KIA Sportage Idle Problem Symptoms

by Edmund Gary

The Kia Sportage is a small SUV that could be ordered in two-wheel or four-wheel drive configurations. The most common problem associated with Sportage models from the 1995 through 2002 model year is engine idling.


The most common complaint many owners have about their late model Kia Sportages is the engine will idle at high RPMs, but the engine will stall at lower RPMs. Stalling would occur when the engine reaches normal operating temperature.

Air Idle Control

One source of poor idle is a nonworking air idle control unit (AIC). The AIC adjusts the engine RPMs by opening and closing a bypass inside the throttle body. An AIC unit can go bad by short circuiting and stop working or build up a high electrical resistance. High electrical resistance delays the input the AIC receives from the on-board computer sensors.

Faulty EGR

The exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) should be checked. The valve of the EGR may not open properly because of a blockage or leak in the vacuum hoses. A faulty EGR can cause an engine to idle roughly and fail an emissions test.

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