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Kia Spectra Engine Issues

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,962
Have an "under the hood" problem or questions with your Spectra? This is the place to discuss them and work it out!

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  • Hey guys just giving you a quick update on my Spectra 5. I've had it for a little over a month now and have put on about 1,300 miles. so far, so good. Not 1 problem yet. This car has been great, I have also started noticing that after about 800 miles or so the car has really started to open up. Its seems even quicker off a dead stop and picks up speed very quickly when needed on the highway. I had my uncle take it out for a test drive the other day and he just turned to me and said man for a stock 4 cylinder this car is one quick son of a B**ch! LOL Gotta laugh at that. I love this car.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    Thanks for the update. The Spectra 5 has the same engine as the Elantra therefore your performance will get even better as you build up miles.
  • dekandekan Posts: 7
    Just picked up my new Spectra 5 tonight with 11 miles on it. I shopped around to alot of dealerships and test drove alot of cars. Decided on the Spectra 5 after doing research here on Edmunds and the test drive. For the first time in awhile I can hardly wait to drive to work tomorrow. I bought the Silver, fully loaded minus the ABS.
  • Nice Purchase, thats the exact one I got fully loaded Silver without the ABS. You are correct about how quiet the Spectra 5 is. Its amazing over bumps and rough surfaces and its the most fun I have had driving a car in my life.
  • I picked up my new Spectra5 December 20. The dealer loaned me a new Spectra5 to drive for the weekend because my car was not in stock. I purchased a black, automatic transmission, cruise control, and moon roof. I now have about 1300 miles on the car and I am very happy with my Spectra5. My previous two cars were also Kias', they were a 1996 and a 1998 Sportage.
  • Picked up a Spark Blue Spectra5 Automatic on Dec 30, and this was one of the smartest automotive buying decisions I have made. The car is primarily for my wife, but at 6'5", 300Lbs, I am completely comfortable behind the wheel as well. Great gas mileage, tons of space, very nice handling. Drove it to work yesterday and hit 92 MPH without noticing! Extremely quiet interior. I must say the car has been more of a head turner than I anticipated. Seriously thinking of trading in my truck for one of my own! We will be upgrading the stereo, as the stock one is a bit lackluster, but no other complaints about the car at all. For those who are interested, I drove out of the lot for less than $15K.
  • loco5loco5 Posts: 3
    Hello all...

    Picked up my new Spectra5 early this week after driving several models and researching over the weekend.

    I drove the Matrix XRS, Focus ZX5, Elantra GT-5 door, Mazda3-5 door, and the Spectra 5.

    My only real requirement was a sedan to begin with that was economical, had a 5 speed and I could use it as a daily driver. This was an additional vehicle purchase as I was in the market to retire my 4x4 (99 Isuzu Amigo ~10" lift) from daily driver duties and make it a trail rig only.
    At first I was looking to buy a 2-3 year old pre-owned, but as I looked at what I wanted I found that a new vehicle fit into the price range and the bigger cars I could purchase pre-owned were not meeting the economical phase.
    With that, it was recommended to me that I look at the hatchback as it would work better for transporting work materials to the site (speakers, etc). It took a bit to convince me, but I warmed up to the idea, but I eventually was happy with my decision. So the basic requirements that it had to have was 5 speed, sunroof, ABS, and cruise. While I was at it I found that economical and sporty/fun to drive could by synonymous, so I can have my cake and eat it too.

    After driving everything and comparing them, it came down to the Mazda3 and Spectra5. With the Mazda priced @ $3k more for the same options, I went with the Spectra and the loger warranty. Ironically enough, when we purchased our last vehicle, 2003 Sorento EX fully loaded, it came down to that vehicle and the Mazda Tribute after comparing 80+ vehicles...

    So to the good stuff... The MSRP was $16,965 with the 2005 Spectra5 manual Spark Blue Metallic with Sunroof, ABS, Cruise, and Mats.
    I paid $15114 for the vehicle, 3/4% over invoice and a $1000 cash back incentive.

    The last three vehicles I purchased, as referenced in this post, I purched through the web and paid invoice, or slighly over (<1%). There is absolutely no reason to EVER pay MSRP or more than 1% over invoice.

    So far I have thoroughly enjoyed the purchase, the vehicle and its been fun to drive.

    Fun to throw into the corners, and it sticks, very little to no lean, body roll, and it scoots right down the road. The only one I drive that came close or exceeded the performance was the Mazda3, THAT is a drivers car (too bad the dash/sudio system is fully modular, that was a big deterrant for me). Great fit n finish, materials used, and a fun package to drive.

