How to Reset a Service Engine Soon Warning Light on a Nissan Muranoby Jody L. Campbell
Introduced in late 2002 as a 2003 model, the Nissan Murano has always integrated on-board diagnostics II (OBD II). OBD II has been placed on all passenger vehicles and trucks since 1996. This second phase of on-board diagnostics universalized the codes and equipment necessary to determine the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that would trigger the "Service engine soon" or "Check engine" light (also known as the malfunction indicator light, or MIL) on the instrument panel. Resetting this light is a fairly easy task if you have the right equipment.
Open the driver's side door of the Murano and look under the dashboard on the left-hand side of the steering wheel (although certain year models may require looking on the right-hand side of the steering wheel).
Locate the trapezoidal-shaped data link connector (DLC). The connector's shape will match the female plug of the OBD II scanner.
Plug the scanner into the DLC. Because it's trapezoidal-shaped, you can only insert the plug one way. The battery in the Murano will provide power to most all OBD II scanners, but refer to the manual for a "Power" or "On" button.
Turn the ignition key to the Murano two clicks forward to the accessory power position. This position empowers all the options on the Murano without the engine running.
Follow the onscreen menu of the scanner or simply press the "Erase" button (if equipped). Most scanners feature scroll buttons (one or more) to move the cursor on the onscreen menu for different diagnostic features. Some scanners feature an erase button that simply needs to be pressed. You may be asked by some scanners if you're sure you want to erase the codes. Enter "Yes" for this feature. It will take a few seconds for the scanner to send the information to the computer, and a "Command sent" message may appear onscreen or you'll default back to the main menu.
Unplug the scanner from the DLC.
Start the engine of the Murano to ensure the "Service engine soon" light is out.
- You should only reset the "Service engine soon" light once the scanner has determined what the DTC is and the repair has been taken care of. If not, the computer to the Murano will self-test itself, and when the inspection and maintenance monitors of the computer are complete, the system will be ready and retrip the MIL. There are some benign codes that can be reset; such as a small emission control system leak. This could be caused by something as simple as a loose gas cap that created a vacuum leak in the emission system. However, once a repair or problem has been fixed, the computer will reboot itself without the need to reset the DTC and when it determines the problem is fixed, it will shut off the MIL itself. This could take several driving cycles for this to occur depending on the position of the DTC in the computer's readiness lineup.
Things You'll Need
- OBD II scanner with owner's manual
- Some backyard mechanics and even some qualified mechanics may tell you that you can unplug your battery for 10 minutes to reset the MIL. While this may be true, it is not recommended. Many of today's vehicles feature theft-prevention radio systems and internal alarm systems. By disconnecting the battery to clear the computer, you will also wipe out the memory to the radio and alarm system. This will require obtaining the codes from the manufacturer or dealership, which is not free. You will also wipe out the memory of the computer, which are now programmed to learn your driving habits and conditions. Until the computer has relearned, you may discover some operational problems with the Murano.
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.