Reset Service Engine Soon Light On Mitsubishi Outlander: A Complete Guide

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By Merry Rose

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on how to reset the Service Engine Soon light on your Mitsubishi Outlander. If you’ve recently noticed this warning light on your dashboard, don’t panic! The Service Engine Soon light, also known as the Check Engine light, is an indicator that something might be wrong with your vehicle. In this article, we will walk you through the steps to reset the light and provide insights into potential causes and solutions.

Understanding the Service Engine Soon Light

The Service Engine Soon light is part of your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) system. Its primary function is to monitor the performance of the engine and emission control systems. When the light turns on, it indicates that the OBD system has detected a potential problem, and a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) has been stored.

Common Reasons for the Light Activation

Before attempting to reset the Service Engine Soon light, it’s essential to understand the possible reasons behind its activation. Here are some common culprits:

Faulty Oxygen Sensor

The oxygen sensor measures the oxygen levels in the exhaust gases. A faulty sensor can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and increased emissions.

Loose Gas Cap

Believe it or not, a loose or missing gas cap can trigger the Service Engine Soon light. The cap helps maintain the proper pressure in the fuel tank and evaporative emission system.

Failing Catalytic Converter

The catalytic converter converts harmful gases into less harmful ones. A failing converter can result in increased emissions and reduced engine performance.

Malfunctioning Mass Airflow Sensor

The mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine. A malfunctioning sensor can cause poor performance and fuel economy.

Ignition System Issues

Problems with spark plugs, ignition coils, or spark plug wires can lead to misfires, reduced power, and increased emissions.

Emissions Control System Problems

Issues with various emissions control components, such as the EGR valve or EVAP system, can trigger the light.

Diagnosing the Issue

To pinpoint the problem, you can follow these steps:

Using an OBD-II Scanner

An OBD-II scanner is a diagnostic tool that can read the trouble codes from your vehicle’s OBD system. Connect the scanner to the OBD port and retrieve the codes.

Interpreting Trouble Codes

Once you have the trouble codes, look them up in the scanner’s manual or online to understand the potential issues.

Seeking Professional Help

If you are unsure about interpreting the codes or the problem seems complex, it’s best to consult a professional mechanic.

Preparing to Reset the Service Engine Soon Light

Before proceeding with the reset, take the following precautions:

Check for Any Ongoing Issues

Ensure that the problem causing the light to illuminate has been resolved before attempting to reset it.

Ensure the Gas Cap is Tightened

Check the gas cap and tighten it securely. If it’s damaged, consider replacing it.

How to Reset the Service Engine Soon Light

There are several methods to reset the Service Engine Soon light. Choose the one that suits your preference:

Disconnect the Battery Method

  1. Turn off the ignition and remove the key.
  2. Disconnect the negative terminal of the battery and wait for about 15 minutes.
  3. Reconnect the battery terminal and start the vehicle. The light should be reset.

OBD-II Scanner Method

  1. Connect the OBD-II scanner to the vehicle’s OBD port.
  2. Turn on the ignition and follow the scanner’s instructions to reset the light.

Drive Cycle Method

This method involves driving your vehicle through a specific sequence of conditions to reset the light. Refer to your vehicle’s manual or a trusted online source for the drive cycle procedure.

Confirming the Reset

After performing the reset, the Service Engine Soon light should turn off. Take a short drive to ensure the light remains off.


Resetting the Service Engine Soon light on your Mitsubishi Outlander is a simple process that can save you from unnecessary worries. However, it’s essential to diagnose the underlying issue before resetting the light. If the light persists or comes back on after the reset, consider seeking professional assistance to avoid potential damage to your vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. What does the Service Engine Soon light indicate?
    • The Service Engine Soon light indicates a potential problem with your vehicle’s engine or emission control systems.
  2. Is it safe to drive with the Service Engine Soon light on?
    • While you can continue driving with the light on, it’s best to diagnose and address the issue promptly to prevent further damage.
  3. Can a loose gas cap trigger the light?
    • Yes, a loose or missing gas cap is one of the common reasons for the Service Engine Soon light activation.
  4. How long does it take for the light to reset?
    • After performing the reset, the light should turn off immediately or after a short drive.
  5. If the issue persists, should I visit a mechanic?
    • Yes, if the light comes back on after the reset or if the problem persists, it’s recommended to consult a mechanic for a thorough diagnosis and repair.

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