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Clearing Engine Codes

How do you clear the engine codes on a 1996 Saturn SL-2? I thought disconnecting the battery for more than ten seconds did this or do I need a special tool inserted into the diagnostic port under the dash?

You need an OBD II to turn off the codes, unless you want ot get the problem fixed and then the light will go out.

Chances are the light wont go out until the cause of the light coming on has been fixed. You’re thinking of the OLD Gm system from the 80’s.

Are you sure that a 1996 Saturn is OBDII? I thought it was OBD only.

Correct the problem, and then drive around for a few days. The light will go off.

OBDII became the standard for all passenger vehicles manufactured in the model year 1996 and later.


Sorry, I thought it was 1997 before they all had it. Now I know.

Many CEL’s can be cleared by disconnecting the battery and turning on the headlights (to completely drain the system) for a minute or two. Failing that, you can buy an inexpensive USB to OBD-2 cable on eBay that turns any laptop into a diagnostic tool. The cables come with diagnostic software…Clearing codes is a simple matter…

Despote being OBDII or OBD one…a batt disconnect will do it.

Your car can be on the border of OBDII and ODBI here…esp if the mfg date was in 95 but considered a 96… If you are at OBDII thats great…use a scan tool and you are good to go.