How to Get Rid of the Check Engine Light

You've fixed the issue which was causing your check engine light to turn on, but now it wont turn off! This may not be your fault. Sometimes the computer in your vehicle will need a little help to see that the issue has been resolved. Here I'll go over a few techniques for resetting your check engine light.

The check engine light displays itself when the onboard computer system recognizes an electrical or mechanical problem with your vehicle. When the problem is fixed, the engine light does not always turn off. This can be annoying and prevent you from being notified of future problems the vehicle computer might be trying to display. To remedy this error, a few steps need to be taken.

You can choose a couple methods to fix this error. One method involves using basic auto supplies you probably already have and the other might require a purchase on your part.

Method 1: Time

The first and easiest method for clearing the check engine light is time. Most on board computers will recheck whatever problem caused the check engine light to activate multiple times. Drive your car as you normally would and if the check engine light is still on after three days, your problem may not have been fixed, or you may need to try some of the methods below for resetting it.

Method 2: Turn Car On/Off Three Times

Some vehicles will automatically reset the trouble codes that caused the initial error after the vehicle is turned on and off three times in succession. To do this, insert your key into the ignition, turn the vehicle on for about a second, and then off for about a second. Repeat this three times then drive the car as normal. Check to see if the check engine light reset.

Method 3: Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery

To perform the first method, gather a wrench. Once you have the wrench, proceed to your vehicle and press the hood release button under your dashboard. Prop open the hood and disconnect the positive power cable to the vehicle battery using a wrench. Leave the battery disconnected for at least 15 minutes. Put your key into the vehicle ignition and turn it three times to the “ON” position. This will clear the emissions data from the vehicle memory as well as the rediness flag data. Reconnect the positive battery cable and turn the key in the vehicle ignition. Wait one minute and the check engine light error should be gone.

Method 4: Using an OBD Code Reader

The second method requires a wrench and an OBD reader. This reader analyzes and clears engine codes. To perform this method, remove the fuse panel underneath your vehicle dashboard and plug the OBD reader into the OBD port in the fuse box. Once you have connected the reader, press the power switch to turn it on. Hold down the “Read” button on the reader and the device will scan your engine for any error codes. Once done analyzing, the reader will display an error code. Make note of the code or codes if you wish to cross check them.

Remove the check engine light by turning the key in the ignition to the “ON” position and pressing the “Erase” button on the reader.

Following these techniques will allow you to rid the annoying check engine light as well as allow for new problems to be displayed properly. Whether you choose to manually reset the on board computer by resetting the battery or by using an OBD reader, you will be able to successfully fix the error. You may use these techniques to fix the check engine light error as well as any other errors in the future should they present themselves.

Comments 7 comments

Stephanie 12 days ago

I reseted my engine light but now before I foolly turn on the car it still turns on

BIG ED!!! 7 weeks ago

Wooohooo. Left my dome light on, which killed the battery in my Subaru Forester. Turned the car on multiple times as indicated above and it reset the check engine light, hill descent and traction control lights and the car is back to normal. Thanks

John 2 months ago

Thanks so much!! I found other sites that advised to disconnect the battery, but yours was the only one that advised to put the car in the "on" position 3 times before connecting the battery again. This seems to have done the trick. The light is no longer on.

ben thuku 2 months ago

my prando check engine shows when the car inclines .

what is the problem?

Your Name 10 months ago

help my toyota probox,,when i drive 5okms,the engine gets really hot and all over sudden it switches off while on motion.when cool it takes off for a short distance and then showing check engine then it goes off!whats the issue?

felicia 18 months ago

Help, my Honda fit 2007 is acting up! When I was driving on the highway yesterday the engine light turn on , also while accelarating the car was not speeding up to par. I went to take it to auto zone and they did a diagnostic test little machine that looks like a phone and it said that the oil pressure was low etc etc. What does that mean. I checked my motor oil and its fine. Is it expensive to fix? Please help me.

erorantes profile image

erorantes 2 years ago from Miami Florida

Thank you for the information Mr. Wolfy. It is true about what you are saying. I had the same problem with the light. And some one did all that work. The light is no longer on.

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