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Kia Sedona problems



  • arjay1arjay1 Posts: 172
    I have to defend Kia a bit on this one. I did not buy my Sedona thinking that routine maintenance was covered by the warranty and I don't believe Kia ever hinted that it was.
    You keep referring to all these costs on a van that is only 26 months old. But it is 26 months old with almost 100,000 miles on it.
    The average monthly miles driven is 1,300. You are averaging over 3,600 per month. If you use 1,300 miles per month as the average driven, then your van has the wear and use of a van that is 72 months old. I would think that $2692 in maintenance an repairs over 72 months and 93,000 miles is average. When you drive a vehicle 40,000 to 50,000 miles per year, your average monthly repair cost is going to be higher than most. So far you have spent about 2.8 cents per mile on maintenance, again that does not seem to be a bad number.
    It is important to look at the fact that you did not have all of these costs in only 26 months but you incurred the costs in 93,000 miles.
  • arjay1arjay1 Posts: 172
    When the transmission service is done, is the drain plug just removed and the fluid drained and refilled? I have had a truck where you needed to drop the pan and replace the filter inside as well. Is this done on the Sedona or is the fluid just drained through the drain plug?
    What transmission fluid do you use? I don't have my manual with me but the type of fluid listed is not a spec that I have ever seen. It seems to me that it had a "P" in the name but I can't remember. Is the fluid special to the Kia or can you use regular transmission fluid?
    R. J.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Thanks for posting this. I wanted to reply to Sker1's "problems" also but didn't feel like taking the time to write up a very detailed response.
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202
    BD -Ditto.

    Also, why did they replace your hood?

    Arjay, it is supposedly special fluid for Kia's. I don't know if Hyundai uses the same stuff. Anyway, Dexron and Mercon aren't supposed to be used in it.

    Some dealers have a machine that sucks the fluid out, circulates a cleaner and refills the fluid. Others drop the pan and install a new pan gasket. They did this on mine at 30k service. Believe that is required at every 30k interval. Anyhow, Kiatech can probably better elaborate. Always check for 2-3 days after they do this...I've had two services (non-Kia) on other cars where the pan gasket or torque wasn't right on the bolts, and they leaked. Minor aggravation, but could be serious if fluid drains out.

    All- Saw where the throttle cable recall for 03-05 Sedonas made the newspapers today.
  • sker1sker1 Posts: 6
    I have not suggested that routine maintenance be covered by a warranty. I did buy it partly becasue of the 100,000 mile warranty knowing what a warranty would cover and not cover. If you read my first post I tried to explain the major issues I'm having that should be covered. I'm merely pointing out facts that happened to me and what SHOULD have been covered under a warranty. I keep harping on these costs, regardless of time frame and miles driven, because these issues I have should not have happened to a vehicle that was built with quality and high standards. To your point, "your van has the wear and use of a van that is 72 months old". The fact is that it is not a 72 month old car its 26 months old and these issues should not have happened. These are major repairs that I have never experienced with any other vehicle that is put through the same driving conditions. I don't care how fast you get to the 100,000 mile barrier you still should have a warranty that stands up for itself. I'll be glad to make a deal with you and trade you my Kia for yours. lol.....
    Further more I'm not posting here to argue with you or anyone else. Just merely stating facts that are happening to me and to provide information to those that might be experiencing the same issues. Or, for those that are looking for information when making a decision to purchase such a vehicle.
  • arjay1arjay1 Posts: 172
    Great response. I am not here to argue either and was hoping that my response to your original post did not come across as a flame. You could have easily been offended and am glad that you were not.
    I do see your point that you would hope that you get to the 100,000 mile mark without a lot of extra costs as many Honda and Toyota drivers do.
    This is our first Kia and have around 45,000 miles on our 2002 without any issues to date. I am hoping it stays that way since the van is paid for and don't want to make another purchase for many years.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Maybe you did this and I missed it, but I don't remember seeing a breakdown of the $2,692 in costs -- I believe that was the amount you felt should not have had to come out of your pocket if Kia had stood behind the warranty? Sorry if I am misunderstanding or misremembering (I just made a new word!) your prior post.

