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2000 kia sephia
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Alright, this is my first post into the forums and i'll try my best not to annoy everyone.

i recently purchased a stick shift 2000 kia sephia for the whopping price of $600 with the assurance that the only major problems were a mysterious whining noise from ac belt on start up and a missing section of tailpipe. Easy fixes, i tightened the alternator belt and got the squeal to stop and i put a little patchkit on the muffler, car ran pretty good. Really good for 600$. But slowly i have been finding more problems, so many that i now have a good little list of things to fix. Only problem is, i'm completely broke. I'm decent at fixing things on my own if i know what's wrong. Only thing is, some of these problems completely baffle me and any help diagnosing would be -much- appreciated.

The list: belt squeal coming back, worse when a.c. is on.

the car sort of 'chugs' and loses power if you push the gas pedal too far. It's kind of like driving on a bubble, you push too hard and it pops, gotta drop the rpm to get the engine sounding right again before you can start speeding up. On the freeway, this is dangerous.

The dash lights and radio lights go off intermittently, smacking the dash seems to fix that.

cd player works, but you have to swerve hard to left to get it to start or change songs (yes, i do this)

oil doesn't drip, but can be seen sort of 'seeping' from the seam in the block.

E brake cable disconnected or broken (no clue how to fix)

wipers work but don't auto regulate (you have to time turning it off right so they don't stop in the middle of the windshield.)

a.c. and heat work, but only when the car is moving. Turning a.c. or heat on seems to make the engine work -much- harder than it should.

bad ball joint (being replaced tomorrow)

car runs very hot! don't know why, fluids all fine, no leak in radiator that i can see, temp gauge reads normal, engine is just -very- hot even after 30 seconds of running.

Check engine light was on when i got it, starts to flash when the chugging problem happens.

so far that's about it. Bought this car for the bargain, it's already gone from being a 600 to 900 dollar car, and i only see the pricetag getting bigger. But what the hell, it gets almost 30 mpg and if i can get it running as well as it should i'll be really happy with my little junky sephia. Again, any suggestions or advice are much appreciated.
 

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Kia '01 Sephia
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24 Posts
I'd say for the check engine light you should check your plugs and plug wires... Make sure they are connecting along with making sure they are not damaged to bad if so I can send you a set of wires I have an extra set for mine but I don't need the second set... You should go to an auto store and get a orbs imagistic tool to check for code...

Also how many miles does ur sephia have.. Also when have you changed fluids??
You should really look at your lines again for any signs of serious damage... Specially the hoses...
The oil problem gasket that's what you'll need...

Uhm the other things I could not tell you off hand the other members here will have way more detail than me... This is a quick overview of what you can do

Check hoses
Check fluids again
Get a diagnostic to read the codes a d post them here for us to help out
How many miles
That's quick what should be done again

Especially for the missfire problem
Where your car chugs ;)
 

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2000 kia sephia
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
milage

The car just hit 126,000 up from 124 when i bought it 2 months ago. The fluid levels were fine, i just topped them off and started driving, they told me it hadn't sat for very long so i was lazy about it. This was probably negligent and i should change the oil/flush the radiator. I did notice that the radiator had red build up near the cap. The plug wires do need to be changed, they look pretty dirty, one of the wires has oil on it from gasket leak. If you did have a set up for grabs that would be -super- cool. A buddy of mine pulled all the plugs out and examined them, told me they looked fine, but i was reading around on here and someone suggested that a there might be an issue with the default gap on the plugs and i should re-gap them. No clue about that. Still pretty young and ignorant when it comes automotive stuff but i'm trying to learn.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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The AC belt is probably "glazed" on the surface that contacts the pulleys and is slipping.
Replace the belt and lightly sand the pulley surfaces to roughen them up for better "grab".

You say the engine runs "hot"...Is that from actually checking the engine physically or just looking at the gauge? Temperature sender/sensors can go bad and indicate improperly... I take this from your "hot even after 30 seconds of running." statement.
I don't trust the "cheap" gauges on the older KIAs. If this is really so you may have a blown head gasket allowing the compressed hot gases to escape into the coolant (antifreeze). Look for a "creamy" tan foam on the oil dipstick and/or a "too full" indication on the dipstick. There may be oil also mixed in the coolant.

