Your car’s ECU may need resetting if you are suffering from unknown or faulty engine check light or if you want to reset the factory setting of your vehicle. Thus you can easily reset your car’s ECU in several ways. For example, you can reset the ECU by disconnecting the battery or resetting the fuse from the box.
However, many people wonder and doubt if it is safe for their car to reset the ECU. Well, there is no harm in doing so, as the ECU will only reset itself to the default setting, which is the standard factory setting of your car.
Thus you can reset your car’s ECU whenever you want if you find any fault in the car’s setting. Now, if you do not know how to reset the ECU, don’t worry; below is a step-by-step guide on how you can reset the ECU in no time.
Table of Contents
- How Do I Reset My Car’s ECU?
- What Will Happen If I Reset My ECU?
- What Is Car’s ECU? What Does It Do?
- How Do You Know If Your ECU Is Reset?
- Should I Reset ECU After Changing Spark?
How Do I Reset My Car’s ECU?
An ECU (Engine Control Unit) is a part of a car that regulates the timing, fuel, and spark outputs.
If your car is running rough or you notice more check engine lights coming on, it may be time to reset your ECU. Here’s how to reset your ECU by disconnecting the battery.
- First of all, drive the car for at least five to ten miles for the ECU to be able to learn. The ECU is located directly beneath the steering wheel. It will help if you are looking for a rectangular box with a wire leading.
- Then, locate your car battery. It should be located near the back of your engine bay under the hood. Now disconnect the battery.
- Next, turn off your ignition. Now you must wait at least two to three minutes without touching anything electrical under your hood before continuing. This is called giving it time to bleed out, so any electricity left in your ECU will bleed out and away from your car’s electrical system before you reconnect everything.
- After a few minutes, depress the brakes to discharge the capacitors.
- Now the last step is to reconnect all of your battery cables, and then you can start up your car and check for any faults with the engine light.
However, if you still notice the engine check light or the fault in your car’s computer, then it is time for professional help.
First, take your car to the mechanic as it can be some other issues in your vehicle which can be challenging for normal people to identify without any proper tool or gadget.
What Will Happen If I Reset My ECU?
Resetting the Car’s ECU means clearing all the memory of your car’s computer to remove all the errors and faults in the setting. When you do this, your vehicle will start up with factory default. All the error codes will be gone and fire up like a new car.
If you’re going to reset your ECU, ensure that everything is backed up first and that you can start from scratch if something goes wrong.
You also want to make sure that the problem is in the computer system before doing anything; otherwise, there’s a chance it could end up costing money for nothing.
And finally, ensure that you don’t disconnect anything while doing this. Finally, remember that when you reset your ECU, your car will start with factory default. It could lead to even worse problems.
This means the engine computer will be the way it was when it left the factory; all the settings in your car will be gone. As a result, the lights, radio, and everything else won’t turn on as they should, and you’ll probably have lights blinking on your dash.
What Is Car’s ECU? What Does It Do?
The main job of the ECU or Electronic Control Unit is to control all the other systems in your car, like air conditioning, fuel injection, and the engine. It manages all your car’s performance and emissions by adjusting them according to what it thinks you need at that time.
The computer collects data from various sources, such as the accelerator pedal position, engine temperature, throttles position, etc., and determines which program should be activated at any given time.
The ECU then sends this information to the engine control or management module. The management module includes electro-mechanical sensors for airflow, ignition, and speed.
It also controls all the other systems on the vehicle. The job of the management module is to interpret this data and make it useful for you so that you can drive your car safely and smoothly.
The ECU calculates and compares equivalent airflow to an open throttle condition using the sensor inputs. Then, the correct amount of fuel is injected by an injector pump to inject fuel into the cylinders at a precise rate.
The ECU is usually placed under the dashboard of your car. The car’s ECU is also connected to instrument clusters and similar dashboards throughout the vehicle.
They may have their particular functions, but they all do essentially the same thing: send information to the brain of your car for processing by code.
How Do You Know If Your ECU Is Reset?
Well, there is no particular method to know if your ECU is reset after following the proper steps. However, if you were having issues with the error codes and checked the engine light, then after resetting the ECU, you can check if it is resolved or not.
After resetting, you can notice that your car will be back to the default setting, which means that your stored radio stations will be gone.
You can check it too to identify if you have correctly reset your ECU or not. Thus if you want more assurance to take your car to the expert, they have the proper tool, such as scanners, that confirms the reset of your ECU.
How Long Does It Take For A Car Computer To Reset?
Once you have disconnected the battery or fuse, the car can take one hour to a week to completely reset. This is because the ECU takes time to relearn all car processes.
Thus you should plan if you have this much time to reset the car as the vehicle’s performance is also affected until ECU is completely reset.
Should I Reset ECU After Changing Spark?
If you want, you can, as it is not a bad idea at all to reset the ECU after a spark change. This will clear all the ECU codes and help eliminate any potential problems that a code could be causing.
The experts advise resetting the ECU after any modification or changes in the car to make it perform better after learning and storing new data.
It is a good idea to flush out the ECU after any modification or change in your car to make it function better in the long run.