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Kia Rondo

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  • Just an FYI

    The site does not mention the removal of the intake Plenum when doing a tune up on the 2.7l for the Rondo, but it does for the Sportage, these are the same engines and after speaking to someone who has a 2.7L it has been confirmed that the tech pages are incorrect. The dealer specs it at approx 2.5hr labor to change the plugs.
  • I'm not too sure about that, the tech pages did not specify anything about a special tool, I just though it a little worrysome that the exhaust manifold needs to be removed considering that you the pump should not go for quite a while.

    As I indicated in my other post about the tune up on the V6, the tech pages did omit something there which could mislead some.
  • vannervanner Posts: 47
    Rondos are pretty new to have much info about longevity of components or sytems, so it would be hard to predict when a water pump might fail way down the road. I haven't looked over the warranty on our I-4 version to see if the water pump is considered part of the cooling system or part of the "engine and driveline". It would seem that for an awfully long time, the pump and replacement would be covered by warranty.

    There should be some info on the same engine and components in the long-serving Optima, right? About when do these pumps fail?

    Maybe I'm lucky but I have two other vehicles still in use here, one a '93 Aerostar with 160K miles on it, the other a 2000 Chevy Tracker (Suzuki Vitara) with 103K miles, and both have their orginal water pumps. So I have little fear of failed water pumps I guess, at least for 100K miles or so. But I do have a long term belief, fertilized by years as a professional mechanical engineer and a lifetime as an amateur mechanic: "If it ain't broke, don't mess with it."
  • HI Vanner,

    I agree the water pump should last for quite a few years, at least one would hope, that was my point. If 8 -10 years from now someones water pump goes and they need to remove the exhaust manifold to do it I would think removing those manifold bolts might pose a bit of a challange after x number of years.

    As fir the newness of the Rondo, I believe the power train is shared with the Sonata and Optima/Magaentis, so I was trying to look at some reviews of those vehicles for some type of history on performance.

    I understand Kia has been in the U.S. longer than it has here in Canada, so it makes it difficult to research there history here because there just are not a lot of them on the roads that are more than a 3 or 4 years old, its not like other brands where you can see 10 year old vehicles still on the road and you know they are fairly strong in numbers still.

    I just read a review in Consumers Report on Hyundai/Kia and they indicated that after about 5 years they tend to be more "unreliable" vehicles. I've never owned one so I really cannot say if this is a valid assessment or not.
  • vannervanner Posts: 47
    I'm guessing that fewer than 3 out of ten American cars make 100,000 miles or ten years. Crashes and environmental mishaps take them out earlier.

    The water pump on any Kia is currrently warranted for 100,000 miles for the original owner, 60,000 miles and 5 years for a subsequent owner. So even if the bolts are a problem, the warranty should cover it for the original owner.

    Lord knows we had our share of problems with steel bolts and studs in steel heads and headers back years ago! The worst thing you ever had to deal with was bolts/studs in the ends of the manifolds leading to the exhaust center piece! Almost a sure thing they'd be frozen by 10,000 miles. I've snapped off dozens of studs, both exhaust manifold and heads, in American engines of my day. On exhausts, if we didn't have a torch to cut them off, we just turned them the wrong direction with a lot of torque to deliberately break them off. It was faster.

    I've had some success with Permatex AntiSeize over the years, but it's no guarantee, and in aluminum it's even less sure. Something just happens to the molybdenum in the compound in aluminum. I'm betting that since I've pretty much left the backyard mechanic hobby, there are better compounds and likely something specific for aluminum.

    I do use anti-seize on lug nuts and have for years - a habit left over from living in snow/salt of the Buffalo, NY area for many years. It has paid off well over the years.

    Aluminum heads and blocks actually have made life a little easier in that you'll strip the threads if all else doesn't fail, and then you drill them and add the heli-coils as mentioned. Went through it a lot on rice-burner motorcycles.

    I do have to admit I scratch my head over the engineering decision to place the pump where the manifold would have to be removed, since normally one would never remove that manifold in the entire lifetime of the car. It would make sense, I'd think, to shape the pump body to lie over the manifold somehow to change that. Then again, maybe 100,000 miles for a water pump now is expected.

    The reputation for Kia/Hyundai being "unreliable" I think comes in part from the early cars - earlier than 2000. They were, generously, cr*p! See any 1990s Excels around? The Sedonas up to 2004 were awful as well. Terrible problems with brakes, and anything not "basic" was junk. Things like auto locks, power seats, power side doors - junk - all of it. Bad design, poor materials choices and lousy suppliers.

