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Reset Indicator Lights Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your reset indicator lights replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimate for your reset indicator lights replacement.
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John Davis
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Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
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Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to reset indicator lights?

You can expect an average total cost of $100-$110. The exact price will depend on your vehicle.
How long does it take to reset indicator lights? In general, it takes around .50 hours for a certified mechanic to complete the job. Your mechanic will perform a preliminary inspection to determine the best reset method, and then they’ll complete the job.
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How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need to reset indicator lights and how much do those parts cost?

Technically, there aren’t any parts involved in an indicator light reset. Instead, your mechanic will use your vehicle’s controls, an OBD-II scanner, and your owner’s manual to complete the reset process. Here's a rundown of the resources required to reset indicator lights:
  • Vehicle’s owner’s manual: Your vehicle’s owner’s manual will highlight steps to use your instrument cluster or infotainment system to gain access to reset your indicator lights. Your mechanic will use the vehicle’s onboard controls to navigate your car’s computer system, which controls the indicator lights. Your owner’s manual typically comes complimentary with your vehicle.
  • OBD-II scanner: An OBD-II scanner is a diagnostic tool that can read and clear diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs), which are responsible for turning on your indicator lights. Your mechanic will plug the OBD-II scanner into your vehicle’s OBD port, and they can clear any outstanding trouble codes to reset your indicator lights. OBD-II scanners typically cost $20 to $50.
  • The battery: Disconnecting your car’s battery for a few minutes can reset some indicator lights. This method is often avoided since it will also reset your car radio and other vehicle settings, and it may impact certain parts of your car.
Keep in mind: Resetting your indicator lights will make the dashboard icons disappear, but it will not address the issue that caused the lights to come on. If the indicator light comes back after the system is reset, you’re likely dealing with an ongoing problem that needs to be diagnosed and repaired.

Where can I get my indicator lights reset?

Finding the right place to take your vehicle for an indicator light reset may seem hard. Luckily, Jerry's
GarageGuard™
can help you compare costs from over 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US to find the best price for your car repair or maintenance needs. 
Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates* from each shop using their real hourly labor rate, plus you can find out if you’ll need to budget for diagnostic fees (and if it’s included in the service cost). You can also browse real reviews from other customers to help you choose the best service.
Check out some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
198 Reviews
ServiceUp
address
20 N Santa Cruz Ave Suite A, Los Gatos, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$180
182 Reviews
United Alignment Tire Center
address
11251 Burbank Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$150
136 Reviews
Dee's Shell and Auto Service
address
19 Beach St, Bloomfield, Newark, NJ
105 Reviews
Velasquez Auto Care - Palatine
address
1450 N Rand Rd, Palatine, IL
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
$120
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How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic reset my indicator lights?

There are different methods that your mechanic may use to reset your indicator lights. Here are the indicator light reset options:
  1. OBD-II scanner: The easiest way to reset indicator lights is by connecting an OBD-II scanner—also known as an onboard diagnostic tool—to the vehicle. Under the dashboard, your mechanic will locate your OBD-II port to access the car’s onboard computer—an engine control unit (ECU) or powertrain control module (PCM). The scan tool will detect trouble codes associated with the indicator lights, and once the issues are uncovered and the necessary repairs are complete, your mechanic will clear the trouble codes to reset and turn off the indicator lights.
  2. Vehicle controls: For most vehicles, you can gain access to the onboard computer through the infotainment system or the instrument cluster. Based on the instructions in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, your mechanic will follow the necessary steps using your infotainment system or instrument cluster to access diagnostic information and reset the applicable indicator lights. 
  3. Disconnect the battery: Depending on your vehicle and the type of indicator lights, your mechanic may disconnect your car battery for a few minutes to reset your indicator lights. Disconnecting the battery can sometimes wipe the ECU or PCM’s memory, which deletes any trouble codes that cause your indicator lights to illuminate.
  4. Suggestions from the vehicle owner’s manual: Some indicator lights may be turned off using specific procedures from the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Your mechanic will follow the appropriate suggested steps to reset the lights.

What happens if I don’t reset indicator lights?

If you notice your indicator lights come on and remain on, even after your vehicle was serviced, you may be dealing with one or more serious issues. Take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately for a diagnostic test or to have your indicator lights reset to avoid these problems:
  • Continuous warning lights 
  • Delayed diagnosis of new issues
  • Cumulative build-up of pending issues
  • Failed emissions tests
  • Failed inspections
  • Car engine issues
  • Drained battery
  • Safety issues

What are indicator lights?

