Mass air flow/engine problems

I drive a 1999 Kia Sportage with 86,000 miles on it, and a couple of months ago it started running really weird. The engine would rev really high when in park and when I was in drive and stopped it would rev extremely low and sometimes kill the engine. The check engine light came on and it was code p0101 and said mass or volume air flow circuit range/performance. The guy at O’Reilly said the mass air flow was most likely dirty, so I bought a can of cleaner and cleaned the sensor. That didn’t work, and now the problem is getting worse. The engine completely died yesterday and wouldn’t start and so I went and bought a new mass air flow sensor. Today I put it in, but it didnt solve the problem. My car ran for about 5 minutes and then died again and wouldn’t restart. Does anyone know what the problem could be? I would really prefer to fix it myself if I can.

Possible causes
1 Faulty mass air flow sensor
2 Intake air leaks
3 Dirty mass air flow sensor
4 Dirty mass air filter
5 Mass air flow sensor harness is open or shorted
6 Mass air flow sensor circuit poor electrical connection

You did 1 & 3, but there are a few others to cover including a dirty air filter.

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 ?


More good common sense from CSA. This issue is most likely due to a wire connection problem and CSA has shown you where to find it.

@Cougar, You’re Too Kind.

@bmaher287, after reading through the bulletin I found this forum. Scroll down to kiaracer and read the comments and information, particularly noting DTC P0101 - Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Range/Performance mentioned.


I realize this is an older car, but after looking this over, I’d call Kia corporate if the dealer has no help. I’d want to be sure it is not recall related before going to plan B.


Thank you for all of the help guys. I am not the original owner of the vehicle. I purchased the vehicle in October of 2012, so its frustrating to say the least that this is all happening. I will definitely check to see if mine was recalled.

Kia’s website says there are no recalls for my vehicle, but I am thinking I should call them just to make sure.