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Kia Sorento Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • I have to ask...it seems to me that not many people that post in this forum have ever read their Manual. If they did, half of the questions asked would be answered.

    Anyway...on page 5-42 in your Sorento Owner's Manual...it notes that the if your trailer weighs more than 1,650 lbs...you need a trailer with its own brakes.

    Does that help???
  • I'm in 110% agreement with you. See my post #1329 in the "Kia Sorento" forum.
  • I am looking for the person that wrote this review, because this person complained about a vibration on take off. I have had the same problem since I purchased my Sorento EX and the dealer can not find the fix. I want to know how his dealer came to the conclusion that it is the drive shaft and transmission mount, and what recall number applies to this???
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    No MSN here, but maybe that'll ring a bell with someone. No "brand spankin new" posts in the discussions or in the Consumer Reviews section of the Sorento that I can find. Nothing on google.com except one guy in France with a Carnival with maybe a similar problem (depending on how good the language translator is). link

    You can pull tsb summaries from The Edmunds Maintenance Guide.

    This has been a toughie for you since last November - bummer. Good luck!

    Steve, Host
  • tomf11tomf11 Posts: 40
    I looked at the Kia Sorento today and was impressed at the appearance.

    But from what I have read I'de be better off spending more money and have less headache's

    The vehicle definately lacks dependability, and quaility, with vibration, squeaking belts, windows that don't work.

    I'll buy a used Acura MDX, with 30K on it and get a much nicer(dependable) vehicle.

    The sweetness of quality will long outlast the biterness of price.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I suppose someone could make a similar claim if they read the Acura MDX Owners: Problems & Solutions discussion :-)

    Steve, Host
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Before I bought my Sorento, I was also looked at Acura MDX. And I was in the MDX forum for a while. Steve was right. I saw some messages like water spots and marks on the driver's side window (inside the cabin, after car wash or rain storm) when they lowed and raised the window. Wind noise is also a topic for some MDX owners.
    I don't know about MDX. But I remember I began to spend more money on my cars after 40K miles. I am talking about normal maintenance like replace brake pads, muffler, minor tune up, tires replacement. I think MDX is no different than other cars. I was also looked at a '99 used RX300. But I decided to spend the same money on my full loaded Sorento. At least I can enjoy the first 3, 4K carefree miles without worry about who drove the car before. Good luck!
  • Tom -

    I've had my Sorento since November of last year - 4,600 miles on it and I have not had a single issue. No vibration, no squeeks, rattles, nothing.

    This is one of the more solid and quiet SUVs I test drove - and I test drove many. Hope you find what you are looking for, but you might keep in mind those without problems aren't posting to the problem board and I have not seen a trend on any serious issues.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    ... first 30, 40K carefree miles.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Hmm where is this data coming from? I'd be interested in seeing it! If you scan the boards here on Edmunds, you'll see far more complaints in the MDX/Pilot Boards than on the Sorento Board, along those lines check out the GM Envoy/TB/Bravada forum that is full of complaints.

    Heck I haven't seen one major problem with the Sorentos yet on here.

    -mike
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    This weekend in Ct with 24 inches of snow I really gave the 4wd auto a work out to see if would handle the snow and it went along with nothing stopping it. I then tried the 4 lo and I noticed that it did not go thru the gears as in 4hi (auto tranny). Is this normal? In 4lo is it only a single gear. And usually at what speed is max in 4 lo. No mention in teh owners manual. Thanks.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Do you have TOD? or is it the Part-time 4wd system?

    It doesn't matter that much, in 4-low it *should* shift gears up to 4th gear. Of course the Low-range transfer case will be turning at 2.XX times less than it normally will turn. So for instance in 4th if you normally cruise at like 3000rpms @ 70mph, you'd be turning like 8K rpms in low range.

    If I need low-range generally I will be going in some deep snow or mud, so i keep my speeds to a low roar of 50mph or less. But in theory once you engage the 4-low (in nuetral) you can run it up to redline in 4th gear w/o issue so long as you are not on dry pavement.

