The dashboard of every vehicle produced after 1996 has the ability to communicate signals of various severity and importance to the driver via the warning and indicator lights.
The Service (or Service Engine) light is a warning light that is connected to the engine control unit (ECU) of a vehicle. The ECU is the brain of the vehicle and monitors a number of systems, including:
- Emissions: There are sensors throughout the engine management system on all vehicles manufactured since 1996 that signals the driver of any malfunction that will result in unacceptable amounts of emissions entering the air.
- Engine temperature: Sensors in and around the engine can tell the driver of excessive operating temperatures, which may lead to engine damage. Typically, this warning will be followed by a Temperature, Engine Overheating, or Check Gauges light.
- Mileage: While car have recorded mileage for many years, the ECU can also keep track of mileage between oil replacements and other routine services.
There are many other parts of the ECU capable of monitoring, and those also vary depending on the manufacturer and year of production.
Common reasons why this happen:
The Service light is a vague warning and can indicate something as little as too many miles between oil changes to potentially serious faults in the engine. The problem could be totally little or very serious, and a professional inspection is the best course of action if the light is persistently on. A mechanic can see a problems early that, if left unattended, could result in costly repairs down the road.
How important is this service?
A Service light is vital to diagnose shortly after it illuminates, given that the underlying problem could be mild or severe. Book a mechanic to carry out a thorough inspection as soon as possible.
SEE ALSO:WHY IS YOUR CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON