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KIA Rondo Handling, Tires, Suspension

e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
edited April 3 in Kia
Vehicle handles quite poorly.
In twice for alignment checks so far. Handled better after first when all but 2 specs were out, but still had 5 out because vehicle has no camber or caster adjustment. Two weeks later went back, same tech and machine, and 8 were out. Maybe vehicle won't hold alignment either? After loosening lots of things and trying to force any slack in bolt holes, etc. left with 4 out of spec and are sending to another alignment shop for opinion. Total of 14 specs for adjustment, if vehicle had adjustment for all.
So handling is still poor. Too much caster likely causing some of hard steering issue. And excessive forces are already (5600 miles) showing a tiny bump of looseness in steering. Vehicle not driven on rough roads.
Hard to make a vehicle handle properly if you can not align it!


  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Vehicle came with Hankook Optimo tires.
    Tire has a slant pattern running through tread from one sidewall to the other.
    Looking at rear of vehicle and tires the slant runs in the same direction on all four.
    I strongly suspect this is wrong and may contribute to handling issue.
    I do not know which direction this will pump water but it seems likely it will either through you to the shoulder or into oncoming traffic.
    I think this is the same tire =
    And carefully checking the tire shown if all four were mounted with the same sidewall to the outside of wheel, the diagonals would either slant to center of vehicle or away from center, left and right side from rear or front as long as you check all from same position.
    It seems the only way KIA could have gotten differently is they mounted left side tires with one sidewall out and the opposite sidewall out on the right side of vehicle.

    Dealer offered to turn one side around, but now faced with how the tread was broke in.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Emailed Hankook concerning diagonal pattern in H418. Reply seemed not to answer concerns. Fired another email. They called me, they being their technical engineering department.
    It took awhile to get the point across about how the slant pattern exists and is effected by which sidewall is mounted out. As if they did not realize it. Also told them there seemed to be excessive squirm when driving across rain grooves. He told me that most of the water would be going between the tire ribs, the grooves that separate the grooves. Probed deeper concerning the slant pattern and if standing water existed. Trying to be non-committal he admitted an effect.
    He suggested having KIA turn two of the tires so that the same sidewall was to the face of the wheel on all four.
    And told me to have KIA get with them for allowance on different tire model. Pretty sure I will take this up since I learned something else about the tread pattern. Sidewall sipes are only half the tread deep.
    Wet roads are a huge concern where I live. And beyond wet since pockets of water often stand on roadway and it often rains very hard. Not very cold here, seldom any snow, but traction under other conditions very important.
    So when buying tires I always look for those with highest traction ratings wet and dry. As to wet and standing water conditions, I've always looked for tires that have sidewall sipes the full depth of tread. I have not tried any of the newer water treads since the sidewall sipe seems to be important for conditions here.

    Often tires do not have a full depth sidewall sipe, afterall they are testing on new tires. Most new tires start with 10/32" of tread, and considered worn out at 2/32".
    Often manufacturers make those sipes only halfway of depth to slow wear on outer ribs of tires. But again turning to wet road and hydroplaning, those sipes are completely gone with 5/32" of tread left. A condition I definitely don't want on my vehicles. If 2/32" is worn out, does that mean the sidewall sipes are worn out at 2/32 + 5/32 = 7/32" of remaining tread? Something you should think about because the tire should, would be greatly derated from its new performance at that point of wear under watery conditions.

    P.S. Tires are the single most important investment for your vehicle. More than brakes because they are only effective to the point of the tire and its traction.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    interesting reading, I too have Hankook Optimo tires and very please so far with them as I had never heard of them before I purchased my '08 Rondo. I have absolutely no issues with the handing on this vehicle, it tracks great and the alignment is spot on. Could you please tell me what engine you have in your vehicle and also what model, thanks.

