How to Reset the Check Engine Light in 5 Simple Steps
- Updated: September 10, 2023
Once the Check Engine Light shows up, you know there’s something you must address. The onboard diagnostics (OBD) system analyzes the various car components to ensure everything is working right. If there’s a fault, you will see the warning message appear on your dashboard or information display. That’s when you need to know how to reset the Check Engine Light.
In this guide, we give you some suggestions and discuss why it’s important to fix the underlying problem first. We also touch on what to do if the engine light comes back on and give you some answers to questions that have been bothering you.
Importance Of Fixing The Problem Before Resetting
It’s never wise to ignore what the Check Engine Light is trying to tell you. This system is designed to let you know when there’s a fault, so you can keep your vehicle running as intended. That’s why you want to resolve the problem, so you can turn off the warning light for good.
By ignoring the issue, you face these consequences:
- Long-term damage could occur if the engine, transmission or other valuable systems aren’t running as intended. For example, if the car needs new spark plugs and you ignore it, you may end up needing an expensive catalytic converter down the road.
- The car may not pass a safety inspection . Without this necessary inspection, you may not be able to legally drive in your state.
- Your vehicle may fail emissions testing . Not only is this illegal where it’s required, but it’s also a bad situation for the environment.
- The car may use more fuel if the engine not running at its best.
Additionally, while the Check Engine Light is on, you won’t know if another problem occurs. Therefore, if you choose to ignore the warning light because it’s just a minor issue, you won’t be notified when something more critical breaks.
How to Reset the Check Engine Light
After you fix the underlying issue, you can reset Check Engine Light with your compatible code scanner. There’s also a battery disconnection technique or you can cycle the ignition on and off. Driving the car may help the light go off on its own or you could pull the fuse.
Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Use an OBD2 Scanner
With your compatible OBD2 scanner, you can reset the Check Engine Light in a matter of seconds. If you don’t have one, we recommend checking out some of the best OBD2 scanners to purchase because this is going to be the easiest method.
1. To turn off the codes with your scanner, follow these steps: 2. Connect the scanner to your car’s OBD2 connector. It’s found near the floor under the steering wheel to the left side. 3. Switch the ignition to the ON position. 4. Once a connection is established, press the READ button on the scanner. All of the stored diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) will show up. 5. Erase any errors that you have repaired from the scanner by pushing the ERASE/CLEAR button.
After that is complete, switch the ignition back off and on again to see if the light has disappeared. You can also plug the scanner back in to make sure all of the codes are gone. If the codes come right back on, you know that you haven’t resolved the problem yet.
Battery Disconnection Technique
How do you reset the Check Engine Light without a scan tool? The easiest option is to disconnect the battery. This method requires a minimal amount of time and it will reset the engine control unit in most of today’s vehicles.
Before you disconnect the power, keep in mind that without the battery, you may lose some of your car memory. For example, you may need to set up the stereo preset, seat memory and clock again. Here are some steps to follow:
1. Remove the negative battery terminal. 2. Drain the electricity from the car’s capacitor by pushing down on the car horn for 20-30 seconds. You could also turn on the lights to drain the battery. 3. After the power is drained, walk away for about 15 minutes. 4. Reconnect the battery terminal and make sure it is secure. 5. Start the car.
If this method doesn’t remove the Check Engine Light, either you haven’t fixed the problem or you need to attempt one of the other options.
Cycling The Ignition On And Off
There’s another way to perform a hard reset without a compatible code scanner. By simply turning the ignition on and off several times, you may be able to get the warning light to go away. Every automaker has a different set of steps for this method, so you may need to do a little more research.
Typically, you will turn the ignition on and off several times, with a few seconds between each switch. After that, the Check Engine Light may be gone.
Drive Your Car And Let The Light Go Off By Itself Off Itself
AIf you have fixed the underlying issue, you may be able to get the Check Engine Light all by itself. Once you do a little driving, the self-checks should show the computer that everything is now fine. That triggers the light to turn back off.
However, this process could take some time. Depending on what is wrong, it could take several days before the fix registers. As an example, if you repair a problem with the oxygen sensor, the code won’t reset until the ECU determines that the fault is fixed.
If your Check Engine Light remains on even after driving for three days, you may not have fixed the issue. If you aren’t sure what to do next, you can try the other methods listed or you can take your vehicle to a mechanic.
Read more about it here: Will the check engine light reset itself?
There’s also the option to pull the fuse for the Engine Control Unit. This may cause it to reset, thereby wiping out the codes. However, this repair method tends to only work on older cars. If you aren’t sure where the fuse is located, take a look in your factory service manual. Because it only takes a few seconds to pull a fuse, it’s worth trying.
What To Do If The Engine Check Light Returns
When the Check Engine Light goes off, you will breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that you’ve repaired the vehicle. Yet, it could return after a few days, especially if the problem wasn’t resolved. If you haven’t used a code scanner up until this point, it’s time to get one.
