My car has been sounding different and running hard

  • 2004 KIA SPECTRA
  • 122,000 MILES

The transmission has been jerky, and weird electrical issues have been occurring.

First, the noise sounds like it is coming from a belt on the left side above the alternator, but I cant tell. Also, when I am near between 1200 and 1500 RPM, I get a whining noise. I have also have been seeing an increase of about 500 RPM across the board (eg. At 40mph on a flat road I typically see 2k RPM but now see 2.5k). When my car shifts, it jerks and it is pretty noticeable (its automatic). As for the electrical issues, I have been seeing the light that illuminates my temperature control flicker off and on for about 5 mins maybe 1-3 times per hour or so. While testing my battery, I saw that it pulled to about 9V when starting, but leveling off at 14V when running and 12.8V when the car is off.

Today, I drove about a mile to walk a friend's dog while they are away on my way to work. Their driveway is steep so I applied e-brake before turning off the car. Upon turning my key in the ignition, I got no response, not even a light came on, nor did the engine crank. After 3 attempts, I released the e-brake on a hunch and when turning the key, it started fine. My radio and clock were reset though. I had no further issue with it today. At work, I cleaned the battery terminals, I don't know if it helped or not, but oh well. I realize this is long and I appreciate any feedback.


My car has been sounding different and running hard, the transmission has been jerky, and weird electrical issues have been occurring.

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Saturday, August 18th, 2012 AT 1:51 AM

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  • 42,001 POSTS

Symptom indicates an electrical issues with the power supply and cleaning the battery terminals should help.

Whining noise could be due to a bad alternator or other bearings along the drive belts but without knowing where the noise is coming from, it is hard to tell. You would need to diagnose to locthe source.

Belt noise can be due to loose belts or a bad harmonic damper.

Battery dropping to 9 v during cranking indicates a battery that is old and maybe it is time to consider a replacement. However you have cleaned the battery terminals, monitor to see if condition improves.

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Saturday, August 18th, 2012 AT 6:25 AM

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