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2000 Nissan Maxima Service Engine Soon light

I am new to Massachusetts and am in the process of registering my car. When I went to have the state inspection, I was told that because my SES light was on, I would fail the test. I have been driving problem free with this light on for years now. According to, the SES light in Maximas tends to come on repeatedly. Often the repairs do not succeed in keeping the light off. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get the light off? Is there any sort of waiver offered by the RMV if your car has a widely acknowledged defect such as this? Thanks!

The problem could be as simple as a loose gas cap. You need to find out what codes are making the light turn on. You can have a place like Autozone check the codes for free. Let us know what they are and we can help you further.

That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. Get the exact code (like P0123) not just their translation into English and post it back here. 

Regarding warning lights:

  1. if the coolant temp light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  2. if the oil warning light comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

  3. if a FLASHING MIL/CEL comes on, shut off the engine ASAP

    ASAP means driving to the berm of the highway right now and not waiting for the next exit.

But if the MIL/CEL is not flashing, then it’s not an urgent indicator.

Keep in mind that if the light is on for some simple reason, there is no way for you to know if a more serious and potentially dangerous problem comes along.