Replaced Radiator- advice needed please - Kia Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 12:31 AM
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Default Replaced Radiator- advice needed please

Hey guys,

I am new here. I purchased my 2005 Kia Rio with 30k miles about a year ago and now it was about 70k miles.

Anyways, I recently got an oil change (Thursday) on my Rio at about 69,xxx K and and about three days (Saturday) later I started noticing a very funky smell when I got home and there was smoke coming from the engine bay (a little) I didn't think much and just thought it was the water that had touched the manifold since it was raining very hard that day.

Fast forward to (Sunday) I was driving my car and I drove to the mall about 15 minutes away and everything was normal. I then drove from the mall to the market and started noticing that my engine temps were way above the redline...I immediately pulled into a parking lot and checked the oil and it was fine...so I drove out of the parking lot to a gas station about 1 mile away and bought some oil (1QT) and poured it into the engine.....then when I started the motor it was a bit hard to start (again with the temps high)........I still knew something was wrong, so I hopped on the freeway to head over to PepBoys and as I got off the off ramp the car just stalled and I was able to push it off to the side (thankfully since there was a bunch of traffic). I called my friend and we found it was the radiator and there was nothing in it..so I headed to Pepboys in his car and we got coolant and poured it into the radiator...but then about 1 minute later it was leaking like crazy and that (1) gallon of coolant was gone in an instant......the temps went back to normal so I immediately drove it home and temps rose again within 10 minutes....I honestly had no choice but to drive it home which was about a 20 minutes drive (going about 50mph)..and there was smoke coming from the motor but I think it was the coolant that was burning off. I managed to get it home and immediately placed an order for a radiator and called it a night.

I picked up the new radiator today (aftermarket) and I installed it myself. I checked all hoses and they are fine. The installation went well and I poured 50/50 coolant into the radiator..(ended up using two bottles since I poured some into the overflow). The car drives fine now but I am being extremely cautious. Temps are fine and it is below the middle line like how it always was.
I just want to know if there is anything I should check. I will be taking it to my mechanic this Saturday to have him inspect it.

One thing I noticed is the car kinda hiccups when I am driving (usually in 3rd gear going about 30mph). I checked the dipstick and oilcap and there is no milky oil...no smoke from the exhaust either. I drove about 60 miles today and engine temps again were normal but I am still paranoid.

- No CEL
- Car starts up fine
- Oil levels are fine
- No leaks that I can see from the bottom and I checked everytime I pulled into a parking lot.
- Checked coolant levels and the reservoir did go down a little but I think its because I did not bleed the radiator.
- I can see coolant in the radiator when I remove the cap.

Comments would be appreciated.

Last edited by sammie; 11-23-2010 at 12:37 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 11:45 AM
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Dear God.
I will not say what words came to my mouth when I was reading what you have done... I am the last person who should use such words here.

Advice for future - NEVER drive a car when temperature is going too high. STOP immediately and check coolant, and THEN oil. Not the other way. Oil is indirectly responsible for cooling.
And I have no idea why you did not bleed the radiator... another big mistake.

Anyway. What could happen when it overheated due to coolant loose? Hard to say what exactly happened but here are few things you could expect: cracks, bents on the head, leaking valves, leaking rings (due to bent or damaged block), leaking head gasket, and some others.

Why does it have hiccup? Who knows... I would check spark plugs, coils with cables. As for milky oil - no, you will not see it on HOT, but on COLD only. So, after driving one day, check it in the morning of the next day. If you find some condensation water droplets on the oil cap or on oil dip stick - you might be facing head replacement/job. and spark plugs - check them on cold. If they are wet... same problem. they should be completely dry and grayish slightly blackish in color.


And again - NEVER ever drive overheated car. If you find yourself driving with so high temp - try to do everything to bring it down before shutting down the engine. Everything means use heater on max, if it does not help, but you are still driving, release gas and let the car to roll without use of any gas. If you were driving downhill - it would be even better.

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#3 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 01:13 PM
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Thanks for the reply and I understand.

I am taking it to my mechanic this week for him to check it for me. I have checked the oil continously and no signs of milky oil. I will check again tomorrow morning.

This is my ONLY car and I drove it this morning to work and again temps were below the middle line. I will be only driving the car (1) more day and then taking it to my mechanic....(will be borrowing my friends car in the time being)
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 01:14 PM
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If there is no milky oil what else should i check for?
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 01:52 PM
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regardless if you see or do not see milk...
as I said, spark plugs (when did you replace them last time?) coils with cables (same as spark plugs) all of them could have gotten damaged due to high temperature. I would also check compression while in the garage/service.

Other than that - all vacuum lines, connectors, and so on.


FILL OUT profile, please.

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#6 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 03:04 PM
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Since I bought the car used at 30k miles I do not know if the spark plugs were changed with the first owner. Ever since I bought the car I have done oil changes, tranny fluid, brakes, resurfaced rotors, new tires, rotations, etc...

I just checked oil and dipstick before I started the car (Cold engine) and no milky substance on dip stick or oil cap..

I will get the plugs replaced this saturday along with a compression test and also get new radiator hoses.

Should I have my mechanic replace the headgasket at the same time?

I will not be driving the car for now just to be on the safe side and using my friends car.

Thanks again for your input.

ps. profile filled out!

Last edited by sammie; 11-23-2010 at 03:07 PM.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 04:03 PM
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No, if it is not needed, do not touch the head. Head gasket replacement is very expensive procedure as it involves head removal.

But one more thing may need to be done
Timing Belt (TB). As far as I know it should be done at 60k miles. If you have not replaced TB it is the best time to do so.
to show you what will happen when TB is not replaced, take a look here
http://www.kia-forums.com/kia-rio-fo...tml#post236438
It does also say how to replace TB, but I think it might be too much for you

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#8 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 04:25 PM
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Awesome..Thanks! And you are right that may be too much for me, so I will have my mechanic do it.

Is it possible that the headgasket may fail sooner or later since I ran the motor hot? I am going to have all the necessary maintenance routine performed but I find it would be a waste of money if the engine may fail later due to me running it hot.

I did pop my car into neutral as much as I could and kept rpm at 2.5k.
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#9 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 05:19 PM
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I just spoke with my mechanic and he said to replace the water pump, tensioner at the same time which will be about 600.00...is this necessary or can i just replace the belt only?
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#10 (permalink) Old 11-23-2010, 08:33 PM
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TB is about 50-80, water pump, tensioner next 50-100 (depends on source). Most of the cost is labor. You must remove many things to get the TB replaced. If you were doing it yourself, parts would cost you 200 or less.

But I would at least inspect water pump. Tensioner is I would say a must do. Think about it this way - if water pump starts leaking (and it may, 50-80% chances it will) you will face spending again 400-500 to replace the water pump only... as compared to savings of 50 or so.

As for the gasket - yes, it is possible. Many times gaskets fail at about 100-150k, but there are cars that had never had the gasket changed.

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