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Kia Sedona Starting/Stalling/Idling Problems

ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,221
This is the place to talk about idling or stalling problems with the Kia Sedona.


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  • fmportfmport Posts: 9
    Hello, I am new here so please bare with me. I need some help. I have a 2005 Kia Sedona with 13000 miles and having some fuel/stalling problems which three different dealerships can not find. The problem is that when you press on the gas from a dead stop, the van does not go. You press the gas throttle all the way down, nothing happens for a couple of seconds, then the car takes off like crazy. The first time I took it to the dealership the service manager felt the problem but could not duplicate it the next day, and could not find any code problems in the computer. They kept the van for a whole week and a half, used half a tank (as per my request, I wanted them to find the problem) but to no avail, the problem did not happen again. They blamed it on a bad batch of gas. I then took the van on vacation and it happened again, took it to another dealership (800 miles away from home) and could not duplicate the problem either. They found the transmission was a little low on oil and thought that it was the problem. Long story short three different Kia dealers can not find the problem, the van is back in the shop and I am waiting for their assessment. Any help or experience with this problem would really be appreciated. When this happens, it feels like the fuel filter is plugged, the injectors are bad or the fuel pump does not work, the weird thing is that it does not happen all the time, and you have no warning when is going to happen, because the engine runs super smooth with no problems until you press on the gas and nothing happens. Thank you
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    The factors that contribute to what you are describing include fuel with some water in it, problems with the software in the computer ( a slow response setting to the gas pedal. ) and a bad throttle position sensor.

    While there are many parts of the car the tie into this the basic deal is this:

    1.) your car is running at idle and drawing some volume of air.
    2.) You take your foot off the BRAKE and the computer senses this.
    3.) You press the gas pedal and the cable on the gas pedal
    opens a metal butterfly plate( like the old carburetor throttle blades) on the metal air nozzle that is directly after the black plastic air cleaner.This makes more air available to the running engine.
    4.) A plastic and electronic "POT" , Potentiometer, normally located on the same pivot shaft where your gas pedal cable is attached ( it will have wires on it )is going to rotate and create a increased electrical value to the engine computer, probably 0 to 5 VDC , with 5 VDC being Wide Open Throttle ( "WOT" ) this tells the computer how fast you are depressing the gas pedal. Also when you stop pressing the gas pedal it tells the computer where you decide to run the motor at.
    5.) The computer decides what spark plug firing advance to have , what fuel injector pulse to generate, and basicly it decides what " throttle response" you are going to see.

    The other sensors on the motor include temperature, Barometric air pressure and crankshaft position.

    6.) With all this data the engine computer plugs in your values and your car runs.

    I personally have seen stalling from a bad TPS ( throttle position sensor- Ford LTD/mustang 1984)

    I personally have seen bad software ( from the factory )
    Ford / Mercury LTD Wagon 1980 / 351 V8 , "Variable Venturi Carb "

    I personally have seen SLOW throttle response .
    ( 1984 Ford LTD V-6 Engine computer, I swapped in a 1986 Mustang computer and it ran Great !)

    I think you should follow these steps:

    a.) Run the gas tank down to 1/4 or less and then put in two cans of Castle Brand Isopropyl Alcohol "Double Dry " dry Gas.
    b.) On top of that dry gas put in a full tank of Sunoco 94 octane or similar fuel

    c.) Remove the existing air cleaner, clean out the black plastic box throughly and install a new KIA air filter from the dealer. ( they are only $ 16 and they are the best.)

    d.) Remove the rubber tube connecting the Air Filter tube to the metal motor tube. Look inside and make sure there are no rats or mice dead or living , in there.

    e.) Have Sears Auto or similar put the car on a lift and make sure there are no brakes dragging on the two rear wheels. Put your tire pressure up to 32 PSI.

    f.) Drive the car around for a few hours and see if there is improvement.

    If there is no improvement there likely is a problem with the TPS or similar engine sensor.

    My 2002 Sedona has 77K miles and it has a great deal of torque off the line. When we go over those white lines at the stop lights the engine always slips the wheels with power.

