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Regular Toyota maintenance is vital to keep your Toyota Camry, Corolla, Tacoma, or RAV4 running smoothly for hundreds of thousands of miles. These days, Toyotas help you keep track of when service is due with a helpful reminder on the dashboard. This maintenance-required light may be an annoyance if you don’t know how to turn it off. Fortunately, resetting the service light on your Toyota car, truck, or SUV is easy and takes only a minute or two.

What does the maintenance required light mean on a Toyota RAV4, Highlander, Camry, or Corolla?

Close up of a Toyota logo on a truck's grille at a Toyota dealership, where you could go if your Toyota maintenance light is on
Toyota logo | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

When the maintenance required light activates, it shows up as a small icon with the letters MAINT REQD. Unlike other dashboard lights that are triggered by specific deficiencies or issues with the vehicle (ex: low fuel, battery issues, low tire pressure), the service required light comes on after 5,000 miles have passed. It’s primarily used to remind drivers about Toyota oil changes.

One small problem with the dashboard service light in Toyota cars is that oil changes are recommended after a certain number of miles or months pass—whichever comes first. So, if you drive 3,000 miles in six months, you’re still due for an oil change. However, the maintenance required light won’t activate until an additional 2,000 miles are driven. 

How to turn off or reset the maintenance light on Toyota cars

Per YouTuber Chris Fix, resetting the maintenance light on a Toyota Highlander or RAV4 is relatively simple. While the mechanic should complete this task whenever you send your car in for service, you may need to do it yourself someday. 

To turn off the service required light in a Toyota: 

  1. Turn your car to the “on” position (position two). 
  2. Be sure to set the odometer to total mileage rather than specific trip mileage.
  3. Press and hold the odometer reset button.
  4. Turn your car off, then turn back to the “on” position, continuing to hold the odometer reset button.
  5. Hold the odometer button until you hear a beep and the MAINT REQD light turns off.

Can a car still drive with the service required light on?

Hand resting on the steering wheel of a Toyota vehicle. It is ok to drive a Toyota with the maintenance required light on.
Driving a Toyota | Jessica Furtney via Unsplash

If your maintenance required light is still on after an oil change, it’s perfectly safe to continue driving it. The light is just a reminder to get your Toyota’s oil changed on a regular basis. If you’ve already completed that task and the dashboard warning is still active, follow the instructions above to reset your service light.

Please note that the “Maintenance Required” light and the “Check Engine” are very different warnings and serve different functions. The service light only reminds you of the need for regular service. The engine light means that there’s a potentially serious problem. You should not drive with a check engine light on, if possible.

What is Toyota’s maintenance schedule? 

According to Toyota, it recommends regular service every six months or 5,000 miles, whichever comes first. Specific maintenance requirements vary by model, year, geographical location, driving conditions and habits, and other factors. 

Common Toyota services performed during required maintenance include an oil change, tire rotation, brake inspection, inspection or replacement of wiper blades, and fluid level checks. At this visit, the service center should reset the maintenance reminder on your Toyota Corolla or Camry after they perform the work. 

Happy driving!


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