Multifunction Indicator Light, 2004 Santa Fe

I have a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe with a 3.5L engine, AWD (4WD), and 97,800 miles on it.
The Multifunction Indicator Light just started coming on a couple of days
ago and it stays on most of the time while driving. It's a yellow indicator light on the far left side of the instrument panel right below the temperature gauge.
The manual says, "This light illuminates when there is a malfunction of an exhaust gas related component, and the system is not functioning properly so that the exhaust gas regulation values are not satisfied."
I have a general idea of what that means, but I am curious as to what some of the possible causes of this light coming on may be.
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TomR wrote:

Possible causes will likely be one of these: http://www.obd-codes.com/trouble_codes / Endless speculation likely won't help. Get the code from your vehicle.
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Paul in Houston TX wrote:

Thanks. I should have known that it could mean one of many things. I was asking just in case this particular check light coming on was typically due to only one or two common causes. But, I see that's not the case.
And, of course, now that I posted the question the Multifunction Indicator Light hasn't been coming on at all. It first came on when I was driving on an Interstate Highway in a heavy downpour of rain and while "everything" was on -- meaning windshield wipers, AC, headlights, and radio. It stayed on for the rest of that trip, plus the trip home, and other short trips that night. The next morning, it was off, but it came back on again later in the day and stayed on for all trips in the car for a few days including for a while after I posted the question. I was thinking that maybe it meant that the battery wasn't charging fully or something electrical like that, but the manual said it indicated "exhaust gas" issues.
Now, for the past 2 days, it hasn't come on at all.
So, who knows. I'll probably wait and see if it comes on again and then maybe try the free AutoZone obd code check idea.
I'll post back if I find out anything more.
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TomR wrote:

Maybe it was just that one time in wet weather. Spark, MAF, EGR, O2, temperature sensor, Loose gas cap, etc.
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Paul in Houston TX wrote:

Thanks Paul.
That last idea, "Loose gas cap, etc.", started me thinking. The Multifunction Indicator Light has still not come back on since the last time when I wrote that it had stopped coming on. Then I checked my credit card payments and I saw that I purchased gas right around the time when I noticed that the light had stopped coming on.
So, my guess is that it was a loose gas cap when the light was on, and when I purchased gas the next time, they probably put the cap back on and tightened it correctly and that solved the problem.
I had completely forgotten about the loose gas cap possibility, and that has never happened to me before. But, when you mentioned a loose gas cap it reminded me of when I was looking to buy this car and a Hyundai dealer told me about the gas cap needing to be tightened correctly or the "check engine light" will come on. Other than him mentioning that way back when, I never had an issue and I never had the Multifunction Indicator Light come on before, so I had completely forgotten about that.
I think that was probably it -- a loose gap cap. Great news and an easy no-cost fix.
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TomR wrote:

Excellent! Thanks for the update.
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Not just Hyundai, it can happen with most cars. First time I saw it I was heading out on vacation. Stopped in NJ for fuel and shortly after, the CE light came on. Car seemed to be running OK, so I kept going. I burned through that tank and refilled in VA and soon the light went off. It bothered me for the longest time, but I eventually found out the problem. On my next car, it happened again, but this one had a different computer and it read out "check gas cap".
That happened a few more time and I was sure I put the cap back on correctly. I did, but. . . . .
I stopped at a station near home, filled up, they went home. Next morning after 1 mile the error came on. This happened a few times. The problem was that I topped off the tank too much. Best to stop on the first time the pump shuts off and not try to get every last drop in.
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On 9/15/2012 12:12 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

learned the $125 mistake, and had it reenforced on one of my other Hyundais that I only sometimes had topped off.
If you over fill it raw gas gets into the charcoal evap canister. After a while (year or so), and a number of top offs, you will be filling up and after the first part of a gallon "click". You think "hey, that isn't full, it must be an air pocket." You pause and start again. Maybe it won't be bad at first, but it will not be long until you end up taking 10 minutes to fill a tank. You have to hold the pump nozzle carefully so that it flows at about as slow a rate as possible or it will just click, you wait 15 seconds or so, put in a few more tenths - click, wait... if you did not wait it would only put in a few hundredths before clicking off. Replacing the part yourself will set you back about $125 to $145. I had the "privilege" of having to do that on both a 2002 Elentra and a 2003 Santa Fe.
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Could be a lot of things. Some places such as Auto Zone will get the code for you for free. They can also sell you the part needed to fix it.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

Thanks. I'll probably try the AutoZone idea. For the past 2 days, the Multifunction Indicator Light hasn't come on at all. So, I may wait, and then if it comes on again, I'll try going to AutoZone.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I think this particular situation turned out to just be a loose gas cap problem that got fixed the next time that I bought gas when I assume the gas cap was put back on and tightened correctly.
But, I also wanted to mention that I have been hearing radio ads lately for AutoZone, and the whole point of their ad is that if one's check engine light comes on, they should go to AutoZone and AutoZone will try to diagnose the problem for free.
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