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Kia Spectra Engine Issues

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Comments

  • Talk about an understatement! On our '98 Caravan, the engine/transmission/air conditioner unit all had major problems within 5 years. We were kinda expecting subpar powertrain quality, so we actually were the "suckers" that bought the extended warranty for about $1000. It came in handy several times - the engine (ancient 3.0 liter they don't offer anymore) needed to be replaced, the transmission (a 3-speed auto in a minivan?!) had to be rebuilt, and the A/C unit had to be replaced twice. Ridiculous. We traded it in before it reached 80,000 miles.

    I suppose all of that's off-topic. I'm here reading about all the paint issues and I'm just crushed. The Spectra5 was my top car choice, but the old car I'm getting rid of right now is starting to rust. I told myself I'd never deal with this again, especially since car paint has gotten so much better. I wonder if all of this chipping/bubbling is a problem with Kia paint in general, with all Spectras in general, or only with the Spectra5's. Either way, I guess I'll be looking elsewhere for my new car. :(
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    "I wonder if all of this chipping/bubbling is a problem with Kia paint in general, with all Spectras in general, or only with the Spectra5's. Either way, I guess I'll be looking elsewhere for my new car."

    Keep in mind that there are all of what... about half a dozen or less posts here claiming paint problems?

    Spectra's have been selling at a 50-70k annual clip the past few years, so the reports here represent a very small fraction of owners.

    Does that mean that there isn't a possible problem on a few select vehicles or build periods? No.

    But, for someone to totally remove a car from their purchase list, there'd have to be a helluva lot more complaints found online than these few AND some TSBs issued.... at least IMHO.

    As I've stated on here before, my sand beige (gold) 2004.5 Spectra EX's paint is *beautiful* and has held up tremendously for 2 years and 24k miles. It's also kept exclusively outside.

    -SM
  • To say that 50,000 Spectras have been sold, but there's not many complaints here, doesn't prove anything. This Spectra5 forum isn't exactly a popular place for owners.

    I still contend there could be a problem with a large number of Spectra5's. I've found three separate 2005's for sale here in the Chicago area, and *each* of them have the exact problems listed here upon inspection. It's definitely reason enough to not rush out and buy one, sad as I am to say that.
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255
    My point is that the number of next-gen Spectras sold since 2004.5 is closer to 130-170k.

    And as regarding the number of posts in *this* forum, I'm also including the numerous other KIA-centric forums I follow. I still contend that the number of paint issues I've seen online are low.

    That said, I'm not denying your empirical/observational data regarding bad 2005 paint. Seeing is believing to be sure.

    Can you snap some digital pics and post them somewhere online on a free hosting space and then post the URL's here? I think that seeing the actual flaws would be very helpful for other KIA owners to compare to as well as giving KIA an eyeful as to a potential problem.

    -SM
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    can do, i will post some pics of my paint complaints shortly, just have to retreive them. hold tight.

    Geo.
  • I think bottom line, if their are that many problems with the paint and Kia isn't doing anything about it then owners need to start a class action Lawsuit.
    I've only had mine for a month but my Mom has a Kia Sadona and after almost 3 Years there is nothing wrong with the paint other than the typical chips associated with Day to Day driving.
    This String has me so parranoid I keep looking every time I get in the car for bubbles and paint damage.
    Like I said before if you have a legitimate problem with your car and the manufacturer doesn't want to help then you need to contact the BBB and report it.
    Just because Kia is made outside the USA means nothing when it comes to product support.
    Hopefuly I wn't have any problems with the paint on My Spectra5 but if I do, I will either get it fixed or it will end up being reported to the proper agencies.
    If Kia is this lacking in Customer support I'd think we would all be hearing about it on TV and in various Automotive Mags. So far I have seen nothing but good things in all of the articles I have read, including long term driving reports. And in the Long term reports I have read I haven't read one word about paint issues and trust me, those Mags can get prety anal about nit picking a car to pieces.
    So far My experiance with Kia has been positive, albeit a Month.
    All I can say is it sounds like some of the Cars slipped through Q-A's fingers and for some reasn they either aren't complaining loud enugh to Kia or there's more to the story we aren't hearing, IMHO.
    Since first reading this thread I have really been paying attention to Cars out on the road and being a Truck Driver I see allot of Cars. So far I have noticed on allot of newer cars things like paint peeling and bubbling. I've seen allot of the peeling problem on Metalic paints like Gold and Silver especialy on older Honda Accords, Pontiac Sunfires and Dodge Neons. I'm talking about Cars that are less than 3 Years old. If I owned one of those Cars I'd be livid to say the least!
    If I had paid over $25.000 for a 2002 Accord, the paint was peeling like on some I've seen and Honda wasn't willing to fix it, I'd be talking to a Lawyer.
    So for now I'm going to take a deap breath, relax and enjoy my lil Spectra. ;)
  • I just bought a 2006 kia spectra 5 and i am so far very happy. I want to put an intake, an exaust, lowering kit, and mabie a few other cool accessories. I dont know that much about new cars, all i have ever owned are old muscle cars. does anyone have any ideas or recomendations on what i should do?
  • Well, the first ting I did was take the grill badge off. It only takes the removal of 2 screws in the back of the badge assembly. If you take a look at My profile You'll see how it looks. It makes it look like a custom grill and costs nothing! :shades:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,859
    Congratulations on your new Specrta5! Post your first impressions here.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • rxmacrxmac Posts: 12
    Wanna mod your new Spec5? Try this site for lusty warranty busters:

