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Kia Sedona problems



  • Did all the dials start waving or just the tachometer? In my case ref post: #285 and #300 just my tachometer started waving. Were you able to start the car back up within a few minutes or was it dead? In my case the car did restart, but died out right away again. Also, did this happen right in the middle of driving, idleing? My car was manufactured in Jan 2003 how about yours?
  • Well, after procrastinating for a while, I have finally taken the Sedona in for the rust repair on either side of the chrome trim above the license plate. I was not too happy about a new vehicle needing paint repair...It really irked me that I would have this problem on a new vehicle...but I did not want to leave it go, especially with winter coming.
       Prior to dropping off the van at the dealer, I decided to take off the plastic "chrome" trim myself just so I could see what was happening underneath that area. To do this you must first remove the inner plastic door trim (upper & lower) and the rear third brake light cover. This enables access to the 2 ea. nuts that hold the chrome trim unit to the hatch (there are also 2 ea. bolts that are on the outside of the hatch.
       The problem, at least in my case, was that the trim was not smoothly finished along the side edges where it came in contact with the was quite jagged and just digging into the paint and wore through to the bare steel of the hatch. Simply "touching up" the rusted area without addressing the trim piece itself will NOT solve the problem! I spoke to the body shop about my findings (the dealer does not do their own painting) and they ended up preparing, priming and painting the area and also smoothing out the edges of the trim (by grinding or filing) and also adding a thin piece of rubber cushioning tape prior to re-installing the trim.
       The hatch looks great and the trim is not in direct contact with the hatch now. This is critical - and may be why the repair of bnhbucks hatch (post # 339) did not last.
       I also had a slight area around the front grill that need a slight touch up...the chrome trim had rubbed a small area of paint off on either side ...but no rust had occurred there.
       Kia knows that the hatch trim had a flawed design for the '02 Sedona...I say this beause I have studied the '03 Hatch trim and discovered that the trim now "flares out" on each end...preventing it from coming into contact with the hatch itself!
       Other than this, I love the van! I just took a trip to Virginia beach last weekend (about 525 mi. round trip) and the van was running great! Now if I could just find those "boogie boards" that fell off the roof rack...he he! just kidding!
  • tko11tko11 Posts: 2
    Hi Everyone,

    I have a very new Kia Sedona LX 2003 model (began leasing in June 2003) that started to develop a problem (or at least revealed itself) at approximately 3000kms. If the van sits for more than a day without running the battery drains to the point where the electric key won't even open the door and roadside assistance is needed. This has occurred 4 times already and the van has been brought in for servicing to attempt to diagnose the problem but without any success. It is currently in the service center now and has been for the last two days. The battery has been replaced once already the last time we went it for service. There is nothing on inside the vehicle (at least that we can control) that would drain the battery like this. If we start the van every day the problem disappears which is the way we drove it up until 3000kms when the problem first revealed itself. It may have been there the whole time but with the kids off during the summer and with the van constantly shuffling them around it never set for more than 24 hours.

    Has anyone else seen anything like this?

    Oh we also suffer the noisy seat problem that others have complained about in this forum.

    So far this has been an absolute nightmare and although we like the drive, the service and the van we totally regret having leased a Kia. Lesson learned. Now if we can only find a way to get out of the lease...

    Be interested in any comments/suggestions/experiences/recommendations.

  • Going off memory here, but it seems that some of the 2002s had a faulty lumbar switch that would not turn off completely and, over 2 or 3 days of non-use, would drain the battery totally. Daily use hid the problem because it would recharge the battery just enough to keep the car operational.
  • tko11tko11 Posts: 2
    Sorry, it is an 2003 Sedona EX model with DVD player. They have already replaced the lumbar switch which they also felt might be the cause of the problem.

    What is interesting though is that after replacing the lumbar switch the driver's seat seemed to be much farther back than it is now. Nor can it be adjusted backwards any farther either. I don't know --- grasping at straws now.

    I delivered it to the Kia garage on Wednesday afternoon. They charged it up on Wednesday. Verified everything was shut off that could drain the battery. Come Friday morning (this morning) totally dead. They think it might be an alternator related problem now (not that they know just the next best thing to check) which means, since they don't keep the part in stock, it will be another week before I see my van again.

    5 times needed roadside assistance and it has spent as much time off the road in the last month as it has on it. I can't wait to fill out the 6-month customer satisfaction survey.

    Will try and keep everyone updated.
  • Is that a built in entertainment system from Kia? Or is it aftermarket?