    -mike
  • saber86saber86 Posts: 128
    where is this data coming from? The sorento has been out less than 4 months in the US. It is still too early to tell what the reliability will be.

    Talk about rattles and squeaks. go drive a honda cr-v. so much for honda quality
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    Sorry I have the Auto 4wd with the TOD auto tranny. No problem while driving with that but when I went to engage the 4 wd lo I noitced that it would not go through any gears just a low growling noise and I was afraid to bring the speed up past 30mph. I should state that the Sorento moved like a bear in 4lo in deep snow I was just leary of driving it any faster.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I know in my trooper, it growls like a mother up to near-redline in Low-range, but it will upshift if pushed. It is a bit un-nerving the first time cause the engine is grinding away but your speed is low. :)

    -mike
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    hicaffa & paisan - We have over 2' of snow in MA. It took me over 2 hours to clear my driveway. I was going to buy a snow blower before the winter came. But I bought my Sorento instead. I am glad that I have her this winter. Anyway, I shifted my Sorento (4WD with TOD) to 4Lo and drove slowly from driveway to the main road. Then stopped and shifted to AUTO. I mainly use the 4Lo when pulling from a struck snow. I think it's like in the 1st gear but with 4WD mode. hicaffa - I think I can shift from D to 2 or 1 even the 4Lo is engaged. And you can only drive it no more than 30 mph. This is what 4Lo designed for. If I am wrong, I can go out and try. There are plenty of snow outside to play with.
  • hciaffahciaffa Posts: 454
    I was just asking about the 4wd lo as to wether it should go thru the gears as in 4 hi as on most other 4WD vehicles, to which I don't think it does. It just got me worried because in my 98 Ranger in 4 lo I can distinctly tell it is changing gears from drive 1 to the next gear ( just towo gears are felt. Maybe I was expecting the same in the Sorento. but anyway with the TOD I was impressed on the way it handled here in CT as the area I live got about 24" and drifs up to 3ft. and the Sorento did not disappoint us.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    hicaffa - Maybe I understood your question incorrectly. Are you asking whether it can shift gear while you are in 4Lo? Like D to 2 or 1? The 4Lo drives like the 1st gear, from 0 to maybe 30 mph. Oh yeah! TOD is also great here in MA.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    That is weird that it only stay's in first gear while in 4-lo. Never saw that before on 4-low with AT.

    -mike
  • I just bought my new Sorento and I love it! It's an EX, Alpine Grey with Alpine Grey leather interior, (it looks like gun metal Grey to me! cool color!) fully loaded, torque on demand with 4x4 low, trailer hitch with load leveling. This truck is awesome!

    To answer some of the questions about Sorento problems....Remember, not every vehicle can come of the assembly line totally perfect. In fact, I have several friends who own Mercedes vehicles and they all complain about problems...and they're spending 30 to 100+k for their vehicles. It's not worth it. I got my Sorento, with every option I'd ever want for 1/2 or even in some cases, 1/4 of their price. The Acura MDX, which is basically a Honda made SUV , is selling for around 50k! Let me tell you, I looked at the MDX and it's nothing special. The MDX is not all that! I think the Sorento has it beat in many categories...looks, comfort, options, price, warrantee. The Mercedes ML...I looked at that too, It's nice, but it's nothing special either. For 40k to 50+K? What for? You have to remember that we live in a disposable society, and they make vehicles like cigarette lighters, you use them until they don't work anymore, and you get a new one. The only time I'd spend more money for the same type of vehicle that I liked and could get cheaper, is if... 1) I was rich and money was no object 2) they made cars and trucks that lasted forever. The bottom line is, the Sorento is an awesome SUV, with a great warrantee at a reasonable and "sane" price. ... Just as a side note...I have a 10 year warrantee, I drive about 9,000 miles a year (with fun miles included) okay...so that means after my loan is done, I'll have many years where I don't have to worry about paying for any mechanical problems at all. which means, I can go 4x4'ing with piece of mind. Try taking a Mercedes Benz or an Acura, Lexus or Infinity to the shop...It's expensive to get them repaired. By the way, so far I've had no problems at all with my Sorento. Allot of first-time buyers come to message boards like this to hear about the problems before they make a buying decision. For that reason, I wanted to post my comment here. The Sorento is a great SUV. Thanks!
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    hudsonsmith - Congratulation! I have the same thing except tow hitch. Mine is gold beige with stone beige. It runs great in snow and any poor weather condition. May I ask how much did you pay and where are you located?