If you still don’t want to invest in a code scanner, there are plenty of auto parts stores that offer free car diagnostics and will tell you what faults are present. You could also visit a local mechanic and get the codes scanned, although there will be a service charge for this work. Whenever the Check Engine Light is on, it means that there’s a fault read by the computer. You want to get to the bottom of what’s causing it to avoid further damage. Some trouble codes are easy to understand and fix, while others can be much more complicated. That’s why we always recommend using our free online trouble code library when you attempt to fix your vehicle.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you reset the check engine light without a scanner.
Yes, but the scanner provides the easiest way of dealing with the Check Engine Light. If you don’t have one, you may be able to disconnect the battery, pull a fuse, run through an ignition cycle or try to drive the vehicle for a few days. However, these methods only work once you’ve repaired what caused the code in the first place.
How long does it take for a check engine light to reset itself?
It depends on the type of vehicle you drive. With some cars, it can take anywhere from 10 to 100 miles of driving before the light resets on its own. The engine computer needs to perform a check on the system that was malfunctioning and notice that it is running normally now. Some systems are checked constantly, while others only have a check occasionally.
Do you have to drive to clear a check engine light?
No, there are other ways to clear the Check Engine Light without driving. If you have a compatible code scanner, you can easily reset the system without going anywhere. Otherwise, you may be able to pull a fuse, cycle the ignition or disconnect the battery for a short time.
How do you reset the check engine light on the gas pedal?
Some vehicles have a reset procedure that involves cycling the ignition and pressing on the gas pedal. To find this method, you want to read the process in your factory service manual. Otherwise, you would be wasting your time trying a process that may not work for your type of vehicle.
Will AutoZone reset the check engine light?
It depends. Many AutoZone locations provide free diagnostics with a compatible code scanner. They will tell you what codes are present and offer some potential fixes to help you save money. However, not all locations will reset the check engine light due to liability reasons. It’s still worth a try if you don’t have a code scanner.
Is a check engine light an easy fix?
It depends on what caused it to come on in the first place. If the gas cap is too loose or damaged, that would be an easy fix. On the other hand, trouble with a lean or rich system can be difficult to troubleshoot. There are also some warnings that lead to expensive repairs, such as when the vehicle needs a new catalytic converter.
After you’ve repaired the fault associated with the diagnostic trouble codes in the computer, it’s time to reset the Check Engine Light. You have several methods for doing this, with the easiest option relying on the code scanner. However, not everyone has a code scanner, so this method isn’t always possible.
With some trial and error, you may be able to find another way to turn off your car’s Check Engine Light. Whether you choose to disconnect the battery temporarily, pull a fuse, cycle the ignition or just keep driving, you may find relief from this annoying warning light. If you can’t get it to turn off, the problem may not be fixed or you may need to visit a professional mechanic.
How to fix your “Check Engine“ light – Mobil1
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Magnus, the founder and owner of Mechanic Base, is an experienced car mechanic and diagnostic technician with over a decade of experience in advanced car diagnostics and troubleshooting. By holding certification as an Automotive Diagnostic Technician, Magnus's technical expertise is widely recognized and forms the bedrock of the trusted advice shared here. His background is further enriched by his time as a motorsport (drifting) driver for Sellén Drifting, which reflects a deep passion and extensive involvement in the automotive industry. Magnus is committed to using his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for cars to provide reliable, accurate and practically sound advice.
Volkswagen Check Engine Light On: 7 Key Causes (+How to Fix)
We’ve all been there : You’re driving down the road when an ominous little orange light appears on your dashboard — it’s the Volkswagen check engine light .
What does the check engine light mean? Is your car about to break down? Can you keep driving, or should you pull over?
It’s enough to worry even the most seasoned drivers. But don’t panic; we’re here to help.
Read on to discover some potential causes of Volkswagen check engine light, what to do when it happens, and more.
This Article Contains:
What causes the volkswagen check engine light to turn on.
- What to Do if Your Volkswagen Check Engine Light Turns On?
How Much Does a Volkswagen Check Engine Light Diagnosis Cost?
- How Do You Perform a Check Engine Light Reset?
Let’s dive in.
Whether you’re driving the new Golf R, Volkswagen Jetta, VW Atlas, VW CPO, or any other Volkswagen vehicle, the dashboard lights are there to let you know how your car is performing.
Although there are tons of reasons why your VW check engine light may activate, here are a few common ones:
1. Loose Gas Cap
If you notice a check engine light, there’s a very good chance it’s simply a loose gas cap . Your gas cap is responsible for keeping the fuel tank sealed, preventing fumes from escaping and any debris from landing in your fuel tank. The leaking vapors will reduce your fuel pressure and can result in a check engine light. Your fuel economy will also take a hit.
