Let"s take a look at at just how to clear that pesky "check engine" light, so girlfriend don"t panic once driving down the highway. It"s a simple procedure to clean the light and also your stress.

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This article uses to the Toyota Camry (1997-2011).

There space times, the seems, when I to be the idiot because that whom "idiot lights" room named. Favor you, I"m drving down the street, i look down and see the the "check engine" light has actually come on. Mine mind starts to race. How long has that been on? as soon as did that come on? What does the mean? Is my car going to stop? Am ns causing more problems by steering on? just how much is this walking to expense me?

Sound familiar? Well, relax. Countless times, the solution is simple. It"s basic because the cause is simple. And if you recognize what come do and also how come proceed, that will expense you basically nothing.


As we begin, let"s speak for a moment around the ECU. The ECU learns around your engine together you drive her car. It offers what it learns to monitor the changes in the sensors on her engines and monitors if anything is not functioning properly. The ECU then stores what it learns in a battery backed-up RAM. Eventually, you"re going come reset the ECU. That means clearing the permanent memory and restoring the worths to a neutral default value and also clearing any type of trouble codes that are present.

Step 1 – Check all of the fuses

Not just the noticeable ones; do sure every little thing is in working order. The fuse box on the Toyota Camry is situated under the hood and also on your too much right as you look in ~ the engine.

Figure 1. Fuse box in the Toyota Camry.
Pro Tip

The factor you must check every one of the fuses is because sometimes the circuits deserve to overlap each other, or one circuit can be protecting another. So just make sure all the fuses room in great working order.

Step 2 – Disconnect battery

The ECU has a straight line come it the runs v a fuse come the battery. The ECU uses that connection to store its storage alive when the auto is turn off. Your car"s radio offers the same line as back-up power, so that your radio doesn"t forget her favorite stations once the auto is no running.

Disconnect the an unfavorable (black) terminal of your car"s battery because that a while. As soon as you"ve disconnected the resource of the back-up power (your battery), the ECU will certainly reset itself and in doing so will likewise turn off your "check engine" light. How long you must disconnect the battery is a issue of debate. To it is in safe and also make certain the process works, leaving it disconnected for around 15 minute to certain that all of the back-up memory has actually been erased.

Figure 2. Toyota Camry battery.

Step 3 – Reconnect battery

Disconnecting her battery has disconnected your ECU"s resource of back-up power. Currently your ECU"s memory has been cleared, your check engine light must be off, and you"re prepared to go. Every that"s left is come reconnect the an adverse terminal of her car"s battery by reattaching the battery cable to the terminal and tightening the nut to certain a solid and complete connection.

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Pro Tip

Some human being report that their engine operation a small rough or idles poorly ~ they have actually reset the ECU. Don"t it is in alarmed. Here"s why: her ECU now has default numbers in that is memory. That will have to learn when again how your automobile runs and adjust the data to match the track of her car"s engine. Normally, it will certainly take a work or 2 of control in traffic for the ECU to do all the vital adjustments and also then everything will be smooth as can be—as normal.