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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm not sure what to include. I'm hoping y'all can help me out with anything in this blurb. I'll keep looking but I haven't found much.

I got my kia sportage lxs* in summer 2020.
Winter 2020 was the worst winter I've had from any vehicle in my entire life.
Block heater helps slightly.
Parked outside. No garage available.
Car did not reach running temp - gauge barely moved with hours of in town and hwy driving at a time. Issues started at - 11c

At - 24 and lower it ran extremely rough. Was told it was fine. Idle was very low sounding like an older 1980s with its idle too low. "no error codes sorry we can't do anything about it".
Stop lights it would idle down disgustingly low and almost stall when going to take off. Had to put in park to idle higher.
(I live in a valley town so I'm not driving flats here. It's hilly.)

If I had children I would have not been able to safely drive with them in my car as it refused to give heat. It was so cold in my car last winter the plastic near my passenger rear door cracked and they refused to replace it - despite the reason it cracked was because my car wouldn't warm up which you'd think isnt normal but ok.

I've had a couple stalls over the last year.
My passenger light assembly was going to be replaced. Ended up replaced in the following incident.

Had a deer incident.
Now my car has a new radiator among other things. It can come up to temp better. I actually have had warm air (even though it's slow to come) in the cabin now for winter 2021. I don't hit full running temp unless I'm pulling hwy hills when it's below - 18.
We hit - 36 here last week. The whole time we were - 23 and lower I had an even worse rough idle and no time nor availability to bother the dealership again.
Last week my ignition wouldn't turn like it was locked.. Took 10 min.

Temperature broke to - 5 for 2 days. Seemed happier again
Today it was - 15 and lower again. Idle is a bit ugly again.
Today put in reverse to leave driveway and it did nothing. Backup cam came on, dash said R.
No idle change. Put in park and second try to back up worked.
Drove a couple hours hwy and in town.
3 hours into my drive now heading home I was going 70ish km and going to pass on the hwy when it opened up. Blizzard but roads are still clear.
I accelerate and it goes to take off rpm going from 2.5 - 3.8ish normal. Then blah. Nothing. No warning. No nothing. Just snatches away it's power back to 2kish rpm.
In sport mode. Abruptly went from 70 to 58km on a hwy damn near got rear ended. No reason for any of this and I was on bare pavement.

It did this twice. I pulled over and called the dealership to see if they knew anything.
I have never had anything like this happen before in any vehicle.
The closest I can say is when you lose power when the traction control bs comes on and tells you no.

How can I trust a vehicle that can't move it. This is ridiculous.
Has anybody had any of these issues?

I have 33800km on this car. It has the worst winter performance I've ever seen and that includes work class ford's from the 80s no cabin heaters 馃ぃ

Meanwhile my 2010 sante fe had zero issues and we resold it at 200k km. It had its original rear coupler for God sake.

Can anybody point me in the right direction to show these dudes at the dealership?
I'm tired of the run around that "there's no codes" "we can't do anything". I'm paying 38k for a dodgy car.
*edited its a lxs
 

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2020 EX KIA Sportages, 2021 Hyundai KONA, 2010 Jeep Wrangler JK
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275 Posts
The only thing I can think of is possibly the thermostat is sticking open. I think I'd start there and change that, possibly with a higher temp one. Most antifreezes are a 50/50 mix in vehicles and it might possibly help to bump yours up to a 60/40 or so mix at the temps you are operating at. I live in the Pennsylvania mountains where it gets cold, "not as cold as where your at", and I have no heat issues with either of my Sportages, including our 2020. As far as the reverse issue, my Jeep will be sluggish in extreme cold after sitting over night occasionally. I just let it warm up awhile before moving it. There was also a post in another forum about a heat issue. A person responded asking if the person ran their heater on defrost all the time. In that particular vehicle the AC compressor kicked on with the heat in defrost mode. It was advised to use dash or floor mode and split defrost/floor mode. Person stated they ran in defrost all the time and switching to dash gave them heat ??
 

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and ty for the comment!
Apparently my coolant is good for - 55 so they said it's "awesome".
When it's below - 15 my car idles for 10 min or more usually while I'm clearing snow or ice off it.
When it didn't go into R it had been "warming up" for 20 minutes because I ended up on a phone call.

