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Kia Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 20 Kia models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

After the vehicle has been operated with electrical loads (lights, air conditioning), a weak alternator can cause starting difficulties. In some cases, the original alternator could not sufficiently charge the battery; Kia released a new alternator which can correct this concern.

Reprogramming the transmission control module with the latest Kia transmission software may fix abnormalities in the automatic transmission and erroneous transmission-related Check Engine Light illumination. Software updates are commonly most effective on newer vehicles. Higher mileage vehicles may exhibit a similar symptom caused by a component failure. However, whenever major transmission repairs are performed the transmission software should be checked and updated as necessary.

In warm weather, the power sliding door switch may get stuck in the open position. Kia has an improved switch to correct this problem.

The Kia Sedona is well known for presenting issues to the operator when trying to start the engine. This is especially true for vehicles with the Kia smart key. 

An issue with the factory vehicle immobilizer control module can cause the vehicle to think it is being stolen. This will immediately disallow the vehicle from starting. 

Many times, the key is the issue, and vehicles with keyless go or push-to-start technology may function properly if the key is inserted (check owners manual for the location of the port). 

The newest version of the smart key can be used to press the start button, which will allow the vehicle to register the key when the battery is low. 

If these quick tips do not allow the vehicle to start, or the vehicle does not use a smart key, diagnostics will need to be performed by a factory authorized Kia service enter. 

Check Engine Light illumination—combined with a lack of power or a stumble on acceleration—may be caused by the throttle position switch (TPS). Kia released an improved part which should correct this concern.

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.

If the stereo/CD player refuses to load, eject, or play CDs, remove the power supply (fuse) to the stereo for twenty seconds to reset the stereo's internal memory.

In order to correct a problem with the Kia Sorento 3.5l V6 engine that results in difficulty starting, engine vibration, or a rattling sound from the engine compartment, Kia released an updated crankshaft pulley bolt.

UPDATE: A class action lawsuit brought against Kia Motors in regard to the breakage of the crankshaft pulley bolt on Kia Sorento models with the 3.5L V6 may provide relief to some customers who paid to have the repair performed at a Kia authorized repair facility. There are a few caveats, however: 

  • Kia Sorento models from 2003-2006
  • Customer must have completed the repair before 100,000 miles
  • Repair performed at Kia authorized repair location
  • Must be the 3.5l V6 engine
  • The owner must have made a claim by May 17th, 2017
  • Exclusion from the claim is the only way to make further claims against Kia Motors for this issue
  • See more here: http://www.crankshaftboltclassaction.com/

 

 

If the engine is excessively noisy on startup (after the engine has been off for several hours) and the noise lasts more than four or five seconds, turn off the engine and check for correct engine oil level. If the oil level is correct, the noise may be caused by the timing chain tensioner. Kia released an updated timing chain tensioner to solve this problem.

A faulty door latch assembly may cause one or both front doors to be difficult to open. Replacing the worn latch will commonly correct this problem.

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.

In cold, wet climates, the driver and passenger door handles may stick, jam, or not return to their rest position; improved handle release cables are available to correct this issue.

Check Engine Light illumination—combined with a lack of power or a stumble on acceleration—may be caused by the throttle position switch (TPS). Kia released an improved part which should correct this concern.