Fuel issues

I have a 2001 Kia sephia. There r a couple issues I’m trying to figure out. I’m planning on getting it looked at this Monday. But I just wanna see what everybody thinks. It never starts the first try always the second. Whatever it is, is getting worse cuz sometimes i have to turn it over 2-4 times. The other issue is. Everytime i put gas in, it will start put it doesnt want run right. It sputters and acts like its out of gas. The gage also takes a while to read and go up. I’ve tried giving it a little gas when it does this but it dies. So I have to sit and wait for it to run the way it’s suppose to. Also I dont think it has as much power as it should. Ive only had the car for a few months and I’ve always had to turn it over twice to start.

I would check the fuel pressure. You also may have a leaky injector, but I would start with pressure. As far as the gas filling goes the fuel vapor recovery system has a problem. But your fuel pump would be what I would check first. Here is what you do. Turn the key to ON, but not start. Wait 30 seconds and turn it to OFF. Then repeat with the ON and wait. Then try to start it. If it does start it the pump.

Since you have only had the car a few months you may not have the maintenance records. In addition to what @knfenimore said, how old are your spark plugs? If they are the original they should be changed. Take a look at the air filter, it may need to be changed.

I fully agree with knifenmore as it being a fuel pressure problem, but I think the problem is due to the fuel pressure regulator. That would be my first choice. My second would be a leaky fuel injector.

Well it looks like it’s the fuel pump. Did what knfenimore said and it started right up

There is a one way valve in the tank that keeps the gas from flowing backwards into the tank and emptying the fuel line. The valve keeps the fuel line and fuel rail full of fuel after you shut off the engine, so fuel is there for the next start up.

THe fact that what @Knfenimore suggested worked tells us that this valve is faulty, and what he instructed you to do helped fill the line and rail before trying to start it.

The problem is that this valve is part of the pump assembly, so a new pump assembly in in order. You may be able to nurse this for awhile using his method, but I would have the pump replaced before you take any trips far from home. The last thing you need for a vacation is is a breakdown where you are at the mercy of the nearest dealer or shop.

Call around, sometimes prices differ from shop to shop.


Thank u guys. I have a mechanic who treats me and my car Oh and my wallet pretty good. Lol so if the starting issue is the fuel pump, is the gas issue the same thing or maybe something different… someone said pressure regulator. I’ve also heard that it could be as simple as the cap

I wouldn’t worry too much at this point about the fuel pressure regulator as it sounds like the problem is the check valve in the fuel pump which was mentioned.

Make sure the fuel filter and tank strainer are changed at the same time.

One would think that all fuel pumps would be manufactured with an easy to change and cheap check valve along with an easy to access fuel pump.
SAAB has used that method for years and it does not require pump replacement.
Remove the pump cover, swap the check valve, and done in 5 minutes.

I’m never lucky enough to have someone come in with an easy accessible pump. I always have to remove the tank…which they just fulled. Siphoning most of the fuel out into cans and then removing the tank.
I think it’s been at least ten pumps ago when I had one of those easy ones.

I do know a guy who dropped the tank after siphoning and when he reinstalled it…he looked up to see an access under the back seat. Was he ever mad at himself.


“I’ve also heard that it could be as simple as the cap”

Don’t listen to that guy . . . he’s wrong

I wonder why some manufacturers make it so tough to access the top of the fuel tank?

When I replaced the fuel level sensor in my Bonneville the little access plate in the trunk, between the spare tire well and the back seat, made it fairly easy. No need to drain gas. Plus the trunk area is a fun place to hang out, providing the wife isn’t home, in case I’ve forgotten a birthday or something.

Also, my Dodge Caravan tank has an angled top part of one side of the tank where the fuel pump module goes that makes it easier to access. I believe one has to only loosen the straps a bit, lowering the tank just enough, and the module lifts out without removing the tank. I believe that’s what the dealer did when they performed a module o-ring recall several years ago.


Or if you do not care too much, one can make an access panel as I am sure the guy I stent my daughter to to replace the fuel pump did. Just got to know where to make the hole, in her case from what I read it is under the back seat. $180 vs 2x that for labor only!

Some guy on a Lincoln forum some years ago posted a pattern for an access plate for the fuel pump on the Lincoln Mark VIIIs. It took about 10 reinforced cutting wheels and some slow delicate cutting (to avoid inflicting a shower of sparks on inadvertently cut fuel lines where are very close to the floor pan) but it came out right on the money.

It was a simple matter then to cut an aluminum cover panel, lay a bead of RTV sealer, and attach it with half a dozen sheet metal screws. The wire pigtail was lengthened a bit to eliminate having to crawl under the car and remove the driveshaft loop to access the wire connector to the pump.

Now a pump replacement on the road, if need be, is 10 minutes instead of having to drop the exhaust system, the driveshaft, and the tank which usually seems to be almost full when a pump dies… :frowning:

I would NEVER cut a fuel pump access plate without written authorization from the customer

I agree with @db4690, and even then I’d be hesitant.

You end up in court and they will say that you…the mechanic should have known better.


@db4690 I agree with you about only cutting a plate with written consent. The Lincoln in question is mine and others have been done in a similar manner with no issues.

I had a fuel pump die on me at the end of a 1500 miles trip about 10 years ago. Torrential rainstorm, 10 at night, and 25 miles from the house it decided to give up and led to my getting pissed clean off, soaked to the bone, and towed home.

Nowhere I would have gotten a pump that time of night but at least the access plate would make it manageable in the daylight and turn it into a 10 minute parking lot job instead of a 25 mile tow.

No sense in factory access plates; that would add a buck to the cost of the car.

Even with written consent you have to be careful. I’ve run into several incidents where a customer wanted this or that and approved it with a signed RO. When problems appear it then became a who me situation with the customer denying ever signing anything. In a couple of cases they even stated that their signature had been forged. Jeez…

Next shop expense will be having a handwriting analyst and polygraph examiner on staff…


When I was at the Benz dealer . . .

Many of the vehicles had an access plate for the fuel sending module

I left there over 6 years ago, so I don’t know if they’re still doing that

But if the fuel sending modules get removed from the bottom . . . you’re going to have a hard time doing that on the side of the road


Update on my car… can’t get it looked at til Friday. The test I did, by turning the key on wait turn it off, then on again, wat then start works sometimes. It started right up the first time but ive been doing that everytime i start it and it doesnt always.the other day when i shifted to reverse sat there for a minute waiting to back up and it sputtered as if almost out of gas. After backing up and trying to drive forward it had almost no power. Oh and i think gas is coming out of my exsaust too. Everytime i start it i smell gas.

I worked on a grand daughters 1993 Hyundai V6 Sonat a few years ago and the tank didn;t have to be dropped to replace the fuel pump. the pump went in from the rear of the tank near the top.