    Good Luck.
  • 7/10/2006
    I bought my wife a Sedona in 2002, used. Since then the van has had an intermittent problem with stalling / bucking while being driven.
    The car will just stall out or buck hard as if it wanted to stall but caught again.
    I've been to the dealer a few times and each time there is nothing in the computer memory or any lights on the dash to indicate a clear cut problem.
    Today I've had enough. I had my wife write down the mileage before she gave the service department the keys for the day.
    At the end of the day same old story, we can't find anything wrong and cannot re-create the problem.
    I call Kia customer service, not exactly the best people to deal with either and explain my concerns about the problem occurring while my wife and 4 year old son are driving along and the potential dangers.
    To make an already long explanation a bit shorter, I finally had the service man, who by the way only drove the vehicle for 7 miles today, agree to keep the vehicle a week or until the problem could be documented on their diagnostic machines. Oh and I also told him that mileage would be checked each day just to make sure that they are actually doing something about the problem.
    Well as you can expect they himmed and hawed a bit but agreed to do so.
    Has anyone else experience this sort of problem with their 2002 Kia Sedona or other years.
    Thanks for your time and patience.
  • fmportfmport Posts: 9
    Thank you smulvey for all your tips. The vehicle is still in the shop, so I will keep you posted. Did you have the prolem solved bigboyball?
  • fmportfmport Posts: 9
    Did you have the problem fixed?
  • fmportfmport Posts: 9
    Thanks for all your help and advice, I will do all this after I get the van from the shop. They've already told me they are still investigating the problem but they can't find anything wrong, or duplicate the problem. Also where can I find the Castle Brand Isopropyl Alcohol "Double Dry " dry Gas?
    Thank you very much
  • marjackmarjack Posts: 1
    We have a 2002 Kia Sedona that we purchased new and also have the same problem that you are having. This problem with our van did not begin until we moved from Michigan to South Carolina and we thought that maybe it had something to do with climate. Looking back at all of our paperwork after I finally called the Kia Customer service line, I realized that we have been having this problem since January of 2005. Our van is doing the same exact thing that you talk about...Chugging/stalling but according to the dealership they cannot re-create the problem and therefore cannot help us and up until recently the check engine light had not come on. But the last time it was in a few weeks ago the check engine light had come on but it has continued to chug/stall since we've had it home. Initially, when we began having the problem, it was only when my wife was driving on the highway and would get off at an exit. When she would reach the end of the exit and stop it would stall. Then it progressed to the chugging and stalling (and sometimes a strong fume odor and the RPM's race way up) and now has become a serious safety concern because it stalled on my wife two weeks ago while making a left hand turn. Thankfully there was no oncoming traffic and she was able to get the van re-started. One time we thought that we had figured out that it would only do it when it was raining or was damp outside, but we were proven wrong because now it does it whenever & at this point we do not know what to do. We love our van and it is paid for so we really do not want another vehicle. The dealership has had the vehicle for weeks at a time and has replaced many parts but say that they cannot find anything wrong. When I called the customer service number I was really disappointed because they basically told me that all I could do was take it back to the dealership. What I wanted the most was to find out if anyone else was having this problem because we really felt like we were going crazy. According to the customer service line, no one else is having this problem. So my wife and I thank you for posting your problem and hope that we can figure this out!

    Thank You!!
  • fmportfmport Posts: 9
    I am so sorry you are having the same problem as us, look at mesagge 1296 and 1297. Our van is currently still in the shop and will keep you posted about the outcome.
  • times2times2 Posts: 45
    We have a 2002 EX with about 47,000 miles on it. I've recently noticed that sometimes when coming to a stop that the Tach will go to 0 (although the engine doesn't entirely stop), and it will run very rough. The way it feels to me is that the transmission is not dis-engaging when the vehicle at is at a stop, but because the vehicle is not moving, the engine can not maintain it's idle. It's almost the equivalent of being at a stop with a manual transmission, but not having the car in neutral or the clutch dis-engaged. The engine has no choice except to stall. This is only my theory. The other possibility is that the spark plugs are starting to go bad, and maybe something is mis-firing at low RPMs. Although other cars I've had can go more than 100,000 miles before changing the plugs. I hope this might be helpful
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    Another important factor can be the fuel filter and the spark plugs . The Fuel Filter on my van has never been changed. But I suppose if I was stalling at stop signs that would be a important thing to check. Same consideration for the fuel pump and the fuel system. Since these are supposed to be electric fuel pumps they should run the SAME speed no matter what your engine speed is. BUT ! there is a PRESSURE REGULATOR that could cause a driveablity problem if the pressure was too much or too little. In this case it might be too little. There is also the consideration of SPARK PLUGS . We have heard from some technicians not to use BOSCH PLATINUM spark plugs if you do a replacement. Use the regular Champions that came on the car. Bear in mind when changing spark pplugs , the front three are easy. The rear three require you to have a set of gaskets to replace the intake manifold . You must remove the intake manifold before you can get to the three spark plugs on the back 3 cylinders. Always have WD40 on hand to clean and condition the spark plug caps wires and boots, also you need a small tube of Never Seize for the spark plug threads,( available at the check out in Autozone ) and 2 small packets of Dielectric Grease to help lube the wires and protect the boots.