    http://www.alpine-developments.us/kiaproducts.html

    They did a couple custom Spec5 for the 2004 SEMA show:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/autoshows/8832/2004-sema-show.html

    Oh so droolworthy....
  • Sorry, off topic, but this board had some activity and I was hoping someone could help.

    Over the weekend a friend who has a KIA (2004 maybe?) alleged that his car was made in tennessee (by uaw workers no less), and I googled, but could not find any Kia plant in the US except for one under construction. Was any Kia ever made in the US ? Can anyone point me to a link showing this?? I think this friend was full of beans, but dont want to call him on it if I'm wrong.

    Hope someone can help,thanks.
  • however Kia has plans to build a large factory in southern Georgia. When the Hyundai CEO got into trouble earlier this year (he's facing various charges right now...it doesn't look real good for his future in South Korea)both Hyundai and Kia plans and production lines were slowed down a tad.

    Also, Hyundai was struck by their union earlier this year. All of this has messed them up a bit. For instance, construction on the new Kia plant in Georgia was put off for a bit. However, sales have been good in the U.S. for both Hyundai and little bro Kia.

    No, your friend's Kia was not built in the U.S.A. It was built in South Korea. I guarantee it.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • I'll add to this. If you want to look at interesting mods for this car, go to cardomain.com and search for 2005 or 2006 Spectra 5's. I learned alot just by reading through the mods that other people had already done.
    Here is the link:
    click here

    Oh, here is a pic of my new Spec. Couldn't decide between silver and black, but I finally decided on the silver just because it rains almost daily here in Miami so black is really hard to keep clean.
    image
  • What were the details of your rebate and trade-in and any other? Looks like a $3,070 difference in the total and what you paid but we'd like to know what the dealer gave you extra. Thanks!
  • My catalytic converter went out at 23,000 miles. I never seen that before. I asked the caused but the service manager said it just fell apart. It was covered under warranty though.
  • I have a manual 2001 kia spectra, that I purchased used with no owner's manual. Since I bought the car, I have replaced the alternator twice, and now I am having more problems... the car will not start, or begin to turn over, I know that I have a bad fuse in the relay box, but no diagram to go by to find out what fuse is bad. Any suggestions? :lemon:
  • I have a 2006 kia spectra ex, automatic, 23K. I've started having problems with turning the engine over in the morning after the car has set over night. engine starts to turn and stops (no "clicking when it stops). problem goes away once engine has warmed. anyone else have this problem?
  • ita2464ita2464 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a used KIA(13,000 miles.) I did a lot of research before buying a car and had it narrowed down to two used vehicles that I found: The 2005 Spectra5 and a 2005 Vibe. My decision was made by four things: price, air bags, warranty and stereo. The Vibe was a base model and had no CD player, it was more expensive, had fewer air bags and no dealer warranty. Well, I had my Spectra5 for one day when I realized the CD player was broken. Confident that it was under warranty, I went to the dealer, who was great and said I did need a new stereo and it would be in by the end of the week. That was two months ago. Now I am told the stereos are back ordered indefinitely by KIA. I filed a consumer complaint with KIA, to no avail. I don't think KIA has any intention of honoring this warranty. Now I am having a bad vibration in the front and I can see that the tires are wearing improperly, but I'm afraid to bring it in because I have no confidence that they will fix it. If every part under warranty takes more than two months to arrive, KIA saves a lot of money, doesn't it? I can't believe even if there is an issue with the particular stereo in the Spectra5 that there is no other stereo that could be put in my car. I think KIA just doesn't want to replace it.
    Has anyone else had problems with their KIA stereo? Did KIA honor the warranty? :mad:
  • I have a 2002 Kia Spectra, automatic transmission, 47,000 miles. I have the same problem. In the morning I will try to start the car and it will sputter out and die. Then if I try to start a second time, it works fine. Once warmed up the problem goes away.