2. Faulty Oxygen Sensor
The oxygen sensor oversees the amount of oxygen in the exhaust gas. A faulty oxygen sensor can send inaccurate readings to the engine computer, causing the check engine light to activate .
3. Damaged Catalytic Converter
The catalytic converter reduces the emissions your car produces by converting the harmful pollutants into less toxic gases. However, over time, it can get clogged. A faulty catalytic converter can overheat and increase your vehicle’s emissions, triggering a check engine light.
4. Bad Spark Plug
It’s the job of each spark plug to ignite the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. A faulty spark plug may cause your engine to misfire , leading to the check engine warning light switching on.
5. Defective Thermostat
Your Volkswagen’s thermostat controls the flow of coolant to the engine, preventing the engine from overheating. However, a defective thermostat can prevent adequate coolant flow, causing the engine to reach dangerously high temperature levels. This will not only trigger the engine warning light but also impact engine performance.
6. Damaged Mass Airflow Sensor
The mass airflow sensor (MAF) measures the air flowing into the intake manifold to ensure the right amount of air enters the engine for combustion. If the MAF is damaged, it may send incorrect readings to the engine computer, causing a misfire and activating the check engine light. Ignoring a faulty sensor will also affect your fuel economy.
7. Faulty Ignition Coil
The ignition coil transforms the battery’s low-voltage electrical current into a high-voltage current to ignite the fuel in the engine. A faulty ignition coil may send the incorrect voltage to the spark plug, leading to misfires and an active check engine light.
8. Damaged Throttle Body
The throttle body controls the amount of air allowed into the engine based on driver input, such as acceleration. When this is damaged or faulty, it can cause the engine to run rich or lean, throwing up a check engine light.
Next, let’s see what you should do if the check engine light activates.
What to Do If Your Volkswagen Check Engine Light Turns On?
In most cases, the VW check engine light should come on as a solid light on your dashboard. However, it can appear intermittently or flash as well. Let’s take a closer look at what that could mean.
A. Illuminates Under Certain Circumstances
This could indicate that the problem is intermittent. You may have a dirty or damaged sensor or a loose spark plug wire.
Diagnosing the issue can be challenging if the light doesn’t activate every time you drive your Volkswagen. The best bet here is to check if the gas cap is securely fastened, or if you have an OBD-II scanner , you could scan the code to get more information.
If you can’t diagnose the problem, it’s important to schedule service at your nearest service center as soon as possible.
B. Light Is Constantly On
If your VW check engine light is permanently on, it suggests a persistent issue with your engine or ignition system.
The cause could be anything, from a loose gas cap to a pending oil change . It’s best to play it safe and take your vehicle to a service center for a scheduled service, especially with the complexity involved in working on new vehicles.
It’s also worth checking if any other dashboard lights activate to help narrow down the problem. For example, if the issue is tied to your EPC system (Electronic Power Control), the EPC system light should also activate.
C. Blinks While Driving
Generally, a blinking check engine light indicates something more serious. If you’re driving and notice your check engine light is flashing, you should stop driving immediately. If the blinking check engine light is accompanied by vibration, reduced engine performance, or unusual noises, have your car towed to a service center as soon as you can.
Wondering how much it costs for a Volkswagen check engine light diagnosis? Let’s find out.
The average cost of a Volkswagen check engine light diagnosis for new vehicles is generally between $95 and $138, depending on the model.
However, more serious issues will likely incur more expensive repairs depending on the VW accessories that need replacement. For example, without vehicle protection plans, getting a new inventory for the catalytic converter or ignition coil will tend to push up repair prices.
Note : For cost-effective service tips, you should consult with a trained mechanic.
Once the underlying cause is addressed, the light should go off. But if it doesn’t, you’ll need to rest it.
How Do You Perform a Check Engine Light Reset?
Since your check engine light is there to draw your attention to a possible issue, the best way to reset the light would be to diagnose and fix the problem. If you believe the problem is corrected, you can use an ODB-II scanner or VCDS (VAG-COM Diagnostic System) to reset it.
Although the check engine light is only supposed to deactivate with a smoothly running engine, disconnecting the battery can temporarily turn the dashboard lights off. However, if your engine has a problem, you should ideally schedule service first.
The check engine light can signify a wide range of issues, from something as minor as a loose gas cap to more serious engine problems. Either way, you should avoid driving with a check engine light on. As one of our service tips — book your car for a service before the light even comes up.
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Volkswagen Check Engine Light ON
There could be several reasons why a Volkswagen check engine light stays on, but the most common issue with VWs is failed ignition coils. This guide covers some of the most common problems that trigger the check engine light on a Volkswagen. We also show you how to troubleshoot the VW check engine light yourself. Diagnosing and repairing the issue as soon as possible is important , as the check engine light can lead to other problems if ignored.
