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KIA Rondo Handling, Tires, Suspension



  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I just checked on my winter tires/rims (I have them stored, so it took me a bit of time to get to them, sorry) - the tires are Goodyear Nordic, size 205/65R15. The rims are Canadian Tire - on the side of the rim that goes towards the car (the deep side), there are these numbers - 15 x 6.0, then 3573 and V3, then 13 and 9 and 5 and 1. The last 4 numbers look something like this: 13 9 5 1
    On the side of the rim that faces out, between two of the lug holes, is the number 21 and between that and the next lug hole is the number 5435.
    I measured the distance from the centre of one lug hole to the centre of the next, and got 65 mm. They have 5 lug holes, of course.
    Hope that helps!
    Our set was installed in Nov 07 and taken off in late April 08. With these studded tires, winter was not a problem, whether it was deep snow or ice. Of course, the traction control system cut in occasionally, but I do have to say that the Rondo got through the winter almost as well as our old Legacy wagon, which was AWD. The studded tires are noisy though, and the noise is amplified in the Rondo's spacious interior. But you get used to it. Ride, surprisingly, was a bit better than with the standard all-seasons, but maybe that was due to the higher side profile (65 series vs 50 series). Handling did not seem to be affected, but then again I was not tossing the Rondo around in February like I would in July!
    My advice? Buy 'em!

    Gosh, you do have a tendency to make a mountain out of a molehill, don't you! Yes, the traction control kills power to the wheels with excessive wheelspin. But it does not intervene with minimal wheelspin.
    The only time when our traction control cut in was when we were pulling away from an intersection and gave the car a bit too much gas for conditions. In other words, OUR fault. When the power is cut to the drive wheel, yes it slows the car (it's supposed to) but I have found that a quick lift off the gas pedal resets the traction control and we continue on our way. If you keep your foot on the gas, then the traction control will slow you to almost a stop - that`s because the wheels are still trying to spin on the slippery surface. And that`s the fault of the driver.
    If you are starting off on a slippery spot, and the traction control kicks in, then you are using too much gas for the conditions. Without a traction control system, you'd still spin your tires. At least when traction control intervenes, it extends the life of your tires and drivetrain a bit.
    Of course, traction control would intervene a lot for someone who has foolishly left their no-season (sorry, all-season) tires on. The tire compound gets hard as rocks, so naturally there would be little traction. But for those of us who have the sense to install winter tires (studded or not), the traction control will intervene less and also be less obtrusive when it does kick in.
    You might say that some people cannot afford winter tires. I didn't pay for mine at all - I bargained the price of them into the deal for the car (once I had a price agreed upon, I demanded the tires/rims and got them). However, if you have a Rondo now and could not or did not do the same as I did, then you must ante up the cash somehow to get proper winter footwear for the car. That goes for any vehicle, Kia or Chev or Honda or whatever. It's a matter of safety. Where my family is concerned, I'll put the cost on VISA if I have to. Money well spent, I say. People who feel that no-seaon (there I go again, sorry it's officially all-season) tires work well in the winter are flirting with disaster every time they pull out of the driveway. Now I know that residents of BC, for example, hardly need to worry about winter traction for most of the winter, but that's an exception to the rule.
    Anyway, I got off on a bit of a tangent there.
    Your second paragraph is what I felt I had to respond to. You would have to either try very hard to spin a Rondo, or else the driver is a complete idiot and has been asleep at the wheel. It comes standard with electronic brake force distribution, ABS and stability control, nannies which are fully intended to keep you pointed where you want to go. Having used the Rondo for a full year now ( as of today, actually - Happy Birthday to our Rondo!), I can say that I have never, not once, felt as if the Rondo was out of control, and I can tell you right now that we experienced one heck of a winter here in Central Newfoundland in 2007-2008. And when I was first getting used to the new car in the snows of November and December, I TRIED to get it out of control so that I would know how it reacts. The Rondo simply refused to stray! I had to push it to ridiculous limits (on a big empty parking lot, of course!) before the electronics could not defeat the forces of physics anymore. I had to seriously TRY to beat the electronics in order to do it. In everyday driving, the Rondo is so stable in poor conditions that it was a match for our old Legacy AWD wagon, which also had studded tires.
    You know, when you try to talk about something from the comfort of your living room armchair (``from what I`ve read...``), you are bound to lead a discourse on something you know nothing about. I believe from past threads that you have said you own a Rondo (maybe I am wrong on that) so why don`t you post about your actual experiences, rather than from conjecture!
    Sorry to rant, I do value your opinions since in the past you have made some good points. Just not this time.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    from info from another forum with regards to these Cdn Tire rims I believe the code number is 09--5919-8 and currently selling for $50 each. (if that works)

