A car or truck engine light can come on for many reasons, from a loose gas cap to a more serious engine problem.
Clearing an engine light can be done in a few ways depending on the vehicle.
Keep in mind unless the problem is fixed, more than likely, the engine light will come back on.
Below are three ways to clear an error light on most cars and trucks built after 1996.
Be sure to read the manual for your vehicle to be sure a method is safe to use.
3 Ways To Reset a Check Engine Light Without an OBDII Scan Tool
- Use a Car or Trucks Built-In Diagnostics
- Remove the Battery Cables
- Budget OBDII Bluetooth Dongle
How the built-in diagnostics work changes with manufacture, vehicle, year built, and so on.
For example, Dodge has a well-known built-in diagnostic that will show a code when the key is cycled on and off three times.
It will give the code in the odometer LCD display on the dashboard. Some Dodge vehicles work differently.
How the built-in diagnostic works on your car or truck will need to be found in the manual or found online.
For example, when a bad battery needs to be replaced, all the car settings, including the onboard computer, will get reset.
Keep in mind any radio or other settings will be reset along with the onboard computer.
When using this method, like replacing a battery, the positive and negative terminals need to be removed.
Some cars and trucks will hold a charge for a while after removing the terminals, while others will reset instantly.
Often only the negative cable needs to be removed, and the vehicle’s computer will reset along with the engine light.
Again this is not the best method, but it does work when no other option is available.
There are many different types available, from low-cost, basic units to high-cost units packed with lots of features.
Using an OBDII scan tool is not only the best option but also the correct way to clear codes.
Not only can they clear an engine light they can also read the code, which will show the problem the vehicle is having.
Bluetooth OBD2 scan tools have become very popular since they are low-cost and can be controlled with a smartphone.
An app is used that will have many options including clearing fault codes.
Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool on Amazon
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There are also many budget stand alone scan tools that will quickly scan and clear engine codes.
Resetting an engine light is easy to do with several options available, including the vehicle’s built-in diagnostics, removing the battery cables, and a low-cost Bluetooth OBDII dongle.
Using an OBDII scan tool is the best option, but the other two methods will also work.
The light will likely come back in most cases if the problem is not fixed.
For those on a budget, a low-cost Bluetooth scan tool can be a good option since it can also show the problem a vehicle is having.
Do you have a good method for resetting a check engine light? Let us know in the comments below.