What the 'Service Vehicle Soon' Warning Light Means

Stephen Fogel
October 3, 2018

If you drive a vehicle made by General Motors from around 1999 on, it may have a “Service Vehicle Soon” warning light. It’s different than the “Service Engine Soon” light or check engine light.

The Service Vehicle Soon (SVS) warning light is part of a computerized monitoring system that’s run by the body control module (BCM). The BCM keeps an eye on several systems non-engine systems throughout the vehicle’s body and chassis. These can include:

The SVS warning light also serves as a backup warning in case any of the individual warning lights for these systems go out. 

Get it diagnosed by a professional

Why the 'Service Vehicle Soon' warning light comes on

Because we’re dealing with primary safety systems like the brakes and the lights here, any problem areas must be properly diagnosed and corrected. A certified repair shop can resolve any issues you’re having. 

You have a blown fuse

One common reason for the SVS warning light is that a fuse for one of its systems has blown. This is the first thing to check when the SVS light comes on, and is the easiest fix.

Solution: Inspect all the fuses related to the systems listed above. Replace any fuses that have blown, then start your vehicle and see if the light has gone out and the affected system works. If this solves the problem, you’re done. If the light stays on, or the fuse blows again, let a mechanic figure it out. 

You have a burned-out light bulb

The SVS warning light can come on because one or more of your exterior lights is out. Remember, your lights are an important safety system that lets you see and be seen.

Solution: Start your vehicle and see if any lights are not working. Check the headlights with the high beams on and off. Check the turn signals and the flashers. Ask someone to check the brake lights while you step on the pedal, or back up near a wall where you can see them reflected in your mirror. Do the same with the backup lights. If any bulbs are out, replace them, or ask a repair shop to do it.

You have some other problem

This is the end of the simple fixes. Because the SVS warning light can indicate a fault in a number of different systems, it’s essential that the exact cause be diagnosed properly. It’s time for professional help.

Solution: Have a mechanic track down the precise problem. An advanced scanning tool, which a mechanic will have, is required to identify and correct the problem.

» LEARN MORE: Get an estimate for your car's diagnosis

Can I drive with this warning light on? 

If only the yellow SVS warning light is on, you may continue to drive. You can try troubleshooting the fuses and the bulbs. If that doesn’t work, get it to a mechanic right away.

If you also see the red brake warning light, or any other red warning light, you should not drive your vehicle until it has been repaired. It’s simply too dangerous to do so. Schedule repairs right away.

Stephen Fogel

About the Author

Stephen has been an automotive enthusiast since childhood, owning some of his vehicles for as long as 40 years, and has raced open-wheel formula cars. He follows and writes about the global automotive industry, with an eye on the latest vehicle technologies.

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