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Kia Sephia brakes



  • I have just had my brakes fixed for the fourth time. I have 29,500 miles on the car (a 1.8L). They started pulsing soon after time #3, but just didn't have time to get in. I haven't had to pay for the repairs as, from the beginning at House of Kia in Los Angeles, the dealer identified it as Kia's problem (the Kia rep was there that day and approved the repairs - that was over 18 months ago). I have the extended warranty, but don't want to be in the shop all the time or dealing with this when Kia refuses to pay. Also have noted this car seems to use oil like an older car. It's been very low at times and had to be topped up between oil changes which I never had to do on my Subaru Justy (which I miss a lot). I was told this could be a problem if the car sat on the dealer's lot too long before being sold. As I'm now in Seattle where Chuck Olson Chevrolet in Lynnwood has been good with repairing the brakes and the recall on the hoses, will be looking into the lemon recourse. They said this time Kia thinks the rotors are failing because they're overheating so put in a rotor/pad pair with pads that "have fins on them" (?) to cool the rotors. Only a few days into them, but will keep you posted. Any info on a way to get Kia to buy the car back in Washington would be appreciated.
  • CidCid Posts: 8
    Hello to all & to you "Nightbird".

    I am trying to do the same thing as you, to KIA to buy back the lousy vehicle. I realize that although KIA has had numerous complaints, they will hold out to the bitter end in bringing resolution to the hundreds of dissatisfied customers.

    I am going to look into buying rotor pads that have "fins" on them, however, I am going to take the advice of a KIA owner who put WAGNER pads and rotors on his KIA. I figure, how much worse could that be, because I AM CONVINCED KIA makes defective rotors.

    I hope to get this work done by the end of April. Listen, if you have not already contacted NHTSA, do so. They will take your complaint and register it. The call only takes a minute! Every weapon we can use, will assit in getting results.
  • genes555genes555 Posts: 10
    that getting a quality aftermarket rotor and pad combo like wagner should do the trick.

    it may cost a franklin or two but it would be worth it compared to all the hassles.

    otherwise i think the kia are pretty well made cars.

    just go see all of those outraged vw consumers in the jetta gls, and beetle forum, etc.

    the vw's are absolutely horrendous.

    go check out the vw forum's and see for yourself!!
  • I just happened to be browsing the KIA area because I know of people who own Kias and have had nothing but trouble with them. In response to
    post #35, I am a very satisfied VW owner. You can't compare a "made in Korea out of recycled
    beer cans" (KIA) to a fine German engineered automobile. There is NO comparison whatsoever. There is no excuse for Kias crappy performace and safety issues -- issues which are unheard of in
    Volkswagens. So, for all of you Kia owners who got burned by Kia, I'm sorry for your inconvenience. All I can recomend is that you steer clear of cheap cars. If you can afford a german or japanese car, you should be much better off than you would be with an American or Korean
  • I was talking to the service dept at my dealer, and he was telling me about the rotor problem, and you know what, it wasn't even the rotors, it was the brake pads. The brake pads were too soft. The Kia engineers were approaching the problem from the rotor end, not the brake end. They've now redesigned the pad to be a little harder, as to not create so much heat on the rotors, which was causing them to warp. So, to those of you who haven't had your car in the Kia dealership in the past three months with this problem, give them a call and have them put on that new set of brake pads.
  • genes555genes555 Posts: 10
    gimme a break, horrendous problems on a $20,000+ vw crapmobile and a $10,000 sephia are not the same.

    most of the issues with the sephia are with the brake rotors anyways. rotors can be easily replaced plus somebody said in a previous post that kia has found a solution. the brake pads were the culprit?

    anyways the vw is a really generic car and coming from germany we all know that that country's extremely high labor rates have a lot to do with the over-pricing of the cars. they must drink a lot of beer over there.

    if you can't afford the mb or the bmw or porsche don't get a german car. they are sub par. even bmw, mb and porsche does have its share of problems but nothing like the safety and drivability problems of the vw. just go look at the new jetta forum!

    i would take the kia sephia over any vw golf or beetle, jetta anyday and save a lot of money and headaches.

