If you own a car, it is important to have the general knowledge on simple car repairs. You may find yourself in an emergency, and the problem may require a simple solution that can be solved in less than five minutes. The Service Engine Soon (SES) Light indicates many other things that could range from a loose connection somewhere or a serious problem.

Since the introduction of on-board computers that are meant to keep track of every function of the engine, diagnosing engine problems has been much easier because these computers relay error codes that are associated with certain engine problems. You need to know how to reset the service engine soon light because there are instances where even after solving the problem the engine light will still be on.

To reset the engine light, you need not have some level of expertise or high-level knowledge on how the engine functions. If you read through this article, you will see how easy it is to do it as long as you have the right tool and equipment.

​Before you reset your engine light, you should, first of all, identify the cause. We will look at some of the causes of engine light warning later in the article.



What are the Causes of the SES Light Flash

​First, we need to know the reasons behind the Service Engine Soon (SES) light. Here are some of the signs to lookout for when trying to figure out why SES keeps flashing.

1. ​A Loose or an Open Gas Cap

The gas cap may be loose or incorrectly positioned. You need to make sure that the cap is tight. Confirm that the fuel tank is at least half-full. If you suspect or can see that the cap has a problem, shop for a replacement.​

1. ​A Loose or an Open Gas Cap

2. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor​

​Some sensors will send an error code the vehicle's console when they become dirty or defective. If the Oxygen sensor is not picking up enough oxygen, it will cause the engine light illumination.

2. Malfunctioning Oxygen Sensor​

3. ​Engine Problem

​It could be a broken engine part that is giving the error alert. When the all other things are in order, and the light persists, you have to take the car to a professional mechanic to identify the exact problem.

3. ​Engine Problem

4. ​Defective Mass Flow Sensor

​If the Mass flow sensor cannot get the correct fuel amount to the engine, this may trigger the check engine soon light. Inaccurate fuel injection means that your Mass flow sensor should be replaced.

5. ​Problem with the Engine light

​The dashboard circuit may have a wiring problem that keeps the engine light in an ON state. It could also be a fuse problem.

​If all the above conditions have been corrected, but the engine light is still on, then you need to reset it.

​What You Will Need

  • A pen and paper to note down the error code
  • A vehicle scanner to reset the engine light
  • Some pliers or spanners to disconnect the battery
  • Of course the ignition keys for turning the engine when troubleshooting

NOTE: It is important to write down the codes before resetting the engine light so that if another problem occurs, you can use the codes for further diagnosis.

How to Reset the SES Light

There are three ways that I am going to look at that will help you reset your car engine light warning.

Method 1

​How to reset the service engine soon light using the Ignition switch and accelerator pedal combination.

1. Turn the Ignition to the ON position

​Take the driver's seat and turn the ignition switch to the ON position but make sure you do not start the car and wait for 3-5 seconds.

1. Turn the Ignition to the ON position

2. ​Press the Accelerator in Quick Succession

​Place your foot on the accelerator and depress it to the floor five times in quick succession. Make sure you do this within five seconds.

2. ​Press the Accelerator in Quick Succession

3. Release the Accelerator

​Take your foot off the accelerator pedal and wait for another seven seconds.

4. ​Press and Hold the Accelerator

​Place your foot on the accelerator and press it in, but this time, do not release, hold it there for ten seconds. During this step, the SES light will start to flash.

5. ​Release the Accelerator

​Release the accelerator pedal after the 10 seconds and see the engine light still blinking.

6. ​Turn OFF the Ignition

​Shut down the ignition by turning the key to the OFF position.

7. ​Start the Car

​Start the car; the engine light should be off

​Please note that this procedure is used to clear or reset the engine light, it does not solve the fault that caused the light in the first place. After this procedure drive your car to the mechanic.

​NOTE: When the light flashes, you need to be keen on the frequency of flashes. The number of times it flashes represents a numerical error code. For instance, a code 32 will be presented as FLASH FLASH FLASH (Long Pause) FLASH FLASH (Pause).

Method 2

Another way of resetting the service engine light is by disconnecting the car battery. This is an old method of resetting the engine light, and it may not work on some vehicles.

1. Disconnect the car battery

This can be done by either removing both the negative and the positive cables or just the negative cable for simplicity. If possible, you can use set of pliers or spanner to remove the battery connections.

1. Disconnect the car battery

2. Drain the Remaining Power

This is done by pressing and holding on to the horn for 30 seconds. This drains all stored power in the capacitors.

3. Wait for Fifteen Minutes

Fifteen minutes later the engine codes should be erased, and consequently, the engine light should be off.

NOTE: Some cars have a theft deterrent radio installed on them, so if you disconnect the battery it may end up not working after this procedure.

Method 3

​The simplest and the safest way to turn off check engine light soon is by using an OBD2 scanner which can be obtained from any auto shop. The scanner will retrieve the error code and clear it completely.

1. Connect the Scanner

​Below the steering column, you will find the scanning interface. Some vehicles have the interface placed on the left side of the dashboard. If you cannot find your car’s scanner interface, look for the owner’s manual for the exact location. Turn ON the ignition switch and turn off all accessories that may be on. Connect the scanner and turn it on.

1. Connect the Scanner

2. ​Read the Error Codes

​View the engines error codes that are being displayed on the scanner screen. You may note them down for future reference or troubleshooting.

3. ​Erase the Codes

​Use the scanner’s erase button to clear all the error codes. Depending on the type of scanner used you may have different button names used as the erasing key.


​Those are the three basic procedures that you can use or follow and reset your engine service light. We do hope that the information shared here can help solve your car problems.

Send us a comment or ideas that you may have about engine light reset. Please note that the article is about how to reset service engine soon light and not the solution to causes of your engine problem. Look at the reasons discussed above and make sure after the light reset no such problems exist.

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Chief editor at Paul's Gigantic Garage. I came up with this blog to help you to sort out some basic problems your car may be facing and in turn, save lots of cash by some of my DIY tips that I hope will get your car out of its current situation. I also had in mind motor enthusiasts who for the love of cars who are constantly looking for information about cars on the latest trends, questions, fixes, driving, tricks, and accessories.


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