Commonly known as dashboard warning lights, indicator lights are small icons that illuminate on a vehicle’s dashboard instrument cluster when there is an issue with one or more vehicle components. These illuminated symbols alert the driver of any problems or changes in the vehicle’s system, including engine or emissions issues, oil pressure issues, battery issues, or tire pressure issues. 
Here are some common indicator lights you may see on your instrument panel: 
  • Check engine light 
  • Coolant temperature light
  • Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light
  • Airbag light 

When should I reset indicator lights on my car?

Indicator lights are typically reset after the underlying issue that initially triggered the light is resolved. Here are a few reasons you may reset your indicator lights: 
  • After auto repairs: If your indicator lights turned on due to a specific issue, you will need to take your vehicle to a mechanic for diagnosis and repairs. Once the issue is resolved, the indicator lights may turn off by themselves. If the lights do not turn off on their own, your mechanic will go through the appropriate procedure to reset them.
  • After maintenance: Your vehicle may have maintenance lights that are meant to remind you of your car’s maintenance schedule. If your scheduled maintenance, such as an engine oil change, is performed, your indicator lights will need to be reset.
  • After replacements: Your indicator lights may signal a faulty vehicle component, such as a bad gas cap or dying battery. Once the malfunctioning component is replaced, your mechanic will reset the indicator light.
  • After adjusting your tire pressure: If your tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) light turns on due to low tire pressure, you will need to inflate your tires to the correct pressure and reset the TPMS light.
  • After disconnecting your car battery: If your car battery is disconnected, it may trigger specific indicator lights. Reconnect your battery and keep an eye out for indicator lights. If they’re still on, you may need to perform a reset.
Keep in mind: You should only reset your indicator lights after the underlying issue or maintenance requirement is addressed. Resetting the lights without resolving the problem may worsen the problem and could compromise your vehicle’s performance. 

How often should I reset indicator lights?

If your car has undergone repairs but your indicator lights are still on, you’ll need to take your car to a mechanic for a system reset. If your indicator lights just turned on, you will also need to take your car to the mechanic for a system scan to diagnose the underlying issues that caused the light to turn on. Otherwise, there is no need to reset the indicator lights in your vehicle. 

Can I reset indicator lights myself?

You can use your owner’s manual and an OBD-II scanner to reset the indicator lights in your vehicle, but you should take your car to a mechanic if you suspect the service lights are on for a specific reason. 
Indicator lights turn on when the vehicle’s engine control unit (ECU) or powertrain control module (PCM) detect issues with the vehicle’s engine or emissions system. You’ll want to be sure there are no underlying issues with either of these components before you clear the indicator lights. 

FAQs

On average, it costs $0 to reset a vehicle’s dashboard indicator lights. Typically, this cost includes $0 for parts and $0 for labor.
If all of your indicator lights illuminate on your dashboard, it could indicate an issue with your vehicle’s electrical system or the alternator. Here are a few reasons all your warning lights may turn on: 
  • Low voltage
  • Malfunctioning alternator
  • Faulty charging system
  • Damage to the electrical system or malfunctioning electrical connections
  • Major failure of an essential system (transmission, anti-lock braking system (ABS), engine)
  • Malfunctioning ECU, ECM, or PCM
If your dashboard lights are not turning on, you can use the following methods to fix the problem:
  • Change a blown fuse: There is a fuse that powers your dashboard lights. If your indicator lights are not turning on, you may need to check and change your dashboard light fuse. Consult your owner’s manual for directions on how to navigate your vehicle’s fuse box.
  • Use the dimmer switch: Your vehicle may have a dimmer switch that turns your indicator lights on and off. Check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to navigate your dashboard light dimmer switch.
  • Change the dashboard bulbs: Your dashboard light bulbs may have gone bad. Ask a certified mechanic to replace the bulbs or check your owner’s manual for replacement directions.
You should avoid driving your vehicle if all indicator lights are illuminated on your dashboard. When all the warning lights turn on, they indicate a severe issue with one or more of your vehicle's most important systems. Take your vehicle to a mechanic immediately if you notice all the indicator lights remain on your vehicle’s dashboard.
Yes, a bad battery can cause all or many of your indicator lights to turn on. A bad battery that is providing below-par voltage to your vehicle's systems can cause malfunctions throughout your car. Consult with a mechanic as soon as possible if you notice several of your car’s indicator lights turn on.

Meet Our Experts

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John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
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Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
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Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at Article-Writing.co and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.