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Discussion Starter #1
New here! My girls moms Spectra is a mess. My girls sister didn't take good care of it. I have 3 codes:

P0303 - Cylinder 3 Mifire
P0460 - Fuel Level Sensor A Circuit Malfunction
P0705 - Trans Range Sensor Circuit Malfunction

I won't have a change to really look at the car until this weekend so I figured I'd see what anyone on here knows first so I can possibly save some time.

I'm sure I can find the misfire, but the other two, I'm not sure about. I know why the trans code is set. My girls sister spilled some type of liquid down in the shifter and now it's all sticky. So it's kinda hard to shift. Because of this, the car will go into park, but it will not recognize that it is in park and the park light will not illuminate on the dash. This also prevents the car from starting in park since the car doesn't recognize that it's in park, and it won't let you shift. So I have to stick a screw driver down the little shifter bypass hole to shift to neutral before it will start. So I wonder if the liquid toasted a sensor of some sort. Anyone have any idea?

My e-mail is [email protected].
 

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2003 Kia Sorento
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P0303- Probably something simple like a bad plug, plug wire or coil.

P0460- Probably need a new fuel level sensor. The bad news is I think you have to buy the whole fuel pump to get it, but I could be wrong.

P0705- The sticky mess probably has something to do with this, but after you clean it you may need to adjust the range switch. It's located on top of the transmission and you'll be able to see the shift cable go into it. There will be two bolts that you can loosen and twist the switch so that the contacts are made. There's not much adjustment, but if you get it wrong or twist the wrong way its an easy fix.
 

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Ya, that looks like it.

Does your fuel gauge read correctly? That's all this does, but it also goes to the ECM for emissions monitoring.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Originally posted by KiaMech@Jul 22 2005, 02:28 PM
Does your fuel gauge read correctly?
I have no idea. I haven't driven the car more than 1 mile since it's not mine.

Anyway, I changed the plugs, replaced the valve cover gasket, changed the oil and filter, changed the air filter, cleaned most of the sludge under the valve cover, cleaned the PCV valve and hose which was stuffed with oil and sludge, and cleaned the throttle body and plate.

Sad to say that after all that effort, the car still has the same symptoms. It still runs like crap at idle but pretty smooth at high rpm in park. It still has the solid CEL at idle and cruise, and still has the flashing CEL at WOT acceleration. I didn't get a chance to read the codes again because I gave the scanner back to my friend and Autozone is very far from me.

The car has been turned into a POS. There was a huge amount of sludge under the valve cover and the oil was very black and thick. When I dipped my finger in the oil, it looked like my finger turned to an onyx stone and the oil didn't even drip from my finger. The plugs were all burned looking and the gap was over .046 because they were 20K overdue. However, the specs I have says the plugs should be gapped at around .031, but the new ones came pre-gapped at .042 so I just left it since that seems to work well with most 4 cylinders. Then I checked for spark at both of the plug wires and there was spark. However, the spark tester I have only tests plug wires, so I couldn't test the coils. So I checked the resistance of the coils and both read .7 ohms. I don't know the spec though. And for some strange reason, almost every piece of metal in the engine bay is rusted or corroted. It looks like crap. It seems like they just threw a bunch of cheap metal in there. I have a Hyundai, who makes Kia, and there is barely any rust under my hood. And I forgot to mention that it sounds like the exhaust manifold is cracked or leaking. When I hold a piece of paper to the muffler, it doesn't suck and blow, it just blows. So maybe it has a lack of back pressure or something. Who knows?!

So tommorow I am gonna check the compression, do a vacuum test, check the exhaust manifold, and re-gap the plugs to around .031. I hope the head isn't warped. No coolant is leaking, though I do see a bit of white power on the t-stat housing!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I think I found the misfire problem! Actually, I'm sure I found it. The short spark plug wire is bad. It's all dry rotted and lookes a bit burned up. I cleared the code, unplugged that plug wire and drove the car. The car drove like crap, but it did not set that misfire code. Then I replugged it and drove it again and the code came back. I swapped the coils and nothing changed. So now I have to replace that wire. Do they sell the wires separately or do I have to get both? I'll probably just get both anyway, but I just want to know! Thanks guys!
 

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OK, I fixed the misfire. The #3 plug was bad. Also, I verified that the exhaust is definitely leaking. There is a hole or a crack right between the mini-cat and the regular cat. It's very close to the u clamp and it all rusting away.

Anyway, after I fixed the misfire, the car ran pretty well. I decided to put some miles on it to see if the CEL would come back on. It seemed like once the car got warm, it started to run rough at idle and stops but there was still no light. I figured it was from the cracked exhaust. Then as soon as I was going home to park the car, the **** CEL came back on, but this time with a different code. Now it says: P0171 - System Too Lean (Bank 1). I don't know what that means. Maybe a vacuum leak?
 

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That code is because of the exhaust leak. Oxygen enters the crack and the sensor picks it up thinking it came from the cylinders. If you fix the leak it will be alright. The reason you didn't get this code before is because you also had a misfire. The unburned fuel sort of offset the leak, so the sensor didn't notice the problem.
 
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