Troubleshooting a KIA Fuel Pump

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If your Kia sedan or coupe is acting up when you try to start the engine, or balking when you attempt to engage the accelerator, you may have a problem with your Kia's fuel pump. You can troubleshoot the fuel pump on your Kia in your own driveway and save the hassle and cost of taking it to a mechanic. You will need an assistant, a set of screwdrivers and a volt gauge. You can find a volt gauge at your local auto parts store. This job will take less than an hour and does not require extensive car knowledge.

Things You'll Need

  • Assistant
  • Ignition key
  • Screwdriver set
  • Volt gauge
  • Release the gas filler door and detach the fuel cap. Ask your assistant to turn the ignition key on and off in five second increments while you listen. You should hear the fuel pump humming; it will turn on for two seconds at a time, since the Kia's computer will not detect the engine turning over. If you cannot hear a humming sound, then there is most likely a problem with the relay, vehicle computer, fuel pump or the fuel pump's wiring.

  • Turn off the Kia's ignition and pop the hood. Look for the valve located on the fuel rail above the injectors. While your assistant turns the ignition on and off, push in on the valve. If your Kia's fuel pump is operating properly, gas should flow through the valve. If you do see gas flowing through the valve, close it quickly using a screwdriver. If gas does flow through the valve, there is pressure in the gas lines and the fuel pump is intact. If no gas flows through the valve, however, move on to the next step.

  • Examine the gas pump's fuse. You can find it on the driver's side fender well, inside the fuse relay box. Replace the fuse if it is blown. Turn the ignition key. If your Kia will not start, move on to the next step.

  • Remove the gas pump relay. Use a volt gauge to examine the fuse block's terminals, checking for electrical power. When the ignition is in the "Off" position, there should be one terminal that has power. If you cannot detect any power, there is a problem between the relay and the Kia's battery. If you are able to detect power, ask your assistant to turn the ignition key as you examine the rest of the terminals. You should be able to detect power flowing to a second terminal. If you do not detect any power, there is a problem either with the Kia's computer or the exchange between the computer and the relay. If you detect power in a second terminal, the fuel pump itself if damaged.

  • See if you can detect power in the terminals of the fuse blocks. If you can, the fuel pump will need to be replaced. If you were unable to detect power in the terminals, the computer will need testing as well as the wire running from the computer to the gas pump. Replacing the gas pump on a Kia is a simple procedure because you will not need to take out the gas tank. A cover plate under the carpet in the Kia's trunk conceals the gas pump. Simply lift up the carpet and cover plate and remove the gas pump below.

References

  • "Kia Sephia/Spectra: 1994 through 2004 (Chilton's Total Car Care Repair Manual)"; Chilton; 2006
  • Photo Credit fuel cover image by Kim Andreas Jönsson from Fotolia.com
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