Question about 2002 Kia Sportage

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2002 Kia Sportage 2WD cranks but won't start

The problem occurred suddenly. Other than a very slight oil leak and trans in need of repair the car ran great. I have driving and in gear when this occurred. I didn't hear anything abnormal, and all gauges were normal. No jurking or vibration, it just immediately stalled, and won't start anymore.

Initially I started with the fuel system. Checked fuel pump (mfg date of 04/2006 and installed 08/2006) working. Checked lines and filter, all clean and flowing well. Checked relay and fuse, both good and working... I read one article from someone with this same issue saying that the relay was clicking like crazy and that bypassing the relay to force the pump on would verify a bad part. I tried that as well as replacing the relay with a new part, no solution found yet. I tried disconnecting the intake and spraying starter fluid and starting. This did not produce a single difference. The only thing with fuel delivery that I don't know how to do is check pressure, but I really don't think this is the issue.

Next items I checked (after reading other articles I found that this was unnecessary but I did it anyway), the Mass Airflow Sensor, Idle Air Sensor and Throttle Position Sensor. No problems. The Idle Air sensor makes a buzzing sound when the ignition is on and gets quite hot quickly so I replaced it but the new on does the same but not as loud or hot, so I don't know.
Then I pulled the intake to get to the plugs and coils, I was told that the coil should have .3 - .9 ohms on the primary and 14.5 - 20 ohms off the secondary. I was reading nothing off either side so I went to the parts store and had them test a brand new coil and they couldn't get any reading from theirs either. So I am not quite sure what you are supposed to do to get a proper reading, but the new and old ones test exactly the same so at this point assuming they are good since they were replaced a year ago anyway. I was able to test the resisters inside the secondary boot and they are for sure good at 5 ohms a piece. The spark plugs were changed for factory NGKs as well and all the wires have been replaced because they were not so great.
At this point I had found something saying the primary computer may be shot (I doubt it but), the only way I could test it at all was to take a multimeter and read varying voltages coming from the wiring that connects to the coils. When turning the ignition I get switching voltages from 9 to 11 DC volts. I don't know what they should be but at least there is something there. An interesting point to note at this time is the engine does exactly the same thing whether the coils are connected or not.

The only other things I have read point to timing belt and compression. So I am going to get a compression test done first because that is easier than getting to the timing belt. What are the correct pressure ratings? Does anyone know how to test the timing belt without taking it all apart?

If anyone has suggestions I would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you

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  • Tim Jul 02, 2009

    There is NO spark of any kind at plugs. Relays (main and fuel) both quadruple checked and good. Relay panel checked by directly jumping the wires and all component respond correctly (pump pumps, sensors activate, etc).

    I have absolutely NO compression readings on my compression gauge at all four cylinders. None at all, which I think is pretty strange, since my gauge is easily readable down to less than 5lbs. and it's hard to believe that all 4 cylinders would be that bad all at the same time.

    I found a posting with solution stating "the hydraulic tappets have bled down due to lack of oil"... fill with oil and "crank the engine for a few minutes... without the plugs and allow the tappets to pressurize with oil"
    I checked oil level and it is in fact pretty low and probably has been for a while. What and where are these tappets? And how would that make the engine loose all compression?

    I am going to check the timing belt still because of no getting any spark, but does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Tim Jul 12, 2009

    All fixed.

    Thank you for your suggestion Paul, but this was fixed up last week. The timing belt was in fact broken and once replaced, it brought compression back but I still was not getting any spark. Which by the way, if anyone is experiencing this scenario (cranks, no start, compression, no spark) then your timing belt at least still on and timed well enough to have the calves in a decent position.

    When you take a compression reading at this point you will only get about 65-75 psi of compression even with a strong battery or jump start.

    The no spark CAN be caused by the timing being out but is still less likely than the other possibilities and they are the two sensors that have to be working for the computer to even deliver voltage to the coils to spark. There is a cam position sensor, listed in the manual as a CMP sensor, and a crank shaft position sensor, listed as CKP sensor in the manual). If either one or both of these sensors are out or disconnected, you will get no spark.

    The CMP is located at the rear of the exhaust side cam, between the valve cover and the firewall.

    The CKP is located on the driver side front most edge of the bell housing for the transmission.

    The connector for my crank shaft sensor was cracked and was replaced. And everything worked great.

    Finally I would like to note for everyone here that the is a NON-INTERFERENCE engine. More people will tell you that it is inferference and KIA even lists it in the service manual as one, but this was most likely a typo that caused all the confusion with everyone. There are several KIA experts on the that confirm that it is non-interference and have pulled the engine apart and posted pictures proving so. Also, I personally called KIA corporate service to find out and they confirmed that it is NON-interference.

    In my case, if it were interference, I would have completely distroyed my valves and pistons cranking it without the belt as much as I did.

    I hope this helps someone in the future. If you are having issues with your Sporty, I hope all turns out well for you.




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OK you've got a real mess.
take the upper bolts out of your timing cover and pry it back just enough to "peek" in at the timing belt
if it's frayed or just plain shredded you need to take a good look at it to determine how bad it is. if it broke you'll probably need an engine because this is an interferance engine. meaning if the belt breaks the valves won't clear the pistons and it will break or bend the valves leaving you with no compression. and without the cams moving the sensors have nothing to pick up

therefore no spark, no fuel, no compression,


Posted on Jul 12, 2009

  • Tim Jul 12, 2013

    This info is not correct. Kia made erroneous information in some of their documentation. Even the service departments at the dealers have the incorrect information. After calling Kia directly, they confirmed that the documents are in error and it is a non-interference engine. Some documentation is correct however. Check the diagrams or take the engine apart and you will find out it really is a non-interference engine.


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Thats not true. You didnt even read what he said. Dumbo... Its a NON Interferance engine.

Posted on Jul 12, 2013


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SOURCE: fuel delivery problem - 2000 Kia Sportage 2WD -

If the pump is running but not putting out any fuel the strainer in the tank could be clogged causing it not to pick up fuel. Also check the fuel pressure regulator and make sure it is working correctly.

Posted on Oct 06, 2009

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