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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #1
For some time now my 2010 Rio LX has made this weird low "howling" sound when RPM is between 1900-2000. Not below, not above, only within this narrow range. It sounds like the howling sound the wind makes sometimes, or the sound you get if you blow across an empty 2 liter bottle of soda. It's accompanied by a "rattling" noise, like an out of alignment fan or other moving part. Also in this same narrow RPM range.

It was hard to tell where it was coming from when I'm driving, so I tried to manually play with the throttle with the hood up. I don't have a tach, so I had to do it by feel and sound, but I was able to get it to an RPM range where it made both sounds, and it felt like they were coming from the passenger side of the engine, where the belts, including timing belt, water pump, pulleys and idlers are, but nothing appeared to be visibly wrong.

I replaced the timing belt earlier this year (way overdue at 155k), and have had no issues with it, at least as far as crankshaft-camshaft timing is concerned or misfires. I also replaced the idler and tensioner, but not the water pump (which I know you're supposed to replace at the same time as a precaution, and I even had a new unit, but didn't feel like draining and replacing the coolant so I decided to put it off till the next coolant flush is due later this year). I obviously also had to remove and reinstall all the other drive belts and adjust their tensions.

I can't recall if it made these sounds before I did this, though. Any clues as to what might be the source? Could it be a bad or improperly installed timing belt idler or tensioner, or pehaps bad or improperly installed drive belts, idlers, pulleys and tensioners? Could it be overtightening the crankshaft bolt (I used an impact wrench as there was no obvious way to do it otherwise)? Or could it be a bad water pump, its bearings breaking down? The car hasn't shown any overheating problems, so the pump is clearly still doing its job.

Any clues or advice?
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Seriously? Over 200 views and no one has any idea? This forum has so little participation for such a widely-owned car. Surely someone has to have an idea of what might be going on.
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Did you get anywhere with what could be making the noise?
No, that's why I asked the question. It seems like this site is mostly frequented by people looking to get answers without offering any themselves. Doesn't look like many car people post here.
 

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Kia Rio 2010 1.4
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6 Posts
ok well I could probably offer some advice on what to do if you want. Though I've only just recently started the car maintenance thing myself.
Though from what you're are saying sounds like what mine is currently doing too.
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #6
Well that's kind of what such sites are for, if someone asks a relevant question and you think you might be able to help, then you help, or try to at least. It doesn't have to be definitive. An educated guess or relevant general advice are fine. But I get the sense that, unlike some other car sites, this one has way more lurkers just looking to skim off of others' advice than active participants. Threads asking meaningful questions can go unresponded to for months. If I see one where I think I might be able to help, that's what I do, even if it turns out that my advice was wrong or unhelpful.

Anyway, is this something you're hearing with your car, and if so what can you tell me about it in terms of miles driven, condition, past issues, relevant parts replaced and when, etc.? I strongly suspect that it's a dying water pump, but before I try to replace it, which is a pretty major job, I'd like to hear from others who might have insight into this. I'm actually going to replace it, but I was hoping to put it off till fall, when my next coolant flush is due and I have to drain it anyway, which you have to do when replacing the pump. I'll probably replace the thermostat too, to be safe.
 

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Kia Rio 2010 1.4
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Well first it's a shame you can't remember if it started before you did changed timing belt, I would probably first check that u have over tensioned the belts and check over the condition of them.

Mine is suffering from a cracked power steering pump belt, it's due to go to the garage to them all replaced next week. Had the timing belt changed last year but for some very daft reason I didn't get them changed too....

Sorry I can't be any more helpful than that, only had it for a year and it's my first car
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #8
There's a million things that if you could go back and check for them before you undertake a task, you'd do, but can't know that you should have checked for them until after the task is done. So, no, I don't definitively remember there being such sounds before I replaced the TB, but I'm pretty sure there wasn't.

Perhaps I did overtighten one of the drive belts, or even the tensioner on the TB. They're all new and it's nearly impossible to get an accurate measure of their tension without an expensive tool. I got one of those clicker-type tools but it's basically useless.

I could try to loosen all 3 belts a bit and see if these sounds go away. If that doesn't do the trick, next step is to check the TB tensioner and maybe loosen it a bit. If that fails, then next step is to replace the water pump, which I already have and was planning to install anyway. And if that doesn't fix it, I might need to take it to a shop.

I've done so much work on the car on my own that it might not hurt to have a pro look it over anyway, to see if I did anything wrong, that could spell trouble down the line. But, first I'll try these measures and see if that fixes it.
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #9
By the way you can replace all three drive belts yourself and save a bunch on labor. It's a bit of a pain but not nearly as difficult as some other tasks I've done like replacing the TB or wheel bearings.
 

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Kia Rio 2010 1.4
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Was going to have a go, but dont have the tools yet to deal with the alternator, plus I've got them to do a few other things for me to.