I don't get cabin heat when I turn off defrost - it just fogs up fastish.
I only start to feel heat inside after my car has actually registered almost to the proper heat temp on the dash (half of the temp gauge). If I switch off the defrost before that I just end up with fog.

I feel like if other people aren't having temperature issues with their Sportages me asking them to replace my thermostat wouldn't be outrageous. Especially saying it should be warranty.

Is that a stretch? I certainly don't make enough to start replacing parts myself and I know a newer vehicle should not be doing these things lol.

Tyty
 

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2020 Sorento SX, 3.3L AWD
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1,350 Posts
3 hours into my drive now heading home I was going 70ish km and going to pass on the hwy when it opened up. Blizzard but roads are still clear.
I accelerate and it goes to take off rpm going from 2.5 - 3.8ish normal. Then blah. Nothing. No warning. No nothing. Just snatches away it's power back to 2kish rpm.
In sport mode. Abruptly went from 70 to 58km on a hwy damn near got rear ended. No reason for any of this and I was on bare pavement.
Dropping to 2K sounds like it's going into "limp home" mode.
Limp Mode: Causes and what to do about it
 

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2016 Sportage 2.0crdi aut 4wd
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With that kind of severe heat problems in a gasoline car, I'd not be happy. Thermostat is the first place to look for that kind of symptoms. Easy and cheap job usually, though I have never done that on Sportage.

I live near arctic circle here in Skandinavia and have a diesel Sportage, which makes things much harder in the cold, because these engines are so efficient that they produce almost no excess heat to keep the cabin warm. Also starting is very difficult in extreme coldness, because modern diesel engines have very low compression to reduce NOx emissions. To fight the coldness I put a big piece of cardboard in front of the radiator every winter. I do that to all of my cars, even gasoline ones. I just make sure there's about 20x20cm hole in the cardboard and try to aim it just in front of the radiator fan in case of warmer weather or heavy right foot. I don't put any cardboard in front of the intercooler, because with my driving habits and with almost doubled engine power (136hp originally, now 240hp) denying cool intake charge would be stupid. I also have additional 5,5kW diesel gasoline/diesel heaters on all my cars, which I can operate with my cellphone. That way I don't need to do cold starts ever (not even at grocery shop) and actually even the cabin is preheated and I really rarely need to even scrape the windows. With really cold weather I can keep the additional heater on while driving if I want, but usually it's enough just to preheat the engine (5min) and keep it on for another 5min to make the car warm.

At least on my Sportage I need to put it on a lift and open under engine cover to put the cardboard in. It took me about 10min to do and when the coldness lasts almost half a year, it's a very small inconvenience for all the confort it gives.

What comes to acceleration problems, limp mode can do that. The car should be checked with some diagnostic tester. There should be a trace left in the computer even if the problem goes away with warmer weather.
 

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2018 Sportage SX Turbo Black with beige interior
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How close are you to the dealership and the reason I ask is take it over and let it sit outside over night have them start it up in the morning and see what they say.
Have they drive you home at night and pick you up in the morning don't let them start the car until you are there.

Just an idea.
 

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The thermostat fails COLD so that is almost certainly your problem. Its real easy to check. Drive the car on the highway for five miles out, five miles back. Park and leave the engine running. Raise the hood and grab the upper radiator hose. If you can keep your hand on it, its running cold. This has to be a factory defective thermostat. I feel sorry for you but really, the first time you didn't get heat, you should have taken it in. There are other reasons you would not get heat in the car with the engine running at the correct temperature, but judging by your description of how its running, I'd say the engine is running cold. This is very bad, especially when it goes on for a long time because a cold engine demands more fuel, and yours never warms up. As soon as it gets fixed, you need to change the oil and filter because it most likely is contaminated with fuel. The interior of your engine will have a lot of carbon so start using a fuel system cleaner with every tank of fuel for about a month or 1500K.
 

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The thermostat fails COLD
That's correct, they are designed to fail open.
Early days they would fail in any position, but later years they got smarter.

Also correct, 90% of an engines wear occurs when its cold and warming up.
 

