How to Reset a Check Engine Light

check engine light on



The dashboard’s check engine light signals that it’s time to diagnose a problem with the vehicle and schedule service. However, sometimes the check engine light can come on by mistake, or the problem has already been dealt with and the light won’t go off. Such a small light can get on your nerves quite easily! If you need your vehicle serviced, don’t hesitate to contact our service center at Robert Basil Cadillac. However, if the issue has been addressed, we’ve put together a simple guide for how to reset a check engine light, so you can get back on Hamburg roads without worry.

Diagnose the Issue

Oftentimes, that persistent dashboard warning light can be the cause of an improperly-sealed gas cap. Simply stop the vehicle, remove the gas cap, re-tighten it, and drive around East Aurora for a couple miles. If the issue was caused by the fumes from your gas tank, a reset of the check engine light should happen automatically. If the check engine light appears at the same time as another problem, like an overheating vehicle, then it’s time to pull over and schedule service or contact roadside assistance.

An untimely reset check engine light can cause important repairs to be overlooked. While Cadillac diagnostic tools can be useful, it’s best to talk to an expert before making major repairs. If you have any questions, contact us.

Reset Check Engine Light with Two Methods

When you’re sure your vehicle will benefit from learning how to reset a check engine light, there are a couple ways to go about it. Some models can simply reset the check engine light by turning the car on and off several times. First, start the engine, let it run for one second, then turn it off. After letting the engine sit for two or three seconds, repeat the process two more times.

If that method doesn’t reset the check engine light, that doesn’t always mean that an issue needs to be addressed. Another method for how to reset a check engine light is performing a hard reset for the vehicle’s electronic systems and in-vehicle diagnostic system. Follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the vehicle, and put on safety gear necessary for handling a car battery.
  2. Identify the negative terminal. It’s typically identified by a black cap and a negative/minus sign on top.
  3. Use a wrench to loosen the nut on the negative cable, and pull the negative connector away from the battery.
  4. Ensure the negative battery cable is secured away from the terminal so it doesn’t touch and create sparks. Keep it disconnected for a minute or two.
  5. Carefully reconnect the negative cable and tighten the lug nut with the wrench. Be sure to replace any coverings that were moved for access to the terminal and battery.

Then, take to West Seneca-area roads for a test drive. If the dashboard warning light doesn’t turn on immediately, the process was successful. However, if the light turns on again, a reset check engine light won’t solve the deeper issue in the vehicle.

Explore Service Options with Robert Basil Cadillac!

Now that you know how to reset a check engine light, explore other service tips to learn how often you should change your oil or tips for how to clean leather seats. Then, explore the other ways you’re covered in your Cadillac with Cadillac Owner Benefits and OnStar Connected Services.

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