The maintenance reminder reset procedure varies greatly from model year, and vehicle. Procedures for 3 popular manufacturers are listed below. But first some inquiring minds wanted know how does the light know it’s time to come on?
The parameters that cause the maintenance light to come on also vary greatly with vehicle manufacturer. Some car makers just turn the light on when a vehicle reaches a certain mileage.
Sometimes it’s every 3000 miles or 4500 miles. Other companies use a scientific procedure that is based on outside temperature and vehicle usage characteristics to turn the light on when a maintenance service or oil change is required.
Cars in the Cadillac product line experienced engine wear problems that forced them to re-calibrate the maintenance reminder so the driver would change the oil twice as often. Note that I included a video below of how to reset the maintenance light on my car.
When you have a lube, oil and filter service performed at an auto repair center they should reset the maintenance reminder for you automatically. But more often than not they will just perform the service and give the vehicle back to the owner without resetting it.
This might not be just laziness as some vehicles are complicated or might even require dealer equipment. The instructions are almost always in the owners manual, but not everyone has theirs in the glove box like me. It can be surprisingly challenging to find even if you have it. Shops could check OilReset.com to see if the procedure is listed before they give up. Below I will list the reset procedure for some very popular models.
Toyota Maintenance Light Reset
This procedure will not work on Toyota all years and models, but is the most common procedure for this vehicle manufacturer. In most cases, the light is reset using the trip odometer knob. The trick is to have the odometer display reading and not the trip miles showing when you turn off the vehicle.
This is a one step procedure that follows. Hold down on the trip meter reset knob and then turn the ignition switch to the on position (not cranking or start). You continue to hold down the trip odometer knob for at least five seconds or until you see the odometer flash all zeros.
After all zeros flash a couple of times the odometer will go out. At this point, you turn the ignition key to the off position and then release the knob. There is no harm in repeating the steps a few times if it fails to reset In fact in my experience with the maintenance light reset procedure is I never seem to get it on the first try.
Chevrolet Maintenance Light Reset
The Chevrolet cars and trucks use an interesting method to reset their maintenance reminder light. This procedure works on vehicles from early 2000 two present day.
The interesting part about the reset procedure is that they use the wide open throttle switch to actually reset the maintenance reminder. The procedure is to follow.
You sit down in the drivers seat as if you were ready to drive. Prepare to push the throttle pedal completely to the floor three times. The first step is to turn the ignition switch on but do not start the engine.
Then push and release the accelerator to wide-open throttle three times within five seconds. If you’re successful you’ll see the light flash several times and then go out.
Again, if this doesn’t happen, you can repeat the procedure. There is no harm or danger of flooding the engine because the vehicle is fuel injected and you are just opening the throttle plates.
Also Note that you do not have to smash the pedal to the floor. Five seconds is plenty of time to perform the reset procedure without resorting to brute force. Remember that General Motors makes the gas pedal out of plastic.
Honda Maintenance Light Reset
On the Honda vehicles there is a button that is marked select/reset. You will be using this button to reset the maintenance reminder. These steps cover most Honda and Acura models from the model year 2000 to present day.
With the engine off and the key out of the ignition push and hold the select/reset button on the instrument panel. Then insert and turn on the ignition switch to on (not start) while holding the button down for about 10 seconds.
The reminder will flash and then go out which indicates that it has been reset properly. If the light just stays on and does not flash go ahead and repeat the steps until this happens. Help others find this maintenance light reset page and this car repair information website.
If your car was not covered above ask someone who knows the answer.
Learn more about this car website and the mechanic that put it together. Also learn more about why he thinks that you can fix your own car at home with great success with a little automotive repair advice.