We’ve all experienced a situation where the check engine light suddenly comes on, leaving you to worry about how serious the issue is. Neglecting also equates to gambling, where you are certain to lose at the worst possible time. The problem could be as serious as an engine that is misfiring or as minor as a blown fuse. If this occurs right after an oil change, it can be really upsetting.

Check Engine Light After Oil Change

So, in this article, we’ll go over the most common causes of check engine light after oil change and each of their solutions. That said, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

So, let’s get started!


What causes the check engine light after an oil change?

Check engine light illumination shortly after an oil change is frequently caused by the oil dipstick being partially seated or the oil filler cap being installed incorrectly. So, let’s go over the most possible underlying issues and how to fix them:

Low oil pressure

Keep in mind that performing an accurate oil check should not turn on the check engine light. The oil pressure gauge will also be reset if the car’s engine is drained of oil. Be aware that the gauge won’t have enough time to read correctly after changing the oil and installing a clean filter. The check engine light will briefly illuminate as a result because the automobile “thinks” the oil level is low.

How to fix

Start your automobile and let it run for a few minutes so that the new oil can pump and circulate through the engine. If this was the issue, the check engine light should go out right away.

Unplugged MAF or MAP Sensor

It is likely that if you had your engine oil changed by a repair, the MAF sensor had been unplugged so the mechanic could check the engine air filter or reach the oil filler cap. To ensure that the engine operates properly, professionals and vehicle dealers regularly check engine air filters while changing the engine’s oil.

Air will leak into the engine and the MAF sensor will not be able to register it if it is unplugged or if the engine air filter is not installed correctly. The optimal air-fuel ratio for effective combustion will be thrown off. The check engine light will come on as a result. Therefore, you should open the hood and check that all of the wires, hoses, clamps, and connectors are in place and connected properly.

How to fix:

The solution to this issue is very obvious. Simply open the hood, then locate the MAF or MAP sensor. If you find it unplugged, all you have to do is plug it back in.

Not Fully Seated Dipstick

To check the engine oil level, use the dipstick. During an oil change, the dipstick will be repeatedly withdrawn, cleaned, and reseated to check the oil level. When the dipstick is inserted, an O-ring forms a seal and the dipstick fits snugly inside the dipstick tube. Unmetered air will be able to reach the engine if the dipstick is not installed. Internal engine components like cylinder walls, pistons, or valves may sustain damage as a result.

How to fix:

To quickly fix this, simply open the hood, locate the dipstick, and check to see if the tube is clogged. When you are certain that it is clear, reposition the dipstick so that it is firmly inserted.

Excessive oil

Your check engine light can turn on if you overfill your engine with oil. Because the engine is sluggish or misfiring, your automobile may stall. Additionally, it can result in an oil leak, smoke coming from the tailpipe, or a complete failure to start.

How to fix:

This issue, also known as oil overfill, can be resolved by employing a suction pump to remove the extra oil. Decide whether you want to drain the oil from the cap access point or the dipstick tube before opening the hood of your car. Pick between an automated or manual pump.

The Wrong Oil Was Used

It’s crucial to make sure you’re using the right oil in your car. Your car may experience issues with the incorrect viscosity, grade, or weight of oil. You might use 10W-40 oil instead of 5W-40 since you believe the two to be comparably similar. An oil that is overly viscous won’t provide the right lubrication, which prevents it from properly transferring heat. That implies that the oil will heat up too quickly, turning on your check engine light.

How to fix:

Draining the oil from your car will help you solve this issue. You must change the oil filter and add the right type of oil to the vehicle.

Gas Cap Is Off-Center or Turned Backward

When customers fill up their petrol tanks after changing their oil, the cap occasionally isn’t fastened on tightly enough. Either it is backward or it is too loose. The system will be alerted by these issues, and the check engine light may illuminate.

How to fix:

By taking off the gas cap and reinstalling it properly and firmly, you can try to get the light to turn off. On some automobiles, the writing should be facing you; as this varies from vehicle to vehicle, this may have been the cause of why it was backward.

Is it typical for the check engine light to illuminate after changing the oil?

The check engine light turning on after an oil change is not normal. The likelihood that the oil filler cap is installed incorrectly or too loosely increases if the check engine light illuminates after an oil change. This happens as a result of the oil filler cap’s inability to properly seal the oil, which allows air to enter the engine. When the check engine light turns on after the oil change, it’s also possible that the engine oil itself is the issue. The check engine light may illuminate if the engine oil is the incorrect weight or viscosity.

