Subaru Check Engine Light Reset: How To Clear Codes

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Performing a Subaru check engine light reset without a scanner can seem like an unfamiliar process because having a proper code reader or a relevant scanner is much more convenient. However, you may not know how to work correctly with such a device even if you own it, and that is where it proves helpful to learn such techniques.

Subaru Check Engine Light Reset

It is also possible that your scanner is malfunctioning, making it essential to understand and learn how to check your Subaru vehicle’s engine codes without a particular device. If these thoughts are troubling you, our team has compiled the techniques to do this in the following article with maximum accuracy and effectiveness!

How Can You Reset Subaru Check Engine Light Codes Without Scanner?

You can reset Subaru check engine light codes without any scanner by first parking the car somewhere safe. Then you must disconnect the car battery carefully and work with the horn and the ignition. Finally, you have to reconnect the car battery.

1. Disconnecting the Car Battery

Locate the negative cable and use a trusty wrench to loosen the clamps on the car battery terminals. Carefully remove the negative cable first, followed by the positive line. Make sure that these wires don’t touch each other while removing them. This will help prevent short circuits and potential electrical damage.

2. Working With the Ignition

Once you have disconnected the battery cables, turn the ignition switch ON and OFF three to five times. This helps discharge any residual energy in the car’s electrical system, which can reset the error codes.

You should wait roughly 15 minutes before proceeding with any repairs or maintenance to ensure the electrical system is fully discharged. Keep any metal objects away from the car battery cables while working to avoid accidentally creating a short circuit.

3. Holding the Horn

To drain all of the stored power in the ECU capacitor, press and hold the car horn on the steering wheel for around 30 seconds or more. This process discharges any remaining electricity in the system and helps ensure the ECU resets to its default settings.

4. Reconnecting Battery Cables

After disconnecting the battery, it’s crucial to reconnect it correctly. Before attaching the battery cables, wait 10-15 minutes to ensure any residual electricity dissipates.

Start by connecting your red cable to the positive battery terminal and then attach the black cable to the negative terminal.

Reconnecting Battery Cables

Use a wrench to tighten the clamps securely to avoid any loose connections, which can lead to electrical issues.

5. Finishing Up

After reconnecting the battery cables, turn the ignition ON and check if the dashboard warning lights turn on. Then, you can start the car engine and let it warm up. If everything is fine, this should clear any stored codes and turn off the check engine light.

Take note that this technique will only work for OBDI vehicles, not OBDII. If you have an OBDII vehicle, you must use a certain OBD2 scanner to clear the codes since that is the appropriate tool.

How Can You Reset Subaru Check Engine Light Using a Recorder?

You can reset Subaru check engine light using a recorder by ensuring your car has sufficient battery power. Then you can use a recording device. Using this camera, you can record the diagnostic codes showing up and know what action to take.

1. Having Car Battery Power

First, you need to ensure sufficient power in your car battery because it needs to be appropriately charged to carry out the process smoothly. Once you have taken care of this properly, you will have to switch on all the lights on the dashboard. Since the battery will be charged appropriately, this should be fine.

2. Using a Recording Device

After ensuring your car’s battery power is complete and turning on the dash light, you must get a recording device, such as a camcorder or digital camera. You will need these recording devices to record the error lights that show up.

Using Recording Device in Car

Whatever device you choose to do your recording, you need to ensure that it can record video clips that can last for 30 seconds at least. Once you have your chosen camera, you can capture the engine light flashing constantly.

3. Setting up the Camera

Suppose you plan on recording the diagnostic codes of your car’s engine using a camera. In that case, ensuring you are capturing high-quality footage with adequate focus is vital. If you are using a camcorder, make sure that you set it to the highest quality video setting and direct it towards the dashboard. If you use a digital camera, ensure it is placed close to the dashboard and pointed towards it.

Once your camera is positioned, it is time to start the diagnostic process. Within a timespan of around five seconds, you will need to switch the key between the ON and OFF positions. Do this roughly four times, and then wait for the engine lights to flash. The error codes will be displayed in 2-digit flashes.

You can check the specific error codes in your vehicle’s user manual.

How Can You Reset the Subaru Check Engine Light With Ignition Key?

You can reset the Subaru check engine light with ignition key by turning the said key, after which you will need to check the dashboard. This is where you will see the corresponding error codes and will know what action to take.

1. Turning the Ignition Key

When checking for error codes in your car, a quick and easy method is to switch on and off the ignition key without starting the engine. However, remember that the times you need to flip the key will vary depending on your car’s make and model. In most cases, 3 to 5 times is sufficient.

