Can an Oil change cause Engine Light to come on?

Can an Oil change cause Engine Light to come on?

An important point to note is that a properly executed recent oil change won’t activate the check engine light.

While oil changes are crucial for car maintenance, they do not have any impact on causing the check engine light to illuminate.

If you observe the light appearing following an oil change, it indicates another underlying issue.

An image illustration of Can Oil change cause Engine Light on
Can Oil change cause Engine Light on
Source: (rerev)

Understanding the Check Engine Light

The check engine light is a warning signal that activates when your car’s onboard computer identifies a possible problem.

Its purpose is to alert drivers to address different issues and prevent potential damage.

Typically, the check engine light briefly illuminates following an oil change because it takes a few minutes for the new oil to flow through the engine and establish proper pressure.

Once the oil sensor detects this pressure, the light goes off.

Nevertheless, there are situations where it remains illuminated. Let’s delve into the reasons behind this.

Here are five common reasons why your check engine light might come on

  1. Oxygen Sensor: Your car’s oxygen sensor helps it burn fuel efficiently. If it’s faulty, it can lead to wasted fuel and potential damage to your catalytic converter.
  2. Catalytic Converter: A failing catalytic converter can trigger the check engine light and affect your car’s acceleration. Replacing it can be expensive, so regular maintenance is essential.
  3. Loose Gas Cap: Surprisingly, a loose gas cap can mess with your fuel economy. While not a major threat to your car, it can cost you money in extra fuel.
  4. Spark Plugs: Misfiring spark plugs can trigger the check engine light. It’s a good idea to replace them every 100,000 miles for better performance.
  5. Airflow Sensors: These sensors help manage your fuel usage. If they’re not working correctly, your car may have reduced gas mileage, emit more emissions, or even stall. Regularly replacing your air filter can help keep them functioning well.

Why Is the Check Engine Light On After an Oil Change?

An oil change seems simple, but errors can trigger the check engine light. Here’s why it might happen:

  1. Low Oil Level: Using the wrong amount of oil can cause low levels, leading to engine issues.
  2. Wrong oil Type: Using the incorrect oil type can damage your engine and activate the check engine light.
  3. Low Oil Pressure: This can result from various problems and may lead to engine damage.
  4. Excess Oil: Too much oil can cause problems and trigger the light.
  5. Unseated Oil Dipstick: A poorly seated dipstick can cause inaccurate readings and activate the light.
  6. Missing Oil Cap: A missing cap disrupts emissions control, leading to the check engine light.
  7. Misaligned Oil Filter: A wrongly placed oil filter can cause leaks and low pressure.

How to Reset the Check Engine Light

To reset the check engine light after an oil change, consult a mechanic who will use an OBD II scanner to perform the following steps:

  1. Find the OBD-II port beneath the dashboard, close to the steering column.
  2. Insert the OBD scanner into the port.
  3. Turn the ignition on without starting the engine. The scanner will read and display diagnostic trouble codes related to the problem.
  4. Identify and fix the components indicated by the codes.
  5. Clear the codes from the system to reset the check engine light.

Commonly asked questions

  1. Can the check engine light be triggered by an oil change?
  2. What might cause the check engine light to illuminate after an oil change?
  3. How long will the check engine light remain on after an oil change?
  4. Could a dirty oil filter be responsible for the check engine light?
  5. What are the signs of contaminated engine oil?
  6. How can I determine when it’s time to replace my oil filter?

ALSO READ : Will the wrong Oil damage my Engine?

Leave a Comment