how to reset check engine light

What is the process to reset the check engine light?

You find a warning light on your vehicle’s dashboard if you drive a car regularly. This warning light is an essential part of every car. Reading this code is also a mandatory lesson for every car driver. This code mainly shows if your car faces any internal problem and you need to fix the issue. Sometimes you also get some false alerts from this indicator. But it happens if the vehicle can fix the problem by itself in driving time. There are some simple steps to reset this illuminated light. Here we discussed the reset process so that you can do it by yourself.

What is the check engine light?

 The check engine light is one of the essential parts of your car. It is also known as the Onboard diagnostic system in the dashboard. After 1980, any vehicle was controlled by a computer, and it also monitored the vehicle performance, regulating variables like engine speed, fuel mixture, ignition timing, etc. In the modern ear car, it can automatically transmit when it shifts.

When the check engine light is illuminated, it says the computer stores a trouble code, and its memory can help you find the source of the problem, like a misfiring engine. When the car’s electronic control system finds any fault and can’t correct itself, the computer turns on the yellow warning light, labeled as “check engine light or service engines soon or check powertrain.” In some vehicles, you also find this light as “Check.”

The code you found from the car screen points out the trouble’s direction. But it still needs a professional to point out the problem entirely and then repair this. If you are experiencing repairing your car, you can also repair your vehicle. Sometimes it’s tough to solve it yourself, and it is very hard, then you can consult with the technician.

How does the engine check light work?

You must know the sign of the check engine light. If you notice the check engine light turns “On,” it remains illuminated or blinks, depending on the problem condition. Some cars have red lights instead of yellow or orange lights, which indicates the seriousness of the problem. In late-model cars, a continuous blinking light usually shows an engine misfire. The unburnt fuel is dumped into the exhaust system, which can quickly damage the catalytic converter. Sometimes it lad to an expensive repair. If you notice this, you need to know how to reduce the problem and also fix the issue as soon as possible.what is the most common reason for check engine light

But if you notice there is steady light in the engine check light, then the problem is not significant. But you need to fix the issue as soon as possible. Sometimes minor issues lead to a significant problem. Nowadays, the automotive computer often tries to solve the common car problems by themselves so that you might not notice any deterioration in-car performance. But sometimes, your fuel mileage might not be sufficient, and your car emits a large number of hydrocarbons and harmful smelly dark smoke from the tailpipe. 

How to diagnose the issue with your car?

The blinking engine check light shows you that your car has faced some problems while driving it. So before resetting the trouble code from memory, you need to take some time to diagnose the car system, and if it is needed, you have to repair the broken part. But most of the time, the check engine light turns on for silly problems, and at that time, you don’t need to stop your car to examine the issue. The easiest way to find the problem is to use the Onboard diagnostic scanner. Nowadays, every vehicle comes with this scanner, and it’s beneficial.

This scanner helps you show what problem your car faces while driving it. In the past, only mechanics could use this OBD 2 scanner, but now every car owner can use this system to find the issue in their car. And it costs only 20$, when you want an advanced scanner, it can cost more than a thousand dollars. 

After finding the problem, you can repair your car. If you are experienced after that, reset the code and restart the whole system. Then perform a test drive and notice the car screen whether the code exists again or not. If the code remains on the screen, then the problem is still in your car; and try to consult with a professional and solve the issue. But if there is no code on the screen, you solve the problem. And your car is ready to drive again.

Sometimes you can get a false alert from the engine light. It is because the car computer solves the issue by itself when you drive it, and that is why it removes the code from the screen, but the check engine light is on. So that time, you need to know how to reset the MIL light.

How to reset the check engine light?

Sometimes you notice the check engine light illuminated after you solve the issue, then you need to reset the light. There are a few easy guides for you to solve this issue and turn off the warning light:

  • Connect the OBD2 scanner

The first and most quick method is to use the OBD2 scanner or code reader. So if you have a scanner, you can use this to reset the warning light. At first, connect the scanner at the undermost car model steering position. Then turn on your car ignition and establish the connection between the computer and the car. Press the red button on the scanner and search for all stored trouble codes. When the scan is complete, write down all the errors and decode the issue with the help of the manual for your car and engine model and manufacturer version. When you crack the code, you can locate the fault and solve the issue. If any part needs to change or repair, change the part and carry out the calibration. Now press the erase /clear button of the scanner to remove the code from memory. When you fix the issue, switch off the ignition and switch on it again. If you solve the case, the warning light goes off. But if you failed to solve the problem, you need to recheck the scanner and do the previous process again.OBD2 scanner

