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Will Check Engine Light Reset Itself? How Do I Permanently Reset My Check Engine Light?

What To Do When The Check Engine Light Comes On

That dreaded check engine light is on and you need it off. It sends a signal that something is wrong, while also sending anxiety and angst for the driver. So, will that check engine light reset itself? We have the information you need now! 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE

Your Dashboard and Your Check Engine Light 

As a vehicle owner and driver, your vehicle is outfitted with lots of lights, headlights and indicators that will illuminate when something is wrong. The check engine light is one of the most common lights to come on, when something is not working properly. It could be an easy fix, or could lead to a serious issue that needs to be repaired. Regardless of the issue, you never want to leave the check engine light on and simply drive around with it illuminated on your dash. 


How Do I Permanently Reset My Check Engine Light?

Your vehicle’s check engine light will will reset by itself once the issue or problem has been repaired; this is true for most models. But the issue may be a bit more involved than simply resetting it. 

The issue may stem from your car having to run several cycles. This may take a bit of time, so don’t count on your check engine light to illuminate for a few seconds, and then disappear.  A vehicle cycle is when you start your vehicle and drive it till it warms up, and then you turn the car off.  If you are certain that you have resolved the issue that caused your check engine light to come on in the first place, then the light should reset itself after at least 20 cycles. Sure, it may take a bit of time, but rest assured, that once the issue is fixed, the light should go off.  Given this amount of time, it may be to your benefit to reset the engine light with an OBD2 Scanner. 


Resetting The Onboard Diagnostic Computer On Your Vehicle 

Many modern vehicles are outfitted with an onboard computer that is able to diagnose a vehicle’s issues. If you have remedied the issue, but the check engine light persists, you will need a scan tool such as an OBD Reader. Grab your scan tool and then connect it to the onboard diagnostic connector. You can find this under your vehicle’s steering wheel. Turn the ignition on, then press the “read” button that is on your reader scan tool. You should be able to read and see a set of error codes. Jot these down and keep them where you can access them for the future. Once finished, press the erase button on your scan reader tool, so that you clear the error codes. You r scan tool is a great and fast way for you to receive a response to queries regarding whether the check engine light will reset. 


Disconnecting Your Battery’s Terminals 

For vehicle owners who wish to reset the electrical components in your car, you can do so by disconnecting your battery. First, turn off the ignition and proceed to disconnect the battery cables of your vehicle.  Of course, you’ll need a wrench and/or a pair of pliers. Oftentimes, there will be some charge left in the battery electrical system. But you will be able to drain this power once you press the car horn for about 35 seconds. Wait at least 20 minutes before you reconnect your battery terminals. Your check engine light should have reset itself but if it doesn’t, then you have other issues going on and it’s time to get some mechanical assistance.


Switching The Ignition On And Off 

As your vehicle is motionless, you can turn the ignition off and on, and give it a bit of lag time. Repeat this on and off process about four times and then drive a little bit to see if the check engine light goes off.  


Can I Drive My Car For The Check Engine Light To Go Off? 

The short answer is yes. You may be able to drive your car a bit and see the check engine light go off.  Many vehicles are outfitted with a self-correcting component that is used for resetting the check engine light. The easiest way to reset the engine light is to drive your vehicle with the light on for a few miles.


Never Ignore Your Check Engine Light

There are many things you can ignore in life, but your check engine light isn’t one of them. Your light may be illuminated due to several issues. Let’s check out some of them and find out how to permanently reset that check engine light. 

Oxygen Sensor 

It’s a known fact that oxygen is a vital component in the burning of gas in the vehicle’s engine. The oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburnt oxygen located in the exhaust system. When the oxygen sensor isn’t working properly the vehicle will burn more fuel- eventually leading to the destruction of the spark plugs or the catalytic converter. Your check engine light will illuminate once the oxygen sensor starts to malfunction. It’s time to get it replaced at a local auto shop so that your vehicle does not fail its emissions test. 


A Loose Gas Cap 

One of the most common issues with the check engine light coming on, is due to human error. The gas cap may not be tightly sealed, causing the check engine light to come on. Gasoline gives power to your vehicle after you fuel up. But in your haste to get back in the car and get your day started, you may forget to put the cap back on, or you may not tighten it securely. Be careful of this. You want to take the time to place the cap and tighten it as securely as you can. As you know, gasoline is extremely flammable. So, how will you know if the issue with your check engine light comes from a loose gas cap? You will see the light go off, once you fill up and you cap off the fuel. So, pull over somewhere and check that gas cap. If it is loose or you left it back at the gas station, remedy that. If you lost it, get another one. You never want to drive without a gas cap. NEVER. 


Faulty Alarm System 

We have alarms on our vehicles, to prevent thefts of our vehicles. But sometimes, they don’t work as they should, causing the check engine light to come on. The truth of the matter is, not all alarm systems are solid and effective. Sometimes the old adage applies “you get what you pay for” when it comes to alarm systems. This means, if you bought a cheap alarm system, then you may be doing more harm than good to your car. That cheap alarm system can cause your check engine light to come on- and even create a host of other issues. So, check your alarm system and if you can, place a good and quality one in your car. You want one that will prevent theft and not interfere with your vehicle’s systems.  


Engine Coil and Spark Plug Issues 

If you have bad or faulty spark plugs, your check engine light will not reset itself. Your vehicle’s spark plugs get their electricity from the vehicle’s engine coil- enabling them to emit a spark. That spark ignites the fuel and air mixture that is in the vehicle’s cylinders. If the ignition coil is bad, then that dreaded check engine light will be illuminated on your dash. Bad, faulty or even old spark plugs will cause the engine to misfire. Once this happens, you can wind up spending a lot of money on fuel. So, get that car to a mechanic and get the issue fixed! 


Dead Battery 

If you have a dead battery, then this can lead to your check engine light coming on. An expired battery can cause a lot of issues, with a check engine light being illuminated, as one of the issues. So, first, determine if it’s time that you buy a new battery. If you are not able to recharge it or it keeps giving you issues, then it’s time to get another battery. Your vehicle battery should last you a good 5 to 7 years.  


The Resetting Of That Check Engine Light 

Driving around with a check engine light on, can be one of the most aggravating and irritating things in the world. First, go back home and check to see if there is any kind of issue with your car. If all looks well from your quick survey under the hood and undercarriage, your light should go off after a few miles. You may also want to get a great scanner tool to reset the onboard computer on your vehicle. No scanner tools? Then see if disconnecting your battery remedies the issue.  Just don’t ignore your check engine light. You may even need to get to a mechanic to ensure that you don’t have anything major going on. If you do, get that fixed and be sure to monitor your vehicle, and treat it TLC, regardless of its age. 


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