You said "Turning a.c. or heat on seems to make the engine work -much- harder than it should." Turning on the heat should not effect the performance of the engine but the AC will... The heat mode "may" actually turn on the AC when the heat mode is placed in "Defrost"... The AC removes the moisture and clears the "fog" on the windshield.

"You said "Check engine light was on when i got it, starts to flash when the chugging problem happens." ...
With 126k miles on the car it may have a plugged catalytic converter causing back pressure on the engine and the chugging... If the engine chugs when you accelerate above 2500~3000 RPM or climbing a hill it sounds like that's the problem?

There should be on a label under the hood showing the correct spark plug gap. If they are gapped too wide the engine will also misfire.

The dash light problems are probably the dimmer module going bad (bad solder connections inside the module)...A bone yard (junkyard) will be your "best friend" for your parts needs...

Windshield wipers have a "return to park" mode built in the motor so you would have to replace the motor to cure that.

The stereo is another item the bone yard (or ebay) may be able to help someone on a tight budget!

The e-brake has cables very similar to the ones on a 10 speed bike for brakes and shifting...They rust and lock up the center "pull" wire... If you are required to have this for a yearly "safety inspection" they could get costly to repair in Wisconsin.
Hope this helps...
Dave
 

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'96 Camry v6 XLE, '00 Camry LE
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Greetings,

+1 on Dave's excellent post and the car heating up almost immediately (running hot) and the flashing light are signs of a plugged catalytic converter - that would cause the issues you are having with low power at throttle also - so that would be something I'd have checked out ASAP.

FWIW, if the A/C belt is visibly glazed but in otherwise good condition (not cracked or brittle), you could also lightly just sand the glaze off the belt with some fine-grit sandpaper, that would give you another few thousand miles before replacement.

I'd get the cat. converter checked though, running too hot w/ excessive back-pressure risks blowing the head gasket and/or warping the cylinder head..
 

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Kia '01 Sephia
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24 Posts
If only I had a computer instead of my phone to post this would be better ...
Dave has it on Lock... Top notch check list for you.. Which does remind me that I get to find a new engine here soon for the winter ( new rocker panels being fabricated right meow to excited
The plug wires...
I will message you when I get near a computer soon and sen u a pic they are brand new but you'll have to get new cool packs for it( rock auto)
Oh and your in wisconsin nice I'm up in neillsville :)


I do recommend
 

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2000 kia sephia
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9 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
New troubles

First, let me just say thanks to all of you for your awesome comments and help.

New issues: I replaced the plugs, wires, and the valve cover gasket the other day. Did the work myself, it was pretty easy going. Got finished up, let the sealant set up and then ran the car for a bit. Sounded -much- better, and even though i didn't get a chance to drive it around it sounded like it might have fixed my chugging problem. But...

This morning i was gonna take the car in to have some work done, got in, started it up... the thing dies on me. Great. Felt like it was just running out of gas, so i put more in just to be sure, that's not the problem. I'm 99% sure that i did the gasket procedure correctly, took the bolts out, scraped the old gasket off, rubbed it down to smooth and shiny, put some sealant on there, installed the gasket, put the bolts back in alternating sides from the center outward until tight.

The pulley cover (or whatever the black plastic piece hiding my pulleys next to the block is called) has obvious heat damage (it's melted in the corners) and has oil on it. That was all there when i started working on it. The car makes a much more valiant effort to start without the cover on, but still nothing. Checked the plug wires, they're fine, no defects as far as i can tell.

The plugs, however, are covered in oil. I guess they're not -covered- but the lower portion has a good amount, the upper ceramic portion not so much, they seem fine.

What's strange is that the car cranks over great, starts strong, sounds awesome. The second you give it any gas, or let it fall into idle from turning the key, it dies. Fuel issue? or did i botch my gasket job? If i could get it into my mechanic i could have him make sure i didn't break something, but that's not gonna happen until i have it running.
 

