1997 Kia Sephia 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 27000 miles
I have a very complex problem with my 97 kia sephia. I got this car last year literally for free from a friend after it had a front end damage at 18k miles. I drove the car for one year with the damage. Car runs great but always had some issue with some squeeling noise that would start as soon as the cooling fan kicks on. Noise would last as much as the fan is running. Usually stops when the fan stops. Also if you have your foot on the gas pedal while the noise is going on, the noise will not stop until you deaccelerate and sometimes switch to neutral rev the gas a couple times, let it idle and the noise stops. One thing I realize, the noise almost never starts when driving on the highway which is suggesting that it happens only when the car is in traffic idling, which would also suggests that the noise only takes place when there is much load on the generator. I understand that much. Also if driving while the noise is going on, you can feel that the car looses power and struggles a bit. The noise usually gives me a break while driving during the day time. When driving at night with the headlights on, the noise usually start when I come to a stop or when the cooling fan kicks on. So, the solution is to turn all lights off, radio, etc. Play with the gas pedal a bit, then the noise goes away. Soon as I reach at least 1000rpm, I am free to witch everything back on.
The noise sounds exactly like that of a loose or worn out belt but I confirm it isn't because if the battery if fully charged and you disconnect the alternator plug while the belt is still on, you will drive the car till the battery dies with no noise whatsoever. First I tried a used alternator, no luck, noise got worst and worst, till alternator burnt out. I then bought a new rebuilt alternator, no luck and burnt it out in a few days. Got another rebuilt one, less noise, but the noise is still there. At this point, I am thinking that there must be something else in the car that is causing the noise. I am thinking it may be something that works in conjunction with the alternator. Not sure what it could be since this alternator has a built in regulator and it's very hard to determine where the noise is coming from.
It sounds like the noise is coming from one of the pulleys but as I said before, when you disconnect the alternator plug, all noises are gone. And when the alternator is connected, the noise does not seem like it's coming from the alternator either. Very complex! Ver annoying! I have thought of taking the car to a cliff but I am the last person to do so. I love challenges. Any experienced or inexperienced person would be quick to point out a loose belt as the source of the problem but it isn't. The fact is I do not have a shop manuel for this car. I do not have the schematic diagrams. Will be getting one soon. As soon as I get one, it may be easier to pin point the problem.
I was thinking to search for a high amperage alternator to replace the stock 70 amps that the 97 kia 1.8 L comes with but it makes no sense at all. If the car comes with an alternator, it should be able to handle the head lights and cooling fan at the very least. If not, there has to be a problem.
I don't expect anyone to have experienced such problem or even know what it could be but if by any chance anyone has a suggestion, speculation, or ideas, please be kind enough to share it. From a little research I've done, I noticed that those cars had problems that even the dealers were no able to see or fix. Lots of bad reviews, law-suits etc. However, I really like this little car, very fun to drive, very economical, overall, very good little car. Drove it for one year and all I ever did whas put gas in it. That's all. So, I am not in a good position to criticize KIA. Especially when the car was literally for free. I just need to resolve this problem before I invest any money into the car.
If anyone has any information or suggestion, please Help! :)
have the same problem?
Saturday, February 20th, 2010 AT 11:59 PM