Check Engine Light On – How to fix? (Solution)

If the check engine light comes on, here are some tips on what you should do:

  1. Look for a serious problem that requires immediate attention.
  2. Try tightening your gas cap.
  3. Reduce speed and load.
  4. Use built-in diagnostic services, if available.

Can you fix a check engine light yourself?

With a code reader you might find you can simply turn off the check engine light yourself. However, if you haven’t fixed the problem, it will eventually come on again. And if emissions tests or inspections are required in your state, a check engine light will make the car automatically fail.

What could cause the check engine light to come on?

Spark Plugs Finally, worn spark plugs or plug wires will result in a check engine warning. Just about anything wrong with your vehicle’s ignition system will likely cause your check engine light to come on. Stalls are another indicator of spark plug trouble.

How long can you drive with check engine light on?

When the check engine light is solid, you can typically drive the car for hundreds of miles without an issue. Of course, that depends on which code is stored in the vehicle’s computer. If an engine sensor is faulty, the car will usually use made up sensor values to keep running.

How many miles after check engine light clears?

So why is the light still on? Here’s something you probably don’t know: after clearing the car’s computer you will need to drive for about 50 to 100 miles. As you drive your car the computer will monitor all the sensors and register the results.

Is check engine light serious?

The check engine light — more formally known as the malfunction indicator lamp — is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. If the light begins flashing, however, it indicates a more serious problem, such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter.

What does a solid check engine light mean?

A solid Check Engine Light can mean something like a loose gas cap, or it can indicate a more in-depth problem like a fuel, timing, or transmission issue. Get your car diagnosed, although the urgency isn’t the same as if the light was flashing at you.

What does orange engine light mean?

The orange, engine-shaped icon on your car dashboard’s instrument cluster is programmed to turn on when the vehicle’s electronic brain detects something is wrong. Don’t panic if you see it — it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need to give your next paycheck to the nearest mechanic.

Can AutoZone tell me why my engine light is on?

You can. All that you need to check your own light is an OBD-II reader, which can pull codes that help you find out what’s wrong with your car. If you don’t have a code reader, keep reading to learn the most common causes, and then bring your car to your local AutoZone to find out why your Check Engine Light is on.

Can low oil cause the check engine light to come on?

Low oil pressure: If your car is low on oil, it can cause your check engine light to go off. This is often shown in its own glowing light along with the check engine light on the dashboard.

Check Engine Light: What to Do & How to Fix Errors

The check engine light, like other automotive warning lights, is a yellow, orange, or red engine symbol that shows on your dashboard when a component of your vehicle’s system fails. Either the light flashes or it remains constant throughout the day. If your check engine light is flashing, you have an emergency on your hands. Pull over to the shoulder of the road as safely as possible as soon as feasible. If, on the other hand, the warning light remains constant, there is no reason to be concerned about the situation.

Image courtesy of:pixel2013

First, Calm Down And Pull Over To The Curb

Admit it: the instant the check engine light appears on your dashboard, your mind quickly begins to race with thoughts and concerns.

  • What is the gravity of this situation
  • What should I do to solve it? What would it cost me
  • How much will it cost me Who can assist me in diagnosing the mechanical problem as early as possible

Relax and take a deep breath. Take a deep breath in and out. Naturally, when the check engine light illuminates, your vehicle is communicating with you. The severity of the problem is determined by the sort of error code that was discovered by the computer scanner. It might be anything as inconsequential as a faulty gas cap. However, there are situations when a failed oxygen sensor or a damaged catalytic converter might cause the check engine light to illuminate. Those are high-priced fixes. Let’s delve a little further and discover more about the check engine light and the most prevalent difficulties that might occur when it appears.

How to Troubleshoot Check Engine Light Issues Codes for the Check Engine Light Causes, repairs, and costs for the most common check engine light situations How to Reset the Check Engine Light on Your Car

What Does the Check Engine Light Mean?

An On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD-II) system is installed in your automobile if it was built in 1996 or later and the year of production is 1996 or later. It is the sensors within the engine system that are responsible for monitoring each operation in your automobile and then sending messages to the computer in your car. When an error code is received for any engine part that has malfunctioned, the check engine light illuminates to notify you of the problem. The warning light will be either orange, yellow, or red, depending on the type of your vehicle.

  • The check engine light is illuminated, yet it remains steady: A constant light indicates that there is a problem that has to be addressed, but that it is not very significant at the present.
  • The check engine light is illuminated, but it is flashing or blinking: This implies the presence of a more significant problem.
  • It will then be necessary to tow your vehicle to an auto repair shop for evaluation and repair.
  • The service light is in the shape of a wrench and has the words “service soon” or “service now” written on it.

In most cases, the service light serves solely as a reminder to do periodic scheduled automobile maintenance. It does not imply that there is a mechanical problem. The Complete List of Indicators Symbols: Car Warning Lights Information and Resources

How to Solve the Check Engine Light Problems

First and foremost, you must determine what error code has been generated by your vehicle’s computer system. It’s important to remember that the fault codes are registered by the sensors in the engine. Now, pay close attention to this since you do not need to be technically minded in order to comprehend the problem codes. What makes you think that’s even possible? Take a look at how stupidly simple it is! GOFAR is a little diagnostic gadget that will notify you of over 300 common automotive problems.