    I think if the fuel pressure (which can be gauge checked at the dealer) is Good and the Spark is Good, the problem is in the Engine management computer or sensors.

    Also that theory ties in well with the intermittent nature of the problem.

    Good Luck-

    My guy is still running swell.
  • Smulvey,
    Did you replace the plugs yourself? How much was the gasket set? How long did it take?
  • I had the same problem on my 02 Sedona EX. I took it to the dealership on 6-8 different occassions to find out the problem. To no avail. Finally after about 3-4 months of this problem the check engine light came on and I took the van to Auto Zone to have the code read. Turned out to be the coil pack on #1 cylinder was going bad(thus the intermittent problem). $100 and about 15 minutes of my time later it is doing great as far as that problem goes. This could very well be your problem, although not necessarily #1 cylinder is misfiring, just maybe one of them.
  • Bigboyball,

    I have a 2002 with 67K miles and am having a very similar problem. In our case, the van runs normally for 50-60 miles and then begins chugging. When it acts up, it won't accelerate even with the gas pedal pressed to the floor. It seems to operate normally below 30 mph. In several instances, we have pulled over to the side of the road, turned the engine off for a minute or so, and then the car operates normally. This has been very perplexing! We took the car to the local Kia dealership and they were able to replicate the problem, but they could never accurately diagnose the problem as there were never any fault codes displayed. The dealership called the Kia tech support line and they were of little help. They thought it might be a problem with the cam angle or cam angle sensor but they weren't certain. The said it would be $1000 to fix but they wouldn't guarantee that it would solve the problem. I declined the repair "attempt". I've been driving the van to and from work ~5 miles and I'm basically not sure how to proceed with this mysterious ailment.

    I would be very interested to know how this plays out for you or anyone else on this board that is experiencing this issue. Thanks!
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    The VSS , Vehicle Speed Sensor , is good for telling the computer and the transmission how fast the car is going. I suppose it also tells the power steering how fast you are going also.

    The person who said it might be COIL PACKS , YES !!! I remember on our fleet of GM 3.8 V6 bonnevilles and Oldsmobiles when the sales people hit 70 K miles these things began to fail intermittently, in the October weather , when it was cooler, and they would let the car start up and then after a few miles the car would quit. The coil pack eventually would not let the car start at all. Since there is one coil pack for every TWO cylinders you lose a lot of driveablity when one coil pack fails. Plus you pour unburned fuel down the tailpipe. The good news is these things are not very expensive if you source it out, and they are easy to install on the front 3 cylinders. On the back three you will need to pull the top of the intake manifold. You might as well do the spark plugs and wires while you are back there. It is much less then a thousand dollars. Any engine analysis computer should be able to display the 6 spark plug firing state and how good the coils are. Also there are ways of stressing the coils , off the car , and getting the weak ones to fail.

    I would still change the fuel filter for sure first though!
  • Kia does not use Champion plugs. They come from the factory with NGK plugs, and will run like crap with a different brand. How do I know? I found out the hard way.
  • boxwrenchboxwrench Posts: 55

    I thought the Sedona fuel filter was inside the fuel tank, and common with the pump? Am I wrong?

    My step-son has a Pontiac Grand-Am, and found by diagnostic test the #3 coil was bad on the 4-Cyl eng. This is the engine that has the individual coil pack mounted on top of the engine, and touches the top of the Plugs. Found another complete aftermarket unit, Standard Ign., (almost new) and got it for him to use. Solved the problem--- for a couple months. Used the other part of the coil-pack to fix #3 again. Good for another couple months.
    Now he says he needs another one. What can be making #3 coil-pack go bad so frequently. Or is it Dumb-Luck!!

