I have a 2002 Passat and was wondering if someone can tell me how to reset my check engine light. I need to get it inspected and it won’t pass inspection until the check engine light is not on. Last year I took it to a mechanic who could find nothing wrong with it but reset my check engine light for me and it cost $250. Is this something I can do myself? I’ve had the car since it was new and the check engine light has gone on and off periodically for the past 10 years. If someone has an answer, I sure would appreciate it. Thanks
Find an independent mechanic who has the proper equipment to read VW error codes, fix what is wrong and reset the CEL. Resetting the CEL without fixing the underlying problem will not help in the long run.
Try disconnecting the battery for a minute or two…If the car is equipped with an anti-theft radio, be sure you know the reset code and procedure before you do this…
Your car is equipped with a standard OBD-2 connector and most auto-parts stores will read the codes and tell you why the light is on for free…
My '01 VW is a bit more forgiving when the battery is removed than most believe. There shouldn’t be a problem with the stereo head unit losing it’s status with the computer. I’ve pulled the battery for several hours, while I charged it, and replaced the alternator. I had no problems at all.
Having said that, there’s something wrong, and you should really just fix it, or get it fixed. The dealers around me will happily read the codes for me (current and stored), if they believe I will purchase the parts there, or have them work on it. I’ve pulled into the “here for repair” line more than once, and they’ve come out, read the codes, and even reset the computer for nothing. Maybe it’s me, because I look (I guess) like I’m going to fix it myself. I don’t know, but I’ve done this now at 2 different dealers. I do eventually buy most parts from dealers.
I’ve had the car since it was new and the check engine light has gone on and off periodically for the past 10 years.
Thanks for all of your comments. Here’s the scoop. (1) The car will NOT inspect when the check engine light is on. I took the car in to a VW mechanic last year when the check engine light was on and spent $250 to have the diagnostic tests run. Error codes were found but there was nothing wrong with the car so they reset the computer so my question is (2) HOW do I reset the computer myself so I don’t have to take it to a mechanic and have them do it and charge me a fortune each year?
Note: You 2002 VW needs a VAGCOM to read reset the codes. You will need a mechanic who can troubleshoot and has a VAGCOM (or the newer reader, I can’t think of the name of the newer/current reader off hand) In any case don’t forget that you need a knowledgable mechanic. The computers only help the mechanic they don’t do the work.
'The VW dealership told me that the emission controls on VWs is very sensitive so the slightest thing can turn on the light. It’s a flaw with VWs. I’ve had the car since it was new and have taken perfect care of it but I can’t afford to spend $250 or more every year when I need to get it inspected. Believe me, this is a common problem with VWs.'
I went to a reputable VW mechanic. He inspected all of the error codes and found nothing wrong. You are lucky that the only CEL you got was from your gas cap.
Have to second genex’s comments…it’s not “common”. I won’t say you’re being lied to, but if it were me, I’d call him a liar myself…or words similar to that.
The light doesn’t just decide to come on for no reason. It’s found a fault, and more than once. “inspected all of the error codes and found nothing wrong” just doesn’t cut it. What were the codes??
Edit: Please understand, you’re not defending yourself here…you’re defending mechanics and what they’ve told you. We want to give you the best information we can, and if you’re not giving us total honesty here, we can’t.
Have you TRIED disconnecting the battery for a few minutes?? Turn on the headlights after the battery is disconnected to completely discharge the electrical system…