Learn How to Reset a Check Engine Light

check engine light on


Every driver has experienced it: an irksome check engine light that won’t go out — even when you’ve determined that there’s nothing wrong with your engine! In the guide below, the Hillside Chevrolet Buick GMC service centre shows you how to find the cause of a check engine light, and three DIY methods for how to reset a check engine light at home in Stratford.

Don’t Wait to Reset the Check Engine Light

If your check engine light illuminates while you’re on the road in Cornwall, it’s important to get the necessary repairs or reset the check engine light ASAP. Even if you know for sure that there’s nothing wrong with your car’s engine, letting the check engine light stay on for months can cause you to miss the warning if an issue does arise. Any automotive problem is best dealt with early, before it snowballs into something more costly — and potentially dangerous. You can use our online service scheduler to set up an appointment at our service centre near PEI!

Disconnect the Negative Battery Cable

If you’ve checked your vehicle but haven’t found any reason that the check engine light should be on, you can reset the check engine light by disconnecting the negative battery cable. That may sound daunting, but the process is pretty simple — even if you’re inexperienced with auto maintenance. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Turn off the ignition.
  2. Put on safety glasses and gloves.
  3. Find the negative terminal. In most vehicles, it will have a black cap and a negative (–) symbol. (As opposed to the positive terminal, which has a red cap and a positive (+) symbol.)
  4. Use a wrench to loosen the nut on the negative terminal, and pull the negative connector from the battery. Set it aside for 30 to 60 seconds.
  5. Reconnect the negative cable and tighten it securely with your wrench.

This trick will successfully reset the check engine light in most circumstances, but you may need to try a different method if it doesn’t. Keep in mind that disconnecting the battery may also reset electronics like the MyCadillac and Chevy MyLink infotainment systems.

Check Your Gas Cap

Occasionally, a loose gas cap can cause fumes to release, triggering the check engine light. To see if this is the issue, park your vehicle and remove the gas cap. Then, carefully put it back on. If the check engine light is still on even after you’ve properly replaced the gas gap, you’ll need to reset the check engine light by disconnecting the battery.

Schedule Certified GM Service in Charlottetown

Now that you know how to reset check engine light with confidence, why not learn a few more DIY car-care tricks? Reach out to learn how to unlock a steering wheel, how to program a Chevy key fob, and more from the certified GM technicians at Hillside Chevrolet Buick GMC!

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