    Also, I had a recollection that you DID say something along the lines of feeling misled about the 100k warranty and thinking that the routine maintenance should have been covered or should not have been so extensive??? A vehicle owner only needs to prove as much maintenance as his/her dealer requires to be proven. On all our cars, I pick and choose my own maintenance based on what *I* feel is appropriate. I don't do everything specifed in the owners manual because that would be way too costly and unnecessary, plus my vehicle would be in the shop and not available to me, way too often. I've *never* had a problem with a dealer telling me they could not authorize warranty coverage because of insufficient documentation of routine maintenance items on my end.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Hood was getting rusty around where the chrome grille touched the paint. Supposedly it was 'rusted through' or something, so repairing the existing hood was not an option. Therefore, new hood. The rear decklid looked worse on the surface, but it was repaired rather than replaced. Second time it has been repaired and I'm not convinced they did anything to prevent the problem from occurring again. Oh well.

    We paid appx $145 for trans service around 45k miles. I'll have to look up the paperwork and/or ask the dealer next time-- I don't remember if they did a flush or a drain/fill. For that price, I hope I got a flush with some cleaners plus dinner and a movie for two!
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Hopefully my posts don't come across as antagonistic. You should expect good service from your van and if you didn't get it, you have every right to be upset. Seems some (most?) of the blame lies with your local dealer. A decent dealer can make up for many manufacturer-caused problems.

    Overall, we are satisfied with our van and expecting several more years of good service from it. Our out of pocket costs so far have been pretty reasonable considering the van is 3.5 years and 53k miles old.
  • sker1sker1 Posts: 6
    Wait till you get to the 80,000 mile mark, its all down hill from there, j/
    Thanks for the words and thoughts. Just thought I'd express mine and see what came about.
  • spectramanspectraman Posts: 255

    DETROIT (Reuters) - Kia Motors Corp. is recalling 118,447 Sedona minivans in the United States because their throttle cables can get stuck, causing the vehicles to maintain speed or accelerate inadvertently, federal safety regulators said on Friday.

  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Thanks for the heads-up. Too bad the article doesn't specify which model years are affected. With 118,000 units, it might be all Sedonas sold in the U.S. so far-- I'm not sure what the annual sales figures have been.
  • averigejoeaverigejoe Posts: 559
    Wow! 25 mpg? And in the first month of ownership?
    I'm guessing 25 mpg is much higher than any Sedona owner is getting or should expect.
    Now that you've owned it for 4 months, what is your average mpg?
  • lialitlialit Posts: 2
    This is my first post although I have received alot of helpful information from this website before. To the point I go to the dealership tell them what's wrong and how to fix it. So thanks to all.
    Here is my latest issue. It has been going on for awhile. It happens when I first start my Sedona after it has been sitting for a few hours. For about 1-2 minutes this smell I can only describe like an amonia or vinegar smell comes out of my vents. It is really obnoxious if I have the A/C on when I turn the car on. I have to roll down the windows and air out the car before I put my little ones in there.
    I have had plenty of A/C issues since I got the car including the A/C going out because there was no freon and that strange noise like a airplane taking off when I reached around 40 miles an hour. (that was fixed and was A/C related).

    Anyone have any idea what this smell could be. This is my 3rd time taking it in tomorrow for this problem so they haven't a clue. Thanks
  • philbertophilberto Posts: 46
    I just got my new 05 Sedona and with the $12 the dealer put in it looks like I got around 25 MPG or so with a mix of highway and around town. More highway miles though.

    I test drove three of these 05 models (all new) and this one had much more of a quick engine response. The first one was sluggish and did not like to respond when pushed a little, the second one was far better but required more pedal push to get on the highway, and the one I decided on was very quick with a light touch. No hesitation at all. A very light touch has me up to speed in good time.

    Since I have had it, I filled up and went driving around town. With 137 miles on this tank it looks good so far. I will track the MPG on every tank. Time will tell as it's not even broken-in yet...but what a nice smooth ride! Very quiet too. I barely have to touch the gas and it moves out. Not bad for nearly 5000 lbs. Still, I'm doing a gentle break-in as the manual states. It will get new oil at 2000 and 4000, then at 7500. Take care of it and hopefully it will take care of you. ;)
  • saabturboidsaabturboid Posts: 178

    We get the same smell in our '04 Sedona for the first few minutes after the van is started and the the air conditioning is on. Since this did not start happening until summer was well under way and were were using the air conditioning all of the time I doubt there is a chemical in the A/C system causing this. More than likely the water that the condensor produces is getting caught somewhere in the venting system and mold is growing. I believe it is actually a mold smell we are smelling. I am not sure what to do about it, but I haven't been too concerned since it does seem to go away after a minute or two. Do you live in a humid location? My guess is those folks who live in dry places will not have this problem.

