How Do You Reset The Computer On A Ford F250?

Do you still have the Check Engine light lit up on your Ford F-250’s dashboard after making repairs, and do you want to know how to reset the computer to get rid of the light? You’ve come to the right place, as we have researched this question and have the answer for you!

Here is a summary of steps you can follow to get rid of the Check Engine light on your Ford F-250’s dashboard.

  1. Turn off your F-250.
  2. Open the hood.
  3. Disconnect the cable from the negative terminal of the battery.
  4. Cover the negative terminal of the battery with an insulator.
  5. Connect a jumper cable from the battery's positive terminal to the cable from the battery's negative terminal.
  6. Wait for at least 15 minutes.
  7. Disconnect the jumper cable.
  8. Replace the cover of the positive terminal of the battery.
  9. Reconnect the cable to the negative terminal of the battery.
  10. Run relearning procedures on your F-250.

Let’s talk more about the different reasons why you will need to reset the computer of your Ford F-250 in the succeeding sections. Learn about the complete steps to reset the computer of your Ford F-250 in the sections below. With that said, let's dive right in!

What The Check Engine Light Means In Your F250

The Check Engine light is one of your car's many MILs (Malfunction Indicator Lamps).

Glossy black pick up truck ford f250

It is often a yellow or orange light on the dash. It can be two rows of plain uppercase letters that say, “Check Engine” or “Service Engine.” In some car models, it can look like an engine with the word “Check” at the bottom.

All modern cars have a self-diagnostic and reporting system. This system came out of the need to standardize the reporting system of emissions-related car problems.

The initial implementation was precarious because the resulting information of these older systems does not follow a standard. This made the extraction of information problematic.

Old OBD followed a code that is reminiscent of the code system in HVAC systems.

The CEL (Check Engine Light) and the SES light (Service Engine Soon) blink in a specific pattern. The blinking pattern corresponds to specific DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Codes).

The blinking patterns often represent a 2-digit number. Once you get the 2-digit code, you can match it with a specific error on the car.

Keep in mind that in the early implementation of these systems, the DTCs were not yet standardized. A code in a GM vehicle could mean differently in a Ford truck.

Additionally, some manufacturers have special tools to access their DLCs (Diagnostic Link Connector).

OBD-II is an improvement over the old OBD-I. Its implementation began with connector standardization, the pinout, signaling protocols, and messaging format.

However, despite the many changes the OBD-II system made to the onboard diagnostics and reporting of cars, the system retained the Check Engine light.

The Enigmatic CEL

The activation of the CEL on your F-250 can mean many things.

When the onboard computer in your Ford F-250 flashes the CEL, you should bring your truck to a mechanic so he can check it.

Not all problems that the CEL is warning you about are critical.

However, if you don’t immediately bring your car to check the problem, you can end up with an engine issue that is more costly to repair than the cost of the diagnostic.

Keep in mind that the original objective of the OBD system is to standardize the diagnostic and reporting of emissions-related systems in your vehicle.

A problem with the emissions system, ignition system, or fuel delivery in modern cars will trigger a Check Engine light.

How Do I Get The Check Engine Light To Turn Off?

Check engine light illuminated on dashboard.

Most of the time, the Check Engine light will go away on its own after you fix the problem in your F-250—unless there were two problems to begin with.

The best approach is to get rid of the Check Engine light and wait to see if it will light up again.

If you see the CEL on the dash after you get rid of it, it could mean that there is a second problem that you need to address. Alternatively, it could mean that the original problem is still there.

Thus, the most logical step after a repair is getting rid of the CEL. Take note, however, that not all triggers of the Check Engine light mean that there is something to fix.

A loose fuel tank cap will also trigger the CEL. However, if the fuel tank cap is leaking, it needs a fix or replacement.

Here are some ways to turn off the Check Engine light on your F-250.

Drive Around

Ford F250 adriving on the freeway
Repair the car in the workshop.. Disconnecting the battery.

