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This question concerns a 2002 Kia Sportage. I realize most of you don’t recognize this as a real car, and I’m beginning to agree. The problem is it quits running, of course only when you are sitting at a red light or in traffic. I tjust statrs running a little rough and then quits. Sometimes it will restart right away, sometimes not. It has been towed to numerous mechanics, AAA, and back to the dealers on many occasions. (at least six or seven times, I can’t remember anymore). Of course it runs fine while they have it. So obviously, no one can ever find anything wrong, but I promise there is something wrong. Any suggestions, besides the obvious of using it as a large boat anchor???

A few guesses:

  • Weak fuel pump?
  • Worn out spark plugs/wires?
  • Dirty air filter/fuel filter?
  • Vacuum leak?

What kinds of tests have these numerous mechanics performed? Are you just getting your car back with the invoice marked “could not duplicate” no charge.

When you say all these mechanics have looked at the car you imply that all known tests have been performed by competent mechanics and no problem has been found,does my interpetation accurally reflect what has happened?

How many miles do you have on this car?

My first guess is a low idle, perhaps caused by a bad or dirty mass airflow sensor. Has anyone explored this idea? Sometimes a little carb cleaner sprayed in the throttle body will solve a problem like this. If you try this, make sure you follow the directions on the can. This problem can go unnoticed until your air conditioning compressor cycles on and the engine dies or some other load is put on the engine.

With modern fuel injected cars, some people use a bottle of fuel system cleaner or fuel injector cleaner in the tank and think the fuel system is clean. However, that doesn’t clean the air intake.

Thanks guys for responses. I’m not quite sure what all tests have been performed. It’s my daughters car, but it has been taken to competent repair shops. It has been Tireman, AAA on Central Ave (they had it for three days and tried it every day), and been to the Taylor Kia dealership. They have hooked it up to their diagnostic equipmeny and supposedly, they have run all the tests. No one seems to find anything and yes, several times we jave gotten the “can not duplicate the problem” response.

Since it only does this at a stoplight, etc. my guess is that it’s the Idle Air Control valve acting up. These problems can be erratic in nature and may not set a code.

Removing them and cleaning them with aerosol carb cleaner may help and in some cases they must be replaced.
An iffy IAC valve is a somewhat common problem on just about any make of car.
To determine if it’s the IAC try starting it the next time it dies while depressing the accelerator pedal down. If it starts you know the IAC is the likely culprit.

If it does not start then you have some work to do. You might drop by a local parts house such as Checkers, AutoZone, etc. and have them scan the car for codes. They will do this for you free. It’s possible an IAC code could be set if it’s been problematic enough.

To solve a problem one needs as much information as possible from the “patient”, and tests on the “patient”. So far, we have:

  1. Sometimes, while sitting in traffic, or, at a stop light, the engine runs rough and quits.
    2.Sometimes, restarts right away.
    Your daughter (the driver) needs to take notes on what, when, how the problem happens.
    Has the car just come to a stop?
    Has she just begun to press the gas pedal to begin moving?
    Is the engine fully warm, and indicating in the middle range on the engine temperature gauge?
    What is the ambient temperature, and is it raining, when this happens?
    Is routine maintenance being kept up? Has the fuel filter, air filter, and spark plugs been changed recently? Has the battery been checked/replaced recently?
    Any other symptoms, or conditions, you / she can add?

Howdy consider adding a can of Sea Foam to the gas it is a great cleaner. Is the car being toped off when getting gas? Try not filling the tank completly full and see if problem corrects.

I have a suspicion it is a faulty IAC valve, but you say it runs fine when the shop (dealer?) has it, so why not unload it there and buy something reliable?

Why keep a headache?

You could try letting a mechanic drive the car until the problem repeats. Ask the mechanic to drive the car home and to work each day until the problem repeats.

I once had a hard-to-diagnose air conditioning problem and the only way to diagnose the problem was to let the mechanic commute in my car. I told the service rep. to let the A/C technician drive my car to and from work until the problem repeated itself. It worked.

Well there is a device (I forget what it is called) that you plug in and drive away. When the problem happens, you push the button and it saves all of the key information from something like the last two minutes of operation. They can look at that and determine if you lost spark, fuel, etc. The larger garages would have one.