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2020 Sportage LX 2.4L AWD
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309 Posts
Id also try diff fuel for ur running issues. Have had similar experiences with a diff vehicle in the cold with a certain gas station. Switched up and issue went away.
 

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The thermostat fails COLD so that is almost certainly your problem. Its real easy to check. Drive the car on the highway for five miles out, five miles back. Park and leave the engine running. Raise the hood and grab the upper radiator hose. If you can keep your hand on it, its running cold. This has to be a factory defective thermostat. I feel sorry for you but really, the first time you didn't get heat, you should have taken it in. There are other reasons you would not get heat in the car with the engine running at the correct temperature, but judging by your description of how its running, I'd say the engine is running cold. This is very bad, especially when it goes on for a long time because a cold engine demands more fuel, and yours never warms up. As soon as it gets fixed, you need to change the oil and filter because it most likely is contaminated with fuel. The interior of your engine will have a lot of carbon so start using a fuel system cleaner with every tank of fuel for about a month or 1500K.
HI! I took it in almost immediately winter 2020 and was told no error codes nothing we can do. And I let it rough idle in the parking lot and got a shrug. "it's cold out".
Cardboard didn't help last year. I haven't tried it this year but I will be most likely tmr - it does attempt to warm up this cold snap (last cold snap it did not try at all without putting my foot into it on hills on purpose). I'm assuming the thermostat was replaced when I ended up with a non stock radiator after the deer this past summer.
I'll be calling them tmr to verify if they ever did reset the ECM etc - I've been running around online and saw somebody noticed their car had to relearn to idle in extreme cold.

They checked the logs yesterday and said apparently there was nothing. I'm wondering if there was, but it was barely within parameters so they said nothing.

Once I'm working at a better job this spring I'll be able to throw my own money at it again by choosing a shop that I actually believe. Until then I keep trying to get them to pay attention to this car at the dealership since I'm not charged.
However they book weeks out.

All my maintence milestones have been done on time or early. I switched to synth also. My oil is usually swapped before the 8k km mark theyput on it because of their booking availability.
Up until 3 weeks ago they never offered me shuttle service nor hinted they had it available (covid). So leaving it there overnight wasn't an option living rural.

If I had a better job /credit I would have traded this in someplace else the first time I was treated like a dummy like a new car should run like a crap box.

I asked for a new thermostat to try that and I was told I'd have to pay out of pocket.
 

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ty all of your comments are awesome! I'll be calling the dealership tmr to verify a couple things they said they did / checked and then discussing what you guys all mentioned.

Going to put cardboard on it again this week experiment with it better hopefully it helps this year. Last year it didn't.
Asking about resetting the ECM /transmission doing it or if it had been done.
If it does continue to rough idle I'll be dumping it with them so they can cold start it and I guess walking to work in - 30.
Cause that's what you do when you have a new car 馃槀
Definitely going to test out that thermostat trick one of you mentioned.
Any other ideas input is greatly appreciated! Sorry if I didn't cover something.
Oh! Gas. I didn't notice a difference between chevron husky or Petro.
I now go to the Esso and do premium every so often when it's available at a good price.

Recommended engine cleaner? Seafoam? 馃ぃ
 

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2019 Kia Sportage. SX with AWD. 2.0L Direct Injected Turbocharged & Intercooled Gas.
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Your not leaving the HVAC position selector on 'defrost' are you?
The A/C compressor will cycle more often to 'clear the windscreen', even in the bone chilling weather, potentially taking away what little heat your creating.
Modern engines are produced with very precise tolerances. Because of this friction is at a minimum, in other words, its difficult to create heat within the engine while running.
In this bone chilling cold try the cardboard in front of the radiator again. And / Or, run an extension cord out to the vehicle block heater.
You really need to find a garage or build a basic shelter to park in......
 

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So there has been a collision and radiator was replaced? That would have been good to know earlier but it won't make it run cold. The only thing that can make it run cold is the thermostat. If you think it can't warm up because of the cold weather, simply block the water flow through the radiator and I guarantee you it will overheat in ten minutes no matter how cold it is. I can tell the thermostat in mine is beginning to wear out because it takes it longer to warm up, but its nowhere near the replacement point.
But back to the radiator job - I'm starting to think they may have left the thermostat out if they had to remove it for some reason. I know it seems unlikely but judging by what you say, the car is running like one with no thermostat. However, a completely failed one would have pretty much the same symptoms so the only thing to do is to put a new one in.
 