The most common problem that triggers the check engine light on Volkswagen vehicles is bad ignition coils and, quite often, faulty spark plugs . Both these parts set engine misfire codes in the ECU, and if more than one coil or spark plug is faulty, it will trigger multiple cylinder misfires, and the check engine starts to flash on and off.
In addition to the check engine light, you may notice a few more symptoms, such as:
- Engine Running Rough
- Engine Misfire / Car Shaking
- Reduction or Lack of power
- Poor throttle response
- Unusual sounds from the engine
- Smoke from the exhaust
- Check Engine Light Flashing / Blinking
- Engine RPMs are high or unstable at idle
Don’t ignore these symptoms, especially if the check engine is flashing. Driving while the check engine light is flashing can lead to serious engine damage and overheating.
If the vehicle runs and drives fine, but the check engine light stays on, the most likely issue is an EVAP leak. To narrow the problem, use the YOUCANIC scanner to read the codes via the OBD-II port.
- Faulty oxygen sensor
- Bad spark plugs
- Ignition coils
- Mass airflow (MAF) sensor
- EVAP leaks, such as loose gas cap
- Catalytic converter
- Vacuum leak
Hundreds of possible problems can trigger the check engine light on a Volkswagen. Read the fault codes to determine why your check engine light is on.
The Check Engine Light (CEL) on your Volkswagen ( Jetta, Passat, Golf, Tiguan, etc. ) can come on for many reasons, including defective mass airflow sensor, bad thermostat, engine temperature sensor, short in main wire harness, vacuum leak, worn spark plugs, and failed ignition coils.
A loose gas cap can trigger a Volkswagen engine light to turn on. Make sure you tighten the gas cap until you hear it click. If you read the codes, still get a code for EVAP system leak, inspect or replace the gas cap.
Sometimes, the seal can crack and not seal the fuel tank properly. You can drive the vehicle, and the light will reset after several driving cycles. Or use a YOUCANIC Scanner to reset the codes yourself.
2. Spark Plugs
Worn spark plugs are another common problem that triggers the VW check engine light. Typically, you should change your VW spark plugs at the 90,000-mile mark. Volkswagen owners often forget to perform this maintenance and end up with CEL around the 120,000-mile mark.
3. Oxygen Sensor
Bad O2 sensors are another common reason the VW check engine light comes on. The oxygen sensors on Volkswagen vehicles often fail in the 80,000 to 100,000-mile range.
Volkswagens aren’t the only cars suffering from oxygen sensor issues. Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Toyota, and Honda struggle to make oxygen sensors that last forever.
4. Ignition Coil
Volkswagens are famous for ignition coils frequently failing in their four-cylinder 1.8 and 2.0T engines. A brand-new ignition coil can sometimes malfunction or last less than 10,000 miles.
When VW ignition coils fail, the check engine light will flash on and off, the engine will shake, plus you will have a poor throttle response. When reading the codes with an OBD2 scanner , you will get P0300, P0301, and P0302.
5. Coolant Temperature Sensor
Volkswagen engine coolant temperature sensor can fail, triggering the check engine light to come on. Replacing the temperature sensor is a simple DIY fix many VW owners can perform at home.
If your Volkswagen check engine light is continuously ON, it can be due to many possible issues. You will need to read the codes with an OBD2 scanner . The problem can be as simple as a loose fuel tank cap or a bad spark plug, but it can also indicate a severe engine problem.
How to Reset Volkswagen Check Engine Light
Below are instructions on reading VW Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). To clear the check engine light, you must first fix the problem and use the YOUCANIC scanner to clear the fault codes.
It’s important to have your Volkswagen checked by a professional mechanic to determine the cause of the check engine light. They can diagnose the problem and recommend the necessary repairs to fix it. To find out precisely what is wrong, use the YOUCANIC Full System scanner to read the codes via the diagnostic port under the dashboard (driver’s side).
What does it mean when the VW check engine light is flashing?
When your Volkswagen check engine light is flashing, the onboard diagnostic system has detected a misfire. This is due to fuel not getting burned in the cylinder. A bad spark plug or ignition coil typically causes this problem. It can also indicate a blown head gasket or clogged catalytic converter.
A flashing check engine light is a definitive sign of abnormal combustion. Never ignore your VW engine light or drive the car for an extended time, especially if your Volkswagen CEL is flashing.
Driving a Volkswagen with a flashing check engine light could devastate your engine and catalytic converter. If the engine overheats, pull over and turn off the car. Never drive your VW hard or even moderately if your Check Engine light flashes.
Should I Drive with the Check Engine Light On?
It’s generally not a good idea to drive a vehicle with the check engine light on, especially if you have noticed any other issues or warning signs with your vehicle. The check engine light is a warning that something is wrong with your vehicle, and it’s important to check it as soon as possible.
