2003 Kia Rio from North America - Comments

20th Feb 2009, 18:17

Just me again.

Paint has started to flake off the front grille. That might bother some people I guess. Paint scratches easily. Just don't go to Ikea and buy a huge desk, and then use those cardboard spacer thingies and that crappy blue string to hold it to the top of the car because, inevitably, it will move and scratch the paint. This to my wife.

Nice desk though.

13th May 2009, 18:04

Front stabilizer linkages started to make noise at 115K on the right side and about 119K on the left. I replaced them and that's fixed. It's most likely due to our road being poorly maintained, and me flying down it after a night shift dreaming of my bed as I hit all the potholes.

7th Mar 2010, 17:23

One advantage of the timing belt problem, is it makes for some very cheap parts cars for those of us who do catch the timing belt problem in time. I picked up a $400 Rio with new snow tires and rims, and recently stripped it for parts. I was fairly impressed with its build as I dismantled it - it has given me a little more confidence in the car.

We are looking for a new car for my wife as we have a baby now, but I hope to drive this car to at least 250K.

After a long break over Christmas, the car refused to turn over one day -just clicked. I checked everything, but this has seemed to have fixed itself - at least for now.

13th May 2013, 17:42

Update:

That clicking was the starter solenoid. I replaced the starter around fall of 2011.

The car has since replaced my old Escort as my vehicle, and my wife has a Pontiac Vibe that we are very happy with.

Since then I have replaced the rear brake lines, as one failed at the base of the firewall.

Fall of 2012 the alternator failed. It is located at the back of the engine. The pivot bolt would not come out as the head broke off - it was seized solid. Trying to tap it out with a hammer; one of the ears, which are cast onto the block, broke off. So I removed the power steering pump and air conditioning compressor to make room, and relocated the alternator to the front of the engine. Works well - who needs power steering on a tiny car like that anyway. Just had to make a heat shield to keep the heat from the exhaust manifold from damaging the alternator wiring. The same belt now runs the alternator and the water pump.

I accidentally caused a hole in the radiator while relocating the alternator. Was able to remove alternator and take off the top and bottom cap. Then filled the broken lines with high temp silicon and crimped them. Then put the top and bottom cap back on the alternator and re-installed it.

Recently replaced the front stabilizer linkages once again as they were making a noise while turning the wheel as they rotate. This time with professional grade parts.

Rear defrost does not work at all.

If the driver's side door is locked and then attempted to open while locked, it cannot be unlocked without disassembly of the door. I just don't lock it.

Hmm... what else... replaced front ball joints and tie rod ends in summer 2012.

Daytime running lights do not come on. This started when my battery light and brake light came on simultaneously. Seems to be an electrical problem, which I will continue to ignore.

Check engine light is also on. There is a wheel speed sensor on the right front wheel that is defective. I do not know what it is for, as the car does not have ABS and the speedometer is fed information from the sensor on the transmission.

Mass airflow sensor code is also on. The car is running poorly (hesitating on acceleration) even after attempting to clean the sensor. Will be replacing soon.

Also hearing a howling from the back - probably a bad wheel bearing. Clunking in front that I cannot find.

Exhaust flex pipe failed in summer 2012. Exhaust hangar near flex pipe failed.

Body panel rust to be expected of car this age.

13th May 2013, 17:43

Did I mention it was at 215,000 km?

13th May 2013, 17:46

Dealers never did the bearings right as they failed again. I swapped out the front wheel assemblies of the parts car and put them in mine. Problem solved - now at 216,000 km and still good.

25th May 2013, 05:52

217,000Km - the Kia is dead. Head gasket blew on the highway and it's not worth fixing.

25th May 2013, 20:56

Consider yourself very lucky to have gotten 217000 kms out of this car. My friend had one that did not even last 50000 kms!

To anyone reading this and considering buying one, DON'T!!!

Buy anything else, nothing is as cheaply made and disposable as a Kia, and this Rio in particular is their worst model.

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