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How to Reset Service Engine Soon Light Nissan Altima

If you own/drive a Nissan Altima, it is crucial to know how to reset service engine soon light on Nissan Altima whenever it shows up on the dashboard.

You don’t want to start your vehicle someday or while driving on the highway and become helpless or confused about what next to do when this light shows up.

To eliminate any form of hesitation, trouble, or uncertainty that this experience might bring.

We will discuss what the service engine soon light means and how to reset or stop it from showing on the dashboard with and without a code scanner.


What Is A Service Engine Soon Light On A Nissan & Why Does It Turn On?

The service engine soon light on a Nissan is triggered as a result of issues or complications with vital components or systems of your vehicle.

Contrary to popular belief, this light doesn’t necessarily mean or indicate the need for routine checks or maintenance.

Instead, it indicates a possible issue/fault with any of these systems — ignition, transmission, oil, or emission.

In most cases, the service engine soon light informs car owners about easy to fix or minor faults before they eventually become complicated or result in a major breakdown.

If you have an OBD II scanner, you can diagnose the issue or fault on your own whenever this light shows up to know the extent of the required repairs.

Alternatively, you may decide to visit a Nissan certified workshop in your area to diagnose the problem and correct it as soon as possible.

Should You Reset The SES Light On Your Nissan Altima?

Usually, the SES light reset is done if the light stays on after fixing the issues/faults or performing the recommended repairs.

At this point, you will need to conduct a system or computer reset to clear off the error code.

There are cases when some vehicle owners perform the reset immediately they perceive the light on their dash.

Ideally, resetting SES light on Nissan Altima doesn’t fix the perceived problems or issues.

However, it eliminates doubts and retains concentration while driving.

Interested to raise the ride height of your Nissan Frontier? This article might be what you are looking for.

Step By Step Guideline of How to Reset Service Engine Soon Light Nissan Altima

Without A Code Scanner

01. Put your Nissan Altima in accessory mode

Turn the key as if you want to start your vehicle (to the 1st click)

You are not expected to turn on the engine or start your Nissan Altima at this point/stage of the task.

Three (3) seconds later, step on the accelerator or gas pedal five times repeatedly, approximately five (5) seconds, and then remove your foot from the pedal completely after the 5th time.

Wait for approximately seven (7) seconds and step on the gas pedal again.

This time, you will have to remain in that position (step on the accelerator without releasing your foot) for up to ten (10) seconds.

Immediately the service engine soon light begins to blink or flash; you can then release your foot off the gas pedal.

02. Write down the codes?

To detect the error codes, you will have to count the number of flashes and write this information down on a sheet.

For instance, if the light continuously flashes three (3) times and pauses for about 1 second before it resumes back.

The three (3) continuous flashes before the pause indicate number 3, and the number of flashes after the break/pause indicates the following number.

I.e., if it flashes 5 times after the first pause, that indicates number 5.

That means you have 3 and 5 as the error codes.

Focus on the process until you get all the error codes.

03. Interpret the codes

Download the code sheet on the internet or check with any auto part outlet around you to read/interpret the codes.

Ensure all the issues are fixed or corrected before you perform a system/computer reset.

04. Perform computer reset

To perform a computer reset or turn off the service engine soon light on the dashboard.

You will have to go over or repeat the process in the 1st This time, the only difference is that once you take your foot off the gas pedal (when the light begins to blink) after holding it down for about 10 seconds.

You will have to step on it (gas pedal) again for another ten (10) seconds to perform a computer/system reset.

05. Turn the key to the off position

Turn the key to the off position after you have released your foot from the accelerator.

The next time you turn on the engine or start your vehicle, the service engine soon light is expected to have been erased.

Using A Code Scanner

01. Connect the code scanner

Reach out to the OBD port under your vehicle’s dashboard and connect the code scanner accordingly.

Once the scanner has been connected successfully, operate your Nissan Altima in accessory mode.

Turn the key as if you want to start your vehicle (the key should be switched/turned to the 1st click), but do not switch on your Nissan Altima’s engine.

02. Display the codes

To display and read the codes, locate the “Read Button” on the OBD II Scanner and press it.

The codes will be formatted (a blend of a letter and numbers).

The letter comes first, and the four (4) digits follow.

03. Interpret the codes

To read/interpret the codes, you can download the code sheet on the internet or check with any auto part outlet around you.

Once you get hold of the code sheet, the next line of action is to verify what the displayed codes mean or represent).

Once the faults are verified (as represented by the codes), ensure you fix or repair them as soon as possible.

Once the issues have been fixed. You can click on the “Erase” button to clear the codes and perform a system/computer reset.

Warnings Before You Reset The SES Light On Your Nissan Altima

Before resetting SES light on Nissan Altima, it is crucial to find out what the issues are.

