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!


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

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Suntrup Automotive Group

5926 S. Lindbergh Blvd St. Louis, MO

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Suntrup Automotive Group
Suntrup Automotive Group
5926 S. Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, MO, 63123 US
https://di-uploads-development.dealerinspire.com/suntrupdirect/uploads/2018/01/SuntrupOGImage.png
Suntrup Automotive Group 38.5214964, -90.3451239.