  • Drive the car for a while

A minor divergent sensor reading or a similar possible reason for the illuminated warning light. In this case, drive your car as usual for a few miles or minutes. It also can cause the check engine light after some time. This process applies if you fix any previous issue but do not clear the last code from memory. You need to perform a test drive. This happens because the ECU check is a regular check-up in set intervals. On the other hand, the fault might have been fixed, but ECU didn’t update the status. This ensures no abnormal symptoms you face while driving the car like jerking acceleration, noises, bad handling, or any other issue that discomfort your driving experience.

  •  Disconnect the battery

Reconnecting the battery is also one of the most helpful processes to reset the check engine light. This is the best way to reset the light without any help from the code reader. Removing the battery terminals need only 30 to 60 seconds. But this will reset the engine control unit in many cars and engine models. Fro disconnecting the battery, first, remove the negative car terminal. After that, try to drain any present electricity available in the capacitor of the car. You need to press the horn for around 20-30 seconds or turn on the light. After disconnecting the electricity, leave the car for 10 to 15 minutes. Then reconnect the battery terminals and make sure they are well connected to avoid possible accidents like sparkles. Then switch on your car.

If you get the same check engine light after this process, your car has some serious issue, or your car computer still stores the trouble code in the memory. You need to follow the scanner step and fix the trouble code in this case. When you solve the issue, I think the light also goes off.

  • Turning on and off the ignition

Sometimes, repeatedly turning on and off is also a method to reset the check engine light without any scanner or disconnect the battery. First, put your key in the ignition and turn it on and off continuously after a second in each step. Once you do it, check if the warning light is still on or off. If the light goes off, you reset the check engine light, and your car is ready to go. But if the light is still on, you need to go through the scanner step to solve the issue from your vehicle. Then you can reset the check engine light.please turn ignition off or start engine

  • Reconnected the fuse

Don’t get confused about this step. Because if you pull off the fuse and put it back in place, it can also help you turn off the check engine light. This is one of the possible ways to fix the turning on the warning light. First, pull out the engine control unit’s fuse and then put it back in the last place. But this is not working in the new and updated car. It may work in the old car and also solve the issue sometime. However, it’s an effortless way to solve the problem. You need to know the location of the fuses of the engine control unit from the car manual book and then try the step; I hope it’ll work for you. 

  • Restart the car

If you go to the consultation with the professional or any customer service, they ask you if you reset your vehicle or not. If you got lucky, sometimes restarting the car also reset the warning light. It is often a good reason to restart a troubled device and is also suitable with a vehicle. Sometimes manufacturers have programmed the car with an old code, which is reset by turning the car on and off three times. Just turn on the vehicle and keep it on for a few seconds. Then turn off the engine and wait a little bit. Then repeat the process. If you get lucky, this can solve your illuminated engine check light.

Final discussion

The steps of resetting the check engine light are easy. Sometimes this warning light is so annoying that you want to turn it off for that moment. But as I told you before, you need to check what issue the car computer wishes to show you. You can use the OBD2 scanner to find the location of the problem and solve the issue. This is the best, most reliable, easy, and secure way to reset the illuminated warning light. Whenever you repair your car, make sure there is no abnormal noise coming from the engine and perform a test drive to assure the problem is solved or not.


  • Can the engine check the light turn off by itself?

Yes. Sometimes the warning light turns off while you are driving. Sometimes your car computer can solve the fault by itself. That’s why it just turns off the illuminated light by itself.

  • Does the check engine turn off automatically after repairing the car?

This is a very confusing question. Because if you fix your car and the trouble code is solved, then the warning light automatically turns off. If the problem is still there, the light is still on.

  • Do I need any special device to turn off the warning light?

Yes. The OBD2 scanner or any code reader is used to reset the warning light. If you don’t have this device, you can follow the other product’s more minor steps.

  • Which step is more reliable than resetting the warning light?

The easiest and most reliable step to reset the warning light is to use the OBD scanner or code reader. This device mainly helps you to solve the issue with the car system. And the warning light is used to show the problem with the car control system. So fixing the root of this light is the most reliable and easy way to reset the illuminated engine check light.

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