DIY Guide: How to Reset Warning Lights on Your Subaru Forester

As a proud owner of a Subaru Forester, it is not unusual to encounter warning lights on the dashboard from time to time. These lights indicate a problem that needs attention from the owner or a mechanic. However, some may not want to rush to a mechanic for every issue, and may prefer to save time and money by fixing it themselves. In this DIY guide, we will take a closer look at the different types of warning lights, why they appear, and most importantly, how to reset them.

Understanding Subaru Forester Warning Lights

The first step in resetting any warning light is understanding what it means and what caused it to appear. Subaru Forester warning lights can be classified into three main categories:

1. Yellow (Advisory) Lights

Yellow lights indicate a problem that requires attention but does not require immediate action. Examples include the Check Engine light, traction control light, and oil pressure warning light.

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2. Red (Warning) Lights

Red lights indicate a problem that requires immediate attention. Examples include the Brake System warning light, ABS warning light, and battery warning light.

3. Green or Blue (Informational) Lights

Green or blue lights indicate that a system is working and is providing information about the car’s status. Examples include the high beam indicator, low fuel indicator, and cruise control indicator.

Reasons for Warning Lights

The most common reasons for warning lights on your Subaru Forester dashboard include:

  • Low oil pressure or oil level
  • Engine problems
  • Brake system issues
  • ABS system failure
  • Battery and charging system problems
  • Airbag system failures
  • Tire pressure issues
  • Malfunctioning lights

How to Reset Warning Lights on Your Subaru Forester

Resetting warning lights on your Subaru Forester is fairly straightforward and can be done from the comfort of your home. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Disconnect the battery

Start by disconnecting the negative terminal of the battery. This will reset all warning lights and codes. Wait for 15 minutes before reconnecting the battery.

Step 2: Turn on the ignition switch

Turn on the ignition switch without starting the engine. This will enable the warning lights to illuminate.

Step 3: Press and hold the trip meter button

While still holding down the trip meter button, turn off the ignition switch.

Step 4: Turn on the ignition switch

Release the trip meter button and turn on the ignition switch again. This will clear all warning lights, and they should no longer appear.

Safety Precautions

Before resetting any warning light on your Subaru Forester, it is essential to understand that these lights indicate a problem that needs attention. Resetting the lights without fixing the underlying problem could be dangerous and may cause damage to the car’s systems. It is always best to have a mechanic check the issue before resetting the warning lights.

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Does Resetting Warning Lights Make a Difference if the Underlying Problem is Not Fixed?

Resetting warning lights do not fix the underlying issue that caused them to appear in the first place. Instead, it clears the codes until the problem triggers the light again. Therefore, it is recommended to address the cause of the warning lights before resetting them.


Q: Can I reset the warning lights without disconnecting the battery?

A: Yes, some Subaru Foresters allow you to reset the warning lights by simply pressing and holding the trip meter and turning on the ignition switch.

Q: Is it safe to disconnect the battery to reset the warning lights?

A: Yes, as long as you follow the right procedure. Ensure that you wear protective gear and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid damaging the battery or the car’s electronics.

Q: What should I do if the warning lights keep coming back even after resetting them?

A: If the warning lights recur, it is an indicator that the underlying problem still exists. It would be best to have a mechanic check and fix the problem.

Wrapping Up

Resetting warning lights on a Subaru Forester is an easy DIY job that can save you time and money. However, it is vital to understand the problem’s underlying cause before resetting the warning lights. By following the steps discussed above and observing the safety precautions, you can reset your warning lights with confidence.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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