    - Chad
  • averigejoeaverigejoe Posts: 559
    (responding to 7/8/03 post)
    Pulling 8200 lbs of van and trailer at 55 to 65 mph in 50% mountains? Yeah, I think 16.8 mpg is more than pretty good. Sounds excellent!
    I got 16.15 average for 1000 miles on recent trip in my 2004 Sedona with 11000 miles on it. 4 people average and not much mountains. Air pressure at 35 lbs. A/C on constantly.
  • lialitlialit Posts: 2
    Yes I am in Florida. And it is exactly that, for about 1 minute after starting the car it smells, then it is fine. I did talk with a mechanic at a dealership far away and he told me he thinks it is mold getting into the air intake. He has had to do several washes with some sort of spray to get rid of that smell on vehicles. If that doesn't work he replaces the entire vaporator.
    Thanks for lyour input.
  • proeskeproeske Posts: 1
    I am in the Air Force and stationed in Turkey. Bought my 2002 Sedona a little over 3 years ago and until this problem had no complaints about the vehicle. About a month ago my alternator went bad. The mechanics on the base did some research and found a service bulletin that basically says I need to get a new updated alternator, new belt and battery heat cover. Because the Kia warranty can only be used in the U.S. I have to pay for all the parts and pay someone here to put it in. Kia consumer assistance gave me the address for Kia Motors America and said after I pay for it all that I can try and write a letter asking for some kind of refund but they really didn't make it sound like I would get any reimbursment. My BIG problem that I am asking for any help or advice on is that along with replacing the alternator something called ECM battery compensation has to be done or the new alternator will most probably fry something. This is something that apparently the Kia dealer in Adana - closest dealer to me - can not do. What this leaves me with is a car that is 3 years old with 40k miles on it that I can't get fixed until I return to the states in 2008. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  • bcavenderbcavender Posts: 1
    We love our new 2005 Sedona . It runs perfectly after a couple months of ownership.

    However, last night at 5am, the horn just kicks in and started blowing steadily like someone was inside it holding the horn down. It was not the beep-beep-beep like the panic signal....just a steady blast.

    Needless to say it scared the bejesus out of my wife, kids and neighbors. I slipped my Smith&Wesson 38 out of the lockbox and did the good guy/bad guy thing out to the car for fear of some crazed druggie might be waiting. But fortunately there was no intruder and unlocking the car and tapping the horn once stopped the commotion. It didn't give any trouble the rest of the night....though my nerves were so jangled worring about someone messing with my family, I didn't sleep a wink.

    Nothing else was wrong with the car and the wife drove it today with no problem.

    Anybody heard of anything like this?


  • boxwrenchboxwrench Posts: 55
    Hi I'm new to the Kia forum, although I've read many of the posts since buying my 04 Sedona EX off the showroom floor in Jan 04. My main concern was the fuel mileage or lack of, but have grown to accept it. (Hard to do when my old mini-van an '88 Dodge Grand Caravan gets at least 28 mpg on the hwy without overdrive! )
    In observing the various problems, I feel fortunate that i've only had minor ones--Bubbled step pad on rear bumper, one ck. eng lite for a fuel sensor(of sorts), and the most anoying what appeared to be a burned out left turn signal and ended up being the wiring harness completely cut by the interior body panels. This with the van only being 14 mo. old. I was told that the lamps were not covered and it would be $12 for replacement. Heck, I can replace a $2 turn signal bulb. After nearly cutting my hand to reach in the little hole on the lleft fender, I proceded to completely take out the bulb,socket, and the cut wires!!. In all fairness, after I called and talked to the Svc Mgr, it was covered and repaired.
    As everyone knows, spliced and patched wiring is never as good as the solid wire itself. And sure enough, it happened again, and I fixed it myself this time properly.

