How To Clear OBD1 Codes Without A Scanner? [3 Steps]

Check engine light is one of the fundamental signals on the dashboard of your car. It’s commonly an amber light positioned in or around the instruments of the steering wheel and it shows a problem with the engine when the car is detected by electronics. The light of the control engine could indicate a lot. Anti-locking brakes, airbags, or automatic gearboxes might also cause problems.

If you’ve got an older automobile, it may be as easy as the gas cap leakage or as complicated as a problem with emissions or transmission. Learn about how to clear obd1 codes without a scanner in this article.

What Is The OBD1 System?

It is important to learn about the OBD1 system before learning how to clear obd1 codes without a scanner. In some passenger and lightweight vehicles, automakers started in 1985 using the OBD1 computer system. The onboard diagnostic system monitors the installed fuel, ignition, and other associated electronic components. The code stored by the OBD system can then help in identifying the problem and diagnosis.

The newest and most advanced OBDII system was introduced as the industry standard in 1996. You may want to reset the system after certain repairs have been done to an OBD1-equipped car. Resetting the system of diagnosis on board clarifies any solved fault codes within the system.

Why Is It Difficult To Work With OBD1 Cars?

Similarly, OBD2 has been improved by advanced OBD1 technology. OBD2 is thus providing better and more uniform methods for vehicles and system inspection data. OBD1 requires a connection with a cord, but the OBD2 is freely connectable over Bluetooth or wireless internet.

They are manufacturer-specific, the biggest drawback of these scanners. The main problem with the older scanners is that they are not interchangeable across the brands. An OBD1 Toyota scanner will not function for Ford, for instance. OBD1 scanners provide minimal features. You may control the emission system, read and monitor engine performance, and generate warning notifications.

How To Clear OBD1 Codes Without a Scanner?

The design of our autos is quite advanced. They have various electronic systems, and one of them is the onboard system for diagnostics (OBD system). But clearing codes for the older OBD1 system can be a tricky affair. Here are the ways to reset the older OBD1 system-

1. Battery Reset Method

This is the first method to reset your OBD1 motor light. This works in almost all car models, but can still keep the codes in some car models. A conventional way to set the check engine light in some cars is the battery disconnection procedure. First, remove the battery terminal of the negative car.

Then, by pressing on the horn for about 20-30 seconds or turning on lights, attempt draining any available electrical in the condenser. When the power is off, take 10-15 minutes to depart the automobile. After this short time, restart the battery terminals, ensure that they are tightened up, and then turn on your automobile to prevent any sparking.

2. The Paper Clip Method


The actual way to how to clear obd1 codes without a scanner is to use a paper clip. Find and bend or create a paperclip by your diagnostic box. Get your engine off first. Once you have the key off, attach it to both ends of the A and B test ends (where you would normally place jumper wires). When in place, turn the key safely, without your engine starting.

The diagnostic mode now allows the system to inspect the codes. In this mode, the computer of the car displays Code 12 three times in a row. When the code has been read and the problem rectified, it is time that the code is reset. Pull the fuse for around 15-30 seconds to remove the codes. The ECU will be reset in this process. Pay attention to not yank the negative terminal of your battery.

3. Turning Ignition Switch In Sequence

Switching on and off the ignition is also a hard reset procedure without the batteries being disconnected. Put the keys into your ignition and after a second in each step turn your ignition on and off. After it’s done, see whether or not the engine control light comes on. You are ready to use the check light when it is off, but if it is still going on, read the codes with a scanner.

Will Clearing OBD Code Solve The Real Problem?

No black tape, no magic marker is the solution when the check engine light on your car or truck lights up. When the light, which has a motor-shaped design, lights up, do not panic! And certainly don’t try to hide the warning. The situation could be handled much better.

You don’t instantly need to stop the vehicle if the light is constantly orange or yellow and there is no significant change in how the car is driven. It may be a small problem, but as we have discussed earlier, it is not clever to overlook the problem until the car has notable problems.

Is It Ok TO Drive With Check Engine Light On?

If the light of the control engine is on, the car can usually be driven without problems for hundreds of miles. That, of course, depends on the coding in the computer of the car. If a sensor is defective, the car generally uses composite sensor values in order to keep up the operation.

A flashing light could pose a more significant problem, such as the engine overheating or the engine fire, which can be irreparable. If such is the case, you ought not to drive further.

How Much Does OBD1 Scanner Costs?

An OBD1 scanner frequently works for a certain automobile to put it in the simplest possible way. OBD1 scanners are not standardized across various manufacturers, unlike OBD2 scanners. For example, an OBD1 scanner capable of diagnosing Toyota does not need Ford for diagnosis. You’ll need less than 20 dollars to get one.


The older OBD1 equipped cars can be very difficult to diagnose and repair due to a lack of standardized tools. However, with these three ways, you now know how to clear obd1 codes without a scanner. Try not to delay the problem, and solve it as soon as possible. If you still have any doubts, then comment down below.

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