    I absolutely did not care for the Elantra GT as was referenced, even though they are cousins to the Spectra. The tranny was slushy, and shifter was bad. The fit n finish was not up to par with the Spectra.

    That is all... carry on.
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    I have had my Spectra for 3500km now, and i must say I a still quite impressed.

    I purchased the S5 with the 5 speed, and let me tell you, it is the most fun I have had with a small (economy) vehicle in a long, long time. The only things that I have done to it is tint the windows, added sports pedals and a strut tower brace. the tint improved the curb appeal of the vehicle a great deal. I really couldn't stand looking through the windows of my black kia and seeing all that grey, the 20% tint fixed that issue.

    I researched new vehicles thoroughly before I even started to think about trading in my 97 Sonoma, ( which I miss to this day). I test drove all and I do mean all the competition, mazda3 (nice car), toyota matrix (gut less), VW Golf (not enough umph for the $$), pontiac VIBE (GM), ford focus (bad lines). I was getting very close to buying the mazda 3, then I drove by a KIA dealership and I saw a S5 sitting out front, I had to stop and see what it was all about. Took it for a test drive and immediately liked it, not to mention they gave me a great deal on my trade.

    I reserve giving the car extra high marks until I get about 20000km on it, but so far i am quite happy.

    I do have 1 issue with the vehicle, (keep in mind that I am a detailing nazi) the paint on my vehicle scratches very easy.

    I will re review the car in about 15000 km. :D
  • smalltownsmalltown Posts: 75
    I bought my red Spectra5 a month ago, automatic, cruise, sunroof. I wanted a small vehicle with large useable interior space. So I test-drove Scion xB, Honda Element, Toyota Matrix & PT Cruiser. The xB is a few inches too short. The Element had the worst driver position for me. By the time I moved the seat up (5'4") the steering wheel is too close to me. If I tilt it, it's pretty flat. The PT Cruiser just felt heavy. The Matrix, like Toyotas in general, puts me too low. I can get the verticle adjustment in a higher trim level. But just for one person most of the time, it's not worth the extra money. Plus having driven a Hyundai Accent for three years, I cannot live without heated mirrors. That is more of a safety issue than a convenience issue in the snowbelt.

    It was hunting for the right gear the first couple of days, but has settled down. Otherwise, it's fairly smooth. I have to watch my speed on the road since I don't hear the engine noise. Mileage is getting better with each tank of gas (1300+ miles) Perhaps the best compliment is from my mother-in-law who is in her eighties. She drove it and said all the controls and buttons are where she can find them and understand what they do. Kia has done a great job designing the car for the driver with essential features that do not overwhelm a driver's attention.

    In case you are wondering, the Hyundai Accent hatchback is going to my son and we are selling his Toyota Corolla. My wife drives a Honda CR-V. So I didn't look at the Tucson or the Sportage. I would have considered the Chevy HHR or the Dodge Caliber if those had been available.
  • oknitrooknitro Posts: 3
    hey guys, new to the group, i just odered my 05 Spectra 5 with package 1, wanted every option! its paid for and insured, im just waiting to have it delivered from vancouver. the dealer is even tinting it for me. cant wait!, any new spectra owners out there with good/bad feedback about it? love to hear it!
  • spec5spec5 Posts: 15
    Congrats. I've only owned mine for a week but so far it's been a fun positive experience. I owned a car years ago that was so fun to drive. You may laugh but the first new car I ever bought was a 1992 Plymouth Duster (Sundance) with the 3.0 V6. The car would fly and was SO much fun. I coined a phrase back then..."if you're not having fun, you're wasting the gas". That phrase came to mind again when I purchased my Spec5 and with the cost of gas, you REALLY don't want to waste it. Enjoy your new ride!
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    Mine is Black, and suffers from very soft paint. She scratches very easily. But with that said, just be careful washing it for the first time and then put a couple of coats of good hand glaze and a high quality wax onto it. you may want to install a strip of clear automotive protective film on the top corner of the rear bumper, behind ( directly behind) the door handles to alleviate stress due to fingernail marks. and along the tops of the side skirts.

    but besides that the car is great, problem free and a blast to throw in and out of turns... enjoy your new S5

