How to Reset a Check Engine Light

Engine malfunction warning light control in car dashboard. 3D rendered illustration. Close up view.

Your car’s check engine light serves an important purpose, but once it illuminates, it can be difficult to get it to turn back off – even after you’ve had your car inspected and serviced. Sometimes, there might not even be anything actually wrong with your vehicle, but the check engine light was triggered and has now become quite the annoyance during your daily Cincinnati commute. In the guide below, Mercedes-Benz of West Chester provides simple solutions for how to reset a check engine light.

First, Determine Whether There’s An Issue to Resolve

First things first: before you reset your check engine light, you need to have your vehicle inspected to determine whether there’s a problem to address. Visit your preferred service center to have diagnostics run on your vehicle. If an issue is discovered, it’s recommended that you schedule a service appointment to have it resolved without delay. The longer you wait, the bigger (and costlier) the problem can become.

Try Disconnecting the Negative Battery Cable

If your service technician determines that there is no service issue with your vehicle, your best option is probably to reset the check engine light manually. Oxford car owners who don’t spend much time under the hood of their car may be nervous to try this method, but it’s easier to carry out than you might imagine! Of course, you can always schedule an appointment with Mercedes-Benz of West Chester to have our expert service techs handle everything, too.

Here are the steps for how to reset a check engine light manually:

  1. Make sure your car is turned off and cooled down before you begin. For your safety, it’s smart to wear cotton gloves and plastic goggles during this process.
  2. Pop the hood and locate the negative terminal on the battery. Usually, it has a black cap and a negative (–) symbol. For reference, the positive cap (which you will not be using) is red and will have a positive (+) symbol.
  3. Using a wrench, loosen the nut on the negative terminal. Then, pull the negative connector away from the battery and leave it moved aside for 30 to 60 seconds.
  4. After 30 to 60 seconds have passed, you can reconnect the negative cable and use your wrench to tighten it up again.

Monroe drivers can usually reset the check engine light successfully following this method, but in the event that it doesn’t work, there’s a much simpler process to try. Get the details in the next section.

The Gas Cap Trick

Sometimes, a loosened or cracked gas cap is the culprit of a triggered check engine light. This typically happens because of the fumes that are released. Simply remove your gas cap and put it back in place. Turn your car on, and the engine light may already be reset. If not, it might take a few cycles of turning your car off and on to make it reset. In some cases, it helps to drive around for a few miles, too.

Schedule Service at Mercedes-Benz of West Chester for More Help

If you just can’t get your check engine light to reset, the service pros at Mercedes-Benz of West Chester can help. Our expertly trained technicians can resolve the issue in a timely manner, and when you utilize our service specials, you can enjoy great savings in the process! With any questions, please contact us online or call us at (513) 870-1000.

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