Question about 2003 Kia Sorento

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Hard starting and if eventually starts has poor acceleration

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Likely failing fuel pump and plugged filter. The system should be tested for proper pressure. On these models, the filter is on the pump inside the tank. This can be accessed by removing the rear seat and you will see an access cover. One more check you can do, next time you start it, let it run for about 15 minutes and look underneath at the exhaust near the engine. If anything is glowing red, this would be your catalytic converter. This would indicate a plugged cat and needs to be replaced. Let me know what you see.

Posted on May 13, 2010


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poor fuel delivery, chugging, poor acceleration, stalling, hard starting are just some of the symptoms.

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Poor acceleration and eventually a no start condition. Your type of car has a problem with a plastic fuel line on top of the gas tank. The fuel line develops a crack and leaks gas. Do you smell gasoline after you park the car. If you smell gas, it is also a safety issue of fire. There is no safety recall yet.

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You don't say what the year make and model is.
I am going to assume it is fuel injected, so the problem could be a faulty fuel pump or check valve in the pump.
The fuel line should have some pressure before you crank the engine. If the line has low or zero pressure, it takes a long time to pump it back up enough to start the engine.

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Will start and run only if you hold down the accelerator. as soon as you let off of it it will die

It sounds like you may have a faulty MAF, ( mass air flow sensor ).
The ECM, ( electronic control module ), should set the fuel/air mix ratio at 1 part fuel to 14.7 parts air. A faulty MAF can prevent the computer from determining the proper fuel/air mix ratio, and that can lead to bad idle, poor acceleration, fake stalling and stalling. Eventually it can prevent the engine from starting.

I hope this helps you.
Thanks for using Fixya!

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I have a 97 grand am gt with 3.1 idles fine but normal acceleration and cruise is nearly impossible. Bogs down at all speeds. Hard acceleration is fine goes good.

I had the same problem with my 89 grand am it was caused by a faulty crank position sensor. Initially it would cut out when accelerating and eventually wouldn't start at all, replaced the sensor runs great again.

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My clutch in my 1998 kia sephia is going out it has a bad smell to it and doesnt like going fast. what is going on

Clutches work on the same principle as your brakes. As they spin with high friction, they heat up. If they heat up too much, they start to smell.

Every time you depress the clutch pedal, you are allowing the clutch to spin and create heat. If you pop the clutch or drive in a stop and go environment and accelerate very hard off the line, you will generate a lot of heat in the clutch. Also, if you were hauling heavy loads or towing a trailer, you can create a lot of stress on the clutch which will cause it to heat up.

I don't know you or your driving style, so it is hard to pinpoint the cause of the smell. It sounds like the clutch is worn to the point where it is starting to slip. There is no solution to make it stop slipping except to replace the clutch. You can nurse the car along for a while, but eventually you will have to replace the clutch. Try to avoid hard acceleration and stop and go driving as much as you can. Also, make sure there is a little bit of play in the clutch pedal at the top of its stroke. There is an adjustment on the actuator rod so that the clutch can be fully engaged. If there is no play in the pedal, that could mean that the clutch is partially engaged. There would not be enough friction on the clutch to turn the transmission input shaft. This, in turn, would cause slip and heat and eventually smell and poor acceleration.

I hope this helps. It may not be the answer you wanted to hear. If you have further questions, let me know.

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The high-idle sensor often malfunctions on those cars. I would check that. If you have a carbureted model, then you have a vacuum actuated sensor on the firewall that sends a vacuum signal to the dashpot on the carburetor that raises the idle speed.

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