Q: Does being very low on oil cause the check engine light to come on? And what else could be wrong if there are no symptoms along wi

asked by on March 19, 2017

The check engine ligjt came on. I checked the oil and it was very low and dirty. I put two quarts in but the light stayed on. What could it be? There are no other symptoms, no sputtering or bogging down or noises. Thanks

My car has 63400 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

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The low oil level is something that certainly needs to be addressed. However, it is generally not a cause for the check engine light to come on. The check engine light comes on when an electrical / electronic issues in the engine management system. The electronic control unit (ecu) relies on input from dozens of sensors located throughout the vehicle. If any of these sensors are faulty, the check engine light will come on to indicate a fault code has been stored. Have a certified technician scan the system for fault codes to determine which circuit should be diagnosed and repaired. As for the low oil level. Some engines consume oil and some do not. With few exceptions, the standard most manufacturers allow for "acceptable" oil consumption is 1 quart per 1,000 miles. How many miles since the last oil change and how much oil did you add ? If you are in the United States and are the original owner of the vehicle, the engine is covered by a 10 year or 100,000 miles warranty, whichever comes first. If you are the original owner, then you should take the vehicle to the local Kia dealer service department. Explain that the engine is burning oil. NOTE: they will probably ask you for maintenance receipts to see if the oil was changed in accordance to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Be forewarned that not having proper maintenance receipts gives them grounds to deny warranty repairs. If all records are in order, they will perform an oil consumption test. They will perform an oil change - at your expense - and document the oil level and mileage. Then will have you return in 1,000 miles to check the oil level again. If the engine has consumed more than 1 quart in that time, then they will have to do further diagnosis as to what will correct the issue. It can be anything from a clogged pcv system to engine repair or replacement. If however it is not consuming more than one quart per 1,000 miles, they will tell you that it is "normal and acceptable" oil consumption and that you should check the oil more frequently. Something that should be done at least every other fuel fill up.

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