    For the problem part, the Sorento is relatively new in U.S. (was introduced in Korea for a year)It is still too early to say it is a trouble free car. I have to say this even I am a Sorento owner. Of cause, I do hope there won't be any problem with this SUV. I am so impressive with Sorento. And this is properly the best Korean car ever made. However, remember those initial write ups for Honda Odyssey? Honda has to extended the factory warranty on 1999 and 2000 Odyssey (and few other Honda vehicles) because of a high volumes of transmission problem. Anyway, 2700 miles and still no single problem. Happy motoring.
  • Last night, I put the transfer case in my Sorento EX into 4WD Low to show my wife. (The vehicle is 2 months old and has 3100 miles on the odometer.) I did this on wet pavement and moved a few feet forward and backward. I then put it back into the Auto position. I drove about 6 miles to the movie theater (Lord of the Rings- GREAT!). While I was driving in the parking lot, I noticed a vibration from the front axle and a different feel to the steering when making sharp turns at the end of the aisle. It felt just like a part time 4WD system feels when you drive it locked up on dry pavement. Although the transfer case shifted out of 4WD Low into Auto when I demonstrated for my wife, it appears that the clutch in the transfer case has not disengaged the lockup between the front and rear output shafts. Paisan can correct me if I'm wrong, but power is apportioned only in Auto but in Low the front and rear axles are locked together as in a typical part time 4WD system (such as Jeep's CommandTrack). I guess a call to Kia's 800 number is in order. I'll keep everyone posted.
  • I just love the typical following comment: I love my Sorento, I have 217 miles on it and no problems at all. Now I admit the vehicle seems to have a lot going for it. I still think there are two issues (at least). One, the Sorento has no long term reliability history. Second, and related to this is the extremely poor resale figures for any KIA product. If you buy one you must plan on keeping it for a very long time so resale will not matter. But then you don't know what kind of shape it will be in at that point. Seems to me a better buy is a 3-yr old Lexus RX 300 or Infiniti QX4. Especially the QX4 since it is a real 4WD vehicle like the Sorento. Both would still be under warranty and have proven track records along with good resale. Am I missing something? A couple of years from now the story might be different. In which case I can buy a used Sorento for pennies on the dollar.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    But who can afford the dealer service on an Infiniti or Lexus? And now I hear some Toyota dealers refuse to work on Lexus models (probably the ones who one the Lexus franchise next door <g>).

    Different strokes....

    Steve, Host
  • Howdy all,
    I was wondering what gas mileage folks are getting -- particularly from the EX TOD 4x4. Right now, with 1800 miles under my belt, I can't seem to get more than 11.5mpg around town -- and thats on a good tank! I even wondered if I was driving too smoothly (I pride myself on getting the best milage possible out of a vehicle...) so I added more lead to my foot for a tank and the mileage dropped accordingly. Anyway, I'm about to visit the dealership and wondered if I can make a case for some sort of 'problem'.

