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#1 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 10:29 AM
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Default O2 Sensor problem

Hi!

I'm hoping someone can really help me with this problem, because I'm running out of time (and money!) trying to solve it.

I recently bought a used 2002 Kia Rio Cinco with 137,000 miles on it. I was having a problem with the car. The only way I can describe it is the sensation of driving through water. The car can drive just fine with no problems when suddenly the power just goes out of it. RPMs of 3000 drop to 2000 and hitting the accelerator won't do anything unless you floor it. When it's acting up and you're at a stoplight the RPMs are around 500 and it acts like it wants to stall.

With the check engine light on I made a trip to Autozone showed a P0130 02 Sensor Circuit Malfunction error Sensor 1 Bank 1. So I took it to a mechanic to have the sensor replaced with a OEM Bosch sensor. The mechanic spent an hour trying to get the sensor off and when he finally did it broke the threads, prompting the need to replace the manifold, which worked out for the best because there was a crack in the manifold.

(Now this may be important, I do not know -- the mechanic said when the sensor did finally come off some coolant liquid came out with it.)

Anyway, he replaced the sensor and the manifold and drove it around, only to have the check engine light come on again. P0130.

So I took it to another mechanic, because the dealership is asking WAY too much money, and he did a check on it. The scanner showed that while the downstream O2 sensor was fluctuating normally, the upstream sensor - which is what I'm having the problem with - was staying at around 420-425, with no fluctuation. He look around and found that the spark plugs were the original factory installed, as was the fuel filter. So we replaced all those and the car ran just fine... for about twenty miles and the problem happened again, this time without the check engine light coming on. But it did eventually kick back on.

I really do like the car; other than this problem it's not a bad car at all. It's just that I'm planning on taking my family on a trip at the end of the month, and this car right now is in no shape to take such a long trip the way it's acting.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what I need to get fixed on this? THANKS!
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 11:34 AM
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The upstream O2 sensor (the one closest to the engine) is the one used by the ECU for mixture control, and if it plays up then the ECU will ignore the bad O2 signal and use a "limp home" value which will result in the engine running very rich and sluggish with rough idle.

If it is in fact coolant that came out the exhaust manifold then that is what may have wrecked the new O2 sensor.

Have you noticed a loss of coolant?
If so then your cylinder head gasket must be gone.

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#3 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 12:36 PM
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No, I haven't noticed a loss of coolant. Of course it's my wife's car and she drives it more, but when I took it to get the oil changed and have full service done on it there was nothing said of the coolant being low.

The old O2 sensor, when it came out, looked pretty much dead... like it was burnt.

I haven't tried to see how the new O2 sensor looks. I know the first mechanic who dealt with it said the sensor was already acting tight not long after he installed it with the new manifold, and he was afraid to try and take it out.

Now today I did take it back over to my second mechanic and he hooked it up to the computer to see what codes it was showing. For the first time it showed something other than just P0130. It showed P1166, Air Fuel Metering. Could this have something to do with it? Or is it maybe another problem?
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 12:56 PM
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well i think the first mechanic was a dump @ss, when someone takes out an o2 senser they have to work at it, when i replaced mine i was told to loosen it tell it got tight then tighten it tell it got tight then loosen it again tell it got tight, and keep it up tell you can get it out with all the threads, tho if there was a crack in the manifold then no biggy. as for the coolent in the manifold id also say a bad head gasket, i have seen cars sit for months and have to be jumped to start after the sit and have a bad gasket after that sit. but some can can fix it self by expanding and filling up that hole. but id take it to a reliable shop and have a compression test done on all 4 cylinders and see if any are not holding much compression. this test will tell you if you have a bad head, head gasket, loose spark plugs, bad valves and the list can go on.
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 01:10 PM
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I had a similar problem, it turned out to be a bad fuel pressure regulator causing low pressure. The check engine light did not go on so there were no codes, but the front O2 sensor was reading full rich, probably to compensate for the low fuel pressure.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 08:54 AM
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Default Thanks for the help so far

Thanks everyone for the help I've received so far. I'm taking the car in today to check on the fuel pressure and the compression, to see how the pressure regulator is and if there's a loose/cracked head or head gasket.

I'll let you know what I find out.
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-15-2007, 08:02 AM
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Default Knock on wood...

Thanks again to everyone for their suggestions. I finally was able to get it in to a mechanic yesterday and have it looked at. We checked compression and fuel pressure... both were okay. We then went in and looked at electrical and in the process found a wire in the back of the engine block that went towards the O2 sensor that wasn't connected all the way. The mechanic went in and plugged it in and the O2 sensor on the scanner started fluctuating normally... no longer sticking at 420. I drove it around last night and my wife drove it into work this morning, and so far (knock on wood again) it's working perfect, so I guess a loose wire was to blame.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-17-2007, 07:52 PM
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Bishop71, good to hear that you got it sorted.

For service info register (free) with KiaTechInfo and click on 'Shop' on the left, and for elect schematics click on 'ETM'.

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