Kia Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I have a 2003 Kia Optima LX (2.4 L auto) that broke down on me this morning and I could use some advice to figure out the problem if anyone is willing to help.

It started up a bit loud, but it didn't sound terribly suspicious (more like the variable valve timing didn't adjust yet). Going down the road a bit it sounded a bit like a desk fan that was running loud, but again, not very loud. Heading down the big hill near my house it seemed a bit resisted - like it would quite coast right - and the noise was a bit louder. I put it in neutral and killed the engine and restarted it, but nothing changed.

I left the engine running and put it back in neutral and gave it a couple bumps on the accelerator to see if I could free up whatever was resisting the coasting. Small movements in the accelerator weren't having much of an effect and the RPMs were on quick decline so I started to get over to the side of the road. Engine stalled out, but just a little bit before I came to a complete stop, whatever was resisting forward movement did let go and I went to full unrestricted coast.

I brought the car to a stop, put in park, and tried to restart. When I turn the key I can hear a motor running (sounds like like hooking up a DC motor to a power supply), but I get no crank out of the engine. I am guessing that the starter is spinning, but not engaging the flywheel.

Got the car towed home. Does this make any sense? It seems to me that whatever controls the kick out of that little gear on the starter went bad and never disengaged when I started it up and then when it finally let go it will not re-engage.

If this is the case I am assuming I will need to replace the starter, but I don't want to jump in without someone else's opinion. Am I in the right direction or do I need to be looking at something else? Does this car have a separate solenoid (last car I tried anything with a starter on was from the 70s).

If anyone is able to help I would certainly appreciate it.

Thanks guys,
Kevin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
update...

I got the starter out (mostly)... enough to test at least. When I goose the key the starter gear pops right out and spins like a bat out of heck. Starter as far as I can tell is working properly...

Now I am completely stumped. Does anyone have an idea?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Starter back in now and same as before. Turn the key and something just spins like it isn't engaging anything and no sounds from the engine like anything is trying to start at all.

My blood just ran a little cold while I was typing... what does an engine act like when the timing belt goes and there is no compression in the engine??? The guy I got the car off of said it was anew timing belt and from the look of the smudges on the engine I believed him, but stranger things have happened I am sure...
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
The engine sounds just like you described... The past owner may have replaced the TB but did he replace the tensioner and/or the water pump?
If either fails it will allow the TB to jump teeth and trash the engine...
Try pulling the spark plugs and looking at them...If they are damaged...the TB either jumped time or broke...do a visible check on the TB for damage or missing teeth. Does the TB move when cranking the engine? Try doing a compression check to see if there is internal damage...
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My experience with timing belts is limited, but a visual inspection of it went favorably. It looks to be that he was telling the truth in that it appears to be a new belt. Also tension seems to be appropriate on it - doesn't seem to leave any possibility of jumping teeth or anything. When cranking they are turning like I imagined they would. No evidence of any missing teeth whatsoever.

Unfortunately I can't figure out what size these plugs are except that I do not have the right socket for them... I am guessing they are metric and the largest deepwell I have is a 19 which doesn't get it done. The 3/4 " took me 15 minutes to get back out of the plug well...

How would I perform a compression check on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No blown fuses anywhere.

Starting fluid had no effect.

Praying for a fuel problem instead of a bent valve problem...

Is there a way to check things like throttle position sensor or camshaft position sensor? If those are not correct, would they rpevent the car from starting or getting fuel?

Also, I am not seeing a fuel rail on this car like I am used to seeing. Is there way to check and see if you are getting fuel pressure?
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
The crankshaft angle sensor (also in the area of the lower half of the timing belt) is a KNOWN BAD problem... There are three wires going into it and the plastic insulation on the wires drys out, cracks and falls off... then the wires short together. If there is no pulse from the cam OR crank sensor...OR.... they become out of sync with each other there will be NO spark... Common practice here for the 2.4L engines to replace the crank sensor as it's a real bear to get at without tearing the TB down again.
If you do so PLEASE also replace the water pump if the car has over 120k miles so it won't fail and cause you to go back in to do the repair again....
The TPS would not keep the car from running but it would run very poorly.. The cam sensor as mentioned above would cause no run problems.
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If there is no pulse from the cam OR crank sensor...OR.... they become out of sync with each other there will be NO spark...



Would the existence of spark at the plug negate this theory? Do you really mean no spark, or would it just be spark out of sync with compression resulting in no explosion? I managed to get a plug out - I had the right socket, but it is an unbelievably tight fit. In fact I took a second one out and put it back in and I am having a miserable time getting the socket back out...

Anyway, took 2 plugs out and no bent electrodes. Also, the plugs are old, but nothing out of the ordinary to see on them. Spark looked good to me. Maybe a bit weak, but tough to tell in full sun.

