The recommended way to reset the service light in a vehicle is to repair the part that is causing the service light to be active. Short-term fixes include disconnecting the battery of the vehicle and draining the remaining power from the electrical system by honking the horn and using the lights. However, if the problem is not fixed then the service light will activate once the battery is reconnected and the system recognizes the error again.
Identify the problem that is causing your service engine light to be active by connecting a trouble-code scan tool. A scan tool reads the error codes produced by the vehicle's on-board computer system and displays the associated cause so that you or an automotive professional can fix the issue. Scan tools are available for purchase online, or you can take your vehicle to an automotive parts store or garage where a professional can read your vehicle's error codes for you.
Common causes of a service engine light are faulty sensors, such as the oxygen sensor or mass airflow sensor, a loosened or missing fuel cap, a damaged or worn out catalytic converter and spark plugs or spark plug wires that need to be replaced. Generally, the sooner a problem is identified and fixed, the less expensive the repairs to the vehicle will be in the long run, and the risk of a more severe problem developing decreases.