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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Gents, I was glad to find a solid community still working on and enjoying these little brutes.

Recently, I needed a 4x4 for light trail, beach, camping, and fishing duties, and found a Sportage on craigslist for $1750 that seemed to fit the bill.

First thing I did was put 235/75R15 rubber on the stock rims:



It got us to and from the Texas coast at 19 mpg, but had some issues.

-Surging while trying to accelerate. The worst is accelerating between 30 and 65 mph, either almost no power at 2000 rpm or surging at 3500+ rpm. Once up to 70+ mph it settled at about 3000 rpm and was fine so long as it didn't need to downshift.

-No power. Very slow acceleration, and would lose speed quickly trying to go up any kind of hill when cruising at highway speeds.

-Rough shaking idle. Alternates between shaking like it's going to stall at ~600 rpm, or high idle at ~1400.

-My OBD reader shows:

Current Fault Log
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ECU reports no current faults

Pending Fault Log
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P0171: System too Lean (Bank 1)
P0301: Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected
P0300: Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
P0303: Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected
P0304: Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected
P0302: Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected

-Dripping water onto passenger's feet. It also drains onto the ground out of the drain pipe in the firewall as expected, but it seems like a lot more condensation is being drained than any car I've ever had. What comes out smells like plain water, but maybe the previous owner diluted the coolant/water mixture so much I can't smell it. Leaking heater core? No overheating issues during our trip, even in 100* Texas heat.

-The floor and base of the center console got warm enough to notice the heat against my right calf.


So far, I've only had a chance to tear into the intake and ignition, following this guide: 4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums: READ FIRST IF YOU NEED TO CHANGE THE SPARK PLUGS

Pics so far: 1999 Kia Sportage Ignition and Intake - Album on Imgur

What I found was that the spark plug wires, coils, and plugs seemed almost new. The ignition wire harness that feeds the coils was in bad shape, with the connectors broken and mostly destroyed, but still able to hold the connection. No signs of oil leaking from the valve cover.

I replaced PCV, cleaned the throttle body, cleaned the MAF, hosed out the IAC with carb cleaner, cleaned and refinished the metal TB-Air Intake Pipe gasket, then put it all back together.

Good news is that it works exactly as it did before. Bad news is that it works exactly as it did before.

I have an ignition wire harness

What's next?

I'll try to find a vacuum leak by spraying carb cleaner around all the hoses and gaskets, and I'm going to put a bottle of Bar's radiator stop leak in the coolant hose just before the heater core to see if that stops the leak in the passenger footwell.

Other suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Caribou, Otter, Buffalo
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2,688 Posts
You were doing well until you said, "I'm going to put a bottle of Bar's radiator stop leak in the coolant hose just before the heater core to see if that stops the leak in the passenger foot well." This will only supply you with additional issues...

First move would be to Pressure test the cooling system, then run the vehicle with the A/C off and asses the water situation again..

Time to do a compression test, report all data, dry then wet tests..

OBTW, welcome to the forum, like the front seat accessory!

.. Philip
 

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2002 kia rio cinco
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19 Posts
I have a 3.5 V6 2009 sportage that had the same leakage on the pass floor. I found that the drain hose was partly plugged do to bugs,leaves, sticks ect getting in the intake vent at the back of the hood. Mine drains out under the shifter floor board area via a tube that comes out under the car below the shifter area. I had to get a long pipe cleaner(about 2 foot long) to clean it out. now it don't drain on the floor any more. Try that first before taking stuff apart. I hope this saves you some extra work. the cleaner needs to be very flexible as the drain tube curves a few times.
 

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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Forgot to ask for a vacuum hose diagram. I've found a couple but they're impossible to read or use to locate stuff on the actual engine. Anyone have an exploded diagram that's easy to look at and then compare to the engine in front of you?
 

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'02 Sportage 2 door.
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339 Posts
One thing to check is there is a vacuum tube on the intake manifold facing the passenger fender well. On my 2002 it is capped off. I had a surging issue/low power until 2000 RPM. The rubber cap had cracked and was pulling in additional air.

I replaced the cap and the issue went away.
 

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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
One thing to check is there is a vacuum tube on the intake manifold facing the passenger fender well. On my 2002 it is capped off. I had a surging issue/low power until 2000 RPM. The rubber cap had cracked and was pulling in additional air.

I replaced the cap and the issue went away.
I think I know exactly what you're talking about. I remember seeing it, and thinking, "Well that looks weird and useless with just a nipple cap back there". On second thought, maybe it's a good port for blowing in smoke to check for leaks?

I'll definitely check it when I hose down the whole thing with carb cleaner looking for other vacuum leaks.

Also just remembered that the guy I bought it from said he power washed the engine bay to make it look better to sell. That nipple is right on top and maybe got dislodged by the spray?
 

