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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys my rio won't start.

a little background. for about 4 months now when you would go to start the car there would be a delay between key turn and starter movement. over time occasionally i would turn the key and the first few cranks would be "slow" but it would then kick over. i figured the starter was probably going bad and that i'd replace it when it actually went bad.

now last night i went to leave a friends house and the car won't crank at all. turn key and nothing. tried a few times and nothing. popped the hood looked around saw nothing obvious shut the hood. gave it a final try and bam it cranked and off i went. this morning i checked the battery. 12.6 volts before starting. turned key and it started. slow cranking at first but then fired up. battery then read 13.9-14.2 volts. so alternator is all good. moved the car around the drive way cleaned the terminals. came back later and now again won't crank. so at this point im thinking its time to replace the starter. off to auto zone i go, pick up a new starter, swap it out real quick and still nothing.....:confused:

swap out starters again and return. ripped the center console apart to check the gear selector and any safety mechs. all are working properly. so at this point I'm stuck, I've been reading around and my next suspect is the park/neutral safety switch. but i have no idea how to test it and its 60$ and a special order. anyone know how to test it or bypass it just to see if thats the cause of my starting issue. or anything else it could be. all the wires and connections are clean. I'm lost. help is appreciated. the car is being replaced with a new fiat 500. but id like to get it up and running so i can sell it. its a great car and I'm sure its an easy fix, but its really throwing me a curve ball.... (again)
 

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2004 Optima 2.4 EX, 2005 Yamaha R1 (street) 2001 GSXR 1000 (track)
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The park/neutral safety switch is also known as a range switch (I'm assuming your car is an automatic). This range switch will usually throw a code when it fails, has the check engine light been on at all? Also, have you checked the contact point from the negtive battery cable to the body? Sometimes all it takes is a good cleaning.
 

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2002 Kia Rio 2003 Dodge Durango 1993 Chevy C1500
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I would definitely check the ground wire. Oil, grease, and all kinds of other crap and get caked on it and cause a weak connection. Also since you will have to disconnect it to clean it up, I would really take a good look at it. Sometimes just looking at it, it could look fine, but when you look at the other side that's not so visible, it could be corroded and burnt to heck.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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I'd keep the RIO and get rid of the FIAT...
They are only back in the USA because of the buy in on Chrysler...
They left once before because their cars were so lousy that no one would buy one.
Totally unreliable French junk... Ask past owners what they thought about them.
They are neither sexy or worth owning.

The starting problem with the RIO is probably the ground wire from the starter frame to the body of the car exactly as dsolorio posted. You can bypass most of the ignition wiring by taking a fused wire (25a) from the battery (+) to the small red wire on the starter. If she turns over then check IG2 fuse/Ignition Switch/Transmission range switch. That's the total path from battery to starter solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'd keep the RIO and get rid of the FIAT...
They are only back in the USA because of the buy in on Chrysler...
They left once before because their cars were so lousy that no one would buy one.
Totally unreliable French junk... Ask past owners what they thought about them.
They are neither sexy or worth owning.
i appreciate the opinion and i know they were junk. my grand father had a few back in the day (that i've heard about) but the new fiats are actually very nice cars. i had the chance to work on a few at my place of work and they seem very well put together and as far as i can find there are no major failures or recalls, and when any issue has come up its been taken care of. keep in mind that fiat never left europe and people over there love the heck out of their cars. I'm gonna give it a chance. it could be great or it could be so so. we'll see i suppose.


gonna check that ground out. can't believe i failed to check that *face palm* i hope its not that range switch. looks like it would suck to replace
 

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2002 Kia Rio 2003 Dodge Durango 1993 Chevy C1500
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I'd keep the RIO and get rid of the FIAT...
They are only back in the USA because of the buy in on Chrysler...
They left once before because their cars were so lousy that no one would buy one.
Totally unreliable French junk... Ask past owners what they thought about them.
They are neither sexy or worth owning.
I've never been inside a FIAT nor worked on one. I just wanted to mention that KIA hasn't had the greatest reputation as well. Especially with these 1st generation Rios. FIAT once almost went out of business but came back to become the 9th largest automaker in the world, even buying out Maserati (Maserati kinda sucks too, but...). I don't really like the look of the FIAT and probably wouldn't own one, but I think they should get SOME respect.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
this thing makes no sense. swapped out my battery for a new new one even though it tested good. tried "hot wiring" the starter and solenoid on both new and old starters with a screw driver. not even a click to be had. grounds are freshly sanded and clean. hell even moved a couple for the heck of it. nothing. voltage drop is like half a volt when attempting to start with a key. again this thing makes no sense. it should crank over or at least click when crossing the starter terminals with a screw driver.


yes i agree with you on these 1st gen rio's its a piece of junk for the most part. new kia's are nice, every car company needs time to "figure it out" and in the 60's fait tried. but failed. now they're back, with a lot of improvements and a nice little car. I'm not gonna knock it til i tried it. i gave this kia a chance considering it was free. but I've sure more then paid its value in parts to keep it on the road...
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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Don't forget the posisitive wire connection also Rockarace03. depending on how you used your screwdriver you do need to have 12VDC on the field coil of your starter motor for it to crank I believe it is not a permenant magnet motor. ING switch maybe be bad or tranny switch. just my thought's. I wish you luck with it and http://www.kiatechinfo.com/ for schematics and service free depending where you live. Please fill out your profile. Reguards Ronjohn
 

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Isn't there a start relay in the fuse box under the hood? That relay could be bad or have poor connections....
 

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Ronjohn and Kevster...
He tried jumping the starter at the solenoid and didn't get even a click... So ignition switch, safety interface switches, and IG2 fuse would have been totally bypassed. There is no starter relay (i checked kiatechinfo.com)..

rocknrace03...
Try reading the voltage at both terminals (heavy wire +12v feed...and thin wire) while hot wiring starter...Look for the 12v to drop at one or both terminals...

What you have is simplified...
(+) 12v at battery through the heavy wire to the large terminal on the starter
(-) ground/return from the starter frame back to the (-) terminal on the battery
and a screwdriver between small wire and heavy wire....
Nothing else is involved during this test...

Because you have replaced the starter that is also out of the picture as a possible problem... That leaves the (+) wire from the battery to the starter and the return wire from the starter frame to the ground/body/frame and back to the battery one of those connections has got to be bad.. There is nothing else there when you hot wire the starter...
Dave
 
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