Get, Reset & Clear Subaru Check Engine Light Codes without Scanner or Disconnecting Battery.

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Are you looking to reset subaru check engine light codes or maybe you want to also learn how to get check engine light codes without scanner for Subaru and subaru forester check engine light reset? This post will guide you.

In this guide, below are the common questions we were getting after publishing this article on flashing and blinking check engine light.

  • How to get subaru check engine light codes
  • how to get check engine light codes without scanner Subaru?
  • how to clear subaru fault codes
  • How to Reset check Engine Light Without Disconnecting Battery
  • And finally subaru check engine light reset using scanner

Feel free to move to the topic to you’re are looking for the answer to.

how to reset check engine light without disconnecting battery

You should also read this article where cover more details on other topics relating check engine light.

Related Article: All About Flashing check engine light & Blinking cruise control light

When you notice the ‘check engine’ light is come on, the first thing you should do is to observe if there are any other symptoms, like the one below:

  • Rough running
  • Lack of power
  • Engine misfires or juddering
  • Poor throttle response
  • Engine shakes
  • Engine Overheats
  • Oil light on
  • Unusual sounds
  • Smoke from the exhaust
  • Subaru struggles to start

If your Subaru has any of these symptoms it indicates that it is not running as it should. To prevent additional damage, start looking for a good place to safely pull over and turn the engine off.

How to get subaru check engine light codes?

There two ways to retrieve subaru check engine light codes and they are:

  1. With an OBD2 scanner with you can get for cheap on Amazon here
  2. Second without a scanner

Mind you, you will have to be skilled for you to be able to retrieve Subaru check engine codes without a scanner.

And that is why included video demonstration so you can have virtual demonstration of the steps.

For a detailed list of subaru forester engine codes and there symptoms please see this post.

Step To Retrieve  Subaru Check Engine Light Codes with Scanner

When trying to retrieve the Subaru check engine light codes with an OBD2 scan tool, proceed as follows:

Step 1

 Start by Connecting the scanner to the 16-pin data link connector (DLC) located underneath the steering column. Most of the time the connectors will have a detachable cover.

Step 2

Then turn on the ignition.

Step 3

Proceed further with the OBD2 Scanner tool  for the manufacturer’s operating instructions on how to  access the DTC (i.e. Diagnostic Trouble Codes )

Remember, these are manufacturer specific codes only.

You might want to refer to our Generic OBD2 code list for descriptions of all other Subaru codes.

How to get check engine light codes without scanner Subaru?

To retrieve check engine light codes without a reader is not very easy and might have to try the process multiple time before seeing the code display.

 So if still want to go this route then here is my suggested process that works on most on cars.

This will also reduce your mistakes when recording and reading the codes manually.

Step 1

So first thing, be that sure you have car battery power to ensure it can power up when needed.

At least it should be able to turn on all the dash lights with the switch of the car key-switch in position.

Step 2

Next step is for you to get ready your recording device.  You can use a camcorder or digital camera that is able to recording a 30second or more video clip.

And if you don’t have that, use your mobile phone  

So the main idea here is for you to record the engine light blips that will pop up so you can play it back or even fast-forward and rewind as many times as you want till you get the codes complete.

Step 3

Using the camera, set it to record and point it at the engine error light on the dashboard.

Then turn the key rapidly to on, then off, turn it on and off, then on again and then off, then on position in five seconds or less.

This should look like this.

On-Off-On-Off-On-Off-On (for 4 times)

Now you have to wait for when the engine light starts flashing the error codes in 2 digit flashes. So the number 31 would be “flash-flash-flash, pause, flash.”

Try to record the entire event for it’s rare for only one code to be set.  There are usually several.

What the video above for more instruction.

Subaru check engine light reset ( Subaru forester check engine light reset)

Subaru check engine light shows up if there is an issue with the Subaru computer emissions control system.

Then the Subaru’s computer which is usually called ECU will produce error codes that relate specifically to the particular sensor affected in the car.

If anyone of these sensors fails, it will prompt a fault or an error code. The error code is then kept in the computer until a proper diagnostic scan is run on the ECU to diagnose the issue.

After fixing the problem, it is important that you reset your car check engine light and to do so; follow the steps below for a subaru check engine light reset.

Or you can also watch the video above for a more practical and virtual guide.

The video shows 3 ways to reset Subaru check engine light.

Items you will need for the reset

How to clear check engine light without scanner?

  • Step 1

Open the hood of your Subaru and loosen the nut that holds the cable clamp to the negative battery terminal.

  • Step 2

Then try to slide the cable off the negative battery terminal.

  • Step 3

You now have to wait 4 to 5 minutes, before your then reconnect the cable and tighten the retaining nut.

  • Step 4

Finally, start the car engine and wait for the vehicle  Subaru’s computer to reset the check engine light.

How to Reset Check Engine Light Without Disconnecting Battery

You might like to also to see how to reset check engine light without disconnecting battery

In that case, you can watch the video below.


I hope this post helped you find what you are looking for.

We have looked at How to get subaru check engine light codes, how to get check engine light codes without scanner Subaru, how to clear subaru fault codes and even how to Reset Check Engine Light Without Disconnecting Battery.

If like to see a full detailed post how causes and symptoms of blinking and flashing check engine light, then be sure to check out this blog post here.

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