  • Simply connect the GOFAR dongle to the OBD II connector, which is situated beneath the dash, near the steering column, and you’re done.
  • And that’s the end of it!
  • as easy as that.
  • That’s really remarkable, isn’t it?
  • The second alternative for getting your code read is to take your automobile to a technician who will do it for you for a little cost.
  • It is possible to travel all the way to the repair shop just to be told that you have a loose gas cap or some other small issue, which is a problem with this choice.

Check Engine Light Codes

Following the identification of your check engine light error code, it is critical to determine what the code indicates. Keep in mind that GOFAR explains such error codes in plain English so that you know exactly what to do the next time one occurs. For those who do not yet have their GOFAR, they will need to look for the error code on Google or any other search engine of their choice to locate it. Include other information such as the year of production, the brand and model of your vehicle. In order to receive a more accurate response, particular information should be entered into the search engine.

  • The main drawback of seeking up codes on the internet is that they do not provide a precise diagnosis of the vehicle’s condition.
  • Let’s have a look at an illustration to put this concept into context.
  • It indicates that vapours from the fuel tanks are being released into the atmosphere.
  • In this case, tightening or replacing the gas cap is the only reasonable remedy.

Once you’ve resolved this, the light will turn off after 50-100 miles of driving. However, if the light is still on, it is possible that there is another underlying issue causing the leak. Furthermore, it must be determined by a professional technician.

Common Check Engine Light Causes, Repairs, Costs Repairing check engine light issues can be expensive, and the cost varies based on your geographic area as well as the type of vehicle, its age and the urgency with which the repair is needed. Taken all, the prices of common repairs range from $20 to $1200 when the aforementioned considerations are taken into consideration Let’s take a look at a table that lists the most common repair issues as well as the typical expenses to repair each one.

Check Engine Light Issue Repair Average total cost (PartsLabour)
Faulty Fuel cap Tighten or replace $26
Bad oxygen sensor Replace oxygen sensor (s) $259
Faulty Ignition coil and bad spark plugs Change ignition coils and the bad spark plugs $401
Faulty Mass Air Flow Sensor Replace Mass Air Flow Sensor $378
Bad Catalytic Converter Fix new catalytic converter (s) Fix new catalytic converter (s)

How to Reset Your Check Engine Light

Using a code reader such as GOFAR, you may manually reset the error codes in your vehicle’s computer and, as a result, turn off the check engine light on your own. A word of caution, however: if you have not addressed the root cause of the problem, the light will ultimately turn on again. It becomes even worse when your vehicle is subjected to an emissions test or inspection since it will fail the test out of hand. Why? The reason for this is that the check engine light error code may be kept in your computer system yet not glow on the dashboard at all times.

Leaving a basic and inexpensive item malfunctioning but not attending to it might cause severe damage to other automobile parts, which can be more expensive to replace in the long run.


Are you perplexed and unsure of what the engine warning light is trying to tell you? GOFARprovides a dependable and secure alternative for you to consider. Set up Google Earth for your automobile to receive plain English error codes for over 300 common faults with your vehicle. On the spot, you may determine whether your vehicle is suitable and/or learn more about deciphering your vehicle’s dashboard symbols and warning lights.

Why is My Check Engine Light On?

The Check Engine Light (CEL) on your dashboard is never a good sign for your vehicle. At the very least, something as easy as your gas cap may be loose, and it may also be a faulty sensor, wiring, or connector, or even a more serious engine problem. Ignoring it if the automobile is running and driving normally may appear rational for a short period of time, but the issues will continue to accumulate. Given our extensive experience with the light, we’ve compiled a list of the five most frequent reasons, as well as anything else you need to know if you’re asking, “Why is my Check Engine Light on?”

Is the CELLit or Flashing?

One of your engine sensors may be malfunctioning if the light remains illuminated for an extended period of time. The sensor may be sending a signal to the vehicle’s ECU that something is wrong, or the vehicle’s ECU (computer) may have lost an accurate read on that particular sensor – meaning the sensor has failed. Occasionally, many sensors will produce signals at the same moment, providing indicators that something larger is wrong. You can continue to drive with the light lighted if the car is running and operating normally, but you should have it checked out as soon as possible if the car is not running properly.

If the light flashes, you must pull over immediately because your vehicle is experiencing a major problem that might result in serious damage in the near future.

Can ICheck My Own Light?

Yes, you can. An OBD-II reader, which can retrieve codes that can assist you in determining what is wrong with your vehicle, is all that you need to check your own light. In the event that you do not have access to a code reader, continue reading to learn about the most typical reasons, and then bring your vehicle to your local AutoZone to find out why your Check Engine Light is illuminated.

What’s the Difference Between Checking Yourself and Taking it to a Shop?

