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How To Reset The Check Engine Light On Hyundai Accent?

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Were you driving your Hyundai Accent one morning and were surprised to see the check engine light? It might be aglow in error -but if nothing is wrong with the engine, will the light turn itself off? We did some research to find out how to reset the check engine light on the Accent, so you can put your mind at ease. 

Follow the easy steps below to manually reset the check engine light on your Hyundai Accent:

  1. Disconnect the car battery and wait for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Reconnect the car battery.
  3. Start your Hyundai Accent.

The succeeding sections provide you with information that can help you identify the issues that triggered the check engine light. This is important because the problem that triggered the check engine light on your Hyundai Accent can become a bigger problem if not addressed immediately. Read on!

A car dashboard with warning lights on, How To Reset The Check Engine Light On Hyundai Accent?

What is the check engine light on the Hyundai Accent?

Before we proceed further, let’s briefly talk about the check engine light and what it is. The check engine light is also known as the malfunction indicator lamp. It lights up when the car’s computer senses something wrong that requires your attention.

A flashing check engine light means that there is a major problem—like a problem that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter. Emissions devices operate at extremely high temperatures to cut emissions, and they can easily be a fire hazard if faulty.

Check engine red icon

How to reset the check engine light on Hyundai Accent?

Let’s look closely at the steps to reset the check engine light and the purpose of each step.

Disconnect the car battery and wait for 10-15 minutes

Disconnecting the car batteries drains the electrical charge of your Hyundai Accent. Since it doesn’t have any backup power or storage, the current state of the onboard computer will not be saved anywhere. This means that it will forget whatever problem was detected before that lit up the check engine light.

You can press and hold the horn (letting it go from time to time) while waiting until the 10-15 minutes are up.  This can help drain your Hyundai Accent of electrical power.

Reconnect the car battery

Car service fitting a car battery with wrench

Once you reconnect the batteries, the computer will enter a freshly booted state with no memory of the problems that it detected before you disconnected the batteries. Unfortunately, this also means that you will need to set the clock and the radio once more.

The Pittsburg side-terminal battery ratchet/wrench is available on Amazon. Check it out on this link.

Start your Hyundai Accent

Take note that at this point, the onboard computer will start to scan and monitor your car once more for any possible issue. If you did not really fix the problem that initially caused the check engine light to light up, then you can expect it to light up once more after you’ve driven your Hyundai Accent a little bit.

What causes the check engine light to turn on?

The best way to approach this issue—and what can be considered as the real first step—is to troubleshoot your Hyundai Accent and find out what caused the check engine light to light up in the first place.

Each time you’ve addressed an issue or two from the list below, you can reset the check engine light, following the steps above, to check if you have addressed the issue or not. If it went on once more, then try the rest of the possible causes that triggered the check engine light.

The succeeding sections list the different reasons why the check engine light would light up. We started from what we considered to be the simplest to fix then moved up to the more complicated issues.

Gas cap

Checking gas cap

One of the most common reasons—and often the easiest to fix -yes, often, but not always—is the gas cap. The check engine light will light up if you did not properly tighten the gas cap the last time you filled your Hyundai Accent.

The gas cap in your Hyundai Accent creates a vacuum seal if properly tightened. Sensors monitor the gas tank once you start driving and will trigger the check engine light if it does not have a vacuum seal.

If the gas cap is broken or cracked, then the check engine light will be triggered even after you have tightened the gas cap. It will also get triggered if the gas cap’s seals are broken.

Replacing the gas cap should fix the issue.

Spark plugs

Auto mechanic holds an old spark plug

Worn-out spark plugs will also trigger the check engine light. Not only the spark plug but almost anything that could go wrong in the ignition system has the potential to trigger the check engine light.

Spark plugs should be replaced regularly. And every 100,000 miles means that the wiring of the spark plug should be replaced too. Replacing a worn-out spark plug will resolve the check engine light.

Since we're on the topic of spark plugs, here's an article that might interest you.

And if you're in the market for a spark plug, NGK's Laser Iridium spark plug is an option. Check it out on Amazon via this link.

Oxygen sensor

The oxygen sensor is an important part that measures the amount of unburned oxygen in the exhaust system. Too little or too much oxygen in your exhaust can damage other engine parts.

If the oxygen sensor is faulty, it will trigger the check engine light. This can be considered as one of the most common reasons why the check engine light would turn on while you’re driving your Hyundai Accent.

Unfortunately, this part cannot be repaired, but it can be fairly easy to replace. However, if you do not have the equipment to identify which oxygen sensor needs to be replaced (there’s usually more than one), it is best to have a professional replace it for you.

Mass airflow sensor

The engine of your Hyundai Accent depends on an accurate mixture of air and fuel to give you the performance that you’ve come to expect from it. A wrong air and fuel ratio can cause your engine to rough idle, experience engine hiccups, stall, or refuse to start.

There are sensors that measure the amount of air that gets into your Hyundai Accent’s engine because the air-to-fuel ratio is crucial to its performance and your safety. If the mass airflow sensor detects the fuel-to-air ratio to be outside the allowable range, then it will throw a signal to the onboard computer of your Hyundai Accent.

The onboard computer will then ignite the check engine light. This issue can be fixed by cleaning the mass airflow sensor or replacing it. Have a look at O'Reilly Auto Parts' demonstration of this repair:

Catalytic converter

While a problem with the catalytic converter will trigger the check engine light, most Hyundai Accent owners wish that it isn’t the reason. This is because the catalytic converter can cost upwards of $800-$1,000 to replace, and your Hyundai Accent cannot run without it.

If you suspect that this is the reason, have a mechanic verify before replacing it.

According to Scotty Kilmer, it is possible to clean the catalytic converter with lacquer. The tricky part is making sure that the cause of the check engine light is truly a dirty catalytic converter.

Wondering just how big a catalytic converter is? We have an article here that answers that question.

Can Low Oil Cause the Check Engine Light to Come On?

Some people believe that the most common reason why the check engine light would turn on is when the engine oil is low. Even though being low on oil can cause a serious problem for your Hyundai Accent, it will not trigger the check light.

Instead, it will trigger the oil light on the dashboard. This looks like an oil can with a drop of oil coming from the snout.

Is It Safe to Drive With The Check Engine Light On?

Check engine light - Dashboard warning light

Pay attention to the performance of your Hyundai Accent once you see the check engine light turn on. Be on alert for strange sounds, any changes in the smoothness of driving, or whether it stalls, stops, or surges.

It could be safe to continue driving if there is nothing unusual or out of the ordinary with your Hyundai Accent. However, it is important to diagnose your Hyundai Accent to find out the cause of the check engine light before it becomes an even bigger and expensive problem.

What is the best thing to do when the check engine light goes on?

The best course of action is to have your Hyundai Accent diagnosed by a professional. The warning can be as harmless as a gas cap crack, or it can be a serious problem with the transmission.

Conclusion

There are several reasons why the check engine light would go on. Although it is quite simple to reset it to make it go away, it is still best to have your Hyundai Accent checked to identify the underlying cause and get it fixed before it becomes a bigger problem.

The check engine light is not really a problem. It is merely a messenger telling you that there is something wrong with your Hyundai Accent.