Kia Sportage Gasoline Leak

kim48kim48 Member Posts: 3
My Sportage is leaking gas. My hubby looked and it appears to be coming from the bottom of the tank it self. Any one else have a problem with a bad gas tank? How was the cost to have it replaced?


  • lightpainterlightpainter Member Posts: 1
    I discovered the same thing yesterday. The gas smell was very strong for a number of days, but I had no idea the gas tank itself was leaking. I have a 2000 Sportage and I am going to have Kia pay for the repairs. Seems this is a chronic problem with their cars of that time period.
  • kim48kim48 Member Posts: 3
    Good luck with your SUV. I also tried to talk to kia to have the gas tank repaired, I got the reply that there's no more warranty that they weren't responsible for the repair. Its is a costly repair too. It cost me 931.00 for a new gas tank, It needs the whole unit, the tank, the sending unit, the only thing they saved was the shield around the tank. I dont know if you still have a warranty on your Sportage, But this is a safety issue. And there has been a couple complaints filed NHTSA for the gas leak problem and it is being investigated, If they have a safety problem the Sportage will be recalled. So be sure to file a complaint with them and Kia as well. My gas tank rusted out the side of the tank. Let me posted on your's
  • lmp4lmp4 Member Posts: 188
    I would not have imagined that should be included in the "perfect Sportage owner maintenance book" ...but after investigating a fuel leak I endured for some time (Sportage 2000), here are a few hints.
    This tank is subject to a recall (inspection !!) in the USA, but not in Canada .
    The tank is easy to remove ...but disconnect all hoses and electrical connectors first from the top access panel, under rear seat. The clamp for filler hose can be cut with a Dremmel tool then replaced, rather than trying to remove .
    THe tank has a drain plug ...quite unusual...but a welcome feature that has a flaw : main cause of fuel leak proved to be the corrosion of the fuel tank drain plug seal/washer. This washer is aluminum and contact with steel tank and plug creates electrolysis and unavoidable corrosion of washer .
    I replaced it with a steel washer and used teflon to seal the plug.

    The corrosion was all over the tank

    Leaving it unattended would have lead to a total disintegration down the line but it still proved worthy at this time. The metal used is lower grade than tanks I have had on other cars. The padding between the shield and the tank keeps water and is a problem in itself.

    After buffing the tank I covered it with 2 coats of spray rubberised asphalt as sold for undercar protection.
    After reinstallation a tiny leak on bottom proved to have been exacerbated . TO be sure, I had not reinstalled the shield specifically in prevision of such an event so I did not have to remove the tank again.
    The leak cleared the asphalt coating a few incles around: emptying the tank again and tilting the car slighty on one side allowed to cure the hole with epoxy as the little remaining fuel was on the other side of the tank.
    I painted the shield with Tremclad
    skid plate
    but did not reinstall the padding .

    An array of hoses are sandwitched between the tank and frame
    and the space was filled with sand and other debris: this is a trap for corrosion and I will ensure to wash that area from time to time. After removing as much rust as possible, I covered it all with spray asphalt.

    Bottom line: this tank NEEDS maintenance in the first place, and then needs being washed with water specially in areas where salt is used in winter. Access from the top is easy and it can be washed from there, as well as the space between tank and frame.
    Replace the plug seal as soon as possible as the aluminum original will corrode away inevitably.
  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Great post - maybe you could make a Guide out of it?
  • johnfarmerjohnfarmer Member Posts: 1
    I was suprised how widespread the problem with the Kia fuel tank was, and how costly it can be to fix. I'm a used vehicle dealer, and recently had a customer return shortly after purchasing a 2000 Sportage after filling the gas tank.

    It's not a problem for me to make things right when there's a obvious defect. But I'm used to dealing with lots of resources to purchase parts and found that no-one makes an aftermarket tank. It seems there is such a demand for these tanks due to the failure rate, they are nearly non-existant used.

    It clearly is a design defect, as the shield traps dirt and sediment which can rub the tank, and cause it to rust out. This is something that Kia should take care of, immediately.
  • lmp4lmp4 Member Posts: 188
    Here is the US recall, published May 2006 and available on the Kia web site
    Canadian dealers say this recall does not apply in Canada so here we are on our own.

    It states clearly that if leaks are revealed, the dealer must change the damaged part...however I saw no one on several KIA forums saying they had their tank changed for free, though........
  • robjbprobjbp Member Posts: 3
    I thought I would share my knowledge on this subject since I just got back from the St. Catharines, Ontario dealership. I noticed a fuel smell coming from the back of my 2000 kia sportage, so looked around to notice it was coming from the plate a top of my fuel tank. A mechanic friend of mine got me to call kia to see if there where any recalls on such a problem, and after giving them my vin # they let me know there was a recall on the fuel pump module. I just got back from the dealer, they replaced the fuel tank, fuel pump module, and I'm going back tommarow because they bent the sending unit, so that will be replaced too. This was all done at no cost $0! So I suggest anyone with such a problem, call kia with your vin# ready.
  • lmp4lmp4 Member Posts: 188
    Thanks....Excellent information as KIA dealer here in Chicoutimi Quebec refuses to abide by the US recall as posted before, saying all they were told by KIA canada was to change a connector on top of the fuel pump assembly plate.....
    WIll print and show....
  • robjbprobjbp Member Posts: 3
    hope it works out for you. The service dept. had on the invoice that there was corrosion so they couldn't just replace the plate or whatever the recall part was because you can't install a new product on to a corroded part (well I guess you could, but I don't think that would be doing the job right). I might have just got really lucky with all this, I thought they would have just installed the part recalled and told me to take car of the rest if I wanted it done right, but who know's, hope all works out!
  • master_tech_82master_tech_82 Member Posts: 2
    I recieved a recall in the mail from kia that said a fuel leak from fuel tank is a problem in highly salted road areas, I was able to remove the shield on my 99 and clean it before it rusted. I highly recomend you do the same before you get a leak. You can also use a rubberized undercoating before you put the shield back on. :shades:
  • 13rannon13rannon Member Posts: 1
    My fuel tank is leaking on my 2000 Kia Sportage. I printed out the Service Campaign 1996-2002 Sportage Fuel Tank Inspection .PDF and took it to both my local dealers.

