In this article, you will learn about the most common problems that cause Kia check engine light to come on, and how to use an OBD-II Scan Tool to read the codes yourself.
Kia Check Engine Light (CEL) (also known as Service Engine Soon SES or MIL) should not stay on when you are driving.
The Check Engine Light should stay on when you turn the ignition to ON position and until you start the engine, after that the light should turn off.
If the light continues to stay on, that means there is a problem and you need to get your car diagnosed.
What does it mean when Kia Check Engine Light comes on
When your check engine light illuminates on your Kia vehicle, it means that the vehicle's Electronic Control Unit (ECU), or computer, which controls many aspects to your Kia's operation, has found a problem with the engine or emissions system.
The ECU stores a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) in its memory, triggering your check engine light to turn on the dashboard.
This problem can be caused by any number of things - it may be something as simple as a loose gas cap, a problem with an incorrect fuel/air mixture, or something much more severe as an engine problem.
You will need to read the fault codes using an OBD-II as outlined in the next section.
Common problems that often cause Kia check engine light to say on include:
- Loose gas cap
- Bad spark plugs
- Faulty ignition coil
- Bad oxygen sensor
- Mass Air Flow (MAF) sensor
- Catalytic converter faulty
- EVAP System Fuel Leak
To find out why your Kia to check engine light is on, you should start by reading the fault codes.
How to Read Kia Check Engine Fault Codes
You can read Kia check engine light codes yourself using an OBD-II scanner. This method applies only to Kia vehicles that are the model year 1996 and newer.
- Locate the OBD-II port under the dashboard.
- Plugin your scanner into the OBD-II port.
- Turn on the ignition. Do not start the engine.
- Allow the scanner to power on.
- Select Read Codes on your scanner. Write down all the codes that are Present or Current.
Many auto repair shops and auto parts stores such as Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone or PepBoys will read your engine trouble codes for free.
Kia Check Engine Light Flashing
If the check engine light is flashing, it means there is a critical problem that needs to be addressed right away.
If this ever happens when you are driving, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so. Allow the engine to cool down.
When the check engine light is blinking, it is not safe to operate the vehicle.
This problem can affect Kia models such as:
- Sedona and other models.
Can I Reset Kia Check Engine light by Disconnecting the Battery?
Resetting Kia check engine light by disconnecting the battery is not recommended for the following reasons:
- By disconnecting the battery you do not fix the underlying problem that triggered the CEL.
- If the problem is fixed, there is no need to disconnect the battery. CEL should reset (turn off) on its own within a few days.
- This method will not work on many newer Kia cars.