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Kia Sedona (2005 and Earlier)



  • Yes, that is correct. Jim Richardson
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    We were overdue for the timing belt replacement on our 2002 Sedona EX and finally pulled the trigger today.

    Had the following done:
    * Replace timing belt
    * Tune-up -- included new spark plugs
    * Auto transmission power flush -- had this done previously @ 45k miles, so dealer recommended the power flush instead of a drain/fill
    * Fuel injector cleaning / throttle body cleaning
    * New serpentine belt

    Total: about $680 before tax.

    This seemed like a GREAT price on all of this work. The timing belt was $345 and the tune-up was only $120! The other Kia dealer in town quoted me $450 for the timing belt and $360 to change the spark plugs!

    Overall, I was very happy with $723 including tax for all of this service.

    We had authorized fuel filter replacement, but the technician had trouble with a rusty/stripped bolt once he got inside the gas tank. Wasn't sure he could finish the job by the end of day to get our vehicle back to us, so he didn't do it. I liked the way the advisor explained this to me.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I know what all the websites say our van is worth; just wondering about your input as owners/former owners.

    2002 Sedona EX, all options except rear spoiler-- i.e., moonroof, power front seats, leather, 2-tone paint, etc.
    Original MSRP $23,930. Paid $22,930 in Feb 2002.

    Approximately 75k miles. When cleaned up, interior looks close to new except for some scuffing in the cargo area. Seats are in great shape, including driver's seat cushion which had leather replaced under warranty when I remarked at the dealer about cracking leather on a 3 year-old van -- and it wasn't even all that bad.

    Exterior has a few small/medium door dings that would cost $400 for the local body shop to fix (repainting required on at least one of them) and some paint scraping on the front left bumper area. 1 small stone chip in windshield; I could have the windshield replaced free via car insurance if I felt like it, but this one hasn't gotten worse in 2 years.

    Original owner, all maintenance up to date including recent front brakes, never smoked in, garage kept. This has been a very trouble-free vehicle. I know many other folks have had plenty of problems with their 2002-2005 Sedonas, but ours has been one of the good ones.

    What is a fair trade-in value or private party value for this van? I see dealers advertising 2002 EXs for $7,000-9,000 but am not sure whether the actual transaction prices are in that same range.

    Normally I would 'recondition' our vehicle before sale to maximize value, but been too busy. We may end up trading it in rather than selling privately, which would be a first for me. I've always sold vehicle on my own but I don't sense a strong market for a used Sedona.

    Any thoughts on fair value? We are in Michigan.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    trade-in value is pretty much meaningless. What you need are written bids to buy your van from dealers. That is the true trade-in value.
    A dealer would probably give you about $4000 to $5000 for your van and then turn around after cleaning it up and try to sell it for $7000 to $8000. But that would be their asking prices. They'd probably sell one like yours for $6000 if someone brought in a stack of 100's.
    Good luck.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    'Trade-in value,' 'written bid' -- to me, they are one in the same.

    Is it worth me cleaning up the exterior before trading it in? In reality, the dealer can do this work itself more cheaply than it would cost me to pay them or someone else do the work. So in theory, it would be a win-win to trade it in without fixing it -- although somehow I see a dealer reducing the appraisal amount by more than repair work would cost.

    Do you really think non-Kia dealers would even want my van, regardless of its condition? I have a feeling I might get laughed out of the showroom if I went around to Ford, Honda, etc. dealers asking how much they would give me for my van. It just doesn't seem like a hot commodity vehicle.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    All used car dealers want new "iron" to sell. But they want to get it super cheap from you.
    There is really no shortcut. You have to take your van around and shop it, getting written bids.
    Your van is not a particularly hot item, so you'll get low bids. It is better to clean it up before shopping it. Put a for sale sign in it too with your phone number as you drive it to lots. Maybe a buyer will see it and call you with a better offer.
    How much do you want for it? And how did you arrive at your figure?
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    I don't have a figure yet. Did some research online -- all the major sites that offer pricing, plus searching used car listings to see what others (individuals and dealers) are asking.