A professional automotive shop invests thousands of dollars in diagnostic equipment as well as in training to use that equipment effectively. While both you and AutoZone are capable of reading the engine computer’s recorded codes and, using Fix Finder, determining possible reasons based on thousands of mechanics’ observations, none of these methods can specify with 100 percent precision why the CEL was activated. When multiple sensors are reporting something but not explaining why, the vehicle almost always needs to be taken to a mechanic, where more specialized diagnostic equipment can diagnose the vehicle while it is running and determine exactly what is wrong, beyond just trouble codes, without the vehicle being towed.

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You may search here for AutoZone approved repair shops in your region that can help take the information you already have and aid you with the repair if there is any conjecture or uncertainty about exactly what is going on with the problem codes retrieved.

Many people cannot, and even the most dedicated do-it-yourselfers require the aid of a professional diagnostician.

5 Reasons Your Check Engine Light May be On

Your vehicle’s exhaust system has an oxygen sensor that monitors the quantity of unburned oxygen present. Oxygen sensors also have a difficult existence in +800 degree exhaust temperatures, and they are more likely to fail after 80,000 miles. It is crucial to remember that there are a plethora of engine codes that indicate that something is wrong with the oxygen sensor, but this does not necessarily imply that the oxygen sensor is faulty. It is important to distinguish between discovering that a sensor is actually at fault and detecting that something else is occurring.

What will happen if I don’t replace it right away?

  • Your engine will consume more gasoline than is necessary. You will experience decreased fuel economy and fewer miles per gallon
  • Damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter might result from a faulty sensor or sensors.

Gas Cap is Loose, Damaged, or Missing – EVAP

In order to prevent gasoline vapors from leaking into the atmosphere, your gas cap is an integral element of a whole, sealed system that recirculates vapors from your gas tank. Consequently, the entire system of lines and valves is continuously monitored, and the gas cap is one of the most important sealing components in this system. If you mistakenly leave your gas cap off, you’ll see this light on your dashboard very fast. These leaks in the gas tank recirculation system (also known as the EVAP emission control system) are frequently classified as “small” or “big” leaks depending on their size.

Notably, the problem is not necessarily the gas cap; it might instead be one of the plastic recirculation lines, fittings or connections that is causing the leak; nonetheless, the gas cap is frequently found to be at fault. What will happen if I don’t replace it right away?

  • Through evaporation, you might lose a significant amount of gasoline. A malfunction in the operation of your recirculation system will occur. You’ll have to keep your eyes fixated on the CEL until it’s corrected.

Bad Catalytic Converter

You may help safeguard the environment by turning hazardous carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide through the use of a catalytic converter. Several error codes related to “Catalyst efficiency” will show if something goes wrong with the converter’s performance, which is closely monitored by your downstream oxygen sensors. A catalytic converter will almost certainly not fail on its own, which is crucial to remember. The majority of the time, something is responsible for it failing or not performing effectively.

Things as catastrophic as a burst head gasket can drive burnt coolant vapor into the exhaust, resulting in the occurrence of a catalytic engine code in the vehicle’s computer system.

  • Your vehicle will fail an emissions test because it emits too much pollution. You will notice a decrease in performance and fuel economy. Whatever caused the converter to fail in the first place will continue to deteriorate, with the possibility of engine failure.

Mass Airflow Sensor or Intake Tract

The mass airflow sensor (MAF) in your engine analyzes the amount of air entering the engine and uses that information to estimate how much gasoline is required to operate your engine effectively. If there are any leaks in the intake tract before to or after the mass airflow sensor, a light may illuminate to alert the driver. Mass airflow sensors are sensitive to oil, grime, and water vapor, and any contamination on them will result in a light being activated on the control panel. Cleaning the sensor using intake / mass airflow sensor cleaner will sometimes resolve the problem.

Make sure to thoroughly inspect the intake ducting for leaks, rips, tears, or other damage.

  • A defective MAF sensor can result in rich or lean situations, which can cause other parts to fail as a result of the condition. You will notice a decrease in performance and fuel economy.


The air/fuel combination in your vehicle’s combustion chamber is ignited by the spark plug, but if the timing of the spark, the mixing of the fuel, and the compression of the air/fuel are not right, you may have a misfire. A misfire can be caused by a variety of factors, including a single cylinder misfire or a “many cylinder misfire,” which means that the misfire occurs at random on numerous cylinders.

  • Ignition coil that has failed: (either DIS or coil-on-plug). Simply moving the coil and swapping it with another on the engine can quickly identify whether a coil is producing a misfire in a certain situation. A suspicious coil is identified when you have a 2 misfire and change the coil from 2 to 4, for example, and the misfire subsequently jumps to 4. Misfire caused by a faulty fuel injector: When a fuel injector fails to deliver the right quantity of fuel to a cylinder, you will experience misfiring. A fuel injector, in contrast to switching out an ignition coil with an adjacent coil, is more difficult to relocate. The presence of a vacuum leak is frequently associated with numerous cylinder misfires or lean operating conditions. In addition, they might be quite difficult to diagnose. Spark plugs and/or wires that have been worn: Spark plugs that have become worn might fail when they have reached the end of their life cycle, resulting in a misfire. In automobiles equipped with spark plug wires, a faulty wire or wires might potentially be the source of the problem. Misfires can also be caused by a faulty compression ratio, a burned or bent valve, worn piston rings, or incorrect valve timing, to name a few causes. A compression test will reveal all of these flaws, and they will be shown throughout the test.

