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Discussion Starter #1
Whoever solves this get $5 paypaled to them and ultimate bragging rights FOREVER.

I bought a 99 Kia Sportage off craigslist a while back. Good body, no rust, ran like crap. I'm pretty darn mechanically inclined, so I bought it for like $350. Here's where the fun starts:

The sporty started really hard, you had to floor it, crank forever, and it would sputter sputt to life, and run like the timing was waaaaaay retarded. No power at all. You would keep it to the floor to maintain 55MPH.

So I started down a laundry list of things, I have a scanner so I scanned the codes (the dash was lighting up like a christmas tree with the idiot lights) came back with IAC, temp sensor, and a bunch of other things.

I'll cut the crap and get to the point, I've replaced every sensor on this car, short of the knock sensor, but the problem remains. The keyway hasn't slipped, I checked, the fuel pressure is correct, and returning correctly to the tank. The IAC, TPS, MAF, CPS, CamPS have all been replaced out of another vehicle known good. The brain has also been swapped with a known good one. 150-160 PSI per cylinder cold. Both O2 sensors good. Cat no plugged, I even tried running it open headers. Nothing. I am COMPLETELY stumped. Timing is on, checked that countless times. Good spark, changed coil packs and new correctly gapped spark plugs.

You still have to mash the gas to start, it'll cough to life, have NO power (wont even move itself now) and try to idle around 400-500 rpm (and obviously die all the time because of this.) It shifted fine, has good gas, I've even swapped the fuel injectors.

Still throws codes, but at random and without order. One run its XXX sensor, the next run it's YYY sensor. No pattern, no sense. I need this car for commuting soon, and it needs to get going.

If someone can nail the problem down they get $5 paypal and I'll worship their smarts forever, because I'm completely lost.

BTW, when it was on the road, it got around 7-8MPG. Horrible gas mileage.



PLEASE HELP :(

-Grant
 

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Greetings,

Welcome to the forum. Like the title, offering cash will get you lots of views on your post. :D

You state that you have pretty much replaced (every) sensor, so we'll skip that for the moment..

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Have you confirmed basic voltage to components?

Recommend checking at the coil pack lead, make sure you are getting (+12) volts to the coil packs with engine off, key on.

Further recommend doing some basic voltage checking:

Direct at battery,
Battery Pos (+) to frame ground,
Battery Pos (+) to ground point on motor,
Passenger Cabin Fuse Box (+) (use the power door lock fuse) to ground point at frame in passenger cabin,

All readings should be within .1 - .5 volt of each other.

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You did not mention replacing both the (Main) and (Fuel Pump) relays in your post as a diagnostic step..

But confirm good voltage as a starting point, so we know the ECM and sensors are properly supplied with good voltage, and report back.

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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96 4 DOOR 4WD SPORTAGE, 2014 Hyundai Elantra GT, 2015 Accent Hatchback Sport
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I'd look at the cat's and see if either one is clogged.
UPYOURKIA
 

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Vacuum leaks checked?

This won't get me 5 bucks, but it is noticeable on the forum that a helluva lot of Sportages "Just Won't Start". Is there some common problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'll do that and report back

Upyourkia, I'm loving the lift I got from you a while back. It'd be nicer of the Kia ran though XD
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The fuel pump didn't get voltage until the engine began cranking (and continued receiving voltage once running) ill get the exact numbers though.

What are the symtoms of main relay that goes south?
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Good suggestions...
The relays are known to cause a lot of problems with starting in early Sportages and AutoZone/Advance/O'Reillys relays ARE wrong and won't work...Try local bone yard or rockauto.com for good ones...
Like you said you ran it with "open headers" so exhaust/Cats is/are OK.
Have you checked the readings from the coolant sensor back to the ECM?
The ECM may be trying to adjust air/fuel for a very cold (-40 degree) reading with an open sensor or wiring problem there.