    sorry bgw but I guess I'm one with the "no-season" tire all year users. I'm located in central eastern Ontario and this last winter (record snow falls) and my first winter with my new Rondo. I have to say in my area and our conditions, the Rondo handled great with the combination of ABS and TC (which takes a bit of getting used to when you've never had those features before) and also making quite a bit of use of the Steptronic feature (have owned many manual trans vehicles before and "gearing" is a big help) I never felt I was in a dangerous position and the vehicle was well controlled, certainly much better than my previous vehicle.

    I'm not disagreeing that winter tires would certainly be better, but I also wanted to find out how well in performed in its "stock" form and also having read quite a bit of negative comments on the stock Hankook tires. Not sure at this point what to do for next winter. Whether you need them or not, depends obviously on your location, if I was living in Newfoundland I wouldn't hesitate. All the cars I've owned, I've never owned winter tires. Studded winter tires are not allowed here.

    2008 Rondo EX, 2.4L
    Ontario, Canada
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I guess I am biased, since I have used winter tires on just about all my vehicles over the last 24 years. On one of my recent cars, I left the all-seasons on for the winter and would never do it again - the car was a hockey puck - it went mostly where I wanted, most of the time, but not always.
    My Rondo has the 17" Michelins, which are way too sporty in tread design to be safe in the winter. I believe the Hankooks are a better all-season design.
    Studded tires are not allowed in ON? I did not know that. Interesting!
    Here in NL, they are recommended. Sure are noisy though.
    (BTW, love all your posts conwelpic)
  • wsr2wsr2 Posts: 1
    Hi there:

    I have a 2008 Kia Rondo with 16 inch rims. I was told by the dealer that you cannot get 16 inch direct fit steel rims for the Rondo. The dealer suggested that I purchase 15 inch rims, however, I already had 16 inch winter tires so he told me that he could get after market alloys for $175 each. Yikes!! I had read that the Mazda 626 was the same direct fit as the Kia Rondo. I don't like universal steel rims because a lot of the time you have balancing problems as the rims don't fit well on the hubs.
    I went to the local BIGO TIRE store. I've dealt with them for 25 years. Kerry phoned a supplier (wheels only) in Ontario and the supplier confirmed that the Mazda 626 and some Hyundia wheels will be a direct fit for my vehicle. The price was $49 a wheel plus shipping. Needless to say I purchased 4.
  • Mods, the title to this thread has Rondo misspelled.

    BGW I'm glad you responded to the post regarding spinning etc. Rondo has electronic stability control, all models have it, so the complaint has no validity.

    KIA dealers, from my limited experience with them and their cousins Hyundai dealers, are not filled with the most knowledgeable service people.
    If the 15" rims clear the disc and caliper and there is no rub then it looks good to me.
    Personally I think the fad of 17", 18", and beyond tires is just silly. The tires cost more, there is far less variety in these sizes, they weigh more, they wear components more, they reduce suspension compliance because the upstream parts have more weight to deal with, and there is no upside unless you sell the expensive tires.
    So I'd say you made a smart move in getting the 15" wheels with 205.65.15 tires.
    My d-i-l has a Rondo, and as far as we know it's been a trooper. It developed a little ATF leak, which may have been caused by some hamhanded oil change artist, not sure. Other than that, no problems, just works every day.
  • I have a set of winters from our old minivan (2004 venture) they are P215/70R15. these will fit on the rims you mentioned but due to the aspect ratio of the tire the overall size is just over an inch bigger in diameter. do you know if the larger tires will cause problems for what you describe as the 'electronic nannies' (ABS, EBD, traction control, etc).
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    From what I have read in varying auto magazines, it is not advisable to alter the overall diameter of your tires, as this will affect the electronics, especially the speedometer, and likely the ABS, EBD, etc. These have been designed with a certain size in mind, and altering that size will affect the programming.
    However, to be sure, I would suggest that you contact The Tire Rack (google Tire Rack) and ask them - they are the experts and will know if the inch is a factor or not.
    Let us know what they tell you.
  • Thanks for the tip to check with Tire Rack.

