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 if 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 Clear and Reset a Check Engine Light
- Budget OBD2 Scan Tool
- Use a Car or Trucks Built-In Diagnostics
- Remove the Battery Cables
OBD2 scan tools are devices that can scan computer codes and clear them.
There are many different types available from low-cost basic units to high-cost units packed with lots of features.
Using an OBD2 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 has many options including clearing fault codes.
Bluetooth OBD2 Scan Tool on Amazon
Panlong Bluetooth OBD2 OBDII Car Diagnostic Scanner Check Engine Light for Android – Compatible with Torque Pro
There is also many budget stand alone scan tools that will quickly scan and clear engine codes.
Stand Alone OBD2 Scan Tool on Amazon
Autel AutoLink AL319 OBD2 Scanner Automotive Engine Fault Code Reader CAN Scan Tool
Most vehicles have built-in diagnostics that will give an error code number too lookup and often clear the code.
How the built-in diagnostics work change with manufacture and vehicles year built and models.
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.
This method is not the best option but does work.
As when a bad battery needs replaced all the car setting including the onboard computer will get reset.
Keep mind any radio or other settings will be reset along with the onboard computer.
To use this method like replacing a battery the positive and negative terminals need to be removed.
Some cars and trucks will hold a charge for awhile after removing the terminals while others will reset instantly.
Often only the negative cable needs to be removed and the vehicles computer will reset along with the engine light.
Again this is not the best method but does work when no other option is available.
Resetting an engine light is easy to do with using an OBD2 scan tool the best option.
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 they 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.