2003 Kia Rio Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2003 Kia Rio

2003 Kia Rio Problems

Updated Control Module to Correct False Check Engine Light

Due to a problem with the automatic transmission control computer, you may experience erroneous Check Engine Light illumination; an updated control module is available.

Failure of AC Compressor Clutch

A defective AC compressor clutch assembly can cause excessive noise or vibration when the air conditioning is on. Improved parts are available. Replacing the faulty clutch assembly does not necessitate replacement of the complete AC compressor or evacuation and recharging of the air conditioning system.

Improved rear seat belt available
Kia issued a service bulletin regarding an improved rear seat belt mechanism. The mechanism has a range of movement that works better with child car seats.

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2003 Kia Rio Questions

Electrical short in steering column/dash no turn signals solution? (1 answer)

Just got the 2003 Kia Rio (cheap) having a problem with the turn signals and hazards. Whenever I try to indicate a right or left turn the signals just freeze to a constant "On" state and sometimes the lights on the gauge cluster decide to become retarded and black out. Is this a relay p...

My car will not go over 2.5 rooms while driving. My top speed is now 27 mph (1 answer)

While in park I can only rev up to 4 rooms. Then it drops. If I keep my foot on the gas it will lobe in this pattern. Reving from 1.5 to 4 then back down. I was thinking timing at first but it keeps a consistent idle speed. If I

Car shifts in n out of overdrive kills at red light burns a lot of gas? (1 answer)

It doesn't stay running and kills if the a/c is on when I stop I have to put it in neutral r it will kill but going down the road it will shift in n out of overdrive and burns a lot of gas??? I changed fuel filter plugs and wires timing belt still same thing !! Help could it be a sensor??

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2003 Kia Rio Recalls

Rear Seatbelt May Malfunction with Certain Child Seats

The Automatic Locking Retractor (ALR) function of the rear outboard seat belt assemblies may disengage. If a child seat is not properly secured, there is an increased risk of injury to the seat occupant in a crash. Dealers will replace both rear outboard seat belt assemblies free of charge. This recall began September 15, 2006. The Kia recall number is SC064.

Problem with Child Seat Anchor Between Rear Seats

Due to interference with a metal wire inside the rear seat frame, the lower child restraint anchors should not be used. Owners are advised to follow the instructions provided with the child seat on how to properly install the child seat using the vehicle's rear seat belts rather than the LATCH system. If the child seat is not properly secured, personal injury or death could occur in a crash. Dealers will replace the lower anchors free of charge. This recall began January, 2006. The Kia recall number is SC057.

Recall 04V179000
ON CERTAIN PASSENGER VEHICLES, THE FUEL INTAKE NIPPLE OF THE FUEL DISTRIBUTOR IS SUBJECT TO FRACTURE OR CRACKING DURING REMOVAL OF THE QUICK CONNECT COUPLING SECURING THE MAIN FUEL TUBE ASSEMBLY TO THE FUEL INTAKE NIPPLE, OR WHEN FORCE IS ACCIDENTALLY APPLIED TO THE INTAKE NIPPLE DURING THE VEHIC...

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2003 Kia Rio Reviews

I bought my Kia Rio used from a dealership with a little over 42,000 miles on it about 6 years ago. It now has over 150,000 miles and still runs pretty good. No major problems. Routine maintenance like oil changes every 3000-5000, new tires, one new battery. This has been a great car. Will make sure my next car is a KIA!!!
I own a 2003 Kia Rio Cinco Wagon. I will never buy another Kia. I think they are too hit and miss. Some cars are great, no problems, great gas mileage, etc. My car is a 4 cylinder gas hog. The mileage I get for that small car with the cramped interior space is the same as a roomy 6 cylinder SUV. Literally, 17 - 20 miles in city, 25 on the Highway. I once rented a Kia (not sure of the model) b...
Bought my 2003 Kia Rio new, and she has driven great so far.

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