When the check engine light starts rears its ugly head, it’s crucial you act upon this distress signal. However, even once you’ve diagnosed the cause and rectified the problem, the check engine light often remains. Even more annoyingly, turning off the check engine light is not as simple as you would like.
Usually, we are forced to return the vehicle to a garage or manufacturer to extinguish it. However, there are two basic methods for resetting a check engine light. If you already own an OBD2 scanner, you can easily read and clear error codes. Or if you are without, you can try disconnecting the battery, erasing the error data.
It’s worth knowing that using an OBD2 scanner is a greatly preferred method. It’s easier, more reliable and the same method used by vehicle manufacturer’s and professional mechanics- often at great cost to the customer!
Also, disconnecting the battery is not always guaranteed to remove all the error codes. To help you make an informed decision and finally turn off check engine light, we’ve explored both methods in greater detail:
How to Reset Check Engine Light By Disconnecting Your Battery
Only attempt this method if you are relatively confident with DIY vehicle repairs. Disconnecting the battery from the car will require a small selection of tools and basic electrical safety knowledge.
Once you disconnect the battery terminals, you will still need to run down the remaining electrical charge in the system. This can be achieved by running the lights and finally using the horn.
Once the electric charge has been disputed, the ECU should lose the troubles codes stored in the temporary memory. This will often turn off the engine check light on older vehicles. However, it’s less likely to work with newer cars, plus it may lead to the undesirable loss of numerous settings.
Also, be aware that prolonged horn can overheat the circuits. Make sure you allow for periodic breaks.
For these reasons, this is not a recommended method for newer vehicles.
How to Turn Off Check Engine Light With an OBD2 Scanner
Using an OBD2 scanner is by far the safest and easier option, as long as your vehicle is OBD2 compliant. You don’t even need to be an experienced mechanic to use one!
They offer a whole host of additional features for diagnosing vehicle health. They are easily affordable and could even save you $1000s in the long run!
First, you must connect a trusted OBD2 scanner to the vehicle’s OBD2 connector port. You can find the OBD2 close to the steering column on the bottom side of the dash panel.
Turn the key to ignition and select the read codes function to run a full diagnostic scan. This should provide instantaneous identification of error codes. Depending on the functionality of your device, it may even provide potential causes.
Once you have made a note of trouble codes and addressed the problems, press the erase code button to reset the check engine light. Finally, you should take your vehicle for a test drive before re-diagnosing the system.
If the fault codes do not return, it signifies you have fixed the problem. If it does return, problems still remain! You’ll need to investigate further or relay the details to a professional mechanic.
This is a general procedure, but exact guidance will be provided by your model specific instructions. Make sure you do your research before purchasing, they come in a range of prices and functionality. Check out our best OBD2 scanners reviews for guidance!