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Discussion Starter #1
I was driving through the passes between Washington and Montana and the car started overheating while muscling up a massive hill. This was not a good place for this to be happening as there was hardly anything for miles. I'd lost some coolant somehow so I waited for it to cool down and refilled the radiator with some emergency water I had for just this exact reason. I finally got over the hill but it was still overheating. At some point, my thermostat suddenly shot up and the car just died while I was going 50-60 mph. So, I hitched a ride to the nearest inn and managed to get the car towed there where my dad picked me up with a trailer.

I wrote that out to explain some of the crap I've put this poor car through.

Anyway, I got the car running fine again and a few months later I even drove it 800 miles back home from my dad's and everything went great but now I'm having trouble with it.

I recently started losing power dramatically and quitting at stops. At some point, I couldn't make it home but managed to pull it to the curb and walk. That night, I got a ride back to it and managed to make it home. I replaced the spark plugs and it finally started up and drove fine for about a minute and then it started losing power again.

While replacing the spark plugs, I noticed oil was pooled up in the chambers getting progressively worse from front to back. Also, oil has very obviously been leaking all over the place but it hasn't looked too extreme. Everyone told me replacing the head gaskets was extremely expensive except my uncle who said I can just do it myself for vastly cheaper and learn a lot about the car in the process. I replaced the spark plugs regardless and tried to burn off the oil. I understand this is bad but I'm very hard up for cash and I lost my job because of this. It seemed to work but only for a few minutes. I contacted a mechanic and was told my head gaskets were likely shot but I should take it in and had the codes checked. I can't move the car more than half a mile and I have very little cash so I can't really do that.

So, I'd like some more opinions on this to get a better idea of what's going on. I'm almost ready to order a new gasket set but I'd rather not buy an entire set if I don't need to. The entire set is $30 on ebay so it's not a huge deal but, like I said, I'm broke and jobless for now.

Thank you very much in advance. I'll be keeping my eye on this thread.
 

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Caribou, Otter, Buffalo
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2,692 Posts
Unfortunately "checking the codes" will not confirm a bad head gasket...

You first need to complete a compression test and a coolant system pressure test...

... Philip
 

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2000 Sportage 4x4 , 1998 Saturn SC2
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65 Posts
Welcome, and we are sorry to hear your problems. Many good people here to help.

If its blowing alot of White smoke out the exhaust , the head gasket is blown. Also if it is not , check the oil level, if its higher that last time or over filled alot, the head gasket is blown. Also , if those two are OK, check the coolant in the radiator for motor oil mixed with the coolant, if there is muddy ( brown ) coolant that smells different than coolant, the head gasket is blown.

A cracked head can cause these symptoms as well and it may need to be checked for this after the head is removed.

Sorry for any bad news with this, but the head gasket is alot of work to change, but do-able.
You will get Intimate with your Sporty.



http://kiatechinfo.com/

Go here and join free, this is the Official Kia website. After joining go to " Service Info ", then select " model ", " Year ",

It is a free online shop mnual, you will need to join free to get access.


Another free shop manual download in RAR file is at https://www.dropbox.com/s/g8cxrlfalc72nbf/SPORT95-02.rar

Hope things get better for you soon.
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Cerato S Hatch Auto
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Yes, you need to confirm that the head gaskets are the problem before starting. Do the checks as suggested above. The oil you noticed while changing the plugs is most probably due to the rocker cover gasket(s) which are relatively easy to replace. Rocker gasket leaks are just messy, and not the cause of your major problems.

Head gaskets are a big job requiring time and tools. You don't really want to do it just for the experience. You need to remove lots of components, before attacking the cylinder head(s) and then get it all back together.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thank you very much cncman. The engine has never blown smoke except after I replaced the spark plugs. I'll do those other checks shortly. My car is sitting outside, it's raining, and I can't get it in the garage.
 

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1998 Kia Sportage 2WD Base Model
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306 Posts
You never stated your symptoms other than it doesn't drive well after overheating.

You could have a number of problems that have yet to be diagnosed.

One thing worth checking out would be to disconnect the harness to the MAF sensor and see if it idles/drives better (no sudden throttle movements though). If it does you have a vacuum leak likely at the intake manifold.
 
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