Car Problems

Nissan Check Engine Light

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We’ve Scanned More Than 149,000 Nissans with the FIXD OBD2 scanner and app. These Are the 5 Most Common Reasons for a Nissan Check Engine Light.

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5 Most Common Reasons for a Nissan Check Engine Light

Code Severity Simplified Description
P0420 Moderate Catalyst system efficiency below threshold (Bank 1) – Faulty oxygen sensor or catalytic converter
P0101 Moderate Mass air flow sensor circuit range/performance – a bad reading from the mass air flow sensor could be caused by needed maintenance or a faulty sensor.
P0300 Severe Random/Multiple cylinder misfire detected – one or more cylinders is not firing properly, which can be caused by a number of issues including the fuel and ignition systems or a major internal engine failure. 
P0455 Low Evaporative emission control system leak (large) – There is a large leak in the  EVAP system, which could affect fuel economy. Similar to P0456.
P0430 Moderate
Catalyst system efficiency below threshold (Bank 2) – Faulty oxygen sensor or catalytic converter. Similar to P0420.

Other Common Nissan Warning Lights

  • Slip indicator light
  • VDC

What Does It Mean When You See Either Of These Warning Lights?

In normal conditions, the slip indicator light (shown by a vehicle making squiggly tire marks) comes on when your Nissan loses traction or when the driver turns the traction control system off. If both the slip indicator light and the VDC (electronic stability control) light come on at the same time, you should have your vehicle inspected, but the most likely cause of this is low brake fluid as a result of excessively worn brake pads. 

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

There are thousands of reasons why the engine light is on, from a loose gas cap to a misfiring engine. If your check engine light is on, don’t panic. Instead, follow the steps below and get it to a trusted and RepairPal Certified repair shop for inspection as soon as possible.

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What the Check Engine Light Means

Your car’s check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system (OBD2). Since 1996, all gas-powered vehicles are required to have this computer that communicates with your engine to notify the driver or automotive technician of any issues.

When your check engine light comes on, it means that the computer has detected a problem. Along with a warning light on your dashboard, the OBD2 system stores the diagnostic trouble code associated with that problem. With the right tools, you can read this code to understand what’s wrong with your car and how serious the problem is.

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How to Read Your Nissan Check Engine Light

To read the diagnostic trouble code stored by your car’s computer, you have a few options.

1) Go to your local mechanic. As part of their diagnostic fee, they will use a professional OBD2 scan tool to read the code and identify the cause. However, if you aren’t near a repair shop or haven’t yet established a relationship of trust with the shops in your area, this might not be the best option.

2) Go to a nearby auto parts store. Most of these shops will give you an engine code readout for free. Again, if you break down in the middle of nowhere, this isn’t an option. There’s also a concern that these shops may have ulterior motives to upsell you on products you may or may not actually need after they interpret your check engine light for you.

3) Get your own check engine scanner like FIXD. There are many affordable engine light scanners available for everyday drivers that plug into your car’s OBD2 port to tell you what your check engine light means. Unlike other car scanners, the FIXD Sensor comes with a free app and connects to any iPhone or Android smartphone to tell you what’s wrong with your car in plain English. You can even clear the check engine light right from the app.

How the FIXD Check Engine Scanner Works

The FIXD car scanner plugs into the OBD2 port usually located under the dash on the driver’s side of your vehicle. Click here to find out how to locate your OBD2 port.

Once it’s connected to your car, the FIXD Sensor and free mobile app tells you what your check engine light means in plain English so that you can walk into the repair shop armed with accurate, detailed information.

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FIXD instantly translates over 7000 error codes into simple terms right on your phone.

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See How Serious It Is

Find out how serious your code is and whether or not it’s safe to keep driving.

Get Maintenance Alerts

FIXD notifies you when it’s time for an oil change and other routine maintenance based on your make, model, and mileage.

View Live Data

Monitor the health of your car in real time with FIXD’s live data tool. See oxygen sensor voltage, fuel trims, vehicle speed, and more.

Does FIXD Work with Your Car?

FIXD is compatible with all gas-powered vehicles 1996 or newer and all diesel engines 2008 or newer.

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

Since the check engine light is tied to your car’s individual onboard diagnostics system, you’ll need a code reader or OBD2 scan tool like the FIXD Sensor to understand the severity of the issue and whether or not you should keep driving.

However, if the check engine light is blinking while you’re driving, you should pull over as soon as you safely can to check for low oil or overheating. Your car may have a red warning light to indicate that you should stop driving immediately or a yellow light to indicate further investigation is needed.

If you experience driveability issues along with the engine light, reduce your speed and take it easy on the engine to avoid potentially bigger problems.

Lastly, be sure to check your gas cap. A loose gas cap is one of the most common reasons for a check engine light and easy to fix. This light happens because the engine detects a leak in the evaporative emissions system.

How Can I Reset the Check Engine Light in My Nissan? 

You may want to clear the check engine light if you think you’ve resolved the issue (i.e. tightening a loose gas cap). Resetting the light and driving around to see if it comes back on will let you know whether or not you have fixed the problem.

If you plan on doing your own car repairs, the easiest, cheapest way to reset the check engine light is with FIXD. Most shops will charge $100+ to reset this for you, but you can do it for free inside the FIXD app.

To clear your check engine light with FIXD, simply click “Clear Engine Light” on the details page after you’ve performed an engine scan. If the code is cleared but the issue has not been resolved, you might see the warning light reappear after driving a few miles. 

Decode Your Check Engine Light with FIXD

Still wondering what to do about your check engine light? Take the first step to clarity by getting FIXD, America’s favorite check engine scanner and app. 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!

Jeffrey-Ross

Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a ’91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

Jeffrey N. Ross
Lifelong automotive enthusiast with a soft spot for offroading. Wrencher turned writer, but I still love to tinker on just about anything with an engine. Dream car: tie between a ‘71 Hemi ‘Cuda and a '91 GMC Syclone. #GirlDad #SaveTheManuals

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