5 Reasons Why Your Check Engine Light Might be On
Common Reasons for a Kia Check Engine Light
It’s unfortunately happened to all of us — you’re enjoying a peaceful drive down the road and all of a sudden a light pops up on your dashboard. The little orange light looks like an outline of a car’s engine with the words “check engine” visible next to it. This warning is known as the check engine light, and is dreaded by most, if not all, drivers.
While it’s important to inspect your vehicle shortly after the check engine light appears, it’s not always a reason to panic. Your check engine light could illuminate for a number of reasons, and doesn’t always correlate to a serious issue. Continue reading to discover five reasons why your Kia check engine light might be on.
What is a Check Engine Light?
The check engine light, also known as the malfunction indicator lamp (MIL), is a signal from the car’s engine computer that something is wrong. When your car’s internal system detects an issue that it can’t correct, a computer turns on an orange warning indicator on your dash to let you know that something isn’t right. Though it’s not always the cause of major concern, when your engine light is on, you should take your car to a mechanic and get it checked out as soon as possible.
Solid vs. Flashing Check Engine Light
Both a solid and flashing check engine light mean that an error has been detected. However, a flashing light indicates a more serious problem that requires immediate attention. If you see a flashing check engine light on your dash, it is best to safely pull over, turn your car off, and call a tow truck to bring you to a mechanic. Once in the shop, a technician can diagnose the problem and give you solutions so you can be back on the road in no time.
A solid check engine light means that an issue has been detected, and it’s still a cause for concern, but not immediately. A solid check engine light could mean a number of things that don’t put you in immediate danger while driving. While your car will still need a diagnosis from a technician, it’s not as urgent as a flashing light.
5 Common Reasons for Your Kia Check Engine Light
Now that you know what a check engine light is, and the difference between a flashing and solid light, let’s discuss five common reasons why your Kia check engine light might be on.
Related: Common Repairs on Reliable Cars
1. A Loose Gas Cap
A loose gas cap can be an easy fix and a very common reason why your check engine light might have illuminated. The gas cap seals the fuel system, ensuring proper pressure is maintained in the gas tank. Forgetting to replace, or fully tighten, your gas cap after you fill up at the pump can be the cause for your Kia check engine light. In addition to not being fully secure, a loose gas cap can dramatically reduce your fuel efficiency and increase emissions.
Learn More: 5 Kia Models with the Best gas Mileage
2. Damaged Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are responsible for delivering electric currents from the ignition system to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine. Without properly functioning spark plugs, your vehicle will likely not start — as they’re needed to ignite the air/fuel mixture inside the engine. If there is an issue with your spark plugs, or any other part of the ignition system, your car will let you know by illuminating the check engine light.
3. A Faulty Converter
When your catalytic converter is failing, it’s usually because of other undiagnosed issues with emissions equipment. The catalytic converter takes dangerous gasses that your vehicle produces and makes them less harmful. So, if your catalytic converter fails, you’re putting yourself and the environment in danger of carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses. If there’s an issue with your converter, your Kia check engine light will illuminate to let you know that you need to take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.
4. A Dirty or Faulty Airflow System
A dirty or faulty airflow system, also known as a mass airflow system (MAF), is a very common problem that results in your check engine light being turned on. The MAF sensor is housed near the engine and reads how much oxygen is being let into your engine along with gasoline. When the MAF system is dirty, or broken, it can no longer read these important levels, and in turn illuminates your Kia check engine light to warn you.
5. Worn Ignition Coil
The ignition coil delivers the electrical pulse to each spark plug, causing them to spark. When the ignition coils are worn, thay can’t send the necessary volts to the spark plug that ignites the air/fuel mixture. Ignition coils are prone to fail after several years — but thankfully your check engine light will let you know when that happens.
Let the Expert Technicians at Burlington Kia Diagnose the Issue
Next time your check engine light comes on, immediately bring it in to our expert technicians at Burlington Kia. Not only do we have the proper tools to diagnose the problem, but we also have the experience and knowledge to repair your vehicle and get you back on the road in no time.
The best way to avoid a check engine light altogether is to make your car’s routine maintenance a priority. Use the button below or visit our website to get in contact with our dealership to schedule your next service appointment today!