Boy are you lucky that you have an '88! The Haynes manual says there is an EMR module (Emissions Maint Reminder) mounted on a bracket below the headlight switch on the back of the instrument panel. There is a hole on the module that you can stick a screwdriver in to press the reset switch.
I have a '90 and the manual says that you have to have some expensive DRB-II scanner to reset it! *grumble* I'm gonna rip that thing out and monkey with it 'till it the light stays off!
According to the Dodge dealer there were two types of EMRs used in the 1988 Dakota truck. One used a battery and the other was reset by a switch.
The switch is a micro switch not easily seen from the outside of the EMR module. There should be a rectangular hole large enough to insert a pencil and depress the switch. I found that the engine needed to be running when you press the button for the reset to work.
The service department said that if they had to reset the Maint Reqd light it would be $84.00 to replace the battery and $48.00 to flip the switch.
I figured I could screw things up cheaper than they could, so I dove in.
Step 1. Remove 5 screws and remove the lower dash cover below the steering column and below the headlight switch.
Step 2. Find the blue box under the headlight switch. It measures about 3x4 inches.
Step 3. Carefully wiggle the box off of the tang it is attached to. You will put it back when done.
Step 4. One end of the box has a large rectangular opening you should be able to see easily. I assume this is where a 9v battery would fit. Mine did not have a battery, so I began looking for a switch.
Step 5. There is a smaller hole that allows you to see inside of the box through the battery hole. (see photo). Just inside of this hole you will see a small micro switch. The micro switch was the push button type.
Step 6. Start the car and use a pencil or some other similar, non-conducting tool to gently press the button. Your Maint Reqd light should be out.
Step 7. Reassemble your car and count the money you saved.
Tools I used: Phillips head screw driver, paint brush handle (to press the button) and a drop light to see.
Submitted by D. Zirschky
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