How Long For Check Engine Light To Clear? [Causes & Reset]

One of your car’s early warning systems is the check engine light. The light indicates that the car has detected an issue with the engine, which might lead to serious difficulties later. After 10 to 20 cycles, the reset could occur automatically.

Why The Light Stays On

Many automobile owners are concerned about the light being on after the repair. Don’t be alarmed. You may believe that the automobile still has a problem after the repair, but this is only because the light requires time to reset.

The car’s internal computer only resets after a certain amount of time has passed and it has checked all of its sensors again. After 10 to 20 cycles, the reset may occur automatically.

You may find your check engine light and lights for fuel level, lamps, and other things on the dashboard. It’s recommended to get your automobile examined once it starts up to ease the problem and avoid accidents.

As you may expect, you can drive the automobile for a long time with the check engine light illuminated. If this is troublesome, there is a technique to reset your check engine light faster.

How To Reset Check Engine Light

YouTube video

The video explains how you can easily do this process for free. It mentions a few possible reasons why this would be happening and workarounds to mitigate any recurring issues. The steps on how to reset your check engine light are as follows:

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1. Turn Off Your Vehicle

Ensure that your vehicle is off. Step on your brake pedal and pull your parking brake. Once you’ve disengaged your brake pedal, push the stop button on your dashboard to complete the process.

2. Take Off The Ground Cable

You can use a vise grip to take off the ground cable (loose black terminal connection or the negative cable) without clamping too hard on the vise grip. You don’t want to dent or damage your ground cable.

Hold on to the ground cable for about 1-2 minutes to reset the vehicle’s computer. If the connection looks bad, you can use a wire brush to clean your battery contacts.

3. Check The Gas Cap

Your gas cap must be screwed on securely so that you won’t have any issues with your gas tank, which may trigger the check engine light again. 

If your gas cap looks old and worn out, you might need to buy a new one. When buying a new gas cap, ensure that the one you are buying is specifically for your car model.

4. Re-Engage The Ground Cable And Start

Reinstall your ground cable onto the battery contact and test it out. Once you start the ignition on your car, the check engine light should be gone.


What’s An OBD2 Scanner?

An OBD2 scanner is a check engine light diagnostic that resets equipment. It displays a code to see if there are any other problems with the vehicle. 

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Generally, it will also include another code that will warn you if it detects an issue with your vehicle and one of the three codes.

When this occurs, you know there’s a problem with the car that isn’t caused by a defective light. Here are the terms that will be displayed:

Not applicable

“Not applicable” indicates that the scanner could not identify the check engine light or that the vehicle did not support the scanner.

Not ready

When your check engine light displays “Not ready,” it signifies the car’s computer hasn’t been reset yet and will take time to do so.


“Ready” indicates that the check engine light has turned off and the vehicle is operating normally.

Why Is My Check Engine Light Not Resetting?

If the indicator is still on after you’ve driven long enough for the internal computer to reset, there might be a problem you’re not aware of.

The best course of action is to get it checked again so that the mechanics can rule out any additional issues.

Does The Check Engine Light Reset Itself?

When you’ve fixed the problem, the check engine light will turn off in most automobile models. It may, however, take some time. Generally, it normally takes 10-20 successful cycles.

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