If you have to drive your Volkswagen with the check engine light on, paying attention to any other warning signs or issues you may be experiencing is important. Suppose you notice any changes in how your vehicle is running or experience any other driving problems. In that case, it’s important to stop driving and have your Volkswagen checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
It’s also a good idea to avoid driving at high speeds or for long distances if the check engine light is on, as this can strain your engine and potentially cause further damage.
If the check engine light is flashing, it’s important to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible. This can save you time and money in the long run by preventing further damage to your vehicle.
In summary, driving a vehicle with the check engine light on is generally not recommended, as this can cause further damage to your vehicle. If you must drive your Volkswagen with the check engine light on, pay attention to any other warning signs and have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible or diagnose it yourself using the YOUCANIC full system scanner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is a check engine light in my vw on.
The car uses a Check engine light to warn you that something is malfunctioning. Problems are usually related to fuel injection and ignition or emission control systems.
How to reset the check engine light, Volkswagen Jetta?
To reset the check engine light on a Volkswagen Jetta, you must use an OBD-II scanner to clear the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that have caused the check engine light to come on. Here’s how to do it: 1. Locate the diagnostic port: The diagnostic port is typically located under the dashboard on the vehicle’s driver’s side. 2. Connect the OBD-II scanner: Plug the OBD-II scanner into the diagnostic port and turn it on. 3. Retrieve the DTCs: Use the OBD-II scanner to retrieve the diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) that have caused the check engine light to come on. 4. Clear the DTCs: Once you have retrieved the DTCs, use the OBD-II scanner to clear them from the vehicle’s computer. 5. Disconnect the OBD-II scanner: Once the DTCs have been cleared, turn off the OBD-II scanner and disconnect it from the diagnostic port. 6. Start the engine: Start the engine and verify that the check engine light is no longer illuminated. It’s important to note that clearing the check engine light without addressing the underlying issue that caused it to come on can be dangerous and could potentially cause further damage to your vehicle. If you cannot determine the cause of the check engine light, it’s recommended that you have your Volkswagen Jetta checked by a professional mechanic.
How can I access error codes on my VW’s board computer?
The only way to read the stored codes is by using a scan tool. You can visit your dealer or an independent workshop or buy your own scan tool.
How can I know what the error codes mean?
Depending on your scan tool, you usually get a code without any written explanation. Especially if you have a cheap scan tool, just search that code and your car on the internet or forums.
What does the VW check engine code p0411 mean?
Error code P0411 indicates Incorrect Flow in the Secondary Air Injection System (SAI). This emission control system uses an air pump to flow fresh air into the exhaust system. Usual failure points are pumps, hoses, or check valves. A damaged exhaust system can cause this error, as well.
VW check engine light is on, but the scanner shows no codes.
If you have a Check Engine light, but there are no stored codes, this usually means that your scan tool can only read generic powertrain codes. This is usually the case with cheaper OBD2 readers. VW has additional specific codes that more specialized scan tools can access.
What could cause VW to check the engine light after an oil change?
An oil change can not cause a Check Engine light. If it came on immediately after the oil change was done, probably some sensor or connector was unintentionally unplugged during this process.
What does a flashing Check Engine light on a VW mean?
A flashing check engine light typically indicates a severe issue with your vehicle that needs to be addressed immediately. It’s important to stop driving your vehicle as soon as possible and have it checked by a professional mechanic. A flashing check engine light is different from a steady check engine light. A steady check engine light typically indicates a less severe issue that needs to be addressed. Still, a flashing check engine light indicates a more serious problem that could cause further damage to your vehicle if not addressed immediately. Some common reasons for a flashing check engine light include the following: 1. A misfire: A misfire can cause the check engine light to flash and potentially damage the catalytic converter. 2. An issue with the fuel system: A problem with the fuel system, such as a faulty fuel pump or fuel injector, can cause the check engine light to flash. 3. An issue with the exhaust system: A problem with the exhaust system, such as a faulty catalytic converter or exhaust manifold, can cause the check engine light to flash. An issue with the ignition system: A problem with the ignition system, such as a faulty spark plug or ignition coil, can cause the check engine light to flash.
We hope you find the “Volkswagen Check Engine Light ON” guide helpful. Check these troubleshooting and repair guides for more help on your Volkswagen.
Rushit Hila, an ASE-certified engineer (G1 Automotive Maintenance and Repair), brings over two decades of hands-on experience in the automotive world to his writing. With a strong educational background, including a Master of Science in Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, he has honed his skills and expertise through years of practical work. As a respected authority in the field, Mr. Hila is dedicated to offering insightful and valuable content that resonates with both vehicle owners and mechanics.
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How to Reset a Check Engine Light and Clear Error Codes
Last Updated: December 17, 2022 Fact Checked
Using a Code Scanner
Disconnecting the battery, trying simple fixes.