    (Attention site moderator: I wish they would allow you the post details in the left column as regards to your location and what you drive, like on other forums - it seems such a waste of space and time)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    It is the base model, whatever that is, with I-4.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    The adventure continues.
    After KIA had it to Toyota rack twice and they could not get it in spec, they wanted it run across a third rack to make sure. They asked who I used and I mentioned Rutland, so they sent me there. After a few more hours of baby sitting, they told me some bolts were rounded off and it needed new ones. Was this done at Toyota referral? They passed word to KIA and bolts were ordered, but I get this suspicion. KIA calls that bolts are in. The morning I go to KIA, I check thoroughly and can not find any damaged bolts or nuts. I find at KIA these bolts are the two each side that connect the strut to the steering knuckle. And they tell me it needs to go back to Rutland. They tell me they don't have time, maybe tomorrow because it will take three hours. Say What? They have to unmount struts and open the holes. Now I got the whole picture. They are going to do an unauthorized fix to this new vehicle, the same sort of thing that got Ford into a bunch of lawsuits. This I will not allow. Don't need the trouble of bad accident or sitting in lawyers offices and courts endlessly. True that some struts have an elongated hole for adjustment, but those manufactured that way have a knurled surface at that point to give better bite at metal to metal contact and may use special bolts and nuts that also have knurled surface at points of contact. Certainly not a smooth surface on strut and bolts point of contact.
    And such an adjustment only works for camber, not caster. Also the rear does not use struts but a four link suspension with separate coil spring and a shock absorber so I can only guess what butchering they may intend to fix those issues.
  • Upgrades have been implemented already and more are to come. Hang tight! :)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Can you be a little more specific?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I contacted dealer this morning and service denies authorizing butcher attempt at aligning. Then why did they authorize over 3 hours to do 10 minute job of changing 4 bolts plus at most an hour for alignment.
    Contacted KIA customer service. Went into detail and asked for escalation of engineering and told they could not do that.
    Called main part of dealership and talked to manager. He promised to get back with me before end of day. It is 6:06 PM.
    In the meantime, I've been busy on the web and email contacting GA consumer affairs relating to Lemon Law. According to them I meet the criteria and by law they should have been giving me copies of everything to date, even under warranty or free service. I've requested copies. Next will be certified mail requesting such and it looks like I need to make time to fill out form notifying them it is their last chance. If not fixed in 7 days I file for buy back or replacement of vehicle. And very happy to learn GA law takes care of you. Not killed by depreciation and such. Settlement is price paid including taxes, etc. divided by 100K miles to determine my cost per mile. Multiply by miles driven and that is it. That should be about $.20 per mile and hopefully settled before 6K miles.
  • Sorry I can't. Top secret, lol. We just launched a forum redesign and there are a few more things in the works.
  • ramblinramblin Posts: 29
    Went with Falken 215/50/17 Ziex ZE-912's. A little smaller tire, but my odometer reads 2 mph slow anyway. Maybe it will fix this?

    Consumer reports thought highly of them. Wildly varying reviews elsewhere many due to performance on snow. Tire is classified as a "performance all season" with a V speed rating. Tread wear rating on the 50 series isn't that great - 360. Checking with local shops I was quoted anywhere from $700 - $800 for replacement 225/50/17 tires. I could buy two sets of the Falkens for the quoted price from local shops.

    The Michelins were down to 5/32" before I took them on a 5000 mile trip. The Michelins would have lasted longer but one got badly worn from a tire that was badly out of alignment. I didn't notice anything in the driveability until I started hearing the tire thumping from the cupping that had occurred. I was rotating tires at 5,000 intervals.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    when are we going to see the changes you talk about? This forum is so far behind in features compared to others and is certainly not user friendly!