What will happen if I don’t replace it right away?

  • It is likely that you may have poor performance (lower power, engine absence) and reduced fuel efficiency. If the misfire continues, it will deteriorate and eventually cause mechanical failure in the engine.

Does AutoZoneScan Check Engine Lights?

AutoZone is one of them. You should visit your local AutoZone if your check engine light is illuminated and you are unsure of the reason for it. One of our shop employees can assist you in diagnosing the problem with our free Fix Finder service. As previously indicated, if you want expert assistance in order to further identify a problem, please consult our list of approved stores in your region. Regardless of whether the light is on or off, bringing it in for a Fix Finder reading will allow you to determine what is causing the problem.

These are the most often cited explanations, however there are a variety of others. Discovering the source of your Check Engine Light’s illumination may help you save money on petrol and avoid other problems down the line. Get yourself into the Zone.

The AutoZoneFix Finder

Fix Finder is a simple-to-use application that helps you analyze why your Check Engine Light is illuminated by searching through a vast database of repair options from ASE certified professionals to locate the most likely remedy.

How does AutoZone Fix Finderwork?

  • Using your car’s sonboard diagnostic system, Fix Finder scans diagnostic issue codes and extracts vehicle information and miles. This information is processed to provide you with vehicle-specific fix options that have been verified against the records of more than 5.5 million ASE-Certified technicians worldwide. You can get a FREE, simple-to-read MYZONE HEALTH REPORT from AutoZone, which includes essential codes and outlines the action that needs to be completed

Let us help you find out if the problem issimple or serious

Occasionally, your Check Engine Light will illuminate to indicate a basic problem that is straightforward to resolve—such as a loose gas cap that has to be replaced. It might also be a warning sign of a significant problem that could result in harm to your engine’s internals. Depending on what’s wrong with your car, your Check Engine Light will either blink or illuminate. In the case of a flashing Check Engine Light, your vehicle’s engine is in significant condition, but a consistently illuminated Check Engine Light indicates that less urgent servicing is required.

Common Questions

In your vehicle’s on-board diagnostics system, this light is the focal point of the system (OBD). Since the 1980s, many cars have been designed to be driven by an engine computer unit (ECU), which regulates the vehicle’s drivetrain and auxiliary systems based on information received from the vehicle’s sensors and actuators. This computer will make modifications to the performance of your car to ensure that your ride runs smoothly. A malfunction that the ECU is unable to resolve results in the check engine light (CEL) being illuminated on the dash.

  • When the light begins to illuminate, the engine computer saves a diagnostic code in its memory.
  • However, avoiding thinking about it is the worst thing you can do.
  • In addition, operating a vehicle that is only partially working might result in a significant amount of damage over time.
  • For starters, the light itself is highly ambiguous, since it may signal a wide range of problems in different situations.
  • For example, although while the code indicates that a specific issue has occurred, it may also signal that a part is damaged, a sensor is broken, the sensor is linked to a broken wire, the cable is connected to a broken relay, or any combination of these.
  • The presence of this condition might suggest that the fuel system in your vehicle is not supplying enough fuel for optimal combustion, or it could be caused by a malfunctioning sensor.

Performing these types of diagnostics becomes increasingly challenging when you examine parts that interact with a greater number of different systems.

What Does aLit Check Engine Light Mean?

It’s a question we’ve all pondered at some time in our lives. The car’s engine service light begins to illuminate, and the driver is left perplexed, scratching their heads in an attempt to figure out what is wrong with the vehicle. Simply put, a bright check engine light (CEL) indicates that one of your vehicle’s sensors has discovered a problem with the engine or powertrain and has stored a trouble code describing the problem. An OBD-II tool can scan diagnostic problem codes, which are messages that tell you what is wrong with your vehicle.

  • We’ve scanned a large number of automobiles because we have stores in all 50 states.
  • When it comes to determining the source of a bright CEL, OBD-II readers and services such as AutoZone’s Fix Finder are quite helpful.
  • Although most automobiles will activate the light if the gas cap is not properly secured, they will also utilize the same light to signal an engine that is not properly functioning.
  • Engine misfiring, on the other hand, has the potential to cause catastrophic harm to your engine if left untreated.

What Does aFlashing Check Engine Light Mean?

While the light seems the same regardless of whatever portion or system is impacted, the intensity of the light varies depending on the degree of the problem. If the check engine light is activated, you can continue driving, but you should take the vehicle to a mechanic as soon as you get the opportunity. It is necessary to pull over immediately if your check engine light is flashing, since this indicates that your vehicle is experiencing a significant problem that might result in severe engine damage.

Both of these issues may be expensive and time-consuming to correct, which is why it’s advisable to pull over as soon as possible.

How to Reset the Check Engine Light

This is the quickest and most straightforward method. In most cases, the sensors in your car will recheck the issue that caused the CEL to illuminate.

