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Lexus Check Engine Light

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

We’ve scanned over 34,598 Lexuses with the FIXD OBD2 scanner and app. These are the 5 most common reasons for a Lexus check engine light.

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5 Most Common Reasons for a Check Engine Light on in Your Lexus

Code Severity  Simplified Description
C1241 Medium Your battery voltage is low, indicating that your battery or charging system may have an issue.
C1201 Medium There is an issue in the engine control system. This may also cause issues with VSC and Traction Control.
P0441 Low The purge valve in your EVAP System is operating incorrectly, allowing either too much or too little flow of stored fuel vapors. 
P0300 Severe Two or more cylinders are experiencing misfires, which could cause damage to your engine or emissions system.
P0446 Low The EVAP system’s vent control valve is not opening or closing properly.

Other Common Lexus Warning Lights

  • VSC Light
  • Trac Off Light

What Does It Mean When VSC Light Comes On?

“VSC” is an abbreviation for Vehicle Stability Control. This system helps prevent your car from sliding sideways in slippery conditions, particularly in turns. When your Lexus’s VSC light is on, it means that this system is disabled. If you did not disable it on purpose, this indicates a problem in the VSC system

If your VSC light is on, you may also see the TRAC OFF light as well, since these systems are connected. This means that traction control, which helps prevent you from spinning your wheels when you press the gas, is likely inoperative.

Check Your Gas Cap

Be sure to check your gas cap to see if it is loose. This is one of the most common reasons for a check engine light in your Lexus, and the easiest problem to fix. This happens because the engine detects a leak in the evaporative emissions system, which exists when the gas cap isn’t tightened until it clicks. It’s easy, it’s free, and it may even solve the P0441 and P0446 issues on this list.

What Should I Do If My Check Engine Light Is On?

The Check Engine Light can turn on for a wide variety of issues, ranging from a loose gas cap to major engine issues. If this light turns on, don’t panic. Follow these steps to figure out what the problem is and get it to a trusted repair shop for inspection as soon as possible.

> Find a RepairPal Certified Shop Near You

What the Check Engine Light Means

Your Lexus’s check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system (OBD2). All gas-powered cars and trucks made since 1996, plus diesel cars and trucks since 2008, have a common diagnostic system to monitor engine and emission system performance, notify the driver of any problems by illuminating the Check Engine Light, and provide detailed information about the problem through a diagnostic tool called an OBD2 scanner. Though originally intended for professional mechanics, with the right tools you can access this information to understand exactly what’s wrong with your car and how serious the problem really is.

Instantly Diagnose Your Check Engine Light

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How to Read Your Check Engine Light

There are a few ways you can read the diagnostic trouble code stored in your car’s computer.

1) Go to your local mechanic. A shop will charge you a diagnostic fee, then plug in their professional OBD2 scan tool to read the code and identify the cause of the problem. This won’t help you on the side of the road, however. You also may not have a shop that you trust to diagnose the problem accurately rather than take advantage of the situation to make some extra money from repairs.

2) Go to a nearby auto parts store. Most stores will have a scanner that they will plug into your car and give you the problem code and description at no charge. The person providing this service is likely not a trained mechanic, however, and may not be able to give you more information than this. It’s also possible that they may use the opportunity to sell you products you don’t need in order to “fix” the problem.

3) Get the FIXD car scanner to read your own codes. While there are numerous OBD2 scanners you can buy to read fault codes and other engine information anytime you want, FIXD is able to translate any Lexus check engine light into plain English directly on your smartphone and clear your check engine light. 

How the FIXD Check Engine Scanner Works

The FIXD car scanner plugs into the OBD2 port. This port is shaped like a trapezoid and located somewhere under the dashboard on the driver’s side of the car. Read more about how to find your OBD2 port on your particular car.

Once connected, the FIXD Sensor and free mobile app will tell you what code or codes exist in plain English, not the technical jargon that other scanners provide. You will get a detailed understanding of what the problem is so that you can make informed decisions about the repairs to your Lexus.

Understand Your CEL

FIXD instantly translates over 7,000 error codes into simple terms right on your phone.

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See How Serious Your CEL Is

Learn if your problem is serious or not, and whether it’s safe to keep on driving.

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Get Maintenance Alerts

FIXD can tell you when your Lexus is due for an oil change and other routine maintenance based on your specific model and its mileage.

Monitor the Health of Your Lexus

If your check engine light turns on, FIXD will immediately send your phone a notification. You can also monitor data in real time, including oxygen sensor voltage, fuel trims, vehicle speed, and more.

Does FIXD Work with Your Lexus?

FIXD is compatible with all gas-powered Lexus models made in 1996 or newer and all diesel engines 2008 or newer. Use the Compatibility Checker for additional info.

Is It Safe to Drive with My Check Engine Light On?

That depends on exactly what the problem is that caused the light to come on. You will need to use an OBD2 scan tool like the FIXD Sensor to find out precisely what’s wrong, how severe the issue is, and whether or not it’s safe to keep driving.

Generally speaking, if the indicator is a steady yellow light, it should be okay to keep driving, though the problem will require further investigation to diagnose. If the light is blinking, you should stop as soon as it’s safe to do so. This indicates a serious problem, such as a misfire, that is occurring right then. It’s also good to check for low oil or overheating. If your Lexus’s check engine light is red, you should stop driving immediately.

If your Lexus experiences driveability issues, such as reduced power or failure to shift between gears, slow down and take it easy on the engine to avoid making the problem worse.

How Can I Reset My Check Engine Light?

If you believe you have resolved the problem — for example, you found your gas cap was loose and tightened it — you may want to clear the codes that triggered your check engine light to turn on. If you reset the light, drive, and it doesn’t turn back on, your problem is fixed.

The easiest way to reset the check engine light on your Lexus is with FIXD. While auto parts stores will typically read your codes for free, they will not reset the light for you, and shops may charge more than $100 to do this. 

In the FIXD app, you can reset the light anytime you want for free. After performing the engine scan, go to the Details page and click the “Clear Engine Light” button. The light will turn off, and any codes stored inside your Lexus’s computer will be cleared. If the light turns back on after a few miles of driving, the issue likely still exists.

Diagnose Your Check Engine Light with FIXD

If problems persist, use FIXD to get detailed engine diagnostics, plain English code descriptions, issue severity warnings, and so much more. Learn more about the FIXD Sensor and mobile app today!

Justin-Hughes

Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.

We’re here to help you simplify car care and save, so this post may contain affiliate links to help you do just that. If you click on a link and take action, we may earn a commission. However, the analysis and opinions expressed are our own.

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About the Author

Justin Hughes

Justin Hughes

Recovering autocross and track day enthusiast. Once turned a VW Jetta into a pickup truck. Lives in a van down by the river. Dream car: 2001 Subaru WRC rally car.

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