What Does The Maintenance Required Light Mean In My Toyota?

Toyota Maintenance Required Light

Toyota vehicles are some of the most dependable on the road, but that doesn’t mean the lineup is immune from trouble. Just like with every other brand, it’s important to follow the recommended maintenance schedule. When it’s time for regular service, you might notice the Toyota Maintenance Required Light come on the dashboard.

What does this Maintenance Required Light (MAINT REQD) mean, and what caused it to come on? I review the top reasons the light is on and show you what to do about it.

There’s also an outline provided showing what’s involved in the typical Toyota 5,000-mile service appointment, and I discuss whether you should drive with this light on.

What Does The Toyota Maintenance Required Light Mean?

The Toyota Maintenance Required Light shows up on the dashboard as MAINT REQD. It’s set to come on at regular intervals to remind you that it’s time for service. It will remain on until the light is reset, indicating that it’s time to reset the 5,000-mile interval. 

When this light comes on, it indicates that service is necessary. However, the light doesn’t know if service has already been provided. All it knows is that it’s been 5,000 miles or 6 months (or since the last time the light was reset). 

Most car models have Toyota’s maintenance requirements set at 5,000 miles or 6 months from the factory, but this can vary slightly depending on the car model and whether it has been modified after the factory. If you have a newer Toyota model, you can check it on Toyota’s website.

What Causes The Toyota Maintenance Required Light?

The reason why the Toyota Maintenance Required Light shows up is that it indicates it’s time for a service. Once the odometer on your vehicle counts down another 5,000 miles, the Toyota Maintenance Required Light comes on automatically.

It’s possible that the service has already been provided and the light remains on. This problem indicates that the service light hasn’t been reset, so it’s not counting down another 5,000 miles yet.

How to Fix the Toyota Maintenance Required Light?

If you haven’t had the Toyota serviced, you want to proceed with the 5,000-mile appointment. During this service, the light will be reset by the technician. If you perform the service yourself, make sure you reset the light when you are finished. 

If the service has been provided and you are ready to start the countdown again, you need to reset the light. This procedure is simple and discussed in detail down below. 

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Toyota 5,000-Mile Maintenance Schedule

1. Oil and Filter Change

The most basic aspect of the 5,000-mile service is the oil and filter change. If you are running conventional oil in your Toyota, you want to have it changed every 5,000 miles. 

During this time, all of the old oil is removed and new oil is added. Plus, the oil filter should be changed at the same time to ensure there are no remaining contaminants in the system. 

RELATED: How to Change the Oil in Your Car (5 Easy Steps)

2. Tire Inspection/Rotation

The tires are the next part to be inspected. The air pressures will be checked and adjusted as needed. 

If the tire tread is worn excessively, the tires might need to be replaced. Additionally, a tire rotation can add more life to the tread. 

3. Fluid Check

Technicians will check all of the fluids to ensure there are no leaks worth worrying about. Fluids include transmission fluid, antifreeze, brake fluid, power steering fluid and windshield washer fluid.

If the systems are low, they will be topped off. Additionally, any low fluid level might indicate a leak, so the technician will look it over to determine if there’s a problem. 

4. Quick Inspection

Every other major system should be quickly checked over for integrity. For starters, the car battery should be checked to ensure it won’t leave you stranded.

The brake system will also be looked at. Beyond that, lights, accessories and electrical components will be turned on to guarantee everything’s working. 

5. Further Services

While you are performing regular service, there will be some additional services at higher intervals. On top of the 5,000-mile service, you can also expect a cabin filter replacement and suspension system check every 15,000 miles.

Beyond that, the 30,000-mile service includes a new engine air filter. As the odometer reaches mileage higher than this, you can expect the services to include more parts and come with a higher cost. 

RELATED: What Does a Full Car Service Include? (& What does it cost?)

How to Reset the Toyota Maintenance Required Light?

To reset the maintenance required light in most Toyota cars, you should put the key in the ignition and turn it to position one. Press and hold the trip meter button and turn the ignition to position two. Hold the trip meter button for 10 seconds until you hear a beep. Turn off the ignition.

Here is some more detailed information on how to reset the Toyota maintenance required light.

1. Check Owner’s Manual

While most Toyota models have a Maintenance Required Light, not all of them use the same procedures to reset the light. For this reason, it’s best to read the owner’s manual or service guide to determine the right steps for your vehicle type.

If you don’t have the manual, you may also find instructions online based on what model you drive. Otherwise, you can follow our basic steps that work with most Toyota models. 

2. Turn ON the Vehicle

You can’t perform a reset unless the vehicle is on, but you don’t want the engine running yet. Instead, just turn the key until it sits at the Accessory position.

Everything should be powered up on the car, so you can see the dashboard lit up. At first, the odometer should reveal the miles, not a trip meter.

3. Hold Trip Meter Reset Button

Activate the trip meter on the dashboard. Once that’s displayed, hold the reset button while you switch the ignition to the ON position.

Hold that button for another ten seconds. You should see the light flash and/or there should be a beeping sound. Once that occurs, the light should turn itself off. 

4. Start Vehicle

Once the light has turned off, you are ready to start the vehicle. Let go of the reset button and start the engine. 

Give the dashboard time to run through the startup cycle. The light should be turned off once it’s done. If not, you can turn the engine off and try once again. However, if it doesn’t work after two cycles, you are going to need further guidance. 

5. Visit Service Center for More Help

If the service light doesn’t go out after your diligent efforts, you may need to reach out to a local mechanic. First, make sure you are following the proper procedure for your vehicle type. If you are, there could be a larger problem at hand.

It might be best to visit a local Toyota dealership, although this option can cost more. Some independent mechanics have enough experience to get to the bottom of the problem, so shop around. 

RELATED: Honda vs Toyota – Which is More Reliable?

Can I Drive with the Toyota Maintenance Required Light On?

The Toyota Maintenance Required Light doesn’t indicate any type of mechanical failure. It’s simply a reminder that service is needed. For this reason, you could easily continue driving your vehicle without any trouble. However, there are some downsides to this.

First, driving with the dashboard light on can be distracting. It could become annoying and make you dread driving your car.

On top of that, if the light doesn’t get reset, it could become easy to neglect regular service. Without the reminder turning on at appropriate intervals, you could forget to perform an oil change or tire inspection when it’s due. For these reasons, I recommend resetting the light every time the 5,000-mile service is performed.

What Does The Maint Reqd Light Mean?

The Maint Reqd light is short for Maintenance Required on Toyota vehicles. The Maint Reqd light basically means it’s time for a service appointment. It is usually a minor type of service with an engine oil change and a basic check.

Is the maintenance required light the same as the check engine?

No. The maintenance required light does not indicate that there is something wrong with your car, like the check engine light does. The maintenance required light only comes on to tell you it’s time for a scheduled service appointment.

Does maintenance required mean you need an oil change?

Yes. When the service due light comes on, it means it’s time for an oil change – assuming it was reset at the right time at the last service. Check your service history to determine when the engine oil was last changed and change if necessary.

How long do you have after maintenance required light?

On most Toyota models, you have 5,000 miles or 6 months until you will see the maintenance required light on the dashboard again. However, this depends on which model you have and where you live. Check your owner’s or service manual for the correct service schedule.

The Toyota Maintenance Required light is not a warning system that indicates a problem with the car, but it comes on when the engine oil needs to be changed or when another scheduled service is needed.

Doing an oil change and performing the maintenance required light reset yourself is often quite simple, but if you’re not comfortable doing any of these repairs yourself, take it to a mechanic. They will be able to help diagnose and fix the problem quickly and easily.

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Categories: Maintenance, Warning Lights

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