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2003 Kia Rio
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello Kia experts, mechanics, and aficionados!
I just had something really strange happen to my Rio. I've noticed that when the air is really cold (like -20 -30) my car's idle speed quickly starts climbing when I start the car: +3,000 RPM! I never let it get higher than that before shutting it off and restarting, but I think it would just keep climbing if I had let it. Has anyone else had anything like this happen to them?

Just as a side note once I turn the car on and off three or so times the idle comes down to a more appropriate level, and once the car is warmed up a bit there is no hint of an issue.

My guess is that it's just the super cold air reeking havoc on one of my sensors. Does that sound anywhere close to right?

Okay, here is where things get weird. I was driving this evening and it was quite cold (-2 feels like -28) and I hit a fairly large snow drift (1.5'-2' deep) because of the low visibility. Well immediately afterwords I noticed the same kind of thing going on. When I put the clutch in and removed my foot from the gas, the engine would race. So I turned off the car and popped the hood to see if the throttle linkage was jammed with snow or something, it wasn't but there was a good deal of snow in the engine bay.

It was dark out, I was in the middle of nowhere, and in the heart of a blizzard so I decided to push on, making sure to shift quickly and just keep it pretty slow. After a short while (5 min or so) the RPMs seemed to be climbing more slowly when I put in the clutch and after about 15 minutes the unwanted acceleration had all but quit and seemed to be back to normal running condition.

I haven't had a chance to look it over just because of how cold it was outside, so I guess I will start by asking around here. Has anyone had either of these two problems happen to them? High idle during very cold starts or the engine wanting to accelerate by itself after an impact with a snow drift/bank?
 

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Super Moderator
2008 SpectraSX, 2014 Optima LX,2006 Jeep Liberty, Linux Mint Mate
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6,923 Posts
Do a search on IAC in the rio forms..
The IAC can cause the problem(s) you describe..
Especially "if" it hasn't been cleaned in a long time...

BTW.... You HAVE replaced the timing belt on this car HAVEN"T you???
There are LOTS of RIOs of your model that have been JUNKED because the TB was not replaced EVERY 60k miles or 5yrs...

Read the RIO area and see why...
Dave
 

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2003 Kia Rio
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No I haven't. :( I know that it has to be done and soon. I've read the horror stories and seen the pictures of when they break, and it's not pretty.
 

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2002 Kia Rio, 2011 Kia Sorento 2005 f 250 1996 geo metro 1992 f 150
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1,023 Posts
Burr that's cold dimitri. Do you get a check engine light when it happens? If you have or can borrow a scan tool that wil help you not just a code reader. I would think the cold is one thing and the snow was another. Do like dave says check the iac valve it's easy to clean but not when it's -20 degrees outside. http://www.kiatechinfo.com/ for service info free to USA residents. Make sure your air intake temp sensor and coolant sensor are ok. Sound's like something is sticking mechanically when its cold outside or just the electronics can't handle that much cold. And when it got snow inside the engine bay water got into the electrical system and when the engine heat heats up the snow and it evaporates the idle comes down again. Check your electrical connections. Hope you have a warm place to do it and best of luck with it. And do get that timming belt and it's compents replaced ASAP. Reguard's Ronjohn
 

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2003 Kia Rio
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11 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Ronjon, I did not get a CEL any time during the whole thing. I'm wondering if, like you said, it's just a bad reaction to the cold. When it's that cold out some of the interior electronics start acting funny: the radio volume never turns totally down, door dinger makes more of a screeching than dinging, and some of my climate control panel lights don't turn on right away.
 
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