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Your not leaving the HVAC position selector on 'defrost' are you?
The A/C compressor will cycle more often to 'clear the windscreen', even in the bone chilling weather, potentially taking away what little heat your creating.
Modern engines are produced with very precise tolerances. Because of this friction is at a minimum, in other words, its difficult to create heat within the engine while running.
In this bone chilling cold try the cardboard in front of the radiator again. And / Or, run an extension cord out to the vehicle block heater.
You really need to find a garage or build a basic shelter to park in......

1) no. I was using the split floor dash heat. Until I start fogging up which doesn't take long.
Otherwise Id have to leave windows open. Which is fine if my engine was actually giving heat.
Even if I was only getting moderate heat I'd be fine with that if my engine temp needle ever moved. It rarely doesn't until its under hill hwy speed load for a handful or more minutes. And then not that much does it move anyways.

2) I should be able to buy a bra for it if this is an issue. I have tried cardboard it did basically nothing.

3) I do use the block heater. - 5 and below instead of - 15 and below because of how garbage my car responds to cold.
Considering others don't have this issue I shouldn't have to plug it in until - 15 at least. I've had a block heater since prior to its first winter.
Before this my 2010 hyundai didn't even need a block heater before - 60. And my 1981 f250 didn't need one either.
For talking about efficiency this engine has one of the worst ratings for fuel mileage for its year and size
馃檮

Are you suggesting I qualify for a mortgage to by a place with a garage? I can't build one nor can I have a garage in a trailer park where I rent.
Any places inside my price range have open carports at best.
If it needed a garage they should have said that.

The sales team assured me this car is ok for winters and I explained my region (5 hours north of Langley bc) gets - 40 sometimes and I needed a reliable winterized vehicle. And they said oh yea these are fantastic it'll do decently!
 

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would verify cold antifreeze level.... make sure radiator and bottle are full.

I would also NOT run the heater fan on high speeds. The heater core will overcool the engine with the fan foolishly cranked all the way.

And, I would get a 2nd opinion on any crash repairs.

You are in a cold enough climate to use synthetic oil and pan heaters. What block heater is your vehicle equipped with and how long is it plugged in for prior to engine starting?

Poor running is garbage fuel or possibly fuel injector issue...dirty. Are you running toptier fuel or a bottle of FI cleaner at least 3-4 already? OBD scan for codes.

None of the Hyundia/Kia thermostats that I've changed were fail open types. I would verify that it has a thermostat and a working temp sender.

Post a dash video of the commute showing the gauge not going to normal.
KIA and craftsman auto verified my antifreeze strength.

I usually run my fan on 2/4 until I actually need it to move air. Apparently 1-3 settings are casual air flow and 4 is hey look air! Apparently this is normal

I can't afford 110$ an hour to verify repairs. I told the dealership what was replaced and gave them the list I got and they said it all looked good back in Oct.
We have provincial government insurance and I have the replacement parts insurance with kia to get new parts vs used parts. I chose the best certified place in town to rebuild it.

I switched it to synth oil my second oil change at 10000km.
Pan heater was not suggested or advised.
I have the only engine block heater they said was kia certified. And I had to pay up front bevause the stupid dealership I bought it from lied about winterizing it and didn't include the block heater in my purchase price. Everybody loves forking out another $600 when their work is random during covid lockdowns.

I've used a scanner for codes. I didn't see any on a basic one. My friend borrowed his mechanics no codes.
Fuel has been fine up here.
I've only done the cleaning that has been suggested. Which was not injection cleaners - unless that was part of one of the tier maintenance packages. (so probably once if a tier 4 requires that).

*** how do i verify the thermostat etc? Just go to the dealership and ask?

Next cold snap I will be recording with my cell phone when I can (since it's technically illegal and I don't have a dash cam atm).

In warmer temps (lets say +1- - 5c) how long should these take to register temperature on its gauge?

