Engine turns over but wont start or sometimes back fires - Kia Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-05-2009, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Engine turns over but wont start or sometimes back fires

Hi! Guys... I'm new to this forum. Just spent $1,000 on repairs and I still have a problem.

I purchase last week a 1996 Kia Sportage 2.0 A/T 4WD with 102,000 mileage on it. I notice the next day that it took me three tries crank to get the engine started. I checked the battery @ engine off and the voltage read 12.5V, while the engine was running it read 14V. Since my intention is to really do preventive maintenance since I do not know how the vehicle was maintained we performed the following: replacement of timing belt,idler bearing, tensioner pulley, timing belt upper & lower cover, air filter, engine oil, ATF, throttle position sensor (as recommended by Kia's computer analizer), all hoses, spark plugs, fuel filter, fuel pump and all original. I also cleaned the mass air flow sensor w/ contact cleaner. Engine timing was also properly set when we opened the engine so we did not touch that part anymore.

I also replaced the modified aircon compressor and installed the original one.

Despite the money and time spent to get these things done, I still have that issue. The weirdest part is it not always there... sometimes its just one click and it starts.

Thanks for the inputs.


Last edited by domz; 09-05-2009 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Added text
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 11:28 AM
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You might have a problem with the cam position sensor. The cam sensor tells the engine what sequence to trigger the injectors. If the cam sensor stops providing a signal when running then the ECU uses the last known mapped sequence for the injectors. If the cam sensor isn't providing a signal on startup then the ECU randomizes its selection of injector sequences untill it gets the correct one to start the vehicle. You should get a trouble code though if your cam sensor isn't working.
If you don't have a trouble code then the problem is probably intermittant. Check pending codes and see if there's a pending trouble code for the cam sensor. If the error doesn't happen consistently or frequently enough then the code will never become an active code. It sounds like you've done just about everything to get that rig up to fighting shape. Run some injector cleaner through it to make sure your injectors aren't gummed up... I can't think of much else you can do that you havn't done.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-06-2009, 02:20 PM
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This may sound too simple but check that you have good main earth connections to body and engine. Best of luck.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pulsar86 View Post
This may sound too simple but check that you have good main earth connections to body and engine. Best of luck.

You got me before doing that. I am planning to replace and securely ground the batter to the chassis and the engine. I noticed the wires are already frayed.

Will give you an update once done.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-07-2009, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Baratacus View Post
You might have a problem with the cam position sensor. The cam sensor tells the engine what sequence to trigger the injectors. If the cam sensor stops providing a signal when running then the ECU uses the last known mapped sequence for the injectors. If the cam sensor isn't providing a signal on startup then the ECU randomizes its selection of injector sequences untill it gets the correct one to start the vehicle. You should get a trouble code though if your cam sensor isn't working.
If you don't have a trouble code then the problem is probably intermittant. Check pending codes and see if there's a pending trouble code for the cam sensor. If the error doesn't happen consistently or frequently enough then the code will never become an active code. It sounds like you've done just about everything to get that rig up to fighting shape. Run some injector cleaner through it to make sure your injectors aren't gummed up... I can't think of much else you can do that you havn't done.
I'll do your suggestion, I'll probably replace the CAM sensor also just incase since the dealer could not give me a logical techinical explanation and solution why I have this problem.

BTW, my hold light was blinking which is why I had it analyzed, it indicated the TPS... so we replaced it. After replacement it still indicated the same problem. Dealer says "sometimes it really happens" and just leaves it at that.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-09-2009, 10:13 AM
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The Hold light blinking means that the Transmission control module has a code stored in it. I don't know how to pull the codes from the transmissoin control module. There usually is a code on the ECM that tells you that there is a code stored in the TCM, but the sportage apparently flashes the HOLD light to notify you of a transmission trouble code.

Run away quickly from any dealer or mechanic that tells you something like... "oh it's common for these type of engines to make that weird sound that just started happening last week" or "Oh that flashing light doesn't mean anything important... just ignore it"
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 08:27 AM Thread Starter
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The Hold light blinking means that the Transmission control module has a code stored in it. I don't know how to pull the codes from the transmissoin control module. There usually is a code on the ECM that tells you that there is a code stored in the TCM, but the sportage apparently flashes the HOLD light to notify you of a transmission trouble code.

Run away quickly from any dealer or mechanic that tells you something like... "oh it's common for these type of engines to make that weird sound that just started happening last week" or "Oh that flashing light doesn't mean anything important... just ignore it"
Unfortunately, it was the dealer who told me that. We checked the transmission also on the analyzer and no code was detected. Same as last time, it was still the throttle valve sensor and its already new.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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I now installed new batteries with specifications of the manifacturer, I also had the starter cleaned and lubricated.

Sucks! but is still hard starts intermitently.

Although we found something peculiar this week, when we loosened the lock ring of the fuel filter to check if their is fuel, and there is... after tightening the bolt back, we tried to start and it would then start with one click.

I now have a theory that there is air inside the fuel line, I have no idea as of this time if my theory is even correct but I will check the fuel pump which was just newly installed last week, I had the same problem though even before it was replaced.

BTW, problem occurs wether its full tank or not , engine hot or cold either.

Any comments on this guys?
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 10:30 AM
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If you have an obstructed return or vent line then the supply line to the engine may be empty on startup. This also means the pump would be working harder to draw fuel out of the tank. Cracking the fuel line may have allowed air back into the tank to release the vacuum. If it's an obstructed vent or vapor return, It would come back again after the vehicle started drawing fuel out of the tank. This would cause the fuel line to be empty on startup and the pump would have to charge the line and the filter canister before it got fuel to the engine. Just something more to check
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Baratacus View Post
If you have an obstructed return or vent line then the supply line to the engine may be empty on startup. This also means the pump would be working harder to draw fuel out of the tank. Cracking the fuel line may have allowed air back into the tank to release the vacuum. If it's an obstructed vent or vapor return, It would come back again after the vehicle started drawing fuel out of the tank. This would cause the fuel line to be empty on startup and the pump would have to charge the line and the filter canister before it got fuel to the engine. Just something more to check
Thanks Bro. I'll look into that today too.
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