    My questions are about the Transmission. To date, no problems, 14,000 miles. But from day one, it has not shifted in what I call a "crisp" manner! It just kinda slides into the next gear. My '88 Dodge with 192K on the trans, shifts ever so smartly, and it has never been repaired, or adjusted. DO I HAVE A PROBLEM IN THE MAKING?
    I too have the problem with the dome/door lights not going on when you open the door. I have since just turned the switch on the dash off, and then on and it starts working again. Don't know why it happens except maybe if you leave the door open too long, it has some kinda thermal shutoff. Interior FIRE possibility comes to mind!

    One last little annoyance--the radio upgrade on the EX has somesort of EL strip/light thet cannot be dimmed with all the other dash lights!! What IIDIOT thought of that? On a dark night it is very bright.

    Where does one find out about all the Recalls, and Service Bulletins.

    In regard to Batteries, 3-4 years doesn't seem very good to me. I have had many new cars through my company, and the OEM battery lasted at least 5 years
    Thanks for any info, and I'll continue to watch for new problems. As a field service rep. I know how difficult intermittent problems can be to diagnose. Even more so when you have to bring the unit to a place for service and be without the use.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Our 2002 Sedona EX has 53k miles. No trans issues or complaints so far. I'm not sure if it is the same thing you are describing, but the gear shifts on our Sedona do seem somewhat 'soft.' Ours typically shifts at 2500-3500 RPM (we don't drive ours with a lead foot). As the upshift is almost there, the trans seems to slide into the next gear. Actually, I like the way it works. To me, it seems smooth and not abrupt. I associate 'crisp' and 'abrupt' kinda together when discussing transmission.
  • jaywolfjaywolf Posts: 11
    You made a statement, "Interior FIRE possibility comes to mind!" I was just on nhtsa and found, 6-16-05 a 03 caught on fire, on 6-21-05 another 03 caught on fire, on 7-01-05 a 02 caught on fire, and most important to you, on 7-18-05 a 04 caught on fire. As like mine, they were parked. Please go to you can find out about recalls there, also you can find out about the open investigation that the government is doing on Kia. After watching my Sedona burn, I will not even park by a Sedona at the mall. Sure, some people will call me crazy, but I can not afford to pay out any more money than I have already.
  • boxwrenchboxwrench Posts: 55
    Regarding the tranny --you seem to have the same type of shifting I am refering to. When I say "crisp" I don't mean abrupt -- I mean quickly and smoothly --uh, -uh, -uh, and then- lock-up. I realize the old '88 Dodge is only a 3-speed with Lock-up Torque converter, but in climbing the hills, and peaks of I-40 in NC/TN the old Dodge hardly ever comes out of lock-up. On the last trip to Ohio from Fla.the Kia was constantly jumping in-and-out of overdrive. I don't like that, and it even has a bigger,more HP engine than the Dodge (3.0 ltr). I guess that is electronic 4-speed for you!
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Just an FYI, the Sedona's automatic transmission is a 5-speed. Back in 2002, Kia was one of the first to offer a 5-speed auto on a minivan. Since then, a few other manufacturers have caught up and now offer a 5-speed auto.
  • nazgul50nazgul50 Posts: 4
    Replaced the battery last week. Apparently has fixed the problem. (It had been putting a drain on the system when hot, radio dies, blower slows, etc) Once after sitting for two hours, the old battery wouldn't start the van. When I went to jump it, it was HOT, I mean HOT just sitting there. I wonder if this could be a source of some fires? :confuse:
    I higly recommend replacing that korean battery, even if it's not giving trouble yet.

    Anyway, FYI, my repairs to date:
    5k: Alternator
    6k: ABS reprogram
    14k: new transmission!
    17K: harmonic balancer
    35k: cannister solenoid
    60k: accel. cable
    61k: TPS

    I must add that my van was rear-ended, sitting at a dead stop, teenager going 60, never hit his brakes. back end damaged about $3500, driveable, passengers fine. Other car totalled. Amazing lack of damage & injury in the kia. That weight comes in handy. :)
  • navyairnavyair Posts: 202

    Welcome to the forum.

    I think your owners manual will probably answer your lighting question. I'm away from home, or I'd check mine.

