What Does Resetting The ECU Do?: Question Answered!

If you are an automobile user then there is no doubt that you know how ECU works. But knowing about resetting the ECU needs a whole different level of expertise. You may have heard about it a lot of times about resetting. 

What does resetting the ECU do?
Resetting the ECU would impact your car in a good way. The ECU reset program basically clears out the existing long-term memory of your car. This also removes the error codes permanently. The reset program takes the memory of your car to the factory settings. This is similar to resetting the phone storage.

You have got a perfect heads up with this brief. But read along to know the entire ECU resetting impact. 

So, let’s get started now!

What is ECU?

ECU is the abbreviation for Electronic Control Unit which is also known as Engine Control Module (ECM). This is a very small device that’s present in the vehicle. 

Source: Power and Race

This unit is quite important as it controls 1 or more than 1 electrical system. And this is what helps all the electrical functions of the car to work properly. 

It has the order of what to do and when to operate the electrical functions. This unit has a core in it which is a microcontroller. And this is operated by an installed software for this.

So, now you understand the worth of an ECU and its functionality.

What Actually Happens If We Reset The ECU?

When you reset the ECU, it basically eliminates the memory permanently. It would remove all the saved data from the car storage.

This clears the memory space of your car’s long-term storage. The procedure removes fault codes. This is really helpful while doing mechanical inspections on your car. 

The information becomes the standard by default after this. Furthermore, the normal speeds, the spark and fuel logs, aren’t any longer viable.

Therefore, the memory of your car basically returns to the factory settings. And this is similar to resetting the storage of your phone. 

Thus, your car storage is also cleaned off and out of errors and possible viruses. You may also feel more comfortable running your car after the reset program.

Here’s a real life miracle after resetting the ECU-

Therefore, the main advantage of resetting the ECU is clearing the fault codes.

In addition to that, the fuel consumption is also lesser for this.

So, this is what resetting the ECU does

How to Reset The ECU Properly?

Remember that not everyone can reset the ECU properly. Messing it up can lead to unexpected situations. 

One of the common problems cars like Ford may face electrical is issues. And there can be more that leave bad impacts on your car’s engine.

To reset the ECU properly, take a look below. We have covered 2 simple methods in simple steps.

Method 1: The Usual Resetting Procedure

This is the usual reset system that the users generally follow to reset the ECU properly.

Step 1: Get Your Car to A Normal Temperature

When you start your car, it has usually a bit high temperature. For this reason, you have to run it for a couple of minutes. 

Because this would get your car to a normal temperature. Twenty minutes would be enough for this. This time duration actually depends mostly on the coolant.

So, you should change your car coolant if it takes too much time. Here are some of the coolants that you can use for your car.

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Valvoline Multi-Vehicle 50/50 Prediluted CoolantBuy Now!
PEAK PXAB53 Antifreeze CoolantBuy Now!

Step 2: Remove The Battery Lead

After a few minutes, stop the car and open the bonnet of the car. Then take out the lead off the battery. 

You have to be sure about one thing. The lead must not touch any other metal body of your vehicle.

Step 3: Hold The Brake Pedal

Now, take a break for 5 minutes. Hold the brake pedal down for about 30 seconds. The capacitors in the ECU will be entirely discharged as a result of the brake lights. 

The ECU system would then lose all of its previously saved memory. Close the hood after reconnecting the earth lead to the battery.

The main step in rebooting the ECU unit is to turn off the standby power source. Vehicles have a breaker that runs into the battery to maintain the values safely. 

This is generally the same fuse and line that supplies electricity to your radio.

So, this is how you usually reset the ECU of your car.

Method 2: The Quick Resetting Procedure

You generally reset ECU by lifting your bonnet and withdrawing the earth’s lead. However, you can also unplug the batteries from your vehicle for it. 

Although some users believe this is not always effective, it can work. Take a look at this method if you like to do it fast.

Step 1: Remove The Fuse

Remove the fuse that supplies electricity to your music or lights. This fuse is located around the fuse box. This is normally found on the footlight controls’ bottom half.

Source: Galvin Power

This is a good time to clean the fuse box terminals if you want. So, clean the fuse box terminals now, if needed.

Step 2: Finalize The ECU Reset

Now, take the key off your car. After this, pull off the fuse too. Then hold on for half a minute. After a while, assemble the fuse back again. 

And finally, you are done resetting the ECU of your car.


Whatever method you follow for this, do not forget one thing. It is necessary to drive the automobile after you’ve reset the ECU system. 

So, go on a trip for 25 minutes in your automobile. It would learn about the driving style as a result of this. 

You could want to improve car’s performance or make it more versatile and cost-effective. 

Thus, drive it the same way you always have. And the ECU system would adjust to your preferences.


Will it be a good thing for my car’s performance to reset the ECU?

This does not have a straightforward answer. Many car users felt like their car performance improved after the ECU reset. But not everyone feels the same way. Because they feel everything remains the same after this reset program. And the performance improvement may also depend on which car you use.

Will there be a problem resetting a tune in ECU?

No, there wouldn’t be any problem if you reset a tune in ECU. Because there would be no difference in the system for this. But if you still see any issues with this operation, be sure to get help. Talk to a pro mechanic right away to fix this. Thus, there would not be any severe issues with your car.

Will my car computer ever reset itself?

Yes, your car computer can actually reset itself after a certain cyclic period. This can take place after a set period cycle of around 15 to 20 cycles. When you turn on and off the car again, it makes a complete cycle. So, you can do it this way like 20 times before the automatic reset program.

The Final Words

Now you know what does resetting the ECU do! We hope our information was sufficient for the comprehension you need.

It is always essential to clarify any confusion you may have. And if it is the automobile then you definitely have to do it. Hopefully, you are clear about your concern now.

All the best!

Robert Lozano

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