    Besides this one problem and the fact that the doors don't stay open on the slightest incline, I love this thing -- makes me itch for snow...but here on the coast of California we just don't seem to get any....
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    jcherin - I think you have just about the same gas mileage like I do. I have the same equipments on my Sorento. Last month, I checked my gas mileage and 13.5 mpg was the best I got. I didn't check it this month. I wonder this 4WD runs more gas than 2WD, even most of the time this is RWD. BTW, I drive this about 60/40 city/highway. I just warm up my for few minutes and drive, just enough time buckle up my baby in the car seat. I wonder some folks could get 18 mpg on their Sorentos. My 10-year-old Accord (4 cyclinder) runs about the same gas mileage even with proper tune-up and maintenance. Anyway, it runs great at near 2800 miles. First oil change will be performed in about two weeks.
  • ...Hello...just read your remarks about your post, and have to agree with everyone of them. As a matter of fact...if you would have told me a year ago that I would buy a Kia product, I would have laughed in your face...and recited the same facts you have.

    I understand reliability issues, resale issues, service issues, etc. I have owned 2 Hondas, 2 Subarus, 2 Toyotas and a Mazda in my lifetime. You can certainly see where I'm going with this...

    However, I drove the Hondas...I drove the Jeeps....I drove the Toyotas...and then, I drove the Kia. The Kia....for the money...is better. Period. I'll take the gamble with the shoddy reliability of previous Kia models. I'll risk my personal belief that you "get what you pay for". And I'll even risk the resale value. But this I can tell you. I know that the Sorento and future Kia products are going to be far superior to the ones they sold just 4 years ago. Something Honda and Toyota aren't doing.

    I could have done the same thing you propose...buy a used Toyota Camry...er...Lexus RX300, or a Nissan Pathfinder...er Infinite Q45 (and yes, the Lexus RX300 is based on the Camry platform). But I didn't want a used vehicle, I wanted a new one...with a nice warranty, good value, and a chance to buy into a company that will know that I appreciate the things they are doing. Something I'm not so certain is happening anymore with Honda or Toyota.

    That's my 2 cents worth.
  • I have 3300 miles and am averaging 15 city and 18.5 highway. That highway mileage was with a load of 3 adults and luggage on the PA Turnpike at 65 mph. Not as good as I'd like,,,,, but acceptable.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    And it's early (only 3,300 miles) and cold in Pennsylvania. Should improve with more break-in and warmer weather.

    Steve, Host
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    dlb14frost - Pretty good numbers... at least for me. Like you, I have an EX 4WD with TOD. It is also cold in MA. I still haven't got a chance to take a road trip yet.

    steve - Isn't it the first 600 to 1000 miles consider break-in? I love to see any improvement on gas mileage for my Sorento.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Yeah, 500 miles is typically considered the break-in period. But that mostly means it's ok to use the cruise control and stomp the pedal some.

    Lots of people find their mpg increases for the first 10,000 miles and beyond. Mine kept creeping up past 20,000 miles before plateauing. I went from ~15 to ~21 in mixed driving over those miles in my Quest. Hopefully your Sorento's will improve some too.

    Steve, Host
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    steve - I have to find out more when people mention 16, 17 or 18 mpg on their Sorentos. I assume most of them are 2WD. There was one poster already has over 7500 miles on his/her Sorento. Other than that, I believe most people have around 5000 or less miles. It is hard to believe those good gas mileage. BTW, what's cause the gas mileage increase on those mileages.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    There's a mpg thread on the Highlander board right now, and the 4WD folks seem to be doing as well as the 2WD ones. Go figure.

    I keep track of every tank I put in my van. I can't account for the increases - other than the occasional "wild" tank, it just seems that my mpg kept creeping up little by little for the first 20,000 miles. In fact my lifetime mpg still is on a slight upward trend and I'm at 79,000 miles. But that's a tenth or two a year.

    Ok you lurkers - let's have some more mpg reports please! Please include your odometer reading and whether you have a 2WD or 4WD.