Poor running is related to my idle going too low for the conditions. Either it doesn't understand its super cold out or the fuel ratio is not good for that moment. It dips to around 600 at a light in the cold. Summer it sat closer to 900/1k.
 

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So there has been a collision and radiator was replaced? That would have been good to know earlier but it won't make it run cold. The only thing that can make it run cold is the thermostat. If you think it can't warm up because of the cold weather, simply block the water flow through the radiator and I guarantee you it will overheat in ten minutes no matter how cold it is. I can tell the thermostat in mine is beginning to wear out because it takes it longer to warm up, but its nowhere near the replacement point.
But back to the radiator job - I'm starting to think they may have left the thermostat out if they had to remove it for some reason. I know it seems unlikely but judging by what you say, the car is running like one with no thermostat. However, a completely failed one would have pretty much the same symptoms so the only thing to do is to put a new one in.
This was before the accident and after.
The deer incident replaced the radiator.

I did say that in my actual post.
 

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Antifreeze strength has nothing to do with it. An engine block heater has only one purpose - to keep the oil warm for easy starting in extremely cold weather. On a properly functioning vehicle, its okay to run the heater fan on 'high'. If coolant cools off, the thermostat closes a little to keep it at operating temp. You should really do what I said and feel the upper hose from the engine to the radiator to see how hot it is. Even without a thermostat, the system will develop some heat and probably will run almost normally in hot weather. With an open thermostat, you are in big trouble in cold weather. The use of a radiator block like a piece of cardboard is never recommended because it can result in inadequate airflow over the engine, exhaust manifold, etc.
We know its the thermostat, not the climate system, because of your observation that the engine temperature gauge is staying lower than normal.
 

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2020 Kia Sportage SX AWD and 1988 Mercedes 300CE
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Beyond a probable issue with the thermostat, another possibility to check is adequate coolant level or air trapped in the coolant system. I have witnessed both of these scenarios demonstrating no temp gage movement and a lack of heat.

With a cold engine (before it's been run at all) open the hood, open the coolant reservoir, and check coolant level. Leave the reservoir open! Then start and run the engine (do not drive it) for approximately 10 - 15 minutes (occasionally rev the engine briefly 2,000 - 2,500 rpm). With the engine still running at idle, check the coolant level again. If the reservoir is empty or too low add coolant to the appropriate level (close the reservoir while the engine is still running). Let the engine idle for 3 - 4 minutes while watching your temp gage.

If the problem was related to insufficient coolant, or air in the system, you should obtain proper operating temp on your gage, and heat from the HVAC system. If not, you're back to a probable thermostat problem.

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2020 sportage lxs
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Antifreeze strength has nothing to do with it. An engine block heater has only one purpose - to keep the oil warm for easy starting in extremely cold weather. On a properly functioning vehicle, its okay to run the heater fan on 'high'. If coolant cools off, the thermostat closes a little to keep it at operating temp. You should really do what I said and feel the upper hose from the engine to the radiator to see how hot it is. Even without a thermostat, the system will develop some heat and probably will run almost normally in hot weather. With an open thermostat, you are in big trouble in cold weather. The use of a radiator block like a piece of cardboard is never recommended because it can result in inadequate airflow over the engine, exhaust manifold, etc.
We know its the thermostat, not the climate system, because of your observation that the engine temperature gauge is staying lower than normal.
The last 2 days it's been warmer. - 1 up to +5 c
It warms up 1/4 gauge casually now once I start to drive.

I'll be trying your hose trick when the temp drops again. I'd be shocked if it doesn't drop again once more this season.

I'll be trying what the next commenter mentioned about the reservoir /air.

I honestly do believe it's the thermostat but "there's no error codes so we can't do anything" (so please leave) is the attitude. Apparently replacing it out of pocket is $300+ 馃檮
And I have no guarantee they'll file it for warranty work if it does fix the issue.

I've never wanted it to get super cold outside again so bad 馃ぃ
 

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2020 Kia Sportage SX AWD and 1988 Mercedes 300CE
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If you do a YouTube search for replacement of the thermostat, you'll find a gentleman providing pretty simple directions for how to get to and replace your thermostat. Kiapartsnow.com has a new thermostat for $18.72 plus shipping.

I just don't see $300+ for the part and effort required to do this.

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