Bad fuel filter symptoms - Hope this helps somebody - Kia Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Default Bad fuel filter symptoms - Hope this helps somebody

I just joined here after having a fuel filter die on me. I Googled the problem and came across this forum with some (old) threads that seemed to have some confusion in them, so I just wanted to tell my story.

2002 Sportage, 4x4, 5 speed manual, absolute minimal maintenance, 118k miles.

I came home from work Thursday night, and the fuel level was low. On mine (and this might not be normal) my fuel light doesn't even come on until the needle is right on the empty line, but at any rate, I was right about there.
I drive it to the local 7-11 because I don't want to deal with fueling up before work the next morning. Starts good as usual, drives there fine, and I gas up.

*I want to preface the following by saying that I almost always run it this low, but I feel it was a combination of things that caused this.*

I get back in, start it up, and as I am pulling out of the gas station I think I feel it stammer about 3 or 4 times, then it's fine again. I had the radio up, A/C on, etc, so I just figured it was something I ran over or something and went on my way.

3 miles down the road the CEL not only comes on, but starts flashing. At that instant I can feel it obviously drop a cylinder and it is now running on 3 cylinders. I had to turn the A/C off, and in 3rd gear (manual) it was all it could do to stay at 35mph.

Now here is the strange part. A mile later I feel the 4th cylinder begin firing again, and all is well. My CEL is still on, but is now solid, and it is running as it should... for about a mile, then the CEL starts flashing and I lose power again. At this point I take it home and park it. The next morning it restarted "ok", as in, it did start without me having to help it via pumping the gas, but it did struggle a bit. It idled on it's own, but BARELY.
I changed the fuel filter since this car is just a beater and gets literally no maintenance. The fuel filter was original to the best of my knowledge. I have owned this since 64k miles and it was a Kia filter, so I am banking on it being original. Since the change all is well again.

I believe the filter was going, my being low on fuel stirred up sludge in the tank, and on top of that I feel like I got some crappy gas. I think it was a perfect storm in regards to causing my issue, but take that with a grain of salt, as I am not a mechanic by any means.

Sorry for the long post (especially since it was my first) but I am just hoping somebody with less mechanical knowledge googles this issue and gets some help from this.

2012 Mustang GT Premium|6-speed|401a|Grabber Blue|Brembos|Navi|Rear Camera
2002 Sportage|5-speed|4wd|128k miles (Sold)
1978 Triumph Spitfire|4-speed|69k original miles|Pacesetter Header|Monza Exhaust
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 03:26 PM
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Thanks for posting this information. I wish there were more willing to take the time to pass on problems/symptoms/cures.
One thought... you bought the car with 64k miles and you have 118k miles on it now. I just read that your engine is not an interference type engine...BUT... you have added 54k miles since you got it. Did the dealer you bought it from replace the cam belt before you bought it? They only last around 60k miles. (every 60k!). Two very recent posts about 2002 sportages are about their belts breaking and stranding them. The engines seemed not to be damaged but I'd hate to have you miles from home when it happens.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 04:01 PM
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I would say in this situation it might even be a good idea to clean out the fuel tank, it does sound like dirt in the bottom of the tank was stirred up and caused a problem. It is not very good practice to continually run on the bottom section of the tank because if the tank has got residue in it you will pick it up for sure, good idea to stay above 1/4 tank when you can. I also agree with Dave about changing the timing belt there is a good chance it is still the original and is now getting towards twice the milage recommended for changing. You don't want to be stuck at the side of the road with a broken timing belt, and even though the FEDOHC engine is non interference a belt breaking at speed can still damage the engine. A lot of times a clogged filter won't be as dramatic as in this owners situation, you might just notice a drop off in performance ,especially top end speed when driving. As the poster said may he have had bad fuel as well as clogged filter. Thanks ncarter124 for telling the forum of you experience , it is sure to help other forum members with similar problems out in the future.

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Last edited by pulsar86; 04-19-2010 at 01:02 AM. Reason: correcting typo
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DavesSpectra View Post
Thanks for posting this information. I wish there were more willing to take the time to pass on problems/symptoms/cures.
One thought... you bought the car with 64k miles and you have 118k miles on it now. I just read that your engine is not an interference type engine...BUT... you have added 54k miles since you got it. Did the dealer you bought it from replace the cam belt before you bought it? They only last around 60k miles. (every 60k!). Two very recent posts about 2002 sportages are about their belts breaking and stranding them. The engines seemed not to be damaged but I'd hate to have you miles from home when it happens.
Dave
That's correct, I purchased it at the end of 2005 with 64k. I have no idea if the timing belt was changed. I read somewhere that their interval was actually 95k, and since I don't have a manual, I went with that. I had also researched in advance and it seems to be the general consensus that it is a non-interference engine. Mine broke at 105k but caused no damage to the engine. I posted it in another thread, but I got lucky and mine broke as I was coasting, so it was just idling when it snapped. I had it towed to a friends shop, we put the new belt on, and it was 100% as good as new.