    According to their website 'For cars and vans, staying within a 3% diameter change is desirable. Pick-ups and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are usually engineered to handle up to a 15% oversize tire.'

    here is a link to the article

    my winters from the venture will work. yipee
  • When I lived in Quebec I had studded tires on my 67 Plymouth Valiant. Now I live in Ontario where studded tires are not allowed. I think you can still use studded tires in Quebec and Northern Territories; just from Oct 15 to Apr 15.
  • Hi wsr2,

    we ar elooking into purchasing a Kia Rondo with 16 inch rims and I have seen that you have bought wheels to Mazda 626, is this correct? Where they alloy or still rims?

    I live in Pittsburgh and we are thinking to buy winter tires for handling the snow and having spare wheels will make it easier. I have never done this so I am wondering if you need to recalibrate the wheels once you put the winter on and then when the spring comes the all-weather tires on again.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.
  • I applaud your efforts to make your vehicle as stable as possible in winter. Not such a molehill!
    I have not yet had to deal with ice or snow, only standing water once, but it is very common in this area. I just have not been driving the vehicle a lot. It is my wife's.

    I'm not saying this traction system is worse than none, rather there would be better ways. When traction is lost, without free-wheeling the tires are forced to turn at the rate of the entire drive train until engine RPM drops below the point the torque converter has any engagement and then still you have the mass of all that spinning in the tranny. With an overrun clutch, most of that would be disengaged the moment your power was cut, either manually or electronically. Maybe one day they will incorporate into the computer system an auto speed that turns the wheel at the exact same speed as the vehicle is sliding, even with angle correction for rotation. The tire has to be moving at the exact same rate as the vehicle or else you are spinning.

    You mention electronic brake force distribution, ABS, and stability control. Do you know exactly how they function and are interleaved? Perhaps I got bad info, but it was from a reputable site. To know for sure we would probably have to use a site where all the test codes and troubleshooting diagrams are available. I would really like to know.

    As to handling issues tied to alignment and torque steer, sadly I say we are still dealing with that. Family health issues tied us at the critical time for lemon law. Now we are left at the mercy of the dealer, KIA, & warranty. My wife gets more aggravated as time goes on and she has made a couple of efforts to get them to fix. I suspect I will get dragged into picture again, and when I do I will not be nice.

    I do have a little extra time because it became time to say goodbye to the Aurora. New car with hopes it is great. But it will never measure up to ride, quiet, handling, Bose sound, roominess, power, and other features. Just better mileage.
  • Strange think happeenned last week ro my 08 Rondo. I have 23,000m miles onn car and had a tire with cord showing, 988 miles after dealer rotated and said they were ok. Now they tried to align it and couldnt get it to align. They claim my samplres 4 to 500 Lbs are causing problem and when thay are removed it is i8n alignment. When I purchased car new dealer told me my samples would be no problem.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I would say something is seriously wrong. A properly designed suspension should have each wheel tracking properly no matter how much the spring is compressed. Otherwise, the vehicle would be trying to steer itself improperly and that could result in a nasty surprise if conditions are slippery or otherwise critical. I would not accept their response if you are within weight limits.
    If you can not get any satisfaction from dealer or KIA, then consider BBB, and file a complaint with NHTSA as a safety issue.
  • HOw do you drive this car it is a KIA Rondo 2008 LX - V6.???? We have had a lot of snow and I cant drive this thing it slides from the front at all speeds. Then if i need to go through snow unless I am driving straight through it, with out stopping, if I stop I am screwed I get stuck. My tires are not bad, but they could be better . Does anyone have any idea what I should be doing to be able to drive this thing .I hate this car very much right now and feel it is a death trap.. Thanks for any suggestions.
  • 93949394 Posts: 67
    we've been having a mild winter here in Vancouver, BC so far, only a little snow and ice 3 weeks ago, during that time the ESC and ABS was working beautifully on my Rondo, since we don't have heavy snow fall here so i can't speak from my experience.

