2002 Kia Optima Many repairs later.

Tiny
CF
  • MEMBER
  • 2002 KIA OPTIMA
Electrical problem
2002 Kia Optima 4 cyl Two Wheel Drive Automatic 121k miles

I have replaced the following lately:
1) Idle control motor, (question is the idle control valve part of that or is that something separate?
2) Input AND output speed sensors
3) Power steering pump

When my alternator started going bad, I had a rebuilt put in. That one was bad so they put in a second one and then a THIRD! All rebuilt. Since then, here is what my car does.
In the morning when I use my headlights, have a cd in and turn on my a/c, when I am at a stop or almost to a stop, the car will shut off. I put it in gear and restart and it starts fine. I notice the a/c on makes a difference. Also, when this is happening I notice when I depress the brake, the odometer light dims/flashes somewhat and the car just runs rough, almost like it wants to sputter. I did have this happen once when the a/c was not on but usually it is when it is on. Nearing a stop if I turn it off the car feels less like it will die but the a/c is DEFINTELY A TRIGGER TO THIS. I also notice it more when my car sits in the parking lot at work in the afternoon and it is hot already. I have had my transmission looked at by a reputable company intensely, it has been to three different shops/mechanic and hooked up to their computers who all say they cannot find out what is wrong.
Please help! Single mom who needs her only car, cannot afford to buy a new one right now!
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Monday, July 27th, 2009 AT 8:50 AM

10 Replies

Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi CF,

Thank you for the donation.

Problem seems to be related to the charging system, battery or electrical transfer.

When AC is turned ON, additional load and electrical consumption is causing the stalling.

Do you have any abnormal noise from the engine, especially from beltings or crank pulley area?

I would suggest the following.
Test the charging rate. Do it after running engine for more than 20 minutes.
Test the battery condition.
Check all ground connections.
Clean battery terminals.
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Monday, July 27th, 2009 AT 9:20 AM
Tiny
CF
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Supposedly they have all checked the alternator, battery. The codes first said output speed sensor, then input speed sensor but with those now replaced it still will just suddenly shut down when the a/c is on or with CD running while at a stop. Why would the light flash with the brake in the odometer portion ONLY when it seems to be idling rough and it is going to have a shut down event shortly..
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Monday, July 27th, 2009 AT 10:22 AM
Tiny
CF
  • MEMBER
THANK YOU, waiting for reply/ help?
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Monday, July 27th, 2009 AT 1:12 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Sorry for the delay. I did make a reply earlier but seems it went MIA.

The output and input sensors are for the transmission system and should not be related to the engine stalling. On the other hand, electrical faults can cause the sensors to indicate a malfunction when the voltage is erratic.

Any electrical drain such as from the AC, CD player or when applying the brakes can drain the voltage and cause the lights to dim with signs of stalling.

I would suggest testing the charging rate after warming up the vehicle and driving around for a few miles.

Apart from the above, check all groundings, especially those behind the headlights on the inner fender.
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Monday, July 27th, 2009 AT 1:46 PM
Tiny
CF
  • MEMBER
I had the rebuilt alternator put in a total of three times, they kept changing it, could it possibly be an alternator problem? This was nearly a year ago and it just has not been right electrically since about that time. Supposedly it has been "tested" but is there a way to make certain an alternator is fully functional or could it be a quirk in the rebuilt part of it? I just wonder also if it would cause the car to just stop like it does?
THANKS!
Carol
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 AT 6:25 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Hi Carol,

I would not discount the possibility of rebuilt alternators being bad out of the box. Personally I had the experience of replacing 3 alternators in a roe and none of them worked correctly. Finally I had to rebuild the original by myself to rectify the ptoblem.

That is the reason I suggested to you to do a comprehensive test on the charging system.

Bench test sometimes do not provide accurate results as the testing time is short. When used on the vehicle, the alternator might fail when it heats up and this is another reason I requested to have the test repeated after running vehicle.

When charging systems fails, it would cause the engine to perform eratically and would even stall.

Such problems are never easy to resolve and it is always best to start with the basic testing of possibilities.
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 AT 9:42 AM
Tiny
CF
  • MEMBER
Well, I have had it looked at again and run through extensive computer and otherwise, testing and am told there is nothing they can determine is wrong with it. Voltage/ alternator are fine after running for a long time and the mechanic even taking it home and driving 80 miles in the heat/ stop and go traffic. I'm just not sure what the problem is at this point. If you have any OTHER recommendations, please let me know. I'm very frustrated and don't feel safe in the car now.

THANKS!
Carol
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Wednesday, July 29th, 2009 AT 1:17 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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If the charging system is fine, other possible cause would be a poor ground connections. This would be a nightmare for mechanics as there are so many locations for the groundings and one of it might be loose or contaminated and not providing the correct continuity.

Since it is amplified when AC, CD or brakes are utilised, the ground connection that is possibly at fault should be internal, near the center console under dash.
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 11:14 AM
Tiny
CF
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What about the idle system, would that not show up on all the extensive testing I have had?
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Thursday, July 30th, 2009 AT 1:43 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
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If there are no trouble codes, then it is not a fault with the sensors etc. Any electrical irregularities can cause them to work incorrectly.
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Friday, July 31st, 2009 AT 8:19 AM

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