    I think now, honestly, they are building a heck of a lot of very good cars, choosing materials and designs wisely, and limiting and controlling suppliers better. This new up-coming V-8, rear-wheel drive big car of Hyundai, then later Kia, will stand the world on its automotive ear methinks. Pickup trucks and light-duty commercial trucks will be next. Kia has been in that market in Asia and Europe for many years. (In fact, the Rondo has sold as the Carens in Europe and parts of Asia for a number of years now.) I suspect you'll see NASCAR in the Kia/Hyundai future - the V-8 and a full-sized car are clearly aimed that way.

    Years ago I warned the appliance industry, in which I was an engineer, that if they did not pay attention to the Korean electronics and appliance manufacturers, they'd be run over by them. LG, Gold Star, etc., I was right.

    Another factor in the reputation of "unreliable" frankly comes from the low-buck Kia/Hyundai car buyers and the deliberate targeting of entry-level or less-than-solid-credit buyers that especially Kia goes for. With these "$99 down and a job you can own a new Kia Rio, even with no credit or bad credit" ads, Kia attracts a segment of the market who cannot afford the warranty upkeep, or choose to not pay for the upkeep. These cars fail with all sorts of neglect problems from oil starvation/exhaustion, worn down brake rotors from "steel-on-steel", and every mentionable rounded off corner and creased sides of the body work, bent or broken off bumpers.

    I've had conversations with some Kia dealers and I'm told that fully half of the low-income-target buyers fail in their payments and the cars are repo'd, most of them fit only for auction, and many of those just trash. One dealer manager has told me he almost never repo's a Rio or Spectra that still has all four original tires, one of the tires and the rim gone and the mini-spare in it's place, fully worn out.

    I see Rios and Spectras every day well cared for and very nice - cars I'd gladly buy for my teenage daughter. But I also see a bunch of unsafe, clapped-out junk burning oil and riding on those mini spares, with very little coachwork still straight. Tough subject to bring up and I'll face some abuse over it, but it's entirely true here in the Midwest US.

    Sometimes the reputation of a car or appliance is not necessarily the fault of the builder or designer. Sometimes it's the market that the builders target.

    Anyway, my wife dearly LOVES our Rondo, and I'd like to fall in love with it, but I've only been allowed to drive it maybe 15 miles total! I think it's one of the better cars out there of any brand for any price, or we wouldn't own one.
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    That's a mouthful, but extremely well said! All your points are perfectly valid and to the point.
    I love my 07 Rondo too, more than the Honda's, Subaru's, Mitsubishi's, Dodges, Chev's or Fords that I have owned. All were good cars (except my 91 Civic Si, which was a lemon).
  • Nicely Said.

    We like the Rondo too and it's a pretty safe bet that it will be our next car. The reason I brought up the point with the water pump is to get people's feedback, in Canada the warranty is only 5 years, and I fully expect the waterpump to outlast the warranty, but if it goes 8 years as on our other car what shape will those manifold bolts be in then... around here you don't see many older Kia's around, but I think it may be due more to not having stronger sales numbers, so they were not out in as big a number as some of the others.

    I've been studying the Consumers Reports review closely, Hyundai and Kia seem to have done well, they had some good things to say about them, but as with everything else its subject to opinion. We were also considering the Tuscon, but it seems that there were alot of problems with them so I think I'd rather stick to the Rondo.

    How do people find the 4cyl performs on the highways, when its loaded with passangers and cargo?

    I've also read some conflicting reviews about the front passanger seat folding flat, but the dealer was not able to figure it out, I don't think this is the case am I correct?
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Wheelspin1, our front passenger seat does not fold flat, but does recline all the way back so that the top of the seat contacts the front of the middle row seat's bottom cushion. This forms a chaise lounge which, according to our manual, can be used when belted in the middle row, for relaxation. It's no good for carrying long objects though, since it cannot recline all the way back when the middle row is folded forward.
    We have an 07 EX V6 with leather, by the way.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    wheelspin1 - here is a shot of my 5-seater Rondo with the passengers seat reclined, this works easier for the 5-seater as the 7-seater has a different rear base cushion storage on the 2nd row of seats.

    image

    I have the 2.4L engine and I find the performance and power outstanding, however I have not carried a full load at any point, but have carrier three adults and gear. The power continues to amaze me for a 4 cylinder. It certainly out performs my previous vehicle that had a 2.8L V-6, even though the Rondo is 500 lbs heavier! Acceleration onto the 401 (freeway), for example is great and if you have to pass, no problem. Due to circumstances recently I was on the 401 and had to accelerate while driving at 100kmph (60mph) to get out of a bad situation and put my foot down , it dropped a gear and I was up to 130 kmph in no time flat, not realizing I had was that high - then settled back down to 110.
    The transmission is very smooth and really like the manual feature as I have used that a lot this last winter with all the snow.
    Maybe if you are pulling a trailer a lot or drive around with 7 passengers maybe you need the V6, but don't dismiss the four as its quite a powerhouse! I guess also it depends what you were driving before too.
    I never drove the V6 when I purchased the Rondo, as I tried the four and that was more than enough for me.