    however, according to the owner's manual, you can push and hold the shiftronic shifter forward to make the transmission start in 2nd gear (to reduce the chance of wheel spinning on slippery road), perhaps you can give that a try.

  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I have a 2007 Rondo EX V6. We installed 4 studded winter tires and, I have to say, the Rondo is almost as surefooted in wintry driving (snow or ice) as our former car, a Subaru Legacy AWD (also with winter tires).
    If you are finding your Rondo to be sliding alot, you need to check your tires. Are they all-seasons? They harden below about 7 degrees Celcius and lose traction. The Michelins which came on our Rondo felt slippery too in November, on dry pavement, just before we installed our studded winter tires.
    I am not saying you need to stud your tires, but if you do not have winter tires on, that is most certainly the problem.
  • Thanks for the suggestions I will try them out.It just seems like maybe something else may be wrong with the front end steering , but it also could be the operator(me). But i will try these things .Thanks again!!
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Did they finally put camber and caster adjustments on this vehicle? Otherwise you can not fully align.
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Our 07 EX V6 has never had pulling to the right (or left) problems like e_net_rider has described in the past. I have not known any of my friends' Rondos to have this problem either (one has an 08 EX 4 cyl, another has an identical 07 to ours). I think e_net_rider's statement "you can not fully align" is incorrect. I can't image a manufacturer in this day and age engineering a vehicle (that is marketed worldwide) without camber and caster adjustments. I am not saying he is wrong (he may very well be right) but I find it highly unlikely. I know he has had problems with his Rondo's alignment - I wonder if it is more a matter of poor service at his dealer?
    Anyway,back to Jessicae's situation. I have found that the Rondo's traction control intervenes a little too readily. Of course, it is only trying to counter a right foot that is too heavy for conditions, but sometimes a little spinning is necessary. If you find yourself in a situation when the traction control cuts power and you don't feel it needs to (like when taking off at an intersection and turning), all you have to do is release your foot from the gas pedal for a second - just a second - this resets the traction control and gives you back control of the gas. If you don't release your foot but instead keep your foot on the gas, the traction control will cause you to lose speed, which is something you don't want in an intersection.
    Overall, we are mighty pleased with our Rondo. Almost 2 and a half years now and only once have we needed to visit the dealer for warranty work. My Honda Civic needed 13 visits in the first six months...
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Starting in 2nd gear might be helpful as well.
    The reason I brought up alignment is optimum traction will occur with the proper contact patch. That is the area of rubber on the tire that contacts the road. This is effected by alignment, but also steering geometry especially when cornering. Part of the reason more caution is needed when cornering and this is figured for dry, not slippery surfaces such as ice and snow. But every little bit can help, especially winter tires if needed.
    Definitely hard to imagine that there are not camber or caster adjustments on the 07. That is why I asked if they added them and that maybe it could be retrofittted.
    One possible solution is eccentric bolts for the front, but I don't know that would work for the rear. I know the butcher job they tried to trick me into would not have worked on the rear because it involved wallowing out the strut mount holes on the front. There have been numberous law suits involving those get-by methods of fixing the problem, so I want their engineer approved fix.
    Also would be the issure of unequal length drive shfts which is noted by GM as being part of the reason for torque steer. The first adaption to cure that used in some Mazda was an adapter plate bolted to the trans-engine assembly near the engine front (or right side). The right side shaft then was straight out the tranny, through the adapter with bearing, and the inner joint was then placed in the shaft at a point of equal distance as the left side. It would be easy to do this as a retrofit if KIA chose to.
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