If you’ve successfully resolved the problem, the light will turn off as soon as your ECU detects it. If the light remains on for more than three days, you may need to double-check your remedy or manually reset the light.

Turn the Car Off and On 3 Times

When a car is switched on and off three times in a succession, it might reset the fault codes in that vehicle. To accomplish this, simply turn on the automobile for a second before turning it off for a second. Then check to see if the light has been reset by repeating the process two more times.

Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery

Remove the hood, unplug the positive power wire from the battery, and wait 15 minutes before continuing. After that, insert your key into the ignition and turn the key three times to the on position to clear the data. Last but not least, reconnect the positive connection and start the automobile. The light should be restored in approximately one minute.

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Use an OBD Reader

Some code readers have the ability to clear the codes. In case you have one that is competent, simply connect it in and utilize the option to delete any error codes that may have occurred. No matter the method you use to reset the code, make sure you first address the underlying issue. If you fail to do so, the indicator will illuminate again as soon as the ECU identifies the problem again.

Don’t Ignore Your Check Engine Light: How to Handle It

The codes can be cleared by some code readers. If you have one that is competent, plug it in, pick any error codes that appear, and then select the option to delete the code from the display. Before you attempt to reset the code, ensure sure you have identified and corrected the problem. The light will come back on as soon as the ECU senses a problem again if you don’t do anything to stop it.

What the check engine light means

Sensors in your engine monitor the performance of its different systems and communicate with what is known as the On-Board Diagnostic II (OBD-II) system, which is located in the engine compartment. Pre-1996 autos have an earlier version of the diagnostic system, which should be noted.) When something isn’t working properly, the check engine light illuminates to notify you of the problem. Depending on the automobile manufacturer, the engine light may look different. The light is either orange, yellow, or red in color and depicts the shape of a car’s engine, often with the words “check engine” shown alongside it.

  • Check engine light illuminated: If the symbol emerges and remains illuminated for an extended period of time, it might indicate a variety of issues. Calkins recommends that it be taken to a repair garage as soon as possible. An illuminated check engine light indicates a more significant problem. If the symbol is blinking or flashing, this indicates a more serious problem. You should pull over to a safe spot, turn off the engine, and arrange to have the vehicle towed to a repair facility for diagnostics in these situations, according to Calkins

The service light and the check engine light are sometimes confused in the minds of some drivers, according to Brocoff. However, the service light, which may be in the shape of a wrench or the words “service now” or “service soon,” is just indicating that it is time for regularly scheduled maintenance and not that there is a technical problem with the vehicle.

Solving check engine light problems

The first step is to determine what the check engine light code is, which is supplied by the vehicle’s electronic control system. This is the data that has been logged by the sensors in your engine throughout its operation. It may be read by OBD II scanners or readers that attach to the vehicle’s OBD port, which is typically situated beneath the steering wheel in most cases. You have three alternatives when it comes to decoding the code: To begin, take your vehicle to a technician and pay a diagnostic cost.

Frequently, the cost is eliminated if you agree to have the essential service performed at the garage in which you are paying the fee.

Take your vehicle to an auto parts store where you may have the code read for no charge.


This is an especially useful alternative if you have an older vehicle that may from time to time illuminate the check engine light due to minor issues. Scanners may be purchased for as low as $15, and some of them can wirelessly transmit information to your smartphone.

Check engine light codes

In order to diagnose the problem, you must first determine what the check engine light code indicates. This is the data that has been logged by the sensors in your engine over the course of operation. Through a connection (OBD port), which is often positioned behind the steering column, it may be read by OBD II scanners or readers. You have three possibilities for decoding the code: 1. Take your automobile to a mechanic and pay a charge for a diagnosis. If you agree to have the essential service performed at that garage, the charge is frequently eliminated.

For one reason, if the code turns out to be for anything small, you may even be able to fix it yourself using the free check engine light analysis.

This is an especially useful alternative if you have an older vehicle that may from time to time illuminate the check engine light due to minor issues.

Common check engine light causes, repair costs

The cost of repairing whatever is wrong with your automobile — and causing the light to illuminate — might vary significantly. According to CarMD’s review of millions of fixes advised in the United States in 2016, repair prices for the most frequent check engine light problems range from around $20 to over $1,200. The following are the five most frequent check engine light issues, as well as the fixes and average prices to resolve them.

Problem Repair Avg. total cost (parts and labor)
Faulty oxygen sensor Replace oxygen sensor(s) $259
Catalytic converter Replace with new (OEM) catalytic converter(s) $1,190
Ignition coil and spark plug(s) Replace ignition coil(s) and spark plug(s) $401
Loose fuel cap Inspect; tighten or replace as necessary $17
Mass air flow sensor Replace mass air flow sensor $378
Source: CarMD’s 2017 Vehicle Health Index *Original equipment manufacturer

Resetting your check engine light

With the use of a code reader, you may discover that you may simply switch off the check engine light by hand. However, if you haven’t resolved the issue, it will eventually come back on again. Furthermore, if your state has emissions testing or inspections, a check engine light will cause the vehicle to fail the test automatically. If the light is not lighted, the code is kept in the computer system of some automobiles even if the light is on. In addition, “if you neglect the problem for an extended period of time, it will have a snowball effect,” adds Brocoff.

