December 31, 2004.
At home and car-less while my 2001 KIA Rio is again languishing at the KIA Dealership (Tallahassee, Florida) just in time for the new year!
Car has been towed to KIA Dealership three times in a six day period.
(December 8, 10 and 13, 2004.)
Spent five hours and $331.74 to replace inoperable cooling fan motor (engine hot signal indicator came on). Towed by AAA to Kia Dealer.
Engine hot indicator again came on. Pulled car over, again called up AAA, got towed back to KIA Dealership.
Remove and replace thermostat, gasket, retest.
Told car should be OK, now.
Towed back by AAA to KIA Dealer after trying to drive the car Sunday, Dec. 12, 04. (no charge this time, as they could not duplicate problem)
Engine light came on.
Rio began to stall, misfire, hesitate in traffic, hardly made it back to my home after one mile of driving to the grocery store. Parked it and called the dealership on Sunday afternoon, told them it would be towed back by AAA again to the service area Monday a.m. for more diagnosis, as it was inoperable.
Monday, Dec. 13, 2004:
Towed back to KIA Dealer -- Customer complaint "check engine light on, stalling, misfiring"
"Could not duplicate customer concern at this time."
Sent away from Dealership with undiagnosed car, no remedy taken, no repairs made. Told to drive car back to dealer if "check engine light" comes back on.
Drove car from Monday, Dec. 13, 2004 until Dec. 30, 2004 without return of apparent problem.
Dec. 30, 2004:
Took friend on a birdwatching trip to local wildlife preserve. Checked all fluids and tires, etc. before taking trip.
Of course, the "Check engine light" came on while driving approx 35 miles away from the KIA Dealership.
Did not call AAA as they had informed me that my "tows" are used up for this calendar year (until April, 2005) and the KIA handbook stated that you could drive car to nearest KIA Dealer while light was on.
Car left at dealer's overnight after signing a $115.00 diagnosis estimate, have no vehicle at this time. Waiting again for a diagnosis.
This car has been babied ever since it was purchased.
Oil changes every three thousand miles, fluids checked and topped off mid-point between oil changes.
Recommended service performed at 30,000 and 60,000 miles per dealer specs in handbook.
Every precaution has been taken to comply with all manufacturer recommendations.
Since original purchase of 2001 KIA Rio with 28 original miles, in August of 2000, here is list of problems with this car.
Car made excessive screeching noise coming through windows at speeds over 70 mph.
Dealer never could stop noise. Still screeches.
Check airbag light came on.
Airbag replaced by dealer.
Check engine light came on, checked out by dealer -- stopped it from coming on for a while in 2000.
Exhaust smelled like rotten eggs -- made numerous complaints to dealer -- told that it was "bad gasoline" and told they could not duplicate smell.
Car totally stopped while driving -- told it was the "brain", which was replaced after again being towed to KIA Dealer.
After "brain" replaced, car seemed to run pretty well for two years.
Took car in for 30 and 60 thousand mile scheduled maintenance.
Dealership found numerous problems at the 59,999 mile mark --
Fixed broken motor mounts.
Replaced emission control problem that caused rotten egg smell.
Within 10,000 miles of the 60,000 mile service, these new problems are surfacing.
We purchased an extended warranty policy which cost an additional $1,696.00 dollars to extend the warranty past the 60,000 mile period.
Even though this is the "platinum" policy, it does not cover diagnosis costs, and so far has not reimbursed for any repairs which we paid to the dealer.
The entire purchase price for this 2001 KIA Rio with financing over a six year period is $22,000.00!
Although the gas mileage has been around 32 mpg., the reliability of this car for a woman driver, who frequently drives at night, is becoming very unreliable.
Car still has until October of 2006 before it is finally paid for!!!
At cost of $299.47 per monthly payment -- this is an excessive amount of repairs for a brand new car, always treated with the best of care, and purchased with the belief and expectation that the Dealer's calims of safety, reliability, service and wonderful extended warranty would be worth the price.
Car has also had numerous factory recalls replaced -- as notified with mailers by manufacturer.
Wish I had seen this website with all the comments about the same problems this car has experienced -- particularly the all too frequent -- all problem encompassing "check engine light" which just means more bucks for the dealer in non-reimbursed diagnosis fees, and frequent non-use of vehicle while technicians try to determine the current problem.
You decide --- is this a vehicle you would consider reliable?
At one time I would have considered purchasing another KIA, now I don't think so.
What was supposed to be an economical safe, small car, is turning into a non-operational liability.
Time spent in the dealer's waiting room is a waste of time, and costing a lot of money. The uncertainty factor is becoming increasingly problematic.
Have the feeling after reviewing the numerous complaints regarding the check engine light warning that these KIA Rios seem to have a worldwide problem, the manufacturer should have figured out how to fix the problem.
Looks like instead it is used as a "cash cow" to get the poor KIA Rio owner to return again and again to spend time waiting and reading magazines in the service area, while the techs scratch their heads with the labor meter running...
Happy New Year???
Can't imagine if this poor Rio will last until it is paid for, even with the extended service warranty. Could have purchased a lot more gasoline at the current high prices for what this car is costing in repairs.