    Niether dealer wanted to touch the tank or honor the NHTSA inspection.

    I read on the 'Vehicles Affected' column that it's 1996-2002 MY Sportage Models. Are those special models? How do you tell if you have a Sportage AL or KM?

    All the dealers would tell me is that were no recalls on my model and that they couldn't help me. Up till today I haven't had any major complaints about Kia...but the more I have to work with Kia dealers the farther I get from ever buying another Korean/Kia model car.

    Thank you in advance for any information.

    The dealer instructed me that Campaigns were different from Recalls and that to replace my gas tank would be over $400.ooUSD
  • mtnbiker4lifemtnbiker4life Member Posts: 3
    I just recently got a '99 Sportage 2 door from my Dad,he owned it for 3-4 years and was the 2nd owner. I remember borrowing it from him for a month a couple years ago during the winter to ride to work,and it was leaking then,as it is now.

    I haven't looked as of yet (I will soon tho...anything over 1/2 tank full and it leaks out),but he tells me a similar story as mentioned above on the drain plug,and it has further corroded. Personally,before I go to the expense of a new unit from KIA,I'll search the bone yards (auto salvage/junk yards/recycle yards) for a used unit in better shape,and buy the best one I can find,make any repairs needed with a new washer and JB Weld. This isn't a terribly difficult job to do,tho it really isn't ideal. Realistically,tho,I'll drive this maybe 4-5 years,so...

    Hope this helps,Bro :)
  • wonderwomanhbwonderwomanhb Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 sportage and noticed a gas smell & leak.. the mechanic said there was a recall on the tank & modual.. I brought it to Kia Dealer today.. they said the tank is covered but not the modual which is in the tank!? so they want $462 +labor for the modual and they said I have to pay another $150+labor for the gas tank shield they removed bc its rusted.. Im so annoyed and have been reading that others have had this can KIA not pay for it??
  • iampeteiampete Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    my 99 kia sportage has developed gas smell some time ago, but I tried to blame on nearby vehicles, and while moving no gas odor was present. well now it is heavy gas smell, and I accidently found out of possible recall of this problem. Never rcvd a letter from KIA, though they claim a ltr was sent to wherever the car was registered. And now claim it is no longer responsible after 10 yrs on car, and will not do, or offer anything. Their so called letter(said not to be RECALL), only voluntary repair. They refuse to bend on repair. Was looking for new car and now know, it will not be a KIA
  • doomsdaygraydoomsdaygray Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 and they are giving me the same problems.nobody wants to touch it! looks like Ill do it myself. bastards!
  • ack12ack12 Member Posts: 1
    Let me know if you find a replacement tank online anywhere, as I have the same problem. I've been searching online and with locals salvage yards for a replacement tank with no success. Any help would be appreciated.
  • lennyd123lennyd123 Member Posts: 1
    Sad too see so many others being put in harms way due to KIA's cost saving attempts.

    I have a pretty good leak in the tank on my 98 sportage that prevents me from filling the tank, getting the proper fuel mileage, and even causes the check engine light to throw a code for the EVAP system.

    Since being new to this vehicle I had tried to get any open campaigns taken care of, but found the only one they are no longer honoring is the fuel tank, but there is no problem getting KIA to properly handle all the small inexpensive repairs.

    This is obviously a major safety concern, and KIA is willing to gamble our lives and those of our families in order to save a few bucks, and that is inexcusable.

    My local dealers service adviser even had the nerve to comment on the cars age being why they will no longer honor the repair, but had nothing to offer when I questioned him why there was no problem with the less expensive repairs.

    Oh and then after refusing to offer me the direct number to the KIA regional rep had the ballls to suggest I just have the work done for a mere $879.00 out of my pocket.

    I am really unhappy, and will never even consider buying a new KIA (or Hyundai for that matter) due to this, and being my sportage only has 64,000 miles I can not accept the BS story I have been told by several dealers people that it is common for vehicles to have corrosion problems like this with this kind of mileage.

    I have also contacted the NHTSA on this and filed a report, and suggest that anyone else with this problem do the same. If like other import car manufacturers the only way they will admit a defect or cover a large expense is when the federal govt. leaves them no choice and force them to do it if they want to continue importing and doing business etc.

    Shame on KIA for being so cheap and not caring if they kill us all in a ball of flames, but then again maybe it is not an accident at all :)
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