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Kia Sedona minivan emissions solenoid replacement

Our 2003 Kia Sedona minivan LX has an engine light on which had never happened before. It has 100,000 miles and it was not yet due for an oil change when the light came on driving home last week. I had a diagnostic run at my local mechanic’s and they found a part needed replaced. It is a special order part and it is an emissions solenoid, i think, which is located somewhere in the back of the car near the exhaust (?) so I am just wondering if I really need this or if I can just have them reset the ‘check engine’ light simply because I have other repairs at this high mileage i would like to spend the money on (serpentine belts, timing belt, etc) Please advise.

I would reset the check engine light. I always do this before spending money on any CEL related problem. If you have a problem…the CEL will come back on. The CEL system was poorly designed and will only give you a clue to what is really wrong. You need a good mechanic that will not start replacing parts just because the computer threw a code. A reset or two will not hurt a thing. Make sure to replace the timing belt at the required interval because you have an “interference” engine.

I agree with missileman, but I want to add one caveat.
If you live in a state where emissions testing is done as a part of the state’s motor vehicle inspection, you will not be able to pass the emissions test if the Check Engine Light is lit up, or if it was extinguished just prior to the test.

The part that needs to be replaced is probably a solenoid on the evaporative emissions system, which controls fumes emanating from the gas tank. Your car will likely function nearly normally even if the CEL is lit up, but in most cases, when an emissions-related problem is detected, the cruise control is deactivated, as is traction control (if the van actually has traction control).

If you can live without cruise control and w/o traction control, and if you don’t have to pass a state emissions test, then you can likely drive for an extended period of time w/o replacing this part.

I Concur With Missleman, Especially On An EVAP Emissions Related Alert. Several Times, I’ve Erased A DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) And It Never Came Back. If It Keeps Coming Back, You’ll Want To Address The Problem.

Many national chain type auto parts stores will read your codes for free when the CEL illuminates and many will turn the light off for you after giving you the DTC information.

I’d try clearing/erasing DTCs and resetting the CEL.

Is there any note of the exact DTC(s) noted on your receipt/Repair Order ? That would be helpful to know. Kia decided to publish a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) to help their mechanics diagnose specifically emissions DTCs P0446 & P02422 in vehicles, including Sedonas.

Note: Never drive a car with FLASHING DTC. Vehicle damage could result.

CSA

Very helpful information from all of the posts. I guess I am going to tick the priorities off my list of repairs and since the cruise control and emissions matter to us (traction not so sure if I even have this - added anti-lock brakes when purchased) this will be replaced. Can I access this Kia TSB or is this something the mechanic garage subscribes to? When I asked for the diagram or illustrations of the recommended repair or service (like timing belt replacement) I used to receive from our former servicer, this mechanic didn’t know what I was referring to.