How to Reset a Car’s Check Engine Light

check engine light on

Bismarck DIY types who find themselves experiencing a check engine light in their vehicle often wonder what they can do to remedy the situation. If you’re among this group, never fear. Ideal Auto is here to help! We are happy to provide you and other intrepid car owners looking to do their own maintenance around Williston just like you with practical money-saving car care tips. So, are you ready to make your pesky check engine light disappear? Read on.

If There Is an Issue, Have It Resolved

Use a code reader or bring your vehicle to a reputable New Town-area service center to diagnose why your check engine light is on. Cheap code readers can usually be purchased from an auto parts store for between $20 and $50. If you know for sure that your check engine light is on for a reason that’s not important, such as a faulty gas cap, or if you’ve fixed the issue, then it’s time to start the reset process. Here’s what to do.

Disconnect the Negative Battery Cable

If the check engine light appears to be coming on for no good reason, then manually resetting your check engine light is the next logical step. You can do that with a code reader, or by following these steps:

  1. Turn off the ignition and put on safety glasses and gloves
  2. Locate the negative terminal. Usually, it has a black cap and a negative (–) symbol. For reference, the positive cap is red and will have a positive (+) symbol.
  3. Loosen the nut on the negative terminal with a wrench, then pull the negative connector from the battery. Keep it to the side for 30 – 60 seconds.
  4. Reconnect the negative cable and tighten it back up with your wrench.

Remember: disconnecting the battery will generally reset all vehicle systems like the radio and presets, clock, seat memory, and more.

Check Your Gas Cap

A loose or cracked gas cap is one of the major causes of a glitchy check engine light. TO remedy this, check your gas cap. First, park somewhere safe. Next, remove your gas cap and put it back on. If the engine light doesn’t turn off right away after you perform this check, follow the steps above to disconnect the battery, and you should be good to go! You can also clean the seal with rubbing alcohol to see if that helps.

Rely On Ideal Auto For More DIY Tips

Helping you reset your check engine light is just one way we strive to improve your automotive experience. Give us a call at 701-833-5995 for answers to all of your DIY questions like “How do I bleed my brakes?” and “How do I check my car’s oil?

Ideal Auto 48.20342, -101.3122393.