PS - anyone have a good idea for extracting a socket out of the plug well? Embarrassing, I know, but that sucker is in there hard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I forgot to add that I managed to borrow an ODB II scanner. This thing threw exactly zero codes - bummer after what it took to get it...

Would the crank/cam sensors throw codes? or not necessarily?
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
Looking at the info you gave...
Won't run on starting fluid (not a fuel problem).
Has spark sensors Should be OK.

Noise..."sounded a bit like a desk fan that was running loud" and "Small movements in the accelerator weren't having much of an effect and the RPMs were on quick decline so I started to get over to the side of the road. Engine stalled out" ...This seems to be the big indicator of your problems...
I sounds like the timing belt may have jumped a few teeth...throwing off compression and when the spark fires it's out of time (too early/too late).

I believe there is a counter balance driven by a second belt on the 2.4L 4cyl
to smooth out the engine... This is NOT on the 2.0L 4cyl used in the Spectras.
this can also cause problems...

I first thought that the starter gear was sticking out after "start" was released on the ignition switch... That would cause noise and "drag" from the starter motor being spun (driven off the flywheel).. but you say it retracts.

I tend to believe it has to do with the timing belt (jumped time) or the crank sensor...but could be wrong...
Dave
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
Timing being off may not throw any codes also.
If the timing is off...let's hope it is only a few teeth or valve/piston damage could happen... Off by a few (2~3) may not damage the engine.
Low compression (but still having compression on all 4 cylinders) may also indicate timing may be off..(valves not closing soon enough allowing some compression to escape)
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I am inclined to agree. Unfortunately this is beginning to surpass my ability as I am working on the road without the benefit of a garage. I might have to bite the bullet on this one and take it to a shop. The bad thing is that I am fresh out of shop buddies that I trust around here :(

Good news is I got that socket out. PB Blaster on the outside of it, computer duster turned upside down to fill the socket with the liquid from it, heavy gauge wire bent into a hook held by vise grips, and a 4 # sledge to the drips coaxed it out finally!

Can anyone suggest what I might be paying (ballpark) for the crankshaft sensor, water pump, and timing? I RARELY use shops so I don't even know what fair sounds like on this.

Thanks for the help DavesSpectra. I am in the Hazleton, PA area if anyone knows a decent shop around here. I know plenty of not-so-decent ones unfortunately.
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
Here is another thought...
My son had a 1998 Mercury Mystique that made noise....lost power...stopped and wouldn't start again... the problem was the A/C clutch that failed and actually was able to slow the cranking enough keep the car from starting... I bypassed the A/C pulley with a shorter belt and he drove the car until it would no longer run (198k miles).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I actually started to think about that as well, but the thing of it is that the thing cranks fast when I turn the key. I have a tough time believing it is a laboring issue. At least that would sound like it is trying to fire right? It just sounds like nothing is happening other than spinning. I am still nervous as hell that I may have bent my valves. I imagine that just because the plugs weren't bent it isn't necessarily an indication of valves being okay... or is it? As far as it looks to me I believe the valves are lower than the plugs, but tough to tell looking from the outside obviously.

On the other hand (if I am imagining the action of the engine correctly), if this thing did simply jump a couple of teeth and the compression strokes are just out of phase with the valves closing, there wouldn't be any compression even though everything was mechanically sound. Or am I way off base with that?

Could this actually be simply a case of the timing being off just enough that there is no ability for compression I wonder. Perhaps it jumped one tooth and it was running rough and even resisting because of the valves being closed a bit past the combustion, and then jumped a couple more teeth resulting in the terminal stall...
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
My wife's family has a farm in the Carbondale area and I see you are fairly close to that area...
I did a search for a Hyundai or KIA dealership and found "Motorworld Hyundai".
They use the same engine in the Sonata...Here's some reviews of this dealership..
https://plus.google.com/109650779841469458611/about?gl=US&hl=en-US
All in all they seem honest... for what it's worth...
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
If the belt is off by a tooth or two the compression will be lower and the spark will be at the wrong time... Let's hope it's that...
The noise(s) bothers me though.
Dave
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
pm me with your phone# and I'll give you a call...
Dave
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have some research and consideration on what I plan to do about my Optima at this point.

However, I wanted to publicly report that Dave did call me and was an absolute professional and a hell of a nice guy on top of it. There was no real reason he should have gone the extra mile, but I am glad he did. I look forward to paying back that kind of karma in the near future.

Thank you Dave.
 

·
Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
Joined
·
6,961 Posts
We have been put on this earth to make a difference..My mom taught me well :)
I hope you get "her" going...
Dave
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top