How to Clear the Codes on a Ford F-150

by Jody L. Campbell
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If the Check Engine light on your Ford F-150 pick-up won't turn off, you might need to reset the codes on the OBD II (On-Board Diagnostics II) computer. For U.S. vehicles made prior to 1996, when OBD II became the industry standard, a little know-how is required to reset the codes. Ford integrated OBD I computers on the F-150 engine as far back as the mid-1980s, so here's how to reset/clear the codes.


Step 1

Under the hood of your Ford F-150, loosen the black (negative) battery terminal clamp with a hand wrench and wiggle the clamp off the terminal.

Step 2

Wait five minutes.

Step 3

Reconnect the clamp to the battery post and tighten the clamp with a hand wrench.

Start the Ford F-150 to ensure the check engine light is no longer illuminated.


Step 1

Locate the diagnostic link connector (DLC) beneath the driver's side dashboard.

Step 2

Plug the pocket scanner into the DLC and turn the ignition key two clicks to the key on/engine off position.

Step 3

Follow the procedures for the pocket scanner to erase the codes. There are now many affordable pockets scanners on the market that employ slightly different procedures. Most employ a scroll button or two that will allow you to position the on-screen cursor to a desired selection. Once you've scrolled to the erase code selection, pressing the enter key is all that's required. There may be a few seconds while the scanner sends the command to the F-150's computer.

Step 4

Start the engine to ensure the malfunction indicator light is no longer illuminated.

Unplug the pocket scanner and turn off the truck.

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