A 2008 Kia Spectra started stalling out when idle. Revving the engine as soon as it started would prevent stalling, but as soon as it dropped below 1500 or so it would stall out again. Check engine light never appeared.

I disconnected the battery for about a minute, then reconnected, hoping to reset the computer. After this, the car started and runs fine.

Should I send this to the Kia dealership to take a look at, or is this a problem that will likely not recur?



  • How many miles are on it? Is the regular maintenance up to date on it? If it's been a while since a tune-up then it wouldn't hurt.
    – Seminecis
    Aug 25 '13 at 5:53

My guess is that your long term fuel trim was commanding the fuel injectors to inject less fuel. When you start your car, you are running open loop (without the feedback of the Oxygen Sensor). In the warm-up phase, if your long term fuel trim is low, the car will stall since it is injecting less fuel than it was calibrated for. When you disconnected the battery, you reset the fuel trim adaptation, making all the values reset back to zero (no fuel is being trimmed). Even though no MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light) came on, you can still check your fuel trim values which are stored in the non-volatile memory of the ECU as long as you don't disconnect the battery.

I would change your air filter and monitor the long term fuel trim adaptation to make sure it is staying within reasonable values (+/- 5%). If this is not the case, then I would take it to a mechanic.

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