How to Fix Your Check Engine Light.

Automobile repair does not have to be prohibitively expensive. Anyone can become a “Google Mechanic” these days, thanks to the information age. While this particular fix may not be applicable to your case, the technique is the same. As a result, let’s do away with that grating orange light. A word of caution: if you have little or no experience working on automobiles or using tools, you should not do this on your own. Find a colleague who can work with you to assist prevent unintentional harm or damage to property or equipment.

Step 1: ​Buy an OBD Reader.

Automobile repair does not have to be prohibitively expensive in most cases. Anyone may become a “Google Mechanic” today, thanks to the information age. The approach is the same regardless of whether this particular fix applies to your scenario.

We should do away with that obnoxious orange light. If you have little or no expertise working on automobiles or utilizing tools, you should avoid doing so by yourself. Find a colleague who can work with you to assist prevent unintentional harm or damage to property or other property.

Step 2: Scan for Codes.

It will assist if you have been paying attention to the performance of your vehicle up until this point. It is possible that you will not notice any difference in performance if your car has an emissions problem. It’s also possible that your automobile will not even start in the first place. Being aware of the symptoms that your car is experiencing can assist you in pinpointing the source of the problem. In my particular scenario, my SUV was having difficulty starting, particularly after filling the petrol tank.

  • Examine the area beneath the lower border of your drivers-side dash board.
  • While the engine and ignition are turned off, connect the reader to the vehicle.
  • Press the scan button and wait to see what the reader comes up with.
  • Scroll through the codes and make a note of the ones you like.

Step 3: Search Your Code.

So you’ve got a code; what do you do now? There are a plethora of forums and discussion threads available on the internet. Often, the code that your car has is associated with a recurring problem with your vehicle. You’ll discover that it has been repaired and that articles have been published about it. is an excellent resource. It will provide you with a thorough knowledge of the meaning of your code/s. If you know a little anything about automobiles, this will be of assistance.

  1. Yes, it is beneficial to understand how something works before attempting to repair it, but you will be OK here.
  2. So, here’s what I typed into the search field on Google.
  3. You might also provide the year of your car, but keep this in mind.
  4. In the event that your car is a 2008 and the post is for a 2005 model, the remedy may be the same.

Step 4: ​Locate the Part. Remove and Replace.

So I’m thinking it’s the purge valve, but what exactly is it? What does it appear to be? What is its location? All of these questions have answers that may be found simply conducting an online search. This schematic of the purge valve was discovered on the internet. I compared it under the hood and was able to find the component. Once you have a visual representation of the part, you may order it with confidence. I purchased mine at Autozone and had it changed in less than 10 minutes. It just took one bolt, one hose, one electrical connector, and $24.00 to complete the project.

Step 5: ​Erase the Code.

Now that the component has been changed, reconnect the reader to the computer. Hold down the delete button for a few seconds. When the screen changes, push the button once again to confirm your selection. Your check engine light should be off now that the code has been cleared. This is presuming that you do not have any additional codes. The following is important: if you’re repairing an issue so that your car may pass a smog check, let it sit for a day before taking it in for testing. The technician will be able to identify if you have recently erased the code (within 50 miles or so).

When you return, he will take your $24.95 and urge you to come back again. If your check engine light is illuminated when you arrive, you will receive an automatic paid fail. As a result, ensure sure it’s turned off before examination.

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The check engine light is a valuable tool for automobile owners since it alerts them to problems beneath the hood of their vehicles. The visible dashboard indication serves as a digital red flag, alerting the driver to potential problems before they become costly damage and repairs. Nevertheless, if that useful signal continues to appear even after you have resolved the issue, it may quickly become an annoyance. Because of this, we are presenting some troubleshooting procedures that you may use to clear the check engine light from your dashboard.

  • If the check engine light is turned off for a problem that has not been rectified, these methods will not work or, even worse, can cause catastrophic damage to the vehicle.
  • We should also point out that if your check engine symbol is flashing rather than illuminated, this most likely signals that there is an urgent problem that has to be solved.
  • Our knowledgeable staff at Highland Tire would be more than pleased to examine your car’s diagnostic system and inform you of the issues that are occurring with your vehicle.
  • Simply phone or stop by our facility.

1. Continue Driving and Let it Clear on its Own

In terms of difficulty level, selecting this choice is equal to pressing the “easy” button on your computer’s keyboard. In certain cases, once the initial problem has been resolved, it may take a while for the computer to cycle through the error codes once more. The computer systems in your car operate on a 24-hour cycle of operation. When you correct the problem that was causing the check engine light to illuminate, it may take some time for the computer system to update its ‘current status.’ This is normal.

For this strategy to work, you must drive your automobile as you normally would for a period of up to three days.