You said "(the dash was lighting up like a christmas tree with the idiot lights) came back with IAC, temp sensor, and a bunch of other things."

Ground wiring is a FAMOUS problem with early KIAs also. (strange, unrelated, intermittent codes set)... check plugs, sockets and connections on the wiring harnesses ans at the ECM for corrosion. Check/clean all wires/cables going to body/ ground/earth and LOOK at the crimped on ends for oxidation...

Water/corrosion under the dash also causes a lot of posts here on Sportys and there are quite a few grounds located under the dash (firewall) and on the floor pans.

Timing worries me the most...just from your description and I didn't "see" a timing belt replacement on your list...They can wear enough to cause shifts in timing from being sloppy.....and the DO break OFTEN here at the forums...
Your engine is a NON-interference engine so even if it shifts or breaks no damage "should" happen. With good compression it couldn't be WAY off...
Have you REMOVED and INSPECTED the woodruff key, crank shaft end, and crank pulley...There have been posts that they "looked" good but the dirt/rust/crap filled in the shifted area and only after close inspection was the timing error(s) found...
I could car less about the "offer" and I/We are here to get you going in your Sporty.... Read/read/read the area about your model/year car...We DON'T archive posts and there are many,many,many people like yourself who are trying to keep their early Sportages going...A wealth of information there...
Good Luck...
Dave
 

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The fuel pump didn't get voltage until the engine began cranking (and continued receiving voltage once running) ill get the exact numbers though.

What are the symtoms of main relay that goes south?
Intermittent / hard start / no start, and if severe, poor running due to (low voltage) to ignition -> fuel system -> engine management (ECM, sensor) components..

On the flip side of the coin, poor grounding is the usual primary cause of relay failure, so if voltage readings are suspect, a thorough inspection and cleaning of all ground points in the engine compartment, major passenger cabin ground points, and the fuel pump ground point are indicated,

*** All tests stated at kiatechinfo / the online manual available here are predicated on good electrical power to components, something that is not mentioned in the manual.. ***

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re: Relays - numerous posts here of folks that have spent extraordinary amounts of time and $$$ diagnosing no / poor start issues, only to find a defective relay (* or incorrect type of relay replacement by a former owner) was the cause of their issue all along..

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re: confirmed timing: did you in-fact remove the crank timing gear from the crankshaft and physically inspect the woodruff key and crank snout?

Only ask because the symptoms you describe for your Sporty (advanced timing, low rpm, zero power) sound suspiciously like another thread that had a busted crank keyway.. That Philip (aquanaut20) had helped the OP to fix up..

*Chasing wonky voltage issues is equivalent to "chasing ghosts" - please confirm voltage readings and good grounds as your first, primary diagnostic step.. May not improve current issue, but it will help us to help you,

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great info! So glad I joined here!

Yes I made a holder for the crank gear and removed it, no wear at all on the keyway or key. I installed a new timing belt (gates) and new water pump also. Forgot to add that. The grounds do look crappy, so I'll start chasing those. Interesting info on the relay, I would have never suspected that! The dash has been off (by me) and everything under there looked okay. It was very clean, though it did have a huge mouse nest. No wire damage that I could tell (spent a long time checking.)

The wiring harness under the hood is rough. The casing on the wires is brittle, and want to break if bent too sharp. The ECM plug is very clean, no corrosion.

I'll get started on those things!
 

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98 sportage 2.0 4WD
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reading your post, my first suspicion was the cat converter, cause when these are stuck they make the car feel like its choking and no matter how hard you push your foot, it just wont go.

second guess would be a blocked fuel pump, check the filter and fuel pump, i suspect dirt in the tank.
 

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Great info! So glad I joined here!

Yes I made a holder for the crank gear and removed it, no wear at all on the keyway or key. I installed a new timing belt (gates) and new water pump also. Forgot to add that. The grounds do look crappy, so I'll start chasing those. Interesting info on the relay, I would have never suspected that! The dash has been off (by me) and everything under there looked okay. It was very clean, though it did have a huge mouse nest. No wire damage that I could tell (spent a long time checking.)

