How To Reset Check Engine Light

How To Reset Check Engine Light

Many of us have seen the dreaded Check Engine light illuminated on our dashboards. On some vehicles the words may be displayed verbatim, on other vehicles it may be an orange or yellowish engine icon illuminated on your dash.

For some it sends a wave of fear through them like no other. For others it’s just a cause for great confusion because they do not know what it means. In either case, it is important that you have it checked out. You can then reset the check engine light once the issue has been addressed.

Though manufacturers have their own computer systems and all differ to some degree, there are some common causes for this light to come on.

10 Common Reasons Your Check Engine Light May Show

  1. Failed Oxygen Sensors
  2. Loose or missing gas cap
  3. Bad spark plugs or spark plug wires
  4. Mass air flow sensor issue
  5. Evaporative emissions purge issues
  6. Defective thermostat
  7. Bad ignition coils
  8. Faulty catalytic converter
  9. Engine cylinder misfiring
  10. Poor EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) Flow

How to Find Check Engine Light Codes

There are literally hundreds of digital codes that could prompt your Check Engine light to come on. And many of those have a multitude of reasons for each. There are a few ways to find these codes:

  • You can visit your local auto parts store and ask them to check the code for you. There are several parts store chains that offer this service for free. They will take their device, plug it into your vehicle in the cabin and find the error code. Once this code is found, some will then check the internet or other resource for the error code definition. This can help you when visiting your auto repair shop.
  • You can even purchase your own scanner diagnostic code reader. These tools range in price from $20 - $100 and beyond. Most will provide a simple code that you can then check the internet for and find its definition yourself. Or you can provide it to your mechanic or local auto repair shop. They will most likely know what to tell you about it.
  • The best way to find exactly what the issue might be is to have the engine checked by a professional mechanic or a local auto service facility. They will have the best equipment to perform this procedure and ultimately have the greatest knowledge in providing a solution to the problem, whatever it may be.

What If My Check Engine Light Is Flashing?

If your check engine light blinks, as opposed to staying lit consistently, more often than not this is a sign of a more serious problem. In fact, most mechanics and even vehicle owner manuals, will advise you to immediately pull the car over (safely) and turn the engine off. Then call for towing service. Not doing so can cause irreparable and more expensive damage to your car.

You may even sense a loss of power, among other things, in your vehicle when the light is flashing. This can mean a number of issues and must be addressed immediately.

Do Not Ignore this Warning

The check engine light is in place for a very good reason. It is there to warn of of potential issues with our cars. The beauty of this system is that we can use this preventative measure to fix the car before something goes terribly wrong. If we ignore the warning signs, we, and our cars, are doomed to suffer as a result.

It is imperative that you get your car to a mechanic to find the source and solution for the issue. Be it large or small, the problem should be addressed. It can provide immense peace of mind knowing that your car can be fixed. Once the issue is taken care of, the mechanic will then reset the check engine light and you will no longer see its amber glow!

So look at the situation with prudence, there is no need to panic, but it is certainly something to be aware of and addressed sooner than later.

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