Maintaining awareness of the fact that if your check engine indication light is flickering on and off, you may be experiencing a major, urgent problem and should stop driving your car

2. Use an OBD2 Scanner

This solution necessitates the use of specialized equipment and knowledge, but it is a foolproof method of addressing a check engine light. OBD2 scanners are available for purchase for as little as $25 and as much as thousands of dollars for the sorts of devices used by mechanics in the field. Today, there are even applications available for download on your smartphone that can do the same basic diagnostics as a desktop computer or laptop. With such a big price difference between the two options, it is only reasonable that the features differ based on which option you choose.

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They’re quite useful to have on hand for just these kinds of situations!

Upon activation, the program runs through the computer’s diagnostics, displaying a code for each problem it encounters.

Once you’ve identified the problem, you may also remove the flag by pressing the ‘erase’ or ‘clear’ button on your keyboard.

As a reminder, it’s critical to double-check that the problem has been resolved; otherwise, you’ll be removing the light while the problem continues to wreak havoc on your car.

3. Turning the Ignition On and Off

If you’ve ever worked in an office environment with an IT department, it’s likely that you’ve requested for assistance with a computer problem that’s been bugging you. Most likely, the first question your IT wizard asked was, ‘Did you tried resetting your computer?’ The on-off procedure is the equivalent of turning off the check engine light on a car. It compels the computer to reboot in order to restore its previously stored state. Simply insert your key into the ignition and turn the key on for 1-2 seconds before turning the key off for 1-2 seconds to complete the process.

If the check engine light continues to illuminate after the reset, it is possible that you have an issue with your car.

4. Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery/ECM Hard Reset Technique

You’ll need a wrench for this procedure, and you should be prepared to get your hands a little dirty in the process. Known as the ECM (Engine Control Module), your car’s on-board computer system is responsible for configuring your vehicle to your driving patterns, environmental conditions, and surrounding environment. It performs tasks like as monitoring your fuel consumption, engine tolerances, idle RPMs, and so on, and stores the results in the system’s RAM. It also archives diagnostic data, such as your error codes, for later retrieval.

  1. As a result, if you wipe the slate clean and start from scratch, the check engine error will be eliminated as well.
  2. When the car is not linked to a battery, certain contemporary automobiles will continue to save the codes in the computer system.
  3. To begin, unplug the negative terminal from the battery of your vehicle.
  4. Pressing the stop pedal, sounding your horn, or turning your lights on for at least 30 seconds will drain any remaining energy from the line.
  5. Again, we only advocate this option if you are confident that you have resolved the core cause of the problem and your check engine light is not functioning properly.

How to Get Rid of the “Check Engine” Light: 4 Techniques

Kate has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Sonoma State University, and she is passionate about research. Kate has a strong interest in the automobile industry. How to Disable the “Check Engine” LightSigmund, CC, courtesy of

Why Is My “Check Engine” Light On?

You’ve resolved the problem that was causing your “check engine” light to illuminate, but the light will not turn off! It’s possible that you’re not to blame. It is possible that the computer in your car will want some assistance in determining that the problem has been remedied. Here are a couple of strategies for resetting your check engine light that you should know about. A warning light will illuminate when your car’s onboard computer system detects an electrical or mechanical problem with the vehicle.

This can be inconvenient, lead you to fail an emissions (smog) test, or prevent you from learning about potential future problems that your vehicle’s computer may be attempting to warn you about in the first place.

Of course, it’s critical to double-check that the indicator isn’t on because your engine may still be experiencing issues. Make use of one (or more) of the ways listed below to turn off the light. If it does not go off, this indicates that your engine is having a problem.

4 Ways to Reset the “Check Engine” Light

Method Tools Required
1. Drive your car and let light go off by itself. None
2. Turn the engine on and off three times in a row. None
3. Disconnect and reconnect the battery. Wrench
4. Use an OBD code reader. Wrench and OBD reader

1. Drive Your Car and Let the Light Go Off by Itself

The problem that caused your “check engine” light to illuminate has been resolved, but the light is refusing to turn off. It is possible that you are not to blame. Your vehicle’s computer will occasionally require some assistance in verifying that the problem has been corrected. It will be discussed here how to reset your check engine light using a few different approaches. A warning light will illuminate when your vehicle’s onboard computer system detects an electrical or mechanical problem with the car.

If you don’t pay attention to your vehicle’s computer, you may fail an emissions (smog) test or miss out on potential problems that the vehicle’s computer is attempting to warn you about.

To turn off the light, try one (or more) of the methods listed below.

2. Turn the Car On and Off Three Times

Some cars will automatically reset the problem codes that were set off by the original fault if the vehicle is switched on and off three times in a row after the initial error. This may be accomplished by inserting your key into the ignition, turning the car on for approximately one second, and then turning it off for approximately one second. Repeat this procedure two more times, and then proceed to drive the automobile as usual. Check to determine if the engine check light has been reset.

3. Disconnect and Reconnect the Battery

You’ll need a hex wrench for this. Open the hood using a jackstand and use the wrench to separate the positive power line from the vehicle’s battery, then replace it. Disconnect the battery for at least 15 minutes after removing it. Then insert your key into the ignition and turn the key three times to the “ON” position to complete the process. This will remove the emissions data from the vehicle’s memory, as well as the data associated with the readiness flag. Replacing the positive battery cable and turning the ignition key in the car will complete the procedure.

