How to Reset the Service Engine Light on Dodge Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

Resetting the "check engine" light on your Dodge car needs to be done after you've fixed the underlying problem related to the vehicle's emissions system or the various sensors, solenoids, valves and actuators that allow your engine to run properly. The emissions system uses oxygen sensors to monitor the exhaust gases coming out of the engine. If there is an excessive amount of contaminates in the exhaust, the sensors will relay this information to the computer to adjust the air-to-fuel ratio. However, when the sensors eventually fail, you will need to replace them. If any of the other sensors, valves or solenoids fail, those will also need to be replaced. After that, you must reset the "check engine" light on your Dodge car.

Under The Hood:

 How to Reset the Service Engine Light on a 2003 Dodge RAM

Remove the negative cable terminal from the Ram's battery with an adjustable wrench. Leave the battery disconnected for 20 minutes to reset the computer. Reconnect the negative cable and drive the vehicle for 50 miles to recalibrate the computer. If the code does not come back on, the issue was intermittent. If the code returns, move to the next step.

Remove the gas cap and put it back on, making sure that it's tight. The Dodge Ram has a sensor that measures fuel emissions. If the computer misreads the emissions from the gas cap, it generates a code. After you remove and reattach the gas cap, remove the negative battery cable and repeat Step 1.

Change the oxygen sensors located just above the catalytic converters. The oxygen sensors look like spark plugs with a small wire coming out of them. They measure the amount of oxygen processed by the engine and expelled as exhaust gas. If the sensor fails to read the levels properly, it triggers a code. Worn-out oxygen sensors commonly cause error codes. Locate the sensor directly above the catalytic converters on the exhaust pipe. Disconnect the wiring harness to the sensor by pulling the two connectors together and remove the sensor with an adjustable wrench. Repeat Step 1.

Drive your Ram to a Dodge dealer or certified repair facility and ask for a diagnostic test. They have OBD II scanners that read the code and indicate the component that needs to be replaced. OBD II scanners are available from auto parts stores but they can be costly.

Items you will need

  • 7/16 socket

  • Ratchet

  • Adjustable wrench

 How to Reset the Check Engine Light in a Dodge Ram 1500

Loosen the nut that secures the negative connection to the battery. This is the black cable. Remove the cable from the battery.

Wait 20 minutes to allow the computer to reset itself.

Reinstall the battery cable and tighten the nut.

Items you will need

  • Wrench set

 How to Reset the Check Engine Light on a Dodge Durango

Open the hood of your Durango. To do this, pull up on the release lever in the driver's side footwell. Then, pull up on the safety latch under the center of the hood. Pull up on the hood and hold it in place with the hood support.

Loosen the retaining nut on the negative battery cable clamp (the black wire and clamp) using a socket wrench.

Slide the cable off of the negative terminal.

Wait 15 minutes and reconnect the cable clamp to the terminal. Then secure the clamp using a socket wrench.

Start the Durango and wait for the "check engine" light to go out.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

  • 10mm Socket

 How to Reset the Check Engine Light on the Dodge Neon

Reset by Disconnecting the Battery

Open the hood.

Remove the clamp from the negative battery terminal and leave it off for approximately fifteen minutes. The negative terminal is marked with a minus sign.

Reconnect the battery terminal.

Reset by Pulling a Fuse

Pull the yellow fuse labeled "Fuel Pump". The fuse is in a box behind the vehicle battery.

Leave the fuse out for thirty seconds.

Replace the fuse and start the car. The engine may have trouble starting the first time but vehicle memory settings will not be lost.

Items you will need

  • Socket wrench

 How to Reset the "Service Engine Soon" Light on a Dodge Grand Caravan

Release and raise the hood. Identify the battery, which is located on your right side when facing the Caravan.

Locate the two cables on top of the battery. The negative cable will be black and has a minus symbol to indicate its polarity.

Loosen the nut on the negative cable using a socket set. Wiggle the cable until it is free and set it aside, making sure it no longer rests against the negative battery terminal. Also ensure the negative cable does not touch the positive cable at any time.

Hold down the horn for a few seconds. This depletes any remaining energy, allowing the ECU to reset more quickly.

Wait at least 15 minutes, then replace the negative terminal, tightening the nut firmly. Close the hood, and start the Caravan. The ECU, along with the Service Engine Soon light, have both been reset.

Items you will need

  • Standard socket set

About the Author

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