  • spec5spec5 Posts: 15
    Having bought my Spec5 12 days ago I will be putting in my first tank of gas tomorrow! So far I'm loving the Classic Red with manual transmission. It's the most fun I've had in years driving a car. Maybe I don't ask much of a car...or more offers plenty! I'm 36yo but fell more like 16 driving this thing...Something Botox doesn't have a prayer of doing!
  • I purchased a Spectra5 Sx 5speed on Saturday & picked the car up yesterday. I am thrilled! I have been driving an older Golf for the past three years, however it's got over 210km on it & is starting to go. Did some initial research on other similar vehicles, however had not looked at the Spectra 5 until my husband encouraged me to check it out - he had been hearing lots of positives about it. I visited the website & really liked what I saw, which led to a visit to a dealership later that day and presto a short while later was signing the paperwork!
    I am impressed with all the standard features that were included with this car, I love the look of it, the warranty is fantastic & the 0% interest doesn't hurt either!
    I really look forward to learning how the car performs - it has only 91 km on it at present. Luckily I'm off to the cottage for the long weekend tomorrow - an hours drive away, I can hardly wait to take it on the highway.
    I have enjoyed reading all the entries here, and will keep on reading & likely even write again once I get more experience as a Kia gal. :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    I am considering the purchase of a 2005 Spectra EX 4-door sedan. Once I got over the mental hurdle of considering a Kia, I'm actually quite impressed with the vehicle. One question on the engine . . . I presume the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine in the Spectra uses a Gilmer (that's what they're actually called) timing belt for driving the overhead cams, and not a chain - is this correct?? I know the new Hyundai engines offered in the 2006 Sonata use a chain in lieu of a belt..

    Anyone know what the approximate cost to replace the belt is, and what the recommended mileage for replacement (60,000 miles?).
  • The 2005 Spectra has a timing belt. Cost to replace would run between $300 to $400 from the dealer.

    Happy motoring
  • The 2005 Spectra has a timing belt. Cost to replace would run between $300 to $400 from the dealer.

    ....and plan on having that belt maintenance done around 57-59k miles.


    I have read several accounts on the web where KIA has purportedly negated the engine/drivetrain warranty if a problem occurs with the engine AND the person's car had the belt changed *before* it broke BUT *after* it had exceeded the 60k belt change recommendation by a few thousand miles.

    I have had no problems at all with any warranty work (I've only had one minor item that was fixed quickly), but I have read many instances on the web where KIA will attempt to not pay for engine related repairs if any deviation in the recommended/required maintenance schedule occurs.

  • The only problem I have had with mine is the body kit is falling off has anyone else had these probs? I do not have time to take it to the desler they ork 8-5 the same as hours as me and they are an hour from me LOVE my spectra 5 sold my 00 Jetta for it :)
  • Well, I bumped off my front spoiler and took it offto try to get it back on properly. The spoiler is adhered with double stick foam tape and the brackets you can see on the underside. There are also 2 or 3 pegs the help align it. I bought some super sticky foam tape from Home Depot and put it back together. It was no big deal really. One note, the screws that hod the spoiler to the metal brackets are not really screws but plastic rivet type expansion thingys. Anyway, don't go to the dealer to fix this, it can be done at home with minimal fuss.

    BTW - I love my Spectra5 too!
  • What about leaving it off altogether? If I buy a Spec5, I'm thinking about removing the spoiler before I ever get a chance to ding it or tear it off; there are some high curbs around here and I've scraped the nose on my wife's Taurus a few times. Would it be possible to remove it and clean off the sticky tape, or would it look unfinished?
  • Well have had mine for a few months now. Close to 2000 miles and only problems have been:

    The front spoiler tape comming lose that was fixed by the dealer no questions asked even thou I did have a slight bump with a curb of a parking lot.

    The real spoiler is starting to come lose and they are fixing that on Friday.

    The KIA logo on my front grill went missing I think when going 90mph on the interstate but not sure. I did see somthing fly over my car but could not tell what it was. It could of been stole or fell of some other time without me seeing it for a few days. KIA has this on order to replace for me now. (also held on by 2 sided tape from what I been told)

    I already knew about the spoiler problems whe I decided to buy but figure under normal driving conditions and not hitting everything they should hold up good. Not sure why the back one is getting lose but with good service from the dealer and them fixing it I'm happy. Was also told by my dealership that they are using a stronger 2 sided tape to reattach the spoilers and people that have had them fixed there have not had problems out of them again unless they hit somthing. Overall it has been a great car. Much better then my last car that also had problems but went through alot of trouble trying to get things fixed under warranty. Nice to walk into KIA tell them the problem and either have it fixed the same day or get an appt to get it fixed in a few days with little questions asked.
  • 004tjk004tjk Posts: 2
    Hi all,

