Can I Drive My Car if it Says Maintenance Required?

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If you own a car, it’s important to keep up with regular maintenance to avoid any issues that could’ve been presented. But what do you do if your car gives you a Maintenance Required message while you are driving? Can you still drive it? Let’s take a look and see what it means, what happens if you keep driving, and what you should do if this error message pops up while you are driving.

Why it’s important to keep up with the maintenance of your car to avoid costly repairs down the road

Proper maintenance is key to ensuring the safety and reliability of any vehicle. Regular upkeep should include checks on fluid levels, tire pressure, windshield wipers, brakes, suspension, and lighting systems. Doing these preventive checks can save you money in the long run by helping you avoid more major repairs to your car that can be costly to fix.

It’s also good for the environment; without regular maintenance, vehicles are more prone to releasing elevated levels of carbon monoxide and other pollutants into the atmosphere. In addition, keeping up with car maintenance ensures it runs as designed, maximizing fuel economy and overall performance levels.

Finally, staying up to date with your car’s maintenance schedule can increase its resale value when it comes time to trade it in or sell it outright. Investing a little time and money into regular vehicle care will literally pay off in the end by avoiding expensive repair work, saving fuel costs, reducing emissions that harm our environment, improving performance substantially, and even increasing a car’s market value.

Ultimately, keeping up with routine maintenance is an all-around smart investment for your vehicle’s health now and down the line.

What does it mean when you get a “maintenance required,” message in your car?

Cars and trucks require regular maintenance to keep them running and in good shape. There aren’t many things in the world that is just set it and forget it, other than the Ronco rotisserie bbq. By staying on top of your routine maintenance, you can avoid a lot of issues, but it does take a bit of effort.

a person using a wrench on a car

Keeping your car safe and in good condition doesn’t need to take hours of every day, and can actually be pretty easy to do. These types of things could be simple tasks like regularly checking fluid levels and tire pressure to more detailed maintenance such as oil changes and filter replacements. Depending on what kind of car you own, you might also need to have its air conditioning system or brake pads inspected periodically. Regular maintenance can often spot potential issues early on, avoiding costly repairs. By following a regular maintenance regimen for your vehicle, you can ensure it will continue providing reliable service for years to come.

Depending on the severity of the maintenance required, you may still be able to drive your car – but it is always best to consult with a professional first

When it comes to your car maintenance, it is always best to seek professional help when you are unsure of the state of your car. When a warning error appears in your car it can be really worrisome. But depending on the severity of the issue, you may still be able to drive while waiting for servicing – however, it should always be done with caution and never on a long journey.

Even small issues, such as low tire pressure or loose fan belt, could become dangerous quickly if left untreated. Before driving any further, carefully assess what needs attention, consult with professionals if necessary, and follow their advice. While it can be tempting to continue driving, without proper diagnosis and service any complications could make a small issue a lot worse in the long run It’s better to be safe than sorry, so when in doubt get it checked out.

Some easy, and economical, ways you can increase the value of your car without spending a lot of money

If you are looking to add value to your car without breaking the bank, there are some easy and economical things you can do that don’t cost much money. One of the best value-adding things that don’t cost any money is to keep up with basic maintenance such as oil changes, tire rotations, and filter replacements. Regularly checking your vehicle’s pressure levels and ensuring that fluids are at an appropriate level will also pay dividends.

person changing a tire on the road
Changing a car tire

Additionally, replacing scratched or faded trim pieces or scuffs on the car’s body adds a fresh look that can have a big impact. If you’re looking for an even easier solution, then a thorough surface cleaning using some simple cleaning products and a little elbow grease makes it look like new. With minor tinkering and attention to detail, you can make your car more attractive to buyers without spending large amounts of money in the process.


In conclusion, it is important to keep up with your car’s maintenance to avoid costly repairs down the road. If your car says “maintenance required,” it means that something in your car requires attention. We have done some articles about reading Honda error codes which could help you out, but honestly, if you are on a road trip, the chances of having an ob2 reader will be pretty low. So if your car alerts you that there is an issue, it is better to be safe than sorry, and we suggest you take it to a mechanic if you see one.

It is never good to put stuff off for another day when it comes to keeping you safe in the car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to drive my car if it needs maintenance?

It is not always safe to drive a car that needs maintenance. Depending on the severity of the issue that your car issue, you may still be able to drive, but it is best to consult a mechanic first.

Driving a car with unresolved maintenance issues can lead to further damage and increased costs for repair. PLUS, it just isn’t safe. There is an issue with your car. Big or small, just get it fixed.

How long can I drive my car if it needs maintenance?

You can usually drive a car for a reasonable amount of time before it needs maintenance, but it is always best to talk with a mechanic if one of these errors pop up. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may still be able to drive while waiting for service – but it should always be done with caution. Small issues, if left untreated, can quickly become dangerous.

Before driving any further, try to find out what the cause of the error message if possible. We have gone over how you can check Honda error codes , which we know doesn’t help if you don’t drive a Honda. But it is best to remember always err on the side of caution when it comes to issues with cars and talk to a mechanic or get them to check out the codes whenever you can

What happens if I don’t get my car serviced when it says maintenance is required?

If you don’t get your car serviced when it says maintenance is required, it is hard to say what will happen. You might be able to keep driving without any issues, or the engine could fail. For us, the risk vs. reward isn’t worth it because if you can fix something for $50 and it avoids an engine rebuild, it is worth it.

This is before you even talk about staying safe while driving. It could be something as simple as adding air to your tires, but ignoring the issue can put you into a dangerous situation.

What is the maintenance required light?

The maintenance required light is a warning light that comes on in a car to indicate that there is something wrong with your car. It is important to take this warning seriously and get the car serviced as soon as possible.

Ignoring the maintenance required light can lead to further damage and increased costs for repair.

What do I do if my car’s maintenance required light is on?

If your car’s maintenance required light is on, you should take it to a mechanic as soon as possible for diagnosis and repair.

How do I reset the maintenance required light on my car?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the procedure for resetting the maintenance required light on a car may vary depending on the make and model of the vehicle. However, most cars have a button or switch in the cabin that can reset/clear the light ( again, this depends on the issue and the make/model of the car.)

It is always best to consult a mechanic before resetting the light yourself. Some cars may require special tools or knowledge to complete the reset procedure.