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2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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Hello again...
Glad to see you are back..
A common "problem" (more like a maintainence item) is the IAC (idle air control) valve.
It is located in the throttle body (long aluminum "tube"). If you remove the big rubber hose you should see it inside. It has a metal disk that opens and closes to regulate the air flow into the engine when at idle. The inside of the throttle body gets filthy and the disk can't move and control the idle. A simple fix is to get a can of choke/carb cleaner at Walmart/AutoZone/Advance and a soft cotton rag. spray the inside and wipe out the carbon buildup. An old tooth brush helps also (check to make sure the brush does not fall apart when the cleaner makes contact with it as some plastics don't like it). Push the bottom of the disk in and clean the areas it contacts also. Do not touch or clean anything in the big rubber hose... There is a MAF sensor that is very sensitive to the touch. Also be careful of the rubber hose as they are known to crack and break allowing in air and throwing off the air/fuel mixture. In a pinch some duct tape will "repair" the hose but the heat of the engine will cause the tape to work loose again. The oil/water mixture down in the spark plug holes can cause misfires and poor running. (especially if there is some water mixed in). I'd dab up the oil with a rag and a flat screwdriver (to push the rag into the spark plug hole). Be sure to gap your plugs properly (look for a lable under the hood for gap size).
Did you find out about the "overheating" in your first post?

The MAF (mass air flow) sensor in the rubber hose could also me dirty and effecting the air/fuel mixture. You can clean it with a spray cleaner MADE FOR MAF cleaning... DO NOT TOUCH the MAF.

You may have bad catilytic converters also causing back pressure and stalling...
Keep us posted...
Dave
 

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2000 kia sephia
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Alright, i'm going to get some cleaner and wipe out the IAC now as per your instructions. Hopefully that will get it starting again. The thought occurred to me that it might be the ignition coils, so i grabbed a junker pair to swap in and test, car still isn't starting. What perplexes me is that the car ran and started fine before, so i must have broken something along my way, but i didn't mess with the throttle body or iac at all. The big rubber hose you mention was cracked and broken when i bought the car, so i replaced it, and the MAF should be fine. Is there anything i could have done in the process of replacing my valve cover gasket that would create the sort of problem i'm experiencing?

again, the car cranks over and starts strong, but it dies instantly if i push the gas pedal or let it idle.
I gapped the new plugs i put in it between .028 and .032 with a gapper coin. How precise do they all need to be? They are all within that .004 inch range but not exactly the same.

Also, i might not completely understand the operation of this process but i don't think the catalytic converter has even been hooked up since i bought the car because i have a gap in my exhaust right near the front, just behind the manifold after the pipe bends down and then flattens out. I had some flex tubing on there with clamps for a while, but the way the person i bought the car from cut the piece of pipe out, there isn't much of a lip to secure it on, and the combination of heat+vibration means that flex tube becomes useless after about a week. Working on getting some solid tube and adhering it inside somehow, but i haven't gotten that far yet.
 

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2000 kia sephia
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Just cleaned out the iac, it wasn't horribly dirty but i did get a good bit of gunk out. Car now starts and will idle for 45 seconds to 1 minute, give it any gas though and it dies.

I just talked to my mechanic, he said it might be the fuel filter? I'm going to keep messing with it and see if i can't get it to move. I got the engine to rev up a little bit, so it's pushing fuel through.
 

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1985 Subaru Loyale (wagon), 2000 Kia Sephia (sedan), and 1969 Mercury Comet (coupé)
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... Car now starts and will idle for 45 seconds to 1 minute, give it any gas though and it dies...
Sounds to me like a Vacuum Leak on the PCV Valve, so I Kindly suggest you to verify the state of the PCV Valve and its seal & Hose.

Good Luck!
Kind Regards.
 

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My dash lights recently went out as well... The solution turned out to be resoldering a few of the connection points on the dash light dimmer on the far left hand side. It's a bit tricky to take apart at first, but it did the trick and my lights have been consistent. You have to remove the screws above the steering wheel and lower the steering to wheel to pop the dash out. Remove the wires from the back of the dimmer and then remove the dimmer cartridge itself from the dash. From there, if you have a soldering gun and know a little about electric boards, it's pretty easy to see which ones are loose and reconnect them.
 
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