    Just bought my spark blue Spectra5 last week. Lots of fun with the 5 speed and has most of the goodies I wanted in a new car. Price was right, too. Dealer tried to install cruise and was less than successful. Won't be using them for service. Otherwise I'm happy. ;)
  • Last Month, my Wife traded in her 04 Spectra GSX for a Black, fully loaded 06 Spectra5. She is really happy with it.
    I'm not much of a car guy at all. To me, a car is only for hauling stuff that I cannot fit on my Bike, or if the weather is too servere. Ive been around Bikes all my life and cars just don't excite me all that much.
    About a week after my wife bought her car, I took the 5 for a spin, well let me tell ya, I was impressed, so much so, I went down to the same Dealer and traded in my 04 Cavalier for a Red 06 Spectra5. Fully loaded, Moon Roof, ABS, A/C yada, yada, yada.
    I have about 1400 miles on the 5 and seen a big improvement in the gas milage, went from 27 mpg to about 33 mpg @ an avg. speed of 60mph. It should get better when I switch over to Synthetic oil. I do keep the tire pressure at 38psi.
    All in all I'm glad I made the switch over to KIA from the Big 3.
    As a side note: My wife's 04 GSX had 16,000 miles and not one problem. In addition, my Daughter bought a New, leftover 05 Sorento the same day I bought my car, she says she loves the KIA more than her Ford Ranger Truck. Time will tell how these KIAs will stack up over time and miles. So far, so good.
  • Welcome to the forum, best of luck with your new Kias.

  • Geo - any luck with the locks yet?

    Eight months + 8000km later and I'm happy to report no issues thus far.

    Really happy with my snow tires, they make the winter driving bearable, and at times downright fun.

    Still pleased as punch with my Spec5! :P

    Welcome to all the newcomers, enjoy your new vehicles!
  • geomaticsgeomatics Posts: 60
    Actually, the locks havn't acted up since my last post on the subject. As soon as they do I will repost with my experience at the dealership, I am convinced that the problem is related to moisture and assume that if they are going to act up again it will be in the spring when the warmer weather hits.

    I will keep the board informed.
    (can't wait to get the summer wheels back on)

    Keep up the good work!

    Geo ;)
  • I just purchased a 2006 Spectra 5 about a Month ago. The sticker was $16,900
    Power Sun Roof $700
    ABS $400
    Handling $570
    Total price:

    They gave me a prety good deal after rebates, trade in and the Dealer crap I came away paying $15,500, not too bad. ;)
  • What color did you get? The dealership I went to and the regional Kia rep told me I should have gotten white or silver then I wouldn't see the paint chipping off of it like I do on my red one. Since they said it was normal for this to happen and all I should have gotten white or silver. Didn't deny that the paint would still chip, just said it wouldn't be noticable on one of those colors. Keep an eye out for these type of issues, have seen half a dozen or so on this website alone that are just with Spectra5s. Seen tons elsewhere with other models as well.
  • I got the Black one, if I have any problems like this Kia will make it right or I'll camp out at the Dealer till they do.
    I saw the same posts and wondered if it isn't a local dealer problem. If I had that kind of problem I'd go over their heads till I got satisfaction or report them to the BBB.
    Kia isn't the only Dealer like this. I've had problems out of Ford and Chrysler on warranty work. They'll shuck and juve you if you let them.
    I was always able to resolve the problems with Ford, Chrysler on the other hand... Let's just say that the only way I'll ever buy another Chrysler product is if they offer a 1,000,000 Bumper to bumper, give Me the Car and put Gas in it for as long as I own it.
    I Loved My Grand Caravan, it's the Drivetrain that really falls short of the quality of the Automobile.
    And Chrysler Customer service SUCKS!
  • I've been at it with Kia for nearly 5 months now and believe it or not the dealership is great, but Kia themselves are refusing to fix the problem. The service manager I've been dealing with thought it should have been taken care of the first time and assumed Kia would agree. Unfortunately Kia sent a rep out and he said Nahhhh... it's normal, just rock chips. I've been going over every square inch of this car now and have found (besides the 15-20 chips in the paint on the hood and door) 2 bubbles above the rear door, 1 bubble on the rear spoiler, 2 odd looking spots on the door where the paint is crackled but not peeling off all the way yet, and a "chip" on the door that still has a line of paint left on it. Wondering how I got "hit by a rock" that didn't just leave a single chip in the paint but rather a chip that looks like it is split in half. Maybe I got really unlucky and just happened to get hit by 2 rocks in the exact same spot. That would probably be Kia's explanation. I hope you have better luck than I am if something should happen. I know this was our first Kia purchase and when we started looking for a new car in June for my husband Kia wasn't even on our list of places to look. We wound up buying elsewhere and you can bet I'll let them know that too. It's a shame because I do like my car, just not the way it's holding up and the way Kia deals with their customers.
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