The wiring harness under the hood is rough. The casing on the wires is brittle, and want to break if bent too sharp. The ECM plug is very clean, no corrosion.

I'll get started on those things!
Good info post - that feedback helps us here -

Glad to hear you pulled the crank bolt / timing gear on inspection, so we can be confident a sheared crank keyway is -not- part of the issue cause.

*It would be helpful to have some additional info:

Please update your user profile with the current vehicle in question, or post in a reply: year Sporty, mileage, type of trans (auto / 5spd manual), if the motor is (original) or (swapped), etc. - That would help us here,

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re: rodent nest, I was afraid you were going to post that. ..

That adds an "interesting dynamic" to the mix: concentrated rodent urine is corrosive.. ( plays havoc if it seeps into the electrical connectors )

* but let's concentrate on Q/A'ing primary electrical power first, from the source:
Battery -> (+) Relays -> (+) Fuses
Battery -> ( - ) Ground points (Frame/Motor/Fuel Pump/Pass. Cabin) ..

** Important note: when diagnosing potential electrical issues, -IT IS IMPORTANT- that the vehicle wiring is reset to -stock factory- wiring: disconnect any aftermarket items (auxillary lighting / trailer wiring, aftermarket stereo / alarms, etc.) **

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Here is a 'cut-n-paste' of a previous reply / some links to find the proper relays for your Sporty:

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Wolf's relay thread w/ link to vendor:
http://www.kia-forums.com/1g-1994-2002-sportage/81869-resolved-2000-sportage-intermittent-starting-problems.html#post446186

Another relay thread:
http://www.kia-forums.com/1g-1994-2002-sportage/80534-2002-sportage-not-starting.html

Pics w/ diagram of correct (dual make) relay (thanks galf),
http://www.kia-forums.com/1g-1994-2002-sportage/74633-help-lets-get-thing-running-3.html

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* When installing relays / fuses, I would recommend disconnecting battery, engine off / key out as above to avoid any electrical issues (there should be no power supplied to the circuit when changing the relay(s)..
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Pay particular attention to the layout / posting of the picture in Galf's posting: that is the (correct) layout for a dual-make contact relay, which are needed for both the *Main and *Fuel Pump relays.

** Again will stress that cleaning Ground points / replacing Relays as a diagnostic step -may not solve the issue-, but, if it was my ride, performing this as a =primary diagnostic Q/A step= is necessary,

for the same reason that you pulled the crank gear to physically verify crank snout integrity..

*Confidence in good power to components allows us to move forward in diagnostics -> to locate, target, and correct the issue.. **

Regards,
GottaCruise
 

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Kia Sportage A/T 4WD 1997
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I used to have the same problem as you and basically I did all the same things as you did.
It turn out to be a leaking brake booster = vacuum leak.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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A new one for the books....
Thanks NorthWind...
Bet that one wasn't thought about before this...
Did you have cold starting problems also?
Pretty easy to confirm...Vise grips on that vacuum line... for others to check.

Don't think this will solve the dash lighting up like a Christmas tree though..that's electrical...and sounds like a bad ground.
Dave
 

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Ok, Ill through my guess in...

Based on the fact that most of the codes you are getting for sensors that share the same connector harness, and that changing with known good units changes nothing, I would suggest inspecting connector c134.

It is located alongside the passenger side of the transmission just before it mounts to the engine. You can fish it by pushing/pulling the wire bundle where the tps and iac wires join together in a shroud going through the runners in the upper intake manifold.

I would hope to find corroded/loose pins in that connector for an easy fix, but would be prepared for complete wire corrosion.
 

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I like what I "see" here...
You guys are doing gangbuster work to help this guy!
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I suspected the fuel pump and filter, and replaced the filter, verified the lines were clear and unobstructed, and that the fuel pump pumped fuel. All checked out good.

