Jason Kane

Jason Kane

Jason Kane is a lifelong golf enthusiast who has turned his passion into a lifestyle. He spends his days traveling to golf courses around the world, honing his skills and experiencing new challenges. When he's not on the links, he's writing about his adventures on his popular blog, Golf Article.

About Me

Table of Contents

Check Engine Light After Oil Change

Feeling annoyed because that check engine light won’t quit blinking right after your oil change? You’re in good company—turns out about 15% of us run into this headache. But hey, keep your cool, we’ve got your back with this handy guide.

It might be something easy-peasy like a loose dipstick or maybe the oil fill cap’s not on right. Or perhaps it’s because of low oil pressure, too much oil, or the wrong oil sneaked its way into your car.

We’ve laid out some clear, easy steps you can follow to troubleshoot and fix the issue, or figure out if it’s time to call in the pros.

Let’s tackle this together and get you back to smooth driving, worry-free.

Check Engine Light After Oil Change: 7 Causes+ How to Fix

If you experience a check engine light after an oil change, there are seven possible causes and ways to fix the issue.

First, it could be due to the dipstick not being seated correctly. To fix this, make sure the dipstick is fully inserted and secured.

Second, the oil fill cap may be installed incorrectly. Simply remove and reinstall it, ensuring it’s tightened properly.

Another cause could be low oil pressure. Check the oil level and add more if necessary.

Additionally, using too much oil can trigger the check engine light, so remove any excess oil.

Lastly, using the wrong oil type can also cause the issue. Refer to the owner’s manual and perform a new oil change with the recommended oil.

How Does the Check Engine Light Look

When you spot a light on your dashboard that’s yellow, orange, or amber and shaped like an engine or spells out ‘check engine,’ it’s a heads-up that your engine might be having some issues. Think of it as your car’s way of saying, ‘Hey, I need a bit of attention here!’

Now, if this light pops up right after you’ve had an oil change, it could be telling you something’s not quite right with that recent service. Maybe you’ve got the wrong type of oil, or not enough of it, or perhaps the oil cap isn’t on tight or is damaged. It could also mean there’s a problem with the oil filter, a pesky oil leak, or the oil level’s just too low.

It’s super important to take this warning seriously—after all, it’s about keeping your car running smoothly and keeping you safe on the road. So don’t shrug it off; get it checked out to make sure everything’s A-OK under the hood.

What Is the Check Engine Light

The check engine light is a crucial warning indicator in your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics system. It serves as an early warning system for potential issues with your engine or emission system.

If the check engine light comes on after an oil change, it could be due to several reasons. These include not seating the dipstick correctly, installing the oil fill cap improperly, low oil pressure, too much oil, or using the wrong oil.

To address the issue, first, check the dipstick and oil fill cap to ensure they’re properly secured. Then, run the engine for a few minutes to allow the system to adjust. If necessary, remove any excess oil.

Why Is the Check Engine Light On After an Oil Change? (Causes + Fixes)

If you’re wondering why the check engine light is on after an oil change, there are a few possible causes. It could be due to a low oil level, using the wrong oil, low oil pressure, excess oil, or the oil dipstick not being fully seated.

To resolve the issue, you can take the following steps:

  • Check the oil level
  • Ensure you’re using the correct oil
  • Check the oil pressure
  • Remove any excess oil
  • Make sure the dipstick is properly inserted.

These steps should help you identify and fix the problem causing the check engine light to be on after an oil change.

: 1. Low Oil Level

When your check engine light comes on right after an oil change, it’s smart to check if you’re running low on oil. Not enough oil can spell trouble for your engine, like damage and not running as well as it should.

Here’s what to do: grab the dipstick and see where your oil level’s at. If it’s looking a bit low, top it up to the mark that’s recommended. While you’re at it, take a quick look around for any sneaky oil leaks or if the filter’s looking worse for wear. Spot any problems? Get them sorted out quick.

Keeping your oil at the right level is key to keeping your engine in tip-top shape.

: 2. Using the Wrong Oil

If you’ve recently changed your car’s oil and the check engine light pops on, you might’ve used the wrong oil type or viscosity. Your engine is like a picky eater—it needs the right oil to stay healthy.

If the oil isn’t right, it can lead to a too-hot engine, not enough lubrication, and even damage. This can make your car guzzle more gas, sputter, or get too hot under the hood.

To sort this out, you should drain the wrong oil and refill with the kind your car’s manual suggests. This will keep your engine humming nicely and stop that pesky check engine light from flashing at you.