    Believe the lights turn off to avoid excessive battery drain when doors left open. You recycle the switch and it resets the lights.

    You can subscribe to the Kia maintenance manual in the owners section of and get access to all TSB's.

    No problems with my tranny. We have seen a few postings on transmission problems, but not many. Having a tranny cooler seems to keep those at bay. Try doing a search on the subject, if you want to look at those with specific problems.

    Chances are, your US made cars used Johnson Control batteries (Diehard, most US OEM). Remember, this is a Korean made OEM battery on an inexpensive vehicle. When you replace it with US battery, you will probably get that 5 yrs. Remember, though, the battery life depends a lot on your driving conditions (heated garage, hot weather driving, lots of accessories used all the time, etc).
    We have almost 4 yrs on ours and it is doing OK.

    Many drivers seem to have pretty short memories. In the 70's and 80's, flat tires were not uncommon, and batteries were replaced every 2-3 years. Now, the expectation seems to be zero maintenance, zero wear, as witnessed by several of the posts above. Doesn't make it so, but those are the expectations.

    Gas mileage isn't great, but it is a heavy vehicle, and if you use it around town, it really drinks the gas. It weighs about 1k more than your old van, as I recall. Anyhow, read the post about the crash above...the crash safety is a decent trade off.

    Very happy with our vehicle thus far...2003 with 43K or so. Wife never lets the wheels cool for long, so there may be more.
  • nazgul50nazgul50 Posts: 4
    >"I have had plenty of A/C issues since I got the car including the A/C going out because there was no freon and that strange noise like a airplane taking off when I reached around 40 miles an hour. (that was fixed and was A/C related). "

    Ah yes, I forgot. within the first year, we had an ac hose leak to the rear air, they replaced it. The rear air made the slide whistle/ motorcycle accelerating noise, they replace the read evap & updated expansion valve. Common problem, I'm told.
  • sofla5345sofla5345 Posts: 1
    After so many problems with this hunk of junk (2002 Kia Sedona EX) I finally traded it in. Check Warning light comes on every 5,000 miles. Air Conditioner blows hot after 20K. Chiming sound on every right turn at 20K. Timing Belt broke after 30K miles. Bad alternator at 40K. If it wasn't for the warranty, I'd be in trouble. Not to mention numerous hassles such as headlamp and turning signal burning out before 40K. But After 66K miles I finally decided its not too reliable anymore. The service tech was adamant about me replacing the timing Belt at the last service at 65K for $1400 w/ new spark plugs. I couldn't justify the cost anymore for this car. The poor gas mileage and the burnt smell from the vents finally caught up to me. I traded it in and felt I was lucky to even get 7K from the dealer. This car reminded me of another lemon I had - 1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I guess, you get what you pay for. I would not recommend the Sedona to anyone.
  • Concerning your issue #13: We took our van to some "idiots" who failed to
    properly tighten the lug nuts. They used 100% impact wrench power so that when we had a flat tire someone else had to assist by holding the wrench on the lug nut while I was standing on the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. It was this same tire company that neglected to put back in the metal ring that goes on the inside of the wheel lug nut cover. If you pop off the one that is clicking with a flat head screwdriver along with popping off another one, you should be able to look on the inside and see the metal I'm talking about. We were able to have our KIA dealer replace the lug nut cover (with the ring included) at no charge.

    Our issues started less then 20 hours after we took ownership of our Sedona. It had to be flat bedded back to the dealer due to the lumbar switch staying on and draining the battery. The next day, the salesmen ended up driving out to our house to jump the piece of junk so I could drive it in to the shop to have the same "repair" made.

    We have had MANY issues with our A/C. We are now getting ready to take the Sedona (2002) in for the FOURTH time in as many weeks. The dealer (Avondale KIA in Avondale, AZ) has kept our car for a total of 7 days to fix our A/C problem. I am like you, "I will not purchase another Kia nor will I offer any good remarks to anyone that would ask me". I found this website while looking into Arizona's Lemon Law. I will say they have a good warranty - unfortunately, I have had to use it TOO MANY TIMES. :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:

    I don't have the time or energy to list all our problems with our Sedona. Unlike you, I haven't come across a good "Kia" service rep who really cares. I've told my wife to "be nice" when she's called the 3 dealers in our area.
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