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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about 24000 miles on my sportage and this is the second time I have broken a spark plug.

Both times this has happened is when I was driving the wife's car and I got on the gas to pass someone and then it happened. The first time they just changed the plug and off I went.

Anyone have any thoughts? I am wondering if I should have then check other things on the vehicle before I get it back?

Thanks

Robert
 

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That's crazy for a vehicle to break a plug (1) time with so few miles, let alone (2) ...

First thing I would check is if the plugs are the (correct) spark plugs for that motor - if the SX turbo, they take a different type of plug vs. the non-turbo'd model..

Depending on how the plug is damaged (missing electrode, vs. cracked external insulator), if it was my ride, I'd be real leery of any material that broke off inside the motor, and would be requesting a written report / a full compression test of all cylinders, -before- accepting the vehicle back from repair,

My 2 cents..

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The vehicle is at the dealer. The dealer is looking for more info since this is the second time with same issue. They are contacting the tech people to see what they want to have done.
 

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Glad to hear the vehicle is at the dealer, and they are taking appropriate steps to ensure your vehicle is returned in good repair,

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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11 SX Orange, 11 Terrain, 98 Explorer
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Just came upon this thread. Wifes 2011 SX 25k miles just blew a plug. So far the dealer says it broke off and went inside the cylinder. Puffy white smoke before it stalls. The service dept is still investigating, may possibly need a new engine. Any other stories like this?
 

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Sounds like detonation, a problem in many turbo engines. It's the result of an engine-control problem where the timing is advanced too far during acceleration for the octane fuel being used. In WWII they used water-injection to 'quench' the flame front in supercharged aircraft engines to avoid engine damage. If a spark plug loosens and blows out of the head, that's a minor problem. But if it cracks and the inner portion falls into the cylinder, it usually requires an engine replacement. I'm hoping to get a turbo SX in 2016 (if still available) but I have to say this is not encouraging.
If you ever hear any 'pinging' at all in any modern engine, especially a turbo, you better get it looked-at right away before doing permanent damage. It is for this reason that many turbo cars are better-off to use premium fuel, and it is specified for some makes.
Speaking of fuel, if you're using E10 or E15, you may have gotten some bad fuel containing a higher amount of water. Since water goes into solution with the alcohol, it could have the effect of lowering the octane of the fuel, possibly resulting in detonation.
 

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2015 Sorento EX V6 AWD Ebony Black
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How did the sparkplug break, inside, or outside the engine?

Is this turbo engine too powerful for it's size? Not perfected yet? Are there no spark plugs made that can hold up to the pressure?

I suspected this was going to happen as each manufactuer dropped the cylinder count, from V8, to V6, then progressively dropped the cu. in. or c.c., to finally a tiny overworked 2.0 4cyl.

Look around, there's so many of these 2.0 turbo 4's around, VW, Caddilac, Ford, BMW, Buick, Nissan, etc., It only makes sense, persuing the ultimate power, gas mileage, & lowest emissions, for the least amount of labor, & moving parts, per product $$" :rolleyes:

Any slight hiccup, and these overworked turbo fours implode! There is no 2nd chance, like the old more durable naturally aspirated V6, or V8.

Who cares, not the manufactuers, they laugh all the way to the bank $$ Then deny any valid warrantee issue.

They only have to answer to the Feds, "Oh, yes, we gave you the best mileage, & emissions,,, and,,,er! still made a hefty profit too! ;)

Oops! Sorry for the rant, but why didn't they just offer the Sorrento 3.5 V6 in the Sportage? Instead of the anemic 2.4L 4cyl., or the overboosted 2.0 turbo.
In fact, the gas mileage might even have been better!?
 

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Hmmm! So, what are the iridium spark plugs extra hard, but brittle?
Is softer platinum, or copper, better, or safer to use? Even though they don't last as long?
 

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Good questions but I don't have those answers - only manufacturers can explain why the engines detonate and break off the ceramic insulator of the plug which causes terminal damage in that cylinder. This has come up here before and I wouldn't be surprised at a TSB on the situation or even a recall. Looks like the turbo has a few other problems too, like a turbine bearing that leaks oil into the intake.
 

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AHA!

Maybe the ceramic needs graphite, or carbon, or another malleable heat, & pressure resistant substance blended with it for extreme duty conditions?
 

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Drinking, so bear with me.

There's at least one other thread here mentioning detonation in the SX, regarding towing. I believe the engine needed a replacement, and a lawsuit ensued.

MikDee is right; automotive engineering is getting so exacting with tolerances that vehicles become fragile. Small quality variations (eg. using a spare tire, imperfect fuel, not clicking the gas cap enough) can now cause problems. I knew we were in for trouble when gas stations traded Leaded&Unleaded to offer three types of fuel with four quality grades without mentioning industry standards. In this case, I guess the ECU is setting timings too aggressively after not sensing a potential problem; I have no idea what that problem is.