  • fmportfmport Posts: 9
    I had posted "fuel salling problems" that I had with my mini van in earlier messages. Long story short, had the vehicle for 12 months, 14,000 miles, left me stranded twice, once out of town and it was in the shop for a total of one month in the year that I owned it. What good is the so called "best warranty" if they can't fix the problem the vehicles develop. I looked into suing Kia under the lemon law, but it was gonna be risky because (according to my lawyer) Kia would send a master mechanic to inspect the vehicle and if he did not find anything wrong, then I would not have a case, and since the vehicle did not stall all the time it was not a risk I was willing to take. I traded the vehicle for a new GMC Envoy XL and I could not be happier. Like they say "You get what you paid for" I was fooled by their warranty, but hey! you live, you learn.
  • After 4 service trips where the dealer was unable to replicate the stalling, I finally got our 04 EX into the dealer after my wife called for rescue.

    Van had set for 1/2 hour before I was able to arrive. I started it up, ran fine for 4 miles and started the stalling and stalled about 10 times in the dealers lot and stalled just as I was driving into the service bay. Finally the check engine light came on and stayed on. All other times there were no error codes to be found.

    They replaced the air mass sensor and all seems to be fine. I could have sworn that they replaced this on the first occurrence.

    The stalling seems to have been triggered by the cooler weather as we had temps below 50 for the first time in the season. The last time the van had a stalling incident was in March 06.

    43,000 miles
  • smulveysmulvey Posts: 139
    Just to keep some good news flowing- I just returned from a
    trip of 1200 miles and am happy to report fuel economy of up to 30 MPG on the highway, no A/C running,, and no driveablity troubles.

    My check engine light came on and stayed on with my second tank of fuel. I thought it might be the gas cap. I checked the cap twice but the light would not go off.

    I bought a ACTRON 9135 code scanner at Advanced Auto for $ 100 and I found the code, actual reads" VERY SMALL VACUUM LEAK IN EVAPORATIVE EMISSION SYSTEM" I erased the code and drive 400 miles with no troubles.

    So I would have to say at 83,000 miles I am very happy with my van and would have to say that those who had trouble were the victims of bad luck and bad support by the dealer or Kia or both.

    But so far so good for me and my van.
  • My wife has a 2003 Sedona van with 38,000 miles on it. It has had problems with rough running and near stalling for a long time and has been brought back to the dealer for this on numerous occasions. Last week, it stalled out in heavy traffic on my wife with my daughter in the van. The dealership, which has been trying hard to identify the problem, this time replaced the power control module. It stalled out on me several times in my own driveway, and lost power while trying to accelerate onto a highway and at other times, mostly while trying to accelerate briskly, during about 50 miles of driving. I left it at the dealership today. I have been doing a lot of research on the net and have found many similar experiences, with almost everyone failing to get the problem repaired. While I believe my dealership is honest and honorable, this car, in my opinion, is a lemon and a major safety problem and customers are being ignored by the Kia corporation.

    I have filed a report of these problems with the US National Highway Transporation Safety Administration (NHTSA) over the internet and urge anyone else who has had similar stalling or loss of power problems to do so also. The NHTSA web page is 8a0c/

    One third of the way down the page you will see this header:
    File a Complaint About a Vehicle or Child Seat Here

    Click on it and there is a popup to the complaint form. Copy the body of your complaint into a word processor document so you'll have it and send a copy to your congressman/woman and US senator (addresses easily available from the internet), asking them to look into whether there are major issues involved with Kia. There may well be some of these legislators who will be happy to find a consumer issue to rally behind before an election.

    The only way to get a billion dollar foreign company to react to serious consumer issues is to get the power of the federal government, your government, paid for with your tax dollars, to lean on them.

    I've been involved in government and know this is our collective best chance.
  • I had the same problem..One of many, I have had my 02 kia for 2 years. It ran great for a few 1000 miles but then it just went haywire. The problem that is similar to yours ended up being the fuel pump. They origionally told me that it was bad gas so I went to the gas station on the military base that I got gas from and raised sand. They pulled the whole pump and it was good gas. Kia wanted to charge me 500 dollars to pull all the fuel components and dispose of a full tank of gas. imagine that..I was without my van for 3 weeks since I was stranded on the interstate with 2 kids and my pregnant wife. I also had to get a rental car.
    1. fuel pump-stranded me for 3 weeks and some days
    2. new battery-vehicle died on me in florida. thought alternator went out... 700 miles away from home.
    3. front motor mount was went bad,heard clunking noise in front of vehicle. twice to dealer, broke down, 1 week after getting it back..
    4. front suspension struts replaced.
    5. ac went out in front ac still not says that since aftermarket stereo is installed it is not covered by warranty
    6. Alternator went out. Vehicle being serviced now. 600 dollars to fix. took out loan to fix...There goes x-mas

