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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi fellow Kia-ites!
I recently purchased a 2009 1.0 Picanto as I was desperate for transport as my venerable old Nissan Micra had just become too rusty to repair.
The car seemed clean and genuine with just under 60k on the clock and lots of service history. It belonged to a uni student who hadn't used it for months, and had just MOT'd it ready for sale. I haggled her down to £775 which seemed a decent price.
On the test drive it drove smoothly with good steering, excellent brakes and a quiet engine. However, it lacked power compared to the 1.0 Micra, which weighed about the same and had similar power, 60BHP.
As I really needed a car and it had obviously been standing for a while and the fuel tank was virtually empty, I took the gamble and hoped that it just needed using and maybe servicing. I took it to my local Shell station and brimmed it with their 95 octane.
The next thing I did was give it an oil and filter change, air filter and checked the plugs (which were fine, but a tad pale) the HT leads pretty much fell apart in my hands, so I replaced them with a quality set. Things weren't much better, with hesitation up hills and generally lacklustre performance. I then bunged a bottle of Forte fuel system cleaner in. Things improved slightly with less hesitation but I was having to push it hard in 2nd gear to make it up long hills.
I whipped the plugs out again, pulled the fuel pump and ignition fuses and did a compression test. I was astonished when all four registered around 250psi! Apparently this is normal!
Also, I have a cheap OBD11 reader, but nothing doing there.
I've now covered about 1500 miles and it certainly runs better than before, but struggles up hills, surging and not pulling consistently. It's ok if you don't push it but if you try to make decent progress it falls on its face.
I've bought a genuine fuel filter as they're supposed to be changed at 40k. Anyone got any other ideas? I don't mind throwing maintenance parts at it but don't want to spend a fortune on other parts if unnecessary.
Sorry about the essay!
Many thanks for looking...

Mike
 

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Hi Mike, welcome to the forum. I'll hate to see a joiner's first post unanswered, but I'm not sure how much practical help I can offer you.

Surging does sound like a problem somewhere, even if it will struggle up hills at the best of times! Looks like you've done a lot of the right things, and I'm struggling to think what else you can do. May be check for any air leaks on the intake (split hoses, loose clips) and may be get some contact cleaner and give the MAF sensor a good old clean.

I don't suppose by any chance you know anyone with a similar model, just to compare and check this isn't a characteristic of the car? Hopefully someone here will be along soon to offer some practical advice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply and advice gdh300! :)
I hadn't thought about the maf sensor! When you say contact cleaner, is that electrical contact cleaner?
I've got a big bottle of isopropyl alcohol which is 99%, but that might be a tad aggressive.
I can't hear any vacuum leaks but that doesn't mean there isn't one!
I've not fitted the fuel pump filter yet either. The car's obviously suffering from lack of use and dirty fuel, so I think those jobs would help.
Maybe cleaning the throttle body might be a good idea too.
If that doesn't help, it's probably cam or crank sensor I guess.
I'm not well versed with modern engine systems, more used to old motorbikes with carbs and points!
I've got a 1979 Suzuki GS1000, which doesn't have all these fangled systems ;)
Anyway, the car's getting me around, albeit a bit slower than I'd hoped for. I do like it and will definitely keep it if I can get it sorted.
All the best.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mine doesn't seem to have a mass airflow meter?
Puzzled now!
It's got some sort of mechanism on top of the throttle body with two chambers with a kind of a wheel in one of them.
Gave that a clean. no difference...
 

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I'd use contact cleaner rather than the alcohol, it's cheap enough in a spray can. Best be on the safe side!

It must have a MAF sensor somewhere, unless it is a MAP sensor only set-up, looking like this one?

I know you've done fuel treatment already, but might be worth doing the same for a few more fills, or treating it to a tank of V-Power next time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes gdh300, it's got one of those! A MAP sensor.
I reckon I'll put some injector cleaner and VPower in it and see if that helps.
Also I'm going to replace the in-tank filter tomorrow because that could be clogged having been owned by an impoverished student who probably ran it close to empty most of the time!

Thank you for your help!
 

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May be they filled it with diesel by mistake one time... ;)
 
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You seem to be looking at all the good basics Mikey,I would have thought a sensor problem would have given you a fault code but you never know.Were the plugs the correct type ? and definitely good idea to check in - tank filter.
 
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Have you checked if the brakes are binding on. That happened on my Picanto. It pulled away easy in 1st gear but 2nd and other gears it would struggle. When the car is not pulling well stop on a slight hill- if the car fails to move(with all brakes off- foot brakes and hand brake off) then your brakes are binding/sticking on. This can happen after long periods where the car has not been used-just like your Picanto was. Keep us posted.
 

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I have a Piccanto 2010 model form new. It is not a racing car in any shape of form. It will struggle on hills and you change down in anticipation of this to keep up the revs. I have never checked teh pressure in cylinders as having no need to. I service it myself since warranty . Does it do 45 mpg consistently? Or more? If less then there is some wear or brakes sticking on. Back callipers do rust and need a good clean every year. Cannot believe the cylinders have wear at 60K - if genuine. Put four in it and it struggles even more by the way. I have a Mondeo Estate for those occasions now. (There are very cheap on Ebay)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have a Piccanto 2010 model form new. It is not a racing car in any shape of form. It will struggle on hills and you change down in anticipation of this to keep up the revs. I have never checked teh pressure in cylinders as having no need to. I service it myself since warranty . Does it do 45 mpg consistently? Or more? If less then there is some wear or brakes sticking on. Back callipers do rust and need a good clean every year. Cannot believe the cylinders have wear at 60K - if genuine. Put four in it and it struggles even more by the way. I have a Mondeo Estate for those occasions now. (There are very cheap on Ebay)
Hi Henry,
I think there is a problem as I'm only getting roughly 30-35mpg around town.
I'll get to the bottom it and let all you kind gents know the outcome.

Cheers
 

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A binding caliper should be obvious after a long/high speed run; the smell or the heat from a wheel is a dead give away. It can also lead to an obvious pulsing feel to the brake pedal and/or audible drumming sound.

Not sure thought that it would lead to a sensation of surging.
 
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With you saying it struggles when pushing it, reminded me of a fault I had on a mid-90s 214 Rover many Years ago.
The Cat had collapsed internally.
It would run fine at lower Revs but at higher Revs with higher Air/Exhaust Flow, it felt 'strangled'.
Have heard of a blocked Silencer causing the same symptom I had.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hmm,
The plot thickens! That's exactly the symptoms.
Idles smooth and quiet, pulls consistently at small to medium throttle openings, but try to push it up a hill or even on the flat, and it just refuses to respond properly.
I've still to replace the fuel filter, and I suspect the injectors, or possibly coil pack. It gets me around, but I know it's got much more to give...
If it showed a code it'd make things so much easier, but I'll persevere with my basic knowledge and if I get nowhere it'll have to go into a workshop with the correct tools and knowledge to sort it once and for all!
Thanks guys, I do appreciate your communication :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A binding caliper should be obvious after a long/high speed run; the smell or the heat from a wheel is a dead give away. It can also lead to an obvious pulsing feel to the brake pedal and/or audible drumming sound.

Not sure thought that it would lead to a sensation of surging.
The brakes aren't binding, I've felt the roadwheels after a good run around and they were all nice and cool...
 
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