Our cars are designed in a very sophisticated way.
They are equipped with a lot of electronic systems, and one of these parts is the car’s onboard diagnostic system (OBD system).
Some of the possible malfunctionings that can occur in your car can be detected either by various inappropriate sounds or by various physical signs. But some faults, that are not easily detectable but do occur in your vehicle, are represented by the check engine light in your car.
When the ECU (engine control unit) detects a problem that it is unable to regulate, it then turns on the check engine light on your dashboard. This check light will either keep on glowing or will blink, depending on the nature of the fault.
If the engine check is on regularly then it means that there is a problem but not an emergency. But if it is blinking, then it means there is an emergency problem with your car.
For example, a faulty oxygen sensor cannot be detected until the check engine light indicates that there is a problem in one of the engine’s parts and then the compatible device is used to decode that problem.
But sometimes, the engine check light is not always due to any major problem or malfunctioning. Just resetting the engine check light is all that needs to be done.
How to Reset the Check Engine Light
The simplest way to reset the check engine light is with an OBD2 scanner. But if you do not have one available, you can often do it without one. It’s still recommended to check the trouble codes first with an OBD2 scanner if the check engine light is ON.
Here are some different ways how you can reset your check engine light.
1. With an OBD2 Scanner
When your check engine light is on, connect the scanner to the Ob board diagnostic connector (OBD) that is situated under the steering portion in the most vehicles. Then switch on your car’s ignition and turn on all other devices connected into the car. After the connection is established between computer and car, press the read button scanner so it can check all activities going in an ECU.
After the scan is complete, note down all error codes that are diagnosed by the scanner, decode those problems using the user manual of the particular make and model. Once the code is decoded, the problem is detected. Solve that problem; if that part needs to change then change it or if it needs to calibrate it then carry out the calibration.
Once done, erase the error from the scanner by pressing “Erase/Clear” button. Once the problem is solved, it is recommended to switch off the ignition, then switch it on again, check to see that engine check light is not on again and recheck from the scanner whether it is giving the same fault again or not.
2. Battery Disconnection Technique
This is the first technique for resetting your check engine light without a scanner. The battery disconnection technique is a conventional way of resetting your car’s check engine light in some cars.
First of all, remove both your battery’s positive and negative terminals. Then try to drain any available electricity present in the car’s capacitor by pressing the horn for around 20-30 seconds or turning on lights. Once the electricity is disconnected, then leave your car for 10-15 mins. After this short time, reconnect all battery terminals, make sure they are well tightened to avoid any possible sparking, and then switch on your car.
If on restarting, your car is giving that same check engine light, then it means that there is some serious problem in your car. In such a case, it is highly recommended to make an appointment with a professional mechanic and get your problem solved to avoid further possible problems.
3. Turning the Ignition On and Off
Switching the ignition on and off is also one of the methods of hard reset without disconnecting batteries. Put the keys in your ignition and turn your ignition on and off consecutively after a span of a second in each step.
Once it is done, see if the engine check light is still coming on or not. If the check light is off, then you are ready to go, but if it is still coming on then get ready for an appointment with a professional mechanic as the problem could be of a serious nature.
4. Let it Go Off Itself
One of the possible ways to reset the check engine light is to wait and let it go off by itself. It is a really easy method; all you have to do is to just wait and continue driving your car for around three days. Car’s computers are designed in a way that work in a continuous cycle and refreshes their present state.
Remember that you have to make sure that the old problem is gone before using this technique.
For example, if the ECU detects a problem in the oxygen sensor that could occur due to a minor glitch, then it might fix automatically as the ECU will update the sensor’s status once the glitch is removed, setting off the check engine light. But if your check light is still on even after three days, then either apply the above mentioned methods yourself or take your car to a mechanic.
If the Engine Check Light Returns
Once you have got your check light to go off, using any of the four above mentioned methods, then you are ready to go. But if after a few days, your check light glows again, it means there is a major problem in your car.
If you scan using a scanner and the same problem code does not appear again, it means that a new fault has occurred in your car. But if the same code is still coming on the scanner, then, in this case, it is highly recommended to go and get an appointment with a professional mechanic/technician and get a full diagnosis of your car with a good OBD2 scanner.
Pulling Off the Fuse
One of the possible ways of getting your check light to go off is by pulling off the engine control unit’s fuse. Although this won’t solve the problem in newer cars, it will simply disconnect the engine check light’s connection with the electronically controlled unit (ECU).
The best way is to use a good scanner to reset your check engine light. If you do not own one, you can probably borrow one from a friend or ask a mechanic workshop to reset it for you.
Remember that it may not be possible to reset the check engine light if a problem still occurs in your engine control unit.
The glowing of the engine check light is a sign of some malfunctioning in your car. It indicates any possible fault in your car’s engine. Sometimes the problems get solved themselves, but sometimes the light is an indicator of something really bad that is going on your car and could further disturb your car’s functioning. So don’t ignore it, and get it solved using any of the above methods to avoid any major losses.
If you have any other questions, leave a comment down below.