Remember to always check the oil type your car needs before you change it, so you keep your ride smooth and avoid any trouble.

: 3. Low Oil Pressure

If you’ve just changed your oil and your check engine light comes on because of low oil pressure, here’s what you should do.

First, make sure your oil cap isn’t loose or damaged. If it’s not fitting right, air might get in and mess with the oil pressure. That’s likely what’s setting off the check engine light. So, give that cap a good twist to keep the air out.

Also, your car might be losing oil because of old gaskets or busted seals. Take a good look around the engine for any oil spots and get those fixed quick.

Low oil pressure isn’t something to ignore—it can seriously hurt your engine and put you at risk on the road.

: 4. Excess Oil

Noticed your check engine light flicked on after an oil change? Heads up, it might mean there’s too much oil in the engine. Here’s the scoop: overfilling can crank up the pressure inside, which makes your check engine light go ‘Hey, look at me!’ But it’s not just about the light; too much oil isn’t good news. It can cause leaks, frothy oil, and even mess with your catalytic converter—ouch!

So, what do you do? First, pop the hood and make sure that dipstick and oil cap are snug where they belong. Give your engine a little run-time—just a few minutes should do—to let things settle. Got extra oil? Drain it out until it hits the sweet spot on your dipstick. And hey, it’s a good time for an oil change redo. Stick to what your owner’s manual suggests for oil type.

If that pesky check engine light doesn’t turn off, it might be time to grab a code scanner and clear those codes. Remember, keeping things just right under the hood keeps your ride smooth and your engine happy.

: 5. Oil Dipstick Not Fully Seated

Always ensure the oil dipstick is properly seated. If it’s not, it can let extra air sneak into the engine, which might light up your check engine signal. A dipstick that’s not all the way in can mess with how your engine runs and harm key parts.

After you’ve added oil, double-check the dipstick. Push it down until you hear a click. That way, you keep out any unwanted air, your engine runs smoothly, and you won’t get a false alarm from your check engine light.

: Gas Cap Is Crooked or on Backward

Once you’ve made sure the oil dipstick is snug in its place, take a moment to see if the gas cap is wonky or flipped the wrong way. A gas cap that’s not on straight or is backwards can make the check engine light pop on after you’ve got your oil changed.

What’s going on here is that it lets air sneak into the system. This messes with the oil pressure and sends wonky signals to the engine’s sensors. To nip this in the bud, just twist off the gas cap and put it back the right way, making sure it’s on good and tight.

Doing this blocks any unwanted air from getting in and keeps the oil pressure where it should be. It’s a quick fix that could clear up why that pesky check engine light is glaring at you after an oil swap, and it helps keep your ride running smooth and safe.

: 6. Missing Oil Fill Cap

To keep that pesky check engine light off after you’ve changed the oil, make sure your oil fill cap is snug and in place. If it’s missing or on wrong, air can sneak in, messing with your oil pressure and making the check engine light come on.

It’s like the engine’s sensors get fooled by the extra air from a cap that’s not tight or is cracked. So, give that oil fill cap a good once-over for any damage, and double-check it’s screwed on just right.

Doing this keeps everything sealed tight and stops air from throwing things off, which could otherwise light up your dashboard after you’ve just taken care of your car.

: 7. Oil Filter Is Not Properly Seated

Make sure the oil filter sits tight to keep that pesky check engine light off after your oil change. A loose oil filter can mess with your oil’s flow and pressure, and nobody wants that. It can lead to your engine not running smoothly, and before you know it, there’s that light glaring at you from the dashboard.

Other Possible Causes of the Check Engine Light

Now let’s explore other possible causes of the check engine light after an oil change.

One potential culprit could be a faulty oxygen sensor, which can affect the engine’s fuel mixture and trigger the light.

Another possibility is a damaged catalytic converter, which can lead to emission issues and activate the check engine light.

Additionally, a faulty ignition coil, damaged spark plug, or a loose gas cap could also be the source of the problem.

: 1. Faulty Oxygen Sensor

When your car’s check engine light flickers on, it’s like it’s trying to tell you something. And if you’ve just had an oil change, it might be hinting at a hiccup with the Oxygen Sensor. Think of this little gadget as the car’s way of keeping an eye on how much oxygen is mixing with the exhaust gases. It’s super important because it helps your car breathe right, just like your lungs do for you.