2012 Mustang GT Premium|6-speed|401a|Grabber Blue|Brembos|Navi|Rear Camera
2002 Sportage|5-speed|4wd|128k miles (Sold)
1978 Triumph Spitfire|4-speed|69k original miles|Pacesetter Header|Monza Exhaust
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2010, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pulsar86 View Post
I would say in this situation it might even be a good idea to clean out the fuel tank, it does sound like dirt in the bottom of the tank was stirred up and caused a problem. It is not very good practice to continually run on the bottom section of the tank because if the tank has got residue in it you will pick it up for sure, good idea to stay above 1/4 tank when you can. I also agree with Dave about changing the timing belt there is a good chance it is still the original and is now getting towards twice the milage recommended for changing. You don't want to be stuck at the side of the road with a broken timing belt, and even thouh the FEDOHC engine is non interference a belt breaking at speed can still damage the engine. A lot of times a clogged filter won't be as dramatic as in this owners situation, you might just notice a drop off in performance ,especially top end speed when driving. As the poster said may he have had bad fuel as well as clogged filter. Thanks ncarter124 for telling the forum of you experience , it is sure to help other forum members with similar problems out in the future.
Yeah I agree. I have Seafoam in the tank right now and I am going to just keep it above 1/4 from now on.

And on the timing belt, I can post a separate thread on that experience too, as well as a 4wd issue I got fixed for literally 50 cents, the fuel smell issue that is a 20 cent clamp, all sorts of things.

I have to say, that Sportage is a miracle vehicle. I changed the ORIGINAL battery at 116k just a few months ago. And don't think that is because it's been in Florida its whole life, I moved from Iowa just a year and a half ago, so most of it's life it was up north, and the battery still survived. It's just astonishing. Lol.

I'm completely new to this forum, so I don't know what all you guys know as far as "common issues" go, but I know the fuel smell I just mentioned is another one. Is that a common knowledge thing around here?

2012 Mustang GT Premium|6-speed|401a|Grabber Blue|Brembos|Navi|Rear Camera
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1978 Triumph Spitfire|4-speed|69k original miles|Pacesetter Header|Monza Exhaust
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 12:59 AM
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Feel free to post any new threads you feel would help out fellow forum members. There have been some threads about fuel leaks near the tank due to a broken plastic fitting on the pump but your fuel smell problem may have been different so please feel free to post away, we can all learn from others experiences.

TAKE YOUR TIME, THINK IT OUT, DO IT RIGHT, DO IT ONCE!! original quote by me as far as I know. :rolleyes:
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-19-2010, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ncarter124 View Post

... the fuel smell issue that is a 20 cent clamp, all sorts of things....
ncarter, I drive a 1999 2.0 4 door 4WD Right Hand Drive Sporty.

Thanks a zillion for sharing your experience with your Sporty. Though that has yet happened to mine, you bet I'll be ready if and when this happens.

Now that you mentioned the fuel smell problem that you solved with a 20 cent clamp, come to think of it I may have this problem too.

After I start my engine in the morning, if I stand at the back I could smell the petrol through the exhaust gas. Perhaps that the petrol has yet to fully combust properly during the initial startup, or is there a petrol leakage somewhere? After it has been running for a while, I don't remember that there's any heavy petrol smell anymore

My mileage is normal for a 1st gen Sporty, about 21 mpg.

I wonder if this problem could be related to yours.

Also, if you or anyone has a pulling to one side problem, for the solution check this out.

http://www.kia-forums.com/1g-1994-20...t-efforts.html
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Well, it ran perfectly for 350-400 miles, and now the exact same symptom is back. Stay tuned, going to change fuel filter #2 today. I ran the bad tank down to empty, filled up, ran that tank empty, and then gassed up last night. I'm less than 10 miles into that tank when this started up again. This is getting irritating.

2012 Mustang GT Premium|6-speed|401a|Grabber Blue|Brembos|Navi|Rear Camera
2002 Sportage|5-speed|4wd|128k miles (Sold)
1978 Triumph Spitfire|4-speed|69k original miles|Pacesetter Header|Monza Exhaust
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-01-2010, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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New fuel filter in as of an hour ago... no change. Resetting ECM for an hour and trying again. I'm at a loss right now.

2012 Mustang GT Premium|6-speed|401a|Grabber Blue|Brembos|Navi|Rear Camera
2002 Sportage|5-speed|4wd|128k miles (Sold)
1978 Triumph Spitfire|4-speed|69k original miles|Pacesetter Header|Monza Exhaust
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 05-02-2010, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Alright it's fixed again. One of the spark plugs was fouled (never changed in 118k miles) so 4 new plugs and she is good to go again. For now...

2012 Mustang GT Premium|6-speed|401a|Grabber Blue|Brembos|Navi|Rear Camera
2002 Sportage|5-speed|4wd|128k miles (Sold)
1978 Triumph Spitfire|4-speed|69k original miles|Pacesetter Header|Monza Exhaust
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