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How to Clear the Codes on a Toyota

by Dwight Malone

Engine codes in your Toyota vehicle can be triggered by a number of issues, ranging from big to small. Anything from a loose gas cap to major problems such as an engine misfire can cause the check engine light to go on. In order to check these codes, you'll need an onboard diagnostics scanner. There are two different versions, depending on your model. For cars 1996 and newer, OBD-2 scanners can read the codes; for older cars, OBD-1 scanners are used. After the problem is fixed, the codes will need to be cleared out of the car's computer, which can quickly and easily be done once the battery has been disconnected and then reconnected.

1

Turn the vehicle off.

2

Open the hood and locate the battery. It will be in different locations depending on your particular Toyota make, model and year. However, it will be located in one of the four corners of the engine compartment.

3

Place the adjustable wrench around the bolt that secures the negative battery clamp to the battery.

4

Adjust the wrench until it fits snugly around the bolt.

5

Loosen the bolt on the clamp until you can easily remove the negative battery clamp.

6

Wait between 30 and 60 seconds.

7

Put the negative battery clamp back on the battery and tighten it with the adjustable wrench.

8

Start the vehicle to see that the check engine light is off.

Warnings

  • Never let the positive and negative terminals touch, because this can cause an electrical short in the vehicle.
  • Unhooking the battery will clear the onboard computer's codes, but will also erase settings on your vehicle's clock and radio, which will need to be reset.

Items you will need

About the Author

Dwight Malone is a journalist who has worked for various Chicago-area newspapers, including the "Chicago Tribune" and "Naperville Sun." He has been a writer, editor and graphic designer since 2000. Malone studied journalism at Eastern Illinois University.

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