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Subaru Check Engine Light Reset: Get Your Car Back in Top Gear


To reset the check engine light in a Subaru, follow these steps: disconnect the car battery for a few minutes, then reconnect it. This will clear the error codes and reset the light.

A check engine light can cause concern, but it doesn’t always mean a major issue with your Subaru. It can be triggered by something as simple as a loose gasoline cap or a faulty oxygen sensor.

Regardless, addressing the issue promptly is important to prevent any potential damage. We will discuss resetting the check engine light in your Subaru and provide step-by-step instructions to get your car back on the road without the annoying warning light.

Understanding The Check Engine Light

The Check Engine Light (CEL) in a Subaru is a crucial indicator that something is amiss with the vehicle. Understanding the Check Engine Light is essential for Subaru owners, as it is an early warning system for potential issues. This light is part of the On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system and is designed to monitor engine performance, emissions, and other systems.

The CEL can be triggered by a range of common issues, including a loose gas cap, faulty oxygen sensors, catalytic converter problems, or issues with the electrical system. It is important to note that the CEL does not provide specific details about the problem but rather alerts the driver that an underlying issue requires attention.

When the Check Engine Light illuminates, diagnosing and addressing the problem promptly is crucial. Ignoring the CEL can lead to more severe damage to the vehicle and potentially costly repairs.

Sometimes, the CEL can be easily reset by simply tightening the gas cap or resolving the underlying issue. However, it is recommended that a professional mechanic diagnose and fix the problem to ensure the vehicle’s optimal performance and safety.

Tools And Equipment Needed

Having the right tools and equipment is essential when resetting the check engine light in a Subaru. One of the most important tools you will need is an OBD-II scanner utility specifically designed for Subaru vehicles. This scanner allows you to access the onboard diagnostic system in your Subaru and read the trouble codes that are causing the check engine light to illuminate. With the help of the scanner, you can then reset the light and clear the trouble codes. Besides the OBD-II scanner, alternative tools are available for resetting the check engine light in a Subaru. These tools may include a jumper wire or a diagnostic tool specific to Subaru vehicles. Whichever tool you choose, ensure it is compatible with your Subaru model and year to ensure a successful reset of the check engine light.

Decoding Trouble Codes With An Obd-ii Scanner

Decoding Trouble Codes With An Obd-ii Scanner

To reset the check engine light on your Subaru, you can use an OBD-II scanner. This diagnostic tool can help you troubleshoot and identify potential issues with your vehicle. Follow these steps to reset the check engine light:

  1. Locate the OBD-II port, typically under the dashboard on the driver’s side.
  2. Plug the OBD-II scanner into the port.
  3. Turn on the ignition without starting the engine.
  4. Navigate through the scanner’s menu until you find the option to read and clear diagnostic trouble codes.
  5. Select the option to clear the codes.
  6. Wait for the scanner to complete the process.
  7. Once cleared, the check engine light should turn off.

It’s important to note that resetting the check engine light will not fix any underlying issues with your vehicle. If the light comes back on after resetting, it’s recommended to have your Subaru inspected by a qualified mechanic to determine the cause of the problem. By properly interpreting common Subaru diagnostic trouble codes, you can gain valuable insights into any potential issues with your vehicle.

When To Seek Professional Assistance


Risks of ignoring your Subaru’s Check Engine Light

If your Subaru’s check engine light comes on, it is crucial not to ignore it. Ignoring this warning could lead to more severe problems and potentially expensive repairs. While there are some instances where you can address the issue yourself, some situations require the expertise of a professional mechanic.

Identifying these situations is important to ensure you receive the necessary assistance. Some indicators that warrant professional attention include:

  • Persistent or Flashing Light: If the check engine light remains illuminated or is flashing, this indicates a serious problem that needs immediate attention.
  • Strange Noises or Smells: Unusual noises or smells coming from your Subaru, combined with the check engine light, may indicate a more significant issue that a mechanic should examine.
  • Drastic Drop in Performance: If your Subaru experiences a sudden drop in performance or begins to stall, it is essential to have a professional diagnose the problem.

By seeking professional assistance, you can have peace of mind and ensure that potential problems are addressed promptly and accurately.

Key Procedures For A Manual Reset

If you want to manually reset the check engine light on your Subaru, there are key procedures you need to follow. One method involves disconnecting the battery. Before attempting this, it is important to take certain precautions and follow these tips:

  • Ensure your vehicle’s engine is turned off.
  • Start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery.
  • Wait for at least 15 minutes to allow the vehicle’s electrical system to reset.
  • Reconnect the negative terminal of the battery.
  • Start the engine and see if the check engine light has been reset.
  • If the light remains illuminated or comes back on after resetting, an underlying issue may need to be addressed. It is recommended to have the vehicle diagnosed by a qualified mechanic.

Always exercise caution and consult your vehicle’s manual or a professional if you are unsure about performing any procedures independently.

