Won't start unless I unplug mass air flow sensor... - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 07:39 PM
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Default Won't start unless I unplug mass air flow sensor...

Hi,

I have a 2001 Kia Sportage that has been giving me a lot of grief.

Some times it will start fine and some times it won't start unless I unplug the mass air flow. I have replaced the MAF and the problem still exists. I have also replaced both of the O2 sensors and the first catalytic converter.

The check engine light is not on. I am not sure what else it could be. I have taken it to a mechanic and they don't know what it could be.

Does anyone know what else I can check to help figure out what the problem is?

Thanks
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 07:44 PM
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Do you know what the code is that has your check engine light on?
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2009, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by tlstotelmyer View Post
Do you know what the code is that has your check engine light on?
The check engine light is not on and doesn't come on unless I drive around with the MAF unplugged
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 01:56 AM
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On my 2000 sportage my second cat has become fouled twice. I have over 200K on it. I removed it, reamed it out and found it glogged, which made it hard to start like the bannana in the tailpipe trick. It ran fine until I could order a replacement.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:51 AM
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unplugging the MAF wouldn't fix a clogged CAT, It might foul the CAT eventually from too much partially burned fuel going into your exhaust. Unplugging the MAF puts your vehicle in an emergency mode that sets the air intake reading to a set value based on your throttle position. If the airflow is unrestricted and you don't make any pedal stomping changes in acceleration then it will run fine in this mode but it will run rich and it will lack the optimal preformance you would get from the MAF sensor.

There's a good chance that if it's not throwing trouble codes your problem is not a constant error. You can have an intermittant failure on a connection or sensor that doesn't stay on long enough to triger a fault code. Clean your connectors to the MAF and the connectors on your wire harness under the area of your battery tray that go inside the vehicle to the ECM. The Kia (and a lot of other modern vehicles) has problems with poor electrical grounding. Check and clean the comon and ground terminals on your vehicle. There are several of them.
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#6 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Baratacus View Post
There's a good chance that if it's not throwing trouble codes your problem is not a constant error. You can have an intermittant failure on a connection or sensor that doesn't stay on long enough to triger a fault code. Clean your connectors to the MAF and the connectors on your wire harness under the area of your battery tray that go inside the vehicle to the ECM. The Kia (and a lot of other modern vehicles) has problems with poor electrical grounding. Check and clean the comon and ground terminals on your vehicle. There are several of them.
Thanks for your suggestions. I will give them a try when I get some time off work. I am also going to try disconnecting the cat's and see if the problem is still there.

Where can I find or how can I find all the grounding points? What do I use to clean the connectors?
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#7 (permalink) Old 07-29-2009, 11:51 PM
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pick up some electrical connector cleaner at your local autoparts store. Make sure that when you clean the connectors you have the power unplugged at the battery and you don't reconnect power untill the connector is dry. The cleaner evaporates quickly, but don't spray it on a live wire. The ground wires are found throughout your engine bay. Look for the wires that terminate on the frame of the car or are bolted to the engine block. Some times these wires become loose or corroded. I don't have a diagram of where all of them are, but I'm sure there's a wiring diagram out there that you can find them on. The main ground is easy to find. It's a heavy gauge wire that comes off of the negative terminal of your battery and bolts to the frame.
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#8 (permalink) Old 12-05-2012, 07:37 PM
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First and foremost, this forum is awesome!

Second, this sounds very similar to the problem I'm having right now. I had my check engine codes checked at Autozone and it came back with a bad O2 sensor and mass airflow sensor error. I replaced the mass airflow sensor today, and when I went to start it again, it started, ran for 1 to 2 seconds, then died. I started it three times and got the same results. I took it back out and it stayed running. The air filter that is on it is a K&N type. It's not the original box type. It is a little too big and I had to tape it on. Could that be part of the problem? Or am I looking for something else? Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!
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#9 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 01:13 PM
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Is it a brand new K&N or did you just re-oil it? If new or over oiled it it will suck oil and coat the sensor. CRC makes a specific MAF sensor cleaner. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT use carb cleaner on a MAF sensor.
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#10 (permalink) Old 12-06-2012, 03:24 PM
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I tried chasing down an intermittent starting problem for almost 6 months. Come to find out the Main and Fuel Pump relays were the culprit (even though they still looked good when I inspected them). So if you haven't replaced the relays yet, I strongly suggest doing so. You can get the current version of the OEM relays (they are the yellow ones) for $8 each at RockAuto Auto Parts

The relays are known to crap out when they get old and cause all sorts of wonderful electrical problems.
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