How to clear freeze frame data

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Freeze Frame is an easy-to-use but effective diagnostic tool for auto problems. It generally shows the points and circumstances under which a malfunction happened. If you’re looking for real problems with your car, the data would be an insightful resource. Learn more about Freeze Frame and how to reset freeze frame obd below.

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What is a Freeze Frame?

Generally speaking, a freeze frame can be described as a data screenshot. When an electronic control unit detects a malfunction, it takes a picture of the readings of the corresponding sensors and/or components. The freeze frame also contains the computer system’s Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) for the corresponding problem.

The freeze frame data will capture what those sensors and components were doing at the time the ECU triggered or logged the DTCs. This is where the actual problems take place and need to be solved.  

Freeze frame data provide mechanics with a better picture of what transpired when the DTC occurred by reading or interpreting that data. The collected data can be used to pinpoint the source of any emissions system malfunction. That’s why it’s very important to know what you’re looking for from this data.  

How to read the Freeze Frame?

Most OBD2 scanners available in the market can now access and display stored freeze frame data because the Freeze Frame has become an inseparable component of the OBD2. The Freeze Frame feature is typically simple to use. Using the software, the car’s data is retrieved and presented to you in a way mechanics or DIYers can understand.

These OBD2 scanners have a menu Freeze Frame that you can access through its interface or application if you use a smartphone or PC.  You can typically find the Freeze Frame feature in the DTC menu.

As soon as the Freeze Frame data is stored, it’s imperative to read it because most cars can serve only one Freeze Frame at a time. Occasionally, a new captured Freeze Frame data overwrite the older data, resulting in the loss of older data. The Freeze Frame data are stored temporarily with the cycles continuously updating. 

How To Clear Freeze Frame Data Automatically

clear freeze frame data

Freeze Frame data is actually subject to the automatic clearing by OBD2 like ( Autel MaxiCOM MK906BT ). So, let’s say your car’s check engine light is illuminating. The Malfunction Indicator Light(MIL) will typically come off if the failure does not occur after three consecutive cycles. However, the ECU memory will retain the issue code and freeze frame data.

When the OBD2 scanner is plugged in, what if there is no freeze frame data to be found? Even though it’s not usual,, but it’s possible that the Powertrain Computer Module(PCM) will set off the MIL. The PCM will automatically remove the issue code and freeze frame data if your automobile completes a certain number of cycles with no faults detected. 

Even though they’re stored, keep in mind that crucial data from continuous monitors can overwrite freeze frame data. There will always be a priority given to codes relating to fuel supplies and engine misfiring over the codes not continuously monitored.

How To Clear Freeze Frame Data Manual with Scanner

You only need a high-quality scanner ( Best Value Full Function OBD2 Scanner) to clear or reset all connected fault codes and frozen frame data. By completing this step, the instrument panel’s check engine light will be turned off. The OBD2 scanner has instructions on how to clear or remove the data.

To avoid this, make sure that the issue has been resolved before turning off the check engine light. For this reason, you should only clear or reset the Freeze Frame data and DTCs only once the problem has been resolved. These include repairing or replacing the troubled modules or components.

What Are the Limitations of Freeze Frame data?

When using freeze frame, you can only preserve the moment the code was executed. In other words, it does not capture anything that happened before or after that point. In addition to this, freeze frame data is often limited to generic codes, and there are rarely specific codes obtained from the freeze frame. 

On the other hand, as we’ve previously mentioned,  you can’t save your freeze frame data for life. The freeze frame data may be lost if a scan tool or the required driving cycles or a number of trips have cleared the previously-stored codes. Therefore, you better access Freeze Frame data as soon as the engine light or MIL comes on.


Can I clear or reset the Freeze Frame?

Freeze Frame reset and clearing can be easily done with a good quality scan tool. Once you’ve deleted the OBD2 fault codes and reset the check engine light, Freeze Frame is automatically erased as well. Resetting all the diagnostic data in the car becomes an elaborative action. DTCs and freeze frame data will return if the OBD detects the issues again within the cycles.

Is it possible that there’s a Freeze Frame without MIL coming on?

It is possible that the automobile will automatically clear the MIL along with the corresponding OBD2 codes in particular situations. A certain number of driving cycles or trips may be required if the condition persists, depending on how severe the problem is. However, the Freeze Frame data should not be deleted without fixing the corresponding problems. 

Can there be multiple freeze frame data?

Yes, manufacturers can save more freeze frames thanks to the OBD2 specification. Storage conditions and content for these additional frames vary by auto manufacturer and particular vehicle models. 

How does the ECM Records engine condition Freeze Frame data?

Every 0.5 seconds, the ECM captures freeze-frame data from the engine’s operating conditions. Freeze frame data can be stored in as many as five distinct locations including one set for the triggering point, three sets for the pre-triggering point, and one set for the aftermath. 


The additional information that a freeze-frame can provide when diagnosing a problem code is critical. You can tell whether or not there is a major problem based on whether or not information from the freeze frame is included. Therefore, knowing how to examine and read freeze frame data is critical to solving the problems. After that, you can reset or clear the freeze frame.

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