Driving TipsMaintenance Tips

How To Reset Check Engine Light

You can avoid all the hassles if you know the reasons for the engine light coming on. Nevertheless, it sometimes does not turn off despite solving the glitch. In that case, you will need to know how to reset Check Engine Light. Let’s check out the article below.

How to Reset Check Engine Light: 4 Easy Way to Do

The check engine light comes on when your car’s computer detects an issue within the powertrain. It can indicate a major or minor complication, but ignoring it definitely makes the problem worse, leading to costly damage and repair.

Most of drivers feel annoyed if the red light of the Check Engine Indicator still does not go away even the fault of the car was fixed. In this case, your vehicle’s computer is at fault and it needs a little fix to resolve the issue.

1. Use A Scan Tool

Using a scan tool is the easiest way for check engine light reset. If you wonder to know how to turn off check engine light by this way, here are 3 steps for you.

Step 1: Connect the scan tool to the OBD – II

Connecting the scan tool to the OBD- II ( On- board diagnostic connector) under your steering column. Then you turn the ignition switch to ON and don’t forget to turn of all gadgets.

Step 2: View error codes by pressing the “READ” button

Pressing the “READ” button on the scan tool to see the error codes of the engine. You should need a pen to write down the code or codes in the order they were received for future repairs or reference if needed.

Step 3: Remove the error code

Pressing the “ERASE” button on the scan tool to remove the error code. The Check Engine Light will turn off if all error codes are cleared.

Some scan tools have many capabilities such as freeze frame that notes some sensor readings when a code was set and removing the codes will also remove this file.

Note: In some scanners, they might have an automatic option and a “CLEAR” or “YES” button instead of “ ERASE” button. Don’t forget to turn on the ignition before deleting the codes.

2. Apply The Battery Disconnecting Technique

Using battery disconnecting technique is an old way to reset check engine light. Here are 3 steps to help you know how to reset check engine light by this method.

Step 1: Disconnecting car battery cables

In this step, you should use a wrench to remove positive and negative cables.

Step 2: Draining remaining electricity

Next thing you should do is to press and hold the car horn for about 30 seconds. This action will help to drain any electricity from your car capacitor.

Step 3: Waiting and reconnecting the battery

After disconnecting the battery cables and draining remaining electricity, all you have to do is to wait about 15 minutes then re-install the car battery cables. The error codes should be deleted which will cause the engine light to turn off. (Note: this method may not word on all car computers).

In case, the car battery is disconnected and the light comes right back on, this may show an active problem and should be addressed and fixed.

3. Turn The Ignition On And Off

It’s a repeat of the previous technique without disconnecting the battery. You just have to put the key into the ignition and turn it on and off for three times in a row with the gap of a second in each step. After you are done, drive the car to see if the light is reset.

4. Let The Check Engine Light Go Off By Itself

Another way of how to reset check engine light is letting it go off by itself.

It’s an easy process because you need to do practically nothing except for driving the vehicle as usual. The computer system in most cars keeps rechecking the problems that activate the light in the first place.

If it’s a minor issue such as a glitch in the mass airflow or O2 sensor, it may fix automatically, and the light will go dark. However, if it still stares at you after three days, you have to apply the methods mentioned above to reset it.

What If The Check Engine Light Returns?

It can come back within a few days or weeks, which may signal a major complication. If it keeps happening despite following the resetting procedures, you should take the car to a service center and have it diagnoses by a professional mechanic. Such a repair shop uses more sophisticated tools to find out the exact problems.

FAQs on Resetting Check Engine Light

1. Will a check engine light be a downside of your car system?

Despite all the benefits we can visually tell, the engine light may have some drawbacks. It may detect the wrong issue that does not really exist. Moreover, any loose electrical connections may cause the system to record a false light. 

In any instance, you can not know for sure unless you let a mechanic check the problem. So eventually, solely presuming that your check engine light is broken is not always ideal.

2. Is it acceptable to reset the engine light by yourself?

Once it comes to resetting check engine light manually by yourself, you may seriously damage your vehicle. If your car’s check engine light turns on, you should get a diagnostic check done.

3. How long does it take for check engine light to reset?

In most circumstances, correcting the problem that caused the check engine light to illuminate will lead to its turning off automatically. But this event happens only after 10 to 20 cycles, which refer to the process of starting the vehicle, operating it for a while, and then shutting it off. 

4. How long does it take the check engine light to go off if it was the gas cap?

If the check engine light was triggered by a loose gas cap, it will stop lighting after a few minutes of driving. Pay close attention to the dashboard. If the light persists in illuminating and is off after the gas cap is closed again, the high chance is the cap is loose. 

5. Can the check engine light go off after a week?

Yes, it can suddenly go off during use. If your check engine light is still on after repair after a week or two, there may be some problems with your catalytic converter or oxygen sensor.

If the issue that triggered the check engine light is corrected, the light will turn off. Accordingly, when you conduct a lot of stop-and-go driving, which puts a heavy strain on the converter, the check engine light may have come on. 

In addition, if you then drive on the highway for a while before the oil change, the car specifications may go back to the average range, prompting the light to stop illuminating.

6. Does the check engine light turn off automatically after a repair?

The check engine light can turn off automatically after repairing only if you have time to wait. 

7. How long do you have to drive to reset engine light?

After resetting the check engine light, you need to drive for about 80 to 150 km more to help the car’s computer have time to monitor any kind of sensor and learn/register the data once again.

Hopefully you may now know how to reset check engine light by DIY methods through this article. If you have any questions, leave us a comment on the box below, we will answer it for you!

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