Question about 2002 Kia Rio

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2002 Kia Rio Temperature gauge rising a bit

I just noticed the temperature gauge rise from the middle of the second line, to the half line. When I put the window defroster on which uses the AC, the gauge went back to in between the two lines. Is it a problem with the antifreeze or water pump? I'm up to like 123600 something or so, I had the timing belt and water pump replaced at 66,000 and change.

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  • Joseph Murphy
    Joseph Murphy Dec 27, 2008

    Approx how much would it be to get the thermostat changed? I still need to get the passenger rear bearing replaced. When would you suggest I replace the timing belt? Kia suggests 60,000 miles, and its a interlaced engine that if the belt breaks, im pretty much stuck and can do damage to the engine. Should I replace the water pump too or just the timing belt? Kia told me the water pump is rare to go and it lasts like 100,000 miles or so.

  • Joseph Murphy
    Joseph Murphy Dec 27, 2008

    What should I do if replacing the thermostat doesn't fix the problem?

  • Joseph Murphy
    Joseph Murphy Dec 27, 2008

    When I take the hose off, the antifreeze will basically come out all over? About how much antifreeze do I add back into the radiator once I reconnect the hose?

    Do you suggest I change the water pump as well as the timing belt or just the timing belt since I replaced the water pump with the timing belt at like 66,000 something miles, from the dealer


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It could be engine overheating, once you are turning the defroster on you are acutally turning on the compressor which is usually used for AC. If the engine has a drain it will over heat a bit which sounds like what you are experiencing. Check to make sure your thermostat is not sticking and staying closed causing the temperature change. Did they change the thermostat when they did the water pump? If they didn't I would suggest you do that sooner than later since you have 123K miles on the car. Most likely this will fix your problem.

Posted on Dec 27, 2008

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  • Greg Dec 27, 2008

    I would suggest you change the timing belt if you have that high mileage. You can check the belt for cracking, if you see small cracks on the inside of the belt, then you should definately change it. The thermostat is pretty easy and not too expensive if you want to do it yourself. A thermostat runs from $35 to 65, then you will need a couple of gallons of antifreeze since most of it will drain when you remove the hose which attaches to the thermostat on the motor. I don't know if you are handy and can do it yourself or not. If you go to a shop they shouldn't charge you more than $130 or so to do the whole job.

    A timing belt ranges anywhere from $25 to 55 for the belt, then it's just the labor.

  • Greg Dec 27, 2008

    The cooling system has a few parts to it, you have your radiator which cools the fluid before it goes back to the engine, the thermostat which opens at certain temperatures depending on whether or not the engine requires hot water inside (winter). You then have a heater coil which is like a mini radiator inside you car, fluid passes through it and then your fan blows against it, thus making heat inside your car. There are a couple of sensors, such as one on the enging block which tells the gauge inside if the car is running cool or hot so the driver is aware of an over heating situation. If you change the thermostat and you are still having problems, then I would suggest you flush the entire system in the event you have a clog somewhere. You can do this yourself by running cool water through the radiator and having the heat on full so it circulates inside the car as well. Other than that, I can't think of anything else but check that the temperature gauge sensor isn't bad. It's pretty cheap to purchase and easy to change, usually it's near the water pump. Simply unscrew with a wrench, unplug the sensor and change. It's got to be one of the two (thermostat or sensor).

  • Greg Dec 27, 2008

    Are you doing the work yourself? If you are then I would suggest doing it all at once, Change your water pump, thermostat and hoses (two front from the radiator to the engine block). If you want to save a buck only have the thermostat changed, you usually don't change the water pump unless it's leaking but it may be better to get it done since you have high mileage, your choice.

    Timing belt is completely different, its also easy to change, usually there is a tensioner that you can pull back with a wrench, then simply follow the routing of the belt, it's usually displayed right under the hood.


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