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importdoctor, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 9974
Experience:  ASE Certified, 10+ years experience
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2004 Kia Optima LX: runs fine..idles..the check engine light comes

Customer Question

2004 Kia Optima LX 2.4L engine starts and runs fine, idles smoothly. When I drive, I get anywhere from 1/2 mile to 10 miles down the road and with out any sputtering or hiccups, the check engine light comes on and the engine stalls. Sometimes it will start in a minute or two, other times it takes 20 minutes to start again. Gas from a different station didn't change anything. Fuses and relays appear to be okay. Fluid levels are good, filters are clean, all routine maintenence is up to date. What could the problem be and how much can I expect to pay to fix it?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  importdoctor replied 7 years ago.
Thank you for using just answer. You could be dealing with a range of different issues here. If this is an intermittent problem and the check engine light does come on as you stated then the first step here is to check the codes stored with the check engine lamp. I have seen a lot of issues with the crankshaft position sensors on these cars and this is a very likely cause however a code would verify this. If you don't have access to a scan tool you can purchase a very cheap/basic unit from about any parts store for under $40, this would be $$$ well spent versus paying a shop to diagnose this and possibly not be able to duplicate the issue.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

If I get one of these code scanners, what other things is it likely to tell me? Is there any particular brand or model I should look for. Does it have to be dedicated to my make and model car?


Expert:  importdoctor replied 7 years ago.
No, any car 1996 or newer uses an obd2 connector, when you get a check engine light a 4 digit code such as p0123 will appear, with the 4 digit code you will know what system has malfunctioned. Any obd2 scanner will work.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
thank you
Expert:  importdoctor replied 7 years ago.
thank you

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