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Hello everyone, just found this forum while I was searching for answers about my 2007 Rio EX. I'm in Ireland and the Rio I have is a Japanese import, manual transmission. About 6 weeks ago it stalled while I was sitting at a traffic light, I was not getting ready to move off or anything, just sitting there. I had a phone charger plugged in and initially I thought it was that which had caused the power to go. Everything electrical was still working however, it would turn over but just not start. I had it towed to a garage and got them to check the battery, they said it was at 60% (it had been changed in 2009) and to get it replaced. Oddly the engine had started first try when I was in the garage.

I couldn't afford it at the time and I was going away for a couple of weeks so I left it, unfortunately it died again while reversing into a parking spot about a week or so after that. I decided to get the battery replaced and while they were doing that, they checked alternator, etc., and said it should be fine.

Came home after holiday and first time I took it on a long drive (I was driving for maybe 20-25 minutes) it died again at a traffic light, same thing, I was just sitting there. The rpm just dropped and it switched off. After getting a push in off the road I had a quick look at the engine to make sure it was nothing obvious. Oil, fuses, coolant, everything I have the knowledge to check seemed to be ok. After about 20 minutes I tried to start it up and it worked, so I assumed I had done something to fix it! Later that day it did the same thing again, having been parked up for about 2 hours, it died after 20 minutes driving. The only way I got it home that day was to keep revving the engine as I was at traffic lights, otherwise I could feel it losing power every time I stopped. I have never had such a stressful drive home!

Took it to another garage, who said they could not find any other fault with the car but they said the throttle something or other was clogged up and they had cleaned it out. So after this it ran ok for a couple of short trips, then died again last week three times. Each time it takes about half an hour of just sitting there before I can get it started again. I took it to ANOTHER garage who had it for the day while I was in work, and I have no idea what they did, the guy had poor English and just said 'minor electrical things' and told me to drive it and see how it went. That was on Wednesday just gone, today I took it for a test run to see how we would get on. It was a long drive with lots of stopping and starting in traffic, then a spin on the motorway, then more traffic. It was running for about 2 hours total, I was getting very optimistic, and I had just almost gotten home when I had to stop at a roundabout, and lo and behold, it died again. Luckily I had my husband with me to push me in off the road (the only time he's been with me to help me). I sat there for about 40 minutes and eventually it decided to start running again, enough to get me home at least.

I am at my wits end with this now at this stage, I have booked it in for a service on Saturday with a different garage and I would like to know if there is anything in particular I need to ask them to check? I have read some things online about fuel filters, I'm not even sure if my car has one, I thought that was only on diesel cars. I honestly can't afford to keep driving it around when I can't trust it to not die on me. Being on my own in the car too, it makes it very stressful when I am stuck in traffic and no one will give me a hand to get it out of the way! (People would rather beep at me for being in their way!!:mad:)

If anyone has any thoughts or advice I would really appreciate it. If it makes a difference I have been running it with between 1/2 to a 1/4 tank of petrol as I just can't afford to fill it, could this have something to do with it? It idles at about 500 rpm which is scary because I can hardly hear the engine so I have to stare at the dial to know if the car is dead or not!!
 

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The very first thing I would do is get the engine codes read...There will probably be some stored even though the "check engine" light is/was not on...
I'm surprised not even a mention of it being checked by you or the so called mechanics... It's a number one thing to do when you are having engine problems.. Post here what you find...
I have read that both the cam and the crank sensors can become temperature sensitive (usually cause by heat) and if/when they fail if you put a cold rag on them and the car starts you found the problem..
btw...it's a Korean car not a Japanese one...
Dave
 

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Greetings,

Welcome to the forum.

From what you described, it sounds like the last mechanic to work on the vehicle did (something) to improve the issue temporarily, at least - have you contacted him concerning what work was performed?

That may help to narrow down the exact issue..

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Low idle / motor stalling can have multiple causes, including: low electrical system voltage, restriction in airflow to the motor, restriction in fuel delivery to the motor -

if the MIL / Check Engine Light is on, any stored DTC codes should be read to give a better indication of where to look,

( +1 on Dave's post, )

If the check engine light is not on / no DTC codes are being stored, the issue may be electrical, restriction of airflow, fuel, or it may be heat-related:

If low voltage, the garage should be monitoring the battery voltage with a digital multimeter, and checking to make sure the alternator is working under electrical load ( Cabin blower motor / Heat / AC on, Headlamps on ),

Would also recommend the garage inspect/clean the blade contacts on the (Main) and (Fuel Pump) relays, located in the Engine Compartment fuse box,

Checking the condition of the air filter and inspecting the inspecting the Intake Tubing & connections between the airbox, MAF sensor, and Throttle Body would be recommended,

If fuel restriction, it appears your vehicle has a self-contained (combo) fuel pump & fuel filter assembly: that may require hooking up a fuel pressure testing gauge in the engine compartment (at the fuel rail) to check fuel pressure vs. the expected values,

If heat related, the (Crank) and (Cam) sensors would need to be checked: this generally requires advanced diagnostic equipment to read the waveform value being generated by the sensor, -but- if heat-related, placing a cold towel over the sensor area to cool down when hot may allow immediate starting, which would tell if the sensor is in-fact at fault -> failing..

( +1 on Dave's post, )

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I know this covers a wide area, but hopefully discussing the above with the mechanic doing the repair, in conjunction with providing him with the repair invoices to-date, may help to narrow down and correct the issue,

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
How do you check the engine codes? I'm coming to this with a very limited understanding of the workings of the car, I'm just trying to arm myself with as much information as I can before I go to the garage. The only other thing I can think is that the car was running ok until the fuel gauge went to almost 1/4 full. Could it be something to do with that? I've noticed as well that the car doesn't seem to have as much 'power' in it when running, it feels a big sluggish when accelerating. Sorry I can't explain it much clearer than that, and I'm not sure if it's just paranoia because I'm waiting on something to happen with it IYKWIM.

Edit: GottaCruise, your post made so much more sense this morning than when I tried to read it at 11.30 last night! ;P I think I can rule out the voltage issue because before and after the battery was replaced the garage said they checked the voltage and everything was fine, I know they were running it with the A/C and lights and everything on.

I will definitely get them to check the fuel delivery and air intake, from what I've read online it seems to be most likely this or an issue with the sensors.
 

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You can buy an "OBDII" scanner/reader off of ebay or locally...
I don't know about Ireland but in the USA our autoparts store will attach and scan your cars computer and give you the code listings for FREE...
If you are not so lucky...an add on device can send the codes to your laptop or your smart phone and they cost about $15 USD.
They are a very good tool to have...
Read up on OBDII readers and KIA codes...
Dave
 

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Agree with Dave, checking for a local auto parts store that will read any stored codes, or purchasing an inexpensive code reader/scanner would be a good investment.

You know your vehicle better than anyone: if you feel the issue is fuel-related, and no Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC) codes are stored, having fuel delivery investigated would seem a logical next step,

Wish you well on the repair: please keep us posted on the progress and solution, that info helps all of us here on the forum,

Regards,
GottaCruise
 
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