Copper plugs are fragile, and we're not used to the regularity of replacing copper plugs anymore (every 7000km?). Platinum resists fouling, multiplying life for a couple extra dollars (every 40,000km?). Iridium is incredibly dense and fouling-resistant, but I believe most OEMs use iridium already since it pushes spark-plug maintenance forward by years (every 250,000km?). Regardless of the electrode's hardness, these are explosions, and events like detonation with pre-ignition can melt pistons, let alone shatter spark plugs. Any engine that can't control combustion doesn't have long to live, no matter how well maintained.

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Turbocharger bearings spraying oil into the intake would suck (ha ha), but I do cut turbo manufacturers some slack. Turbo bearings suffer extreme heat and speed. I couldn't spin that fast without throwing up either.
 

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Yes, twinscroll,
You've touched on a few good points. Thinking about it, maybe IMO, the turbo Sportage should be using higher octane fuel on a regular basis
89 octane, or more?

Regular gas is a fast burning fuel, a fast flash point, leading to detonation very easily if all conditions are not met properly, high temps, extra load, accidently lugging the engine in the wrong gear at the preprogramed wrong time. Or, hard driving, constantly getting on the throttle (like I would do :rolleyes:).

Somewhat Like a Sprinter!

Higher octane gas is slower, longer, burning, preventing detonation, but delivers more power in the long run,

Somewhat Like a Long Distance runner!

Maybe Kia, & other Manufacturers missed the mark, by not requiring you to use Super unleaded gas?

Then maybe the fault lies with Kia?
 

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Anti-knock sensors and temperature sensors etc. should mean low-octane is fine, but sub-optimal when high-octane ready. As long as the ECU is programmed to handle sensor input properly, theoretically it should be fine.

I liked Kia not requiring higher-octane fuel. Maybe the boost (~17psi?) really is too high for low-octane. I'd expect Kia to know the pressure tolerances and keep within them, so maybe the wastegate has issues and boost is above specification.

I can't think of any user error that causes pre-ignition. If an unmodified engine using regular fuel is eating sparkplugs, there's a design or manufacturing error.
 

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Around here, the new 2.0L Turbo Santa Fe "Sport" is selling like hotcakes!
Can you imagine:

Lets take a heavier, bulkier, less agile vehicle, made for families, camping, tailgating, overloading, on the traffic ridden freeways, like to the beach, as the proud mid-life driver tries to challenge hot cars, with his overloaded, overheated, "family hot rod" Santa Fe "Sport".
And we'll put in, not a V6, but an overheated, overworked 2.0L Turbo 4cyl running on regular gas! :eek:

A recipe for self-destruction :rolleyes:

Hyundai/Kia needs to raise the bar, and at least require super unleaded gas, even though this may not be a popular issue.
 

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Haven't seen any reports of this on 2012+ models yet though, so perhaps they tweaked the tune a bit.

Might also explain the performance differences noted in some magazine tests.
 

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03 Mighty Toyota Corolla, 97 BMW Z3, 2013 Lexus RX350, *sigh* 2012 Kia Sportage SX
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2012 SX - Spark plug broke

Today my kia failed. Road trip from L.A. to Phoenix, just passing Coachella heading east going up the area where they suggest to turn off A/C. My speed was 75 mph and outside temperature was 113 degrees. I hear a high pitched "plink" then right after the car started to stutter, slow down and then the check engine light went on. I slowed down on the right side of the road only to see crazy amounts of white smoke from exhaust. The engine was vibrating like a 70's clunker and could not go pass idle speed.

Got road side assistance help back to palm springs kia and got it checked right away. Bad news is same as others here. Spark plug pin broke and damaged cylinder. Have to wait a few days to determine the extent of damage caused by this.

So this appears to be a problem still. I just turned 20k miles when it happened. I'm not happy at all with this. Even if I get a new engine I'm considering getting rid of it. Paying over 30k for a KIA does not seem to be a good idea. I was really giving this brand a chance since styling, performance and warranty sounded good. But if a spark plug issue brings this car to a stop something is very wrong here.

Now I'm going to have to wait. I did get a rental covered by kia but still have to pay for insurance on it. I live in Phoenix and going to have to drive back to palm springs to get it back. This is already becoming an inconvenience. I' m worried if I won't make it on time to pick up my car they may start charging me for the rental.

So has anyone had a similar experience like mine? If so I would really like to know what else might go wrong. Your help is much appreciated.
 

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Today my kia failed. Road trip from L.A. to Phoenix, just passing Coachella heading east going up the area where they suggest to turn off A/C. My speed was 75 mph and outside temperature was 113 degrees. I hear a high pitched "plink" then right after the car started to stutter, slow down and then the check engine light went on. I slowed down on the right side of the road only to see crazy amounts of white smoke from exhaust. The engine was vibrating like a 70's clunker and could not go pass idle speed.