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'02 Sportage 2 door.
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339 Posts
I think I know exactly what you're talking about. I remember seeing it, and thinking, "Well that looks weird and useless with just a nipple cap back there". On second thought, maybe it's a good port for blowing in smoke to check for leaks?

I'll definitely check it when I hose down the whole thing with carb cleaner looking for other vacuum leaks.

Also just remembered that the guy I bought it from said he power washed the engine bay to make it look better to sell. That nipple is right on top and maybe got dislodged by the spray?
Could be, or one of the sensors/connectors could have gotten water in them and are shorting out.
 

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Premium Member
1999 Sportage A/T 4WD
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987 Posts
I think I know exactly what you're talking about. I remember seeing it, and thinking, "Well that looks weird and useless with just a nipple cap back there". On second thought, maybe it's a good port for blowing in smoke to check for leaks?

I'll definitely check it when I hose down the whole thing with carb cleaner looking for other vacuum leaks.

Also just remembered that the guy I bought it from said he power washed the engine bay to make it look better to sell. That nipple is right on top and maybe got dislodged by the spray?
I remember that long time ago I saw a picture of an Australian Sportage engine compartment where those extra vacuum ports were used, so they are there for left hand Sportages, if I remember well.
 

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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, what did we learn tonight...

It doesn't seem to start shaking until it gets warmed up.

Sprayed all around the top of the engine, intake hose, air box, and around the canister with carb cleaner, and got Zero change or response from the engine.

Screen caps of Torque with the engine idling smoothly. I don't know what to think of most of the numbers, but figured they'd be useful.





The one thing I noticed is when it would surge or shake sitting parked idling, is the throttle % would go up and down without me touching the gas pedal. Does that mean my TPS is bad, or is there a way to clean/fix it?
 

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1999 Sportage A/T 4WD
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987 Posts
Your Sportage has got no vacuum leaks, because the LTFT1 is negative, at -3.9%, which means that your Sportage has got a rich issue, not a lean one. Do a more extensive test on the O2 1x1 V, because the one in your picture is too much short to evaluate your O2 sensor operation.

I am experiencing the same LTFT1 issue on my Sportage, but mine is worse because my Sportage has got -6.2% LTFT1, and I am also experiencing the same issue with the TPS that you have with your Sportage; I suspect an electrical cause and I am working on it, so let us stay tuned.
 

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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also, how do I check if the cat is clogged? I read that an easy symptom is the floor getting hot during extended trips, which definitely happened during the 4 hour trip to and from the coast.
 

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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know I'm throwing a lot of stuff up here, I'm using it as a place to organize and collect my repair efforts, but I definitely want y'all to know I very much appreciate the help.
 

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99 Sportage 4x4
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
When it shakes and struggles, the smell of gas is pretty strong.

Here is some data from when I unplugged the TPS. The idle revs went up and settled at about 1200, and it didn't shake or surge.

 

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Caribou, Otter, Buffalo
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First move would be to Pressure test the cooling system, then run the vehicle with the A/C off and asses the water situation again..

Time to do a compression test, report all data, dry then wet tests..

.. Philip
My post #2 , but figured the OP knew better as he did not respond or action tests..

... Philip

if it were a new to me ride i would be checking the timing belt/ woodruff keyway. Then compression test to see if it was worth throwing money at =)
 

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1999 Sportage A/T 4WD
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987 Posts
By the graph of your O2 sensor bank 1 sensor 2 I would say that your Sportage has no catalytic converters at all, perhaps they are empty. I think that should trigger a code on your car, so, with your OBD scanner, check if there are codes, present or stored.
 

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Also, how do I check if the cat is clogged? I read that an easy symptom is the floor getting hot during extended trips, which definitely happened during the 4 hour trip to and from the coast.
Another possibility is you have one of the few Sportages remaining with the (original) main Catalytic converter heat shield around it - look under the vehicle, parallel to the front driver's door for the main Cat. converter..

If that heat shield is on there, it will transfer heat to the passenger cabin, especially the driver's floor -> to the back passenger floor area.. That area heats up even w/o the heat shield on a long trip, with the shield on it's almost too hot to touch, especially in the back floor area. :eek:

Issue is that heat shield is just too close to the floorboard - there is not enough air gap between the heat shield and the floor for proper cooling.. If removed, it may (will) offer improvement. The heat shields here were removed, due to this, w/ no ill effects, FYI.

If no heat shield around the main Cat., forget everything you just read.

Then I would pull and physically inspect the ceramic honeycomb chamber in the pre-Cat (below the exhaust manifold), or just do an exhaust back-pressure test to make sure you don't have a restriction in the exhaust system (main cat -> muffler) .
 
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