    Drives: 2008 Rondo EX, 2.4L, 5-seater
    Location: Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada
  • Thanks for the Picture, I didn't realize it was different between the 5 and 7 seater, I guess the salesman didn't either. We're interested in the 5 seater. I found the 2.4L to be pretty good on the highway, and since the majority of our driving is in the city I really do not think the 6cyl is needed, but I'm used to driving an SUV with a 6cyl and that thing could haul just about anything, just load it up and off you go, unfortunately so did your fuel.

    Well the more I hear the more I think we are Rondo bound. If anyone has anything to add I am willing to hear... To all those who have replied thus far, Thanks : )

    Thanks for the info.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Vehicle has no adjustments for camber or caster. And drive shaft design leads to torque steer. Both of these problems were taken care of, in Ford and GM at least, by time of earlier 90's. To fix the torque steer problem, either the transmission housing has to be redesigned or a shaft extender becomes part of the transmission so that both drive shafts are equal in length. I'm not sure why this works but I found Ford engineering note to this. This is not something after build.
    The vehicle has some pluses, but power is not one or mileage either. And for the previously mentioned, I would stay away until KIA fixes it.
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    e_net_rider, you're right about the Rondo having no adjustments for camber or caster. If the Rondo comes out of the factory not aligned to spec and it's noticeable during real-world driving, it's a problem that (at this point) cannot be easily fixed. As stated before, anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that a few V6s have been particularly unlucky (the potential "pulling to the right" problem). I've noticed in another thread that you've had what appears to be an alignment problem with your I4--it's the only account I've read so far of such a problem with the I4 (I did read an account of pulling to the right in the I4, but only when accelerating from a stop with the traction control kicking in). So is the likelihood of encountering such a problem high enough for a potential buyer to be worried? Can this be screened for during a test drive? I don't know. I just know that I haven't noticed any obvious problems related to the alignment in my own I4 Rondo.

    I have yet to read a review from the press or an automotive website, or an anecdote in this forum or at Kia Forums, complaining about noticeable torque steering in the Rondo.

    Most of the reviews and anecdotes that I've read state that the Rondo's power is just fine (especially the V6), but there haven't been many accounts of how it performs with a full load of people/cargo. Last summer, I did have seven passengers on a few occasions (mostly kids, though). On those occasions, I drove in the city only and I didn't notice any obvious deficiency in the power of my I4.

    As for the mileage, people can just re-read point #1 in my previous post.
  • vannervanner Posts: 47
    Many years ago, with European front-wheel-drive cars, there were problems with "torque steer". The early Olds Tornado had it too. Some inovative solutions included a larger diameter long shaft, and higher modulus material in the longer shaft. Renault had a really weird solution in the '70s R-16 by making the wheelbase on the right side almost 4" shorter than on the left side! (Moved the rear wheel forward.)

    Mostly this is a problem upon rapid acceleration. I drove FWD cars in the '60s and '70s (raced a Fiat 128) and learned to expect it and live with it in cars that had not engineered it out. (In some racing applications, one used to be able to buy different material "stiffness" shafts to compensate for the torque.) One would think Kia could actually lick this with the ESC program. Probably the reason the V-6 cars have a more pronounced "pull" is the increased torque of the V-6 with the same suspension/steering components.

    Possibly the ESC program is exactly the problem. I don't have a V-6 so I have to ask, does it pull the same with the ESC switched "off"? Maybe by trying to keep the wheel with the short shaft from spinning, it accidentally steers the car that way?

    As to the point about no caster or camber adjustments: Maybe they don't view normal wear without physical damage as a problem? There is in fact a way to make some adjustment in the strut rotation in the mounts and maybe that's how they expect to correct alignment?

    We may be facing the day that the "old" system of doing these things is gone in favor of simpler and less costly assembly, and reduction of part quantities. Trust me on this, design engineers in all products but anvils and bowling balls are under tremendous pressure to reduce the number of parts in assemblies.

    I personally don't need a lot of power in my family mini van. I get lots of power kicks from a couple of other vehicles I own. As I said in one other post, the '05 Sedona we owned had WAY too much power for safe use by most drivers. ESC is there to keep untrained and inexperienced drivers, and lazy old goats like me, from getting into trouble when applying too much power at the wrong time.