    the koreans have come a long way.
  • Well this is my first time on here. I have the 98 Kia Sephia LS and also have had many numerous problems. On my second time that I had my pads replaced, I was told that it was the pads, and not the rotors, and since pads being a "wear item", they were not covered under warranty. The pads I would be getting this time would be "updated" pads as to the fact that they found a problem. I forget how long ago this was, but it was around 15,000 to 16,000 miles. I had them replaced at 7,500 miles before. Well when 25,000 or so miles came around, the brakes were doing the exact same thing. I brought it in, and once again they told me Kia had updated the pads as to the others still were not up to par. This time they replaced the pads and rotors at no cost for it being a hassle ot me and all, also for the fact of having hte extended warranty (which I'm GLAD they threw in at time of purchase!!!!). About 1,000 miles later my brakes were already squeking, I brought it in, and they said nothing was making noises, I'm glad *I* just hear these things. Now I'm at 30+, the brakes are holding up a little bit better, but I can tell they will need to be replaced within the next 2-3k miles once again. So I doubt that it has anything to do with rotors or pads, it's just terrible building of cars.

    Also another thing to go wrong, a hose busted while driving on the freeway, sending coolant everywhere throughout my engine comparment. This happened at 10k miles. It still has not run the same since. Also since having the "recall" work done, everytime I back up, my car idles high and low if I do not or barely press the gas peddle.

    As for those that blame the dealers, it's really not their fault. *Not* every Kia has this problem. I work in cellular sales, and there are some phones that are cheaper, but don't work as well, but we still have to sell them to make money. But since working the job I do now, and having hte car I have, I've learned with anything electronic, "you get what you pay for".
  • Hi All,

    So far the brakes are smooth since I had the new rotors and pads put on before my last post (04/12). Hope they continue to be so. I haven't tried to go further with the lemon approach, though now realize that the seatbelt releasing while driving is a problem others are having and should be fixed by Kia. Have not gotten to talk to the dealer about this. Am concerned for the poor performance in the crash test, the air bags not opening for people along with the seatbelt issue as my son is about to start driving so am thinking of just selling the car. Have no real complaints about the engine, but think those of us with '96 cars with the Mazda-inspired engines seem to be in better shape than those with later models made by Kia. Have been looking through the ads in Puget Sound and have noticed dealers are asking quite a lot for used Kia's so this may be the way to go if you want to get out of yours - maybe they're holding their value better than some would like us to believe.
  • bad13oybad13oy Posts: 1
    i have had my kia for almost a year and it has ran fine.It is a 98 sephia ls.Everyone is complaing about the brakes and rotors.Yes they are cheap and yes they do suck.But as for the car mine has run great.I got rear ended buy some honda accord. My rear end had a slight scratch.But the honda bumper was bent.Now everyone is complaing about there car.You spent 10,000 dollars on a car and expect a diamond.It is small and cheap car.But it is one of the best in it's class.You compare it to the cheap ford escort, the hyndai excel and maybe even the honda civic.The civic is slightly better. but the kia is a hell of a buy at its price.So spend the sixty dollars and get new rotors and pads.And enjoy the car......
  • cptplasticcptplastic Posts: 1
    My front rotors warped within 3000 miles of purchase. After replacement the new set warped also. The dealer machined the rotors instead of replacing them a third time. This did not work, so I went to another dealer and got a third set. This set has been fine for the last 15,000 miles with no problems at all!

    I guess KIA finally found the correct metal alloy. Other than the brakes, I have had no problems with my little red KIA. I just drove it to Las Vegas and back from San Diego.

    It's small and noisy, but it works.
  • kiassuck1kiassuck1 Posts: 1
    My wife and I bought our Sephia in March of '99, and had no problems with it until we noticed a grinding noise when braking. Imagine my surprise when the dealership told me I needed new brakes. When I asked if they meant new pads, they said no. New pads AND new rotors. This was at approximately 5,000 miles. Roughly every 5,000 miles since that dealership and another one closer to where we moved have replaced the rotors and pads.(We're on our 4th set now, and due for another set soon) I don't mind the manufacturer's recalls for things like the windshield wipers arms or the fuel pump, but replacing brakes every 5k miles is starting to get old. I have e-mailed Kia directly, and they told me it was a problem that I needed to take up with the service manager at my dealership. About the nicest thing I can say about Kia is that I haven't been charged a dime so far for all these repairs to our vehicle(Thank God for the extended warranty!) I am also not impressed with the factory Hankook tires. I will need a new set before the winter arrives here in Pennsylvania.
  • cuda1cuda1 Posts: 1
    I would like to know if these braking problems are on automatic trans cars or on sticks and if the owners of sticks are downshifting when stoping. I have a 2000 sephia ls stick with 6000 miles, that i downshift when braking and haven`t had any problems with so far.
  • dannyh2dannyh2 Posts: 2
    I have a 97 Sephia (bought it new) and it has 50,000 miles on it. I've NEVER had a problem with the brakes. I did have to replace the wiring once, because I never have had a tune up. I agree with the person above who said that the Sephia burns oil quickly...but that's all!