    We use a plug in Toshiba 9" TV/DVD, and have had no problems with it. Of course, we do make sure to unplug it whenever the van's not in use.
  • drclmcdrclmc Posts: 1
    I had a similar problem recently with my 03 EX. After a few days with it the dealer did a service bulletin that involved changing the alternator with one with a smaller pulley on it to speed it up. The tech said that if you spend a lot of time idling that there isn't enough speed on the alternator to fully recharge the battery. Just prior to the dead batteries I had been stuck in slow moving traffic trying to get to or from work. The service bulletin also required a reprogram of the computer increase the idle speed. After a week with similar highway parking lot driving (rather, waiting) no problems yet.
  • Minivanfrank - thanks for the update about the rust problem. I will take it in to the dealer for their consideration as they fix this a second time. I hope they get it right now. you're comments have been a help to me.
  • problem! I hope that they modify (or replace) the "chrome" trim this time! You should not have to worry about using that area to close the rear hatch. Let us all know of your result. I suggest that anyone who owns an '02 Sedona to closely look at that area of the hatch to see what kind of conditions are present. This is not the kind of condition that should be left alone.
  • I have a '03 LX and I noticed that the front grill has rubbed the paint off of the hood around it....Thanks to this group I noticed this before the rust started.....Also, has anyone had any wind noise problems? Our driver's window whistles constantly and the dealer has not been able to fix it yet.....Other than that, the van has been great.....
  • This seems to be a common problem with the Sedona. When I was at the dealer recently,I looked at the '03's in the parking lot (the '04's had not arrived at that time) and all of them had some very minor paint failure around the front grill...not down to bare metal, just the finish coat of paint had been removed so very a very small area on either side. I have no suggestion for the wind noise around the drivers' window...this has not occurred with my van. I do remember that someone had suggested to move the roof racks back toward the rear of the van if anyone has a wind noise problem in that area, however.
  • Briman2k - I have wind noise on my drivers side window too. I have been told that a rubbing down of the rubber will help to soften it reduce the wind noise, but I to date have not been able do so and I have actually become used to it. The Moon-roof also creates quite a bit when the ceiling/roof cover is pulled back.
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    Believe my KIA dealer installed "wind guard" for the moon roof actually increased wind noise a bit. I did decrease the noise somewhat by moving both roof rack cross bars as far aft (back for you non-Navy types) as possible.

    Haven't removed the wind guard, but it doesn't look too hard.

    Dealer hasn't been able to fix the a/c whine yet...only long standing problem in 15k miles.
  • There's a bulletin out about the right rear noise. It's been a problem with both 2002-2003 models and has been traced to the air conditioning expansion valve. Check with your dealers - they KNOW about this. BTW-make sure they order the right one-there's a production date cutoff.
  • firetektoo ... do you know if this bulletin is available online? Thanks for the heads-up.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide has TSB summaries that we get from the NHTSA. Sometimes we don't have all that they have though ( You can also get the summaries from and can buy the full text there (try asking your service advisor for a copy first though).

    You, Your Vehicle and the Technical Service Bulletin (TSB)

    Steve, Host
  • I am thinking about replacing the "pathetic sounding" horns on the Sedona. I am looking at the electric FIAMM Extra Loud 130 DB Signal Horns from My question is: Those of you that have replaced their horns--do I have to add a relay?

    Yes, after reading the posts, I went out to check and, YES, I have about 5 areas where the paint is chipping around the grill of my 03 Sedona EX. I only picked the car up on Monday of this week and have 300 miles on it. Do I have to paint a new car???

  • jsmajsma Posts: 1
    I also have the same problem as the folks from Canada. If my van sits for more than 2 days the van requires a jump start. I too have had this van in for service twice and the problem has yet to be resolved. There is definitely a flaw in this vehicle. I have stopped other 2003 Sedona owners and most have had this same problem. I urge all SEDONA owners to contact KIA at 1-800-333-4KIA to log a complaint. This will hopefully force KIA to investigate and provide a resolution to all.
  • My wife's 02 Sedona has previously received new front struts and strut plates, to address a front end noise issue. Has anyone had a problem with front end noise caused by anything other than struts and strut plates? I seem to remember seeing a post about replacing bushings, but don't know how it turned out. Thanks.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    This may be the message you saw:

    sisu145 Apr 30, 2003 5:36am

    There was no follow-up post that I see off-hand, so we still don't know how it turned out.