    I am going to take it to the dealer for warranty repair. I had a similar problem happen to a Saturn SL a couple years ago - on the Saturn it was the "Cold Start Valve".

    If I find out what the cause it, I will post it here.
  • jcj8008jcj8008 Posts: 5
    You might check the MAF and see if it is dirty. Take it to a dealer and have them read the computer. I have an 06 Spec 5 with 11,600 miles and have had no problems. If you haven't done it already get rid of the factory spark plugs and get NGK iridiums. Your parts store will know what part number. These will get you better mileage and might solve the cold start up problems. Also check out www.streetkiaz.com. Registration is free and there are people on there that know more about a Kia than any dealership tech.
  • acm563acm563 Posts: 11
    I purchased a 2002 Spectra for my son. AT, 32,000 miles on it, transmission went out, KIA would not honor warranty because maintenace records showed Dextron 3 being used for servicing(although every book we can find shows D3 Ok) Evidently KIA book says SP3 only...Anyway, we bought new trans from KIA, had our mechanic put it in. Car ran fine prior to trans replacement now car acts as if it is a manual transmission trying to start out in 5th gear. Noone seems to have any idea as to what could be the issue...Any ideas would be much appreciated.
  • acm563acm563 Posts: 11
    KIA will not honor their warranty in any way if there is even a 5 mile deviation off from their service/maintenance recommendations. ALSO, make sure you check only the KIA book for fluids etc as that is where we ran into issues. Any off market books may not give you the same info as the KIA book , we did not have one with our used KIA and that is where we ran into our issues. I have 5 books telling me it is OK to use Dextron 3 in the 2002 Transmission...WRONG! per KIA so dont lose ur warranty due to something like htis as it is a COSTLY mistake!!!
  • spectraspectra Posts: 1
    The good news:
    I purchased my Spectra5 when in reality I was shopping for a Toyota (again). I have not regretted buying the Spectra 5.
    Outstanding value and pricing. Thought-out practicality. Good fit & finnish. Quite ride under normal conditions. Good back seat leg room. Great body styling. Great driving dynamics on the twisties & turns.

    The so-so news:
    I need to be aware of tire stops or curbs when parking the vehicle. The paint is a little thin. The engine is constantly searching for the right gear when going uphill.
    The seat belt chime is a little annoying when I'm cleaning the interior and listening to the CD.
    The engine looks better without the funky plastic engine cover (but I appreciate it as a sound barrier).

    The Twilight Zone news:
    At 3,000 miles, I took the Spectra5 in to Glendale KIA dealer (L. A. Calif.) for:
    1) Oil change (I know, I know).
    2) Slight vibration on the right front tire.
    3) The car wants to pull slightly to the right on the open highway.
    The oil change went without drama. But when it came to the alignment and balance, Oh My God.
    The service manager tried to convince me that the steering pulled to the right because the pavement was paved at an angle for rain run-off. If that's the case, it should pull to the left. And my improper tire pressure (28 front & 30 rear) is the cause of the right front vibration.
    Needles to say, I felt uncomfortable with Glendale KIA's service manager's incompetence and left in haste.

    At 8,000. I took the Spectra 5 to El Monte KIA dealer (hoping for service) for oil change and right front vibration. Oil and filter changed, tire balanced, life is good. All went well until I drove out of the dealers driveway. It felt like they accidentaly removed the struts. I checked the tire presure (while still in the driveway and tires cold). Lo and behold, 55 psi on all 4 corners. The reason I say 55 psi is because my tire guage only goes up to 55 psi. I will not return to El Monte KIA.

    In retrospect:
    Great car for my needs and purpose. Great price and finacing. Better looking than the 08 model. The light window tint all around on my red KIA looks and feels cool.

    Attention KIA Motors USA, I thuroughly enjoy my Spectra5 for what it is and how it gets me there. KIA Motors in Korea make a great product.
    Dealers in L.A. County are:
    1) Hiring high school grads as automotive mechanics.
    2) Don't understand the "Return business" credo.
    3) Have no intentions of resolving normal automotive
    issues (under warranty) in an effort to reduce cost.