    Now, the body work is shoddy and my dashboard cracked in the Maryland summer sun last year, but Kia replaced it at NO CHARGE!

    I too will be trading the car in next year, but hopefully it will continue running well until then.
    Good luck to all others out there.....
  • marbymarby Posts: 34
    MOST VW's sold in US are made in MEXICO not Germany.
  • I have a 99 Kia Sephia LS and have had nothing but problems with it since I bought it. I have had a broken fly wheel, broken wheel cylinder which caused all kinds of problems with my brakes. My vehicle has been recalled for some fuel pump wiring problem. I have replaced my rotors and pads at early mileage. I have been reading and noticed that everyone seems to be having the same problem with their Kia. BRAKES, BRAKES, BRAKES! I wish I had never bought this car. The dealer is always rude everytime I HAVE to bring my car BACK in to be fixed, and Kia has been of no assitance to me. They basically told me to suck it up and pay for the brakes. If the dealer had fixed my wheel cylinder when they were supposed to, then maybe my rotors wouldn't have been to be replaced so soon. But then again, now that I see others were having the same problem, maybe it was the rotors. I want them to take their crappy car back, but they won't without putting a voluntary repo on my credit. Does anyone have any suggestions? THis car has been nothing but problems since I got it. Kia's are crap and I am telling everyone not to buy them. IS there any way to put a formal complaint on them? This car is high maintenance!!!! Never buy one! Tell everyone!!!!!!!!!!
  • alchemy2alchemy2 Posts: 6
    I have a 1997 Kia Sephia with 65000 miles averaging 20+K/year and had to just replace the muffler and main exhaust pipe ($630 parts/labor). I've been driving many different domestic and foreign cars over the years putting on high mileage and have never replaced an exhaust system so soon. I also have to replace my front brake pads and warped rotors for the 3rd time ($345). At 60000 I replaced the timing belt, water pump, leaking cam shaft seals, valve cover seals and engine tune-up($890-water pump covered under extended warranty). The engine consumes more than a quart of oil less than a 1000 miles. If this car lasts to 100000 miles, I feel I would have spent in maintenance what I have paid for the car.
  • lufsey01lufsey01 Posts: 1
    I was told to come to the site for help on finding cars. I was about to buy a 2000 Kia Sephia, but after reading about all of these problems with the brakes/rotors and other problems, I believe that I have changed my mind. The neighbors down the street love their Kia's and have never had a problem with the car or jeep. I now wonder how long they have had them? These automobiles came highly recommended by them. My mom was thinking about buying a Kia also.
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335

    Have you looked in the Sedans or SUV conference yet. This conference has mostly problems in it, by design. You will get a much more balanced viewpoint in the other conferences.

