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INTRODUCTION:​

The purposes of this writeup, are: to Help you understanding the Relay & Fuse Box that came on the second generation of the Kia Sephia; how to find problems in its electrical distribution, and how to repair them in a safe and reliable way. This is an informative and illustrative writeup and I do not assume any responsibility for anything you might do with this information. Always be Careful before attempting any repairs.

If you don't have the Skills / Tools \ Knowledge, better let the professionals to do the repairs for you.

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First Part: The Relay & Fuse Box

The Relay & Fuse Box on the second generation of the Kia Sephia, is made by DELPHI, is very compact and complex at the same time; an interesting characteristic of it, is that all the Power input 12V (+) is received on a single point of it, which is a bolt called the "B+" and then, the power is distributed inside the Box, from that point, using a short metal plate for the main outputs, and using a bunch of copper wires for the rest of Relays & Fuses.

Prior to Repair anything, you need to Understand it and how it works; so I share here with you, Photos of the eight layers that compose the Relay & Fuse Box that I dissected, which belonged to a 2000 Kia Sephia, similar to our "KiaStein" so, let's Start!
 

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The first layer is the upper Cover:



Notice the B+ symbol on the lower right area, this will be our Guide.

Then, it comes the second layer, which is the inner Surface:



Here is where all the Relays & Fuses are Located.

There is a Bolt that receives the Power input at the B+ location.

An average Driver only will access these two layers.​
 

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Then, after removing the inner Surface...



(the white squares are nuts, the box unscrews from upside down using a 7 mm socket)

...you will reach the third layer,

which is the "intermediate connections" complex.

Here you can see it, to the left of the inner surface upside down:


 

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The "intermediate connections" complex

The "intermediate connections" complex...



...goes between the inner surface (or upper base), and...



...the lower Base, where the wiring plugs goes.​
 

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Here it gets... "interesting"

The "intermediate connections" complex, is a three layer plate, that unites the connections that comes and goes from the car's wiring, with the different Relays and Fuses; it has three plastic layers.

The center one has a bunch of metal pins that goes up and down thru the other two plastic layers; but also, there is a group of various, Non-insulated copper wires hiding on it; that delivers Power 12V (+) to the Relays and Fuses, from the B+ terminal.





Also, said copper wires, delivers switching signals among relays:

 

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The non-insulated copper wires hiding underneath the "intermediate connections" complex, are held in place by the plastic layer, sandwiched in place, and they makes the complex interconnections by placing its ends pressed in small "V" shaped openings at the base of each metal pin.




So, if any of these copper wires that are only "touching" the metal pins on the complex, gets dirty, gets moisture, or gets loose and develops an electrical false contact; you Must change the Whole Box, because once you open this, it becomes terribly damaged, and thus means that it is designed from factory to be unrepairable.
 

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I really felt Dissapointed by DELPHI, the makers of these Boxes, because such level of Complexity, requires Better materials and Safer construction... I bet they wanted not only to save space, but also money, with these Boxes that always are working at High temperatures for prolongated periods of time, sometimes in hot humid weathers, and using A/C, Headlamps, Horn, etc... it is a Miracle that these old Kias are still on the Road... and the culprit of their electrical Gremlins, usually are these "Relay & Fuse" Boxes.

I've seen various Kia Sephias that already had lost their headlamp's Low beam, or the A/C's Blower, because the tiny Wiring working, heated the plastics enough to Melt he plugs and / or the plastic that holds the connecting pins, from the "intermediate connections" Complex; causing electrical false contacts and / or burning the connected ends of the Wires, making them to loose their hability to transfer the electrical current in the proper way...

Continue reading, I'll explain how to Fix those electrical issues, later.
 

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After the three layers that are the "intermediate connections" complex, comes the seventh layer, which is the Lower Base (or under base), it consists in a plastic plate where the aforementioned complex, sits above; and also it is where the four different Plugs with the car's wiring, comes to be attached below, on its underside.


Here you can see the Lower Base (or under base) with some Plugs still attached:



(The tiny pins comes thru it, from the "intermediate connections" Complex,
these screws are holding everything together; needs a 7mm socket wrench)


Here's the same Lower Base, without the four main Plugs:



(The remaining two plugs, comes directly from the "B+" terminal,
and delivers non-switched, fused Power from the main -big- fuses' line.)


Here you can see in detail, one of the wiring Plugs:



The wires and the metal contacts are tiny.​
 

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Part 2 of 2

Second Part: The Problems and their Solutions


As you have seen in the previous Photos, the wiring is tiny and works pretty Hot, there are many metallic parts that easily gets loose, might get humid and / or corroded, and some parts might get burnt, etc...




...causing electrical false contacts, which are the root of the electrical problems and fails that these Kias suffers, with age and usage, on their different accesories and parts.
 

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Kia sells brand new Boxes, for these models:








And that could be the route to follow, for those lucky ones who has their cars with the wiring and plugs intact, where the electrical problem lies inside the mere Box.

It comes without the plugs as they are part of the Car's wiring, but it is Plug and Play.

However, to find a Sephia with intact wires and plugs is pretty Rare, because the main cause of electrical problems, is the Wiring that gets Hot and usually Melts the Plugs, then Burns the Wires...
 

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Sephia Vs. Spectra Boxes

Others might want to swap Boxes, the old used one from the Sephia with another used one from another Sephia, out from a Junk Yard's car... but who knows if the used one is Good?

The first generation of Kia Spectra, shares a lot with the second generation of the Kia Sephia, even their "Relay & Fuse" Boxes, looks alike, but they're Different; not only in the fact that the Sephia ones have a center bolt to hold the cover on, while the Spectra ones have plastic tabs...





...they are Wired Differently ... :eek: ... so, Dismiss the idea of using a Spectra Box.​
 

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Solving a specific and common problem: The Blower


The Blower in the dashboard, for the Air Conditioner, draws more current from the electrical system than the average, and is one of things that fails the most on these Sephias; mainly because it keeps pretty Hot the wiring and the plugs during usage...


...and as I described before, the materials on the Box and the plugs are not intended for such situation during prolongated periods of time; so firstly, the plug melts, causing intermitent fails of the Blower...


...finally, the end of the Wire at the plug, gets burnt and stops conducting electricity as it should. So, the blower stops working, despite that the rest of the Air Conditioner system, continues working flawlessly, as it should.
 

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I will explain this procedure to be easy to understand.

Inside the "Relay & Fuse Box" two parts controls the Power sent to the Blower:


A Fuse and a Relay. The idea is that the Fuse provides Safety to the Circuit, and the Relays assures that the Blower will Not function with the engine OFF, so it only provides Power with the ignition; thus prevents battery drains.
 

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The Blower on our "KiaStein" started to fail since a couple of months ago; sometimes it worked flawlessly, sometimes it didn't; always the rest of the A/C system worked as it should. Then one day, the Blower completely stopped working.

There was a soft smell like burnt plastic, on the car everytime we used the A/C, since around six months ago...

The A/C is a must here in the Caribbean; not due to the warm climate, but due to our huge downpours: It lets us drive safely, by keeping clear the windshield; so, I had to fix it.
 

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And I found that the wire that goes as Power Output from the Relay to the Blower...



...was Burnt; so I cut it from the Plug.​
 

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I decided to place a new, stronger Relay for the Blower, outside the "Relay & Fuse Box", with stronger wiring; So, I obtained a used but good Relay plus its Socket and also a protective rubber hood, out from a newer Kia Spectra from the Junk Yard; this relay is Bosch style and is rated @ 30 Amps, enough for the Blower.

 
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