How to Reset The Check Engine Light

The check engine light comes on whenever your car computer detects an issue within your engine, usually with your power train. Older cars with no car computer does this too whenever your car's performance falls behind a certain mark.

This can indicate there's a minor or major problem. Ignoring it can make the issue worse, resulting in expensive repair costs or even irreparable damage. Know when the light comes on by reading the error.

However, if the problem is with the light itself due to a glitch or bug, you should know how to turn it off. There are multiple ways to go about a check engine light reset. Read more to find out.

The ABCs of Resetting The Check Engine Light

  • Use a Scan Tool
The easiest way to reset your check engine light is to use a scan tool. Just first connect the tool to the ODB-II or on-board diagnostic connector under the steering column. From there, turn off all gadgets then turn on the ignition. Press the read button to view the error codes of your engine.

    Get a pen and paper and write it down or take a picture of it through your phone. Clear the code by pressing the erase button. Once all the error codes are cleared, the check engine light should turn off. Or alternatively, you can simply fix the problem and see if that turns off the light.

    • Apply the Battery Disconnecting Technique
    Essentially, you disconnect the battery to reset the computer and make the check engine light stop flashing. You can also use this technique for older cars without a computer in them. It involves disconnection of the battery cables, specifically the negative and positive ones.

      You know how when you fix your car from under the hood, you have to take off the negative battery cable from its terminal? This time you need to take off both. From there, drain the electricity from your capacitor by holding the car horn for 30 seconds. It's going to be loud so have family members or neighbors a head's up before doing this. Wait 15 minutes then reinstall the battery.

      • Turn The Ignition Off or Leave the Light Alone
      You have two options left. You can either put your key into your ignition and turn it on and off three times in a row or you can let the check engine light go out by itself as though the problem is fixing itself for you. The first option involves turning your car on and off with a gap of a second after each ignition.

        Once you're through, drive the car to see if the light is gone or not. Otherwise, let the check engine light sort itself out. You'll practically do nothing except drive your vehicle as usual and wait things out. If problems persist, contact your mechanic and have him do something about your malfunctioning light for you.

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