Now, if that Oxygen Sensor starts acting up, it’s not just a minor annoyance. It can mess with the emissions system big time, make your car guzzle more gas, and even pump out more pollution. That’s no good for anyone, right? Plus, if you ignore it, you’re setting yourself up for a bigger headache down the road, with the possibility of some serious engine trouble and a hit to your wallet for repairs.

: 2. Damaged Catalytic Converter

Got a fresh oil change and now your check engine light is on? You might want to think about your catalytic converter. If there’s too much oil, or the wrong type, it can mess things up inside the engine, leading to heat or pressure that’s bad news for your converter.

That check engine light? It’s like a friendly heads-up that your car’s emission system might be having a rough time. Look, ignoring this is a no-go. It can make things worse and hit your wallet hard.

: 3. Faulty Ignition Coil

When your check engine light flickers on after an oil change, it’s smart to suspect a naughty ignition coil. This little troublemaker can mess with your engine’s rhythm and make the check engine light pop on. Feeling a shudder while idling, catching your car stumble during acceleration, or noticing your gas isn’t taking you as far? These could be telltale signs that your ignition coil’s on the fritz. Don’t just shrug it off; that can lead to bigger headaches for your engine and, frankly, it’s a safety no-no.

Tackling a grumpy ignition coil sooner rather than later is key. If that pesky light doesn’t turn off, or if your car’s making odd sounds or just doesn’t have its usual pep, it’s time for a pro’s touch. A savvy mechanic can get to the heart of the problem and fix up your ignition coil. They’ll get you back to smooth motoring and peace of mind.

: 4. Damaged Spark Plug

If you’ve just had an oil change and your check engine light pops on, you might want to take a look at your spark plugs. These little guys are super important for your car’s health. When they’re not happy, you might notice your car acting up – maybe it’s not running as smooth or guzzling more gas than usual.

Here’s the deal: if your spark plugs are damaged, they can cause all sorts of trouble, like making your car run rough or causing misfires. And let’s be real, nobody wants that. It’s not just about keeping your ride smooth; it’s also about staying safe on the road.

So, what should you do? Well, it’s smart to have those spark plugs checked out if you spot any trouble. Cracks or worn out parts are a big red flag. When you see that, it’s time to call in the pros. They’ve got the know-how to fix things up and keep your car running like a dream.

Taking care of a wonky spark plug sooner rather than later is key. It’s like giving your car a little love so it takes care of you on the road. Plus, it’s all about making sure you’re driving a car that’s safe and reliable. And who doesn’t want that peace of mind, right?

: 5. Loose Gas Cap

If you’ve just had an oil change and your check engine light flicks on, don’t sweat it. Sometimes, it’s just a loose gas cap behind that pesky alert. Here’s the thing: your car likes balance, and a gas cap that’s not screwed on tight can mess with that. It throws off the engine’s sensors with incorrect readings and, boom, your dashboard’s lit up.

So, what’s the fix? Easy. First, give that gas cap a look. If it’s loose, twist it until you hear that satisfying click, signaling it’s locked in place.

Next, take your car out for a spin. This quick trip can often tell the car’s system, ‘All’s well,’ and the light might just switch off.

Now, if that light sticks around, don’t ignore it. It could be your car’s way of saying there’s a deeper issue that needs a pro’s eyes. Getting it checked out on time keeps you safe on the road and your car running smoothly.

: 6. Clogged Air Filter

If you’ve checked the gas cap and the check engine light is still on after an oil change, another possible cause could be a clogged air filter. A clogged air filter can restrict the airflow to your engine, affecting its performance and triggering the check engine light.

When the air filter is clogged, it can disrupt the air-fuel mixture, causing the engine to run too rich or lean, which might prompt the check engine light to illuminate. Reduced air intake due to a clogged air filter can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and abnormal engine combustion, further contributing to the check engine light coming on.

Additionally, a clogged air filter can impact the engine’s ability to maintain the proper air-to-fuel ratio, resulting in irregular combustion and the check engine light coming on. If you suspect a clogged air filter, it’s important to have it replaced promptly to ensure optimal engine performance and safety.

How Do You Fix the Problem

Solving the Check Engine Light Mystery After an Oil Change

Got a stubborn check engine light glaring at you after an oil change? No worries, I’ve got your back with some practical steps to sort it out. Here’s what you can do:

First up, let’s talk oil pressure. It’s a big deal for your engine, so you’ll want to make sure it’s right on target. Grab that dipstick, give it a wipe, and slide it back in there until it clicks into place. If it’s swimming in oil, you might’ve overdone it. No stress, though – just use a suction pump to kiss the excess goodbye.

