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Engine replaced on a 2007 Kia Optima, check engine light still on

I just had the engine replaced on my 2007 Kia Optima. It was done at the dealership, under warranty. It would have been $3,000 if I had to pay myself. I also had over $3,000 of additional work done. The check engine light was on before the repair, and after the repairs, it stayed off for less than a week before coming back on.

I called the dealership again, and they wanted to check it out, so I brought it back. They had “forgotten” to take care of some sort of lines. They fixed those, light was off, within three days it came back on again. I called the dealership again. They checked it again and said the muffler and the catalytic converter needed replaced.

I got that done, only this time the check engine light never went off and is still on, despite many repairs and a complete engine replacement. It doesn’t seem right to me that I have a supposedly new engine under the hood, yet the check engine light is still on.

What else could this be?

Check your copies of the shop orders and post the codes and any other information here.
Meanwhile, look up the process that came with your owner’s manual for “bumping up” problems to higher levels.

Post back.

Just for the record, can the OP please post the maintenance history of this car?
If the dealership is correct about the muffler and catalytic converter being in need of replacement–in addition to the entire engine–I have to wonder about the way that this car was operated, and how it was maintained over the preceding 9 years.


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Its a KIA arent they basically disposable cars? drive em till they stop running then throw them away,no maintanence required.

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The CEL comes on for a variety of reasons, the exact initiators causing it to turn on varies by make/model/year of vehicle. For example

  • Faulty gas cap
  • Faulty radiator
  • Faulty exhaust system
  • ABS faults
  • Transmission faults

etc etc … so it is definitely possible an engine replacement witha good engine that was done perfectly might still leave the CEL on. You say it was on prior to the replacement, so whatever was causing it then is very likely still causing it. There’s no way to tell over the internet for certain that it isn’t the engine of course. But it probably isn’t related to the engine replacement.

For further assistance here you need to post the DTC’s stored in the car’s computer memory. Whenever the CEL turns on, it does so for a reason, and the computer documents that reason using the DTC codes. Those will provide a clue what might be causing it.

No, they are not disposable cars.
As a former owner of a 2004 Kia Optima from 2004 to 2014 I had to count to 20 before I could reply to your statement.

I will get the codes and post them. I saved all paperwork associated with these repairs, as I saved every thing over the years. The car was operated in a normal manner. I’m not one to ignore issues, so when a maintenance issue came up, it was dealt with.

Over the years I’ve had the break pads and rotors replaced, a tie rod, new tires several times, the starter was replaced, etc. Regular oil changes were done, as I was able to prove to the dealership - saving me $3,000, since the warranty took care of the engine. There was a question of whether they would or not. I needed to prove that I regularly maintenanced the car. The car was and is washed every month, especially the under carriage since I live in an area with a lot of salt on the roads.

Thank you for all replies. I’ll post the codes as soon as I can.

That statement is outdated by well over a decade.
Yes, when Kia began selling their cars in The US, they weren’t of good quality, but since 1998, Hyundai has had a financial stake in Kia Motor Co., and has vastly improved the quality of Kias. In fact, for about a decade, each Kia model has actually been a mechanical clone of a specific Hyundai model. Hyundais are very close in quality to several of the Japanese car makers, and at this point, so are Kias.

Not only is that statement wrong, it contributes absolutely nothing at all to the solution. It’s just plain a snide comment. Nothing more.

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Just curious, but by “new” engine do you mean just that; a brand new, never used engine that has never been run?

Three grand for a “new” engine including labor sounds kind of cheap is why I ask.

3K for an engine
3K for other stuff
? for a converter and muffler
Is the tab on this thing now at 7 or 8 grand and counting? Ouch.

Disposable no, you just have your engine replaced every ten years then suffer though numerous associated problems.

I don’t recall if Kia warranty is 10yr/100k mile? If OP did all maintenance to keep warranty in effect, than good for them. But the fact there is a CEL prior to bad motor and CEL after new motor and dealer somehow does not think there is a connection kind of makes me wonder. Maybe cel was for trans issue? New motor, new convertor and now has cel for a new issue.

The dealership told us it would be a little over 3K to replace the engine. Our warranty was still in effect for the engine, so we ended paying no out of pocket money for the engine. As far as I was told, the dealership put a brand new engine in it, no miles on it, not refurbished.

Before the dealerships could put the new engine in, we were told we had to get other things fixed, otherwise the new engine couldn’t be put in right. Those things included a new tie tod end, new power steering, new brake lines, new gas…something…and something else.

We did not get the muffler or the catalytic converter fixed at the dealership. We were told those could wait until the new engine was in (those are fixed now). All of the additional repairs were $3,426. Plus the 3K of work put in by the dealership. I assume though, with basically everything under the hood being new…fingers crossed we can get another 9 or 10 years out of this vehicle.

A 4 cylinder short block for this car is $1400, with necessary additional parts and labor this might come to $3000 to $3500. A complete engine costs $3500, that is cheap for a new engine.

You have the right to decline repairs that are not related to the warranty work and perform these repairs yourself or by the shop of your choice (steering, brakes and exhaust). Some repairs save labor time by performing them at the same time like replacing the power steering pump or rack and pinion steering gear while the engine is being replaced but the labor savings may not have been given to you. The service writer sold you these repairs to bring the car up to standards, not because the engine couldn’t be replaced without new steering parts.

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