Take note that you should stop flipping the key in the ON position once all the dashboard lights illuminate. This is because, at this point, your car has already begun to display the error codes that you need to note down.

2. Checking the Dashboard

Suppose your vehicle is equipped with an OBDII system or is a newer model. In that case, the odometer displays the engine light codes. It is essential to write down every trouble code (DTC) that appears to ensure that you completely understand the issues with your car’s engine.

Checking Car Dashboard

However, suppose your check engine or service engine light begins to pulse or flash instead of displaying the DTCs on the odometer display. In that case, it indicates that your vehicle is OBD1. In this case, the flash created by the engine light is your fault code. Counting the times the light flashes is crucial, as this will indicate the code you need to note down.

3. Interpreting the Codes

Once you have these codes, the next step is to check your car’s repair manual for code descriptions and gain a deeper understanding of the exact issue. Most repair manuals will provide detailed information about each code, including the possible causes, symptoms, and potential solutions.

By understanding the code descriptions, you can gain insight into what issues may be causing the problem and determine the most correct course of action.

How Can You Reset the Subaru Check Engine Light Using the Odometer?

You can reset the Subaru check engine light using the odometer by pressing the “Trip” and “Reset” buttons on the device while turning the ignition on. With the DTC that appears, you will know what the main issue is and what to do to resolve it.

1. Using the Odometer Reset

One way to generate a Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) without using a code scanner is to press the odometer’s Trip and Reset buttons while turning the ignition key ON. Once the key is turned ON, it is essential to release the odometer Reset and Trip buttons to see if the DTC appears on the odometer display.

If the DTC shows up, you have successfully generated a fault code without needing a code scanner. Next, note every fault code and check your car’s manual for the DTC definitions.

DTC definitions provide a detailed explanation of the code, including its possible causes and potential solutions. By understanding the DTC definitions, you can gain valuable insight into the issue and determine the appropriate action to address it.

2. Trying Again

If the reset method for generating Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) does not work, there is no need to worry. There is an alternative procedure that you can try. This time, you must press the odometer Trip and Reset buttons and switch the ignition key ON, OFF, and then ON again.

It is crucial to end the action in the ON position. Once the key is ON, release the odometer Trip and Reset buttons, and check the digital odometer screen. The trouble code should appear if the process is successful.

3. Finding the Diagnostic Connector

Suppose your car supports OBD1, and you have trouble generating DTCs using the above mentioned methods. In that instance, there is another way to get your engine code. This involves using a paper clip or jumper wire to create a closed circuit.

Finding Diagnostic Connector

To get started, turn your car off and locate the OBD port or diagnostic connector. The location of the OBD port may vary depending on your car model, so it is essential to check your owner’s manual for the exact location.

Once you have located the OBD port, you will notice two terminals on the connector. Connect these terminals using a paper clip or jumper wire to create a closed circuit. Then turn on the ignition key without starting the engine, and you should see the check engine light flashing. Count the flashes, and this will correspond to a specific DTC. Consult your car’s manual or a qualified mechanic to understand the meaning of the DTC and address the underlying issue.

4. Turning on the Ignition

Turn the ignition key ON without starting your vehicle to generate a DTC using the paper clip or jumper wire method. The check engine light will start flashing, and each flash will correspond to a specific trouble code. Similar to the previous way, the flashes appear in pulses and pauses. Once again, you must count these flashes and then note the corresponding DTC.


While it is best to have a scanner at hand when trying to understand and clear the several different engine light codes in your Subaru, there might be a situation where you need a proper device. That being said, we have covered a wide range of techniques you may use in such circumstances, and you can review some of

the main points in the following summary:

  • You can reset the Subaru light without an OBD2 scanner by ensuring the car has enough battery power and using a recording device to capture diagnostic codes.
  • To reset the light with the ignition key, turn the key without starting the engine and check the dashboard for error codes.
  • Write down every trouble code on the dashboard or odometer display.
  • Use the car’s repair manual to better understand the exact issue by interpreting the codes.
  • Use the odometer reset by pressing the “Trip” and “Reset” buttons while turning the ignition on to generate a DTC and determine the issue.

It is not an impossible task to check the various engine light codes that show up on your vehicle dashboard. Now that you have thoroughly studied the guide above, we are sure that you will be able to utilize the methods given above and efficiently resolve the problem that is showing up without any further ado!

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