Check Engine Light Comes On After An Oil Change – 11 Reasons

Written By: Terrence Hines
Category: Engine

If your check engine light comes on after an oil change, it may be alarming but don’t worry. This can happen for a number of reasons.

Malfunctioning engine spark plugs, oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, or a loose gas cap can all be potential culprits of poor car performance.

Check Engine Light Comes On After Oil Change – 11 Reasons Why

If you recently had your oil changed and your check engine light turned on, there could be various causes.

Modern cars are equipped with sophisticated computer systems that help determine when service is needed or if something is wrong with the engine.

The check engine light may be triggered during the oil change, such as if a cap was left loose. An empty oil cap can cause an error code to register in some cases.

Check your oil level first – particularly if it smells burnt – as insufficient lubrication can damage parts like pistons and rings.

After you change the oil, checking all the connections is important. A small oil leak can cause problems with the engine and make the check engine light come on.

1. You May Not Have Tightened The Oil Cap Properly:

If your vehicle’s check engine light comes on after an oil change, it could be a sign of something more serious. You may not have tightened the oil cap properly.

Check Engine Light Came On After Oil Change - 11 Reasons

After changing the oil in your vehicle, it is important to make sure all connections are secured properly.

If one component isn’t put together correctly, it can throw off other connections in the engine resulting in malfunction or worse.

Ensure that your oil cap is twisted securely and snaps into place, as this will help keep the pressure inside your vehicle’s engine at a normal level.

Tightening the oil cap should turn off your check engine light and keep you and your car running smoothly!

2. The Air Filter Needs To Be Replaced:

When your check engine light comes on after an oil change, it can be a confusing and frustrating experience, but it could simply mean that your air filter is clogged and needs to be replaced.

It’s possible that your check engine light was triggered because the air filter prevented dirt particles from entering the engine and disrupted its normal functioning.

A clean air filter ensures a more effective and efficient engine operation, so you should check it periodically to keep your car running smoothly.

So if you’re experiencing this issue, try replacing the air filter for a simple and inexpensive solution.

You can easily find replacement air filters at auto shops or online; installing them yourself can be a fast and simple way to avoid further expenses from taking them to a mechanic.

3. You Drove The Car Before The Light Went Off:

After getting an oil change, the check engine light comes on in the car.

It was strange because there had been no evidence of any mechanical problems before taking it in to get the oil changed.

After some investigation, it became clear that I had unknowingly driven a few miles with the check engine light off – despite the accompanying power dip and engine noise increase.

While this could have been caused by something else entirely, it’s possible that low oil levels sent the check engine light off after just a few miles.

Given this fact, driving even a small distance should not be done unless necessary when the check engine light comes on after an oil change.

4. The Engine Is Low On Oil:

Check engine lights can be scary, but they could also indicate that a recent oil change may have caused something as simple as the low oil level.

The Engine Is Low On Oil

If your check engine light comes on after an oil change, it may be because the engine is low on oil and needs more.

It’s important always to check the oil levels when changing the fluid to ensure there’s enough for proper lubrication of the engine components, so it continues running smoothly.

Taking care of your engine is essential, and monitoring your oil levels in-between changes can help prevent expensive repairs.

Regularly check to ensure you’re keeping your car running smoothly and healthy!

5. There’s A Problem With The Oil Filter:

Having the check engine light comes on after an oil change can cause an alarm, which is often due to a problem with the oil filter.

To protect your car from potential damage and reduce costs, you must choose the correct filter size for your vehicle. A proper fit ensures optimum performance and efficiency.

If your check engine light comes on after an oil change, it may be due to faulty installation or incompatible parts used in the oil filter.

Check with your mechanic to see if they have installed the right part; otherwise, it could mean further damage and additional cost.

6. The Engine Needs A Tune-Up:

While regularly changing your vehicle’s oil is essential to keeping its engine running smoothly. Still, it’s possible that the check engine light comes on after an oil change.

This may indicate that your engine is due for a tune-up, which includes carefully inspecting and adjusting different components based on their performance.

Certain components such as spark plugs and wires, air filters, fuel injection systems, valve timing, or belts may need to be serviced to restore your engine to its optimal performance.

Depending on what diagnostics reveal is wrong, technicians may suggest other necessary maintenance procedures to optimize your car’s performance.

7. You Might Have Just Put The Wrong Type Of Oil In Your Car:

All cars require a different type of oil for optimal operation, so if the check engine light comes on after an oil change, it might be because the wrong type was put in.

Check Engine Light Came On After Oil Change

Check your car manual to make sure you’re using the correct type of oil, and double-check with an expert to confirm.

Your engine needs this specific oil to function safely, as other oils may interfere with its performance but, more importantly, compromise its longevity.

Make sure to use only recommended products that meet or exceed the standards set by your car manufacturer – your car will thank you later!

8. The Spark Plugs Or Ignition Coils Might Need To Be Replaced:

If your check engine light come on after an oil change, the root of the problem could be with your spark plugs or ignition coils.

Spark plugs provide the spark needed to ignite fuel and air in your car’s cylinders, while ignition coils supply the current that sparks the plugs.

When either one of these isn’t performing properly, it can cause your check engine light to turn on.

In this instance, it might be necessary to replace one or both of them to stop the check engine light from appearing.

The good news is that replacing spark plugs or ignition coils with new ones is a relatively simple process.

9. There’s A Problem With The Fuel Injection System:

It can be stressful if your check engine light comes on after getting an oil change.

But if you’re also noticing that your car isn’t running as efficiently as usual, there’s a chance the problem could be related to the fuel injection system.

Car manufacturers use fuel injection systems in modern vehicles to make them go faster and use less gas. However, if any one part of the system is not working, it make the car not run as well.

If not fixed right away, the consequences can range from difficulty starting the engine to reduced fuel economy.

The best way to diagnose fuel injection problems is by using a certified mechanic or a diagnostic tool.

If a repair is needed, they can estimate costs and let you know how long it will take.

10. Wires Or Connectors Have Come Loose In The Engine Bay:

After an oil change, the check engine light comes on, and it was determined that some wires or connectors had come loose in the engine bay.

This could mean several different things; the parts could need to be tightened, a wire may have disconnected itself from one of its terminals, or there might be a break in the wiring somewhere.

It’s important to identify and rectify the issue as soon as possible to ensure the correct operation of all engine bay components.

You’ll also want to take preventive measures like using proper bundling and zip-tie methods for extra security.

Wires Or Connectors Have Come Loose In The Engine Bay

If you’re unsure how to diagnose and solve this problem, it’s best to consult a certified auto mechanic or repair professional.

11. A Vacuum Hose Could Be Disconnect Or Damaged:

If you recently had an oil change and your check engine light comes on afterward, then one possible cause may be that the vacuum hose could be disconnected or damaged.

When you have an oil change, it is important to look over the entire engine compartment and check that all the hoses are in place and not leaking.

If a hose has become cracked or shrunken, or any other damage has occurred, these issues may prevent fuel from flowing correctly.

In such cases, it is best to have a mechanic open up the engine and look around for further inspection.

If it’s determined that the vacuum hose was disconnected or damaged during maintenance, replacing it quickly will help get your check engine light back off.


In conclusion, if your check engine light came on after an oil change, there could be a few possible causes.

To avoid further damage, taking immediate action and identifying the issue is essential. If the light was triggered by something minor, like a slightly off sensor, resetting it might do the trick.

On the other hand, there could be a more serious issue that needs to be diagnosed and repaired.

The best approach is to have a certified technician look into the problem as soon as possible so they can determine what caused it and act accordingly.

Terrence Hines

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