    Our mileage is excellent so far - way above the EPA numbers, and in a different universe from the Sedona! Driving style can make a lot of difference, and maybe drivers who make rapid acceleration a priority to the point of torque steer also push the inertia law some and find that heavy vehicles under high acceleration forces use more gas?
  • rondoniumrondonium Posts: 22
    I appreciate what seem like very informed posts on engineering issues, which I am otherwise quite ignorant of.

    So help me out - how does a front-end alignment happen (which I just paid a local shop to do after I hit a mega-pothole) if there is no camber/caster adjustment?

    btw - after the "alignment' job, I'm now getting shimmy when braking at highway speed. any insights appreciated....
  • vannervanner Posts: 47
    Rondonium,

    Tough break with the pothole. Zillion of 'em around Louisville this year too.

    I make it a point when getting repairs done, to get a complete list of what will be done for what cost. Essential that it is itemized. This is particualrly important for me for "collision" repairs and a pot-hole fits that for me.

    Did the car shimmy on braking BEFORE the repairs? As a result of the pot-hole I mean. Also, what led to the diagnosis "out of alignment"? Is this a Kia shop, or somewhere else?

    There are some items that could be bent in a pot-hole strike besides just knocking aligment adjustments loose. The Rondo has lower control arms and they are apparently of a two-piece design. Doesn't look weak to me at all, but sure could be bent or twisted. (I once severely bent a lower A-arm on a Ford F-250 truck when I ran over a chunk of concrete in the road in the dark of night. Had to replace a LOT of stuff on that one!) The lower control arm bushings could also be damaged. There is a steering "knuckle" at the axle end to allow steering, and it is pretty much a "cv" joint and could be broken or loosened. Wouldn't be much of a stretch for the axle shaft on that side to be bent, and of course the strut itself coud be bent or the upper mount shifted in the "tower". Could be a brake rotor damaged. The tie rod end or whole tie rod could be damaged and even the steering rack could be damaged.

    Could have been LOTS of damage other than just being "out of line". In fact, even rear wheels can be knoced out of line fairly easily on FWD cars. Rim damage? Tire belt damage?

    If there was no shimmy on braking after the hit and before the "alignment", I'd be skeptical about the alignment of course. Sometimes, adjusting the tie-rod "toe in" incorrectly will result in pulling to one side especially while braking, pulling to either side unpredictably on braking, severe shake or shimmy, or all of the above. Toe in can measure correctly, and still be quite off center. Is your steering wheel still "centered"? Was it after the hit?

    There does appear to be, as in the Sedona, some adjustment that can be made with the upper strut mount - some rotation that can effect alignment. There is some TSB on that for Sedonas that come from the factory "misaligned". This sonds like it's not an easy repair process, sort of "last ditch".

    I'd advise talking to that reapir shop about an itemized bill for just what they did and how. Ask how far out of line and in what way the diagnosis said it was. Tell them you still have a problem and make them fix it right. If you still have doubts, try another repair shop - someone who will itemize the problem and billing, and explain to them what has gone down so far so they know what to look for.

    One other point that is important any time you have a sudden problem of some damage that has to be repaired: Never tell a shop what you think or know is wrong, or what you want repaired. This is a license for them to fix what you wanted fixed, billing you for it legally, and never fixing the real problem.

    Tell them the complete problem with background of how it got to that, and ask then to inspect, estimate, and itemize. Get two or more estimates if you can.

    Please get back to us on whatever you find out so we'll all know for next time. This is a great forum for sharing knowledge.
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Medicineman makes some good statements-

    "Some people are not happy with the mileage, but as far as I can see, most people have been meeting the American EPA estimates for the 2008 I4--19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway in US gallons (or 22.8 MPG city and 31.2 MPG highway in Imperial gallons)."
    My fuel economy with my 2007 EX V6 Luxury is 23-24 mpg city (well, more like rural as opposed to city) and 33 mpg highway, Imperial, so it is pretty close to spot on what he says, except it's with the V6, 2 adults, 2 kids, and a load of stuff. Maybe the 5 sp auto makes a difference, as opposed to the 4 sp with the 4 cyl?

    "I think some Canadians have been disappointed because they've been looking at the overly optimistic Canadian EnerGuide estimates, which are 26 MPG city and 38 MPG highway in Imperial gallons (or 21.6 MPG city and 31.6 MPG highway in US gallons). The only way you'll get 38 MPG Imperial on the highway is if you're going downhill all the way with hurricane-force winds blowing behind you."
    Yeah, the EnerGuide is a farce - there is no way any vehicle is going to meet their estimates without a big push downhill! I am pretty happy with 33 mph highway Imperial, which is 1 mpg better than my 1998 Legacy wagon 5 sp was getting.

