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KIA Rondo Handling, Tires, Suspension

e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
edited April 2014 in Kia
Vehicle handles quite poorly.
In twice for alignment checks so far. Handled better after first when all but 2 specs were out, but still had 5 out because vehicle has no camber or caster adjustment. Two weeks later went back, same tech and machine, and 8 were out. Maybe vehicle won't hold alignment either? After loosening lots of things and trying to force any slack in bolt holes, etc. left with 4 out of spec and are sending to another alignment shop for opinion. Total of 14 specs for adjustment, if vehicle had adjustment for all.
So handling is still poor. Too much caster likely causing some of hard steering issue. And excessive forces are already (5600 miles) showing a tiny bump of looseness in steering. Vehicle not driven on rough roads.
Hard to make a vehicle handle properly if you can not align it!


  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Vehicle came with Hankook Optimo tires.
    Tire has a slant pattern running through tread from one sidewall to the other.
    Looking at rear of vehicle and tires the slant runs in the same direction on all four.
    I strongly suspect this is wrong and may contribute to handling issue.
    I do not know which direction this will pump water but it seems likely it will either through you to the shoulder or into oncoming traffic.
    I think this is the same tire =
    And carefully checking the tire shown if all four were mounted with the same sidewall to the outside of wheel, the diagonals would either slant to center of vehicle or away from center, left and right side from rear or front as long as you check all from same position.
    It seems the only way KIA could have gotten differently is they mounted left side tires with one sidewall out and the opposite sidewall out on the right side of vehicle.

    Dealer offered to turn one side around, but now faced with how the tread was broke in.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Emailed Hankook concerning diagonal pattern in H418. Reply seemed not to answer concerns. Fired another email. They called me, they being their technical engineering department.
    It took awhile to get the point across about how the slant pattern exists and is effected by which sidewall is mounted out. As if they did not realize it. Also told them there seemed to be excessive squirm when driving across rain grooves. He told me that most of the water would be going between the tire ribs, the grooves that separate the grooves. Probed deeper concerning the slant pattern and if standing water existed. Trying to be non-committal he admitted an effect.
    He suggested having KIA turn two of the tires so that the same sidewall was to the face of the wheel on all four.
    And told me to have KIA get with them for allowance on different tire model. Pretty sure I will take this up since I learned something else about the tread pattern. Sidewall sipes are only half the tread deep.
    Wet roads are a huge concern where I live. And beyond wet since pockets of water often stand on roadway and it often rains very hard. Not very cold here, seldom any snow, but traction under other conditions very important.
    So when buying tires I always look for those with highest traction ratings wet and dry. As to wet and standing water conditions, I've always looked for tires that have sidewall sipes the full depth of tread. I have not tried any of the newer water treads since the sidewall sipe seems to be important for conditions here.

    Often tires do not have a full depth sidewall sipe, afterall they are testing on new tires. Most new tires start with 10/32" of tread, and considered worn out at 2/32".
    Often manufacturers make those sipes only halfway of depth to slow wear on outer ribs of tires. But again turning to wet road and hydroplaning, those sipes are completely gone with 5/32" of tread left. A condition I definitely don't want on my vehicles. If 2/32" is worn out, does that mean the sidewall sipes are worn out at 2/32 + 5/32 = 7/32" of remaining tread? Something you should think about because the tire should, would be greatly derated from its new performance at that point of wear under watery conditions.

    P.S. Tires are the single most important investment for your vehicle. More than brakes because they are only effective to the point of the tire and its traction.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    interesting reading, I too have Hankook Optimo tires and very please so far with them as I had never heard of them before I purchased my '08 Rondo. I have absolutely no issues with the handing on this vehicle, it tracks great and the alignment is spot on. Could you please tell me what engine you have in your vehicle and also what model, thanks.

