Can Check Engine Light Turn Itself Off?

Can check engine light turn itself off? Yes, it can but for soft code only. If there is a problem with any hardware like a broken component, damage critical parts, a blown fuse, or a bad sensor then the check engine light will not turn off until the problem is solved by an expert mechanic.

Do you sometimes find yourself wondering can check engine light turn itself off? if Yes, then you’re not alone. It’s a common question that many drivers ask and that is for good reason.

Checking the light is indicating the setup and the vehicle’s way to tell its driver that there is something wrong in the vehicle. it doesn’t always mean that there is something wrong with your car. It might just be a warning sign that you should take some action.

In this article, we’ll answer all of your questions about a check engine light. We’ll discuss why the check engine light went off by itself. We will also discuss what you can do if the light starts blinking.

Can Check Engine Light Turn Itself Off?

So, can a check engine light go off by itself?

Yes, Check Engine Light Can Turn Itself Off without any particular input. Now the question is, “is it normal that the check engine light turned off by itself?”. The answer to this question is complicated and needs a comprehensive answer.

The check engine light shows up when the ECU (Engine Control Unit) of your car notices a problem in the system. It’s because the ECU always monitors the system so any problem in the system will lead the light to turn on. Similarly, the ECU will cancel the error warning when the issue is fixed and eventually, the check engine light will turn off. 

If the problem was of vehicle computer software or also call soft code then simply may clear the error. If the problem is due to hardware damage or a hardware-related issue called hard code then the check engine light cannot turn itself off.

If the light turns on as a result of a sensor issue, the sensor may need to be replaced. In both cases, the problem can usually be fixed without any major inconvenience or cost.

What Are the Most Common Codes of Check Engine Light?

In modern vehicles, the check engine light can turn on for as many car-related issues as you can think of. When a fault occurs in a car the check engine light simply turns on.

The reasons behind the ignition of a check engine light are revealed through the error code. You need to scan with an OBD scanner to know the code. Below are some of the most common check engine error codes:

Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor Failure (P0101)

The MAF sensor is responsible for tracking how much air is going into your car’s engine. When a MAF is faulty, you can easily observe symptoms of a bad MAF sensor like problems starting the car, rough idle, etc. Whenever your car’s computer system detects MAF problems, it will turn on the check engine light.

Can a check engine light turn off by itself for this MAF sensor failure P0101 error? Yes, it can if the error is only due to soft code not due to a bad sensor, bad throttle body or any other hardware-related issue.

Spark Plug Problem (P0301-P0312)

Check engine light will turn on whenever there is an issue with the spark plug of your car. A car’s spark plug and coil are connected to each other. So when one is infected the other also suffers. However, diesel cars do not have coils so they do not have to worry about this.

There can be several issues when it came to spark plugs. The spark plug timing is off, the spark plug is not working fully, and the spark plug does not spark at all. In modern vehicles, the spark plug is controlled by ECU and so an error due to soft code is possible and so is the possibility for the check engine light to turn itself off.

Faulty Oxygen Sensor (P0171-P0175)

The function of an oxygen sensor is to track the combustible oxygen in the exhaust network. It sends the tracked information to the vehicle’s computer system so it can monitor the fuel and air transmitted to the cylinder. This does not affect the engine or vehicle working directly but does affect fuel efficiency and millage.

If the problem is due to the sensor, wiring or any hardware then the check engine light cannot turn itself off but if it does so then it was only a small software-related issue that went off when the system restarts.

Catalytic Converter Failure (P0420, P0430)

Catalytic converters make your car more environmentally generous as it converts harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. When the catalytic converter becomes faulty, a check engine light comes on. If this is the case, change the car oil or look for smoke or noise coming from it. 

Open Fuel Cap (P0457)

Another reason behind your car’s check engine lights being on is the loose or open fuel cap. This part is important as it not only stops external objects from entering the car fuel tank, it also stops the fuel to came out.

Fuel fumes coming out of a car fuel tank can catch fire from even the smallest spark. So the car computer works to display a check engine light to alert the driver about the problem.

Most Common Codes of Check Engine Light Infographic

How Much Time Does It Take for a Check Engine Light to Go Off?

So, the check engine light goes off by itself but how long does it take to go to the feature? It depends on several factors, including the make and model of your car, the age of your car, and how frequently you drive your car. 

However, in general, you should expect a check engine light to go off instantaneously after receiving a diagnostic code. If the light does not go off then the code indicates that there is a more serious issue, then it is best to take your car in for repair.

Is It Comfortable to Drive With a Check Engine Light On?

So, will it be safe and comfortable to drive when the check engine light turns off on its own?

Yes, it is safe to drive with a check engine light on. The light is typically a warning signal that the engine may have an issue. In most cases, the problem can be corrected without requiring any mechanical work on the vehicle. If the problem needs a repair, the driver will be notified and the vehicle will be brought in for service. In most cases, a check engine light will turn off after the repair is completed.

Frequently Asked Question

1. Why Would My Check Engine Light Turn Off by Itself?

There are a few reasons why your check engine light might turn off by itself. One possibility is that the computer’s engine control module (ECM) has detected a problem and reset the light as a safety precaution. 

If the ECM determines that the problem is minor, the light might stay on but with a warning label. If the problem is more serious, the ECM may trigger a warning signal that turns on the light. In some cases, the light may stay on permanently.

2. Will a Check Engine Light Reset Itself?

A check engine light may or may not reset itself, depending on the issue. If a check engine light stays on, it means there is an issue that needs to be fixed. Sometimes, the issue can be fixed without needing to take the car to a mechanic. Other times, the issue may require a mechanic’s help. In either case, it is important to know what the issue is and take appropriate action.


After reading this blog, you know that checking your engine light is not a sign of despair or a surefire indication of a major problem. Most of the time, a check engine light is just an indicator of an issue with your vehicle’s emissions system. 

While it might take a while for a check engine light to turn off on its own, driving with the light on is not really safe. Keep this in mind next time you’re faced with a check engine light and decide whether or not to take your car in for service. 

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.