5 Warning Signs of Engine Problems in Your Kia Telluride


Whenever your 2022 Kia Telluride’s Check Engine light flashes, it’s time to get in for service. A flashing engine light indicates a severe issue that could lead to expensive and serious damage if not addressed immediately.

A ticking noise from the engine is another sign that your Kia Telluride needs auto service. If the oil looks dark and smells burnt, it’s overdue for an oil change.

Trouble Starting

If your Telluride isn’t starting, it’s probably due to a bad starter motor. The starter motor has a minimal life, and when it fails, your engine will not start. You’ll hear a clicking sound when you turn the key to start your car, which is a sign that the starter motor has failed.

A dead battery is another common cause of a vehicle that won’t start. You can jump-start your Telluride using jumper cables, a healthy battery from another vehicle, or a booster if available.

Another cause of your car not starting could be corrosion on the battery terminals. A quick cleaning with boiling water can solve this problem in under a minute.

A bad fuel filter can also prevent your engine from starting. Over time, the permeability of the filter decreases, and this causes problems like low fuel pressure and no power at the spark plugs. A clogged fuel filter can be cleaned independently, but replacing it is best left to a mechanic. Rodent damage is another possible culprit. These animals crawl underneath vehicles and bite through wires and cables. They can ruin ignition systems and other components.

Check Engine Light

Your check engine light has come on, and that’s not good. When the check engine light is on, it means that there is a problem with your vehicle’s engine or emissions system that needs to be fixed. It might be as simple as a gas cap coming loose or as complex as a catalytic converter going bad. Ignoring the warning light can result in poor fuel efficiency, costly repairs, and higher emissions.

A solid orange or yellow light may be triggered by something as simple as needing to replace the gas cap, which is an inexpensive and relatively easy fix. However, if the light is flashing, it indicates a more urgent problem, and you should take your car to a mechanic as soon as possible.

The most concerning sign of a Kia Telluride engine problems is a blinking check engine light, which can point to issues with the powertrain or ignition. An engine misfire is most likely the cause, as it can damage the catalytic converter, resulting in a replacement cost of more than $1,000. Ignoring the warning can result in more damage to your engine, so it is best to get to a repair shop as soon as possible.

Low Fuel Pressure

Your car engine needs some fuel to turn over and start running. If it doesn’t get enough fuel due to low fuel pressure, the car won’t start. You might notice it taking longer to crank or needing more than one attempt at starting, or you might hear sputtering while driving.

A malfunctioning fuel pump is the most common cause of low fuel pressure. It may slow down or become internally damaged, causing it not to be able to push enough fuel through the fuel rail. If this is the problem, you should check your vehicle’s fuel pressure with a fuel gauge at a fitting on the fuel tank or fuel rail.

Other causes of low fuel pressure include clogged filters, incorrect tank venting, restricted fuel lines, and a faulty fuel pump regulator. These issues will also likely trigger the check engine light and require a professional diagnostics scan. If the fuel pump is wrong, you might see a warning code like P0087 in the scanner. Owner reports indicate the engine might make a loud, high-pitched squeal. It could be caused by an air leak in the vacuum system that routes exhaust fumes as it vaporizes inside the engine.

Spark plug wires or defective spark plugs

It will take longer to start the engine if the spark plugs or wires are damaged. It is because the spark plugs or wires can’t generate a spark that ignites the air/fuel mixture in the cylinders. It will result in a hard start and can cause engine stalling.

The spark plugs may show signs of wear, like a black coating, or have visible cracking. Spark plug wires can also show physical damage, including melting, scorch marks, and cracked insulation. When inspecting them for wear, carefully (without touching anything hot like the exhaust or belts) move a spark tester along the length of each spark plug wire to see if it shows a spark at any point in its run.

If you notice that your spark plugs aren’t creating the spark, they should be replaced with new ones. Using high-quality spark plugs matched to your specific Kia Telluride model is recommended. There are various types of spark plugs, including copper, platinum, double-platinum, and iridium. Consult your owner’s manual if you need help deciding which to use.

Mass Airflow Sensor

A device in the throttle body, the mass airflow sensor (or MAF), helps your engine computer determine a proper air-to-fuel mixture by measuring the air that passes through it. It is essential for efficient and clean combustion because variations in air density can impact fuel consumption due to temperature and altitude. If your MAF light stays on or starts flashing, this could indicate a problem with the sensor and result in rough running and stalling while driving.

When this warning symbol illuminates while your Kia Telluride is driving, the engine oil pressure is low and should be stopped immediately to prevent severe damage. Once stopped, you can check the engine oil level and add it if needed, but do not drive until this light turns off.

Red indicators alert you to a severe problem that requires immediate attention. Ignoring these lights can lead to a significant breakdown that’s costly to repair. 

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