Skip to Content

Check Engine Light After Oil Change (Reasons & Solutions)

Sometimes even after you have changed the oil in a car, the “Check Engine” light may still show up which is a concerning matter indeed. As a result, wanting to know the reasons behind this check engine light after the oil change and the solutions to get rid of this issue must be a very common query of yours.

So to get to know the exact reasons and effective solutions to this problem, quickly go through the findings ahead.

Can Needing An Oil Change Cause Your Check Engine Light To Come On?

The requirement for changing the oil in your car will surely cause the check engine light to appear and it is the most apparent indication that says the oil has gone wrong.

A car needs a regular oil change so that it can have satisfactory lubrication which will help to lessen the excess heat generated by its engine. So when the oil gets old, oil has become too dirty, or if you don’t change the oil often, the car can’t have a proper lubrication. As a result, excess heat is produced, and that’s when a car shows the necessity of oil change.

Therefore, the check engine light illuminates which is a clear warning that your car immediately needs an oil change to keep the engine lubricated.

Does The Check Engine Light Go Off After The Oil Change?

Generally, the check engine goes off after the oil change, as the old or dirty oil has been replaced with new oil which will make the system circulate enough oil throughout the engine and keep it lubricated.

However, it’s quite common to notice the check engine light to stay still even after changing the oil, and it mainly happens when the oil filler cap is fitted backways or if the oil dipstick isn’t properly seated. So fitting the oil filler cap in the right way or making the dipstick seated should fix this problem of check engine light staying still.

But if there are other issues such as engine problems, faulty oxygen sensors, worn spark plugs, logbook issues, etc. the check engine light will stay illuminated even after the oil has been changed.

Why Is My Check Engine Light Still On After The Oil Change?

The check engine light is still on after the oil change is usually caused by a backway fitted oil filler cap or a not fully seated oil dipstick. Besides, scarcity of oil pressure, incorrect oil, old spark plugs, faulty oxygen sensor, engine issues, and others cause the check engine light to stay on.

Just knowing the reasons behind the check engine light staying turned on may not be enough for many of you. Therefore, detailed explanations of the major potential reasons that trigger the check engine light to stay on even after an oil change have been added below for your better understanding.

The Oil Cap Is Fitted Backways:

If the oil filler cap somehow has been fitted backward, extra oxygen enters into the car engine without being counted by the ECU (Electronic Control Unit).

And the ECU has its span of readings that it will acknowledge from the car’s oxygen sensor in comparison to the amount of oil is added. So when the readings of the oxygen sensor are tossed out due to the oil cap fitted backways, the ECU sends an alarm by keeping lighten up the check engine light.

Dipstick Isn’t Seated Fully:

When the dipstick is left off its dipstick tube during the oil changing process, O-ring can’t create a proper seal, as a result, unmetered air enters into the car engine which causes the check engine light to stay on to warn the car owner.

Oil Pressure Is Lacking:

Replacing the old oil with new oil doesn’t provide the oil pressure gauge with adequate time for the correct reading, thereby, the check engine light stays turned on because your car assumes it doesn’t have enough oil.

Wrong Oil:

If mistakenly you have replaced old oil with an incorrect oil weight, density, or grade, it may not offer enough lubrication as well as may not transfer heat accurately. Thus, the oil will excessively heat up triggering the check engine light to remain turned on.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor:

Car or any other vehicles either have 2 or 4 oxygen sensors, if one of those is failing, it can not keep a record of how much oil is being burnt by the engine. Thereby, it keeps illuminating the check engine light.

Failing Catalytic Converter:

A faulty catalytic converter surely can keep the check engine light on, as when it is failing, the car’s fuel economy badly depletes and leads the engine to overheat. And such conditions trigger the check engine light to stay turned on to warn the car owner.

Worn Out Spark Plugs:

Worn-out or old spark plugs can make the car face a great drop in power which can directly result in an illuminated check engine light.

Fuel Issue:

Although it is a less common problem, however, if the car has a blocked fuel filler or a faulty pump, it can cause the check engine light to appear even after oil has been changed.

Malfunctioning Airflow Sensor:

If the MAS (Mass Airflow Sensor) fails to monitor how much air is sneaking into the engine due to a clogged air filter or an aged air filter, it will make the check engine light come on.

How Long Does It Take For The Check Engine Light To Go Off After The Oil Change?

If an improperly installed dipstick or the oil filler cap isn’t fit in the clockwise direction is the reason behind the constantly turned on check engine light, then it will take about 3 cycles of engine start to go off the check engine light.

However, if there are any other issues apart from these two, it may take a longer or shorter period of time to go off the check engine light.

Can Changing Oil Cause The Check Engine Light To Come On?

Changing the oil should not cause the check engine light to come on because the check engine light appears when there is a need of replacing the old and used or dirty oil with new oil, as the engine is not being properly lubricated. Changing the oil should fix all these issues, so there practically is not any reason that would keep the check engine light coming on constantly.

However, if changing the oil actually is causing the check engine light to appear, it really can mean that something didn’t go properly while changing the oil such as a loose gas cap, backway fitted oil filler cap, etc. or any part has gone wrong in the car.

How To Get Rid Of Check Engine Light After An Oil Change?

Several effective tips are out there that would make sure that the check engine light does not stay illuminated for a long period. Below some of the useful tips are explained in detail, go through the list to know them.

Fit The Oil Filler Cap Clockwise:

The oil filler cap is supposed to fit clockwise, instead of backways and it is the only solution to a backway fitted oil filler cap that is causing the check engine light to stay on. So, just remove the oil filler cap and fit it correctly, this should solve the issue.

Fit The Dipstick Fully:

When an improperly seated dipstick is causing the problem of the constantly turned-on check engine light, you just have to pop the hood, find the dipstick, and make it seat properly on its dipstick tube. And there the check engine light should be turned off.

Replace The Faulty Oxygen Sensor:

Replacing the faulty oxygen sensor with a new one is the only solution when it is behind the constantly glowing check engine light. And the average cost of replacing an oxygen sensor is around $250, or if you are confident, you possibly can fix it by yourself too.

Repair The Faulty Catalytic Converter:

If a faulty catalytic converter is being the main reason, take your vehicle to a mechanic and repair the faulty catalytic converter to fix the problem.

Give Some Time For Oil Circulation:

As low oil pressure can trigger the check engine light on, wait for a few minutes and let the oil pump distribute changed new oil in the engine fully. It will let the oil pressure gauge to have enough time for reading the correct oil pressure.

Repair Worn Spark Plugs:

Repairing the old and worn-out spark plugs is the only solution that can fix the check engine light staying on issue.

Final Thoughts

The check engine light shouldn’t come on after an oil change, if it’s still on then the oil filler cap that’s fitted backways or an improperly seated dipstick can be the reason. Apart from them, issues such as wrong oil, faulty oxygen sensor, failing catalytic converter, etc. can be the reasons too.