Engine Light On After Oil Change [9 Easy Solutions]

You may find your engine light on after oil change due to low oil pressure, not resetting the oil counter, wrong oil cap fitting, unsettled dipstick, excessive oil, wrong grade oil, faulty oxygen sensors, worn-out spark plugs, and a faulty catalytic converter.

Keep reading this article to find out more about these problems in detail.

Engine Light On After Oil Change [9 Easy Solutions]

We’ll look at the most common reasons that cause check engine light on after oil change and how you can fix them. Before getting started with the causes, it’s important to know this:

A check engine light that is constantly on doesn’t usually mean much trouble. But a check engine light that blinks is the opposite of that. It could lead to severe engine damage if you don’t put the car to stop immediately.

1. Low Oil Pressure

If you see that the check engine light is immediately on after an oil change, lack of oil pressure is the most probable reason. The engine oil will sit in the oil sump after an oil change. That’s why the oil pressure will be low.


You can run your engine for a few minutes and let the oil spread through all parts of the engine. Once the new oil has circulated through the engine, the oil pressure sensor will be able to gauge the pressure, and your check engine light will turn off. 

Oil pressure sensors are also highly prone to damage. They tend to send fault ECM codes when they go bad. You’d want to get it replaced if this is the case. 

2. Not Resetting Oil Counter

The computer of your car doesn’t automatically know that you’ve changed your engine oil. Before changing the oil, the oil counter needs to be reset so that the car knows that there has been an oil change.


There are always some ways to signal to the car that the oil has been changed. In a lot of cars, turning the ignition on without starting the car and tapping the accelerator three times does the trick.

If you used a mechanic to change your oil, you can take it back to him. It’ll be easily fixed. Mechanics don’t get paid a lot for an oil change and that’s why they tend to be sloppy at this job. You can also refer to the user’s manual to know how to reset your oil counter.

3. Wrong Oil Cap Fitting

Your check engine light can be on if you don’t fit the oil cap properly. All engines have a computing machine called the ECM. The job of ECM is to calculate how much gas is required to maintain an optimum balance of gas and air.

When the oil cap is not closed properly or turned the wrong way, unaccounted air goes into the engine. This messes up the system and the engine no longer knows how much gas is required for a good air-fuel mixture.


This is one of the most common reasons that cause your engine light to be on after an oil change. Luckily, it’s also the easiest to fix. All you need to do is adjust the oil cap correctly and your problem will be solved.

Check if your oil cap has broken if the engine light still goes on after adjusting it. If it’s broken replace the oil cap.

4. Unsettled Dipstick

The dipstick will be used during an oil change to measure the level of oil. The dipstick needs to be put back in the dipstick tube correctly. The dipstick tube and the O-ring create a seal to prevent any air leakage when the dipstick is placed correctly.

Not seating the dipstick correctly will let excess air pass through the engine. When that happens, the check engine light will turn on.


Settling the dipstick is an easy problem to fix. Just open your hood, locate the dipstick and make sure that it’s seated properly.

5. Excessive Oil

Overfilling your engine with oil is also harmful to the engine. Your engine will misfire and feel sluggish. That causes the engine light to turn on. You’ll also notice exhaust coming from the tailpipe if you’ve overfilled your engine with oil.


Use the dipstick to measure the level of oil in your engine. If it’s overfilled, get rid of the excess oil through the drain pipe.

6. Wrong Grade Oil

There are certain oil types that are recommended for every vehicle. If you use engine oil of the wrong viscosity or grade, it can harm your car. That’ll deteriorate the performance of your engine and cause the engine light to be on.


It would be best if you get rid of the wrong oil through the drain pipe. Replace it with the oil of the correct grade. Refer to your owner’s manual if you’re unsure which grade of oil is the best for your engine. Using the right viscosity oil will ensure that you enjoy a smooth performance from your engine.

7. Faulty Oxygen Sensors

The oxygen sensors in your car play a pivotal role in efficiently burning fuel. It measures the unburnt oxygen coming through your exhaust pipe to make sure the car is burning fuel properly. Faulty oxygen sensors cause the check engine light to turn on.


The first step is to figure out which of the oxygen sensors is malfunctioning. There are usually two to four oxygen sensors in a vehicle. Take it to your mechanic. He’ll be able to figure out which one needs to be replaced and he’ll fix it for you. Changing an oxygen sensor won’t cost you too much.

8. Worn Out Spark Plugs

Spark plugs enable your car to start by creating a spark. Like all parts, spark plugs can become worn out with time. Malfunctioning spark plus will cause your engine to misfire. It can cause the engine light to turn on.


The spark plugs will need to be replaced if they’re the ones causing the problem. It’ll cost anywhere between $150 to $300 to have your spark plugs replaced. You should change your spark plugs after every 60,000 miles of driving.

9. Faulty Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter converts the harmful and toxic gases into less pollutant air. The check engine light will turn on if you have a faulty catalytic converter. It can also be damaged if the parts surrounding it get damaged.


Unfortunately, replacing a catalytic converter is expensive. It’ll cost you over $2000 or more to replace it. But this is the only solution you have if you got a faulty catalytic converter.

It’s bad luck if your catalytic converter goes as they don’t tend to get bad easily with minimal maintenance. Be sure to maintain it to avoid such an expensive replacement in the future.

How To Reset Check Engine Light After Oil Change

You’ll need an Onboard Diagnostic Reader and a wrench to reset the check engine light after an oil change. It’s an easy job if you know what you’re doing. Follow these steps and you’ll be able to reset the check engine light:

  • Locate the port of the ODB reader. It’s normally at the bottom of the dashboard.
  • Connect the ODB reader to the port and turn it on.
  • The reader will scan your engine and it’ll give you error codes.
  • Check the codes using your manual and make sure your engine is fine.
  • Erase the code and it’ll restart your check engine light.


Will check engine light go off after oil change?

The check engine light will go off after an oil change if your car was low on oil. However, other factors can also cause your engine light to stay on. In that issue, the light won’t off.

Can my engine malfunction after oil change?

Your engine shouldn’t malfunction after an oil change. If it does, you may have added too much oil or used oil of the wrong viscosity for your vehicle.

Why is the car shaking and check engine light on after oil change?

Shaking of the car and the check engine light turned on are both signs that your engine is misfiring. That is usually caused by faulty spark plugs or putting excessive oil.

What is the most common reason for which engine light is on after an oil change?

Not putting the oil cap correctly is the most common reason for the engine light to be on after an oil change. Mechanics usually rush through oil changes and they don’t put the caps back correctly.


We’ve discussed the most common reasons that cause engine light on after oil change. To know exactly what’s wrong with your engine, you can use a scanner. With that said, you should never drive a car with a check engine light on.

We hope these tips will help you to figure out why your engine light is on and you’ve fixed it. Leave a comment if you have any questions.

About John M

John contributed as a technical head at an automobile company just 2 years after his post-graduation in Automobile Engineering. He loves to lead a free life, so he left his job & started blogging. Now, he does research on every automotive problem, part & product and seeks a better solution & best products & shares his findings with his readers to help them as well as to minimize their struggle.

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