How to Reset the Check Engine Light

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Sometimes, even after problems with your car or truck's engine have been fixed the "Check Engine" light will still stay on. Your auto's computer won't be able to warn you of other engine problems if the warning light remains lit. Read the different methods listed here for resetting the light and chose the method that works best for you.

Things You'll Need

  • Automotive diagnostic scanner (optional)
  • Pop the hood of your vehicle and disconnect the positive and negative power leads from the battery. Turn the vehicle's lights on and leave the battery disconnected for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the vehicle's capacitor to fully drain to spur a total reset.

  • Connect an automotive diagnostic scanner to your car's computer. Use the scanner to reset the "Check Engine" light as well as diagnose any other issues with your car.

  • Request to have the "Check Engine" light reset next time you're getting an oil change. This is normally a free service when you are receiving an oil change.

Tips & Warnings

  • Resetting your car using the "Electrical Drain" method will reset the memory of your vehicle's computer, radio and other peripherals--you will lose valuable data.
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