    If it was cleaned up, my thought is I could probably get $7,000 by selling it myself but you never know until you try.
  • Just thought id let you know that Kia customer service is no better here in England :confuse:
    We bought a Sedona, brand new in 2000. 2.5SLX, Auto, petrol. We had a brand new engine in it after the pistons cracked in the first 18 months of owning it. Then just 6 months after that, we needed another for the same problem, however they replaced it with a reconditioned engine this time an sent us away with an extra years warranty as a "Good will Gesture"
    Great we thought at the time!!!
    Just as well, as we get home the engine management light comes AGAIN, and for approx 1 year more we are back and forth trying to sort it out!! Eventually after many sensor changes
    we get it sorted. Then last year, just out of Warranty now, engine goes again, the same problem, engine management light comes on, engine blows. Cracked pistons. So HOT in there, its melted the inside!!
    However, Kia are no longer interested in helping us to sort this out this time as we are out of warranty, regardless that it is the SAME problem again!!! :mad: :mad:
    We now have a secondhand engine in, at our expense this time, but the the independant garage has found that the ECU isnt working and needs replacing before the engine will run properly! AND says it was probably the cause of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd engines problems!!!!
    So now we are left with a £4000 bill that Kia wont even help with and trying to find a secondhand ECU is nigh on impossible. £750/800 for a new one. The cars not even worth that total now!!
    So we advise that you stay in warranty by buying an independent one when Kia's one runs out or you may end up paying out for bills like this. OR EVEN BETTER, JUST DONT BUY ANY KIND OF KIA AT ALL!! :mad: :(
    Would like to know if the Lemon Law works in the UK and will it apply to this case???
    Would really appreciate comments on how to get KIA to see sense, that this is all down to them!!!
  • Bluedevils, seems like you got a great deal. My 2002 LX is in for service right now at 59k miles and I'm having the timing belt (and the tensioner) done and my total is $695 just for that! ($570 for timing belt; $125 for tensioner). I think I'm getting robbed. Can you indicate if your timing belt replacement for $345 includes the tensioner as well? Thanks.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Our service did NOT include replacing the tensioner. I asked the advisor, who seemed friendly and fairly knowledgeable, about the tensioner. Specifically, I asked him if we should have it replaced at the same time as the timing belt. I don't remember exactly what he said but basically he said it was most likely not necessary -- that they don't normally go bad and they would be able to tell once they got in there to replace the timing belt? I don't know if I am remembering correctly, or if what I said even makes any mechanical sense. Geez, now I am getting really confused...there was one item I inquired about, can't remember if it was the tensioner or something else, and advisor said, 'no, you do not need to replace that because it would be covered under the powertrain warranty.'

    I'll see if I can find my notes later on and get to the bottom of it.

    This dealer is a combination Ford/Kia store and I think they are applying their normal Ford service costs to the Kia side of the business as well. This means good prices on Kia service!

    $570 for the timing belt DOES sound like robbery. The other Kia dealer in my area quoted me $453.
  • Thanks for that info. Good to see some "old-timers" like us still on this board (I think I joined in August 2002) ... don't see much of the original folks much more. Brought the van in with 59k and told them to find/fix anything they can before it hits 60k.

    I did A BUNCH of research on this forum as well as on and listed out everything I wanted done along with TSB Numbers, Tech Time Reference Numbers, and all the "hints" to get things done (think Alternator and dimming lights).

    The service coordinator indicated that writing out all these details made all the difference in how quickly they could identify and fix problems. I recommend it and have included my info below for anyone experiencing the same problems.

    As for the warranty coverage, the folks at Sansone Kia in Neptune, NJ are doing VERY right by me. Here is what they are fixing under warranty:
    -- Throttle Cable (Recall)
    -- Squeaking Driver Seat (Tech Times KT20050302155)
    -- New Cupholder
    -- Rear A/C Expansion Valve / Groaning Noise (TSB KT2005062805) and refill refrigerant
    -- New Alternator and belt (TSB KT2005022504) ... I was unaware but after testing it they said that my alternator was about to die ... probably would have gone dead at 60,001 miles if I hadn't asked for a replacement!
    -- New Motor Mount for passenger side ... car would creak when moving from Park
    -- Repair doors locking by themselves (hopefully)
    -- New Radiator Hose and Clamp (had a leak ... yes, the warranty covers hoses and clamps)
    -- New Canister Purge Solenoid (I was unaware of a problem but diagnostic system indicated this was about to go as well).