You can detect the problem with your vehicle by using An OBD II scanner or by adopting the manual method (without a scanner) to read the trouble codes.

The steps involved (for both methods) have been highlighted above.

Not only that, the problems or faults must be fixed or repaired before you attempt to perform a reset.

If you decide to reset the service engine soon light or the SES light on your Nissan Altima without fixing or repairing the possible issues.

The light will continue to illuminate or come on so far it still perceives the faults or problems.

Common Nissan Altima Engine Light Problems Bullet Points

This section discusses the common/popular reasons why your Nissan Altima engine lights may come on or illuminate on the dashboard.

  • A broken, detached, or unfastened gas cap can trigger the check engine light to show up. A faulty gas cap may result in the discharge or leakage of fuel vapors. When this occurs, the EMC perceives this issue and triggers/activates the service engine soon light.
  • When the oil level is deficient or when you fail to perform scheduled service or oil replacement a few weeks after the due date.
  • The service engine soon light may also come up or get triggered whenever the ECM perceives any fault with your vehicle’s O2 sensor.
  • A service engine soon light may indicate that your spark plugs are no longer in good working condition and need to be replaced with a new one.
  • When the mass airflow sensor goes bad or becomes faulty, it could trigger the service engine soon light from showing up on the dash.
  • A faulty catalytic converter may also be a major reason why the service engine soon light is on.


How Can I Determine the Severity of The Issue?

To determine how urgent or complex the issue with your vehicle is when the service engine soon light comes on.

You may have to check the state of the light (flashing or solid).

For instance, if the light is solid. This indicates that the detected issue is minor and should be fixed as soon as possible.

If the light flashes. This means you have a complicated or major issue to deal with.

If you are driving on the road when this light comes on.

It is advised or recommended that you find a secure area to park your vehicle and switch off the ignition immediately.

For safety, it is preferable to have your vehicle towed to the nearest Nissan-certified workshop around you.

Why Do I Need the OBD II Scanner in My Vehicle?

The OBD II Scanner allows car owners to diagnose or detect possible issues with their vehicle.

If the problem detected by this device is minor or something you can fix on your own, it saves you time and money.

You won’t have to take your vehicle to a workshop or an auto part store to diagnose the issue or read the error codes for a few hundred dollars.

If the diagnosed issue or fault seems complex, do not hesitate to take your vehicle to an experienced or certified Nissan Altima expert in your region for a repair.

What Is the Average Cost of An OBD II Scanner?

The cost of an OBD II Scanner varies across designs and brands.

Most especially, the features such a design is equipped with.

For instance, an OBD II Scanner with a well-detailed LCD screen may cost more (ensures you can read displayed codes and information clearly).

However, irrespective of the design/brand you go for, they all perform the same function.

On average, an OBD II Scanner costs between $30 and $200.

Would A Reset to The Service Engine Soon Light Fix the Problem of Fault?

When the service engine soon light comes on, it is a strong indication of a fault or issue with a vital system or component of your vehicle.

Make sure you diagnose or identify the problem as soon as possible and fix it accordingly.

While a reset eliminates this light or reminder from the dashboard, it doesn’t fix the issue.

Do The Check Engine Light and The Service Engine Soon Light Mean the Same Thing?

No, these two lights are different.

The service engine soon light comes on, informing vehicle owners about a minor fault or issue with the engine or electrical system.

However, the check engine light shows up on the dashboard once there is a need for more urgent or immediate action.

What Happens If I Fail to Identify and Fix the Fault/Issue Immediately?

If you reset and ignore the service engine soon light and continue driving your Nissan Altima in that condition.

It may lead to further damage, resulting in costly repairs.

Does The Service Engine Light Affect Drivability?

While the service engine light doesn’t necessarily mean your vehicle is unsafe to drive.

It is preferable to take your Nissan Altima off the road for the time being until the issue or fault is diagnosed and fixed.

Last Words

So far in this article/guide, we have examined/discussed the common methods (2) and the steps on how to reset service engine soon light on Nissan Altima.

If you are a DIY enthusiast and are interested in performing the reset task independently.

The tips we have provided on how to read/interpret the error codes and reset the computer after fixing the diagnosed faults will give you the guidance you need.

In the end, you will be able to save a few dollars.

However, if you do not have the time or decide to allow an expert to diagnose the issue and possibly fix it.

Visit/consult an experienced Nissan Altima mechanic around you.

Some workshops charge as high as $100 to diagnose the issue or fault.

In some cases, you may have the diagnosis done for free if you agree to allow the workshop to repair or fix the identified faults.

We advise that you only take your vehicle to a Nissan-certified workshop in your area for the best outcome instead of visiting a random mechanic.

Allowing a certified Nissan Altima expert to work on your vehicle guarantees confidence and trust.

Also, you won’t have to pay more to fix a minor issue or fault.