Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: New car that is always lighting up ‘check engine’

asked by on

I have replaced the engine one time already in my 2011 Kia Sorento even though I only have 20,500 miles on the thing. Now the Check Engine Light always seems to be on. I have taken it in, had it inspected (only to find no issues), and then paid the bill and left only to have the light back within a month about 4 times. I am so sick of this problem. Is my car a lemon? Or is this common for cars that have replaced engines?

Hello, thanks for writing in about this issue.

No, your car is not a lemon!

The Check Engine Light (CEL) is trigged by the engine control unit when it detects a fault with any engine sensor or a calculated engine performance concern. When the Check Engine Light is on it sets a code that is present for about 40 key cycles, even if the fault is intermittent and goes away.

Codes are necessary in order to provide any diagnosis or repair and there is a diagnostic process for each code that should be followed. Diagnosing is a hands-on job that requires a scanner and a few tools to fix.

A certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, can perform an independent assessment to find a definitive cause for your illuminated Check Engine Light.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How do you correctly start the engine?

If you’re an experienced driver, chances are good that you don’t put a lot of thought into cranking the engine. You slide into the driver’s seat, insert the key, turn it and prepare to drive. However, there are some specific...

Q: My car turns in but doesn't accelerate if so once it goes up when u let it go down would never come back up but stays idled

This may be related to what is called a throttle position sensor. This is a sensor that monitors the position of your foot on the gas pedal relative to the amount of fuel that the engine is being provided. When...

Q: The check engine light is on.

Have your vehicle's computer checked to see what caused the check engine light to come on. This will give you a starting place for diagnostics. Most of the time if the battery was running low on a charge, when installing...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.