This article was co-authored by Jay Safford and by wikiHow staff writer, Eric McClure . Jay Safford is an Automotive Consultant and Project Manager. He is Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), NAFA Fleet Management Association, Ford, and L1 Certified. He has over 15 years of automotive repair experience and has served as an Automotive Instructor at the Lincoln Technical Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,370,847 times.
Your check engine light typically comes on when there is a problem with your emission control system or another computer-controlled system in your vehicle. But if you’ve fixed the problem and it’s still on, you may be scratching your head wondering what’s going on. While something may still be wrong with your vehicle, the odds are very high you just need to reset the light, so breathe easy. In this article, we’ll show you the four ways you can reset it.
Things You Should Know
- Plug an OBD-II scanner into your vehicle’s OBD port and reset it to clear the check engine light.
- Disconnecting and reconnecting your battery will restart your vehicle’s computer and clear the light.
- Drive an older vehicle around for a few days after repairs. The light will go off on its own once the computer resets.
- Turn the ignition to the “on” position 3-5 times and look at your dashboard to spot any error codes or potentially turn off the light.
- Note that vehicles made before the 1990s may not have an OBD port under the dash. If they do, it may be an OBD-I port rather than an OBD-II port, so you may need a different scanner.
- The OBD port has 16 small openings for pins that are lined up in 2 rows. It looks a bit like an old VGA port.
- Some scanners will define or explain the codes while others will not. If you don’t get a definition, look up the code in the owner’s manual or online.
- Once the OBD system resets (which occurs after a few drive cycles or a certain number of miles, depending on the vehicle), the light will come back on if the problem has not been fixed.
- Just FYI, erasing codes by disconnecting your vehicle's battery can also clear out the memory for your radio and other onboard components.
- If you don’t drive all that often, now is the perfect time to take that shopping trip where you need to go way out of town!
- The mechanic normally resets the computer codes before returning your car to you, but they may have simply forgotten this time.
- This is most common on older vehicles with more primitive computer systems.
- If the check engine light begins to flash, you have an OBD-I vehicle, which might explain why you’ve had trouble turning the light off. Purchase or borrow and ODB-I scanner to reset the light.
- If a code pops up on your odometer, write it down and look it up online or share it with your mechanic. This is an error code and your check engine light wasn’t on by accident.  X Research source
- 3 See a mechanic if the light continues to stay on. If you still can’t get the light to turn off after resetting the codes, disconnecting the battery, driving it for a while, or turning the ignition, it’s a sign something is actually wrong. Take your vehicle back to the mechanic to investigate what’s going on.  X Research source
Video . by using this service, some information may be shared with youtube..
- Reputable auto shops will not reset a check engine light without fixing the problem that caused the light to come on. Thanks Helpful 19 Not Helpful 8
- Consult a mechanic or repair shop if you need help resetting a check engine light or deciphering error codes. Thanks Helpful 3 Not Helpful 10
- Use caution when disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. Thanks Helpful 25 Not Helpful 18
- The emissions monitors in your vehicle will register being reset, so you will not pass emissions if you bring in a car immediately after resetting the codes. Drive your car for at least 200 miles (320 km) before bringing it in for an emissions test. Thanks Helpful 18 Not Helpful 16
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- ↑ https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/everything-you-need-to-know-about-obd-obdii/
- ↑ https://www.2carpros.com/articles/check-engine-light-clear-codes
- ↑ https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a26873586/car-battery-disconnecting/
- ↑ https://www.motortrend.com/how-to/1804-repairing-electrical-problems-by-draining-storage-voltage/
- ↑ https://mechanicbase.com/engine/will-my-check-engine-light-reset-itself/
- ↑ https://www.boston.com/cars/car-guides/2020/02/04/how-driving-can-reset-the-check-engine-light/
- ↑ https://www.repairsmith.com/blog/how-to-check-engine-light-codes-without-a-scanner/
About This Article
Sometimes your check engine light won’t turn off even after you’ve fixed the problem with your vehicle. When that happens, you’ll need to manually reset the light. One option is to turn the ignition on and off 3 times in a row. Then, drive your vehicle around and check to see if the light goes off. If that doesn’t work, turn off your car, pop the hood, and disconnect the positive and negative cables from the battery. Press on the horn for 30 seconds to drain any remaining electricity, then wait 15 minutes before reconnecting the battery cables. Disconnecting the battery like this may reset your car’s electrical system and erase the error code that’s causing the check engine light to stay on. If all else fails, purchase an OBD code scanner and plug it into the OBD port on your vehicle, which should be located under the steering column. Turn on the scanner and wait for it to scan your vehicle for error codes. When it’s finished, you can erase the error codes that appear on the scanner, which will turn your check engine light off. To learn how to reset a check engine light with a code scanner, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No
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Vw Passat Check Engine Light Reset
Last Updated on September 24, 2023 by Albert Duke
To reset the check engine light on a VW Passat, fix the issue that caused the light to turn on, such as tightening a loose gas cap, and the light will automatically turn off.
