Check Engine Light
WHY IS MY KIA’S CHECK ENGINE LIGHT ON?
When your check engine light comes on in your vehicle, we know it is usually accompanied with a stressed or nervous feeling and a pit in your stomach. What could be wrong? How much is this going to cost? Am I okay to drive with the light on? We know a million questions are flooding your mind and so we created this post to hopefully shed some light on your check engine light on your vehicle. Keep reading to check out the top five reasons your check engine light may be on.
Quite simply, the check engine light is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. Check engine lights come in orange, yellow or amber color depending on the manufacturer. If the light begins flashing, it indicates a more serious problem such as a misfire that can quickly overheat the catalytic converter. Here are the top five reasons your check engine light may be on.
Flashing Check Engine Light on a Kia Car
DO NOT OPERATE YOUR KIA WITH A FLASHING CHECK ENGINE LIGHT
A flashing check engine indicator is always cause for concern. It means some function necessary for your vehicle’s continued driving and operation has been damaged and is in need of immediate repair. Since cars are complicated machines with over 2,000 parts needing to function in synchronicity, you should never continue to drive a vehicle with a flashing check engine light.
When it is safe, pull over and call a tow truck, have your vehicle taken to the nearest Kia-certified service center. Failure to heed this warning could lead to your engine experiencing catastrophic failure.
Lucky for all Kia drivers, the on-board diagnostics and repair systems are getting better and better every year. The 2019 Kia Sorento, for instance, features a number of important features that make driving safer than ever.
How Bad is the Check Engine Light on Kia Cars?
A solid check engine light is usually no cause for panic. The indicator is triggered when your Kia’s on-board computer (ECU – Electronic Control Unit) finds something out of the normal with its usual function. When it discovers a problem, it records it using a diagnostic code.
Often, you’ll find that the source problem of a solid check engine light indicator is actually fairly inexpensive to repair.
It can indicate more expensive problems like a mass airflow sensor, but it will still be safe to drive the car to a service center to have this diagnosed and estimated.
Kia Check Engine Light Troubleshooting
That’s how much power the average LED light, used for the check engine indicator on your instrument console, uses. Unfortunately, it has a lot more power than that – the power to completely rob you of your peace-of-mind.
It’s true, really nothing can ruin your day and immediately pull up anxiety like your check engine light. The fact that one light can indicate a number of problems, ranging in severity from “No big deal, I’ll get it fixed before the next presidential election” to “Call a tow truck 10 minutes ago!” is nerve-wracking.
Compounding this anxiety, the fact that most automotive repairs to drive train or power train are not known for their inexpensiveness makes seeing the check engine light feel like discovering a hole in your wallet that is draining your money into a dark dimension.
The good news? It’s often not that bad.
Oxygen Sensor Needs Replacing:
Your oxygen sensor measures the amount of unburned oxygen in your vehicle’s exhaust system. If you don’t have it replaced your engine will burn more fuel then needed, you will have a loss in fuel economy, and faulty sensors can cause damage to your spark plugs and catalytic converter.
Gas Cap is Loose, Damaged or Missing:
Your gas cap seals the fuel system and helps maintain pressure within the fuel tank. It also prevents gasoline fumes from being released into the atmosphere while you aren’t driving your car. If you don’t replace it you can lose fuel through evaporation.
Catalytic Converter Needs Replacing:
Your catalytic converter helps protect the environment by converting harmful carbon monoxide into carbon dioxide. If you don’t replace it, you vehicle will not pass an emissions test, you will experience reduced performance and fuel economy and your vehicle may run at a higher temperature.
Mass Airflow Sensor Needs Replacing:
Your mass airflow sensor measures the amount of air entering the engine to determine how much fuel is needed to run your engine efficiently. If you don’t replace it, faulty sensors can cause damage to spark plugs, O2 sensors or catalytic converter and you will experience reduced performance and fuel economy.
Spark Plugs or Plug Wires Need Replacing:
Spark plugs ignite the fuel/air mixture in the combustion chamber of your vehicle. The spark plug wires deliver the spark from the ignition coil to the spark plugs. If you don’t replace it you will experience poor performance and reduced fuel economy and worn plugs can cause a clogged catalytic converter or damage to ignition coils and O2 sensors.
As you can see, if the check engine light is ignored it can cause a lot of problems for your vehicle and ultimately end up costing you more money. If you need servicing on your vehicle or have a check engine light on, then come to any of our Moritz Kia locations to have your vehicle serviced with us. Use our online tool to schedule an appointment at any of our three Moritz Kia locations throughout the Fort Worth area.
There’s always that momentary panic when you see the yellow-orange glow of your engine light. But before you panic, consider what your check engine light actually means. It might not be as bad as you suspect! It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap, or it could indicate the failure of something more important.
Not everyone happens to have an OBDII reader (On-Board Vehicle Diagnostics) sitting in their glove compartment. If you don’t, you can easily drop in to Red Rock Kia’s service department and have us reset your engine light for you while you wait.
Our Red Rock Kia dealership is just a short drive from Grand Junction, Palisade, and Montrose, and anywhere in the Grand Junction Area.
Reasons for Check Engine Light Ok. It’s time to answer the all-important question: Why has your check engine light come on? The check engine light essentially means that your vehicle’s onboard computer system has self-diagnosed some kind of problem. This problem can be anything from a momentary hiccup, something like a loose gas cap or a change in humidity, to the failure of a major component like a bad catalytic converter. Occasionally, the Check Engine light comes on when nothing is wrong with the car.
It could be a temporary problem caused by a tank of bad gas or a range of other factors. In such cases, the light should go off by itself after a short time. However, when it comes to the Check Engine light, do-it-yourself interpretations can be a little tricky even for the mechanically inclined, as there’s no real way of determining the cause of the light without running a diagnostic scan on the system.
The list of things that can trigger the check engine light is pretty lengthy but first things first if the light comes on, you should first check to see if the gas cap is loose as a loose cap sends an error message to the car’s computer, reporting a leak in the vapor recovery system. If the gas cap is loose, tighten it and continue driving. Even after tightening, it will take some time for the light to go off.
The check engine light is most commonly caused by one of five factors; the O2 sensor, a loose gas cap, the catalytic converter, the mass airflow sensor or the vehicle’s spark plug wires. Most of which are rather inexpensive problems to repair.
However, while sometimes the light can be caused by little more than a faulty oxygen sensor, if the light begins flashing then it is indicating a more serious problem, in which case please book a service appointment and we’d be happy to provide the solution you need.
Check Engine Light vs. Maintenance Required Light
Many drivers confuse the maintenance required light (MAINT REQD) for the Check Engine light, but these are not the same. The maintenance required light is simply indicating that the car is due for an oil change or other routine servicing. Your Check Engine light will either be orange, yellow, or red, depending on the manufacturer, and it will either be the words ‘CHECK ENGINE’ or it will be shaped as an engine.