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How to Reset a Check Engine Light Without Disconnecting the Battery

If you have noticed the check engine light in your car light up, it’s important that you get to the bottom of what is causing it. Those who ignore the check engine light are just asking for trouble, so it’s definitely not something that should be put off. If you know for a fact that the check engine light is coming on in error, there are numerous ways to reset it without disconnecting the battery. There is no point in doing more work than you have to, and it’s important that you know what your options are when it comes to doing this.

Use a Scan Tool

A scan tool can help you out a lot when it comes to resetting your vehicle’s check engine light without having to disconnect the battery. There are OBD2 Bluetooth dongles that you can purchase in stores and online that are both cheap and effective. You will also find that there are USB cables that you buy to scan your car’s computer for errors and clear them. These cables can be a bit more expensive, but they often work very well.

Traditional standalone scanning tools can be very cheap or very expensive, depending on the one you get. If you want to get accurate results when scanning your car’s computer system for errors, it’s probably not a good idea to go super cheap. You won’t need to purchase the most expensive model, but you also shouldn’t get the cheapest one available.

The first thing that you will need to do is to connect your scan tool to the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic connector, which can be found below the steering column.

You will then need to look at the error codes that appear on the scan tool. Make sure that you take note of the codes that appear so you can make sure there aren’t any issues with your vehicle that need to be resolved. There is most likely going to be a “read” button on the tool that you can press to start scanning for errors.

If you see a certain error code on the scanner tool, you will need to take your car in to get serviced as soon as possible. Once the problem has been fixed by a mechanic, the check engine light should stop coming on when you start your car.

Once you have read the errors, you will want to remove the error code. You should see an “erase” button on the tool that you can press to clear the error. You’ll have to turn on your vehicle’s ignition prior to deleting these codes or else it will not work.

Some standalone scanning tools have a “Clear DTCs” button as well, so you will need to keep that in mind. If you aren’t sure about how to reset your check engine function with your scanning tool, you should refer to the instruction book that came with it.

Just Wait for it to go Off

Perhaps the simplest way to reset your check engine light is to just ignore it until it eventually goes off. If the light is on despite nothing actually being wrong with your vehicle, it’s only a matter of time until it is no longer an issue. Most modern vehicles have a computer system that is designed to regularly check for issues with the vehicle, so it will go off after enough time passes. You shouldn’t have to wait more than a few days for the light to go off on its own.

Turn Your Car On and Off

Another method that you can follow to reset your check engine light without disconnecting the battery is to turn your vehicle on and off three times. This method has a fairly high rate of success, though it doesn’t work for everyone. It all depends on the kind of car you have, but it’s still something that is worth trying. Simply put the key in the ignition, turn your car on for a second and leave it off for another second or two. Keep doing this until you have done it three times in a row. When you turn your car on for the fourth time, you should notice that the check engine light doesn’t come on anymore.

If the Light Comes on Again

If you find that the check engine light has come on once again, there is most likely a pretty serious problem with your vehicle. You will want to get your car looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible so you can find out what the issue is and promptly get it fixed. An auto repair shop will be able to identify the specific problem with your vehicle and offer a definitive solution.

Go to a Professional

There is always the option of going to a professional mechanic to reset the on-board diagnostics computer if you are not able to do so yourself. Sometimes doing this can be a bit complicated, and sometimes it is necessary to seek help from someone more skilled and knowledgeable than you. These professionals have the necessary tools to find out what is causing this issue and fix it properly so it doesn’t happen again. Your local dealership’s service center should be able to reset the code for you fairly quickly.

Why You Shouldn’t Disconnect the Battery

One of the more common ways that people go about resetting their vehicle’s check engine light is by disconnecting the battery, but this can be a huge mistake. Disconnecting the battery can cause all sorts of problems that you don’t want to deal with, so you should avoid it if at all possible. If it becomes necessary to do this, make sure that you go to a professional mechanic who knows what they are doing. There are numerous ways to reset your check engine light without disconnecting the battery, and most of them should work for you. You will definitely be glad that you explored these alternatives solutions.

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