4. Use an OBD Code Reader

a wrench as well as an OBD (onboard diagnostics) reader will be required. These low-cost readers are capable of analyzing and clearing engine codes. This is a task for which I have used the Kobra OBD scanner with wonderful success on a number of occasions.

To perform this method:

  1. Connect the reader to your vehicle’s OBD port using the included cable. In most cases, this port is positioned on the bottom of the dash area, slightly above the foot well. It may be necessary to remove the door from your fuse box in order to access this port on some automobiles. The gadget will scan your engine for any fault codes once you have connected the reader. Once you have connected the reader, click the “enter” button to turn it on. Once it has finished analyzing, the reader will display any fault codes that it has discovered. Remember the codes (if any) in case you want to cross-check them in the code reader’s handbook or on the internet later. Using the “scroll” button, you can now discover the option to remove the code from your computer. When you’re on this screen, press enter to clear the problem code and reset the check engine light.

In order to reset the check engine light, it is quite effective to do so with an OBD reader.

Frequently Asked Questions

This list contains only a small selection of the most frequently asked questions on this subject.

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Occasionally, after correcting the issue that caused the light to illuminate in the first place, the light will turn off by itself while you are driving about in the vehicle.

Why does my check engine light turn on and off intermittently?

There might be a variety of factors contributing to this situation. Unsealed gas caps, failed engine sensors, damaged spark plugs, broken valves, such as those in the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system, and intermittent misfiring are all possible causes of intermittent misfiring.

In this instance, it’s usually better to bring your car into a repair shop for a diagnostic, or at the very least utilize an OBD reader to diagnose the problem yourself.

Does the check engine light turn off automatically after repair?

Several factors might be contributing to this situation. Unsealed gas caps, failed engine sensors, damaged spark plugs, broken valves, such as those in the EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) system, and intermittent misfiring are all possible causes of intermittent misfire. Taking your automobile to a technician for a diagnostic, or at the very least using an OBD reader, is frequently the best course of action in this situation.

Do I need a special tool to turn off my check engine light?

Yes. If you wish to do it yourself, you will need an OBD code reader to read the codes from your vehicle’s computer. It connects to the diagnostic port, which is typically found beneath the dashboard of automobiles manufactured after 1996. These gadgets are available for purchase at a variety of automobile parts stores as well as online via other sellers such as Keep in mind that if you use an OBD reader to clear the code but the problem persists, the check engine light will most likely illuminate again at some point shortly afterward.

These Techniques Should Help You Reset Your Check Engine Light

Following these procedures will allow you to get rid of the bothersome check engine light while also allowing for new problems to be displayed appropriately on your dashboard. The problem will be correctly fixed regardless of whether you manually reset the onboard computer by resetting the battery or by using an OBD reader. You may use these strategies to resolve the check engine light issue, as well as any additional issues that may arise in the future if the check engine light continues to illuminate.

Content is provided solely for informative and entertainment reasons and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal counsel or professional guidance in commercial, financial, legal, or technical problems, unless otherwise specified.


Is it possible to get rid of the “check engine” light without the use of an onboard diagnostic reader? Question: Answer:Yes, you can, but it may be more difficult than you think. I would begin by experimenting with the various approaches described in this post. If none of these options work, it is likely that there is a mechanical problem with the vehicle’s electrical system. It might be as simple as replacing a $10 sensor that has failed at a convenient location, or it can be considerably more complicated.

It can assist you by manually allowing you to clear the fault code that has caused the check engine light to illuminate (in the event that it was stuck on due to an error in the car’s computer), or if there is truly something mechanically wrong with your car, it can provide you with the “error code” that your car is producing, which can be helpful.

If you have a reader’s handbook or access to the internet, you may check up this error number and find out what the problem is with your car in simple English.

In my last post, I explained why my check engine light came on after replacing several fuses.

You accidentally replaced a fuse with one that had the incorrect value.

Two possibilities: one of the fuses you installed is defective, or it turned bad immediately after installation, leading one of the systems in your car to cease functioning properly.

You replaced a blown fuse, which resulted in a system in your car that had been malfunctioning suddenly being operational.

If the check engine light was not on before to this, it is less probable that this would occur.

It was a happy coincidence that another system in your automobile began to encounter problems shortly after you changed the fuse, but it was.

Use an OBD 2 reader, such as the one I mentioned in the post, to read the issue codes from your car’s computer, which will help you narrow down the source of the problem.

Question:I replaced the oxygen sensor in my car, detached and rejoined the battery many times, and even changed the plugs, but the check engine light came back on after a 45-kilometer trip.

What do you recommend I do next?

Then you’ll be able to decipher it and figure out exactly what’s wrong with your vehicle when you’ve obtained the code.

If it indicates that the sensor is “out of range,” which is fairly typical when a sensor malfunctions, the malfunctioning sensor should be replaced. After that, follow the instructions in this article to reset the check engine light on your vehicle. Kate Daily for the year 2012

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