Are You The Original Owner Of This Kia ?
Have You Ever Checked With A Kia Dealer To See If You Have Any "Open" Recalls On The Vehicle ?
Any Chance Kia Has Lost Touch With You ?
Kia put out a Technical Service Bulletin back in Feb/2000 that is titled:
Safety Recall: Engine Wire Harness C123/C124 Connectors
" This bulletin provides information related to a recall on 1997-1999 Sportage models for a potential stalling condition. Some 1997, 1998, and 1999 Sportage models may have poor pin terminal contact in engine/injector harness C123/C124 connectors. Poor pin terminal contact in these connectors could result in interrupted sensor/component signals to and from the ECM. If poor pin terminal contact occurs, the engine could stall which could cause a loss of vehicle power and result in an accident. "
This is a pretty involved 11 page (with pictures and arrows) procedure. I'm always for easiest, cheapest repair possibilities, first. I'd start by checking your VIN with a dealer. If it's an actual recall and hasn't been done and it's free, why not start there ?