The maintenance light is used to remind drivers, after a set amount of miles, to take in their vehicle for common upkeep procedures. After these procedures are finished the light can be reset. These upkeep procedures include but are not limited to changing oil, rotating tires or replacing the air filters.
The light has a button found somewhere on the dashboard of the cabin. Pressing the button or sometimes holding it down, will result in resetting the actual light. There are different procedures for each brand and model that utilizes a maintenance light. Some cars, such as earlier model Honda Civics, have a keyhole so the driver can insert the key and turn off the maintenance light.