How to Clear Pontiac Engine Codesby Dwight Malone
No matter what kind of Pontiac vehicle you drive, at some point you're sure to come across a situation where the check engine light goes on and will require the error code to be cleared out. Error codes are triggered when your Pontiac's computer detects a mechanical issue with the car and then illuminates the check engine light. Once the problem is fixed, the code will need to be cleared out to turn off the check engine light. The process is the same regardless of what year, make or model of Pontiac you drive.
Open your hood and familiarize yourself with the components under the hood.
Look for the battery, which will be in various locations depending on your specific year and model. The battery usually is located in one of the corners of the engine compartment. It will be a square box with two cables connected to it. If you cannot visually locate the battery, consult your owner's manual for specific location.
Use the adjustable wrench to disconnect the negative battery clamp. It will be connected to a black cable, and the metal terminal coming out of the battery will be marked by a minus sign.
Wait for a minute with the negative battery clamp disconnected.
Insert the key into your Pontiac's ignition, and turn on the vehicle. Look on the instrument panel on the dashboard to confirm the check engine light has gone off.
- If you don't have the time or feel confident working around the battery, you can have the codes cleared out with either an OBD-1 or OBD-2 scan tool, depending on the year of your Pontiac. Most auto parts stores have these scan tools and will clear the codes for you, free of charge.
- When working in your battery, if you notice a blue, green or white powdery substance on the battery terminals, use a wire brush to clean it off. This substance is corrosion and can restrict the flow of electricity from the battery to your vehicle.
- After disconnecting and reconnecting the negative battery clamp, if the check engine light is still on when you start your Pontiac, this means the codes were not cleared out of the computer. Disconnect the battery again and wait for 5 minutes before reconnecting the clamp. The extra time will be sure to clear out the engine codes.
Things You'll Need
- Adjustable wrench
- Never attempt to disconnect the battery while the battery is running, because this can damage the electrical system.
- Never let the positive and negative battery clamps touch each other, which can cause an electrical spark.
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.