Kia Soul Check Engine Light DIY Diagnostic Tips

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If the check engine light comes on when you start up your Kia Soul, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your vehicle. While you could be dealing with a major problem, a check engine light can also be an indicator of fairly minor issues, like a loose gas cap or a faulty oxygen sensor. 

You should never ignore a check engine light, but you don’t necessarily have to bring your Kia to the shop. These DIY diagnostic tips will help you troubleshoot your check engine light Kia Soul problems so that you can figure out what to do next. 

Reading a Check Engine Light On a Kia Soul 

Your Kia Soul engine is equipped with an onboard diagnostic system that monitors the performance of your vehicle. If the computer notices something out of the ordinary, it records the issue and stores a trouble code. When this happens, the check engine light comes on to alert you of the problem. 

To access the code, you’ll need to connect an ODB2 reader or scanner to your vehicle’s OBD port. This port is a black, trapezoid-shaped connector with 16 pins. In most Kia Soul models, the port is beneath the fuel panel, which is located beneath the dashboard on the driver’s side. 

While many auto parts shops will read your card’s trouble code for free, you can also purchase an OBD2 scanner and read the code yourself. Look for a scan tool that’s compatible with the Kia Soul, like the Foxwell NT301 or the Performance Tool W2977. With an OBD2 scan tool, you can get a quick answer whenever your check engine light is on. 

Checking the Check Engine Light Code

Once you have your vehicle’s OBD-II trouble code, you’ll have to figure out what that code means. The first letter of the code will tell you what part of the vehicle the problem is related to. 

  • B is used for body codes. These codes cover functions inside your vehicle’s passenger compartment, including your airbags and air conditioning system. 
  • C is used for chassis codes. These codes cover mechanical systems, such as your anti-lock brake and suspension. 
  • P is used for powertrain codes. These codes convert engine and transmission functions and drivetrain accessories.
  • U is used for network and wiring codes. These codes cover CAN bus wiring as well as functions related to your vehicle’s computer system. 

OBD-II trouble codes are universal, but when you’re diagnosing issues with your car, it’s best to seek out information specific to your vehicle. The Kia Global Information System provides access to detailed information on trouble codes in Kia vehicles. Alternatively, you can enter the code, make, model, and year of your car into a search engine. 

How to Do a Kia Soul Check Engine Light Reset

When you use an OBD2 scan tool on a Kia Soul, you can clear the internal trouble code that caused the check engine light to come on. Alternatively, you can reset the check engine light by disconnecting the negative battery cable. 

Turn off your ignition, pop your hood, and locate your car battery. In a Kia Soul, the battery is located on the driver’s side, just inside the engine bay. Use a wrench to loosen the nut on the negative terminal. Remove the connector from the battery and wait for 60 seconds.

Once a full minute has passed, you can reconnect and tighten the cable. Unless there’s an issue with your gas cap, that process should reset your engine light. Just be aware that your engine light may turn back on if you don’t address the issue that caused the light to turn on in the first place. 

Dealing With a Flashing Check Engine Light Kia Soul

A solid check engine light isn’t always a cause for concern, but a flashing check engine light is a sign that your vehicle needs there’s a serious problem with your car. If you’re seeing a Kia Soul check engine light flashing, it’s likely you’re dealing with an engine misfire. Common causes of engine misfires include bad ignition coils, low fuel pressure, or a faulty air-fuel mixture. 

Some Kia vehicles, like the 2020-2021 Kia Soul, have piston oil rings that aren’t properly heat-treated. Damaged oil rings could cause the pistons to damage the engine, leading to major problems. 

If your check engine light is flashing, it’s best not to drive your car until the issue is resolved. Some issues that can lead to an engine misfire, like worn spark plugs, are easy to address. Other problems, such as a blown catalytic converter, may require more costly repairs.

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