Today we’re shifting gears a bit and discussing something quite important yet often overlooked: the maintenance light on your 2021 Toyota Tacoma. If you’ve never reset your maintenance light, you probably have no idea where to start—and that’s perfectly OK. I’m going to walk you through the process.
To reset the maintenance light on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma, power up your vehicle to accessory mode without starting the engine. Using your steering wheel buttons, navigate through your display until you get to the GEAR icon and hit OK. From there, find “Settings,” select it, and scroll down to “Maintenance Reset.” Press OK, confirm your choice, and just like that, your maintenance light is reset!
Some models may need to do it another way, with your key in the ignition and turn it to the “run” position (or press the START button twice if you’ve got a keyless start). Make sure you’re looking at TRIP A on the odometer, and then turn off the ignition. Hold down the ODO/TRIP button and turn your vehicle back on without starting the engine. Keep holding down the button until the maintenance light disappears.
What Does 2021 Toyota Tacoma’s Maintenance Light Mean When It’s On?
Imagine you’re just cruising along, and suddenly, the maintenance light on your dashboard lights up. Your first instinct might be that it’s telling you something is wrong. Thankfully, this isn’t a cause for immediate alarm. When this light comes on, it’s mainly signaling that it’s time for an oil and oil filter change. Essentially, it’s the truck’s intelligent way of keeping you updated on its needs.
The system running this alert is programmed to track your mileage, and when it hits a specific limit (generally between 3,000 and 5,000 miles), the light pops up as a friendly reminder. It’s not just about the oil, though. This alert is also a cue to check other fluids and your brakes, ensuring your Tacoma stays in top shape. So the next time you see this light suddenly come on, don’t panic. It just means your truck needs your attention.
When Is It OK to Reset the Maintenance Light on a 2021 Tacoma?
As you’ve discovered thus far, the maintenance light is like a well-timed reminder for servicing. With that in mind, you only want to reset it once you’ve actually serviced your Tacoma, which is primarily changing the oil and oil filter.
You see, resetting the light without conducting maintenance could lead you into a trap of running your vehicle longer than recommended without necessary upkeep. After you’ve changed the oil, checked other fluids, and inspected the brakes, it’s perfectly OK to reset the maintenance light. This way, your Tacoma will be ready to clock in another few thousand miles before nudging you for its next service.
Is It Safe to Drive When the 2021 Toyota Tacoma’s Maintenance Light Is ON?
Yes, you can drive when the maintenance light comes on. However, you shouldn’t ignore it for too long. The light is a reminder for preventative care to avoid potential damage. Sure, your Tacoma won’t just break down as soon as the light comes on, but delay too long, and you’re looking at possible engine wear over time.
Remember, the light means it’s time to replace the oil, which is essential for smooth engine operation. If you continue driving without addressing this, it may lead to increased friction and wear within the engine. Over time, this could potentially lead to more serious (and expensive) issues.
How Long Can I Drive with the Maintenance Light on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
While it’s safe to drive your Tacoma with the maintenance light on, it’s not a good practice to do so indefinitely. You can compare it to driving your truck with the gas light on. Yes, you still have some miles left, but you want to hit the gas station soon to avoid running out of fuel.
The maintenance light signals the need for an oil change, and while your truck can continue running without an immediate oil change, it’s definitely not healthy for the engine in the long run. Continuously driving with old oil could lead to engine wear and even significant damage over a couple of years. As such, it’s best to get your truck serviced as soon as you can when the maintenance light is on.
How Often Should the Maintenance Light Be Reset on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
Your Tacoma’s maintenance light should be reset anytime it illuminates and you’ve completed the suggested maintenance that I discussed previously. By doing this, you ensure that the vehicle’s system can accurately track your mileage and provide on-time reminders for your next service.
After resetting, the light will remain off until you’ve clocked in another 3,000 to 5,000 miles. Think of it as resetting a timer. By resetting the light after each service, you’re ensuring your Tacoma’s maintenance schedule stays on track. And that brings us to the next question you probably have.
What Happens if the Maintenance Light Is Not Reset on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
If you choose not to reset the maintenance light after servicing your Tacoma, essentially nothing drastic happens. The light simply stays on. But by failing to reset the light, your service schedule gets out of whack.
What’s more, your Tacoma won’t be able to accurately alert you when the next service is due. Thus, you won’t get another reminder. Basically, it’ll be like an alarm clock that’s permanently stuck sounding an alarm. It’s not harmful, but it’s definitely inconvenient and could result in you overlooking your next scheduled maintenance.
Why Does the Maintenance Light Stay on After an Oil Change on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
After an oil change or other maintenance service, if the light stays on, it’s probably because it hasn’t been manually reset. It’s important to note that the light doesn’t automatically go off after servicing. So if your service professional forgot to do it or if you changed the oil yourself and didn’t reset it, the light will remain on until it is manually reset.
While this isn’t the biggest issue in the world, it’s best to keep things accurate and reset the light as soon as the required maintenance has been completed. As I mentioned a moment ago, doing this helps to keep you on track with your next scheduled service.
How Long Does It Take to Reset the Maintenance Light on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
Resetting the maintenance light on your 2021 Toyota Tacoma is a breeze and takes mere seconds. Whether you’re using the key method or the steering wheel buttons, it’s just a few quick steps.
For the key method, turn your truck to “run,” set your odometer to TRIP A, switch off, then press and hold the ODO/TRIP button while turning it back on. For the steering button method, activate the accessory mode, navigate to the GEAR icon, select “Settings” and “Maintenance Reset” in turn, and confirm your choice.
How Often Does the Maintenance Light Come on, on a 2021 Toyota Tacoma?
Your Tacoma’s maintenance light typically illuminates every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. This interval can depend on your driving habits and the type of oil used in your Tacoma. Once it’s on, it will stay on every time you start the truck until it is manually reset. But now that you know how to reset the maintenance light on your 2021 Toyota Tacoma, you can ensure timely resets.
Don’t be surprised if you see that little light every few months or so; it’s just doing its job, helping you keep your Tacoma in the best possible shape. Remember, routine maintenance is key to prolonging the lifespan and performance of your truck.
Valik loves tinkering in the garage and is currently restoring a 2000 GMC Sierra 1500 truck. He also writes about the progress on this blog. When not in the garage, Valik is also a web developer and a blogger. I know, strange, a hand in two completely different worlds. And that is the way he likes to keep it.