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How Many Miles to Drive after Resetting Check Engine Light for Inspection

All cars these days come with the check engine light technology. It works as an indicator of the internal health of the engine. It alerts about any issue with the vehicle engine, so you can take immediate action to fix it. However, the light may remain on for a specific time despite fixing the engine light issue. Rather than worrying about it, you have to know how many miles to drive after resetting check engine light for inspection.

Reasons for Check Engine Light Turning on

Before going to the main topic, let’s gather some ideas about the reasons that cause the check engine light to come on. Usually, the faulty status of any of the vital car components will illuminate the light. But it could be something as simple as an incorrectly tightened loose fuel cap. Here are some common issues that the check engine light indicates:

  • Bad ignition coil
  • Faulty catalytic converter
  • Faulty spark plugs and wires
  • Bad oxygen sensor
  • Faulty mass airflow sensor
  • Bad charging system

How Many Miles to Drive after Resetting Check Engine Light for Inspection

You have to drive about 50 to 100 miles on average to clear a check engine light. Here is a catch that the OBD-I and OBD-II scanners operate differently.

The OBD-I scanners support only old car models. On the other hand, OBD-II scanners are more suitable for cars manufactured after 1996 and transmit error codes differently from OBD-I scanners. Taking all these factors into consideration, you can easily find out the mile count for the car.

check engine light
It will take some time for the light to turn off after resetting. (Source: .kkursor / Wikimedia Commons)

Can a Car Pass Inspection Process If the Check Engine Light on?

It is a crucial question about check engine light that does not have any “one size fits all” answer. In general terms, the chances are slim, but that will depend on certain factors, including the location.

Talking about the USA, all of its states have different vehicle inspection standards and practices regarding environmental policing and climatic consciousness.

In 11 U.S. states, there is no routine safety inspection, whereas only 32 states perform smog tests. If you take the example of South Carolina and Massachusetts, there is a sharp contrast between them.

Some states will allow a safe passage even if the check engine light is on, provided that the vehicle emissions are only 1.5 times greater than the manufacturing year regulation.

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In some cases, it is possible to reset the light effectively before the inspection. But for that, understanding of the diagnostic codes is mandatory. Some commonplace methods to reset this light are to use an OBD2 Scanner to detect error codes and having a hard reset by turning the ignition on and off.

Conclusion

Check engine light is a dynamic way to understand car issues, but when it does not turn off even after addressing the problem, new drivers might get concerned. To keep this worry at bay, you have to know how many miles to drive after resetting check engine light for inspection.

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