    They also talked me into repacking the rear bearings as they indicated that the front bearing are sealed but the rears are not (I don't have the aluminum wheel problem though).

    All in all, Kia is paying about $1600 for the warranty work to the dealership. If you live in Central NJ and are looking for a really nice service experience, contact Buddy in service at Sansone Kia on Rt. 66 in Neptune ... nothing but service with a smile ... a rarity these days.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Good to hear your good dealer service experience! Even nicer to hear that they APPRECIATE the details you provided instead of taking a snooty attitude and basically ignoring it all.
  • vannervanner Posts: 47
    I would advise you to ask the dealer for a complete list of service charges for each service needed to maintain the warranty. Get those charges in "today's money" and add that cost to the sale price of any car you're contemplating. It gives you a better idea of fixed cost of purchase, in current money, for whatever time you think you'll own this new vehicle. (Fuel cost is a variable but you can come close if you have an idea how many miles you'll drive a year times how many years and then use the actual reported mileage as the final factor.)

    You should also consider trade value for whenever you think you might get rid of it. Trade value of any Kia is among the lowest in the industry no matter when you finally decide you have to dump it. You will lose about 50% value the first year and so be stuck with it out to that point where it's worthless in trade because everyone will know you're dumping it at 59K to avoid that 60K service fee!

    On the 2005 and earlier Sedonas with 3.5L engines (I cannot speak of the '06 and later) you will need to change the timing belt at 60K. That service varies in cost depending on whom you ask and I find reports and quotes from $700 all the way out to $1600. If you travel an average 1000 miles a month, it'll take you 60 months to get there, and if it averages $1200 for the service, that's another $20 a month fixed cost of ownership. So beware.

    (Oh yeah - 30K will run somewhere between $300 and $450 depending on the dealer.)

    Kia oil change intervals depend on the definition of "severe" use or "normal" use. Please understand that to Kia, if you turn the key, ever, you enter into "severe" use. So change oil and filter every 3000 miles to keep that warranty shiny and crisp for when you'll really need it when the wheel bearings, or strut mounts, or front brake rotors, or brake lines, or alternator, or power door, or power seat, or rear ac lines go south.

    Another point to consider - Kia uses off-brand (as far as the US is concerned) tires on most models, and there is NO warranty coverage or road-hazard coverage on Kia's OEM tires. (I understand some '06 and '07 can be found with Bridgestones but I do not know if they have a warranty or road-hazard provision.) Damage one not-covered tire in a month or a year, and you have to buy a new one yourself.

    If you have an off-brand OEM like Hankook or Kumho, you're SOL getting one even from a Kia dealer unless you order one somewhere, a luxury most of us don't have with a flat and needing the car, today. So, to be safe, with radials, you need to have the same tread on each axle, and that means buying TWO replacement tires. Another cost to consider. (Had to do that with our '05 when the wife clipped a curb and tore a "Danggook".)

    Nearest I can tell, Kia dealers get a lot of support from Kia about service - making sure it is required more frequently, at a higher cost, than any other manufacturer on earth except maybe Ferrari. Helps the profit margin.

    I think Kia honestly has a ridiculously high total cost of ownership considering the service costs, high fuel usage, and overall dismal trade value, even if you were unwise enough to trade for another Kia. Even if a Honda or Toyota costs 50% more, assessing the total cost may make it worth it over 5 or 7 years. In a few months, we will have amortized what we need to get out of ours without hanging my head in shame forever and I will not make the Kia mistake again. Don't know yet what we'll buy, but it will not be a Kia. (My research indicates it won't be a Chrysler product, either.)

    We own an '05 Sedona LX and it's honestly a fair car, I like driving it, holds a ton of stuff and I don't doubt the safety. But it's "fair" if you only consider purchase price. It's on the poor end of the poor scale for overall cost of ownership.

