We’ve scanned over 242,564 Toyotas with the FIXD OBD2 scanner and app. These are the 5 most common reasons for a check engine light in your Toyota.
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5 Most Common Reasons for a Toyota Check Engine Light
|P1604||Severe||The engine doesn’t start after cranking for an extended period of time. Low fuel is one possible cause.|
|P0420||Moderate||Your catalytic converter isn’t functioning efficiently. This could increase the output of harmful pollutants.|
||The purge valve in your EVAP System is incorrect, allowing either too much or too little flow of stored fuel vapors.|
|C1241||Moderate||Your battery voltage is low, indicating that your battery or charging system may have an issue.|
|P0171||Moderate||Your Toyota engine is running too lean (Bank 1)|
Other Common Toyota Warning Lights
- VSC Light
- Trac Off Light
What Does It Mean When the Toyota VSC Light Comes On?
“VSC” stands for Vehicle Stability Control. The VSC system helps your Toyota avoid skids and stay safely on the road while rounding sharp curves. When your Toyota’s VSC light is illuminated, you may also see the TRAC OFF light is lit. This means that traction control most likely will not work.
What Should I Do If the Check Engine Light Is On In My Toyota?
There are thousands of reasons why the engine light is on in your Toyota, 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 repair shop for inspection as soon as possible.
What the Check Engine Light Means
Your Toyota’s check engine light is part of the onboard diagnostics system (OBD2). Since 1996, all gas-powered vehicles are required to have this computer system 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 Toyota 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 the FIXD car scanner to read your own codes. 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. FIXD is a great OBD2 scanner for Toyota because it can translate any Toyota check engine light into plain English directly on your smartphone.
How the FIXD Check Engine Scanner Works
The FIXD car scanner plugs into the OBD2 port. This port is usually located in Toyotas under the dash on the driver’s side of your vehicle. If you haven’t already, check out our article on how to find your car’s OBD2 port for details.
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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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.
Monitor the Health of Your Toyota
FIXD shows you how healthy your Toyota is by sending you real-time notifications about any check engine lights. You can also view live data for your Toyota while you’re driving, including oxygen sensor voltage, fuel trims, vehicle speed, and more.
Does FIXD Work with Your Toyota?
FIXD is compatible with all gas-powered Toyota models made in 1996 or newer and all diesel engines 2008 or newer. Enter your vehicle information into the Compatibility Checker for more help.
Is It Safe to Drive with My Check Engine Light On?
Since the check engine light is tied to your Toyota’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 in your Toyota while you’re driving, you should pull over as soon as you safely can to check for low oil or overheating. If your Toyota’s check engine light is red, you should stop driving immediately. If it is yellow, this indicates a less serious issue that requires further investigation.
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 in your Toyota 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 Toyota?
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 on your Toyota 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.
Diagnose Your Toyota Check Engine Light with FIXD
Still wondering what to do about that pesky check engine light on your Toyota? 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!
Wife, mom, Content Manager & Senior Copywriter at FIXD. From the garage to the gym, I love helping people learn and grow. Dream car: ‘69 Acapulco Blue Mustang.