1996 Kia Sephia Reviews & Ratings

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1996 Kia Sephia Ratings Overview
1 car owner like you reviewed their 1996 Kia Sephia. The average rating is a 4.0 out of 5.
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1996 Kia Sephia
Rating Details
Body, Interior & Misc.
Drive Train
Electrical & Lights
Exhaust & Emissions
Heating & Air Conditioning
Suspension & Steering
By on 10/28/11 | Bakersfield, CA
I have a 1996 Kia Sephia GS, I bought it in 2008 for $1,200. It had 54,000 original miles on it at the time I bought it. It currently has 65,000 miles on it. It needed to have the alternator replaced when I bought it (the previous owner told me that it was not charging right and it was a bad alternator, or battery). He had fully charged the battery with his battery charger, which enabled me to test drive it, but I had it towed to my house to avoid it failing to have enough "juice" to get me home. I purchased a new alternator (not rebuilt) for approx. $120 from a reputable parts supplier online. I had a local mechanic replace the alternator and I began driving it regularly. I really liked the vehicle right away. I soon discovered that it had been in an accident (I noticed red paint on the front drivers side fender... it was red under the silver. My car is silver, so this indicated that the fender was once a red fender and was painted silver. The only reason to replace a fender is due to collision damage. I could not find out any info from obtaining a "Carfax" report. I contacted the previou owner who told me that it had been involved in a low speed collision in a parking lot that resulted in the front driver fender and driver door being replaced and then both repainted to match the vehicle. I noticed a slight misalignment of the driver door meeting with the body (which I was able to correct by simply loosening the mounting bolts and getting a better alignment then retightening the bolts. I have had to replace the timing belt, the battery, water pump, idler pulley, serpentine belts, radiator and alternator (4 times) since i purchased this Kia. The numerous alternator replacements is due to the fact that once a dash "charge warning light" bulb burns out, there is a potential for damage to the charging system because the bulb is in series with the wiring involving the charging system. (a big mistake by the electrical engineers at Kia). Anyway, once I discovered this problem, I replaced the warning lamp, but also by-passed the need for the bulb to be essential to the integrity of the entire charging system. Once this correction was made, I fell back in love with this vehicle. It runs smooth (i do properly maintain this vehicle and all of my vehicles... I do all scheduled maintenace on time, but usually early. I hate when people complain about a vehicles performance, complain about engine/ drive-train component failure, etc. yet they have no idea if proper maintenance services have been performed or they know that they haven't. I've heard people say, "It's a new vehicle..I've only had it for two years.. I changed the oil once, but what else should an owner need to do on a new car during the first few years"? It just blows me away, how people can expect a vehicle to " magically" last for 200,000 miles or more without performing the recommended services at the recommended intervals. If people would just perform these services as scheduled, their vehicles would easily last beyond 250,000 miles. I have a 1981 Toyota Corolla that has been properly maintained and it has over 420,000 miles on it. It still has good compression and great performance...not to mention it gets about 27 miles per gallon in town driving.
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