You’ve brought your car in for a check-up, and they’ve fixed the issue that prompted your “check engine” light to turn on. However, upon starting the vehicle after the check-up, you notice the “check engine” light is still on! 

Nothing’s wrong with your car. Sometimes the computer in your vehicle doesn’t register that the issue has been fixed. This post will go over how to reset the check engine light.

You probably already know this, but the check engine light displays itself when the computer identifies an electrical or mechanical issue with your car. Once the problem is resolved, the engine light usually turns off, but in some cases, it stays on.

This can be dangerous because you might be missing out on future problems the vehicle’s computer might be warning you. Try one (or more) of the following tricks to turn the engine light off. If it does not turn off, you might need to bring it back to your dealer.

How to Turn Off the Check Engine Light

How to Turn Off the Check Engine Light

Don’t Mind It, Let the Light Turn Off by Itself

The first and most straightforward way to make the check engine light go away is time – just keep driving the car and don’t mind it. Drive your vehicle as you typically would. It usually turns off after a couple of days. If the engine light is still on the third day, the initial problem may still be lingering, or you may need to try some other methods to reset it.

Turn the Car On and Off

Some vehicles automatically reset the codes that prompted the original error after the car is turned on and off a few times (three times). Insert your key in the ignition, turn it on for a second, and then off for a second. Repeat this a couple more times, then proceed to drive the car as usual. If the light is still on, don’t worry, there are a couple more tricks to try. 

Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery

This method will require the use of a wrench. Pop open the hood and use your wrench to detach the positive power cable to the car’s battery. Leave it disconnected for about 15 minutes. Then put your key into the ignition and turn it to the “ON” position. DO NOT START THE CAR! Doing so will clear the data from the car’s memory, therefore, resetting the engine light. Reconnect the positive battery cable and start the car. Check if the engine light is still on.

Use an OBD Code Reader

Remember that wrench? You’ll need it and an OBD reader. These cheap readers are designed to analyze and clear engine trouble codes. We recommend using the Kobra OBD scanner for this task.

To implement this method:

  1. Plug the reader into the OBD port of your car. This port can typically be found underneath the dash area just above the footwell. You’ll have to remove the door on your fuse box in some vehicles to access this port.
  2. Once you find the port and have connected the reader, turn it on.
  3. The reader will thoroughly scan your engine for any trouble codes. Once done scanning, the reader will present any found error codes. Make a note of the codes (if any) and cross-check them in the code reader’s manual.
  4. Once you’re done cross-checking any found error codes, press the “scroll” button to erase the code. Simply press enter while on this tab to delete the error code and reset the check engine light.

This technique will help you eliminate the annoying check engine light and allow new issues to be displayed correctly. Whether you choose to manually reset the onboard system by resetting the battery or using an OBD reader, you should be able to fix the issue successfully. If any other software errors present themselves in the future, you may use these techniques to resolve them as well.

Takeaway

Before you try any of these techniques to reset your check engine light, make sure the issue causing the light to turn on has been fixed.

Once you verified that the issue has indeed been fixed, you can follow the techniques above to reset the check engine light yourself. 

While simply driving or restarting the car three times are the most straightforward techniques, they are not your only resolve. Techniques such as “disconnecting the battery” can successfully reset the check engine light; however, you might get a little dirty doing it. However, if you’re not used to operating under the hood, it might be challenging for you to quickly access the battery.

Ultimately, using the OBD scanner to solve the issue is the most reliable way to reset your check engine light; however, you need an OBD scanner to do this.

If none of the suggested techniques reset your check engine light, then there might still be an issue with your engine that needs fixing. Contact your dealer and inform them of the situation.