    (Attention site moderator: I wish they would allow you the post details in the left column as regards to your location and what you drive, like on other forums - it seems such a waste of space and time)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    It is the base model, whatever that is, with I-4.
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    The adventure continues.
    After KIA had it to Toyota rack twice and they could not get it in spec, they wanted it run across a third rack to make sure. They asked who I used and I mentioned Rutland, so they sent me there. After a few more hours of baby sitting, they told me some bolts were rounded off and it needed new ones. Was this done at Toyota referral? They passed word to KIA and bolts were ordered, but I get this suspicion. KIA calls that bolts are in. The morning I go to KIA, I check thoroughly and can not find any damaged bolts or nuts. I find at KIA these bolts are the two each side that connect the strut to the steering knuckle. And they tell me it needs to go back to Rutland. They tell me they don't have time, maybe tomorrow because it will take three hours. Say What? They have to unmount struts and open the holes. Now I got the whole picture. They are going to do an unauthorized fix to this new vehicle, the same sort of thing that got Ford into a bunch of lawsuits. This I will not allow. Don't need the trouble of bad accident or sitting in lawyers offices and courts endlessly. True that some struts have an elongated hole for adjustment, but those manufactured that way have a knurled surface at that point to give better bite at metal to metal contact and may use special bolts and nuts that also have knurled surface at points of contact. Certainly not a smooth surface on strut and bolts point of contact.
    And such an adjustment only works for camber, not caster. Also the rear does not use struts but a four link suspension with separate coil spring and a shock absorber so I can only guess what butchering they may intend to fix those issues.
  • Upgrades have been implemented already and more are to come. Hang tight! :)
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Can you be a little more specific?
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    I contacted dealer this morning and service denies authorizing butcher attempt at aligning. Then why did they authorize over 3 hours to do 10 minute job of changing 4 bolts plus at most an hour for alignment.
    Contacted KIA customer service. Went into detail and asked for escalation of engineering and told they could not do that.
    Called main part of dealership and talked to manager. He promised to get back with me before end of day. It is 6:06 PM.
    In the meantime, I've been busy on the web and email contacting GA consumer affairs relating to Lemon Law. According to them I meet the criteria and by law they should have been giving me copies of everything to date, even under warranty or free service. I've requested copies. Next will be certified mail requesting such and it looks like I need to make time to fill out form notifying them it is their last chance. If not fixed in 7 days I file for buy back or replacement of vehicle. And very happy to learn GA law takes care of you. Not killed by depreciation and such. Settlement is price paid including taxes, etc. divided by 100K miles to determine my cost per mile. Multiply by miles driven and that is it. That should be about $.20 per mile and hopefully settled before 6K miles.
  • Sorry I can't. Top secret, lol. We just launched a forum redesign and there are a few more things in the works.
  • ramblinramblin Posts: 29
    Went with Falken 215/50/17 Ziex ZE-912's. A little smaller tire, but my odometer reads 2 mph slow anyway. Maybe it will fix this?

    Consumer reports thought highly of them. Wildly varying reviews elsewhere many due to performance on snow. Tire is classified as a "performance all season" with a V speed rating. Tread wear rating on the 50 series isn't that great - 360. Checking with local shops I was quoted anywhere from $700 - $800 for replacement 225/50/17 tires. I could buy two sets of the Falkens for the quoted price from local shops.

    The Michelins were down to 5/32" before I took them on a 5000 mile trip. The Michelins would have lasted longer but one got badly worn from a tire that was badly out of alignment. I didn't notice anything in the driveability until I started hearing the tire thumping from the cupping that had occurred. I was rotating tires at 5,000 intervals.
  • conwelpicconwelpic Ontario, CanadaPosts: 600
    when are we going to see the changes you talk about? This forum is so far behind in features compared to others and is certainly not user friendly!

