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Hi, I am about to buy a 98 kia sportage 4x4, it seems to be in excellent conditions, interior, engine, paint, everything. I just noticed one little thing, the CEL (check engine light) is constantly "ON". Is there something seriously wrong with the engine? is it electrical problem? should i not buy the car because of that? PLEASE someone help me, i am about to buy this car cause i looks and feels great, but i'm afraid i will be the worst mistake i make if i dont find out what that CEL light stands for.
i will apreciate any info anyone can give!! THANX :D
 

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In case you don't know the "lambda probe" is what we call the "O2 sensor" on this side of the pond. While that CAN be the source of the CEL it's best to determine exactly what caused it since it can be literally dozens of different reasons.

I noticed that you are located in California which unfortunately is a disadvantage for you. In the other 49 states any Autozone will read out the CEL trouble code for free. But not in CA. Seems the CARB Nazis don't like folks fixing their own cars. So your only alternative is to go to a certified mechanic and pay anywhere from $40 to $80 just to have the trouble code read out. Once that's done you can fairly easily determine what caused the CEL. Http://www.kiatechinfo.com has all the trouble code listings for the Sportage.

Another alternative is if you know someone who has an OBD-II code reader. That is the tool used to pull the diagnostic trouble codes.

Once you do that you can make a more accurate determination on the condition of the vehicle and if it is worth your consideration. And I highly recommend that you do NOT purchase the vehicle until you determine exactly what caused the CEL.
 
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