    Steve, Host
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    steve - Something like "Post your gas mileage"? I used to keep a calculator in my car's glove box to keep track the gas mileage. Now I use my cellphone instead. When you mentioned the gas mileage increase, I remember saw an auto magazine (maybe Car and Drive in years ago, maybe they still do this) used to run a test report on new car and ran the same car a year later (or 10/12K miles) with 0-60 mph for maybe one second faster and shorter 60-0 mph braking distance. Anyway, will check out the Highlander board tomorrow.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    We do have a SUV fuel mileage - Feel free to participate discussion, but I was thinking it was easy enough to get some more reports in here.

    Our long term road tests keep track of mileage over a two year period come to think of it. No Sorento's in the fleet though :-(

    I see that the '01 Tribute tested actually saw its mpg go down. So much for my theory, lol. The Vue, Explorer and Sequoia all seem to have enjoyed increasing mpg over the months.

    Steve, Host
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Will post my gas mileage when I get gas tomorrow.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    You are correct in your post above describing how the system works.

    -mike
  • drieddried Posts: 36
    I have only 1600 mi on mine, (EX, non-luxury) but get between 14.5 and 17 mpg, depending on temperature and hwy/city mix. Don't have enough data to say it increasing for sure, but I believe it is. My Isuzu Trooper increased in mileage through the first 20K miles, in fact the engine didn't even feel really well broken until that point, so I say be patient with the Sorento.

    jrdowney: Your concerns are valid, I agree with all of them. Here's my perspective. Probably everyone who has purchased a Sorento has been concerned about long term reliability. If you are not willing to take the risk for the money you pay for this car, then it's definitely not the car for you - go with a "proven" brand and pay the money, it really is as simple as that. This car is a great value as far as purchase price. You are absolutely correct, the resale will stink, but put that together with the 6 - 8K initial cost difference with something like a Pilot and you can see where a lot of us are coming from. I intend to buy cars and keep them for the long run, so I'm not much concerned about resale, but I see where you're coming from. I did a lot of test driving, research, and spent some time under the hood of several cars competitive with the Sorento, and KIA is on to something here. KIA as a company really believes in continuous improvement and the Sorento effort shows it. I can stand behind that.

    On a side note, I'm a pretty big Honda fan (own an Accord), so I test drove a Honda Pilot a couple of months before I bought the KIA and had a couple of things about it that turned me off. First, I couldn't shift into 1st gear because the shifter hit my leg. I'm pretty average build - 5'11. Honda is usually better than that, oh well. Plus it is not a true 4WD (TOD and not very good clearance) and it cost something like $1200 for a tow package because they need to add a tranny cooler. As much as I liked it, I realized the Pilot isn't really a good comparison to the Sorento- the Pilot is more in the mini van direction if that's what suits you.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents
      Dave
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    dried - 2WD or 4WD? That's (city gas mileage) pretty close to the EPA ratings of 15 mpg. Mine... EX 4WD (2800 miles now) got 13.5 mpg (city & highway driving) weeks ago. I will track my gas mileage again.

    I looked at several compact SUVs (CR-V, RAV4), midsize luxury SUVs (RX300, MDX) and a minivan (Odyssey) before I bought the Sorento. I was also concerned the Kia reliable. When looked at the ratings on Sedona and the craftsmanship improvements on Sorento (plus Kia warranty coverage), I believe I can go wrong with this.
  • drieddried Posts: 36
    I have a 4WD. In Colorado, we also have a certain amount of Ethanol (I think) added to our gas from November through February I think. This is supposedly for pollution reasons, but that hurts milege about 5 - 10%.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Maybe snow on roof or driving on snowy road for long also the factors for poor gas mileage.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    dried - In response to post #195, I also looked Honda Pliot before I bought the Sorento. I don't know how it's perform because I didn't take a test drove. But I sat on it in the auto show. It's comfortable but no as roomy as the Sorento. Anyway, the Pliot has no sunroof (same as Odyssey), lack of low range, still paying MSRP, expensive dealer installed fog lights.
  • Ok...folks, please, please, please explain to me why every SUV and Truck Forum I go to....including this one...has an issue...or questions about MPG???