Got road side assistance help back to palm springs kia and got it checked right away. Bad news is same as others here. Spark plug pin broke and damaged cylinder. Have to wait a few days to determine the extent of damage caused by this.

So this appears to be a problem still. I just turned 20k miles when it happened. I'm not happy at all with this. Even if I get a new engine I'm considering getting rid of it. Paying over 30k for a KIA does not seem to be a good idea. I was really giving this brand a chance since styling, performance and warranty sounded good. But if a spark plug issue brings this car to a stop something is very wrong here.

Now I'm going to have to wait. I did get a rental covered by kia but still have to pay for insurance on it. I live in Phoenix and going to have to drive back to palm springs to get it back. This is already becoming an inconvenience. I' m worried if I won't make it on time to pick up my car they may start charging me for the rental.

So has anyone had a similar experience like mine? If so I would really like to know what else might go wrong. Your help is much appreciated.
Wow, With the heat, speed, & hill, that's a lot of stess for a turbo engine.
IMO, all the Sportage turbo's should be using super unleaded, to prevent any possible preignition caused by excess heat, & load.

As I previously mentioned, Regular unleaded is a (fast igniting, short burning fuel), Super unleaded is a (slower igniting, longer burning fuel), the last part here is what prevents preignition, and gives it the extra power.

Imagine this, gasoline being ignited in a leaf burning pail: Fast, short burning!

Now, imagine kerosene (diesel fuel) being ignited in a leaf burning pail: Slow, longer burning.

Diesel fuel/Kerosene, is actually higher octane then gasoline, and more suited for 12:1 to 20:1 high compression in diesel engines.
 

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Well, it's a big problem that is caused by the engine management system. It has to be able to control spark advance and it uses the knock sensor to do this. There is obviously a breakdown on the turbo engine that allows too much advance which with regular gas then allows detonation. KIA must address this. Several posters blamed it on too little engine for the work required of it, but that doesn't hold water - think of supercharged racing engines (by turbine or compressor) that go for 24 hours wide open, producing 800 HP out of a small=displacement engine. Sure, they use high-octane racing fuel and lots of it (more fuel tends to 'quench' the flame front causing pre-ignition) but they for the most part survive the endurance run. 260 HP out of 2.0L is not an extreme ratio, but it definitely is well within the definition of 'high-performance' of 1 HP per cubic inch of displacement. KIA is faced with a serious failure rate on the turbos that all manufacturers are using or plan to use to meet the upcoming fuel efficiency standards but still provide the power that drivers demand. I don't follow the Ford forums for example so I don't know if this is industry-wide (Eco-Boost), but Hyundai/Kia I hope are burning the midnight oil on this to make their products dependable. I'm looking at July, 2016 for my next new vehicle. I've been wanting a turbo crossover like the SX, but unless they fix this I won't be comfortable with one. I have a heavy foot and would not buy a car that I thought might blow up on me.
I did have another idea just now - maybe the combustion chambers are getting carbonned-up. Excess carbon gets hot and glows, causing pre-ignition. It also creates a higher compression ratio as it takes up space in the combustion chamber. The engine management system may not be able to compensate (although the knock sensor should control spark advance and at least prevent damaging detonation) for this because it's programmed for the design compression. If that is the case they have to look at the fuels in use by owners and see if there is anything they can do with the software to minimize carbon development. Just an idea, but something is causing these engines to detonate under a hot load and fail.
 

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I'm agreeing with 1saxman; if the fuel is compatible, the ECU knows what to do. When the octane is low, it instantly compensates. With computerized engine management functioning as it should, detonation will not happen. Kia suggests low-octane, so the ECU expects it. I've seen a few turbocharged vehicles to know MikDee is also right that there's a good chance Kia should have preferred higher-octane fuel.

I'm told that current direct-injection designs build up carbon on the backs of valves, since detergent-rich gasoline gets injected directly instead of spraying around. I've seen Seafoam remove carbon, but can't guess it wards off pre-ignition, and it's hard to reach valves with it.

That spark plug is so clean, Ypoons. A little rich soot on the threads, but most of even the negative electrode seems clean; the other half was blown off in a catastrophic event, not in a wearing overheat metal-fatigue way. Manufacturing defect on the plug (stupidly unlikely in the 21st Century) or engine fault.

Spamcheese, that shouldn't have happened. The Death Valley / Mojave areas are always car-breakers, but those AC-Off signs are for 1970's Cadillacs that sense the temperature of nothing. A small piece of metal will probably damage nothing and end up shredded in the oil pan, but Kia are more likely to replace an engine than check for damage, let alone rebuild. Are all the car rental places still around the old airport? That's a freaking-long wait in searing heat, and I thought Indio was far out.
 
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