    Steve, Host
  • About a year ago I had the struts and plates (both sides)replaced in my 2002 EX. The struts actually blew. Well, the noise is now back. I took a look at the struts yesterday and it appears at least one has blown again. I would like to know why the struts are only lasting a year. I would also like to know if there are any good after market parts available so I can fix the problem I'm having. The stock struts just don't hold up. I don't feel like having to have them replaced once a year.
  • i did replace those awful horns. i got a the highway blasters from auto zone, medium Db. no additional relay needed, but you do have to cut the factory connectors off. you would want to be careful about catalog orders though (youll want to be able to return, exchange if it doesnt fit in the space. there is VERY little extra room for the larger housing. i had to bend and re-bend the new brackets so that the hood wouldnt hit it, or push into the condensor and damage it. of course if you mount elsewhere, thats great too. BUT boy what an improvement ! my biggest thing was that pushing the button walking away, i could barely hear it, especially if there was a breeze or traffic. loud and clear now. good luck.
  • Purchased 03 sedona on Oct. 18th of this year. Told them about outside air noise and a squealing noise from the air conditioner. Took to dealer on Wednesday for these repairs plus minor others. Was told a new belt was being ordered for air conditioner but with time the noise would probably go away. Right side rear window was needed for outside air noise. Told people we were going to Austin for a few days and was told I could take car as no safety hazard was involved with belt.
    Entering Texas air conditioner stopped putting out cool air, turned air off. Entering Houstin car stops, no light to indicate something wrong. No power, nothing. Luckily we were in stop and go traffic. Hauled to Kia dealer. Replace crankshaft pulley and drive belt. Apparently some sedona models produced befor get this 1/28/02 may experience drive belt squeal noise at engine start-up. These service people told me this could have been prevented. For those who experience this noise, the crankshaft pulley number is 23124 39504 and the drive belt number is 1k52y 15 909a. The P/D change was 12/20 01 for pulley 1/28/02 for drive belt. Hope this helps, but I am maddddd! 6 hours delayed. Three in the van and informed the road people, one had to stay and be picked up later, towers can take only 2.
  • I'm sure this is a very common question - my father is looking at purchasing a new minivan between now and Christmas. I have narrowed my choices to the Kia and MPV. He, on the other hand, seems to be stuck on the Kia. We have both test drove the Kia but he is being stubborn on the MPV - his mind is made up. He has owned 3 vans in the past 13 years and all three have been...well...crap. First was a 1990 Dodge Caravan, then a leased 1995 Windstar, then down to his current 1997 Villager which has been the worst of all. He has come across a bit of a finacial windfall and doesnt want to spend it all on constantly repairing his decrepid Villager, so he decided he wanted to buy brand- new. I wanted to know what people think of their Kia's. I still think he should consider the MPV, but it is his choice after all. He want's this van to last a long time - he isn't hard at all on his vehicles. The Kia's are nice but I am still a little iffy on them. What can I say - i'm a Mazda guy. He does have arthritis and they want to travel long distances in this van. Can people tell me about pro's and con's of their Kia's? He wants a decent minivan for once and so do I.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Sedona is not likely to deliver Camry-like reliability and quality, but I feel it's a well-built minivan and an excellent value. The MPV is also a good minivan, smaller inside and more sporty than Sedona and most other minivans.

    Be sure to read the Sedona vs. MPV thread. There is some pretty decent discussion in there. You may need to dig for it, because it is read-only (archived?).

    We never seriously considered MPV because of its smaller size. We are nearing 28k miles on our 2002 Sedona and enjoy it even more than we expected. Quality has been very good so far. With the current discounts available, a loaded Sedona for about $21k is an unbeatable value, in my opinion.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    Here's the link:

    Kia Sedona vs. Mazda MPV

    Yell if you want it reopened for some fresh posts.

    Steve, Host
  • Thank's bluedevil and Steve - I read a lot of posts in the MPV vs. Sedona thread. I must say, I learnt a lot about Mazda. The majority of my favouritism on the MPV is mostly based on friends who own or have owned Mazda vehicles. My parents cleaning lady has a 92 MPV with 210000 km (126000m?) and has never had a "serious" problem with it. By serious I mean never a problem with the powertrain or something that should not have happend. My next door neighbor just got rid of his 1991 Protege. It had 245000km(147000m?) He was driving around 30 - 40m daily with it for his job. Loved the car too. It ran great, but had to get rid of it because it didn't pass safety due too the rusted out body. He just bought a 2003 Mazda truck (3000?). My best friend bought a 2001 protege and I have driven it and loved it but I do own a 1993 Ford Escort so of course the Protege will be a better car but doesnt the Escort have Protege parts in it?! I can't kill my Escort either - not that I want to! BUT - I realize the protege is a different league compared to the MPV.
    One thing - I didn't realize Ford had so much ownership in Mazda. This urks me for I and my dad have had nothing but problems with service for the Ford's we have had/currently own. Plus I must say his 97 Villager and 95 Windstar were crap. Nothing but problems with both vehicles. If Mazda and Ford are swapping parts especially between the Taurus/Contour with the MPV - this scares me. I will keep on reviewing and researching with my dad and keep you posted on the final decision in a few months. Thank you!
  • My 2003 Sedona EX makes a whining/whirring noise while idling...and accelerating...especially at lower speeds. It is so noticeable that passengers ask me "What's that noise?" I took the van to the dealership..."experienced mechanic" said it's the power steering pump...and that it's "normal". This noise is always present (more so when the van isn't warmed up)...with or without A/C on. Anyone else having this problem? It's so annoying...I may get rid of the van.
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    Ford Aerostars, can hear their power steering down the block...very distinctive sound when the pump modulates. My 2003 Kia Sedona, no-the power steering unit is very quiet.

    Now the A/C...THAT is noisey at low speeds/stopped. Dealer can't silence the noise that started at 3k miles.

    Try cycling the a/c compressor on/off while sitting at idle. If the noise comes/goes when you depress a/c button and light comes on with fan on, then the noise is your a/c compressor. Road noise covers it up while driving above about 25, so you only notice it at idle or slow speed.
  • I just bought a used 2002 Kia Sedona today and the air bag indicator will not turn off. Anyone else have this problem? Suggestion?
This discussion has been closed.