    We need the ability to have:
    - avatars
    - inserting the message when you reply to it, making it much easier to follow the conversation
    - member profile info available in plain view (in a left column) with each posting, particular the members location and what they drive, as this is all relative to the conversation.
    - signature attachments
    - ability to be able to do attachment straight from your computer, not through a outside source
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I strongly second all the points that conwelpic has made.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Some forum upgrades have already taken place, as you seen their was a redesign. It takes time, please be patient. :)
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    Caliberchic, we appreciate any and all changes - thanks!
  • exfilesexfiles Posts: 3
    Hi folks, new here to this or any other forum really. I saw a post by Bgw re. getting steel rims from his dealer. I had read in some reviews or another forum (?) that, steel rims were not available for Rondos as even the base model has alloy rims. My question is, were these rims for another vehicle that also fit a Rondo? I need to know as much info as possible. I'll pass this on to my local dealer. I've only had my white '08 EX since Friday but enjoy it very much. Too early to have any issues so far (knock on wood). I hope all works out for anyone w/ issues. Looking forward to sharing and gaining knowledge about this vehicle. Cheers
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I got my rims and tires from Canadian Tire, not the dealer. When we bought the Rondo on Aug 16 last year, we bargained for a set of steel rims with mounted and studded winter tires. Around here, we get lots of snow and I knew the all-season Michelins would be no good, and the original 17 inch rims are just to pretty to destroy with road salt.
    I went on website, sized 15 inch rims and tires to match the circumference of the original set. So I bought 205/65R/15 Goodyear winter tires, which matched the circumference of the original 225/50R/17 Michelins. The rims are standard rims available at Canadian Tire which matched the lug spacing of the Rondo rims (sorry, don't recall what the spacing is, I just measured it with a ruler). No shims were necesssary, as they were a direct fit. And 15 inch is the smallest you can go, to leave space for the brake discs.
    If you are not in Canada,I bet that your local auto parts store will have standard rims that will fit the Rondo. Just measure the lug spacing and ensure that the rim will give clearance over the discs.
    We used our setup from November through April and had not one issue. And with the snow we got last winter, thank goodness the tires were studded.
    Overall, the Rondo is a wonderful family vehicle, and other than a touchy Check Engine Light early on (just gotta turn the gas cap 3 clicks), the Rondo was never needed any service other than maintenance. Easily the most reliable vehicle we have owned.
  • exfilesexfiles Posts: 3
    Thanks bgw, I'll check it out next mo. (I hope). I'm in Petawawa and have a Can. Tire in both towns on either side of me (Pembroke and Deep River, On). I already passed on to my family about the 3 click trick and to stop pumping gas at the first shut off "bump." I'm only on my first tank of gas but it seems to be emptying a bit faster than I hoped, in mixed driving. I'll post more in a mo. or so in another discussion. Also wish to state that I'm glad I joined 2 Rondo forums. Auto forums are an awesome source of parts, info, etc. Used one for another vehicle I once owned a few yrs back. Cheers!
  • exfilesexfiles Posts: 3
    I meant as well to add that my current alloys are the 16" ones. I was hoping to switch to 17" alloy and 17" steel but the manual states that you should only install the size that originally came w/ the veh. :( Oh well....
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I informed my KIA dealer about the size of winter tires/rims that I wanted as part of the deal, and he had no issue with swapping the 225/50/17 all-seasons for studded 205/65/15 winter tires.
    Same circumference, no problem for the electronic nannies (ABS, EBD, traction control, etc).
  • e_net_ridere_net_rider Posts: 1,380
    Thought I'd chime in since you mention traction control. From what I've read on traction control on this vehicle is that it kills power to the wheels if it spins. And some people have had problems with that in starting on slippery spots. Other vehicles I'm familiar with reduce power, not drop it to idle. And a truly good traction control also makes use of the ABS system and apply mild braking to the spinning wheel sort of like limited slip.
    But I see something that alarms me far worse. You are cruising along and hit a very slippery stretch, something like black ice or road that is not properly draining and you are hydroplaning. The first rule of safety is to let off the accelerator hoping the spinning wheels without power to them get a chance to bite. And above all else, do not brake or it could through you into a spin (this is assuming you have room and are not about to hit something). Hopefully you will regain enough control to steer clear of problem. To this point, idiot engineers forgot to put over-run clutch in transmission. This allows the free wheeling found in many vehicles and is easily shown if your tachometer drops back to idle quickly when you let off accelerator. In effect this vehicle uses engine braking which will make your slippery situation worse. If you had manual transmission which is direct drive you'd disengage the clutch until back on firm footing. And there are other vehicles that have not used over-run in the final drive, but it is a stupid idea for most vehicles. Times you might not want over-run would be in a vehicle where you are constantly hauling heavy loads and the brakes alone are not sufficient to do the job. This Rhondo hardly classifies as a tractor-trailer.
  • bgwbgw Posts: 116
    I just checked on my winter tires/rims (I have them stored, so it took me a bit of time to get to them, sorry) - the tires are Goodyear Nordic, size 205/65R15. The rims are Canadian Tire - on the side of the rim that goes towards the car (the deep side), there are these numbers - 15 x 6.0, then 3573 and V3, then 13 and 9 and 5 and 1. The last 4 numbers look something like this: 13 9 5 1
    On the side of the rim that faces out, between two of the lug holes, is the number 21 and between that and the next lug hole is the number 5435.
    I measured the distance from the centre of one lug hole to the centre of the next, and got 65 mm. They have 5 lug holes, of course.
    Hope that helps!
    Our set was installed in Nov 07 and taken off in late April 08. With these studded tires, winter was not a problem, whether it was deep snow or ice. Of course, the traction control system cut in occasionally, but I do have to say that the Rondo got through the winter almost as well as our old Legacy wagon, which was AWD. The studded tires are noisy though, and the noise is amplified in the Rondo's spacious interior. But you get used to it. Ride, surprisingly, was a bit better than with the standard all-seasons, but maybe that was due to the higher side profile (65 series vs 50 series). Handling did not seem to be affected, but then again I was not tossing the Rondo around in February like I would in July!
    My advice? Buy 'em!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    here is a link to the article

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

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

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

    Thank you in advance for your advice.
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