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Maintenance Required Light

When I first turn on my car the maintenance required light goes on for a couple seconds then goes off. I looked it up in the manual and that light says that it means the oil needs to be checked. I just bought the car certified used and they said that I didn’t need an oil change for another 5000 miles because they just did it. Is that light supposed to go on automatically every time I turn the car on then go off?

Take Another Look At The Manual. I Believe That Light Would Stay On To Indicate Oil Service. Is There An Oil Life Monitor That Shows Oil Life Remaining As A Percent Left ?

Many lights come on when the key is first turned to “on” as a check of the system.

There is a chance that the light was not reset after the oil change. The manual should discuss that, too.


I would highly recommend that you "check" that oil a lot sooner than 5,000 miles.  You should check any car's oil more often than every 5,000 miles.  I suggest every fuel fill-up, light or no light. 

Note: an oil change and checking the oil are two totally different things.

Don’t believe everything the dealer tells you. To be on the safe side, check the oil level and condition. As Mr. Meehan suggests, make it a habit. If the oil is clean, reset the light following the procedure in the Owner’s Manual.

The Maintenance Required light on my wife’s 06 Sienna stays on for a bit after the van is started as the mileage approaches the 5k interval. So far, the Sienna’s oil level doesn’t drop between oil changes (4k to 5k interval), but that doesn’t stop me from checking the oil on a regular basis.

Ed B.

The maintenance required light tells you that your oil needs changing. Since the dealer just did it it won’t need changing for another 5k miles. But you have to reset the system. Toyota oil change reminder only goes my mileage. So every 5k miles that light is going to come on no matter what. To reset the light…look in your owners manual. It’s spelled out clearly there. It’s something like…“Turn key to the On position while pressing the OD Reset button.”

If the light comes on for a couple seconds then goes out, its performing a bulb check. I would have to agree with others above about checking oil from time to time. I would also add that there are other fluids that need checking as well. There is brake fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, anti freeze/coolant, and windshield washer fluid. With the exception of the washer fluid if any fluids run low this could lead to catastrophic failure of a fairly expensive component or maybe a collision. Keeping this in mind I don’t rely others to make sure fluids are kept full, I do it myself. Check all your fluids and lights once a month and your Toyota will last you a good long time.

There are several of these lights and they go by different names. Your owners manual should spell them out for you.

One of these is commonly called the check engine light and it is supposed to come on for 2-3 seconds and then go out. This is a computer self check and it lets you know that the computer is working properly. If the light stays on longer, then there is a problem.

If your car has a change oil soon light, that may go by another name, then it to comes on for about 2 seconds after the engine starts and then goes out. If it is due for an oil change, the light will come back on for about 30 seconds and then go off so it doesn’t bug you on the rest of your trip.

What year Corolla? They didn’t have the oil light in the 03 and older. Don’t know about the newer ones.