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K. Wiggins
K. Wiggins, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Kia
Satisfied Customers: 2437
Experience:  Asian Import Specialist, AA in automotive Technology, 15+ years in the trade
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We just replaced the heater core in my 96 Kia Sportage but

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We just replaced the heater core in my 96 Kia Sportage but the engine is overheating now. Replaced the thermo but same trouble. Ran it without thermo -same. Heats enough to overflow. What next?
Was the overheating issue happening before heater core replacement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No but when heater core really started leaking into cab on passenger side engine heat redlined same time. Stopped, cooled filled w water to get home. Then replaced heater core.y

Thanks for that information. There's a good chance the head gasket blew. To confirm this you'll need to do a test for combustion gas in the coolant. You can get the tester from any parts store on their loan a tool program. You'll then have to buy a bottle of the test fluid from them. There will be instructions in the kit. Here's a link to the tool. If you need further assistance just let me know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So if the head gasket blew is it leaking coolant/water somewhere? Is the replacement of the head gasket something I should attempt if the tester shows the gas in the coolant or is it best left to a pro?

That test kit will determine if combustion gas is leaking into the cooling system. You won't notice an external leak just over heating and overflowing of coolant like you are experiencing.
I would only recommend attempting the repair yourself if you are confident in your ability to perform a pretty complex repair. It's about an 8 hour job. Cost to have a shop do it would be in the ballpark of 1000-1500 dollars.
Perform the block test first just to confirm. I always support testing before condemning something.
If you can tell me if you have the single over head cam or dual overhead cam I can post the replacement procedure so you can get an idea of how involve the job is.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I will test to see and will pass on the repair. thanx for your help

you're welcome. just let me know if I can help further.
K. Wiggins and 2 other Kia Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Kwiggins - Have not yet located block tester but i will and will test. Has been suggested to replace water pump - failing and overheating. Is this plausible? Wouldn't w/o head gasket test first, of course. Take your time/ thanx


It's possible, but usually water pumps tend to fail slowly as corrosion eats at the vanes causing a overheating condition under load or at slow speeds.

The very best way to test for proper cooling system flow is using a non contact laser thermometer. If booth upper and lower hose read close in temperature then there is a flow issue either due to a bad pump or radiator obstruction.