When I say the dash lights up, I mean the hold light starts flashing, and the the check engine light goes on. It was just an exaggeration about the lights coming on, not an actual huge short in the cluster haha

The Sporty is a 4 door 1999 auto trans 4x4, with nothing aftermarket in it. It's completely stock. A vacuum leak would explain the horrible mileage. The hotter the outside temp is, or the engine is, the harder the sporty is to start.

Whatever the problem is, is causing an extreme rich condition. It blows smoke (in the form of unburnt gas) when it starts, is washing the cylinders with gas to the point of having the plugs be white (not lean, trust me) and was getting like 8MPG at 55MPH.

I'll check into the connections, and I wouldnt be surprised if they were trash. The wiring harness further down the back of the engine is oily and grimy, and would make sense if there was something not making a good connection.


Thank you all again! You are for sure helping!
 

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I may have missed it "if" this was suggested...

There is an "air charge temperature sensor" and also a "coolant temperature sensor" that feeds back to the ECM the current temperatures. The ECM then changes the air/fuel mixture based upon these "numbers"...

see...
http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/raframecatalog.php?carcode=1434280&parttype=5072

I believe you may have an OBDII reader/scanner and these values should be shown "real time" (as they are read)... If a wiring (or sensor) problem exists in this area you WILL have "extremely rich" air/fuel mixture...Also "if" the ECM can't read these sensors it WILL default to pre-set A/F mixtures stored in it's ROM (runs but very poorly and bad fuel/mileage)...

I believe that the default for a missing reading (bad connections) is -40 degrees Fahrenheit..
your A/F will be really bad at this default temp.
Hope this points you in the right direction(s).
Dave
 

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Basic OBD testing with Live Data Scanner

Provided the back pressure test verified the CATs as OK (taken at front O2 bung,<3psi @2500rpm)

time to connect a LIVE DATA SCANNER.

COLD engine, (KOEO)
AIT (air temp)and ECT(coolant temp) must be with in 2% of ambient temperature
TPS, 0% at stop and rise smooth and steady as throttle is advanced
MAF, 0% with no air flow
Battery, 12.6vdc, fully charged.

Start engine.
ECT, must start to rise and attain and hold 180* at idle and 2000rpm
CL (ECU) must maintain at idle and 2000rpm
MAF, small reading at idle and rise steadily as throttle advances.
O2, (B1S1, precat), must start actively switching with no lean/rich bias...
LTFT, (long term fuel trim), close to 0%, +/-2 is allowable, if more, time to investigate fuel delivery/illegal air
Vacuum, at unregulated manifold port, 19-21”hg..with a dead steady needle, investigate jitter or bounce.


...Philip
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Okay, so a little update:

I reassembled the engine, and powerwashed the engine bay to clean it up, and then let it air out. I then went about disconnecting every connector and putting contact paste on them. Without the radiator in, or any of the belts on I tried to start it, and it seemed like it started really easy, and idled perfect. I had made sure it was timed correctly, and was thinking I had solved the issue.

Mind you the engine only ran for a few seconds each time, I didn't overheat the thing. The next starts were the typical hard, long cranking starts :/ So I guess I didn't solve anything. But pulling on the harness, and shaking the harness seemed to have an effect on the idle and how it would restart, so I think I narrowed down the problem. No codes were thrown all this time.

I do have an OBDII reader, but it is the basic reader, with no option for real time monitoring. It displays the trouble and pending codes with their explanation.

The relays looked good, I pulled them and opened them up and looked at the contacts. I even had a spare, and I tried switching that one around with no changed results. I'm starting to believe this is a wiring issue in the harness that runs to the injectors, iac, temp sensor, and tps. That harness is crappy looking, the wires are cracking ( the insulation is no longer pliable ) and just looks fishy.

Is there a way I can check continuity between the ecu connector and the actual wires coming out of the connector for a sensor? That way I can track down cruddy wiring.
 
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