How to Reset Your Check Engine Light

Check Engine Light On

Your check engine light came on, and you’ve resolved the issue. However, when you get back on the road, you notice that the light has failed to turn off. We’ve all been there, but it only takes a moment to learn how to reset your check engine light by hand.

What To Do Before You Reset Your Check Engine Light

If your check engine light has come on, there’s probably a good reason! Before you try to reset a check engine light, take these steps:

  • Check your gas cap.
    • A loose or improperly-tightened gas cap will release fumes, causing your check engine light to come on. To check for this issue, simply park, remove the gas cap, and retighten it.
  • Make sure there isn’t a deeper issue.
    • Yes, we know that a lit-up check engine light can be irritating. However, for your own safety, you should take care to solve any problem that arises. Our service centers possess specialized diagnostic equipment that can help you find the issue immediately.

If you’re sure that neither of these issues are causing your problem, you’re ready to reset the check engine light by hand.

Reset Your Check Engine Light Manually

If you’ve dealt with the issue that caused your check engine light to come on, or you haven’t found any issue that needs to be addressed, you’re ready for the next steps. If you’ve ever removed a car battery before, you’ll be well prepared. Here’s how to reset a check engine light manually:

  1. Turn off the ignition. Put on safety glasses and gloves, and park in an open, well-ventilated area.
  2. Identify the negative battery terminal, which is usually marked by a black cap and a negative (–) symbol. The red positive (+) terminal will be close by.
  3. Use a wrench to loosen the negative terminal bolt, and then take the negative cable and hold it aside. Keep it off of the battery for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Reattach the negative cable, and retighten it using your wrench. Reconnect the negative cable and tighten it back up with your wrench.

Remember: If your vehicle has an infotainment system, disconnecting the battery may cause it to reset! Don’t be surprised if you have to reprogram a few things.

Get the Help You Need at Your Local Suntrup Service Center

If you’re having trouble getting your check engine light to reset, or you’d prefer to entrust the job to a professional, we can help! Find your local Suntrup service center and schedule your visit today. Want to learn more about DIY vehicle care and service? Start by finding out how to make your tires last longer, or how to choose between regular and premium gas!

More from Suntrup Automotive Group

  • 2019 Fall Festivals in St. Louis

    St. Louis is a great place to live at any time of year, but there’s no way to deny that fall is one of the most seasons for folks who live nearby. In truth, there are so many exciting fall events around St. Louis, that it can be hard to choose just one or pick…

  • Summer Events in St. Louis: Your 2019 Guide

    Have you been looking for the best summer events in St. Louis? You don’t have to play a guessing game in order to plan your next vacation or day out. Locals and visitors alike have trusted Suntrup Automotive Group to show them to the best local restaurants and springtime attractions, and now, we’re bringing you the best…

  • Vehicle Service Centers Near St. Louis

    Once you buy a vehicle, you have to start taking care of it. This includes staying on top of basic vehicle maintenance and having your new or used car serviced when necessary. The Suntrup Automotive Group has several service centers in the greater St. Louis area. Offering detailed service on several makes and models, you’ll…

Saved Vehicles


You don't have any saved vehicles!

Look for this link on your favorites:


Once you've saved some vehicles, you can view them here at any time.

Contact Us

5926 S. Lindbergh Blvd • St. Louis, MO 63123

Get Directions
Suntrup Automotive Group 38.5214964, -90.3451239.