Reasons For Check Engine Light (Cel) In Vw Passat
The check engine light (CEL) in a VW Passat can be triggered by various reasons. One common cause is a loose gas cap, which can lead to fuel vapor leaks. Another potential issue is a damaged oxygen sensor, which can affect the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Malfunctioning fuel injection systems can also trigger the CEL, causing the engine to run inefficiently. Dirty mass airflow sensors can disrupt the air-fuel mixture, leading to increased emissions. Faulty emissions control parts can also cause the CEL to illuminate. In some cases, a faulty head gasket can lead to combustion leaks and trigger the CEL.
Finally, defective spark plugs can result in misfires, leading to a check engine light. It is important to address these issues promptly to prevent further damage to the vehicle’s engine.
Resetting The Check Engine Light On Vw Passat
Resetting the check engine light on a VW Passat is a simple process that can be done without a scanner. First, you need to scan for fault codes. This will help you identify the specific issue causing the check engine light to come on.
Once you have identified the fault codes, you can proceed to check them. After checking the fault codes, the next step is to erase them. This will clear the codes from the system and turn off the check engine light.
To reset the service light, you will need to disconnect the negative battery cable. Make sure to turn off the ignition before doing this and wear safety glasses and gloves. After disconnecting the negative battery cable, wait for a few minutes and then reconnect it.
This will reset the service light.
Will The Check Engine Light Reset Itself?
The check engine light on your Volkswagen Passat will reset itself if the issue or code that caused it to turn on is resolved. For instance, if the light came on due to a loose gas cap, simply tightening it will make the light go off.
It’s important to note that common misconceptions about check engine lights often lead people to believe they need a professional scanner to reset the light. However, there are simple DIY methods available, such as disconnecting the negative battery cable. By following the appropriate steps and fixing the underlying problem, you can successfully reset the check engine light on your VW Passat without the need for a scanner.
Frequently Asked Questions Of Vw Passat Check Engine Light Reset
Will vw check engine light reset itself.
The VW check engine light will reset itself if the issue that caused it to turn on is fixed.
How Can I Reset My Check Engine Light Myself?
To reset your check engine light on a Volkswagen Passat yourself, follow these steps: 1. Turn off the ignition. 2. Put on safety glasses and gloves. 3. Open the hood to access the battery. 4. Disconnect the negative battery cable by loosening the nut and pulling off the connector.
5. Reconnect the negative cable and tighten the nut. 6. Start the car and see if the check engine light has turned off. Note: This method may not work for all issues causing the check engine light to come on.
If the light persists, it’s recommended to have the vehicle diagnosed by a professional.
Why Is My Check Engine Light On In My Volkswagen Passat?
The check engine light in your Volkswagen Passat is on due to various reasons. It could be a loose gas cap, a damaged oxygen sensor, a malfunctioning fuel injection system, a dirty mass airflow sensor, or other issues. Fixing the underlying problem will usually turn off the check engine light.
You can also reset it without a scanner by disconnecting the negative battery cable and reconnecting it after a few minutes.
How Do I Clear My Check Engine Light Without A Scanner?
To clear your check engine light without a scanner on a Volkswagen Passat, follow these steps: 1. Turn off the ignition and put on safety glasses and gloves. 2. Disconnect the negative battery cable by loosening the nut on the negative terminal with a wrench and pulling the connector off the battery.
3. Leave the cable disconnected for a few minutes, then reconnect it and tighten the nut. 4. Start the engine and see if the check engine light has turned off. Note: This method may only temporarily clear the light, and if the underlying issue is not resolved, the light may come back on.
It is recommended to have your vehicle diagnosed by a professional to determine the cause of the check engine light.
If you’re experiencing a check engine light on your Volkswagen Passat, understanding how to reset it can save you time and money. While the check engine light will usually turn off on its own once the underlying issue is fixed, there are times when a manual reset is necessary.
One common method to reset the check engine light is by disconnecting the negative battery cable. To do this, turn off the ignition, put on safety glasses and gloves, locate the negative battery terminal, loosen the nut, and pull the negative connector away from the battery.
After a few minutes, reconnect the negative cable and tighten the nut. This should reset the check engine light. However, if the light persists, it’s recommended to seek professional help to diagnose and fix any potential issues. By familiarizing yourself with these simple steps, you’ll have a better understanding of how to reset the check engine light on your Volkswagen Passat.
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Volkswagen Tiguan Check Engine Light On: Why and What to Do
The check engine is the most common warning light that appears in the Volkswagen Tiguan’s instrument cluster. Well over half of this site’s content is related to solving the various reasons why the check engine light comes on.
The good news is that the check engine light indicates that there are Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) stored in your Tiguan’s computer , which is a very good thing. DTC’s really help save time determining what is wrong with your vehicle.
