How to Clear Error Codes From a Grand Cherokee

by Jody L. Campbell

Error codes or diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) occur on vehicles when a sensor or component fails its intended function or fails to communicate to the computer. The computer then trips the malfunction indicator light (MIL) and displays a check engine symbol on the instrument panel. To effectively reset the error code, the problem must first be diagnosed and corrected, if applicable, to keep the MIL from re-tripping. Simply clearing engine error codes on a Jeep Grand Cherokee will not fix the underlying problem. There are two procedures to clear error codes.

OBD II 1996 and Newer

Step 1

Open the driver's door on the Jeep Grand Cherokee and locate the diagnostic link connector under the dashboard. It is to the left of the steering wheel, uncovered and shaped like a trapezoid.

Step 2

Plug the OBD II scanner into the connector and then turn the ignition key to the power accessory position. This will illuminate all the warning lights on the instrument panel without the engine running.

Step 3

Refer to the operation manual of the scanner. Because so many companies make them, the operation of your specific scanner will be detailed in the manual. On a whole, running these scanners is easy and almost self-explanatory.

Step 4

Scroll to the "erase codes" option displayed on the on-screen menu. Some scanners also feature an erase button option. If so, press erase. If you had to scroll to the option, press the "enter" or "send" button. Some scanners may ask if you're sure you want to erase the codes. If so, select "yes."

Watch the display screen of the scanner until it reads "command sent" and then start the engine to the Grand Cherokee. Check the instrument panel to ensure the error code has successfully been erased and the MIL is no longer illuminated.

OBD I 1993-1995

Step 1

Open the hood to the Grand Cherokee.

Step 2

Use a wrench to loosen the negative battery terminal clamp's retaining bolt and nut.

Step 3

Use a pair of Channel Lock pliers to twist the loosened terminal clamp and lift it off of the battery terminal.

Step 4

Turn the headlight switch on and the ignition key to the accessory power position. This will expel any stored charge in the electrical system and wipe out the computer's memory. Wait 10 minutes.

Turn off the ignition key and the headlight switch and then reconnect the negative battery terminal clamp. Start the engine to ensure the error code is erased and the MIL is no longer illuminated.

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