What Should You Do If Your Check Engine Light Is On?

The onboard diagnostic system of your car has detected a problem if the check engine light is illuminated on the dashboard. When the check engine light illuminates, you should stop your car and use an OBD2 scan tool to look up any warning codes that may have been recorded in the engine’s memory.

It will assist you in determining the main reason why the dashboard check engine light is on. Receiving a check engine light code may indicate that one of your car’s sensors or components is malfunctioning. The sensors (MAF/MAP, O2, Throttle Position) keep an eye on your car’s fuel injection, emissions, and intake air systems.

Your dashboard may display a check engine light if a sensor is malfunctioning. Additionally, if the check engine light remains on after the oil change, it can be because the engine oil level is too low. If your oil is low, top it off and check to see if the light turns off.

After an oil change, how do you reset the check engine light?

The two required tools, a wrench and an Onboard Diagnostic reader like the Kobra OBD scanner, are inexpensive. You may assess engine codes with the aid of this reader and fix them. Following a new oil change, these instructions will assist you in turning off the check engine light:

Locate the Port

A fuse box door may need to be removed to obtain access to the OBD reader port, which is normally located on the bottom of the dashboard directly above where your feet rest.

Attach the reader

Push enter to turn the gadget on after you have connected the reader.

Watch for a code

Activate the engine error code scanning on the device. You will see all problem codes displayed on the screen once it has finished assessing the vehicle. Make a note of the codes you want to compare to the handbook or verify online.

Clear the Code

To highlight the code, press the scroll button; to erase it, press enter once more. Your check engine light should be reset as a result.

Restart your car

You should restart your automobile if the light does not turn off immediately to give everything a chance to reset.

Related Article

Watch the video below to learn more about check engine light:


How long does the check engine light stay on after the oil change?

The check engine light will typically turn off automatically once the problem that brought it on has been resolved, but only after 10 to 20 ‘cycles’. In this context, the process of turning on the car, letting it run for a while, and then shutting it off once more is referred to as a cycle.

Is my check engine light on because of oil?

Certainly, something needs to be done about the low oil level. The check engine light won’t usually turn on because of it though. When there is an electrical or electronic problem with the engine management system, the check engine light turns on.

Can needing an oil change make your check engine light go off?

When your engine needs an oil change, your check engine light won’t turn on. The check engine light only ever appears after an oil change. Typically, this occurs as a result of improper oil fill cap installation or oil dipstick placement.

How far do you have to drive to reset the check engine light?

80 to 160 miles (50 to 100 miles) of driving. Make numerous separate journeys until the system is able to read the status of each component again. “Several trips” refers to stopping the engine and starting it again after each journey. Thus, it involves more than simply one travel of 100 miles.

Why is my check engine light on but my car runs fine?

A problem with your engine, emissions system, or computer that controls those two is indicated by the check engine light. Your check engine light may be an indication of a computer issue, a loose gas cap, gearbox issues, or issues with your O2 sensor if there are no other symptoms.

Is a solid check engine light serious?

A non-emergency problem, such as a loose gas cap, is indicated by a persistent check engine light. Check engine lights that flash indicate serious issues that need to be addressed right away. Diagnostic codes that are standardized aid in locating the issue.

Why you shouldn’t ignore your check engine light?

It’s crucial to have the car evaluated if the check engine light comes on. Even if everything seems to be going well, a car could be developing an expensive issue. Even if there can be a straightforward issue, like a broken sensor, it’s still crucial to solve.

Why is my check engine light on if nothing seems wrong?

A loose gas cap is a less dangerous cause of a check engine light turning on than a damaged catalytic converter, which is a more serious one. Even worse, it can indicate an internal engine breakdown. Ignoring the issue increases the likelihood that a simple solution will become a costly and time-consuming one.


The cost of repairs may be high. Unintentional manipulation may lead to more issues in the future. In general, it shouldn’t be a big deal if your check engine light remains on after an oil change because it’s typically a simple fix. If not, ask a qualified mechanic for assistance.

That is all for this article, in which the most typical and common causes for checking engine lights after an oil change and each of their solutions. That said, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!

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