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2000 Kia Sephia
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
3 Issues with 2000 Sephia. Alternator not charging & Overheating & Headlight issues here goes my story...

1st problem: Overheating

i have a 2000 kia sephia i purchased last year. after a month of owning it, the water pump failed on me going down the interstate. luckily a mechanic pulled over and fixed my water pump for me on the side of the interstate(i went to Auto-Zone and purchased a new one & he put it on for me on side of the road)

car was fine for quite some time. here recently, within the past 2 months, the car has began overheating when i am driving down the road(does not overheat when sitting idle). I've heard from various sources that it is 1 of 3 things. 1 being the radiator needs replaced or flushed(deposits in radiator), 2 being the water pump fins have broken off or have honed down, 3rd being blown head gasket.

i have flushed the radiator twice, i've bled the radiator system as well. when i bled the radiator i took the rad cap off, crunk the car up and added water/antifreeze as needed to fill it up to the top, bubbles were forming in the radiator for a few minutes and the water level would go down as well so i kept refilling it with water flush to the top of the rad. after about 10 minutes water level stopped going down and the water looked like it was swirling, and i also had filled up the reservoir as well.

there is no white smoke coming from exhaust and no water in oil or oil in water so i do think it is the head gasket(although it does have rough idling from time to time but i think this is due to the timing being off cause when the mechanic changed water pump on side of the interstate he said the timing had jumped and fixed it best as he could)

i do not know how to check the water pump without actually removing the water pump so i have not tested anything with that.

So, can ANYONE please give me some advice on what i need to test(and how to test it) to stop my car from overheating?

Problem 2: brand new alternator not charging

About 2 weeks ago, i went to leave to go to the store and tried cranking my car, the car no juice whatsoever, no lights, no anything. i charged the battery(thought the battery had died for some unknown reason) the car crunk up and i went to the store. while sitting at the store waiting for my son to come out of the store, the car died again, and once again had no juice at all when i tried cranking it up. automatically knew it was the alternator(or so i thought)

so i finally get the car home, take the battery out and have my fiancee's uncle test it and the battery threw a f03 code something about an open internal cell problem. i borrowed one of his batteries and tried the car again. i left the car running for 3 hrs straight thinking if it was the alternator the car would surely die off and drain the battery, the car never shut off. well to be extra sure it was the alternator i took it to auto zone and had them test it, they said the alternator was bad but the car still stayed crunk up(it stayed running constantly for the past 3 weeks on that same alternator that is supposedly bad and the battery never was drained or even got weak). well, yesterday i finally had the money to buy me a new alternator and said i might as well since they tested it and it came bacc as bad. i took the old alternator off, and replaced it with a brand new alternator. today, i took the car bacc up to auto zone and them re-test it just to make sure the problem was fixed. they said the alternator is bad and is not charging. the car still stays crunk up, does not ever die on me and the battery never gets weak. i've tested the tension on the alternator belt and it is 1/4 inch tension gap(used a level and a ruler to measure the gap).

SO, what could be the issue of why the tests come back that the alternator is not charging?

Problem 3: Tail lights stay on when i turn on the headlights.

this problem i've had since i bought the car but did not know about until i drove the car at night. when i turn on my headlights at night time, my tail lights come on and they stay on, even my brake lights also). Also, when i press the brakes(doesnt matter if headlights on or off) the dashboard lights up and i hear a clicking sound inside the car.

These problems are seriously agitating me and makes me never want to own another Kia...

can someone PLEASE help guide me in the direction to fix these issues? i'll be sooo grateful, i promise! :)

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
6,957 Posts
Over heating...check the radiator cap...It's used to pressurize the cooling system.
Check the thermostat...A blocked or partially operational one will restrict the flow of the coolant.
Check the fans (both the one driven directly off the engine and the electric fan in front of the radiator (used to cool for the AC).

Check the heavy cable from the alternator to either the battery's positive terminal or the fuse box under the hood. Check both ends for corrosion.
Check the cable/braided wire from the body of the alternator to the engine block/body frame/ or negative terminal on the battery for corrosion also...
There should be +12volts on the thin wire attached to the alternator when the ignition switch is in the "run" position. This wire is used to activate the alternator.. No +12volts no output from the alternator.
The "new" alternator may be one of the "wonderful" re-built ones coming out of MEXICO... I have seen them exchanged 3~4 times before they found a good one.
The large car parts stores Advanced/AutoZone have been using these re-builts...

The tail lights may be as simple as the wrong type bulbs look into the socket the bulb goes into and count the contacts then look at the bulb...see if the number of contacts match... The running light circuit gets directly shorted to the turn signal/brake light circuit when the bulbs are wrong...

Get used to electrical corrosion problems in older KIAs also as they are common.

Keep us posted...
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