The check engine light is often referred to as the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) or Service Engine Soon light. All three terms are 100% interchangeable.
Table of Contents
- What Are Trouble Codes ?
- How to Pull Trouble Codes
How to Reset the Check Engine Light
Common questions, what are trouble codes.
Trouble codes are a number sequence of letters and numbers that correspond with a standardized list of problems that can occur in any vehicle, including the Volkswagen Tiguan . Some of them are Volkswagen specific, while most have the same meaning no matter who made the vehicle.
Common OBD II Codes
The most common of all trouble codes is P0420 (it indicates your Volkswagen Tiguan’s catalytic converter isn’t scrubbing pollutants efficiently).
Here are some of the other most common codes:
- P0442 – Small EVAP leak (most commonly fixed by tightening a loose gas cap or replacing it)
- P0300 – Random misfire (bad ignition coil(s), spark plugs, or spark plug wires).
- P0128 – Engine running too cool (almost always caused by a thermostat that’s stuck open)
- P0172 – Air Fuel mixture too rich (there are many causes, including oxygen sensors, leaking injectors, or too much fuel pressure)
The most common codes are related to the emissions system . Some of them are as easy to fix as replacing your Tiguan’s. Others require serious diagnostic tests from a repair shop.
How to Pull Trouble Codes on the Volkswagen Tiguan
You can either pull the trouble codes from your Tiguan’s PCM (Powertrain Control Module) yourself, or you can bring your vehicle to a parts store or shop to have it scanned.
Pull Them Yourself
You can put a scan tool into the OBD II port and pull codes out of the diagnostic system yourself. Any vehicle made for the 1996 model year and up uses the same protocol.
You can usually find the OBD II port underneath the Tiguan’s steering wheel. The exact location of the port is going to depend on what model year you have. If you don’t see it check the owner’s manual or do a quick google image search.
Once your scanner is online, you can pull the codes. You should see a retrieve codes option.
Take Your Carortruck to a Shop or Parts Store
If you don’t have a scan tool, you can take your Tiguan to the local parts store. Most of them are happy to pull the codes for you for free .
A lot of auto shops also offer free scan service, but you may find pressured into authorizing whatever repairs they suggest on the spot.
Once you have the codes in hand, you can look them up and determine what’s wrong with your Tiguan.
There are three ways to reset the Volkswagen Tiguan’s check engine light. We recommend trying to identify the problem and fixing it before resetting the check engine light.
1. Fix and Wait
The best way to clear the check engine light is to pull the trouble code, identify and fix the issue and then drive your Tiguan around until the module that threw the code recognizes that the problem is fixed.
Sometimes it can take a few drive cycles for your vehicle’s check engine light to shut down. Other times, it’ll happen as soon as you fire the vehicle up. Some folks prefer to clear the code and see if it comes back on
2. Use an OBDII Scanner
You can use an OBDII scanner to turn off your Tiguan’s check engine light. The catch is, that if you don’t fix the problem, the light will turn on again.
This is done by connecting a scan tool to your Tiguan’s PCM and choosing the “clear codes” option.
Once you’ve identified and fixed the issue, wait for three or four days of normal driving to see if the Check Engine Light turns back on.
If it does not come back on after this period, then you can assume that your Volkswagen Tiguan is fixed and the light won’t be turning back on.
3. Disconnect the Battery
If you’ve identified and fixed the issue that caused your Tiguan’s Check Engine Light to come on, resetting the light is as simple as disconnecting and reconnecting the battery. This can be done by unhooking both cables from the battery terminals (negative cable first) and waiting 30 seconds before reconnecting them.
Once the battery is reconnected, your Check Engine Light should be reset and should no longer be illuminated. If the light does come back on again after you reset it, then it means that the issue has not been properly fixed and needs further attention.
Will a Vehicle Fail Inspection With the Check Engine Light On
If you are looking to get your Volkswagen Tiguan through emissions and the check engine light is on, it is an automatic fail in almost every State in the Union. It doesn’t matter why the check engine light is on, it only matters that a code is stored.
Here’s a list of the emissions regulations of each State .
You can’t reset a check engine light to circumvent emissions requirements. When you reconnect the battery, the OBD II system is going to need several drive cycles to qualify to take an emissions test, which will give it enough time to recognize the issue.
Can You Drive With the Check Engine Light On?
Whether you can drive your Tiguan with the check engine light on depends on the code(s) that triggered the check engine light.
You certainly can’t drive the Volkswagen Tiguan with the check engine light flashing. A flashing check engine light indicates that there is a serious problem with the engine.
Why is My Check Engine Light Flashing?
A flashing Check Engine Light typically indicates a serious issue with your Tiguan and should not be ignored. It usually indicates a catastrophic misfire that can dump raw fuel into the exhaust system, which can damage the catalytic converter and cause backfiring. Do not drive your vehicle with a flashing check engine light .