What your Kia Check Engine Light is Telling You

car panel instrument red speedometer and tachometer

There’s always that momentary feeling of panic when you see the yellow-orange glow of your engine light. But before you lose your cool, consider what your Kia check engine light actually means. It might not be as bad as you think! A lit-up warning light in your Kia Soul, for example, could indicate something as simple as a loose gas cap. Then again it could also mean the failure of something more important.

The check engine light essentially means that your vehicle's onboard computer system has self-diagnosed a problem. The list of things that can trigger the check engine light is pretty lengthy. The check engine light is most commonly caused by one of five factors; the O2 sensor, a loose gas cap, a faulty catalytic converter, the mass airflow sensor or the vehicle’s spark plug wires.

What does the check engine light mean on a Kia Soul or Kia Rio?

Ok, now it’s time to answer the all-important question. Let's say your Kia Soul or Kia Rio check engine light has come on. What’s going on?

Most of the time a warning pops up because of inexpensive problems to repair. For example, a warning can be anything from a momentary hiccup, such as a loose gas cap or a change in humidity. Occasionally, the check engine light can even come on when absolutely nothing is wrong with the car. The check engine light could even be lit up because of a tank of bad gas. In such cases, the light should go off by itself after a short time.

Check Engine Light vs. Maintenance Required Light

Many drivers confuse the maintenance required light (MAINT REQD) for the Check Engine light. These are not the same thing. 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 amber, depending on the model, and it will either display the words "CHECK ENGINE", or it will be shaped like an engine.

First things first: if the light comes on, you should check to see if the gas cap is loose as a loose cap will send an error message to the car’s computer, reporting a leak in the vapour 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.

Let Us Help You!

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. No one wants to discover that a major failure of a key component in their vehicle is caused by an expensive bad catalytic converter. Beware if the engine light begins flashing. That indicates a serious problem. Consider booking a service appointment with Mississauga Kia! We’re happy to provide the solution you need.