How to Reset the Check Engine Light

by Quinten Plummer

Sometimes, even after problems with your car or truck's engine have been fixed the "Check Engine" light will still stay on. Your auto's computer won't be able to warn you of other engine problems if the warning light remains lit. Read the different methods listed here for resetting the light and chose the method that works best for you.

Pop the hood of your vehicle and disconnect the positive and negative power leads from the battery. Turn the vehicle's lights on and leave the battery disconnected for at least 15 minutes. This will allow the vehicle's capacitor to fully drain to spur a total reset.

Connect an automotive diagnostic scanner to your car's computer. Use the scanner to reset the "Check Engine" light as well as diagnose any other issues with your car.

Request to have the "Check Engine" light reset next time you're getting an oil change. This is normally a free service when you are receiving an oil change.


  • close Resetting your car using the "Electrical Drain" method will reset the memory of your vehicle's computer, radio and other peripherals--you will lose valuable data.

Items you will need

About the Author

Quinten Plummer began writing professionally in 2008. He has more than six years in the technology field including five years in retail electronics and a year in technical support. Plummer gained his experience in music by producing for various hip-hop acts and as lead guitarist for a band. He now works as a reporter for a daily newspaper.

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