Done things like the rear wheel bearing hub, the engine cooling fan with help (original paid someone the first time but they just bodged it) and a few other little things by myself.
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #11
You don't need special tools to replace belts, certainly not on your car, which is the same as mine. Just a decent set of metric combo wrenches, ideally ratcheting as that makes it either, but solid works too. Or, a decent ratchet and metric socket set, with a few extension adapters. To do auto repair you really should have both, and decent sets of each can be had for $30 or less. Make sure to use jack stands if you lift the car, which you have to to replace the belts, especially the A/C as it requires removal of the front right wheel (or at least makes it much, much easier). If you were able to replace the rear bearing hub then you can certainly do this. :)
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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936 Posts
Since I'm retired I look over this site in the am and pm on most days.
This is the first time I've seen your post.
That said, you should have a little more patience with folks responding, since all answers are free.
My response = At ten years old and 155K miles the vehicle is mostly worn out. Useful life almost gone. Turn up the radio until you can't hear the noise. Live with the noise until something gives, or it gets worse enough to pin point.
Your second post was uncalled for..........be nicer.
 
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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry, but that's nonsense. Properly maintained, today's cars can last well past 150k miles and 10 years. It's not "worn" out, as today's engines and transmissions have several hundred thousand miles in them before needing a major overhaul, and in any case these do not appear to be the parts causing the problem. I've replaced lots of these "worn" parts, so they're not "worn" anymore. I hope and assume you're not a mechanic.

And this forum IS infrequently participated in by its members. I'm guessing it's mostly because enthusiasts are usually the ones who post on such forums, and the Rio, while a perfectly decent car for its intended purposes, is no enthusiast's idea of a great car. But the whole purpose of forums like this are for people to help each other out with car issues, which telling them to turn up the radio or just live with it is not. That's borderline trolling.
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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If you noticed, none of the other talented members have chimed in to assist you.
I believe this post will end at this point......
Sorry you have such a sour attitude with life.....
Good Luck!
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #17
I asked a perfectly legit question, with great detail and very politely, and other than a new member who tried their best to help, which is LITERALLY this site's only reason for existence, no one bothered to even TRY to help. All I got was condescension about don't bother us with your stupid and boring questions about your ancient 10 year old car you should have junked long ago, and I responded to in the only way it deserved to be answered. When I come upon questions I think I might be able to help with, I try my best to do so. And you're complaining about MY attitude? Dude, get a mirror, and find something better to do in your retirement than wasting peoples' time.
 

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2009 Kia Rio4 dr Sedan LX Manual Transmisson
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I asked a perfectly legit question, with great detail and very politely, and other than a new member who tried their best to help, which is LITERALLY this site's only reason for existence, no one bothered to even TRY to help. All I got was condescension about don't bother us with your stupid and boring questions about your ancient 10 year old car you should have junked long ago, and I responded to in the only way it deserved to be answered. When I come upon questions I think I might be able to help with, I try my best to do so. And you're complaining about MY attitude? Dude, get a mirror, and find something better to do in your retirement than wasting peoples' time.

Let me chime in on this. I have access to technical service info. Let me see if I can dig anything up on this Weird noise in that RPM range. I will let you know but although not rude (I am a new member) It's best no to bite the hand that feeds you. Ive made one post and people are trying to help as best as they can and we are working along with it also. Be back soon on reporting.
 

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2009 Kia Rio4 dr Sedan LX Manual Transmisson
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Okay no TSB's for that issue my man and nothing from AllDataPro. I would have some assist you in revving the engine. Use a automative stethoscope and or the classic ear on the Screw Driver technique and pin point from the valve cover and the timing chain are where the noise is coming from. That's the only way to move forward. Once you do that let us know and the noise might not be worth even looking into. If you notice the noise coming down range from the RPM's so for example when you Rev to 3k and then the engine is coming back down to idle. It is from my experience most likely a timing chain issue. Either too much or not enough tension.
 

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2010 Kia Rio LX
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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks, I'd appreciate any ideas you might have. The noise isn't just annoying, but could be a sign that something is wrong that could cause more serious problems down the line.

Also, although I doubt it's related, the car also sometimes idles somewhat roughly. What happens is that I'm stopped at a light, foot on brake, and every now and then engine power dips down for a split second, then goes back to normal, then again. I recently replaced the plugs, PCV, purge valve and air filter (also cleaned the filter box), did an oil and filter change, and cleaned the throttle and idle control valve.

I also put some Techron in the fuel. There don't appear to be any air leaks. I'm guessing that it's either the fuel injectors or fuel pump or filter, and unrelated to the howling/rattling noise, but I mentioned it here in case it might be related. There are no other major problems with the car, just the usual minor or secondary jobs that need to be done (dead radio, body dings, chipped paint, needs new bushings and shocks, etc.)

Also, in response to your other comment, I'll try this, but the car doesn't have a timing chain, rather a belt. There is a chain, but it connects the input and output valves, I believe. And I replaced the belt recently. I wonder if the tensioner tension was a bit too tight. But my gut feeling is that it's a water pump on its last legs, and the bearing's wearing out and making whining/howling/rattling noises.
 
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