    Work on the numbers and think hard. Plan for the long-haul, not the loan approval. Can't tell one mini van from another at a 100 yards and inside one, with poor eyesight like mine, you can take off your glasses and not tell which brand you're in. They all hold a ton of stuff and a dozen kids. They even come in the same colors.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    vanner, that is a very detailed post but you have some incorrect or misleading information in parts.

    The timing belt and other service costs are not nearly as high as you say, at least in my experience. See my other posts regarding recent service on our 2002 Sedona EX. We had timing belt, tune-up (spark plugs), fuel injector service, trans flush, and serpentine belt done for $680 plus tax. The timing belt was $345 of that. Our other local dealer quoted $453 for the timing belt.

    In short, I don't think Kia's dealer pricing on most typical services is any higher than other non-domestic brands.

    Regarding depreciation...50% depreciation in the first year is an exaggeration. I don't think there is a single model on the road that depreciates so much. The Sedona is no exception.

    It is true the Sedona 2002-2005 tires were cheaper models, from Hankook and Kumho. Hankook is not an 'off brand' tire even though YOU may not be familiar with it. These are available from and offer pretty low prices for H speed rates tires.

    Kia is starting to put expensive Michelin tires on several of its newer models.
  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    I could believe Kias depreciate 50% in a year from MSRP, and that is a legitimate way to figure it.
    But, because they are usually bought for much less than MSRP, the real depreciation is less than 50% in that first year.
    If you buy a car and get a good deal you can figure about 50% depreciation about every 3 years or so until you get down to 1/4 of purchase price, then it levels off some if you keep it in good condition.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    Using MSRP is a COMMON way to calculate depreciation, but in practical terms it is pretty much useless.

    I suspect some of the worst-resale Kias (think Spectra and Rio) might show first-year MSRP depreciation as high as 50%. But many of the other Kias are nowhere near that high.
  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    One potentially gray area involves this sort of situation:

    During the warranty period, you take your van to Kia dealer and report a problem. They are unable to duplicate it and, obviously, they do not fix it. The paperwork from 99% of dealerships (not just Kia, but everywhere) is worded very carefully; they do not ACKNOWLEDGE the problem exists. It always says, "The customer states..." or some such disclaimer.

    You are now past the warranty period and you hear about a TSB describing the exact problem you told the dealer about a long time ago!

    At this point, you have a pretty good case for getting your concern fixed for free.
  • times2times2 Posts: 45
    Well guys - I definitely benefited from reading these Kia forums. My 2002 Sedona EX now has over 55,000 miles and given its repair history, I'm afraid to let it go beyond the warranty. I was able to trade it on a 2006 Ford Five Hundred (finally talked my wife into downsizing to a more fuel efficient vehicle). The good news was that after much negotiation, I was able to get $6995 for the trade-in of the Sedona, which was more than I thought I would get. I bought the van in Dec 2004 with 26,000 miles for $12,900. So besides the chronic vibration I could never get rid of, here's the list of repairs I had to have done to the van:
    05/10/05 - Axel Seals
    05/27/05 - New Transmission - Old transmission had a hole in it and was leaking fluid
    12/28/05 - Front Brakes and Rotors (Not covered under warranty - did the work myself with parts from NAPA)
    02/07/06 - Seat Wiring Recall
    02/07/06 - Rear Coolant Lines (Not covered under warranty - cost over $500 to replace)
    02/16/06 - Left Front Wheel Bearing (Kia couldn't do it fast enough, and it was dangerous, so I paid to have it done somewhere else)
    05/08/06 - Power Steering Cooler
    07/11/06 - Air Conditioning Compressor
    07/11/06 - Intermediate Steering Shaft

    So - Good luck with your vehicles, but I think Kia still has a way to go in terms of quality and a LONG way to go in terms of service and honoring their warranty!
  • ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
    Since there seem to be a number of people here with issues, I've created a new discussion so that it'll be easier to find. You may notice that I've moved some of the posts there already: Kia Sedona Strut Issues


    Need help getting around? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Tell everyone about your buying experience: Write a Dealer Review

