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2004 Kia Rio 5-speed A/C and P/S
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Discussion Starter #1
This doesn't happen all the time but I'd like to fix the situation. Has anyone seen this before and what did you do to fix it?

2004 Kia Rio troubleshooting - YouTube


My guess is a ground issue but I've checked the grounds on top of the tranny and can't find a problem. Is this just static from something rubbing?
 

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That's a new one for me, my guess is the alt. is croaking but really not sure what it's doing, wish I could be more helpful.
Which pulley do you see the spark at? The alt.? I was just wondering if your A/C clutch could be doing that noise.

Normally I'd suggest pulling the alt and cleaning the contacts and having it tested but pulling the alt on a Rio is a royal PITA.
 

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There is supposed to be a ground wire from back corner of head (near valve cover) to the body near the strut tower. I couldn't tell if it was there in the video, but check and see that it was reconnected after the engine was replaced. Also check to make sure the purge control wiring hasn't fallen down and rubbing against alternator pulley. The purge valve just slips on with rubber grommet and plat piece of metal way in back near alternator. If Alternator is charging....I wouldn't take it out... just see if connections are good as best you can.
Keep in mind the A/C compressor clutch has an electromagnet that is powered (and pulls some juice), and wire leading to it could be grounding slightly( a good ground ought to blow the fuse and stop that nonsense).
 

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How about another thought...
The "sound" of the engine in the video sounds like a bad bearing.... If the pulleys wobble from a bad bearing they may be scraping another part (mounting bracket, engine block, etc)...An idea similar to an old "ZIPPO" lighter...
Adjustable tension pulley bearing can sound like that
Take it for what it's worth..
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Dog The ticking sound definitely coincides with a small blue spark jumping from the crank pulley to the frame.

@kevster The ground from the top back corner of the head is connected and shows good continuity. The alternator is charging well but I should recheck the wiring connections. The purge valve is in place and nothing is rubbing on any belts.

@DavesSpectra The tick sound is absolutely a spark jumping from the crank pulley to the frame.

While I'm checking wiring connections I'll also look at the a/c comp to make sure everything is connected well.

This car has several little problems since the engine change and perhaps they are related. Occasionally I get p0101 and p0172 and the engine start to hesitate just a tiny bit. Perhaps this electrical / static issue is causing the sensors problems.

Thanks for the feedback. I'll update when I find something.
 

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The 12volts is not enough to create enough potential to jump the 1/4~ 1/2" from the crank pulley to the body/frame... If the engine is "floating" above ground (bad/missing ground strap). The ground from the two coil packs being grounded to the engine block may actually allow the high voltage from the coils to back feed from any ground location close to the engine... So a ground strap "may" be what to look for.
I don't think the sparks are coming from a build up of static charge from the belts moving over the pulleys (van der graaf generator)...so it's either metal against metal (sparks) or a really bad ground...
Try taking a good jumper cable from the negatve terminal of the battery and clip it directy onto the engine block...If the sparking stops then you DO have a bad ground problem.
It's hard to diagnose over many miles...BUT I do want to hear what is/was causing the sparking...

OH...I just saw the magic words ... "Engine Change" I do believe the person that did it did NOT properly ground the engine...
Dave
 

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Yeah, I'd guess bad ground too now that I know where the spark is at. You might be able to verify a ground fault by using a set of jumper cables and using them to ground the engine to the chassis and then starting her up and observe whether the noise/spark has stopped.
 

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If this is truely the case...I would be worried about the high voltage trying to find a good ground and backfeeding through sensors to find a ground in the ECM or TCM.
Lots of electronic controls are/were not designed to be protected from HV and FET (field effect transistors) and cmos ICs are VERY static/HV sensitive and can be damaged from that.

10% of 30KV (spark voltages) is still 3000v, 1% is 300v... still way to high for devices designed to operate on 5v or 3.3v.. The hv pulses will confuse readings of sensors and will confuse the ECM/ECU and will generate "false" codes.

If a ground is missing I would suggest getting it replaced ASAP to limit the damage.
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@DavesSpectra

Thanks for the great input.

I'll have an update as soon as I can. I don't like to see threads unresolved.


Thanks.
 

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The crank pulley (on most models) is dampened from the center bolt to the actual outside pulley surface with a silicon center..This effectively insulates the pully surface from the body ground. Then the belts spinning the pulley transfers electrons from the belt to the insulated pulley surface...building up a static charge that finally discharges to another surface.
Your car looks like it was discharging from all the pulleys grounded or not.
Measure the resistance from the pulleys to the battery ground (neg) terminal..if they read "0" resistance they are grounded through the pulley shaft...if they read infinity (very high resistance) they "could" build up a charge and then discharge... The power steering pump is plastic and it's pulley is probably insulated also.

I just reread your earlier posts saying from crank pulley to ground... That pulley I believe has silicon dampening...mechanically and electrically isolating the pulley from the crankshaft..
You do have a van de graaff generator effect going on... Try cleaning all pulleys and any surface they contact with alcohol and then replace the belt to eliminate the oil contamination..
I'm still curious to find out what caused your problem..
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #12
**** UPDATE ****

So I finally had some time to troubleshoot yesterday. I've isolated the problem to the inside (closest to the block) crankshaft pulley / system. That includes the alternator and water pump. These pulleys are isolated from ground and I confirmed with a continuity check.

I put everything back together and used a small wire to see if it would still spark to ground. From the isolated crank pulley there was still a tiny spark when grounded. Is that normal?

If not, do I need to replace the belt and alternator? Or should I continue to investigate something rubbing? It didn't look like the lower timing cover was rubbing but I guess I can look again. Maybe if the alternator brushes are defective it could be generating static buildup?

I'm so confused.
 

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So...now it's confirmed as a static problem..
How about trying this...
Sprayway Anti-Static Spray
A couple of light coats on the center of the crank pulley overlapping the center bolt(s) and the outer rim should STOP your static problem.
You could look locally for some anti-static spray paint also
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just ran to the parts store and bought a couple belts. I'm going to try that first. If that doesn't change anything, then I'll try the anti static spray and/or paint.

Thanks for all the help. I'll continue to update until this is completely resolved.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
***UPDATE***

Ok, I replaced the belts and that seems to have fixed the sparking problem. As a side note- I've apparently been troubleshooting this problem for about 2 years. My problem was originally a check engine light with P0172 and P0101 codes that I could never find the source of. When I learned more about the voltages used by the sensors in the car and then observed the spark on the pulleys I have finally realized they were related the whole time.

Hopefully this solves the problem for good. If not, I'll update and we'll all try this again.

Brad


P.S. On the test drive the CV output seal in the gearbox failed.... if it's not one thing, it's another....
 
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