around until you have used some gallons worth of fuel. You can then top off your tank with fuel from some other service station. After doing so, if you observe the vehicle’s performance is compromised, then it is best to schedule your appointment with your mechanic or to get it checked immediately. 

Oxygen Sensor 

An issue with the oxygen sensor is also something that can lead to the service engine light turning on. What is the oxygen sensor in a car, you may ask? Well, it is a device used for monitoring how oxygen that is unburned is released. This is a particular issue that should definitely not be overlooked, as it could lead to your catalytic converter being damaged, which means that you have to deal with damage that would cost you thousands. 

Roadside Service

So, what is the best call of action after you pull your car over and conduct a few simple tests? Well, the best thing that would ensure that you aren’t playing fast and loose with your car is to contact roadside assistance. 

Finding any single of your warning lights within your car can be a scary experience, which could cause even the best of us to panic in a moment. Since the service engine soon lights deals with such an integral component of a car, that is, its engine, the experience can be even more alarming. However, now that you know what exactly does it mean that your service engine soon light is on, we are sure that if you were to ever deal with this situation, the situation would be far less alarming and daunting for you. This is because you no longer have to deal with the fear of the unknown combined with your imagination. You can simply recall the common reasons and know that you’re not in any life-threatening situation. Knowing the most likely causes will allow you to not panic and handle the situation well.

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