    "A few people and two reviews that I've read have complained about the stock all-season tires (especially the Michelins) and their lack of grip on ice and snow. They've also complained about the too intrusive Traction Control System, which cuts the power to reduce wheel spin and which may lead to some scary results (such as leaving you "powerless" in the middle of an intersection or while trying to merge into traffic). For those who've noticed this problem, it can be solved by installing some decent winter tires."
    Exactly! Anyone who drives in Canada (maybe other than in BC) should be installing winter tires every winter, without exception. I use studded winter tires, since around here (central Newfoundland) we get a lot of ice. No all-season tire should be used in below-freezing temperatures, and anyone who complains that their all-seasons lack grip, need to get a grip! OF COURSE they lack grip! Jeez! The Traction Control System intervenes occasionally with my studded tires, so I can imagine how much it intervenes with the no-season, sorry I mean all-season tires.

    "A few people have noticed that the V6 pulls to the right. This isn't a potential problem for you since it doesn't seem to affect the I4, but I thought I would mention it for other people's sake."
    I have not experienced any pull to the right or left with my V6 - it is always dead centre and extremely stable.

    "In Canada (can't remember if this is also true for the US), the 2007 Rondo has a
    light in the cargo area and inside the glovebox. These lights have been removed in the 2008 model. There are other differences, too, but these two seem to be the most annoying."
    Yeah, the 2007 Canadian model has a light in the cargo area and glove box, which are very useful.

    Brian Williams
    Gander
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    ESC sounds like a joke if it only kills power during slippage. I certainly hope there are other inputs to the system.
    Torque steer is actually menacing in combination with alignment/handling problem. There is too much caster which makes the vehicle harder to steer when pulling than when you let off the gas. With too much caster the vehicle also wants to follow any wear or anomaly in the road. Adding in the other bad cambor figures it is aligned for going on a round track. Not the way I drive for sure.
    Adding the bad alignment to the torque steer issue makes its handling very unpredictable at any given moment. It is hard to perceive how the vehicle will react to any road surface change and multiply that by the infinite possible conditions to amount of torque delivered from engine is doubly insane. Problem is so bad on torque steer that the difference is notable on a slight incline, up and down hill.

    As to rotating strut rod, some of the early solutions were just that and Ford suggestted bending them, for which they got their asses sued off. I certainly don't want my struts bent. Nor do I want them to butcher slots into them.

    As to elimination of parts, GM and Ford learned the hard way that eliminating too much is bad.
    BTW, I realized the issue at 900 miles, the first time I drove the vehicle. It now has almost 9000 and is starting to develop some play in linkage, likely because of the constant self induced motion via alignment and torque steer. How many times can you intentionally steer a small amount left and right around the center point before such wear shows up? And roads here in the south are much better than most places in the north. Road never breaks due to frost, so potholes are near absent.
  • medicinemanmedicineman Posts: 135
    e_net_rider, have you read the thread over at Kia Forums about the pulling problem in the V6? An interesting discussion has developed in that thread--start at post #100 and continue onward. You might find it helpful, or maybe not, but it doesn't hurt to take a peek. Perhaps you might even want to ask a few questions of your own.
  • ramblinmoramblinmo Posts: 38
    I had a front and rear alignment done at the Kia dealer. Right front tire wore badly enough to cause cupping, Wife may have hit a curb, I'm not sure. I did not notice any handling problems. Only after the tire started making noise after what must have been a few thousand miles did I think about taking it in for service.

    Major adjustments were made to the thrust angle. Right front adjustment from -0.20 to 0.05. Both rear tires adjusted from 0.15 to 0.05. Bad adjustment from the factory on the back tires?

    The only other significant adjustment again on the right front tire was the camber. Changed from -0.9 to -0.7

    Are we sure these can't be aligned? Did the dealer make this graphic chart up showing the before and after adjustments?
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    One factor I have not seen mentioned here, and maybe I just missed it, is that pulling to the right can often be attributed to the crowning of the road. If a vehicle has perfect alignment, it should still want to (ever so slightly) pull to the right, as it follows the crown of the road.
    Now if a vehicle pulls to the right willingly, or to the left at all, then it needs an alignment.
    Roads here in Newfoundland are stongly crowned in many areas, so as to aid in spring run off of all the snow we get, so every car I haver ever had, has pulled slightly to the right (except my lemon 91 Civic Si, which always pulled sharply right no matter if it was aligned or not).
    Comments?
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