poor gas mileage

Asked by Feb 02, 2011 at 12:09 PM about the 2002 Kia Sportage Base 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I am only getting 227 miles per tank of gas, I have no leak, on the advise of the dealership changed the thermostat (check engine light was on). Timing belt broke (caused no damage) replaced 12/9/10.  Still gas mileage is still low at 227 in warm weather i was getting 257 this issue started about 6 months ago

17 Answers


Have you checked your throtle body for carbon build up and spark plugs ? Also check tire pressure

3 people found this helpful.

I just had new sparkplugs put in about 15000 miles ago, new tires put on in July 2010 I have no check engine light on but was wondering if the O2 sensor possibly needs replaces as i had a Dodge shadow years ago that did the same thing and needed the O2. Dealer ship says no because the check engine light isnt on....

4 people found this helpful.

this problem started around the time that winter came? winter gas doesnt do a well as "normal". its feb still. wait until april or so and the winter additives should be gone. gas mileage should improve then.

2 people found this helpful.

It started may or june of last year I was getting 257 this summer so the drop of 30 miles was ok due to winter but previously i was getting about 335 miles to a tank of gas this car is a 5 speed should get excellent gas mileage

5 people found this helpful.

how many miles are on the car? are you in need of new spark plugs? and an O2 sensor only comes on once it reaches a certain point of failure. it can still be bad without sending out a check engine code.

1 people found this helpful.

100,235 miles, sparkplug replaced a little under 15,000 miles ago, thermostat changed about 99,427 due to check engine light on and that was the failure even though I had plenty of heat and the dealer told me that would affect my gas mileage....Did not help at 99,897 timimg belt snapped quietly and did not do any damage to the engine...Then dealership told me that a timing belt slipping would have affected my gas mileage, nope still the same. I did also have a problem with sudden acceleration mentioned that each visit to the dealership now they tell me that was a common sign of a slipping timing belt UGH...Done with those people and the warranty is done!

3 people found this helpful.

You can improve your mileage immensely if you drive it off a cliff and walk away from it all together. I owned a 2000 Sportage and have never seen a bigger money pit in my life! I've owned multiple ford work trucks, Hondas, Chryslers, Sports cars .... you name it and I've owned it. I'm telling you now to get rid of that death trap before you get sucked into the Korean vortex of constantly repairing a car that was built with the lightest duty and least durable components that I have ever seen!!!!

6 people found this helpful.

with no check engine light, poor gas mileage and a sudden acceleration problem my best "guess" would be that you have a convertor coming apart. this engine is know for this and everything you have replaced are all signs of additional strain on an engine. i worked on these vehicles for 6 years before switching back to the hyundai brand completely and have seen probably 50 or more of the precats(warm up torque convertors) fail. usually followed by a cracked exhaust manifold and the car not moving at all.id suggest having the exhaust checked.


Hi, our '07 Rondo (2.7 engine) exhibits the same (!) exact issue. Used to get ok gas mileage, moved to the Gulf (no cold temperatures at all) and now gas mileage is as low as 14 miles/gallon. Talking to any KIA representation is not worth the aggravation, one might as well ask the mailman, he may even have a more cohesive answer. Something is obviously wrong, maybe the mandatory Ethanol is not helping, but 14 miles per gallon is Hummer territory. I will have yet another independent mechanic check the converter issue (thanks for the hint), but the car is paid off and selling it is not an option, the resale is not good. Ha, what a joke. Not good? It is laughable. If anybody has any idea what the Koreans missed in their design department, please let me/us all know. Tire pressure, air filter, oil and clean cabin filter ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR SUCH POOR GAS MILEAGE. KIA is a car that functions best in deep storage.........

1 people found this helpful.

Only answer i can give you, sadly, is that its a 2002 kia sportage... deal with it. they were terrible vehicles even new..


I bought a 4 cylinder 2007 Kia optima lx a couple of months ago because I wanted to save alittle gas. But instead it did worst then any other car I had in gas mileage.It averaged around 15mpg for months.I replaced air filer, maf ,tranny flush, oil change, spark plugs, oxygen sensors, cleaned injectors ,changed fuel pump, fuel system clean.Bought better tires inflated them properly ,changed all brake pads and checked for dragging .However no change no even feathering the gas pedal worked. Then before I gave up on it I checked for sticking calipers and noticed that the front set weren't moving smoothly.when I removed them the bottom slider pins had rubber boots that were causing them to stick. I removed them as they aren't to important. And then I checked the spark plugs gap and set them to between .030-.039 give or take and bam instant mpg gains.I now average 25mpg average and 32 highway. My advice is check those slider pins and spark plugs gaps. Out of all things who knew..

8 people found this helpful.

Thanks everyone for you suggestions on the poor mileage question! After 12 years I traded my Sportage in on a new 2013 Nissan Juke. I did get a fabulous deal trading the old girl in, she looked great but lost her 4 wheel drive mid Wisconsin winter pretty much impossible to get around. Love my juke and getting 31 mpg

Thanks everyone for your suggestions on the poor mileage question! After 12 years I traded my Sportage in on a new 2013 Nissan Juke. I did get a fabulous deal trading the old girl in, she looked great but lost her 4 wheel drive mid Wisconsin winter pretty much impossible to get around. Love my juke and getting 31 mpg


I understand this is an old subject. For the knowledge of readers, I have some troubleshooting and common issues to mention for the 2002 and earlier Sportage model. I picked up an 02 for next to nothing with 90k miles due to the owner not being able to fund the problematic repairs on this vehicle. After lots of reading, I will tell you exactly what causes particular issues that most mechanics most likely are unable to diagnose. Intermittent o2 sensor #1 code -faulty o2 wiring (per bulletin via Kia) -hairline crack in exhaust manifold, barely visible. Have it welded. This sets of o2 code which causes loss of MPG and can cause idling issues.

1 people found this helpful.

(Oops, hit submit button by accident.) No 4 wheel drive issue -The factory Warn brand vacuum operated hubs were almost destined to fail within the first 2 years. Replace with manual locking hubs for $200 or with generic brand for $100. If you need 4x4 immediately, remove hub bolts from wheel (does not require wheel removal or jack), remove hub, pull apart assembly, it is internally very simple inside, put the spring in the opposite side of hub. This will manually engage 4x4. Do this to both wheels in front but vehicle must be shifted in to 4x4. This is true 4x4 and will cause wheel hop while turning.


*Another common issue that can tend to set off multiple codes is the thin and fragile ground wiring that was poorly grounded to particular locations of the chassis and body that tend to rust over time.* -Check ground wiring. Clean paint and rust from sensor wiring, check wire for continuity, re-apply wire. *Squealing belt or grinding pulley noise that appears to be coming from behind the engine serpentine belt.* -Change timing belt and timing belt idler pulley before it breaks. My new belt that has 20k miles has a loud idler pulley due to mechanics not changing the idler pulley to save a few bucks. I highly suggest changing the timing belt and idler pulley (sold as a kit) on these vehicles as they very commonly break which causes the timing of the engine to get thrown off and the cylinder head valves will most likely hit the top of the piston requiring costly repairs.


For my Kia gas mileage, can I add a chip

1 people found this helpful.

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