  • joe131joe131 Posts: 996
    What was the MSRP of the 500? When was the deal? And what was the price (before TTL) and before the trade-in allowance?
    What a person "gets" for his trade-in can be manipulated by the dealer by adjusting new car price and financing terms.
    You maybe did not get what you thought.
  • times2times2 Posts: 45
    This was a pre-owned Ford 500, so MSRP doesn't really come into account, but KBB for dealer retail is around 16,500. He wanted 14,900 for it initially, although their website picture showed a tag in the window for $15,900. Actually, the link is still there now:

    Just picked up the car yesterday (02/27/07). He originally offered 6000 over the phone for the van, bumped it up to 6500 after seeing it, and then after I told him I would have to think about it, bumped it up to 6995. The 13900 was the price before TTL. I did the financing separately, so they didn't make anything extra on that either.
  • natta1natta1 Posts: 11
    Thanks for the great input here. We have a 2002 with 72,000 miles that's making a creaking noise when shifted out of park. It's really just a minor annoyance right now but it's nice to know what the fix might be for it.

    Our door locks also have a mind of their own--locking on their own intermittently. I think I've isolated it to the front passsenger door lock mechanism. What did they do to solve the problem?
  • joancjoanc Posts: 26
    Hi everyone..
    ..Now that I have a few aftermarket accessories on my '03 Sedona, I've decided the only thing I'd really like to improve is the appearance of the tires. The stock tires almost look a bit too small for the size of the van (in my opinion). Is it possible to get a slightly taller tire without having to go to the expense of replacing the wheels as well? Has anyone here put larger tires on their Sedona..and if so, was it an improvement? Thanks much, Joan
  • jbautijbauti Posts: 6
    Why change the front pads?
  • jbautijbauti Posts: 6
    Hi, I bought my 2004 Kia Sedona EX brand new and from day one the keyless remote never made a beeping sound when I would lock it. I thought this was normal until I meet someone with the same year and model van and she told me she took her van back to the shop becasue the "beep sound" stopped working and they fixed it. My question is.. Is my keyless remote suppose to beep upon locking? My Parking lights flash and this is all.

  • bluedevilsbluedevils Posts: 2,554
    on our 2002 EX, the parking lights flashed the first time the lock button was pressed. If you press the button a 2nd time within a couple seconds of the first press, the horn makes a quick/quiet 'beep.' This is fairly standard behavior for vehicles when being locked via key fob.
  • Hey guys, this is a great forum - I REALLY wish I would have looked into it a month ago. I just went over 60k with my 03 EX (at 60,300 actually) and I might be experiencing the alternator issue but I'm not sure. :cry:

    I've been holding off on getting the 60k service because of the high price of the timing belt - Beaverton Kia (Portland, OR) quoted ~$1,200 total. I'm going to shop around like other people have and try to do better.

    For a while now, I've suspected that I need a new battery because it drains quite fast if I listen to the radio with the van off. Is it possible that this is actually an alternator problem and it's not charging the battery all the way when I'm driving? Is there any chance that I can still get the alternator done now that I'm over 60k?
  • kaigunkaigun Posts: 2
    Got t-boned in my '05 Sedona with 35k last week. No injuries to myself or my wife but estimated damage to van is $4800. Right rear quarter panel and sliding door are being replaced. It was drivable but pulling pretty good to the left so some obvious alignment damage.

    Any ideas on how much this will effect the value at trade in time?
  • Hi Smulvey,

    I have been searching for the transaxle drain bolt on my 2004 Sedona. Can you help me find it???

    Appreciate any advice

  • boxwrenchboxwrench Posts: 55
    Hi Chris,

    You'll find the Trans drain plug on the drivers side of the oil pan IMMEDIATELY over the frame!! You only have about 1 1/2 inch clearance and it is a mess unless you fabricate some sort of deflector to send the Trans Fluid to either side of the frame!!

    A note of interest - according to Daytona Kia, when they drain the pan, it only takes about 2 qts to refill it. According to them, that is all that is required by Kia to keep your warranty current. I thought that all the fluid hade to be replaced, at least 8 qts. or more. Not so!

    Good Luck.

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