    My credit is not good so I cant trade until I pay it off..what will happen next?
    This is not coincidence...for those thinking that...mny people are having the same problem..I love my kia but this will be my last. My grandfather told me 10 years ago dont buy huandai or kia and I guess a hard head makes a soft behind.
  • We have a 2005 Sedona, that we started having problems with Nov 7th, 2005 we took in it. It would up and quit on the freeway, you wait a few minutes it would start back up my husband had to do this all the way back home from his work because no Kia dealers on the way home would touch it because it had the anti theif in it when we bought it with 13 miles on it. They said they couldnt find anything wrong with it they figured it had to do with that anti theif device cause the company closed their doors 2 months after we bought the van, they had seen a similar problem with other cars with device in it. Nov 27th, my husband was on his way to work it did it again, he stopped at the Kia dealer by his work they wouldnt touch for that same reasons cause of the anti theif device. We take it to where we bought it at, they thought it was that also but they will not show me proof that they tried anything else. At this point i am not being the nicest person to them. They tell us it is fixed they put the original relay back in, so we go pick it at 1:15pm, by 3:30pm I am calling Kia back because it did it with me in the van, it would stop running in the middle of the freeway then it did this again it would learch forward, we would wait a few minutes it would start back up, then it started doing this every 2 miles or so then at the end right before we go to the dealer it was doing it every block. After i go off on them when we get back there, they are saying it could be the fuel pump, we are at 62,000 miles on the van. I was wondering if anyone else is having this same problem. :confuse: We have already replaced the brakes once on it also.
  • 2.5 months later. Running like a top (knock on wood) No stalling. I guess the air mass sensor did the trick.
  • We just got the van back, it was the Power Control Moguel thank goodness it was covered under warranty. The part was 1,600.00 plus labor can we say ouch. They had to get the part from Korea.
  • i have a 2006 kia sedona ex with 9100 miles on it..i have had some problems starting the would turn over but not start..i would let it sit for a few minutes then it would start fine..i took it to kia and they said it working fine we had no problem starting it.i took it home and it didnt do it for a couple of weeks..then it did it again...i took it back and they still said it didnt have any trouble starting i once again took it did it a few days later i took it back again..this time they gave me new keys and reprogramed the worked for a week..and then it did it again..this time they changed the computer all under warranty..but it still does it..we call kia and told us to send it to another kia shop..i did that and they said the same thing couldnt get it to do hasnt don it for a few months now it did it to me again...not sure if this van is a now i have noticed when i close the rear doesnt make the 3 beep sounds but the flashers still flash 3 times..going to call kia again..i also heard the problem might be caused by the alarm if u had it installed but i still not sure....
  • I have had my van towed 3 times in three weeks. It just at times, decides to not start. There is power to the dash but when you turn the key, NOTHING. The dealership said they checked the recall and my van is not one effected. Further, said they checked the harness it was fine. They said they got it to start and to come pick it up. One week later, same scenario. Towed again. Said it wouldn't start off tow truck then pushed into garage and started. Ordered a new sensor for detection of gear and replaced. Today, it wouldn't start again. Towed again. I love my van, I really do. I drove every van on the market and chose the Kia. I just want it fixed. Suggestions Similar problems?
  • I just experienced the same starting problem with my 2006 Kia Sedona (8352 miles). It seems to have normal electrical power when I turn the ignition key to on. When I turn the ignition further to the start position the starter relay in the main fuse box clicks but the starter motor will not spin. I confirmed that the shift lever was in the park position. The battery has a full charge. I can't figure it out.
  • Its in the shop. Have you taken it to the dealership service? Maybe we should put our Kia service departments together. Its #3 and I am considering invoking the Lemon Law if they can not find the definative problem. I have children and no trust in the reliabilty of the van. :lemon: Cheyenne, WY
  • Kia of Cheyenne found the problem to be the instrument control panel module. Wish me luck and good luck to you james61. I hope this is the end of the problems!
  • Brandih, I hope they found the real problem. Good luck. Thanks for the heads up on the instrument control panel module. My Sedona started again after about an hour of tinkering with it. I still didn't find anything wrong.
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