Now, about that gas cap – it might sound simple, but it’s got to be on just right. Make sure it’s snug and sitting how it should, not all wonky or upside down. It’s a small thing that can cause a big headache if it’s not right.

And here’s a pro tip: double-check your oil type. Your car’s manual isn’t just for gathering dust in the glove box – it’s got the inside scoop on the oil your engine’s craving. Stick to what it says, and you’ll be golden.

: Solution 1: Lack of Oil Pressure

If your car’s check engine light flicks on after an oil change, it could be a sign that there’s not enough oil pressure. Here’s what you can do:

  • Pop the hood and check the oil dipstick and fill cap. They need to be snug in their spots. If they’re not, that might be your trouble right there.
  • If they’re looking good, go ahead and start the engine for a bit. This lets the new oil flow through and build up the right pressure.
  • Still seeing that light? You might’ve too much oil in there, and you’ll need to drain the extra out. And hey, double-check that you’re using the oil type your car’s manual recommends.

These steps are pretty straightforward and can keep your ride running safely.

: Solution 2: Dipstick Not Fully Seated

If your car’s dipstick isn’t all the way in after an oil change, it’s key to snug it back into place.

Why does this matter? Well, a loose dipstick can let unwanted air sneak into your engine. That’s not just annoying; it can actually hurt your engine over time. Plus, it might cause the check engine light to flash a warning at you.

To dodge these troubles, always check that the dipstick is all the way in. It’s a simple step, but it’s big for keeping your engine purring and dodging bigger headaches down the road.

: Solution 3: Too Much Oil

If your car has too much oil after an oil change, you can fix the problem by removing the excess oil and performing a new oil change with the appropriate oil recommended in the owner’s manual.

Having too much oil can trigger the check engine light, which can lead to potential issues like misfiring or a sluggish engine. Excess oil can also cause a smoky exhaust and, in severe cases, the engine may not start at all.

To address this issue, it’s important to use a suction pump to remove the excess oil and then perform a new oil change with the correct amount of oil. Remember to run the engine for a few minutes after the oil change to allow the system to adjust.

If the check engine light persists or if there are unusual noises or reduced performance, it’s crucial to seek professional assistance.

: Solution 4: Gas Cap is One Crooked or Backward

Had an oil change and now you’re seeing that pesky check engine light? Here’s a quick tip you mightn’t know: your gas cap could be the culprit! If it’s not on straight or it’s flipped the wrong way, it could be messing with your fuel system’s pressure. That’s enough to set off the light.

So, what should you do? First, make sure your engine is off. Now, take off the gas cap and give it a once-over for any damage or dirt that might be hanging around. If it looks wonky or backwards, no sweat—just line it up right and twist it back on until it clicks. You’ll want to double-check that it’s snug to keep any fuel from escaping.

Getting your gas cap sitting pretty isn’t just about turning off that light; it’s also about making sure your car runs its best. And who doesn’t want that? Plus, it’s a simple fix that’ll keep your ride happy and those sensors from getting their wires crossed. Keep it tight, keep it right, and you’ll be good to go.

: Solution 5: Using the Wrong Oil

If you’ve filled your car with the wrong type of oil, don’t worry, it’s a fixable mistake. Notice your check engine light turned on after that last oil change? This could mean the oil isn’t right, and it’s pretty important to sort it out fast to avoid messing up your ride.

Here’s what you do: drain that not-so-great oil and top up with the kind your car’s maker suggests in the manual. The right oil makes all the difference – it keeps your fuel use on point, stops your car from getting too hot, and keeps the engine in tip-top shape.

Once you’ve made the switch, give your engine a quick run to get it used to the new oil. If that pesky light stays on, you might need to clear the error codes with a scanner or get a mechanic to have a look-see.

Using the oil that’s meant for your car is a big deal for keeping it running smoothly for years to come.

How to Reset the Check Engine Light After an Oil Change

Alright, you’ve sorted out why that check engine light was glaring at you after your oil change.

Next up? Let’s reset that pesky light. Grab a code reader or scanner because that’s your go-to tool for this job.

Hunt down the port in your car where this gadget plugs in. Found it? Great! Now, plug in the reader, kick back for a sec while it reads the codes, and then hit the clear or erase button.

Just like that, your check engine light should say goodbye!

: Tools and Equipment Needed

To turn off the check engine light after you’ve changed the oil, you’ll need a couple of things.

Grab an OBD reader—that’s a gadget that looks for trouble codes and helps turn off that pesky light.