Utilizing An Obd-ii Scanner For Reset

Resetting the check engine light in your Subaru can be done using an OBD-II scanner. This tool allows you to clear trouble codes and diagnose any issues with your vehicle. To start, connect the scanner to the OBD-II port located under the dashboard. Turn on the ignition, but do not start the engine. Follow the prompts on the scanner to retrieve the trouble codes and identify the problem. Once you have noted the codes, you can proceed with the reset process. Look for the “erase” or “clear” option on the scanner menu and select it. The scanner will send a command to the vehicle’s computer to clear the trouble codes and reset the check engine light. After completing the reset, it is important to test drive your Subaru to ensure that the check engine light remains off and the issue has been resolved.

Post-reset Check Engine Light Monitoring

To ensure that your Subaru is running smoothly after resetting the check engine light, it is important to monitor your vehicle closely. Regularly checking your Subaru’s performance is essential to catch potential issues before they escalate. Here are some tips to help you effectively monitor your Subaru after a check engine light reset:

  • Check for reoccurrence: Monitor your dashboard for any reappearance of the check engine light. If it comes back on, it is important to address the issue promptly.
  • Pay attention to performance: Observe your Subaru’s acceleration, idling, and overall performance. Any changes or abnormalities could be signs of an underlying problem.
  • Listen for unusual sounds: Unusual noises while driving, such as knocking or rattling, may indicate a mechanical issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Monitor fuel efficiency: A sudden decrease in fuel efficiency could indicate an engine problem. Keep track of your Subaru’s MPG to notice any significant changes.
  • Regular maintenance: Keeping up with your Subaru’s scheduled maintenance is crucial for preventing engine light issues. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Following these tips, you can better monitor your Subaru after a check engine light reset and take appropriate action if any issues arise. Remember, staying proactive with your vehicle’s maintenance can help avoid future engine light problems.

Driving Strategies To Keep Your Subaru In Top Gear

After resetting the Check Engine Light (CEL) in your Subaru, it is important to adjust your driving habits to prevent future engine warnings. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Regular maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance checks and follow the recommended service intervals to keep your Subaru in top condition.
  • Monitor fuel consumption: Keep an eye on your fuel consumption and address any sudden drops or irregularities that could indicate an issue with your engine.
  • Drive smoothly: Avoid aggressive acceleration and sudden braking, as this puts unnecessary strain on your engine and can trigger the CEL.
  • Observe speed limits: Stick to the speed limits to avoid excessive strain on your engine and maintain optimal performance.
  • Avoid excessive idling: Idling for extended periods wastes fuel and can contribute to engine problems. Turn off your engine when parked for more than a minute or two.
  • Address issues promptly: If you notice any unusual sounds, vibrations, or performance issues, have your Subaru checked by a qualified mechanic immediately.

Following these driving strategies can help prevent future engine warnings and keep your Subaru running smoothly.

Routine Maintenance To Avoid Engine Light Alerts

Regular maintenance is crucial to keep your Subaru running smoothly and to prevent engine light alerts. Following a recommended maintenance schedule can keep your engine in its best condition and avoid potential problems.

Maintaining your Subaru’s engine includes regular oil changes, filter replacements, and coolant flushes. These routine tasks help keep the engine clean and prevent any build-up or clogs that could trigger the check engine light. Additionally, inspecting and replacing worn-out spark plugs, ignition wires, and timing belts is important.

By sticking to your Subaru’s recommended maintenance schedule, you proactively address potential issues and ensure that your engine is well taken care of. Not only does this help avoid costly repairs in the long run, but it also improves fuel efficiency and extends the lifespan of your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Subaru Check Engine Light Reset

How Do I Reset The Check Engine Light On My Subaru?

Resetting the check engine light on your Subaru is a simple process. First, ensure the underlying issue causing the light to illuminate has been resolved. Next, disconnect the negative battery terminal for 10 minutes to reset the light.

Reconnect the terminal, and the light should be reset. Always consult your vehicle’s manual for specific instructions.

What Are Common Reasons For The Check Engine Light To Come On In A Subaru?

The check engine light in your Subaru may come on for various reasons. Some common causes include a faulty oxygen sensor, a loose gas cap, or a malfunctioning catalytic converter. Diagnosing the exact issue requires a diagnostic scan tool.

It is recommended to have a professional mechanic perform the scan to identify and resolve the problem accurately.

Can The Check Engine Light Turn Off On Its Own In A Subaru?

In some cases, the check engine light in a Subaru may turn off on its own after a few drive cycles. This can occur if the underlying issue that triggered the light no longer persists. However, it is important not to ignore the light, as it could indicate a significant issue.

It is recommended to have your vehicle inspected by a professional to determine the cause and ensure it is resolved.


Resetting the check engine light on your Subaru is a simple process that can save you time and money. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can effectively diagnose and address any issues with your vehicle. Always consult your owner’s manual or a professional mechanic for further guidance.

Stay proactive in maintaining your Subaru’s performance and keep that check engine light at bay. Drive safe!

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