    When I purchased the Sorento, I clearly read, and it's in big bold numbers, a RANGE of 15-18 MPG on the window sticker.

    Nothing more, nothing less.

    If you are getting between those numbers....its normal. If your getting less...a million reasons could constitute lower mileage. If more...congratulations...your one of the lucky ones alive that gets to drive downhill in both directions with a tailwind.

    And I have to ask...is it really, and I mean REALLY, going to matter when my Sorento "breaks in" and suddenly I'm getting 18.8 mpg....when before I was getting 17.6??? No, it isn't. So I get to drive another 15 miles a tank??? Who cares?

    When I want to drive a car that gets high mileage and lacks the capabilities I bought my Sorento for...then I drive my wifes Acura RSX.

    Ahhh....I feel better now. And for all those other Sorento owners that understand this....I appologize for wasting the space here to make a point....however small it may be.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Ivy Green Sorento - I hope you understand this is Car Discussions. No one asked if this is a car problem when they only got 15mpg or less. I am sure people still have questions even after reading the owner's manual, window sticker, websites, etc. I hope you can find time to post your thoughts on every SUV and Trucks Forum that you went. Happy motoring!
  • ...what you are saying. My point is this...this particular room is called "Sorento Problems". See where I'm going with this??? It is NOT Car Discussions. Ones mileage is only a problem if they do not understand it...as you say. In that case...ask away and discuss. But so far, the questions I'm seeing posted here concerning mileage are common sense issues and a lack of reading the Owners Manual.

    And for what it's worth...I have an EX with 7900 miles on it. I'm averaging 17.5 mpg. The exact same as when it was new. And I don't expect it to ever get better.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    Sounds like you understand everything in the owner's manual and know every part of the Sorento. Good for you. Peace.
  • Well, here's an update for all of you regarding my Sorento with the TOD problem...
         I called Kia's 800 number and had it flatbedded to my local dealer on Sunday. One of the techs drove it on Monday and said that he only detected that the transfer case was in lock mode when he first pulled out of the dealer's lot. When he took it to a large vacant parking lot, it seemed okay. As of yesterday, they still have not been able to determine the problem. The tech who was familiar with the B-W TOD transfer case, said this is the first one that they have seen with this problem. He explained to me that the transfer case doesn't really "lock" the front and rear output shafts. The computer increases the duty cycle on the electromagnetic clutch to close to 100% (full lock mode). There is no mechanical lockup as on other transfer cases. This transfer case has been used in Ford Explorers for a while, Of course, you all know that I have the service manual- but the explanation of the transfer case (what little there is)is very poor. The dealer has been great in that they gave me a loaner although I did not buy my Sorento there. And I don't think Kia's warranty expressly provides for one- although they might have made an exception since my Sorento has 3100 miles on it.
    Although I don't have an answer to the problem yet, I am pleased at the way I am being treated.
  • lok888lok888 BostonPosts: 1,788
    brooklyn1951 - I missed some of the messages. What is the problem? Was it driveable which required a tow truck? Very impressive customer service for both Kia and the dealer. Yes. My dealer told me a loaner is based on case by case situation. I think they meant any warranty service or repair requires over 6 shop hours. The loaner pays by Kia and not dealer. The folks in Consumer Affairs also mentioned this (loaner and repair under warranty) can be extended to non-Kia service dealers and even outside U.S.. Save your receipts and they will look at it in case by case.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I have the schematics of the B&W TOD unit. It does in fact lock the output shafts in 4-low. In TOD mode it doesn't lock them.

    -mike
  • Sorry if I didn't make the TOD problem clear. I noticed a "binding" in the drivetrain and a difference in the steering feel after I had disengaged 4WD Low. It acted just like a part time 4WD transfer case does when you drive it on dry pavement with 4WD engaged. My guess is that the axle (F & R) lock in the transfer case never released when I shifted from Low back to Auto. Anyway, rather than drive it locked up on dry pavement, I had it towed to the dealer to avoid (further?) damage.
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