The simplest way to get rid of the CEL is to drive your F-250 around. The onboard computers of your truck check problems periodically.

Once the onboard computer scans your car and determines that the problem is no longer there, it will automatically switch off the Check Engine light.

If you decide to go this route, you must be ready to wait. Drive your F-250 for a few days, and the CEL should turn off on its own if the original problem is no longer present.

Cycle Power

This is the fastest method on the list. However, if you do this method too much, you might end up with a worn ignition lock cylinder that won’t let you start your F-250.

This method requires that you turn on and turn off your F-250 without starting the engine. Wait for a second or two before you repeat the cycle of turning your F-250 on and off.

Repeat this cycle three times, and the Check Engine light on your dashboard should go away. If this method doesn’t work, proceed to the following method.

Resetting The Fuse

Resetting the fuse

This method will only work on “not-so-new” F-250s.

Here are the steps to reset the fuse.

  1. Check the user repair manual of your F-250 and get the location of the fuse block.
  2. Turn off the engine.
  3. Locate the fuse for the ECU or the engine control unit.
  4. Pull out the fuse using needle nose pliers and put it back again.
    • Once the ECU loses power, it also loses any data in its storage, like DTCs. Thus, if the ECU loses data regarding the DTC that triggered the CEL, the CEL will not light up once more.
    • The ECU will only trigger the Check Engine light once more if it detects another problem.

Clearing The Memory

Here are the complete steps to reset the computer and clear the memory on your Ford F-250.

Preparing To Reset Your F-250

  1. Turn off the engine of your F-250.
  2. Activate the parking brake.
  3. Set the transmission to Park(P).
  4. Open the hood of your truck.

Disconnecting The Battery

Disconnecting the battery
Repair the car in the workshop.. Disconnecting the battery.

  1. Use a wrench to loosen the nut that keeps the cable on the battery's negative terminal.
  2. Remove the cable from the negative terminal.
  3. Cover the negative terminal of the battery with a rag or insulator. This is to ensure that the negative cable will not accidentally make contact with the battery's negative terminal.
  4. Pull off the cover from the positive terminal of the battery.
  5. Take a jumper wire with alligator clips that have a long enough wire.
    • A jumper with a thin gauge wire will work for this.
  1. Clip one end of the jumper wire on the battery's positive terminal.
    • You don’t need to disconnect the cable from the battery's positive terminal.
  1. Connect the opposite alligator clip of the jumper wire to the end of the cable from the negative terminal.
    • Check once more that the cable from the negative terminal will not be able to connect with the negative terminal of the battery accidentally.
  1. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes.

This wrench set is available on Amazon through this link.

This test lead set and alligator clips are available on Amazon.

Running The Relearn Procedures

The jumper cable from the battery's positive terminal to the negative cable will drain the capacitors of any flea power left on your F-250. This will also clear the memory of the onboard computers.

This procedure is the same as turning off your desktop, unplugging it, then pressing and holding the power button for at least 10 seconds.

We will initiate the relearn procedure for your F-250 in this section.

  1. Turn on your F-250 but do not turn on the engine.
  2. Wait for 10 to 15 seconds.
    • Make sure all the accessories are off, like the AC or any of the lights, before you proceed to the next step.
  1. Turn on the engine.
  2. Let the engine idle for five to ten minutes.
  3. Take your F-250 for a test drive.
    • Remember that your F-250 needs to go through the different gears slowly during the test drive. Thus, you need to take it through a very light acceleration.
    • The computer should detect the fix on your F-250 while relearning the data it needs. If there is still a problem, the re-emergence of the CEL at this point will show that.

To Wrap Up

Ford F-250 display at a dealership

Resetting the computer on your Ford F-250 allows you to clear the computer's memory and relearn the engine's different parameters. This will allow your truck to detect the fix on your F-250.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related articles below!

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  1. P054F showed up on my 2016 f-250. When you put in drive you really need to hold the brake down because it seems to move with break on. Is this a part of the torque converter one way clutch not working?????

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