The Check Engine Light Reset Procedure

Learn how to reset your check engine light without having to visit the dealership or mechanic by following our instructions. It could be simpler than you imagine!


It can be disconcerting to see the dreaded check engine light on your dashboard. Your car’s check engine light will illuminate to alert you to a problem. However, figuring out what’s causing your difficulty codes can be challenging without that knowledge. This post will explain how to turn off that annoying light on your dashboard and what messages your automobile might be attempting to convey you.


Why Is the Check Engine Light on in My Car?


Your car is a complex piece of equipment with several systems that are built to work within predetermined constraints. A sensor will often alert the engine’s computer to a failing system, tripping the check engine light. In order to prevent making the situation worse, it is advisable to take prompt action if your check engine light (CEL) is on.


The following are a few typical causes of an automobile’s check engine light:


* A loose gas cap


* A cable with a negative battery


* Improper spark plugs


* Oxygen sensors that don’t work properly


* Engine internal issues


How Can I Tell If Something Is Wrong with My Car?


It is surprisingly simple to read a check engine light code if your car is 1996 model year or newer. An OBD II (onboard diagnostics version 2) code reader is a required instrument that connects to a diagnostic port, typically found beneath the dashboard. You can diagnose the issue with the code readout that this scanner tool will show you.


Instead of the conventional corded code readers, there are Bluetooth code readers that connect to your smartphone for individuals who prefer a more portable design that stays connected in.


If you don’t have a code reader, that’s okay because many auto parts businesses will supply you a free code reader.


How the Check Engine Light Is Diagnosed


1. Find the port for diagnostics.


First, find the diagnostic port while the car is parked and the engine is off. Although every automobile is different, automakers often install them under the dashboard next to the pedals. The shape of the port need to be trapezoidal, matching the connector on your scanning instrument. In certain cases, exposing the diagnostic port may require removing a plastic cover.


2. Get the code


Once the engine is running and the scanner tool is in position, insert it into the diagnostic port. After a few seconds, the scanner tool should light up and provide a code. Write down the code as soon as it shows on the screen. It need to appear in P1234 format. Continue to turn off the engine.


3. Examine the error code


You can determine which system has failed by using the internet or a code list that comes with your scanner tool. While some codes are more generic (like an evaporative system leak), others are quite precise (like an ignition coil pack failure on cylinder 4). A mechanic or internet discussion boards might be able to provide more clarity if the check engine light code is still confusing.


The Check Engine Light Reset Procedure


You are urged to make any required repairs or make sure the problematic component is operating correctly for the best outcomes.


1. Plug in the OBD II scanner (OBD2).


The OBD II scanner should first be connected to the car’s diagnostic port. Each car has a different placement for the OBD II port; see your manual. Let the code reader show the check engine light codes once you start the engine.


2. Delete the error codes


Proceed to remove the logged check engine codes via the code reader’s user interface. There shouldn’t be any error codes after you’re finished. This is the time to turn off the automobile.


3. Put in a few miles.


It is advised that you drive your automobile 30 to 100 miles to ensure the check engine light does not reoccur. Because the various sensors require time to recalibrate, this allows the vehicle’s “Drive Cycle” to reset.


The “drive cycle” must register as ready, and the check engine light must stay off if you intend to perform an emissions test. Drive cycle readiness may usually be determined after 50 to 100 miles of driving, but it’s better to consult your dealership or a repair about the specific application for your automobile.


Different Ways to Reset a Check Engine Light


Although using a code reader is typically the fastest way to reset a check engine light, you can also attempt the following other approaches:


* Find the negative terminal and detach it first, then do the same with the positive terminal to temporarily unplug the battery.


* Reconnect the negative cable after connecting the positive terminal of the battery first.


* Turn off the car’s ignition and then start it again


* If you have done the required repairs without wiping off the fault code, keep driving and let the light go out on its own.


My car is pre-1996, and the check engine light is on.


If your vehicle is older than 1996 and you have a check engine light, the method of determining the cause is a little different. Although every car is unique, codes are shown by a series of CEL flashes, which are similar to Morse Code. There are trouble codes associated with the quantity of light flashes.


If the vehicle was manufactured before 1996, the check engine light can be reset by fixing the underlying issues. It might be essential to briefly detach the battery in order to reset the light if the CEL stays illuminated.


Imagine if my check engine light came on again.


Further maintenance might be required if your check engine light comes on again. It’s best to get help from a qualified mechanic if you’re not comfortable diagnosing automobiles.


From the Check Engine Light to Checkmate


When a check engine light appears on your dashboard the next time, you’ll know just how to diagnose and reset it.


Disclaimer: This text is meant to be used for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert guidance. Always consult the maker of your car or a qualified expert. Make sure you follow all necessary safety precautions before trying any repairs on your own.

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
Swipe to setup a demo
Swipe to learn more