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
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.
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.
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
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
OH BOY! You had better believe you should not "top off" a Hyundai. I
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.
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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