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2004 Kia Rio RX-V, 1969 Beetle, 1993 VW Golf (800,000km's and counting), 2011 Ford f-150 FX4
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I hope the title sums it up but I will still describe more here.

Today when I left home the car was shifting fine for the first 2 km's, we made a brief stop and as soon as we left the hard shift from 1st to 2nd started. We drove about 10 km's came to a stop and started once again but this time it shifted hard to 2nd and then wouldn't shift into 3rd followed by radio failure, airbag light and loss of all lighting. Assuming it was a ECU issue I shut the car down (I knew I had a booster pack in the back) and proceeded to restart hoping it was just an error in the computer. Well she fired back up but all the issues persisted so I babied it home in second. Half way home, suddenly the car shifted and everything was working properly again. Checked everything out once home and it seemed ok(fues's, wires, belts ect) so I chanced it and took it into town any way.

I put approximitly 75km's on with no issue with about 20mins of 100km/hr driving, some in town driving and down time here and there so I don't believe anything was over heating.

Then tonight happened.....

Tonight while driving the same to similar thing happened. Hard shift then wouldn't shift into 3rd or overdrive followed by loss of radio, dimmed headlights (not good when your delivering pizzas in the country) dimmed signal lights, no interior lights and I even lost my speedo and tack. Then leading to the car dying on the side of the road.

I tried boosting for it to start and then slowly sputter out, but the long and the short of that..... It was towed home and now sits in the garage re-charging the battery for tomorrows trials.

So heres the symptoms: :confused:
- Hard shift to second only (even when it shifts through the gears)
-Then won't shift past second
- Airbag light appears(first time not the second time)
- Loss of radio
- Slowed power windows
- loss of interior lights, speedo ect.
- Dimming of exterior lights
- Battery was at 8v before placing on the charger

It screams alternator to me, but what throws me off is the transmission issue and it is a newer (5,000km) alternator. . . . But maybe a broken wire.... Or is this sounding worst like a bad ECU which makes more sence to me.....

Lights I have thrown (not this time but in past.... no lights trown to my knowledge right now)
- Speed Sensor (after market CV with no tab)
- Mass Airflow- thrown once

I have found one other post with similar issues but not exact and am hoping to get some ideas of what to look for tomorrow or if someones dealt with this before a point in the right direction on what parts to buy to save time. Any help is great.

The car 2004 Rio RX-v 144,000km's on body and 122,000 on engine 1.6L 16V.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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6,922 Posts
Welcome to kia-forums airhead....
Sounds like the "newer" alternator has a bad (intermittent) internal regulator and it's cutting out...or you have a bad ground connection on it. The ECM/TCM is loosing it's mind trying to run on low voltage (shifting problems). The rest of the symptoms also point to charging system problems. Your statement "Half way home, suddenly the car shifted and everything was working properly again" also says the charging system came back on line...
If you bought a "remanufactored" alternator...There is a plague of bad rebuilt alternators out there...Many rebuilt in MEXICO.. They only replace the ONE obvious defective part and "clean them up". A truely rebuilt alternator would have a new set of brushes, a new regulator ass'y, new rectfier ass'y, new bearings, and resoldered winding connections, THEN it would be cleaned up. These so called remanufactored alternators are basically someone elses "problem" resold. The discount car part chains are the worst offenders because they are looking for more profit and "cheaper" costs.
Also check the ground wire from the alternator frame to the engine or body of the car. They are known to corrode or the braid comes loose (fraid).
Dave
 

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2004 Kia Rio RX-V, 1969 Beetle, 1993 VW Golf (800,000km's and counting), 2011 Ford f-150 FX4
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Dave, I'll pull the alternator off and have it tested/get a new one I will also be sure to check those connections.

Where do I find the ECU on this car to inspect it? Sorry this is my first Kia so things are layed out different from my normal vw's.

Thanks for your reply!
Adam
 

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Registered
2004 Kia Rio RX-V, 1969 Beetle, 1993 VW Golf (800,000km's and counting), 2011 Ford f-150 FX4
Joined
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Update:

I have pulled every relay and fuse in the car no corosion and all appear to be in good condition. Found the ECU also clean and appears to be good. All conections to and from alternator also are good, there does not appear to be a ground to the body/engine unless it is the one that disapears into the harness.

Started the car after charging the battery all night. Battery only lost .3V in n hour, once car was running tested the cables and it was charging at 14.6V (Kia specifie's 14.1V-14.7V charging rate) so that was good..... I let her run then I hard a click and a gental whine from the alternator that quickly wen't away. Checked volts again now sitting at 12.6V while running. I strained the car and placed all lights, heater, radio and AC on. This dropped the the volts to 11.6V and then slowly dropped to the point of failure. (All done in driveway.... no need for another tow today).

So with that said I believe it is the alternator failing, I have placed an order for a new one and I know I shouldn't but it is remainufactured. A new one is $449 from Kia (only place you can get new) a remanufactured is $145 less a $50 core bringing it to $95 bucks with a 3 year warrenty and I can handle swaping out again if needed to save $300 bucks.

So with that said if this does not work I will repost again and see what info I can stir up, if it does then I hope this post has helped someone else down the road.

Adam
 

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Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Yep it sounds like alternator failure... There should be 3 wires on the alternator (maybe 2 if a ground wire is not included... The heavy wire one is the charge wire that feeds the charge to the battery and a lighter one is the "charge enable" line usually fed with 12v from the ignition switch to "turn on" the alternator.. When the system starts to dis-charge you might want to check this wire for the enable voltage as if it's low or missing the alternator will not come on.

You can get a new alternator on line from ebay for under $110 shipped... You should do some more research before making a purchase.
New Alternator Fits Hyundai Accent Elantra Tiburon 1 6L 2 0L 2004 2009 | eBay
Dave
 

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02 kia rio
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2 Posts
I have the same issue with my 02 rio. mechanics at kia diagnosed it as a valve in the trany and its cheaper to buy a new one then to fix it. Ive been driving it this way for 6 months so far, and until it gets permanently stuck in first or second il drive it this way.
 
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