2001 Kia Sportage Woes. Any Suggestions?


Old 04-28-08, 10:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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2001 Kia Sportage Woes. Any Suggestions?

I have owned this vehicle for a little over 4 yrs now, and it has been a reliable ride until recently.

It has now gotten where over half the time, you cannot get it to crank. It seems like it will do fine for a few hrs, then not start for an hr or so sometimes.

Here are a list of recent repairs made over the past few weeks trying to resolve the issue:

-Timing Belt Kit
-spark plugs
-a/c belt
-Serpentine belt
-plug wires
-fuel system tune up
-fuel system service
-valve cover 1
-r&r coolant temp. sensor

These were all repairs done at a local Gateway. Now 3 weeks and almost $1200 later, it still has the problem.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-29-08, 05:17 AM
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Not sure what Gateway is; auto repair place? If so, my first inclination would be to find another garage as it sounds like they are throwing part$ at it.

Okay, start with basics. When you say won't start I'm assuming you mean it will crank over but not fire. Even though you use the phrase, "cannot get it to crank", NONE of the parts you list has the slightest chance of keeping it from cranking, but they would be players in troubleshooting a crank-but-no-fire condition. Two things to do, (1) Determine if it is lacking fuel or spark when it cranks but won't fire and (2) have the codes read to see if there are any clues there; AutoZone will do it free, but don't go throwing more parts at it until you either post the code(s) back here or get advice from a knowledgable local source. Very possible you won't get any codes, but on the other hand you may.

To determine fuel or spark pull a plug wire and insert a screwdriver in the end. Making sure you are only gripping the insulated handle, hold the metal shaft of the screwdriver about a quarter inch from a ground source (metal) on the engine. Have someone crank and observe if you have a good spark jumping to ground.

Fuel is a little harder, but you can start by listening at the fuel filler while someone turns the key to "on" (not "start"); the fuel pump should humm for a few seconds while it pressures the fuel line.

If you have good spark and the fuel pump humms, an actual pressure test of the fuel pump would be a good idea; this will require test equipment.

If this really is a case of not cranking, battery cables/connections, starter solenoid, starter, ignition switch would be on the list.
Old 04-29-08, 06:03 AM
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Location: Shenandoah Valley
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yeah...i'm not sure i understand either. does it turn over but not start? or...does it not turn over at all??

2 very different situations...it sounds to me like it doesn't turn over at all by your description...but the list of stuff that's been done isn't aimed at repairing that condition. it's mostly maintenance and light repair stuff...which makes them more money, no doubt.

sometimes you just have to demonstrate for your service provider what it is exactly that you are having trouble with...here's an example. customer walks in and says "i need a tune up". i say ok...no problem...the car gets plugs, wires, cap, rotor, pcv valve, filters and perhaps a throttle body cleaning because i upsold the job. now the customer takes the vehicle and isn't happy because his hard starting cold is still there. there's 2 problems with this scenario...1) the customer diagnosed his own problem and assumed that a tune up would fix it and 2) I didn't ask why do you think you need a tune up.

my whole point is communication...todays customers are in a hurry most of the time because we lead very busy lives...and techs and service writers are under pressure to produce. the whole process is doomed unless one of us takes the responsibility to make sure a good communication takes place. what i hear is a customer that's unhappy at spending $1200 and still has a starting (cranking) problem but it's hard to tell if there has been GOOD communication.
Old 04-29-08, 11:53 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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thanks guys

I have communicated the problem very clear to the mechanics.

I do mean, it seems like its not firing at certain times or not getting fuel. Sorry for the confusion. It does turn over.

I have also replaced the battery and had the fuel pressure tested, they said that was ok.

I get no codes from the diagnostics.

Where are the fuel filter and fuel pump located on this vehicle?
I can't find a repair manual anywhere for it.

thanks again.
Old 04-29-08, 01:14 PM
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let me add, that when you can get the car started, it runs very smoothly.
Old 04-29-08, 03:11 PM
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Fuel pump will be in the gas tank. Filter usually up under the vehicle between the tank and the engine.

Going back to my first post, when it's not firing you need to try to narrow it down to spark or fuel, otherwise you could be going down the wrong fork in the road.

Additional question: You say they checked fuel pressure. Was the pressure check done when the car was in the won't-start condition? It's possible the pump is operating intermittently and if pressure was checked when it was "start-able" (if that's a word) it may still read okay pressure part of the time.

What do you say, carguy?
Old 04-30-08, 02:54 PM
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Ok. Update.

I did the fuel pump test as suggested, when the car is having a spell, I get a series of clicks from the fuel pump. What does this mean?

Is there any other way to test the firing?, I can't get to the plugs on this thing.

Also, does anyone know what type of diagnostic tool autozone uses to pull the codes? I would like to purchase one.

Thanks all.

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