How To Reset Car Computer – Step By Step Guide

The computer of a car is also known as ECU. ECU stands for Electronic Control Unit and it monitors the sensors in the engine and lets the vehicle perform at its highest level. Nowadays the car computer is a very important part of its enactment and it is considered as the brain of the car. One of the main functions of the car computer is to receive a signal from different sensors like:

1. The oxygen sensor

2. The air pressure sensor

3. The air temperature sensor

4. The engine temperature sensor

5. The throttle position sensor

6. The knock sensor

7. The oxygen sensor

So if there is an issue with the car computer then it can cause problems to the vehicle’s functionality. In the worst-case scenario, a problematic car computer can make it unsafe to drive that car. Therefore, if you want to avoid the risk and minimize the potential damage then you should monitor your car computer frequently and reset the car computer when required. Read this article and learn how you can reset the car’s computer.

Symptoms Of A Defective Car Computer

If you are a car owner or if you drive a car then it is very important you know the symptoms of a faulty car computer. Here are some key symptoms that could point to a failing car computer. Let’s check them out!

1. If you are facing a problem while starting your car then it is more likely because of the defective car computer. Sometimes the car may not start and it is because of the failure of power reaching the car’s computer due to a blown-off fuse or a wiring issue.

2. If your car computer is having any issue then an illuminated check engine light can be an indication of that problem. This problem can occur when the computer fails to record a problem with its components.

3. A burning smell is another strong indication that your car computer has become faulty. Because heat and overload can simply cause problems with the computer and with other components of your car.

4. A defective car computer can cause your engine to suddenly jerk, stall, or misfire because your car might have enough transmission fluid. But this symptom is unpredictable and varies in frequency and intensity.

5. If you are experiencing decreased fuel economy &efficiency, and poor timing & acceleration then it is quite certain your car has a faulty computer. This is because most of the time defective car computer reduces the performance of a car engine.

How To Reset Car Computer

Sometimes you have to reset the car computer to erase the saved error codes that are causing problems like the check engine light remain on. There are two ways you can reset the car computer. They are:

1. Resetting the Car Computer while the Battery is Turned Off

2. Resetting the Car Computer while the Battery is Turned On

Resetting The Car Computer While The Battery Is Turned Off

This procedure requires few instruments and they are a battery wrench or pliers, a cable tie or insulating tape, a 10-watt resistor, etc. You also have to make sure that the battery is turned off. Now follow these steps:

1. First, with the battery wrench, remove the battery terminals, and then remove the battery from its compartment so the flow of power into the engine has cut off.

2. Now short the negative and positive wires of the engine and tie them together with the cable tie or insulating tape.

3. Then leave the wires short for about 45 minutes to do the soft reset. This way you will be able to drain the circuit of any residue current and cut the power from the car computer and erase the errors.

4. Now clean the battery and its terminals carefully with the water and baking soda and then rinse the battery to clean off all the solution.

5. Once the 45 minutes are completed, restore the battery and reconnect all the terminals. Now start your car and you will see all the error codes are gone!

Resetting The Car Computer While The Battery Is Turned On

You can reset the car computer without disconnecting the car battery. To perform this procedure you will require a fuse puller and a code reader. Now follow these steps:

1. First, locate the car’s fuse box and then remove the box cover, and with the fuse puller, pull the fuses labeled “Back-up” with 7.5A. Then locate another fuse labeled “ECU” and pull it out with 15A.

2. Now let the fuses remain disconnected for about 10 minutes and then re-install them properly. Do the same for the “ECU.”

3. Then restore the fuse box cover and then start your car. Now drive for a few minutes and check if all the error codes are gone or not.

Final Thoughts

The above two methods are simple but effective. Anyone with minimum car knowledge can perform these procedures. However, if you are not sure whether you can do it or not then it is best for you to schedule a service appointment with your automaker and let the professional take care of your car.


What Is The Difference Between A Car Computer And A Car?

Car Computer: A car computer is a device that houses the software and programs for a vehicle’s various electronic components. It can provide a variety of functions including but not limited to sending and receiving safety warnings, monitoring vehicle operations, and even controlling individual components such as the lights or brakes.

Car: Car is an abbreviation for the automobile. It is a vehicle with four wheels, powered by an internal combustion engine (ICE), primarily used for transportation.

How Do You Find The Car Computer’s Location?

Some people are unaware of where their car computer is located. A car computer, also known as an engine control module, is usually found in the driver side wheel well or below the dash in newer cars.

What Does The Car’s Computer Do?

There are many different computers inside a car. The computer that connects the dashboard to the engine is called an ECU. There is another computer in the rear differential to control the transmission and one in each wheel to control the antilock brakes. But there is a lot more going on. There are computers that monitor airbag deployment, engine timing, brake pressure, and ABS operation. Computers even provide alerts when a car’s electrical system fails or when tire pressure drops too low.

Why Do I Need To Reset My Car’s Computer?

It is important to reset your car’s computer because it will keep the software updated. It also removes temporary faults, prevents the battery from being drained by any leftover components, and ensures the airbags are functional.