How Long Can You Drive Toyota With Your Maintenance Light On?

Last Updated on February 12, 2023 by Leepu Da Maxim

The maintenance required light on your Toyota comes on when you are about to hit 5,000 miles since the last service or oil change. The purpose of this light is to remind you to schedule a service to have your oil changed. After it comes on, you can drive the car for 500 miles before servicing.

Key Takeaways

  • The maintenance lights on the Toyota vehicles are linked to the odometer and it will come on when you drive over 4500 miles
  • The Toyota maintenance lights leave an allowance to ensure you drive your vehicle some extra miles even after the light comes on
  • You should keep in mind that the actual length of time you can drive a Toyota with the maintenance light varies and it depends on the specific issue
  • If the maintenance lights go on because of low engine oil levels or a malfunctioning emission control system then you should immediately take action instead of driving the vehicle

The time you can drive your car after the light comes on isn’t fixed since there are a lot of factors that come to play. Your car can withstand more or fewer miles depending on your driving style, road condition, how often you drive, and the climate of where you drive.

After the light comes on, you need to check oil levels using a dipstick to ensure everything is okay. If the oil is below the mark, top it up a little and see if the light will go off. If it doesn’t, you will need to schedule a service for an oil change.

If you aren’t in a position to have the oil changed immediately, look out for any great signs or sounds before you continue driving. If you hear any whirring, crunching, or grinding sounds coming from under the hood, you need to avoid driving the vehicle and have it checked as soon as you can to avoid damaging the engine and causing more severe problems. 

If there isn’t any audible or visible sign, you can continue driving until the vehicle is serviced. But don’t wait too long since you risk damaging your vehicle and putting your life at risk. Going too long without service is fatal because essential parts are prone to ear and tear, which can cause accidents  

This article will enlighten you on everything you need to know about the maintenance required light, including what it means and how to turn it off, so keep reading.

What Does It Mean When Maintenance Requires Light Is On Toyota?

Mean When Maintenance Requires Light Is On Toyota

Depending on your Toyota model, the maintenance required light will be a yellow light showing a tool that looks like a wrench or ‘MAINT REQD”. No matter what it looks like, this light causes panic to drivers, especially if you don’t know what it means.

This light reminds drivers that their car is due for an oil change. It stays on until the oil is changed and the light is reset. This light doesn’t hinder you from driving your car; it turns on automatically once you hit 5,000 miles.

However, changing the oil frequently is recommended to enable your engine to run smoothly. It also improves fuel efficiency and reduces the wear and tear of components, thus saving a lot of money that would have been used on repairs. An oil change takes you half an hour or one hour at most: it involves draining the dirty oil, replacing the oil filter, and filling up new oil in the tank. This process takes such a short time but will save you a lot of repairs in the long run.

 After an oil change, the mechanic will reset the odometer to zero and then reset the light to go off. Some technicians may forget to reset the maintenance required light, and, in that case, you will need to do it yourself.

How To Reset The Maintenance Required Light

Learning how to reset the maintenance required light will save you the extra trip to the garage or auto shop. The process is easy and works for most Toyota models. here’s how to do it:

1. Insert the key into the ignition and turn the car to the ON position, don’t start the engine

2. Check your dashboard to ensure the odometer is displaying “trip A” and not the miles

3. If not, press the “reset” or “trip” button until the odometer reads “trip A.”

4. Press and hold the “reset” button and turn the car off and back on while still holding the button down.

5. The odometer will display a series of dashes on the screen followed by a series of zeros

6. Keep holding the button until the normal odometer reading returns on the screen.

7. Once the usual odometer readings are back on the screen, release the button and turn the car back on. 

8. The maintenance-required light shouldn’t appear on your dashboard anymore; if it does, repeat the procedure until the light goes off.

In some Toyota models, this procedure varies slightly; for example, in Toyota corolla, you need to keep the toggle knob on the odometer pressed for 20 seconds with the key turned off. After 20 seconds, turn the key back on without starting the car.

When you reset the maintenance required light manually, the counter goes back to zero and will keep counting miles until 5000 miles. Once it reaches this mark, the light will come back on, and it’s time for another oil change. Since the maintenance-required light doesn’t go off on its own, it is advisable to turn it off yourself to reduce distraction on your dashboard.

Is Maintenance Required Light The Same As Check Engine Light?

No, these two lights are different, and each one has a different meaning and function. The check engine light looks like an engine outline paired with the word “check.” The light signals a problem with the emissions system that needs immediate solving. The degree of the problem varies in seriousness from something you can solve by yourself to something that needs your mechanics’ attention.

For example, if you forget to replace the gas cap after a refill or put it loosely, the car will falsely detect a leak, and the check engine light will come on. You only need to tighten the cap and restart your engine to rectify it. Sometimes the issue might be severe: maybe your catalytic converter is damaged, the mass airflow sensor has a problem, or your spark plug is disconnected. You need to book an appointment with your mechanic immediately in such cases.

The maintenance required light reminds you of scheduled service and maintenance. Once you have established a servicing and maintenance routine, you will rarely see this light because your service is due before the light comes on.

Final Word

As a responsible driver who loves their car, you need to understand the various lights on your dashboard and when to call your mechanic immediately. Always ensure you keep up with the manufacturer’s recommended service to keep your vehicle functioning in pristine condition. When a light comes on that you don’t understand, don’t ignore. Instead, seek information from your manual or mechanic or read up articles like this. This way, you will know how to resolve car problems before they get severe.