How To Reset Check Engine Light

by Vivaan Khatri | 05/08/2020
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Seeing check engine light turning on might give car drivers some anxiety. However, it does not necessarily indicate serious problems for the car. In these cases, what you need to do is to reset the light.

Check engine light, as the name suggests, is the light that gives you indication of when you should do engine check-up. When the check engine light is on, it means that there might be some issues with your car’s engine. The illuminating check light engine might indicate some minor issues or more serious problems with the engine. In any case, it is highly advised that you should take your car to a thorough check-up by professional mechanics.


The meaning of warning lights on your dashboard

check engine light

You should not always worry about illuminating check light engine

What is a check engine light?

The check engine light is also known as the malfunction indicator lamps. As explained in the beginning, the light will give you a warning about some issues with your car’s engine. The check engine light comes in different colours, depending on the car maker’s choice.


What does check engine light mean?

How does check engine light work?

The engine control unit (ECU) is responsible for controls the engine system and make sure that the engine is operating in an optimal condition. Whenever an ECU detects a problem that cannot be handled, the check engine light on your dashboard will be activated, giving warning to the car users.

How to reset check engine light?

Sometimes, when the lights start blinking, it means that there is some serious problem with the engine system. On the other hand, sometimes the engine check light might only on due to some minor issues which can be easily fixed. In these cases, you only need to reset the check engine light. Here is the instruction on how to reset your check engine light.


Check engine light can be easily turned off by some simple steps

Use an OBD2 scanner

There are a couple of ways to reset the check engine light. Mostly, an OBD2 scanner will be used to solve the problem in some simple steps. You can buy OBD2 scanner from car shops. This device allows you to reset the engine light in minutes. The first step is to connect the scanner with your On-board diagnostic connector which is usually located under the steering wheel. Next, start the switch ignition and the connection between the car and the device will be set. When you press the red button on the scanner, the devices will be read all the data stored on your ECU.

When the scanning is finished, the device will show you all the error codes. You can decode these detected data using the user manual. Knowing the problem, now you can find ways to solve those problems. Once the problem is solved, press the Erase or Clear button to wipe the problem from the scanner. When all the problems are cleared, you can double-check by repeating the process with a scanner to see if the problems are addressed.

obd2 scanner

OBD2 scanner is a useful device to check for engine issues

Disconnect the battery technique

However, in case you don’t have an OBD2 scanner, it is still possible to reset the check engine light without using one. One of the common ways to reset the engine check light without OBD2 is battery disconnection.

To start off, you should remove all the positive and negative terminals of your car’s battery. The next step is to empty all the remaining electricity in the car’s capacitor. You can do that by pressing the horns or turning the light on.  When the electricity is running out, leave your car for 10-15 minutes. After that, you can now carefully reconnect all the battery terminals. It is now all set, you can restart the car again. This time, if the check engine light is still on, it means that there might be some serious problem that is occurring to your engine. In this case, you definitely call for professional help in order to get rid of it entirely.


The Right Way to Disconnect A Car Battery

reset check engine light

It is possible to turn off check engine light without using an OBD2 scanner

Turn the ignition on and off

By turning on and off the ignition, you can somehow shut the engine check light without working with the battery. The only you have to do is to put the key in the ignition and turn it on and off three times continuously. When it’s done, check if the engine check light is still on. If it could not stop your check engine light from illuminating, you should probably take your car to the professional mechanic.

Wait until the light goes off

The last method is to passively wait until the engine light goes off. The problem can be automatically fixed within two or three days. After the problem is solved, the ECU will update the current status and the engine light will be reset. However, if the check engine light does not go off after three days, it means that the problem is not solved yet. In this case, your car should be taken care of by the hand of a professional mechanic.

What if the check engine light is on again?

Even when you can reset the check light engine using the above method, the check engine light might keep coming back. If the check engine light is on again after a few days, it might that your engine is having some serious issues. You can recheck with the scanner. If the same problem from the last check reappears, it is highly advised that you should visit the car repairing shop.

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