    KIA Motors, Irvine, USA, wake up.
    Enjoy the ride. HV
  • jacobrichjacobrich Posts: 3
    Original Message:
    I have a 2002 Kia Spectra, automatic transmission, 47,000 miles. I have the same problem. In the morning I will try to start the car and it will sputter out and die. Then if I try to start a second time, it works fine. Once warmed up the problem goes away.

    I am going to take it to the dealer for warranty repair. I had a similar problem happen to a Saturn SL a couple years ago - on the Saturn it was the "Cold Start Valve".

    If I find out what the cause it, I will post it here.


    Result: I took my car to the Kia dealer to see if they could diagnose the problem. The tech discovered that there was a "software update" for the ECM. They uploaded the update and the car runs fine again. They charged me $90.00 to diagnose the problem and upload the software. I feel a little bit "had" because they seemed to know what the problem was immediately - and they seemed to know that the software would fix the problem. I am going to research Kia software issues now and see if there were any recalls/updates. I'll post my results when I find them.

    I don't understand why the software would have been fine and then suddenly one day go bad. I supposed that it is like Windows that can become corrupt for any number of reasons at any given time. I hope it doesn't happen again.
  • jacobrichjacobrich Posts: 3
    Original Message:
    I have a 2002 Kia Spectra, automatic transmission, 47,000 miles. I have the same problem. In the morning I will try to start the car and it will sputter out and die. Then if I try to start a second time, it works fine. Once warmed up the problem goes away.

    I am going to take it to the dealer for warranty repair. I had a similar problem happen to a Saturn SL a couple years ago - on the Saturn it was the "Cold Start Valve".

    If I find out what the cause it, I will post it here.

    Result: I took my car to the Kia dealer to see if they could diagnose the problem. The tech discovered that there was a "software update" for the ECM. They uploaded the update and the car runs fine again. They charged me $90.00 to diagnose the problem and upload the software. I feel a little bit "had" because they seemed to know what the problem was immediately - and they seemed to know that the software would fix the problem. I am going to research Kia software issues now and see if there were any recalls/updates. I'll post my results when I find them.

    I don't understand why the software would have been fine and then suddenly one day go bad. I supposed that it is like Windows that can become corrupt for any number of reasons at any given time. I hope it doesn't happen again.


    Please disregard what I wrote above. The dealer said they fixed the problem, but the very next morning, the problem happened again.

    I called the dealer and they said I could bring the car in again at no charge. I left it with them overnight. They said they can't find any problems at all. They even said the car started up with out stalling - I find that hard to believe. The only rational way I can see the car starting properly for them is if the mechanic has an assistant who goes and gets the car from the parking lot. This assistant would experience the car stalling on the first start. However, the mechanic might not, since the car would have already been started once.

    At this point I am going to give up, either the dealer is lying, incompetent or the problem really doesn't occur for them. I will just start it twice every morning before I leave. Eventually, it will probably not want to start, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I've also decided that I will not buy another Kia when this one dies.
  • acm563acm563 Posts: 11
    After 2 months the Spectra is still sitting in the shop with no explanations as to why it will not run correctly. Of course that doesnt stop the car payments. I would never again buy another KIA for several reasons, the first one being the fact that they do not stand behind their warranty and the second being noone in the world seems to be able to diagnose the probelems and fix them, it is all trail and error at the owners expense.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Sorry you are having such difficulties with your vehicle it must be really frustrating. Are they still trying to figure out what the problem is?
  • acm563acm563 Posts: 11
    Yes, they(local mechanic) just dont have a clue. I guess it is back to the Kia dealership with it. If they would honor the warranty in the firstplace it would have never left the dealership.
  • Does anyone know if somebody makes a turbo kit for the spectras. A friend told me that a turbo for a mazda miata would work.
  • albertomgalbertomg Posts: 2
    As I look through all of this I noticed there isn't much about the '07 Spectra5 yet; that makes sense. However, I also noticed a good amount of information about Bad shop experiences for repairs and/or warranty claims. "Spectra" above (#44) does a great job of giving us that what's what but I wondered whether it wouldn't be a good idea to begin a thread for people who want to share their Good experiences:
    Where are they and what dealership did they visit?
    What year is their car?
    What was the issue?
    How long did the repair take? How about total experience time?
    Who gave them great service? (Name, contact info?)
    Was the problem satisfactorily corrected or, if the owner had to compromise, does it seem fair?

    I feel this kind of information would be really, really helpful to new car owners and two those who are beginning to experience warranty-covered issues.

    Just my two cents. Thanks, mods! :)
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