How To Reset Check Engine Light
The check engine light is not something you should ignore. Its purpose is to warn of a possible problem in your car that might need your attention. However, sometimes the light stays on even after the repair. This constant lighting on the dashboard can be very distracting. But as annoying as it is, the problem is quite easy to troubleshoot. Here’s a complete guide on how to reset the check engine light in your car.
What Is “Check Engine Light” & When Does It Require Resetting?
On-Board Diagnosis System (OBD system) in cars warns the drivers about the internal mechanical or electrical malfunction in the vehicle. The “check engine light” is one of such warning lights on the dashboard. It lights up if there is an internal electrical or mechanical issue, so that the car-owner can immediately analyse and troubleshoot the problem.
The color of check engine light varies from car to car. In most cars, this light is either orange, yellow or amber. A blinking check engine light is a warning that your car’s engine has severe problems. Continuous illumination indicates improperly fixed issues in your car.
Moreover, with a check engine light turned on, you won’t be able to pass the emissions (smog) test and detect new problems in the internal system. The solution is to reset check engine light.
Your car’s check engine light may have turned on due to a bad or an unclean oxygen sensor. Cleaning the oxygen sensor or replacing it might help as well.
How To Reset Check Engine Light Without Disconnecting Battery
There are only three ways to go about resetting the check engine light without disconnecting the battery. Here is how to reset check engine light through below discussed techniques by keeping the battery in place:
Keep Driving And Let It Go Off By Itself
If you have fixed the internal problem of the car that had caused the check engine light to turn on, simply ignore the lighting and keep driving. But, before that make sure that the issue has been resolved completely.
After covering a certain distance, the car engine computer would automatically recheck the cause of illumination. With any luck, the reassessment would turn off the light. You can try this method for three days. If the check engine light remains turned on for more than three days of normal driving, consider switching to other methods.
Turn The Car Ignition On And Off Three Times
Another way to reset check engine light without tapping into effort-requiring techniques is restarting the car three times. Put the key in the ignition, turn it on and then off. The very next second, repeat the process. Repeat once more to complete three times in a row. Put the key again the fourth time and start the car. Drive for a while to see if the light turns off or not. This method proves effective in most cases.
Restarting The Fuse Of The Car
Not applicable for new cars, you can try pulling off the fuse of the engine control unit found in the car fuse box. This will break the connection of the check engine light with the ECU (Engine Control Unit). Put the fuse back again after a minute and check whether the light turns on or not.
The three methods to reset check engine light require no tool and no hard work. However, if these three methods don’t work, then you may try the following methods.
Reset Check Engine Light Using Tools
Disconnect The Car Battery
One way to fix or reset check engine light is by disconnecting the battery. This method is also referred to as ECM Hard Test Technique. Follow the given steps only if you know how to easily disconnect and reconnect the battery. Otherwise, it is best to seek professional help.
- Open the hood of the car and locate the battery.
- Remove both the positive and negative cables from the battery terminals.
- Press the horn for 30 seconds or switch on the car’s lights if you wish to avoid the noise.
- This will drain all the electricity from the car’s capacitor. You can do both to drain it faster.
- Wait for 15 minutes maximum.
- Reconnect the cables back to their terminals.
This method removes all error codes and resets other electronic devices. If the check engine light is still on, it’s best to seek professional help.
Use OBD Scanner
OBD (on-board diagnostic) scanner can be used to reset check engine light. The OBD scanner can be used on all car models manufactured post-1996. Here is how to turn off check engine light using OBD scanner.
- Plug the OBD reader in the port underneath the steering column.
- Turn the key on in your vehicle to turn on the dash lights.
- Once the dash lights come on, turn off the radio and other electronic parts.
- Press “read” on the OBD scanner and it will show and error code.
- Press ERASE or CLEAR.
- Wait until you see a NO CODES message on the scanner.
- Unplug the OBD reader and turn off the vehicle.
- Check the engine light after restarting the vehicle a few minutes later.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes The Check Engine Light to Turn On?
Several minor and major issues such as a faulty gas cap or misfiring engine can cause the check engine light to illuminate. However, sometimes it can stay on by error as well.
How Far Should You Drive To Turn Off The Check Engine Light?
To turn off the check engine light by itself, it is recommended to drive 50 to 160 km. This resets the car’s drive cycle, which in turn switches off the check engine light.
If you cannot reset check engine light by following any of the above methods, then there could be a serious mechanical problem. It is better that you contact a professional car service provider.
In case, the issue cannot be resolved, you might consider replacing your car. A large number of used cars in Dubai as well as in other Emirates are up for sale online. You can browse through a plethora of popular options such as:
- Used Mercedes-Benz for sale online in Dubai
- Used BMW in Dubai for sale
- Second-hand Audi for sale in Dubai online
- Second-hand Nissan for sale in Dubai
Besides, you should keep the car maintenance checklist to avoid such issues and retain the car’s performance. Also, reading about the anatomy of a car engine might help you in resolving the issue of check engine light.
Stay tuned to UAE’s top auto blog for more information about car’s various parts and accessories.