    We need the ability to have:
    - avatars
    - inserting the message when you reply to it, making it much easier to follow the conversation
    - member profile info available in plain view (in a left column) with each posting, particular the members location and what they drive, as this is all relative to the conversation.
    - signature attachments
    - ability to be able to do attachment straight from your computer, not through a outside source
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I strongly second all the points that conwelpic has made.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Some forum upgrades have already taken place, as you seen their was a redesign. It takes time, please be patient. :)
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Caliberchic, we appreciate any and all changes - thanks!
  • exfilesexfiles Posts: 3
    Hi folks, new here to this or any other forum really. I saw a post by Bgw re. getting steel rims from his dealer. I had read in some reviews or another forum (?) that, steel rims were not available for Rondos as even the base model has alloy rims. My question is, were these rims for another vehicle that also fit a Rondo? I need to know as much info as possible. I'll pass this on to my local dealer. I've only had my white '08 EX since Friday but enjoy it very much. Too early to have any issues so far (knock on wood). I hope all works out for anyone w/ issues. Looking forward to sharing and gaining knowledge about this vehicle. Cheers
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I got my rims and tires from Canadian Tire, not the dealer. When we bought the Rondo on Aug 16 last year, we bargained for a set of steel rims with mounted and studded winter tires. Around here, we get lots of snow and I knew the all-season Michelins would be no good, and the original 17 inch rims are just to pretty to destroy with road salt.
    I went on website, sized 15 inch rims and tires to match the circumference of the original set. So I bought 205/65R/15 Goodyear winter tires, which matched the circumference of the original 225/50R/17 Michelins. The rims are standard rims available at Canadian Tire which matched the lug spacing of the Rondo rims (sorry, don't recall what the spacing is, I just measured it with a ruler). No shims were necesssary, as they were a direct fit. And 15 inch is the smallest you can go, to leave space for the brake discs.
    If you are not in Canada,I bet that your local auto parts store will have standard rims that will fit the Rondo. Just measure the lug spacing and ensure that the rim will give clearance over the discs.
    We used our setup from November through April and had not one issue. And with the snow we got last winter, thank goodness the tires were studded.
    Overall, the Rondo is a wonderful family vehicle, and other than a touchy Check Engine Light early on (just gotta turn the gas cap 3 clicks), the Rondo was never needed any service other than maintenance. Easily the most reliable vehicle we have owned.
  • exfilesexfiles Posts: 3
    Thanks bgw, I'll check it out next mo. (I hope). I'm in Petawawa and have a Can. Tire in both towns on either side of me (Pembroke and Deep River, On). I already passed on to my family about the 3 click trick and to stop pumping gas at the first shut off "bump." I'm only on my first tank of gas but it seems to be emptying a bit faster than I hoped, in mixed driving. I'll post more in a mo. or so in another discussion. Also wish to state that I'm glad I joined 2 Rondo forums. Auto forums are an awesome source of parts, info, etc. Used one for another vehicle I once owned a few yrs back. Cheers!
  • exfilesexfiles Posts: 3
    I meant as well to add that my current alloys are the 16" ones. I was hoping to switch to 17" alloy and 17" steel but the manual states that you should only install the size that originally came w/ the veh. :( Oh well....
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I informed my KIA dealer about the size of winter tires/rims that I wanted as part of the deal, and he had no issue with swapping the 225/50/17 all-seasons for studded 205/65/15 winter tires.
    Same circumference, no problem for the electronic nannies (ABS, EBD, traction control, etc).
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Thought I'd chime in since you mention traction control. From what I've read on traction control on this vehicle is that it kills power to the wheels if it spins. And some people have had problems with that in starting on slippery spots. Other vehicles I'm familiar with reduce power, not drop it to idle. And a truly good traction control also makes use of the ABS system and apply mild braking to the spinning wheel sort of like limited slip.
    But I see something that alarms me far worse. You are cruising along and hit a very slippery stretch, something like black ice or road that is not properly draining and you are hydroplaning. The first rule of safety is to let off the accelerator hoping the spinning wheels without power to them get a chance to bite. And above all else, do not brake or it could through you into a spin (this is assuming you have room and are not about to hit something). Hopefully you will regain enough control to steer clear of problem. To this point, idiot engineers forgot to put over-run clutch in transmission. This allows the free wheeling found in many vehicles and is easily shown if your tachometer drops back to idle quickly when you let off accelerator. In effect this vehicle uses engine braking which will make your slippery situation worse. If you had manual transmission which is direct drive you'd disengage the clutch until back on firm footing. And there are other vehicles that have not used over-run in the final drive, but it is a stupid idea for most vehicles. Times you might not want over-run would be in a vehicle where you are constantly hauling heavy loads and the brakes alone are not sufficient to do the job. This Rhondo hardly classifies as a tractor-trailer.
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