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Hi - New member.
I have been scouring the internet for ideas on what the heck was wrong with my new (to me) 2002 Kia Rio charging system. The car has only 135k kms on it.
When I bought the car 2 weeks ago, it was dead. No lights, dead battery... P/O said it had problems with the alternator but he had it fixed a year ago then lost his license so the car has been sitting. As long as the car was being boosted it worked. Pull off the cables and it died. Paid 1k for it and towed it home.
I searched for info about the charging system failures on Rios and there is a lot of info but nothing seemed to be just right for my case.
The more I read, the more I found things that didn't feel right.
There is no after market manual with a good wiring schematic anywhere and I cannot find one on the inter webs.
Canadian Kia dealers tell you to log into a pay site for their manuals. At about $40 a day, I can't afford it.
I took apart the system and found the 80 amp fuse held in place by 2 bolts. It was blown.
Removed the alternator. Dead as a door post.
I replaced the fuse and got an alternator from the scrap yard and presto!

It died 2 days later. It didn't really die. The 2 lights (charging and brake) came on. Okay - another fuse. Another $7.90 to Kia.
I dropped the fuse in and about 3 days later, gone again.
I have now found the fuse at Canadian Tire for $4.49 so that's a bit better.

I removed the alternator (it's a tight fit but it comes out the bottom on a 2002, contrary to everything I had read) and tested it. It's good.
I started looking for a short. I built 2 pig tails to replace the pricey fuse and put a piece of 18 gauge wire between the terminal ends as a quick blow fuse. With everything turned off, I started at the battery end, yanking and twisting on the lead to the alternator.
As I got to the alternator end, bang! A puff of smoke and my home made fuse wire is crisp.
I removed the engine cover and snorkel and air cleaner housing.
I pulled the alternator cable up through a gap in the intake manifold so I could see it better. At the very end I saw an "L" shaped piece of bare metal after the crimp with a rubber boot covering the top side. The bottom side is bare, exposed metal. I think I have found my intermittent short.
I have wrapped it in electrical tape right up to the edge of the hole to attach it to the alternator. Test drive looks good so far.
If this lousy thing is the cause of all the alternator posts and grief I am seeing, shame on you Kia. I will take off the tape and use heat shrink tubing to cover the bare metal if the repair lasts a month.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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All the wiring info you want/need at kiatechinfo.com...
If you decide to access the site I have a "cut and paste" on what is needed to successfully get on it.
Good write up on the trouble shooting and repair..It should help others.
Dave
 

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03 Kia Rio Cinco
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I apologize in advance if this sounds really dumb, because I really don't know much about cars, but I'm just wondering if something like that can fry a car. It seems like all of the connectors in my 03 Kia Rio are hot, they crumble away, my blower switch has burnt off twice, that's held in place w/a binder clip, the clips to the coil pack that I just took off of my car were fried, I'm sure the list can go on and on.
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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I kinda doubt that is your issue with hot connections there are many post's on the subjects you mentioned i think it is more a a connector issue as dwarf8 had his main fuse kept blowing due to an intermittant short like he mentioned. Connections should not get hot if they have a good tight connection electricially. it's probably poor manufacturing at the sub contractors site. if it get's warm it's most likely a poor electrical connection or poor design. Nice write up dwarf8 by the way.
 

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I'm having the same issue where is the 80 amp fuse located I have a main 85 amp fuse in the fuse panel under the hood but it doesn't appear to be blown
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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Jmay check to make sure the the voltage at the battery terminals is at least 13.5 VDC when the car is running. If not check the alt and belt for sure or battery cable issues. Your 03 is different than the 02 i own the charging circuit has some kind of module to control charging the battery. Search the post's here esp Dave spectra s posts on the subject. The fuse should be where you said it was out in the engine compartment fuse box 03 maybe an 85 amp fuse. Sorry don't have 03 schematic's. Best of luck with it keep us informed. Reguard's Ronjohn
 

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I'm another victim of the blown fuse. Above is a pic of my repair to make it go again. I found out a Kia can still run on 7 volts of battery power!!

ANYONE finding hot wires, melted insulation or burned switches, they are from poor connections. Some are fixed with cleaning. Some by crimping the connector for a tighter fit. Just make sure whatever it is is plugged in tightly. The heat comes from not enough surface area contact to conduct the current necessary for the electrical part to operate.

-SP
 
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