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How to Reset the Computer on Chevrolet Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

The computer in your Chevrolet car generates and stores trouble codes based on the condition of the vehicle's emissions system. When there is a problem with the emissions system, the "service engine soon" light will come on in your Chevrolet car. This will indicate the need for you to diagnose the exact nature of the problem and fix it. An auto parts store will diagnose the problem for free. A Chevrolet car dealership will diagnose the problem, but for a small fee. The advantage of having a dealership do the diagnosis is that they can better pinpoint the problem using diagnostic software made specifically for your vehicle, whereas the auto parts store's diagnostic testing device will give you just a general idea of what is wrong (i. e. , it will tell you several possible problems in the emissions system vs. the exact sensor that has failed). Once you've fixed the problem, you need to reset the computer.

Under The Hood:

 How to Reset the Computer on a 97 Chevy

Pull down on the fuse panel cover, located under the steering column, using your hands.

Locate the fuse for the ECU using the fuse diagram on the underside of the fuse cover.

Turn the ignition to the "on" position (the second position on the ignition).

Pull the fuse for the ECU out of the fuse panel using fuse pullers in the fuse box.

Wait five minutes and reinsert the fuse. Wait for the check engine light to go out. The ECU will be reset.

 How to Reset the Computer on a 2001 Monte Carlo

Put the key into the ignition and turn it to the "on" position, but do not start the engine.

Plug the computerized scan tool into the diagnostic port under the dash. You can buy a computerized scan tool from your local auto parts retailer. Select "PCM" on the menu and then choose "codes." Finally, select "clear all codes."

Unplug the computerized scan tool from the port.

Turn on the engine and observe the instrument panel to make sure all warning lights have shut off. The computer is now reset.

Items you will need

  • Ignition key

  • Computerized scan tool

 How to Reset the Computer on a Chevy Malibu

How to Reset the Computer on a Chevy Malibu

Turn the key in the ignition to the "Key on/Engine off" position.

Locate the diagnostic link connector in you Chevy Malibu. It will be under the driver's side dashboard on the left side of the steering column.

Insert the plug of the OBD II code reader/eraser into the DLC. It is trapezoid in shape and will only plug in correctly in one position.

Scroll the arrows to the "Read codes" option on the OBD II code reader when prompted to.

Read and write the codes down on a piece of paper. Some codes may be what are coined as "hard codes" meaning that repairs or more diagnostics will be required in order to correct the problem. Some "soft" codes may clear but may return after the IM monitors in the computer system have run through certain timed cycles. Save the codes on the paper for future reference.

Choose "Clear codes" option on the OBD II code reader/eraser.

Start the Chevy Malibu to make sure the codes did clear. If they did not or they come back on immediately, it is most likely due to a hard code that will need immediate repairs in order to be rectified. If they stay out for a day or a few days but come back on, repeat the procedure to see if the same code is tripping the computer. If so, that repair will need to be investigated or performed in order to be rectified.

Items you will need

  • OBD II code reader/eraser

  • Pen and paper

 How to Reset the Computer on a 98 Chevy Tahoe

Instructions

Lift the vehicle's hood and locate the battery.

Using the adjustable wrench remove the negative battery cable (which will be black and marked on the battery with a minus sign) and move it to the side.

Disconnect the positive battery cable (which will be red and marked on the battery with a plus sign) and move it to the side as well.

Wait thirty minutes ,during which time the vehicles computer will clear its memory of any stored trouble codes or warnings.

Replace the positive battery cable first, then the negative cable.

Drive the vehicle to reset the computer. This will require three or more trips for the computer to fully reset itself.

Items you will need

  • Adjustable wrench

 How to Reset the Computer in a 1998 Chevy Truck

Open the hood of your Chevy truck and loosen the retaining nut on the cable that runs to the negative battery terminal. The nut is on the cable's clamp, and must be loosened with a 10mm socket and socket wrench.

Slip the clamp off of the negative battery terminal and wait 15 minutes.

Reconnect the cable clamp and secure it to the terminal with a socket wrench.

Start the truck and wait for the engine light to shut off. This will indicate that your computer has been reset (and all trouble codes have been cleared).

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • 10mm Socket

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.

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