After servicing – reset the light

Posted on March 26th, 2019 by Rob Marshall

After servicing - reset the light

Car maintenance is little different to many other jobs, in that the details make the difference. Whether you are a keen DIYer, or entrust a professional to do the work for you, a modern car makes it tricky for the driver to know that a service has been performed well. Thirty years (and more) ago, when car engines went out of tune comparatively quickly, the driver tended to notice an improvement immediately after a service had been completed. Yet, modern cars still need looking after. How do you know that the work has been done well?


Put that light out

For these reasons, some garages wash, or vacuum the interior, to make the owner more aware that something positive has happened. However, one of the most important jobs is to ensure that the service interval has been reset on the dashboard. It astonishes me how many vehicles I see that have had a professional service and, yet, the service warning symbol remains glowing on the fascia.


Apart from showing the driver that the car has received attention, there is a technical reason why this is required. Some cars need to be ‘told’ that they have been serviced, which tends to be performed with either diagnostic equipment (as pictured), or by pressing dashboard buttons and turning the ignition key in a set-sequence. If this is not done, the car may not undertake certain procedures (diesel particulate filter cleaning is the main one, which degrades the oil), if it thinks that a service interval has been exceeded.


Therefore, if you have had your car serviced by a professional and the service light has not been reset, take it back and request that it is done.