Hook it up to the port in your car (it’s usually under the dashboard).

Sometimes, you might want to disconnect the negative battery cable with a wrench for a manual reset.

Just plug in the OBD reader, follow the steps to clear the code, and the check engine light should disappear.

Then, give your car a start to make sure the light stays off.

If it doesn’t, or if your car sounds weird or isn’t running right, better call a pro.

Keeping that light in check after an oil change is key to making sure your ride stays in top shape.

: Step 1: Find the Port

To turn off the check engine light after you’ve changed the oil, start by finding the port for the OBD reader. It’s usually under the dashboard near where your knees are when you’re driving. You need to spot this port because it’s where you’ll hook up the diagnostic tool with a cable.

Once it’s connected, this handy gadget scans for any trouble codes. These codes are key to figuring out why that pesky light is on. Jot these down for later – you’ll need them to get to the bottom of the issue.

Then, you can use the tool to clear the code, which should switch off the check engine light. If it’s stubborn and stays on, give your car a quick restart – that should do the trick.

: Step 2: Connect the Reader

To reset the check engine light after an oil change, you’ll need to connect the reader using a cable to the port under your dashboard near your knees. This step is crucial in diagnosing any error codes that may be causing the check engine light to stay on.

Begin by locating the port, which is usually located on the driver’s side. Once you have found it, connect the reader to the port using the provided cable.

Turn on the ignition, but don’t start the engine. Allow the reader to scan for any error codes. If any codes are found, make a note of them.

Finally, use the reader to erase the codes and reset the check engine light. Remember to restart the vehicle and ensure that the light remains off during a test drive.

If the check engine light persists or if you experience any unusual noises or reduced performance, seek professional assistance for further diagnosis and repair. Your safety is important, so it’s crucial to address any potential issues promptly.

: Step 3: Wait for Codes

Once you’ve connected the reader and cleared the codes, sit tight because it’s time to wait for the codes to pop up. This is key for nailing down what exactly made your check engine light come on after the oil change.

Chill out and give it a moment. Those codes are like clues, pointing you to what’s up with your car. When you get those codes, you’ll be in the know and can figure out what to do next.

And hey, stay on the safe side – if that light stays on or your car starts acting up or sounding weird, don’t think twice about getting a pro to check it out. Waiting for those codes means you’re on track to fixing the issue the right way and keeping your ride safe and sound.

: Step 4: Erase the Code

To turn off the check engine light following an oil change, it’s key to clear the stored code with a code scanner. Here’s the lowdown:

  • Hook up the scanner to the OBD reader port, usually snuggled under the dash.
  • The scanner’s user guide will walk you through scanning for any trouble codes and wiping them clean.
  • After you’ve done that, crank up your car to check if the check engine light has bid farewell.
  • If the light’s out, you’re all set!
  • But if it’s still glaring at you or your ride’s making odd sounds or feels off, it’s wise to get a pro to take a look.
  • Remember, playing it safe with your car is always the smart move.

: Step 5: Restart Your Vehicle

Restart your vehicle to allow the system to recognize the new oil pressures after the oil change. By restarting your vehicle, you’re giving the engine a chance to adjust and ensure proper functioning. This step is crucial in resetting the check engine light after an oil change.

After restarting, monitor the check engine light to see if it goes off. If the light doesn’t turn off immediately, don’t panic. Sometimes, it may take a few minutes for the system to recognize the changes. However, if the check engine light persists or if you notice any unusual noises or reduced performance, it’s important to seek professional assistance.

Should You DIY or Use a Mechanic?

When faced with a check engine light after an oil change, it’s important to consider whether you should handle the issue yourself or seek the assistance of a mechanic. While DIY can save you money, it’s crucial to prioritize safety.

If the check engine light comes on immediately after the oil change, you can start by checking the oil level and inspecting the oil cap. Running the engine for a few minutes may also help the system adjust and resolve the issue.

However, if the light persists or if there are unusual noises or reduced performance, it’s recommended to seek professional help. A mechanic can use an OBD2 scanner to reset the check engine light and diagnose any underlying issues.


If your check engine light pops on right after an oil change, there’s no need to stress. A handful of common culprits might be behind it, like a dipstick that’s not quite right or maybe the wrong oil type slipped in.

But hang tight, we’ve broken it down for you with an easy-to-follow guide. Just check the dipstick, make sure the oil cap is snug, and use a code scanner to clear any error messages.

Stick with us, and you’ll have that pesky light off in no time!