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How to Check the DTC on a Kia Sorento

Updated April 17, 2017

When something goes wrong with your Kia Sorento, the diagnostic system will generate a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) , then activate the service light on the Sorento's dash. Using a On-Board Diagnostic (ODB) scanner is a reliable way to check these codes. Not any scanner will do, however. Vehicles made before 1996 need hardware that can understand OBD-I coding. Cars after 1996 need a scan tool versed in OBD-II codes. A Kia Sorento's trouble codes are not hard to access.

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  1. Place the key in the Kia Sorento's ignition and leave it there. Do not turn it or start the car.

  2. Find the diagnostic port beneath the Kia's dashboard. This is a wide outlet that will accommodate a wide, multi-pronged plug.

  3. Stick the OBD scanner's plug into the diagnostic port. This plug will be at the end of the scanner's length of cable. Firmly push this plug into place. If you try to jam or force it, you might damage the prongs within the plug.

  4. Boot the scanner up.

  5. Turn the key in the ignition and turn the Sorento on.

  6. Watch the scanner's screen. The Kia's diagnostic system and the scanner will interface with each other, and the diagnostic trouble codes should appear on the scanner's screen.

  7. Write the code down. Look for a definition on the Internet at sites such as OBD-codes.com or Engine-Light-Help.com. Both sites offer definitions for generic codes and ones specific to Kia. Note: some advanced scanners come with a USB connection and can be hooked up to your home computer.

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Things You'll Need

  • OBD scanner

About the Author

Richard Ristow

Richard Ristow has written for journals, newspapers and websites since 2002. His work has appeared in "2009 Nebula Showcase" and elsewhere. He is a winner of the Science Fiction Poetry Association's Rhysling Award and he edits poetry for Belfire Press. He also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and has managed an automotive department at WalMart.

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