The Check Engine Light Is on in My Kia Spectra

Written by leslie renico
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The Check Engine Light Is on in My Kia Spectra
A "Check Engine" light is not a welcome sight on a dashboard like this one. (compteur image by art 3007 from Fotolia.com)

Whether you are driving in rush hour traffic or down a rural road, there are few more unsettling sights on the dashboard than the "Check Engine" light -- because so many of the possibilities could be expensive ones. Some troubleshooting may help you decide to make your repairs at home -- but here are the possible reasons this light might come on in your Kia Spectra.

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Gas Cap

Believe it or not, one of the reasons your Kia Spectra's "Check Engine" light can come on is that you haven't screwed the gas cap on tightly enough. So, if there are no other signs of trouble from the engine, pull over, when convenient and safe, remove the gas cap and put it on again until you've heard several clicks. If this is the problem, you'll know it after you've turned the car off and on again three or four times. Don't do this while you're sitting on the side of the road; instead, watch the light as you run the rest of your errands. If you're on a long trip, stop every 10 minutes or so and start the engine again. If this is the problem, the light will turn off after several stops.

Oxygen Sensor

In 2004 through 2006 models of the Kia Spectra, there is a common fault with the front oxygen sensor that will trip the "Check Engine" light. The problem has to do with non-functioning terminals inside the wiring. You'll need to take the car in to a mechanic to get this fixed.

EVAP System

If you have a Kia Spectra that's equipped with an EVAP system, the "Check Engine" light may be a result of a leak in the system. The EVAP system is sensitive enough that, just having a loose gas cap can set it off. You may need to have your mechanic replace a hose or clamp in the EVAP system, or the whole cylinder may be at fault.

Engine Misfire

If your engine is misfiring, you will want to get it taken care of as soon as possible. This is the most serious possibility when your "Check Engine" light appears. Misfiring can lead to damage throughout the engine that can make your repairs far more expensive than they would be if you take your car in after ruling out the gas cap as the problem.

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