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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.. I guess I'm going to say I'm a wanna be DIY with few tools, although I'm handy with other things and a tactical trouble shooter. Haven't done a lot of regular maintenance (not being cheap, just can't afford to sink a lot into preventative maintenance!!!)

My question is... how can I start to determine the source of my trouble?

I have a Kia Sportage 2002. It has been running well enough since I bought it about a year and a half ago and then about 2 weeks ago I noticed it felt real "rough" whe I was backing up. Almost like it was going to stall...

Starting moving and it cleared up. Went like that for a week, if it sat over night and I backed out of the driveway, it had that sluggish, lacking power feel... ready to "stall" (although it never has)

Then last week it started doing that more regularly. It usually does it when I first start driving but after running for a while it would misbehave when accelerating from stop lights or other times I'd slow down. Good when it was up to speed.

I have also noted on a couple occasions it was very squeaky, but that is not very consistent and would go away after running for a bit, not always come back.

Any thoughts as the cause of my trouble?
 

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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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Look for vacuum leaks. On some models, the 4WD system operates by means of vacuum tubes to the hubs, so that's one place to look.
 

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+1 checking for vacuum leaks, and would also recommend cleaning all ground points in the engine compartment: battery terminals, neg. terminal to ground tray, engine ground (wire) strap, to ensure good power to all components..

Is the check engine light on? If so, reading the codes stored with a code scanner and posting may help.

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No check engine light...

As far as checking the for vacuum leaks, how would I go about that? (uh oh.. novice is showing...)

I can definitely check the terminals to make sure all is clear and clean, I know that the battery, which is relatively new, had a tendency to accumulate some junk on the terminals.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well.. I broke down and took it in. I figured I'd update the thread in case someone is curious.

The performance got progressively worse. No longer was it just when I'd first start up or when backing up, but it started to run rough, lacked power, etc all the time.

I actually started looking around for the spark plugs (became convinced they were playing a role!) and I could not find them. Finally found a few links that told me how to get to them and it was a few too many steps for me to take ... if I had the right tools I probably would have given it a shot.

So.... . in it goes. And what they found, all of the cylinders were misfiring and there was a gasket that was leaking.. because it was leaking it soaked the plugs and got on couple ignition coils. They also said "this stuff is all really old..." which tells me that even without an oil bath it might have been something you could have replaced.

So a gasket, new set of plugs/wires and 2 coils later it's running smooth again, probably smoother than before, makes me wonder if there were occasional misfires all along and it just gradually got worse.
 

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Cerato
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Sounds like the the camshaft/valve cover gasket. These are normally easy to replace on most engines, but I think there's a fair bit of "stuff" on the Sportage that needs to be disassembled before you get to the gasket(s).
 
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