How do I reset my car’s electrical system?

Whenever I have a problem with one of my other electrical devices, the first thing I always do is turn it off and turn it back on again. Can I do the same with my car’s electrical system?

Allison Stone · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
If you’re having a problem with your car’s electrical system or computer and you take it to a
, it is very common that they might reset the Engine Control Module (ECM) by disconnecting the
car battery
. The exact process will depend on the make, model, and age of your car, but the process of disconnecting and reconnecting your car battery is relatively simple.
If you’ve ever replaced the battery yourself, this will be a similar process. First, you need to locate the battery and find the negative and positive terminals. Next, you need to choose the proper socket size to unscrew the bolts on your battery’s terminals. Then you unscrew the bolt over and disconnect the negative terminal, then the positive terminal.
Once all terminals have been disconnected, you can remove the battery. When the battery is out, you can reset the computer by connecting the negative and positive cables together. After a few minutes, the computer should start to reactivate.
DIYing some simple repairs at home can be a great way to save money and learn more about your car, but you should never do it as a last resort. You can save money and leave it up to the professionals when you sign up with the
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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