    Your host, Bruce
  • cutlass13cutlass13 Posts: 2
    I have a 2000 Sephia with a manual tranny and 4000 hard miles on it (Teenaged driver, guilty as charged) and have done some pretty hard braking. Except for the weak front suspension letting the front end dip seriously, the brakes are good, no pulling, warping, noises, and no brake fade when braking from highway speeds (to avoid accidents on I-75 during rush hours commuting to and from school) Besides the P.O.S. tires giving terrible traction and sliding around on Florida's wet summer roads, I've had no mechanical problems with the car.
  • cutlass13cutlass13 Posts: 2
    Maybe they reworked the brake system on the newer models. I noticed most of the posts were 97s and 98s.
  • dannyh2dannyh2 Posts: 2
    Well all, It seems that this posting is the kiss of death. Not more than a week after posting my glowing praise for brakes started GRINDING!!
    Well, I'm not evern gonna take it to a shop...I think I'm just going to go buy a new car.
  • mta23mta23 Posts: 1
    '94 Sephia RS, Bought new, 65k miles. Went to dealer once at 10k miles because the e-brake button popped out, covered under warranty. Replaced front pads at 55k, never had problems with the brakes. Manual trans and I downshift by the way. Most reliable car I have ever owned, and I laugh all the way to the bank at overpriced, overrated Hondas.
  • Bought my Kia June 1999 - have experienced nothing but trouble with this Sephia! Same,constant brake/rotor problems (automatic transmission)!!! Also, from the day I drove it off the lot - the turn signals freeze up on me and won't work! The dealer tried once to fix - but no luck! Does this sound familiar to anyone else? How do you all feel about a class action lawsuit to have these dangerous, problematic pieces of steel recalled???
  • Pieces of Steel Recalled?!? Of course, you must mean low-grade plastic. Your mistake is excused!
  • kelli6kelli6 Posts: 1
    I bought a 1994 Kia Sephia, keep in mind this was the first year they were out on the market. I was to live in Phoenix and do a lot of city driving. Well plans changed and I stayed at home in the mountains and dirt roads.
    I have had more problems with my Kia! Not long after I had it the check engine light came on, I took to the dealership which at that time was 2 hour and 100 miles away from my home! That took a whole day! Nothing was wrong with it! Three more times back to the dealership with the same problems! Nothing Wrong!
    Recently it started jerking and losing power, took it back to the dealership $65.00 later they told me that I needed a new transmission at 45k miles! Give me a break!
    I have never been able to buy parts at a store, always from the dealership where they mark everything up 100% of what it's worth! Not to mention how many times I have replaced my brakes and rotors! That is a small fourtune in it self! The money that I have spent on my Kia could have feed a third world country for 3 three years!
    But I have gotten smart and have a big FOR SALE sing in the back window and am looking at an American made SUV!
    Kia must mean "WE GET YOU COMING AND GOING"!!!
    Good Luck to all those Kia owners out there, you are in for it!
  • bnormannbnormann Posts: 335
    Hi Folks,

    The general focus of this conference is on exchanging information regarding "Maintenance & Repair" issues. I realize that all of the problems involved in your discussions require maintenance or repair, but too many posts recently are just editorial comments.

    If you want to tell the world about your problems, please do it in the Sedans Conference or whichever one is appropriate. If you have questions (or answers...) about how to fix those problems, please post 'em here.


    Your host, Bruce.
  • hatekiashatekias Posts: 1
    The first day I drove it, the engine light went wheels transmission, seals, exhaust, brakes, rotors, wipers...nothing worked when I needed it. Lots of rude uncaring service people and KIA doesn't care that you paid for a car and have to rent or fly to get places. My car was stripped of the cd I thought I was getting and the rims fixed but took a monor $ adjustment as they couldn't give me a CD even tho on sticker. I drive with lemons in the a school principal and no one here would buy a KIA. Even the dealer sold the franchise...make you feel any degree of confidence?
  • corozoncorozon Posts: 1
    I bought a 1999 and it has been in for servicing and recalled parts. Everything has been handled by the dealership (the one closest to me, not the one I bought it from) without a delay or inconvenience to me. I've barely paid for an oil change. Even things that some might consider my fault were taken care of through warranty. Finally, even when the brakes seemed to have something not working right and I was told it was under warranty and have fine brakes now.

    This car has been so easy for me to own with so little out-of-pocket expense, so inexpensive to purchase and very light on the taxes and insurance that I can't think of a better return on investment. I sure can't relate to all the people that are having such problems, KIA has been nothing but helpful and generous to me.
  • hoontzhoontz Posts: 1
    Just a couple of weeks and less than 300 miles on it my Kia problems started. I was unable to start my car while setting on a FORD dealer lot (turning in my previous lease). I actually had to call that roadside assistance number to get a tow-truck back to the Kia dealership. They were going to tow it to a new Kia dealership that wasn't even open yet. Turned out to be a bad fuel injector.
    I thought that was it, new car, I should be home free. And then the windshield wipers went nuts. Again, back to the dealership... fixed and on my way, or so I thought. With less than 1500 miles on my car, I noticed that the brakes were reverberating. Back to that dealership...seems the rotors were warped. They changed them out under warrantee (thank goodness). By now it was only 8 months into ownership of this great vehicle. I was praying for something else to go wrong, like maybe the brakes again before I hit the 12 month anniversary; then at least I could try out the lemon law in our state. But no. I made it pass the one year mark before my rotors warped AGAIN! I have less than 6900 miles on my 98 Sephia and have gone through 2 rotor changes already. It's pretty bad when you have to the rotors changed more than the oil. Hey, anyone want to buy a car?
  • I bought a 2000 Kia Sephia back in January of this year. Within 4 months, the fuse box had to be replaced twice, the rubber molding on the doors are constantly coming off and several other problems I am having. I agree with you burnedbykia that we should place a class action lawsuit against this company. This car really sucks!!!
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