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How to Reset the Engine Light in a Jeep Commander

by Jody L. Campbell

The Jeep Commander was manufactured late in the year of 2005 and introduced as a 2006 model. Because of this, its on-board diagnostic system features the standardized OBD II system implemented on all vehicles in late 1995. When the engine light (also known as the malfunction indicator light, or MIL) illuminates on the instrument panel, the OBD II system has detected a problem in the performance of the Commander. Before resetting the light, diagnosing the problem is important to prevent further damage to the SUV.

1

Open the driver's side door of the Jeep Commander and then locate the Diagnostic Link Connector (DLC) below the dash. This trapezoidal-shaped outlet may or may not have a protective plug covering it on the Commander. If a plug is present, pull it off by hand.

2

Plug the OBD II code reader into the DLC and then turn the ignition key to the key-on/engine-off position. This position is two forward clicks in the ignition that will power the Commander's electrical components without starting the engine. This will also provide portable power to the OBD II code reader.

3

Follow the instructions on the screen/menu of the code reader. There are many brands and types of code readers, but most employ a main menu with and up and down scroll button and an "Enter" or "Send" button.

4

Scroll to the "Read codes" option on the scanner and press the Enter button.

5

Write the code(s) down on a piece of paper for future reference. This is in the event the code(s) present on the Commander have been previously diagnosed and corrected by the repairs that caused the MIL to illuminate. In the event the MIL re-illuminates, refer to the paper and code as a reference.

6

Scroll back to the main menu on the OBD II code reader and select the"Erase codes" option. The reader will most likely ask if you're sure you want to perform this step. Choose "Yes." A "Command sent" message will appear on the code reader, but do not remove the plug from the DLC until the main menu reappears.

7

Start the engine to the Jeep Commander and inspect the instrument panel to ensure the MIL is out.

Warnings

  • Ignoring the MIL or constantly resetting it is not a repair to the Jeep Commander. Resetting it is the equivalent of rebooting a computer and once the computer runs through a self-diagnostic procedure (this can take several driving cycles before completing) the light will come back on if the problem has not been addressed. When this occurs, damage to other components that are being compromised by the existing condition can occur, resulting in more expense and repairs to the SUV.
  • While some mechanics may tell you that you can disconnect the negative battery terminal on the Jeep Commander to cheaply reset the MIL, it is not recommended. First of all, this procedure will not assist you or a mechanic in diagnosing the existing condition that triggered the light to come on. More importantly, Commanders with alarm systems and theft-prevention radios will lose pertinent information for these systems by removing the negative battery terminal. This will render the systems inoperable until the codes are reset and restored and this will usually cost you money from the dealer to obtain the information and reset the systems.

Items you will need

About the Author

Jody L. Campbell spent over 15 years as both a manager and an under-car specialist in the automotive repair industry. Prior to that, he managed two different restaurants for over 15 years. Campbell began his professional writing career in 2004 with the publication of his first book.

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